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24 August 2008

DNC 2008: A Resolution Establishing the Democratic Change Commission

Saturday morning, the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee recommended that the full Democratic National Convention adopt the following resolution establishing the Democratic Change Commission.

Resolution Establishing the Democratic Change Commission

Sponsored by:

Former Governor Jim Hodges, South Carolina
Craig Smith, Florida

Section 1. Establishment of Democratic Change Commission.

BE IT RESOLVED: That no later than 60 days after the date of the next election of the National Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the National Chair shall establish a commission (the "Commission") to review the Delegate Selection Rules in light of developments during the 2008 presidential nominating cycle and to recommend changes to the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, not inconsistent with these resolutions, to improve the nominating process.

RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Commission shall be known as the "Democratic Change Commission;" that it shall consist of 35 members and two co-chairs, all with the right to vote on Commission business, appointed by the National Chair of the DNC; that its membership shall be equally divided between men and women and shall be geographically and demographically diverse; that the DNC shall provide the Commission with adequate staff and resources to carry out its mandate in accordance with this Resolution; and that the Commission shall issue its report and recommendations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC no later than January 1, 2010.

Section 2. Timing of the Primaries and Caucuses.

RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2012 Convention shall provide that no meetings, caucuses, conventions or primaries which constitute the first determining stage in the presidential nomination process (the date of the primary in primary states and the date of the first tier caucus in caucus states) shall be held prior to the first Tuesday in March of the election, except as otherwise provided in the Delegate Selection Rules and recognizing the valuable role played by the approved pre-Window states in 2008; and provided that no such meeting, caucus, convention or primary shall in any event be held prior to February 1 of the calendar year of the National Convention; and that the Commission also shall review the sequence and scheduling of primaries and caucuses with a view towards reducing the scheduling of such events on the first allowable date that resulted in 22 primaries and caucuses being held on such date in 2008 and toward reducing frontloading within the Window period; and that the Commission shall review the rules for proper enforcement of the primary and caucus timing requirements and delegate allocation matters, particularly with respect to action by the Rules and Bylaws Committee; and that in making its recommendations, the Commission consider any revision of the Rules of the Republican Party of the United States adopted by the 2008 Republican National Convention regarding the scheduling and sequence of presidential nominating events.

Section 3. Delegates

RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Commission shall consider and make appropriate recommendations for revisions to the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2012 Democratic National Convention to provide for a significant reduction of the number of unpledged party leader and elected official (PLEO) delegates in order to enlarge the role and influence of primary and caucus voters in the presidential nominating process. The Commission also shall review the formulas for delegate allocation to assure that delegates are fairly allocated to accurately reflect the will of the voters and that the right of the delegates to reflect the sentiments of those who elected them shall be secured to all delegates.

Section 4. Caucuses

RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Commission shall consider and recommend appropriate revisions to the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2012 Democratic National Convention to provide that:

a. the use of a caucus/convention system for any stage of the delegate selection process by any State Democratic Party shall be approved by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee in accordance with any new specific criteria to be set out in the Delegate Selection Rules, and which will be designed to ensure that at each stage, any caucus or convention will be adequately planned, organized, and staffed; will take place at such times and in such locations as will meet the requirements of Rule 3 of the Delegate Selection Rules and will otherwise maximize the opportunity for full participation by Democratic voters; will be run using appropriate balloting methods and, as to tiers following the first stage caucus, will utilize accurate lists of participants; and will afford the opportunity for meaningful communication of presidential candidates with their pledged caucus participants in advance of caucuses and conventions.

b. the use of a caucus/convention system for any stage of the delegate selection process should be organized in a manner that will ensure the maximum ability of Democratic voters to feasibly participate in the first-tier caucuses, including consideration of absentee voting in caucuses to benefit those who cannot attend a scheduled caucus due to military service, work, health conditions, family obligations and other similar reasons that prevent attendance in person.

Section 5. Status of Resolutions

RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Commission may address other matters related to the presidential nominating process and Delegate Selection Rules as may be identified by the National Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and that for the purposes of Article Ten, Section 2 of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States, these resolutions shall be deemed to be "otherwise designated."