UPDATE: Per Associated Press just minutes ago, Barack Obama’s campaign said it would reinstate hundreds of people to lists of prospective California delegates for the Democratic National Convention, a surprise turnaround after widespread complaints over the cuts.
A campaign official said a letter would be sent to California Democratic Chairman Art Torres directing it to restore the dropped names.
The campaigns for Obama and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton used party rules to purge a raft of potential delegates earlier this week in a bid to ensure that only their loyalists travel to the convention in August, where Democrats will anoint a presidential nominee.
Most of the cuts — some 900 names — were dropped by Obama. Many of his supporters complained they had been treated unfairly.
The 850 delegate candidates cut late yesterday from the California Democratic Party’s Sunday caucus ballots are very likely to be officially restored within minutes, according to what the Obama campaign told an East Bay man pruned from the list.
The shift is another twist in the bizarre saga that started Monday when the campaign of primarily Barack Obama invoked a little-used rule that allows the candidates to pare down unwanted applicants.
Both campaigns apparently feared such large fields might allow stealth delegates to infiltrate their camps and thwart the nominating vote at the national convention.
A record number of Californians had applied to run for one of the 241 Congressional district-level delegate seats to the national convention on Aug. 24-28 in Denver.
The act drew howls of protests up and down the state from Obama activists who decried the move as antithetical to the candidate’s campaign appeal to new faces.
The California Young Democrats just put out an appeal for Obama to do just what he appears to be doing. Read on for the Democrats’ press release:
CALIFORNIA YOUNG DEMOCRATS
CALL ON THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN
TO REINSTATE LOYAL YOUNG DEMOCRATIC LEADERS
AS DELEGATE CANDIDATES
The California Young Democrats expressed dismay and disappointment over the large numbers of young activists “pruned” by the Obama campaign from the list of eligible delegates for this weekend’s Democratic National Convention delegate selection caucuses.
“Lots of young activists are being shut out of their first opportunity to go to a convention as a delegate. Many of these volunteers have spent weeks setting up Facebook groups, organizing friends, family, and fellow organizers to come to the caucuses, to register as Democrats, and get them to vote. This is on top of the volunteer work many did and the money and time spent traveling to other states to support the Obama campaign,” said Rocky Fernandez, President of the California Young Democrats.
CYD urged many of its members to get active on the presidential campaigns, and lobbied the state Party to set an ambitious 10% youth goal for its delegation. This is the highest state goal in the nation.
Over 60% of the Obama youth activists were cut from the final lists just days before the caucuses.
The California Young Democrats strongly urge the Obama campaign to reinstate the loyal young Democratic leaders as candidates for this Sunday’s elections.
The California Young Democrats is the official youth arm of the California Democratic Party, comprised of progressive people ages 14-35. The California Young Democrats are committed to creating a bloc of young voters who will elect Democrats for an entire generation. Using proven Peer to Peer campaign methods, Young Democrats have made significant differences in races all over California. Young Democrats in California work everyday to promote social justice, women’s rights, peace and stability in the world, and many other progressive values.