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CD10: Get your loophole here

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 7:31 pm in 2009 CD10 special election, Democratic Party, Democratic politics.

In the interest of keeping up with the fast-moving events of the 10th Congressional District special election, here is a round-up of what caught my attention today. (Sidenote: I’ll post round-ups between now and Sept. 1 as warranted. You can also find the latest list and links to the declared candidates and/or those who have filed for the seat at the bottom of this post.)

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From the Arcane Political Bureaucracy files, the Democratic congressional candidates have been busy exploiting a loophole in the California Democratic Party bylaws in an effort to secure the party’s endorsement.

Here’s how it works.

The party delegates who live in the 10th District will hold a caucus on Aug. 1 at a yet-to-be named location hold an endorsement vote. Delegates within the district typically include about 100 or so elected officials and their appointees, members of the Central Committee and other local activists. The winner must obtain at least 60 percent of the vote of delegates who attend the caucus.

But here’s the rub: Democrats with authority to appoint delegates to the party from throughout California may appoint as delegates any Democrat in the state. There are no restrictions based on their home districts. For example, a San Diego Democratic Assemblymember can appoint Yreka registered Democrats as his delegates.

So, several of the CD10 Democratic candidates’ campaign teams have in the past couple of weeks lobbied elected officials from up and down the state and asked them to appoint as their delegates folks who live in the 10th District and support their respective candidates.

As a result, the number of delegates in the 10th District has expanded to as many as 300, sources say. Reports put state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier in the delegate count lead over Lt. Governor John Garamendi and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan.

Folks can debate the value of a party endorsement in a low turnout primary election where most of the voters will be die-hard partisans who probably already know the candidates. On the other hand, the winner can take advantage of the California Democratic Party’s reduced bulk mailing rate.

But for the most part, it sounds like an exercise in campaign organization rather than democracy.

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CANDIDATES WHO HAVE FILED OR DECLARED THEIR CANDIDACIES AS OF LATE THURSDAY ARE:

DEMOCRATS

Tiffany Attwood of Danville – http://www.attwood4congress.com/

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo – http://www.joanbuchanan.com/

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord – http://www.markdesaulnierforcongress.com/

Lt. Governor John Garamendi of Walnut Grove – http://www.garamendi.org/

Adriel Hampton of Dublin – http://adrielhampton.com/

Anthony Woods of Fairfield – http://www.anthonywoodsforcongress.com/home.html

REPUBLICANS

David Harmer of Dougherty Valley – http://www.harmerforcongress.com/

David Peterson of Walnut Creek – peterson4congress@astound.net

John Toth of Pleasant Hill

Chris Bunch of Fairfield – http://www.bunch4congress.com/_/Welcome.html (added 7/8/09)

GREEN PARTY

Jeremy Cloward of Pleasanton Hill – jeremy@jeremycloward.com

PEACE AND FREEDOM

Mary McIlroy of El Cerrito -  mcmcilroy2002@yahoo.com

AMERICAN INDEPENDENT

Jerome Denham of Walnut Creek – jdenham@earthlink.net

NON-PARTISAN

Gino Van Gundy of Fairfield – http://www.ginovangundy.com/

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  • Arne Simonsen

    What a screwed up system of selecting delegates! Any delegate should live within CD-10. We have enough outside interference as it is!