Newsletter - Open Primaries
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Open Primaries Hotlist Volume 6

Posted by jesse shayne on September 01, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court rejected the Hawaii Democratic Party’s efforts to overturn a previous ruling in defense of the State’s open primary system. The court upheld the lower court’s decision by asserting that the HDP could not provide adequate evidence that the open system infringed upon its First Amendment right to freedom of association.

This is an important legal victory because the court shifted the burden of proof away from the voters and onto the political parties. They must be able to prove, state-by-state, that open primaries violate their freedom of association.

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Open Primaries Hotlist Volume 5

Posted by jesse shayne on August 11, 2016 at 10:18 AM

Open Primaries staff and volunteers went to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to deliver our 40,000 signature petition and introduce an open primaries resolution at the rules committee meeting. Maggie Wunderly, a member of the Democratic Party Rules Committee, introduced the resolution, petition in-hand, and faced off against Rules Committee Chair Barney Frank. It was quite a spectacle to behold -- an activist standing up against an establishment stalwart as entrenched as Frank. Ultimately, over 25% of the Committee voted to enact a 50-state open primaries rule -- the first time that a major party has ever formally considered it.

While no major electoral reform measure passed at the DNC, we did force the Rules Committee to establish a “unity reform commission” to review issues of process and participation.

During the rules committee meeting, we took video testimonials of a number of our supporters, protesters, activists, and delegates, many of whom were frustrated when the Rules Committee meeting was closed to the public at the last-possible second.

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Open Primaries Hotlist Volume 4

Posted by jesse shayne on July 20, 2016 at 10:32 AM

We’re headed to the DNC on Saturday to deliver our petition to the Democratic Rules Committee. Here’s the challenge: We walked into the Rules Committee meeting in Cleveland with 33,000 signatures. We’d like us to walk into the Rules Committee meeting in Philadelphia with 100,000 signatures. Right now we have about 37,000 signatures.

If everyone who signed our petition shares it with just two friends, we can make our benchmark of 100k.

So here’s our plan for the DNC: We are in contact with numerous Democratic delegates who support our issue and are willing to work with us to make an impact at the Convention. We are also in contact with delegates on the Rules Committee who support our cause.

Rumour has it that Bernie Sanders is telling his 1,900-some-odd delegates to vote for open primaries. We are organizing to unite as many delegates and supporters around our cause as we can possibly find, and we intend to mobilize our network at the Convention, make a press splash, and make our presence known.

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Open Primaries Hotlist Volume 3

Posted by jesse shayne on July 12, 2016 at 10:48 AM

With only a week to go until the Republicans convene in Cleveland, our movement has begun to make the political establishment sweat. In the past two weeks alone, two national news outlets came out against open primaries, offering sophomoric and fallacious opinion pieces that do little to discount the notion that American politics favors the parties ahead of the voters.

  • The USA Today editorial board took Bernie Sanders to ask, so to speak, claiming that his call for an end to superdelegates is “much ado about nothing,” and that his push for open primaries is illegitimate. "Ultimately, Democrats should act in ways they think will help their candidates in the future, not let the second-place guy call the shots." They’re right. Keeping primaries closed WILL help the party retain control over the broken system we have, but it WON’T help voters!
  • Meanwhile, The Washington Post published an op-ed by William M. Daley, who argues that the Democratic Party’s nominating system is NOT defective and IS fair. He attacks open primaries and says that “political parties are not governmental organizations” and should therefore be allowed to set the rules for their own primaries, yet fails to mention the fact that taxpayer money FUNDS those very elections (although he does express contempt that Bernie is still receiving Secret Service protection at the cost of taxpayers -- how ironic).

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Open Primaries Hotlist Volume 2

Posted by jesse shayne on July 01, 2016 at 11:01 AM

National Campaign Update: Our petition calling on the Democratic and Republican parties to reform their primary rules and adopt open presidential primaries at the conventions next month now has over 30,000 signatures.

This weekend we are staging an Independence Day Weekend petition push across the country. Celebrate our country's independence by helping us regain control of our political system. You can find local petition canvassing events here and create your own events in your community. Here is a link to our petition that you can print out and secure signatures on, and here you will find any other volunteer tools that you might need. Thanks for your support!

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