Posted by Jesse Shayne on July 15, 2016 at 4:20 PM
What Happened in Cleveland and Where We Go From Here
Yesterday afternoon, Open Primaries’ Al Benninghoff delivered 33,000 signatures to the Republican Rules Committee meeting urging the party to support open primaries in 2020.
He was denied entry to the meeting but got the petition to the right people. Meanwhile, delegates associated with Ted Cruz made their case for incentivizing states that conduct closed primaries in 2020. Ultimately, the Rules Committee made a recommendation to the delegates that they not make changes to the current rules. All the organizing we’ve done to project the voice of the 70% of Americans who favor open primaries certainly had an impact.
Next stop, Philadelphia, where we will deliver our petition to the Democratic Party Rules Committee. We know that hundreds of delegates support open primaries. We know that Bernie Sanders has made it a point of negotiation with the DNC and the Clinton team. And we have activists on the ground in every state working to amplify our cause.
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.
Your support has been crucial to our efforts in the past few months, and everything that we’ve done this year to lead the fight for open primaries has come to this moment. If everyone who has already signed the petition gets three friends to sign, we will easily surpass 100,000. If everyone can donate $10 or more, we can organize more effectively around the petition and get more signatures from Americans who support the movement to reform our political system so that the people, not the parties, call the shots.
The dynamics in Philadelphia will be different than in Cleveland. Ted Cruz, the second-place finisher, led the charge for closed primaries, and he failed (so far). In Philadelphia, the second-place finisher, Bernie Sanders, is a supporter of open primaries -- in fact, he has been publicly calling for open primaries for months. The DNC wants to maintain the status quo, or even move to a more restrictive arrangement. But we’re in a much stronger position to have a positive impact -- with your help.
We really mean it. If each of us gets three friends to sign the petition and gives ten bucks, we hit 100,000. And a 100,000 signature, 50-state petition could have a significant impact on the conversation within the Rules Committee and on the convention floor in Philadelphia. That’s what it's going to take -- you!
America needs to have an open system. We need to have a political culture that allows for black and white, liberal and conservative, urban and rural to come together in new ways, start new conversations, and build new coalitions that are not confined by partisanship. We need open primaries so that we can develop as a country. The next week is crucial -- so let’s do this!