Magazine article In These Times

3 Reforms to Demand at the Democratic Convention

Magazine article In These Times

3 Reforms to Demand at the Democratic Convention

Article excerpt

In late July, delegates to the Democratic National Convention will gather in Philadelphia, not only to nominate a president and vice president but to debate a reform agenda for the party itself. Bernie Sanders' call fora political revolution is centered on democratizing U.S. politics, including the Democratic Party, and his delegation will number at least 1,700. "Big money out and voters in" should be their rallying cry; spending on the 2016 election is on track to exceed the 2012 record of $7 billion.

# A Get superdelegates out of the nominating process. As Jesse Jackson's delegates did in 1988, Sanders' delegates are likely to demand a significant reduction or elimination of the role of superdelegates in the nominating process. If the Democratic Party wants to broaden its base, it must move toward populism and away from control by the financial establishment. That starts with elected delegates controlling the party and the nominating process. The Democratic Party should, ironically enough, follow the lead of the Republican Party, in which superdelegates can't vote as they please-like elected delegates, they must abide by their state's popular vote.

Get super PACs out, too. The Democrats need to lead by example. While most Democratic voters would decry Citizens United or McCutcheon v FEC, most Democratic candidates are using wealthy donors as the mainstay of their fundraising-even in nominating contests, where there can be no excuse of matching Republican opponents' spending. …

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