Allison Joyal – I Am a Progressive
On Sunday Vermont Democrats were clear that superdelegates no longer represent the populace.
The Vermont Democratic Convention was low key compared to many around the country. Bernie was clearly the home-town hero and nearly every speaker sang his praises. Gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter said she was thrilled to have the issues of low wages and poverty addressed by Bernie on a national stage.
With nearly a third of the room identifying as first time attendees to a democratic caucus, energy was high and all about Bernie. In a state in which Bernie took 100% of the delegates there was little to debate. Delegates and national representatives were elected and it was resolved Vermont democrats would endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United states.
But the biggest surprise was the resolution to remove ten superdelegates ability to vote at the national convention in Philadelphia in July. Vermont has 16 pledged delegates who are required to vote in-line with the populace. Because Bernie won Vermont by a landslide he earned all pledged delegates. The issue was the state also had ten “superdelegates.” They include members of the state party, senators, congressmen, the governor and former governor. A few superdelegates had publicly stated they intended to cast their vote for contender Hillary Clinton despite public outcry. Two such superdelegates are lame duck Governor Peter Shumlin and former governor Howard Dean. Senator Patrick Leahy had initially endorsed Clinton but when outcry turned to threats of refusal to vote for Leahy he promised to back his constituents.
A superdelegate vote in Vermont held the weight of 10,000 votes. Several speeches by party nominees mentioned the unfairness of this. Prior to this convention Maine had eliminated superdelegates at their state convention. Maine was another state Sander won by a landslide.
Vermont democrats removed the rights of superdelegates with a unanimous vote and almost zero debate.
The resolution does not affect the July National convention. It is set to begin in the 2020 race. Vermont Public Radio says “Sanders won all 16 of this state’s pledged delegates since he took more than 85 percent of the vote in the primary. With only four of Vermont’s 10 superdelegates choosing Clinton, the resulting 22-4 allocation mirrors precisely the proportion of the vote in March.”