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If Bernie Sanders wins the New York Democratic primary, some superdelegates vow to back Hillary Clinton anyway

Posted by on Mar. 30, 2016 at 2:59 PM
  • 4 Replies
Maybe the system really is rigged.

At least a half-dozen Democratic superdelegates in New York State who have already decided to support Hillary Clinton said Tuesday they would maintain their allegiance to her — regardless of the results of the Empire State’s primary.

Even if Sanders were to win the April 19 New York presidential contest, when a whopping 247 delegates are at stake, every single New York superdelegate reached by the Daily News said they would never back the Vermont senator.

“Absolutely not,” Elizabeth Stanley, the chief of staff for Westchester County Rep. Nita Lowey, told the Daily News when asked if she could see “any potential situation at all” resulting in her boss switching her support from Clinton to Sanders.

Every single New York superdelegate reached by the Daily News said they would never support the Brooklyn-born Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“Hillary Clinton is Congresswoman Lowey’s friend, colleague and her constituent, and she is behind her 100%,” Stanley added.

“I would not under any circumstances switch my allegiance from Secretary Clinton to Senator Sanders,” Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks said.

The other four New York superdelegates — who can pledge and withdraw their allegiance to a nominee based on their personal preference — also would never pull their support from Clinton, their spokespeople said. They all spoke anonymously for fear of insulting either campaign.

The offices for another six known New York superdelegates wouldn’t comment or didn’t respond to a request for comment. There are 44 superdelegates among New York’s 291 delegates.

The iron-willed insistence of so many politicians and sitting lawmakers already in the Hillary camp to not budge from their support of the Democratic front-runner speaks volumes to the difficulty faced by the Sanders campaign — or any political outsider — in securing the nomination.

But that challenge — one that is met by candidates every four years — isn’t merely a product of Clinton having earned so many supporters. It’s also due to the complicated setup of a nominating process that gives weight to the desire of party bosses who don’t have to take into account the expressed desire of Democratic voters.

The majority of Democratic delegates in New York, and across the U.S., are “pledged.” Typically they are elected state and local officials. They are awarded proportionally, and bound to the candidate who wins their state’s primary.

Across the U.S., there are about another 712 superdelegates — unelected delegates free to support any candidate for the nomination at the party’s convention.

The superdelegates who are elected officials are, for example, members of the House and Senate, Democratic governors and the Vice President as well members of the Democratic National Committee. Other superdelegates are “distinguished party leaders” like former Presidents, senators and House leaders.

Among New York’s superdelegates this year are Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and most of the state’s House members.

Superdelegates are not involved in the Republican Party nomination process.

To secure the Democratic nomination, either Clinton or Sanders must attain 2,383 total delegates before the party’s national convention in Philadelphia this July.

In spite of Sanders winning 15 states — including some by an 80%-20% margin — over 94% of the 498 superdelegates have said they are backing Clinton.

Clinton has 469 superdelegate votes, compared to just 29 for Sanders.

Right now, if Sanders had the superdelegate votes that Clinton currently has, he’d be winning handily, with 1,444 total delegates to Clinton’s 1,272.

Currently, Clinton has 1,712, total delegates, compared with 1,004 for Sanders. Excluding superdelegates, however, Clinton’s lead is only 1,243 to 975 — a narrower difference that has prompted the Sanders campaign to say it will try to convince many superdelegates to jump ship and support him.

Despite the uphill battle, Sanders campaign officials said they remain optimistic.

“Yes, Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead but there are still hundreds who have yet to make a public declaration of support,” Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine told The News.

“We recognize that a lot of them have already made up their mind . . . and we respect that. We just think that if we can do well on the merits, we can get people to do what we feel is the right thing,” Devine added.

A Clinton representative said the campaign has “always said we would work to earn more pledged delegates.”
by on Mar. 30, 2016 at 2:59 PM
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by IWantTacos on Mar. 30, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Yup!  The super delegates are showing us what the system has become about.  The votes of the people no longer matter.  Super delegates decide what is best for this country now.

by Platinum Member on Mar. 30, 2016 at 3:03 PM

This is why, when people refer to American political system as democratic, I just have to shake my head and laugh.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 30, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Of course it's rigged. So frustrating! Superdelegates are supposed to reflect the will of the people in their state!

by IWantTacos on Mar. 30, 2016 at 3:08 PM

A Bernie Sanders Supporter Confronted a Superdelegate — Then Leaked Their Private Conversation



One superdelegate casually admitted to a Bernie Sanders supporter that she’ll vote to nominate Hillary Clinton, despite 81.6 percent of her state voting for Sanders.

Levi Younger, from Eagle River, Alaska, is a recent political science graduate who caucused last Saturday with thousands of other Alaskans. Younger recently reached out to superdelegate Kim Metcalfe on Facebook, asking her to side with her state and support Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Metcalfe, who is listed on the Alaska Democratic Party website as the state’s national committeewoman since 2012, cavalierly told Younger she would be supporting Hillary Clinton, due to her “negative” conversations with Sanders supporters.

“I pointed out how our state’s caucus had turned out and hoped she’d vote for our resounding majority,” Younger told US Uncutin an email. “Things unraveled pretty quick from there.”

As seen by screenshots of Younger’s conversation with Metcalfe, Younger approached the conversation with a diplomatic, respectful tone. However, Metcalfe refused to budge in her support of the former Secretary of State despite the popular opinion of the people, only saying she would support Sanders if he was the nominee.

YOUNGER: While I understand your personal preferences would naturally come first (you are human after all) and conversations with Bernie supporters (not the man himself) would possibly leave a bad taste in your mouth, I believe that the people’s vote should probably have heavier precedent. Unless you were implying that it’s we are in charge of who you vote for, but rather something/someone else. Sanders will only be our nominee if those we’ve chosen to represent us do exactly that.

METCALFE: Again, negative conversations about our candidates do nothing to further Sanders’s cause.

YOUNGER: I’m not sure how negative it is to question your voting discretion in spite of overwhelming support. If critiquing Hillary or your apprehension to accurately vote for those you represent is negative, then I’m not sure you’re the one I’d like representing me.

Metcalfe then asked Younger where he lived, and after he responded, he asked her frankly why she’s casting her superdelegate vote for Hillary Clinton despite a vast majority of her state caucusing for Sanders.

METCALFE: Because I believe Hillary Clinton would be a better president. End of conversation.

YOUNGER: And that’s why people get angry. Bernie supporters can be quite vapid. But voting in opposition to what we voted for is only supporting the idea that Hillary and her supporting super delegates are in the pockets of others.

Bernie won in Alaska. End of story. Your personal preferences for president are represented in your vote as a citizen. Not as a representative of your state.

At this point in the conversation, Metcalfe’s tone turned noticeably sour. She patronized Younger, reminding him of her experience as a Democratic Party officer for decades, and essentially told him his opinion on how she should cast her superdelegate vote was invalid, since he was just a voter.

METCALFE: I’m in the pocket of no one. I have no financial connections to Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat. I am a retired union representative. I put in my time in the trenches for 40 years, and I really object to someone like you who has probably done nothing except caucus telling me what to do. I am voting for the best interests of my country. And that would be Hillary Clinton.

Younger retorted that he exercised his right to vote as an American citizen, and that her belittling comment was rude. He then reminded her that he was one of many Alaskans who caucused for Bernie Sanders, and that he and those who supported Sanders in the Alaska caucus vastly outnumbered Hillary Clinton supporters.

YOUNGER: You’re not making a concerted effort to vote for the public. I am the public. Everyone who “did nothing but caucus” did exactly like we should. We voted. You, ma’m[sic] are the one who is missing the point. You said it yourself, you’re voting for interests. But they’re not mine not the rest of the, what 75% of the state who opposed the Establishment (40 year Democratic veterans content with the status quo) and their choice for us.

METCALFE: You know it all.

Near the end of their back-and-forth, Metcalfe talked down to Younger, telling him that if he wanted to change the way the Democratic Party worked, he should get involved and work to change the party from the inside. Younger thanked her for the advice, and gave her some advice in return: To be the change she believed in. By the end of the conversation, Metcalfe compared Younger to Donald Trump.

YOUNGER: Thank you for your time Kim. You’re stealing this for Hillary. And you’re rubbing it in all our faces. If you find these comments “negative” it’s because what you are doing is wrong. As a citizen you get to vote for your choice. As a rep, you vote for us. In the end, we’ll hold you accountable.

METCALFE: Sure. You’ll be involved after the election?

YOUNGER: You better believe it now. Having someone tell you your vote doesn’t matter is enough to insight[sic] a riot.

METCALFE: Now you’re talking like Donald Trump.

Sanders’ margin of victory in Alaska netted him 13 of the state’s 16 pledged delegates. Alaska also has 4 superdelegates, meaning 20 percent of Alaska’s total delegate votes at the convention come from superdelegate votes like Metcalfe.

Kim Metcalfe did not respond to repeated interview requests from US Uncut.

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