Buy your Super Delegate right over here! Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wow, this seems, well, not quite right. But it is also not surprising:
At this summer's Democratic National Convention, nearly 800 members of Congress, state governors and Democratic Party leaders could be the tiebreakers in the intense contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. If neither candidate can earn the support of at least 2,025 delegates in the primary voting process, the decision of who will represent the Democrats in November's presidential election will fall not to the will of the people but to these "superdelegates"—the candidates' friends, colleagues and even financial beneficiaries. Both contenders will be calling in favors.
And while it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials who are superdelegates have received at least $890,000 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Obviously a loop-hole in McCain-Feingold [/sarcasm].
Obama, who narrowly leads in the count of pledged, "non-super" delegates, has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates from his political action committee, Hope Fund, or campaign committee since 2005. Of the 81 elected officials who had announced as of Feb. 12 that their superdelegate votes would go to the Illinois senator, 34, or 40 percent of this group, have received campaign contributions from him in the 2006 or 2008 election cycles, totaling $228,000. In addition, Obama has been endorsed by 52 superdelegates who haven't held elected office recently and, therefore, didn't receive campaign contributions from him.
Clinton does not appear to have been as openhanded. Her PAC, HILLPAC, and campaign committee appear to have distributed $195,500 to superdelegates. Only 12 percent of her elected superdelegates, or 13 of 109 who have said they will back her, have received campaign contributions, totaling about $95,000 since 2005. An additional 128 unelected superdelegates support Clinton.
Because superdelegates will make up around 20 percent of 4,000 delegates to the Democratic convention in August—Republicans don't have superdelegates—Clinton and Obama are aggressively wooing the more than 400 superdelegates who haven't yet made up their minds. Since 2005 Obama has given 52 of the undecided superdelegates a total of at least $363,900, while Clinton has given a total of $88,000 to 15 of them. Anticipating that their intense competition for votes in state primaries and caucuses will result in a near-tie going into the nominating convention, the two candidates are making personal calls to superdelegates now, or are recruiting other big names to do so on their behalf. With no specific rules about what can and can't be done to court these delegates, just about anything goes.
"Only the limits of human creativity could restrict the ways in which Obama and Clinton will try to be helpful to superdelegates," said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. "My guess is that if the nomination actually depends on superdelegates, the unwritten rule may be, 'ask and ye shall receive.' "
Heh, yeah, no chance of corrupting the system there, huh?
Ah, the Dems - "count every vote, and let every vote count".
Well, unless you have big bucks, and then that vote counts for more.
The superdelegates themselves say the same thing—that any money flowing from the presidential candidates to the delegates' own campaigns hasn't had any sort of influence on their decisions.
Of course they do. What would you say if asked? Yeah, I'm for sale?