Obama responds with proposal for 2012 reform commission

Aug 21

Barak Obama has called for rule changes to be worked out for the 2012 primary/caucus season and to push back the start date. The timing of the announcement, coming just one week before the GOP convention takes up its own reform proposal, is clearly meant to encourage the Republicans to take action and for new bi-partisan cooperation on this most complex issue.

The Washington Post:

Obama Team Seeks Changes in Primaries

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 21, 2008; A03

"National Caucus for 2012 Reform" Yields New Bi-Partisan Agreement

Aug 20

James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee (L); David Norcross, Chair Republican Party Rules Committee (R)

Yesterday was an historic day for primary/caucus reform. At the National Press Club in Washington DC gathered David Norcross, Chair Republican Party Rules Committee; James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee, Trey Grayson, Kentucky Secretary of State and President-elect, National Association of Secretaries of State; Don Means, Director of the Open Caucus Instititute, to discuss much needed action to reform the primary system before the 2012 elections.

The outcome: A Joint Resolution for Primary Reform

"We the undersigned are joined in common resolve calling for vigorous and widespread discussion and deliberation about how best to reform the current primary election calendar for 2012. We are not all from the same party. We may have different opinions about which specific reform plans to adopt. We do agree that changes must be made to avoid the chaos our current system and calendar promise for the next cycle.

There may be no greater public policy question than who is chosen to become president. How we make that choice, the election rules of the process, has an enormous effect on who gets elected. The quality of our nation's presidential primary election process rests on our ability to establish an orderly, fair and inclusive process. Yet, with no central controlling authority to resolve the issue, the many interests of state and national parties as well as state governments must collaborate and negotiate a formula for each election cycle.

The urgency for making this open call for action pertains to the Republican Party rules which require changes to be made only at their quadrennial conventions. Since both major parties must largely agree on a common calendar, there will be little opportunity to effect meaningful change after the GOP convention in September.

We urge every citizen, every state government and all political parties to give renewed intense focus to this vital public policy issue that will determine how the next primary will be run. We ask that everyone become informed on history of the process, the various proposals under consideration and to take action by advocating for the plan they support.

We do advocate for commencing the primary caucus season no earlier than February and preferably later to remove it from the new year and holiday season.

We further resolve since this issue is of an ongoing nature and since circumstances invariably change over time, we commit to continuing an open discussion and deliberation process that both incorporates and transcends party and governmental boundaries."

* David Norcross, Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, RNC
* James Roosevelt, Co-Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, DNC
* Trey Grayson, KY SoS & President-elect, National Assoc. Secretaries of State
* Robert Bennett, Chair, Ohio Republican Party
* Michael Mauro, IA Secretary of State
* Don Means, Director, Open Caucus Institute

(L to R) Don Means, Director, Open Caucus Institute;
David Norcross, Chair, Rules & Bylaws Committee, RNC; James Roosevelt, Co-Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee; Trey Grayson, KY SoS & President-elect, National Assoc. Secretaries of State

DNC & RNC leaders & Sec's of State unite over needed reforms to 2012 primary calendar (Video)

Jul 01

Calls to fix the primary process are getting louder. Last week, the National Presidential Caucus convened a round-table discussion with party leaders to discuss primary reform and to help raise awareness of important forthcoming deadlines to initiate change in the process, including:

- Bob Bennett, OH GOP State Chair & author of partially adopted Ohio Plan
- Jim Roosevelt, Chair Democratic Party Rules Committee
- David Norcross, Chair Republican Part Rules Committee
- Michael A. Mauro, Iowa Secretary of State, co-chair National Association of Secretaries of State

"Why Tuesday?" helps decipher the Iowa Caucuses

Nov 01

Ever wonder what the heck the Iowa caucus is really all about?

"Why Tuesday?", a bold effort to spark a national discussion about voting in America, created this excellent video that breaks down what the Iowa Caucus is all about into layman's terms. It's a must-watch video, after the jump.

Today in the US ... Tomorrow's Europe?

Oct 11

Dr. James Fishkin, Director of Stanford's Center for Deliberative Democracy, and one of the major partners of the National Presidential Caucus, is in Brussels this week for a major citizen-led discussion on how to make a better European Union.

The initiative is called "Tomorrow's Europe" and over 400 citizens from all four corners of Europe are expected to attend and participate.

Much like the National Caucus, Tomorrow's Europe is about empowering citizens to revel in the fruits of democracy.

As reported by EUObserver.com:

ABC News (SF): Local Group Pushes For National Caucus

Jun 23

"The Iowa caucuses are the first true test for the presidential election, which means a disproportionate number of candidate visits and media attention. But now a Sausalito-based group is working to change that . . . What if there was another caucus before Iowa? A national caucus stretching from coast to coast? ..." (6/20/07)

National Presidential Caucus Set for December 7, 2007

Jun 22

Americans to initiate thousands of caucus groups across the nation to deliberate in advance of “National Primary”

2012 Reform (Videos)

Open Caucus Institute Introduction