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