Cassi is our contact with the Wisconsin Democratic Party, and she’s been sending emails out to the delegation from time to time. Her latest dispatch assured us that every delegate elected on May 1 has been certified. So I guess I’m officially a delegate now if I wasn’t before.
The state convention was last weekend, and the remainder of the delegation (at large delegates, and pledged elected officials) was elected there. Now that the full delegation has been elected, the state party will be hosting conference calls to orient us and answer questions.
Meanwhile I’ve been hearing from Tyler, a representative from the Bernie campaign in charge of wrangling delegates. He sent us an email last week to announce a conference call on Friday June 3 at 5:30 Mountain time. That was quickly followed by a correction to make that 5:30 Central time (“I’m still in Wyoming…”). Finally, the call was rescheduled for Thursday June 2 to avoid conflicting with the state convention.
That wasn’t the only place where our campaign people were confused. During the call, Tyler told us that we’d be staying at a hotel in King of Prussia, while according to Cassi we’d be right downtown. A follow-up email with Tyler got the response, “I’ll check on that and get back to you,” and emails to Cassi got the reply, “I can guarantee we are in the downtown hotel.. He’s mistaken.”
West Virginia is staying in King of Prussia, and they are immediately before Wisconsin in alphabetical order. Perhaps Tyler misaligned the lines on the list he was looking at. I don’t know, but I’m glad we’re downtown (where everything is happening) and not in King of Prussia (where nothing is happening).
In my first conference call as a delegate, Tyler introduced himself to the Wisconsin Bernie delegation. He said that his job is to make sure we each “get to Philadelphia, stay in Philadelphia, and are credentialed and on the floor for the entire convention.” He has a very high-level “get out the vote” job, and he emphasized the burden of responsibility we share.
Each delegate represents tens of thousands of votes and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours that have been dedicated to this campaign. Each morning we must pick up our credentials at our delegation’s breakfast at our hotel, and if we don’t get our credentials on time, then we are disenfranchised for the day, along with all of the voters we were elected to represent. For this reason, we are being required to stay in our state’s designated hotel.
This adamant requirement was followed by re-assuring talk about fundraising, that if we fall short of what we need, then the campaign will try to help out as best it can. After all, it is in the campaign’s interest that we all stay in the designated hotel, so they want to do what they can to help us afford it.
The other interesting thing to come out of this call was some strategic advice: If you’re “Bernie or Bust”, don’t say so publicly before the convention is over. To say “Bernie or Bust” can be considered disloyalty to the Democratic Party, and Hillary people could use that as grounds to challenge a delegate’s credentials. “We don’t want to take any chances of getting any delegates decertified, so if you are Bernie or Bust, zip it.”