Home Virginia Politics Ben Tribbett Files Formal Challenge to DPVA Convention Vote for DNC

Ben Tribbett Files Formal Challenge to DPVA Convention Vote for DNC

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Ben Tribbett has submitted a letter appealing the “election” for DNC representative held at the June 2 DPVA convention. You can read Ben’s letter here.

Ben, his counsels, and scores of witnesses agree that the convention was marked by “ballot irregularities, unclear rules and intimidation of delegates as to how they would cast their ballots”. However, Ben’s appeal is more narrowly “focused on the procedural errors that led to the ‘election’ of Mr. Wallace.” The remedy proposed in his appeal is that DPVA “declare the election of Mr. Wallace invalid since the rules were never suspended at the convention to allow a standing vote, and that the DPVA call a convention at the earliest possible date; at the same location; and with the same elected Delegates; to vote on electing a member of the Democratic National Committee.”

My understanding is that, although this challenge process has started with DPVA, the DNC itself may get to decide whether a remedy will be granted, and if so what remedy that might be. Of course, it would be better if this process never had to get that far, and instead could be handled at the DPVA level. The problem is, does anyone believe that the DPVA might actually agree to hold a new convention and a new vote? I certainly don’t. Regardless, I think there’s a potentially better way to proceed for all concerned.

In short, why not have DPVA call a new vote by caucus, with each Congressional District holding its own in a location accessible to voters in the district? The caucuses should all be held on the same day, for a period of several hours, so that everyone who wants to vote has a chance to do so. The voting could be by preferential ballot (voters rank candidates in order of preference) among the three candidates – Lionell Spruill, George Wallace, and Ben Tribbett – who would have proceeded to the runoff election if the DPVA convention had been handled properly and fairly.  

Holding a series of caucuses like this would be relatively simple, would not require people to travel to Fairfax, and would not require DPVA to rent the Performing Arts Center again, at significant cost (not to mention the cost and inconvenience of delegates making the trek once again to Fairfax). Even better, it would help maximize grassroots involvement, as it would be much more convenient for people to vote close to where they live, and to not have to spend several hours (or more) to do so.

Of course, this is probably too reasonable and simple an idea for DPVA, but I thought I’d throw it out there nonetheless. I would just ask, if the fine folks at DPVA don’t want to hold a new convention in Fairfax, and if they don’t want to opt for the option I’ve outlined above, then what IS their preference exactly? Would they seriously suggest that this messed-up election be allowed to stand? If so, that will say a lot – nothing good – about DPVA, and specifically about its chairman, Brian “For Profit” Moran.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    Your suggestion for congressional district caucuses is an excellent way to settle this dispute. The party should be focusing on the election of Barack Obama and Tim Kaine, not repeating a state convention. Alternatively, in this time of technology there must be a way to poll the delegates short of a repeat convention.

  • Dan Sullivan

    in a process such as that you propose. Actually, the confusion within the district caucuses at the convention argues that disorder would be the order of the day in this arrangement and there is no way to guarantee consistent application of the process.

    Those who were delegates already invested a great deal of time, effort, and money for the opportunity to participate at the convention. Many of them are going to be disenfranchised by any arrangement now, particularly those who were credentialed and assigned to districts other than their own.

    I offer no altenative solution and would be satisfied with yours if it were offered. But nothing can replace the integrity of a properly executed vote that should have been assured at the convention had we a competent DPVA.

  • NWVirginian

    Wow… after watching that… good thing he was never Speaker!