You are on page 1of 2

April 22, 2008

Senator Royce West, Chair


Advisory Committee on the Texas Democratic Party Convention/Caucus System
5787 South Hampton Road, Suite 385
Dallas, TX 75232

Dear Chairman West:

Texas has experienced an historic election cycle thus far in 2008. We have witnessed over 2.2
million Democrats vote in our Primary, and yet another approximately 1 million participate in
our convention/caucus system. With such a groundswell of participation by Texas Democrats,
we have much to be optimistic about as we head into the General Election, ready to take back
seats from the White House to the courthouse.

However, this surge of participation, when combined with Texas’ unique hybrid primary/caucus
system, presented some logistical challenges for many of our Precinct and County/Senatorial
District conventions – particularly in the urban areas. After the Precinct Conventions in
particular, the Texas Democratic Party heard from convention participants throughout Texas who
expressed concern over the use of the hybrid system in Texas.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party preclude any
modifications to the primary/convention system without the approval of Delegates to the State
Convention. However, given that the State Convention is six weeks away, we are afforded a
window of opportunity to study the dynamics of the Convention system in advance of the June
6th convening date. Such an examination, in turn, may help inform and educate our Delegates,
Alternates, elected officials and guests about how best to approach the issue of potential
modifications to the Convention process in Texas.

As such, I respectfully request the Advisory Committee to do the following:

1) Hear and consider voter testimony of Texas Democrats who wish to speak in support of
or against the current structure of the Texas primary/convention hybrid system;

2) Consider any other relevant data/information presented before the Committee which
helps inform the committee’s deliberations and investigation;
3) Provide an overall assessment of the conduct of the 2008 Texas Convention system,
which includes, but is not limited to:
a. The method of delivery of convention materials to the Convention Chairs (e.g.
sign-in sheets) and ultimately to the convention itself;
b. The adequacy of the eligibility verification that Democrats voted in the 2008
Democratic Primary as a precursor to participation in the convention system;
c. The utility of the TDP Rules themselves in how to conduct/administer one’s
precinct and/or county/senatorial district convention; and
d. The reporting of the results of the concluded conventions, ensuring both the
accuracy and integrity of the reported data.

4) Provide a formal written recommendation to the Permanent Rules Committee of the State
Democratic Convention which is informed by the voter testimony and additional
data/information brought to the Committee’s attention which is deemed relevant to the
scope of the inquiry before the Committee. Such recommendation may include specific
suggested TDP Rules changes as generated by the Committee’s investigation.

Importantly, the Committee will be governed by the Rules of the Texas Democratic Party,
which, among other requirements, dictates that each meeting of the Committee be open to the
public; that each meeting is publicized with sufficient advance notice that interested Democrats
may attend and participate; and that all Committee meetings are conducted in accordance with
Robert’s Rules of Order, unless otherwise required by statute or Party Rules.

I am extremely grateful for the hard work which each of you are about to undertake. It is of
critical importance to our Party that we have a convention system that allows all interested
Democrats the opportunity to participate and which instills confidence in the process and the
results. I am confident that your collective efforts will help our Party continue to Move Texas
Forward in this and many other election cycles to come.

Respectfully,

Boyd L. Richie
Chairman
Texas Democratic Party