Obama Campaign Reverses Decision on Would-be Delegates

On Sunday, 1,500 people will try to persuade their neighbors that they should be a Democratic delegate. The party holds its annual convention this summer in August and 241 delegates will represent California. But several hundred other Democrats have been barred from Sunday's delegate elections by the very candidates they want to support. KPCC's Special Correspondent Kitty Felde reports.

Kitty Felde: Earlier this week, Marcy Winograd got the news in a phone call from a fellow Democratic activist.

Marcy Winograd: You've been purged, and so have hundreds of others.

Felde: Winograd was one of nearly a thousand would-be candidates scratched off the list by the Barack Obama campaign. Democratic Party activist Bob Mulholland says the Hillary Clinton campaign also cherry-picked which delegate candidates it wanted.

Bob Mulholland: The 30 page Democratic party platform approved by the DNC last summer, and it's the same rule for everywhere, all of the 50 states, says it right in there, that after you file, the campaigns look at it, and the campaigns decide on the approved list, and that's been that policy for decades.

Felde: It may have been the policy, but several delegates say nothing in the application process indicated they needed candidate approval. The reason for that policy, Mulholland says, is another Democratic Party rule.

Mulholland: If you go to our national convention, in all good conscience, vote the way you were sent, but if somebody doesn't do that, nobody can take it to the Supreme Court.

Felde: Mulholland says candidates have been careful to pick delegate candidates they can count on in Denver. But Marcy Winograd, who's president of the Progressive Democrats in L.A., says she's well known as an Obama supporter. She even spoke out for the candidate on local radio before the California primary.

Winograd: It's a shame that instead of embracing the grassroots and being excited and energized by all the support, all the people who wanted to come out and represent him, instead, the campaign chose to cut people off.

Felde: Winograd wasn't the only would-be delegate to complain. Late yesterday, an official with the Obama campaign announced it will ask the state party to reinstate people whose names were dropped from the list. That could mean quite a crunch on Sunday. Because Clinton won the California primary, Democrats will choose only 107 people to represent Barack Obama at the national convention.

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