Friday, March 21, 2008

Democratic convention quotas? (Sorry, I meant "goals")

This excerpt from the 2008 Delegate Selection Plan of the New York State Democratic Party needs no parody:
SECTION D. Representation Goals

1. Goals:

(a) The following are representation goals of this Plan based on the analysis set forth in Appendix D:

(i) African Americans, 28% (78 delegates and 11 alternates); 21
(ii) Latinos, 18% (50 delegates and 7 alternates);
(iii) Asian/Pacific Americans, 7% (20 delegates and 3 alternates);
(iv) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Americans, 8% (22 delegates and 3 alternates);
(v) Disabled Americans, 5% (14 delegates and 2 alternates); and
(v) [sic] Native Americans, at least one (1) delegate.
Move along, no quotas to see here. You can't make this stuff up. It continues:
(b) The State Convention shall ensure that representation in the Delegation fairly reflects, consistent with Democratic voting population as a whole, including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian/Pacific Americans, women, Native Americans, persons under 30 years of age, persons over 65 years of age, persons of low and moderate income, workers, persons with a high school education or less, persons with disabilities, lesbians and gays, bisexuals and transgender persons, rural Democrats, veterans and ethnic and other groups historically underrepresented in Party affairs, if necessary by selecting members of those groups as at-large delegates.
Did I read that right--the New York State Dems will go out of their way to make sure that "persons with a high school education or less" are represented? Wow.

And lest you fret, gender is addressed earlier in the document:
2. Equal Division: The Delegation shall be equally divided between delegate men and delegate women and, separately, alternate men and alternate women, with a variance in each group (“the Variate”) no greater than one. The Variate in one group shall be the opposite gender of any Variate in the other group.
Ah, it's clear now: The Variate in one group shall be the opposite gender of any Variate in the other group. Either a reference to a high school dance or something from a seventh-grade biology lesson. You really can't make this stuff up.

Betsy Newmark comments on similar "goals" for California Dems:
Looking at those requirements and I can't help envisioning that that is what the Democrats would love to do for admissions offices at every state university in California if not the rest of the country.

See Mickey Kaus's "Can we go back to ignoring race now?," which seems to be the first major blog to have blogged on the California "goals."

Update: The NJ Dems are no different. Their 2008 Delegate Selection Plan contains the following "affirmative action goals." The list includes the "underrepresented constituent group," the "proposed representation goal %" and the "proposed representation goal # for 2008 delegates":
C. Affirmative Action Goals

Total Delegates: 127+ 18 alternates = 145
  • African-American (Non-Hispanic): 14% 20
  • Asian-American: 7% 10
  • Disabled: 2% 3
  • Hispanic : 15% 22
  • LGBT: 8% 12
  • Native-Americans: 1% 1
  • Youth (18-35): 8% 12
  • Arab American: 2% 3

Total 83 of 145
Same deal for Connecticut Dems. See the top of page 22 of their Connecticut Delegate Selection Plan for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Update: Turns out this stuff is more-or-less mandated by the DNC. Details here.

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