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Unity08 Magically Cuts Its Required Delegate Number by Factor of Ten

Unity08 has reinvented itself with a new website at unity08.com this morning. On that website, Unity08 has solved the problem of registering only 1 percent of the number of delegates it said it would need to run a solidly democratic convention. Unity08 repeatedly and publicly set a standard for itself of 10 million delegates by June 2008. Here’s Unity08 Vice President Bob Roth’s post on the commitment:

4,367 or 10,000,000?
posted by BobRoth on August 15, 2007 – 3:45pm

Joe Rothstein published a article this morning in U.S. Politics Today, “A Guide to Nominating Candidates for President: It’s A Maze; It’s Unpredictable; It’s About to Get a Lot More Interesting,” about the not so “neat and tidy” process leading up to the major party national conventions.

“What all this says to me is that while the who’s-ahead, who’s-behind polls may be fun, at this point they don’t mean much.” Mr. Rothstein continues, “So, don’t think you’re bored and tired of the long campaign so far. It’s about to get much more interesting, and unpredictable.”

While only a few thousand delegates make their way to the major party conventions, Unity08 plans an online convention hall which will allow millions to rank the crucial issues facing the country, determine the questions to be asked of the candidates seeking our nomination, and to vote via an online, secure process.

In that regard, Mr. Rothstein states, “Then there’s the Unity ’08 movement, which envisions a summer Internet primary with millions of “delegates” who select a nominee via the Internet. The group has raised serious money, has an excellent potential for placing itself on the ballot in all 50 states, and could prove attractive as a vehicle for a Bloomberg, Hagel, Lieberman, or other heavyweight third party contender.”

Of course, the Democratic and Republican primary and caucus delegates are “delegates” in the true sense of the word — people picked by voters to represent their wishes in the Democratic and Republican conventions (Republicans are trying to undermine this a bit but haven’t yet; more on that later today). In Michigan alone, it’s been estimated that 2 million Republicans and Democrats will vote on primary day. Scores and scores of millions of Americans overall will most likely turn out to vote in the primaries and caucuses, sending on their representative delegates to the conventions. Unity08 “delegates,” on the other hand, aren’t actually delegates in anything other than name. They’re individuals who aren’t representing anybody else’s wishes but their own, who will vote for themselves if the Unity08 nomination actually ever takes place. With seven months to go, Unity08 has signed up scarcely more 1 percent of its goal of 10,000,000 so-called “delegates”.

But now Unity08 has fashioned its own new reality, no longer mentioning the old standard of ten million votes. Unity08′s new standard is one million delegates. That’s one tenth of its former standard. That’s just half the number of people expected to vote in the state of Michigan alone during the primaries. By changing its standards in the middle of its process, Unity08 has moved from 1.1% of its target to 11% of its target.

Looking back at Unity08 court documents, it becomes clear that the ten million delegate standard was itself a step down from its previous “minimum goal.” Click here and find page 34 in the pdf file of documents filed by Unity08 to federal district court. You’ll see there that Unity08 characterizes its second goal as follows:

Goal two, our minimum goal, is to effect major change and reform in the 2008 national elections by influencing the major parties to adopt the core features of our national agenda. By organizing a group of voters who comprise at least 20% of the national electorate and committed to our agenda, we feel confident that their voters will be the balance and ultimately the difference in the 2008 national election.

The number of people voting in the national elections of 2004 was 125 million. 20% of that number is 25 million. From a “minimum goal” of 25 million, to a second goal of 10 million, and now down to a third goal of 1 million voters.

This winnowing isn’t of negligible importance. In a now-deleted version of its FAQ (click here, scroll to page 114 of court documents), Unity08 cited its delegate goal in order to answer the question, “How will Unity08 be assured that the nomination will not be ‘stolen’ by a fringe candidate or ‘hijacked’ by one of the two major parties?“:

Unity08 expects to have ten million or more delegates — and the greater the volume the less likelihood that any single side of our politics or issue dominating.

Magic? Yes, that new-fashioned P.R. magic. What other standards will Unity08 change on its road to power?

7 comments to Unity08 Magically Cuts Its Required Delegate Number by Factor of Ten

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see any way to check independently the claims of how many members Unity08 has. Even when you look at your own profile, you can no longer see the number assigned to it. I don’t personally believe they have a hundred thousand. If you assume they are just working for ballot access for someone who does not want their name to be publicized as yet, it doesn’t matter how many “delegates” they have, except in terms of mailing lists for fundraising.

    The new website design–isn’t that somewhat expensive?–also on one of the independent forums Bob Roth said they have hired someone for ballot access in the 50 states. Does that point to a new influx of cash that isn’t showing up on any official records yet?

    It’s curious that while U08 doesn’t advocate any specific issues, and declines to until a candidate is chosen, they do post links to articles about issues. Presumably they can’t post every link someone recommends to them, so there must be some sort of screening process in place. Their “information” about the Constitution links to the libertarian Cato Institute.

    Another issue they post links to is the question about the Florida state primary, which a recent poster to this forum appeared to be upset about and has posted about on numerous occasions. Just for shits, grins and giggles, here’s what U08 says about Florida (from Maureen Schweers’ blog 10/24):

    Sorry, Your Vote Doesn’t Count: Republican party leaders “recommended punishing five states for shifting their nomination contests earlier, moving to strip New Hampshire, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan and Wyoming of half their delegates,” AP reports. Meanwhile, Christian Science Monitor wonders if the Democratic party can really ignore the Florida primary, asking, “Does a national political party have to count every vote in choosing its nominee for president? Or can it enforce its rules in a way that leaves some voters ­– or even an entire state — out of the process?”

    Here’s the link to the thoughtful Cristian Science Monitor piece:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1016/p01s01-uspo.html

    The U08 link to the AP piece about the Republican Party is somehow broken, but googling for the phrase turns up a link here:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071022/ap_on_el_pr/gop_primaries

  • Joseph

    Anon. is right about the articles on issues they link to being rather random, but I don’t think people are really going to get confused until/unless all the articles start becoming highly partisan one way or the other. As for the “undisclosed candidate”, I bet they’d be legally responsible for fraud/misrepresentation/etc if they were really a cover for some candidate not to be fairly chosen by the voters.

    As for the main post, I see their little 1 Million person goal bar on their site, but so what? You can have MULTIPLE goals. I’m sure Hillary Clinton’s first fundraising goal was LOWER than her second one, and then her third, and then her fourth. Again, it shows your extreme bias for anything not DNC stamped and approved as you take your time to bash an organization with 100,000 people or less and ignore the fact that MILLIONS will be ignored by the DNC in Florida. As YOU pointed out, Bob Roth stated “Unity08 plans an online convention hall which will allow millions to rank the crucial issues facing the country”.

    So their first goal is to have 1M people for an eventual 10M convention hall. Big deal, they want to start with a smaller number. And besides, if Unity08 gets 1 Million people, I’m betting it would start snowballing simply due to how hard it would be to get that many people to begin with.

    As for your support for the Dem/Rep primary delegates, I’m guessing you also support the “Superdelegates” chosen by “voters”. Sure, those “superdelegates” are picked by voters, but they were chosen by a lot less voters, per superdelegate, than those by states. Specifically, those superdelegates are people picked by the parties (DNC and RNC) by whatever rules they internally set up, that allows them to give their support to whoever they want. Not that it actually matters, since recently, everyone except the “winner” from the states drops out well before the convention, since those people in the states with the EARLY primaries influence the eventual nominee more than the late primaries, and the DNC/RNC are fine with “punishing” voters and their representation for moving their primary earlier. But hey, that system is a LOT better than a system where everyone votes for their nominee, online, at the same time (sarcasm).

    The better question is, “What amazing nominee is going to be selected by the DNC as they disenfranchize millions of voters for wanting their votes to be as influential as those states with early primaries?”

    Oh wait, that’s not a question we ask here. We just ask about why Unity08 is using smaller goals on its graph before using bigger goals as the smaller graphs get filled. After all, graphs are more important than voters, at least in the land of the DNC fanboy.

  • Not Joseph, That's For Sure

    What you all at Irregular Times fail to understand is that, by definition, anything that Unity08 does is something I agree with!

  • Joseph

    Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t write 1-2 page long articles which hurt the credibility of my points. After all I should be writing posts that argue:

    1. Unity08 says they are seeking 10 million people.
    2. Unity08 leadership RECENTLY continues to say they are seeking 10 million people.
    3. For Unity08 to matter, they are going to need 10 million people.
    4. Unity08 puts up a graph on their new website showing a goal of 1 Million people, a year before the election.
    5. Obviously, Unity08 is only seeking one million people, even though all prior indications and ability to succeed requires 10 million. The fact that the leadership was recently stating they were seeking 10 million, and have not stated anything else (or has anyone asked), means that Unity08 is going to stop at one million, and be perfectly happy.

    Yes, I’m sorry, those type of posts make a LOT of sense, and I should agree with them. Not to mention I should agree with the underlying premise of such posts, which is that Unity08 putting up a graph that shows a goal of 1 million, instead of one showing 10 million, is more important than the fact the DNC is going to ignore millions of Florida voters in their primary. Unity08 will accept anyone’s votes, while the DNC is going to ignore millions, but who cares, right? Because the DNC fanboy sometimes writes about how the Democrats aren’t standing up to the Republicans, then obviously the DNC fanboy has a good reason for it.

  • Michael O'Shea

    Found this site researching Unity08. This site just seems biased against Unity08 while biased toward the Democratic Party, which is why I got out of MoveOn some time ago. I hope Unity08 won’t be as annoyingly establishment and partisan as this site and MoveOn, but I guess only time will tell.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find them biased at all. Although their progressive bias is quite evident, and annoys me at times, their research into Unity08 is quite painstakingly accurate and well documented. You don’t have to take their word for it; you can read the original source of the material for yourself.

  • Joseph

    Oh, of course they aren’t biased. After all, articles that claim Unity08 has lowered its goals from 10 Million people, when the preponderance of evidence states that it’s still 10 Million and people make ASSUMPTIONS that the goal is lower (without using common sense and weight of evidence that 1 million is far too low to affect anything) isn’t biased. Nor is implying that Unity08 constantly lies isn’t biased. Especially when topped off with the fact that no one seems to care that the DNC is disenfranchizing millions, but do care that Unity08 didn’t count every survey of less than 100,000 people. Lets also not forget that the “evidence” is all presented in a way to IMPLY that Unity08 is a bad idea/sham, while in reality there’s NO evidence that shows Unity08 is doing anything except trying to be sincere in holding an election next year that EVERYONE can vote in.

    Yeah, not biased….maybe in another universe. I’m glad other people are seeing it now too.

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