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 â€œdelegatesâ€ in the true sense of the word â€” people picked by voters to represent their wishes in the Democratic and Republican conventions (Republicans are trying to undermine this a bit but havenâ€™t yet; more on that later today). In Michigan alone, itâ€™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 â€œdelegates,â€ on the other hand, arenâ€™t actually delegates in anything other than name. Theyâ€™re individuals who arenâ€™t representing anybody elseâ€™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 â€œdelegatesâ€.
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?