(The first Calitician to announce: Steve Maviglio. If I were unfortunate enough to both live in Sacto and support Hillary, he would have my vote. – promoted by Bob Brigham)
At the risk of severely dating myself, I’ve been involved in Democratic politics for close to 30 years now. I’ve stuffed countless envelopes, walked precincts, served in the legislatures of two different states as an elected official and staff, and have been the right-hand man for a Governor, a legislative leader, and two Members of Congress (and, of course, a member of the Calitics community from the get-go). But oddly enough, I’ve never been a delegate to the “Big Show” — the Democratic National Convention.
By Tuesday’s deadline, more than 2,500 Democrats had joined me and signed up for the coveted 241 delegate slots available for a ticket to this year’s Democratic jamboree in Denver. Here in Sacramento’s Fifth Congressional District, 39 men and women are competing for two slots won by Sen. Barack Obama; some 21 have filed for the two delegates awarded to Senator Hillary Clinton http://www.cadem.org/site/apps/kb/cs/contactsearch.asp?c=jrLZK2PyHmF&b=3919701&raw=. I’m told that’s more than double the number from the 2004 election.
Looking up and down the list, the candidates range from office volunteers to party stalwarts to Assemblymembers. That’s a reflection of the enthusiasm at all levels — from the netroots to establishment party hacks — for both candidates.
Regardless of who they’re gunning for, all the candidates have one element in common: they want to have a hand in the history-making election of the next Democratic President. Regardless of what happens in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Puerto Rico, and the remaining states that are holding contests in the next few weeks, the convention will be the backdrop for the nomination by the Democratic Party of the first woman or first African-American to top its ticket.
There’s also the chance that convention delegates will play more than a symbolic role this year. It’s been a seesaw battle between the two candidates, and there’s a very real possibility that the contest may not be resolved before the late August convention date.
To be sure, I’m one of those who believe the spirited contest between Senators Obama and Clinton is good for the party on many levels. But I also know that no matter what happens, we must all unite behind the nominee and defeat John McCain.
That’s why I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring this year and try to become one of those lucky few that will represent our state in Denver as a delegate for Senator Hillary Clinton. I’m running just to support her candidacy, but also to make sure the divisions in our party are healed quickly and we march together to victory in November.
I’m a die-hard Hillary fan, but I’m also blown away by the enthusiasm and vigor of Senator Obama’s campaign and its supporters. That’s why I believe critical we channel the electricity of the primary campaign into the general election match-up between a Democratic candidate who will end the war, reform health care, and protect our air and water quality vs. a four-year extension of the Bush Administration that has brought our nation to the edge of economic ruin and wasted lives and nearly a trillion dollars in an unnecessary war. (Note to self: you’re running for delegate, not President. Enough preaching to the choir).
I’m used to being a “second banana” rather than a candidate, so this is kinda fun in a way that only a political junkie could appreciate. But every good campaigner knows one thing: you have to make a direct pitch for a vote to get it.
So let me cut to the chase: If you live in the 5th CD, I’d like your vote whether you’re a Hillary supporter or an Obama supporter. Any Democrat can vote in the Caucus, even Obama supporters who aren’t going to their candidate’s Caucus in Rancho Cordova. You can even register Democrats at the Caucus site, and they’ll be eligible to vote there and then. (The CDP is expected to have online pre-registration up and running in a few days to make voting quick and simple at the caucus site.)
As a delegate/blogger, I’ll be able to give Calitics readers some on-the-convention-floor insight — something even those of you who live beyond the borders of the state capital might appreciate.
Beyond that, our mini-campaign is designed to keep the energy of this election cycle going at the local level. I hope other candidates are running full speed ahead too, making their pitches online and in-person. It’s all good.
Together with my running mate, Karen Skelton of Sacramento, we’re reaching out to thousands of Democrats (and wannabe Democrats we will register at the Caucus site) with phone calls, mailings, and more. We’ve convinced Heath, the apolitical guy who cuts my hair, to send out an email to his client list. No strangers to the Internet, we’ve got a Web page up and running with a map of the convention location http://stevenmaviglio4delegate08.googlepages.com/home. Our local ABC affiliate did a story on us (hey, gotta use my media connection!) http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=40247, and we’re busy rounding up everyone in our Rolodex’s and Outlook contacts files to show up and vote on Sunday, April 13th at the downtown Sacramento Library Galleria.
Hope to see you there. I’ll be the one trying to shake your hand or kiss your baby.