DemDaily: Convention Standing Committees: The Party, Process & Politics

May 10, 2016

While the primary purpose of the Democratic Convention is to select our Party's Presidential and VP nominees, the four-day meeting is also the occasion for adoption of the party's platform.
The platform, which is the Party's statement of core principles, is one aspect of official business overseen by Three Standing Committees of the Democratic National Convention: Credentials, Platform and Rules.
These committees play a key role and, as with everything else, are not immune to internal party politics. While floor fights over platforms issues are not uncommon, the current challenge by the Sanders campaign is about the committee appointments themselves.
To better understand how they work - from the DNC's recent release on the rules and the process:
About the Standing Committees
Each committee has a total of 187 members. The overwhelming majority of the membership is made up of the 162 seats allocated to every state and territory, which are then allocated to the presidential campaigns based on the results of the presidential primary or caucus vote.
Presidential candidates who have qualified to receive committee positions nominate the individuals for these positions. Standing Committee members do not have to be Convention delegates.
In addition to the state elected members, each committee also has 25 Party Leader and Elected Official members (PLEOs or Superdelegates) which are nominated earlier in the year (January) by the DNC Chair and elected by the DNC's Executive Committee.
The three committees, which meet first prior to the Convention, hold the following responsibilities:
 The Credentials Committee is responsible for resolving questions and unresolved disputes about the seating of delegates and alternates to the Convention.
-  Jurisdiction over credentials challenges not resolved by the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee 57 days before the Convention, or challenges filed after that date.
-  Issues a report that is considered as the first item of business at the National Convention.
The Platform Committee presents the draft National Platform to the Convention.

-  Reviews a draft Platform prepared by the Platform Drafting Committee.
-  Recommends the Democratic Party's National Platform for approval by the Convention delegates.

The Rules Committee is responsible for recommending the rules for the convention, rules of the Party and other convention business.
-  Recommends individuals to serve as the Permanent Officers of the Convention, including the Chair, Secretary and Co-Chairs.
-  Issues a report that is considered as the second item of business at the National Convention.
-  The report includes the committee's recommendations on the following matters: the Convention agenda, the Permanent Rules of the Convention, Amendments to Party Rules, and resolutions on any matter not addressed by other standing committees.

There may not be any more formal debates scheduled in the primary, but the behind-the-scenes debates continue...

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Kimberly Scott
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