02/15/2008 12:36 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sign the Petitions for a Democratic Democratic Party

Last weekend I wrote a blog on the Huffington Post warning that if either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton win the most elected delegates in the primaries/caucuses, but the unelected Superdelegates veto the will of the voters and nominate the candidate with fewer elected delegates, it could split the Democratic Party and hand the Presidency to John McCain.

I suggested a grassroots petition campaign demanding that Super Delegates sign a pledge to vote for the candidate with the most elected delegates. I received numerous emails asking how to sign such a petition.

Now two grassroots organizations with substantial email lists, Democracy for America and MoveOn.Org, have started just such petition campaigns. I urge all Huffington Post readers, whether you support Clinton or Obama or haven't made up your mind, to go to their respective web sites and sign both petitions.

The MoveOn.Org petition reads: "The Democratic Party must be democratic. The superdelegates should let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama, then support the people's choice." Already over 200,000 people have signed the petition. Move On plans to run an ad in USA Today with the total number of signers, so it's important to sign right away. You can sign the Move On petition at

The Democracy for America petition reads: "We the Undersigned call on Democratic superdelegates to let the voters decide the Democratic nominee. After every Democrat in every state has had a chance to vote, superdelegates must confirm the winner of the popularly allocated delegates." You sign the Democracy for America Petition at

This is not an issue only for Clinton supporters or only for Obama supporters. Whichever candidate you support, it is vital that the Democratic nominee be legitimate, not the product of a backroom deal that looks like the 2000 Supreme Court decision handing the Presidency to George Bush. If either Obama or Clinton win the nomination by the Superdelegates overruling the voters, it is likely to be a hollow win, leading to a McCain victory, as well as losses in important Senate and House races.

There is one more issues that must be resolved to insure a democratic Democratic Party nomination--the delegates from Florida and Michigan. It would be illegitimate for the nomination to be won by the votes of Florida and Michigan delegates chosen where the candidates were not allowed to campaign and, in the case of Michigan, where all the major candidates except Hillary Clinton took their names off the ballot. It would also be a mistake for the Democratic Party to disenfranchise Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida, two states that will be crucial to a Democratic victory in November. The Democratic Party should organize and pay for new primaries or caucuses in Michigan and Florida, to be sure those states are represented at the Democratic Convention following a competitive contest between the leading candidates. To follow up on the Superdelegates petition, there should be a petition campaign calling on Howard Dean and Democratic National Committe to organize and pay for new contests in Michigan and Florida. If you have ideas about starting this second petition drive, please email me at