Barn Raising Day for Superdelegate Transparency

Citizen journalism logoSince the Superdelegate Transparency Project launched on Congresspedia last week, dozens of people have helped flesh out the facts about the so-called "superdelegates" whose votes may determine whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama emerges as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. Thanks to the hard work of project organizers at Democratic Convention Watch, OpenLeft and LiteraryOutpost, the Superdelegate Transparency Project (STP for short) has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, National Journal, Wired magazine, and the New York Times. According to the Times, STP is "the kind of tool that the back room bosses from 1984 could never have imagined - and today's political bosses are probably horrified to see. The site includes results of the popular vote district-by-district, the allocation of pledged delegates, details about the superdelegates and how they are pledged and eventually how they will vote. It will also tell you how to contact a superdelegate if you want to become part of a lobbying effort."

This information is vital because the close race between Clinton and Obama may result in a "brokered" convention where the Democratic delegates cut deals and shift sides to give one candidate the threshold needed to gain the party's nomination. The so-called "superdelegates" therefore hold enormous power to shape the outcome of this year's presidential election, and the public deserves to know who they are, how they plan to use that power, and what forces are working to influence them.

Thanks to the work of many volunteers, much of this information has already been compiled, but considerable work still needs to be done. That's why this Thursday we're planning an experiment that we call a "barn raising" - a day-long effort in which we're hoping that many hands can make light work. We'd love it if you could stop by the project and help out. To add to the fun, we've set up an online chat room where you can ask questions, share ideas, and meet some of the people involved in organizing the project. CMD staff will be there, along with STP organizers including Mark Myers, Jennifer Nix and Avelino Maestas.

If you'd like to join in, visit the chat room at and introduce yourself, or stop by the STP project page, where you'll find a list of things to do and other resources to get you started. We'll have people there all day Thursday, beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and continuing into the evening. Join us because it will be fun, it's important, and because democracy works best as a participatory process.