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Friday, February 01, 2008

Obama Supporter Subodh Chandra To Ohio Dem Party: Identify Our Supporters Immediately

[UPDATE: 2:30 PM -- A source in the Obama campaign says the list of supporters has now been released. Reportedly, it contains about 970 names. There is still some consternation that state party officials spent nearly a month preparing the document.]

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Cleveland lawyer Subodh Chandra, an Obama activist who was the top vote-getter in the 11th District delegate selection caucus last month, says there has been "unacceptable delay" in obtaining the names of the Illinois senator's supporters statewide. Chandra spoke to The Daily Bellwether about Ohio Democratic Party documents identifying Jan. 3 caucus goers who signed pledge forms declaring themselves Obama backers. He fears a stall.

Chandra expressed publicly today a sense of growing frustration with the state party. Obama organizers want the names so they can identify core supporters across Ohio ahead of the March 4 presidential primary. Those supporters would be called upon to form the nucleus of Obama's statewide operation. But there are concerns the ODP establishment is backing Hillary Clinton has played political hardball by holding onto the names. Chandra said he could not understand why the Obama camp hasn't received its lists:

"They could FAX them to me today. They should just FAX 'em. They could scan it into a pdf and e-mail it. They could FedEx 'em. We need to have those names. This is just just absurd. The notion that they are typing up the list is not an acceptable excuse. Make a decent photocopy and send it to us."

Chandra said he wants the actual copies of pledge forms the Obama backers filled out on cacus night. He said ODP officials are reportedly preparing spread sheet lists of the names and e-mail addresses. He said those databases could be inaccurate, or contain errors and typos. He said copies of the actual pledge forms would be more precise.

"These are people who came to support Obama at a caucus before Iowa happened, before South Carolina happened. We don't need anybody's compilations. We want the actual sheets."


  1. I'd like to clarify a couple of things.

    First, the "issue" appears to be resolved, as the Ohio Democratic Party last night apparently sent over to the Obama campaign a spreadsheet with supporters' names--and presumably will quickly send over copies of the raw forms as well so they can be checked.

    Second, I have no information that suggests any deliberate effort by ODP to not be neutral. I have known, respect, and admire many of the officials at the ODP, who have made great reforms in the face of difficult circumstances, and continue to lay the groundwork for unity and victory in the fall. As I also told the Daily Bellwether, the executive director especially is a friend in whose integrity I have the utmost and unquestioned confidence. He is truly a superstar and we are lucky to have a person of his talent and energy reforming our party.

    The Obama campaign is a people-driven movement running in Ohio now against the judgment of some of our beloved, powerful political-establishment figures. In any such circumstances, people are likely to feel that their voices are being suppressed, whether that feeling is justified or not.

    That is why it is important that candidates have an equal opportunity to make their case, that the voters' judgment be respected, and that no one with power abuse that power, or even be perceived as abusing that power.

    The positive tone of last night's debate finally suggested that just maybe, we will have the right balance of enthusiasm and self restraint in the remaining days of the presidential primaries.

    Subodh Chandra

  2. Subodh --

    Well said. Obviously, there is wide respect and admiration for the state party hierarchy, and for the state's elected Democratic leadership. It does seem odd, though, that the names materialized hours after the issue was raised. Now that everyone knows who is on their lists, the field is level and the action can start. Does anybody know who has the Edwards' list, or where it went? Did it go to both the Obama and Clinton campaigns, or stay in house with the ODP?