Charges of Chicanery Fly in Texas

Mar 4, 2008 6:14pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis Reports: The Texas Democratic Party has received concerns from both the Clinton and Obama campaigns about the other side improperly padding their caucus vote totals.

The improper padding is allegedly being done by getting primary voters to fill out sign-in sheets all day long rather than waiting until the primary polls close and the caucus process formally gets underway.

These sign-in sheets are the equivalent of caucus votes.

Texas Democratic Party rules only require someone to sign their name and state their presidential preference; Democratic Party rules do not require Texans to attend the entire caucus meeting.

That’s why filling out the caucus sign-in sheets early is a potentially serious violation.

In response to the concerns expressed by both the Clinton and Obama campaigns, the Texas Democratic Party has issued a memo setting forth party rules urging both sides to stick to them.

The Clinton campaign is asserting by paper statement that the Texas Democratic Party is rebuking the Obama campaign in particular with the memo’s reference to a "given campaign".

Asked if the Texas Democratic Party is rebuking the Obama campaign in particular, Texas Democratic Party spokesman Hector Nieto said such an assertion is not true.

Nieto says that concerns have been expressed by both the Clinton and Obama campaigns while adding that the Texas Democratic Party does not have any proof to substantiate any of the charges. 

While the Texas Democratic Party has a formal process for challenging caucus sign-in sheets, it doesn’t come until when the state Democratic Party holds its convention in June, according to Nieto.

"This memo was just sent out to make certain that both campaigns are aware of what the procedures are," said Nieto. "We expect both campaigns to abide by these rules." 

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