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Sanders Supporter Creates Superdelegate 'Hit List'; Superdelegates Not Amused
Full NPR Interview Text
Why did you create the “Superdelegate Hit List?”
The Superdelegate List was started to make it easier for voters to hold party officials accountable. While superdelegates aren’t required to vote for the candidate that wins in their state, voters still have the right to put pressure on these party officials.
Why did you call it the “Superdelegate Hit List?”
The intent of the branding was to parody the famous “Clinton Hit List, this was a tongue–in–cheek attempt at parody which I thought would encourage resharing.
When did the site go live?
Superdelegatehitlist.com was launched on April 4th, 2016 and was moved to superdelegatelist.com yesterday on April 6th.
Why has the site's name and logo changed?
The branding began to detract from the campaign's purpose, so it wasn't a hard decision to make the change once it was clear it wasn't working.
What was your goal behind the “Superdelegate Hit List?”
The superdelegate system is rigged to protect establishment politicians and shut down populism. Superdelegates by their very nature diminish the value of the vote by giving an elite constituency of representatives, party leaders, and even lobbyists extra power. The Superdelegate List exists to help voters challenge this undemocratic system. Contacting our elected representatives and party leaders and holding them to account is an American tradition. This is the only way to keep the voter base from being patronized or ignored.
What affects do you think your site has or will have? Are you concerned that the goal for the site could be misconstrued?
The Left and progressives do not have to keep following the DNC to the right. In this political standoff, the people have all the power, campaigns like the Superdelegate List will make it clear that we won't back down.
NPR spoke to a superdelegate recently who was surprised their name was on the "Superdelegate Hit List."
The majority of superdelegates have their professional contact information available to the public, as such they shouldn’t be surprised that voters are collecting that information to hold their vote to account.
Their name had previously appeared on a "hit list" of a hate group because she sponsored DREAM Act legislation. What would you say to them?
Those who support the principles of an open society should universally denunciate every action of racist and nativist hate groups.
What superdelegate information did you initially include in the “hit list?” How has this information changed, if any?
Initially the list was empty. Shortly after publication I was emailed several documents each with differing data on the Supers as well as many individual submissions from activists. Within 48 hours we've received more information on the Supers than other existing public lists.
Did the “hit list” include the home address of Nancy Worley, Alabama Democratic Party state chair?
There was one address labeled "home" for an entry. The data came from another large public list submitted to the site that day. A volunteer removed the address once it was discovered.
The data we are accumulating on the Superdelegates come almost exclusively from publicly available sources. As to allegations that we have published additional personal information, that may be the case, we simply do not have the staff to research every entry into the record.
How have the Democratic superdelegates responded to the “hit list?” Have you been contacted by any of the superdelegates directly?
As the creator I believe it is best if I do not contact any of the superdelegates directly. If I were to contact a superdelegate and they knew who I was the site would invariably become the dominant topic and which would only be a distraction.
Are you a Bernie Sanders supporter?
As a Socialist I appreciate that Sanders is challenging the hegemony of Capitalism in the public narrative. With that said the site is not explicitly concerned with campaigning for Sanders.
What connection do you have with the Bernie Sanders campaign, if any?
I have no connection with the Sanders campaign. There are many lists of this type and I doubt the Sanders campaign is even aware of this particular Superdelegate List.
Some of the super delegates are feeling inundated/harassed. The messages they are getting are at times rude and profane. Other times they are extremely negative about the candidate they support. They are saying this sort of "persuasion" is actually hardening their support for Clinton and is counterproductive. What do you say to that?
It's likely that most callers are actually polite. If a few people contacting superdelegates are being obscene they'll of course drown out reasonable voices and harden opinions. However, it's useful to look at what's causing some of the anger and outrage we're seeing. Voters know they are being disenfranchised by superdelegate influence and these privileged voters are a reasonable target for frustration. And, let's be honest, if superdelegates aren't prepared to deal with the public, they shouldn't be party officials.