Brief interview with Democratic consultant Mike Stratton on the Western Primary (late Feb. 2006 at the NGA Meeting)

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  What's the status of the Western primary?

STRATTON:  We've evolved beyond the Western primary now.  As you know the scheduling commission of the DNC gave a report to the DNC calling for adding one to two caucus states before NH and after Iowa and one to two after NH and before February 5.  So on March 11th [2006] the DNC Rules Committee is going to take up the recommendations of the scheduling commission and I believe they will be supportive of the recommendations, and then after March 11th there'll be a process for states to propose to get into that January calendar.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  And you were saying earlier that you think Nevada will be one of those?

STRATTON:  Well I think that one of the states that meets all the criteria, in fact the only Western state that meets all the criteria, is Nevada.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: Is the Western primary now dead?

STRATTON:  Right, in terms of a big amalgamated date.  That's correct.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  Does this satisfy [your objectives]?

STRATTON:  Well it's great progress for people who've been advocating greater participation by the Western states, and as you know I was kind of the spokesman of that group for months.  And if we could have a Western state in January and then there'll be three states on February 5th--Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah--if we had four of the eight states that we were trying to move into the mix, that's pretty good for us.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  We're also hearing about the idea of holding the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

STRATTON:  I think it's alive and well and I'm on that host committee and we'll be pushing for it...  If the Democrats pay attention to the West, the West'll pay attention to the Democrats, and we can elect a president in 2008.

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION:  It sounds like you're making progress.

STRATTON:  I think the West is on everybody's radar screen.

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