Murphy Carries Torch for Clinton to Denver
September 5, 2008 Leave a comment
by Rebecca Honaker
Millions of Americans tune into the Democratic National Convention every four years to watch history in the making, but few can say they’ve had such a role in it as Transylvania junior, Tyler Murphy.
Murphy has lived and breathed politics since a very young age. His dedication to politics and to the Democratic Party have been witnessed by many here at Transy as he has headed the College Democrats, ran for Vice President of the Student Government Association and determinedly supported his beloved candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primaries.
But none is a better example of his political work than his role as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and the intriguing story of how he and several other delegates fought to right the wrongs of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
According to Murphy, the KDP failed to meet the requirements of an affirmative action plan that requires an equal number of male and female delegates from each state. The KDP had elected three too many male delegates and was forced to replace these delegates with female delegates.
Murphy explained that the proper procedure in such a case involves contacting the campaigns of which the delegates to be replaced are affiliated.
“Any delegate who resigns or leaves his/her had the right-pursuant to the rules-to name his/her replacement and that replacement must be pledged to the same candidate as the delegate being replaced.”
The KDP, in Murphy’s opinion, did not follow these rules set up in the Party Charter. “Instead, the KDP singled out three male Clinton delegates and told them they were no longer members of the delegation. They then proceeded to name their replacements without any consultation with the Clinton campaign.”
The KDP put State Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo, co-chair of Obama’s state campaign, in the place of pledged Clinton delegate, State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach.
“When notified of what had occurred, I was livid and immediately began working with others in the delegation to file a formal challenge with the Credentials Committee.”
Murphy and other delegates soon drafted and filed the formal charge and entered the convention with a will to accurately represent the voters of Kentucky.
“Hillary Clinton won 67% of the vote here in Kentucky and I felt duty-bound to fairly reflect their votes at the convention. So going into the convention, nothing would prevent me from casting my vote for Hillary.”
The challenge was rejected by the Credentials Committee on the grounds of being filed in an untimely manner. In Murphy’s view the reason for the dismissal of the challenge was due to the committee’s fear of negatively affecting party unity.
After his experiences at the DNC, Murphy has come to believe that Obama’s campaign has a long way to go before it can unite the Party and win over Clinton supporters.
“The only person who can convince those Hillary Clinton supporters who may still be on the fence is Barack Obama. Did he do that at the convention? From what I saw and heard and my private discussions with delegates so situated, the answer is no.”
Despite the fact that Clinton wasn’t the candidate accepting the nomination, Murphy greatly enjoyed and made the most his time at the Convention.
“When asked, I compare the Convention to the Olympics of Politics-it occurs once every four years and is attempted by nearly everyone in Party politics. It was remarkable, what else can I say? The experience, the history, the pure politics of it all made it a euphoric event all-in-all.”
Murphy spent the bulk of his time at the Convention meeting governors, representatives, senators, VIPs and other delegates from around the country. He met such notables as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“The time spent with the Kentucky delegation-which is essentially a Who’s Who of Kentucky Democratic Party politics-was one of the best aspects. The daily delegation breakfasts, the luncheons, and the numerous parties were opportunities to meet and build or strengthen relationships with fellow delegates.”