DNC Day 2: Subodh Chandra, Captain of Team Ohio

I was just on the floor of the Pepsi Center here in Denver. I passed by Senators Claire McCaskill and Dick Durbin very very slowly since traffic on the floor is completely choked. So choked in fact that I ended up standing next to the CNN folks long enough to see the make-up on Blitzer and Cooper’s faces. I got to say, thus far I have been EXTREMELY disappointed in the organization of this convention. Calling it chaotic would be too kind. They didn’t even have lanyards left for me to put my credentials in so I had to rig something together (which included the use of scotch tape). I feel like that kid in school who tapes his glasses when they break. Also, myself and a handful of other press had to walk a half hour in the blazing sun because the buses dropped us off at the wrong gate. Ok, I will quit my complaining now and talk about something positive. The positive is that this is still a great event and we have a lot we will be blogging about through the night.

While on the floor I had a chance to speak with former Ohio Attorney General candidate Subodh Chandra. I didn’t get to speak to him for very long however, because as you can see in the clip below, he was busy passing out signs and rallying the Ohio delegation. Chandra’s energy is unreal. The days here are really long and hectic given all the security checks, walking, and schmoozing. I’m yawning twice a minute but Subodh was still energized.

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When speaking with him I wanted to know, “What comes next?” After the convention is over and everyone goes home, what is he going to be doing? Turns out that early voting in Ohio starts in just 5 weeks. He plans to use that time raising money for Obama (a meme I will revisit later tonight), getting out the vote (especially the South Asian vote), and educating the naturalized citizens of Ohio about their voting rights. This last issue is something I hadn’t heard about.

Today, we won.

Secretary of State Blackwell’s counsel agreed to a permanent injunction against enforcement of most of Ohio Revised Code Section 3505.20(A), the section that would permit a poll worker to demand of voters whether they are naturalized citizens and their certificate of naturalization before permitting them to vote by a regular ballot.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko then issued the permanent injunction and agreed to publish his decision, because it is an important issue and no other state has tried to do this before. Blackwell’s counsel agreed to draft a directive to county Boards of Elections informing them about the court’s decision, so we assisted them in preparing some draft language. The directive, which we anticipate will be issued soon, will inform Boards of Elections and poll workers that they are not to enforce the offensive provisions of Section 3505.20(A). It will also require them to post at polling places notices that proof of citizenship is not required. [Link]

Time permitting I will tag up with Subodh again later this week to get his impressions of each night. Meanwhile, Ravi has scammed his way into the Alaska delegation. Do South Asians even live in Alaska? :)

7 thoughts on “DNC Day 2: Subodh Chandra, Captain of Team Ohio

  1. Not that I care, but what was the lame-ass reasoning behind that legislation, anyway? Scammin all the way to Alaska…how wily!

  2. Do South Asians even live in Alaska? :)

    I know of one South Asian American who did for five years (and still keeps a home and snowboard there): my little sister, when she served at Elmendorf.

  3. subodh chandra is the sh*t. having met and spoken with him, he truly is inspiring. it’s tragic that he lost the democratic primary in ohio, thus never had the opportunity to be elected AG. meanwhile, the dem who was elected went down in flames. instead of looking to him to fill the void, they scurried to find another white face.

    there’s no better example of how race and the perception of foreigness still plays a massive role in politics. and there’s no better example of a person who knows the hurdles, the strongest sense of determination, and constantly works to overcome them in pragmatic fashion with a smile on his face.

  4. oh – and to emphasize my above point – he was far more qualified and had far more endorsements than any other candidate….and wasn’t even given the chance. subodh, if you’re reading this, keep up the good work to ensure the next generation does.