Endorsement Criteria and Procedures
1. Authority for Endorsement Decisions. The Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus may endorse candidates in electoral races deemed significant to members of Michigan’s Jewish community. Endorsement applications shall be available for all local, state, and federal candidates, though the Executive Board shall retain sole discretion to determine for which races the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus will accept endorsement applications.
2. General Procedures. Candidate endorsements may be considered only via the submission of an endorsement application to the Political Committee, which shall review said application and forward a candidate’s responses along with any relevant notes, questions, and recommendations to the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall in turn use a candidate’s response and the Political Committee’s notes to record an in-person interview with a candidate for distribution to the General Membership prior to voting. All endorsement applications returned by candidates shall be published on the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus’ social media channels and made available for review by the General Membership. If no political committee exists at the time of application, the Executive Board will assume all vetting responsibilities.
3. Endorsement Criteria. Among others, the Political Committee, Executive Board, and General Membership shall consider several criteria in making an endorsement, including, but not limited to:
A candidate’s viability and ability to win a general election
A candidate’s commitment to listening to and standing up for Michigan’s Jewish community
A candidate’s ability to support the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus in fulfilling its mission, including, but not limited to, increasing Jewish representation in Michigan politics and government
A candidate’s alignment with the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus’ values, policy priorities, and mission
4. Ballot Procedures. Endorsement ballots for local legislative and other races may be held during in-person meetings of the General Membership, while ballots for state-wide and federal races will be held through the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus’ online voting portal for members to prevent geographic exclusion. Both in-person and online ballots shall be announced with at least two weeks’ notice and publicized heavily to the General Membership.
5. Quorum for Ballots. A quorum of at least 50 members present in-person or online shall be required for any endorsement ballot.
6. Qualified electors. Only dues-paying members of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus in good standing, defined as those whose membership has been validated for 30 days or more shall be considered qualified electors in an endorsement ballot.
7. Announcement of Results. Results of online or in-person endorsement ballots will be announced immediately to the General Membership and publicized at a time and manner agreed upon by the Chair and the endorsed candidate’s campaign.
8. Endorsements in Democratic Primaries. Endorsements in a Democratic primary require a candidate to garner a supermajority of at least 55% of total votes in an endorsement ballot of the General Membership.
9. Equal Opportunity for Primary Candidates. If a primary in which the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus has an interest in fielding an endorsement is a contested primary, the Political Committee shall solicit questionnaires from all declared candidates and publicize a deadline for their submission.
10. Filing Deadlines. Under no circumstances shall the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus make any endorsement in a contested primary prior to the candidate filing deadline as determined by the governing electoral authority.
11. Ensuring Fairness, Openness, Competitiveness, and Transparency. No member of the Executive Board or Political Committee shall allow his or her personal preferences to impede the execution of a fair, open, competitive, and transparent process for making endorsements in Democratic primaries.
12. Recourse for Bias and Conflict-of-Interest. Should any bias or conflicts-of-interest on the part of an Executive Board or Political Committee member become apparent or alleged, the Chair will conduct an investigation, which may result in asking said member to recuse him or herself from the process, or, for more serious breaches, launch a formal removal process.
13. Endorsements of Democratic Incumbents. Incumbent Democrats not facing significant primary challenge and considered by election rating agencies (such as Cook Political Report, FiveThirtyEight, Sabato’s Crystal Ball) as vulnerable of contested are eligible for fast track endorsement by a simple majority of the Executive Board pending the submission of an endorsement questionnaire.
14. General Election Endorsements. Endorsements made in a general election require a candidate to garner a simple majority of 50% plus one of votes in an endorsement ballot of the General Membership.
15. Resource Allocation. The Chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus shall possess the mandate to negotiate with the campaigns of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus’ endorsed candidates the circumstances of any endorsement announcement, and will determine with the Executive Board the resources, if any, to be allocated by the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus on behalf of any endorsed candidate.