A random drawing with potentially nationally significance will be the one New Jersey Democrats hold thing spring to decide whether a Hillary Clinton delegate or one for Barack Obama will get a coveted seat on the Democratic National Convention Credentials Committee – important in 2008 if there is a major fight over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations.
New Jersey gets five seats on each of three panels – credentials, rules and platform. Eight Clinton and seven Obama delegates will get two seats each on the three committees. Among the final three delegates – two Clinton and one Obama—there will be a drawing to decide who gets the coveted credentials seat.
Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan probably wishes he could call on an old family friend, the late Nicholas V. Caputo, for a little help.
During his thirty years as the Essex County Clerk, Caputo was known as the “Man with the Golden Arm” for his ability to draw Line A for the Essex County Democrats in every election – Republicans once said in a court challenge that the statistical odds of that were 1 in 50 billion. Caputo used to put the names of the candidates or parties inside a capsule and then draw them from a jury box. Conspiracy theorists alleged that Caputo could have changed the temperature of different capsules, or placed some sort of indentation with his fingernail. The Essex GOP once filed a lawsuit challenging Caputo’s process, but without success.
”He’s a magician, and people have been trying to find out for years how he does it,” State Senator Richard Codey said in 1984.