Homer resident Taz Tally is one of 20 delegates representing Alaska at the Democratic National Convention underway in Philadelphia. He says it is an honor to represent the state.
“Well, it is an honor and it is pretty darn exciting to be here in Philly to represent Alaska,” Tally said.
The 65-year-old says the mood is festive but also a bit tense.
“You know people walking around with their Hillary pins and shirts and their Bernie buttons and they’re kind of eyeing each other and they’re trying to say hello,” Tally laughed.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plea for his supporters to rally behind presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton was met with boos today.
Florida Rep. and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is under fire after leaked emails showed Democratic National Committee officials discussing ways to help Clinton defeat Sanders in the Democratic primaries.
The controversy led to an announcement that she would resign after the convention.
Tally said the delegates are talking about the emails that Wikileaks released but they are also preparing to get down to business.
“Yes, indeed, I think there’s plenty of talk about that,” Tally said. “There are basically two kinds of things going on. The convention is moving towards nominating Hillary and there are all the events towards that, but there are also a lot of Bernie events going on because Bernie’s revolution is continuing.”
Tally said the most important thing is for the Bernie supporters to feel they have some say moving forward. He said although the platform is set, Bernie supporters can still have an impact on the future of the party.
“If the folks who are running the Democratic convention do what happened at the Republican convention — that is, don’t allow votes to occur, don’t allow the roll call votes to occur on party plan items, those kinds of things, if they don’t allow Bernie’s voice to be heard — then I think there’s a lot more likelihood that some of these folks, not only at the convention, but nationwide, go to the Green Party or go to Donald Trump, because the issues are not so much policy-driven as they are independence-driven,” Tally said.
Tally is one of two Alaska delegates to the Democratic National Convention from the Homer area. The other is Diana Carbonell.
Tally said the Alaska delegates are wearing matching bright blue kuspuks with gold thread, so they should be easy to spot.