Joe Duffey speaks to Eugene McCarthy for President supporters at Hartford High School. Geoffrey Cowan is pictured second from right.
Cowan, second from right, and his associates speak to Eugene McCarthy for President supporters at Hartford High School in Hartford, Conn., in June 1968. | Hartford Courant

Last week Politico Magazine featured the story of how CCLP Director Geoff Cowan worked with a group of young activists in the 1960s to dramatically reform the presidential primary delegate selection process. The article – titled “Did a Young Democratic Activist in 1968 Pave the Way for Donald Trump?” – traces the current system of primaries and caucuses back to a reform initiative started in the summer of 1968 intended to rein in the power of party bosses. The piece, which includes many first person accounts from Cowan, highlights how unhallowed the process by which we select presidents is, and it details how difficult it is to create a fair and just nomination system. As Cowan says in the article, “I don’t think those of us who were involved in the reform effort of that era had any concept of the power that primaries would eventually give to the extreme wings of both parties.”

To read the full piece, click here.