Superdelegate Wants $20 Million

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," May 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: Well, he says, "Show me the money, huh. Show me the money and I'll give you my vote." He is Steve Ybarra. He's a superdelegate in California and he, now, says he's willing to take either Clinton or Obama's side but for a big price. How big, you say, huh? We're talking $20 million.

First here on FOX: Steve Ybarra is with me now. Sir, good evening to you.

STEVEN YBARRA, DEMOCRATIC SUPERDELEGATE (through phone): Good evening to you, sir.

HEMMER: Explain this one.

YBARRA: This is a real simple one. For the last eight years, I've been trying to get the Democratic Party to pay attention to the needs of voter registration and education and get out the vote to the Mexican-American community. And guess what? We managed to lose two elections because of it. So, we're coming up on an election where the Mexican-American voter will be the person who makes the decision in this upcoming election.

HEMMER: How did you come up with that figure, by the way, Steve — $20 million?

YBARRA: Very simple. You got about 1 million voters that should be registered who are between the ages of 17 that are going to be 18 by November. That costs about $10 a voter for each of them cost to register a voter. You ask anybody on either side of the aisle, that's what they're going to pay. Then you got about 300,000 new U.S. citizens who could be registered if they are going through the process of their citizenship being closed up and being sworn in on time. And then you got to deal with (INAUDIBLE) T.V. So, 29 is really a minimum number.

HEMMER: It's exactly. Now, it's a bit like you're trying to buy a vote here. Is that allowable?

YBARRA: No, I'm trying to get people to pay attention to what needs to be done. My sense of reality and a lot of people that throughout there listening to us understand that these voters have been ignored and continue to be ignored. And unless the Democratic Party gets with it, they'll lose.

HEMMER: Any takers on this offer by the way?

YBARRA: Well, you know, it's truly funny you should ask me that question. I have both sides calling back, you know, one says, "That's a really great idea." And the other one says, "You know, we've been a little anemic in this area." I laughed and I said, "OK. So, what kind of transfusion do you need to get your intelligence level up?"

HEMMER: Wow. So, for $20 million, you think you can turn out how many votes for the Democrats?

YBARRA: Enough to win.

HEMMER: Enough to win.

YBARRA: Enough to win because.

HEMMER: Mexican-Americans — give me a figure. Is that 100,000? Is that 1 million?

YBARRA: Oh, no. It's closer to 500,000 votes nationally — easily.

HEMMER: All right.

YBARRA: Easily and reason is that we're kind of concentrated in states where people vote by mail — the big five states, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Washington. Those are states where voters have a really good opportunity to vote at home.

And so being able to vote at home, they don't have to worry about, you know, showing up on election day. Mexican-American voters have some important thing to do. They work in the morning; they come home late at night.

HEMMER: Would you take $10 million for a superdelegate vote?



YBARRA: No. It would be a waste of time.

HEMMER: Steve, thank you for your time. I don't know how far you're going to get with this idea, but it crossed hot wires and it is intriguing.

YBARRA: Call these guys up and ask them.

HEMMER: All right. Clinton and Obama are still on the fence. Steve Ybarra in California.

KELLY: Get on that, Bill, would you?

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