Tag Archives: Florida

DNC Slapps Down Florida Jan. 29, 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary

The Democratic National Committee voted today to not seat any Florida delegates to the Democratic National Convention unless they push back their Presidential Primary date by at least a week.

As we previously reported, Florida Democrats are in a tough spot. The Florida Legislature is heavily Republican. In the Senate Republicans have 26 seats to the Democrat’s 40 seats. In the House they have 78 seats to the Democrat’s 42 seats. The Governor is Republican.

The Republicans in Florida attached the change moving the Florida State Primary to Jan 29, 2008 as an amendment to a Voting Reform Act. The legislation required a voter verified paper trail for all voting machines. Some 15 of Florida’s counties still use touch screen voting machines that have no paper trail.

The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee today voted to give Florida Democrats 30 days to move its Primary Election date back at least a week. If it doesn’t, it could lose its 210 delegates to the Democratic National Convention held August 25 – 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. Florida has the 4th largest number of delegates.

Florida Democrats can act to make the January 29th Primary non-binding and hold a later caucus to select delegates. It could hold a 2nd election or a mail in election but this is much more expensive at $7 to 8 million.

Florida has 4 million Democrats. The caucus system would draw far less people and would disenfranchise about 170,000 absentee voters, including soldiers stationed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The next move is up to the Florida Democratic Party. They have a state convention scheduled for September 26, 2007.

Washington State Democrats are holding a caucus on Saturday Feb. 9, 2008 to select delegates. There will also be a Presidential Primary Election on February 19, 2007. Republicans will select half their delegates from a caucus and half using the voter results from the Presidential Primary.

Washington State does not have Party registration. This has been a stumbling block for Democrats using the Presidential Primary results to select delegates. This is something that Democrats should work to change in the Legislature next year. Caucuses limit voter participation and prevent many people from helping to select Presidential nominees.

Florida Republicans Creating Political Mischief for Democrats

Florida Democrats are in a bind because of a law passed by a Republican controlled Legislature and a Republican Governor. The Florida Legislature passed and Republican Governor Charlie Grist signed a law moving Florida’s Presidential Election to January 31, 2008.

Florida Democrats want the Primary vote for candidates to count in their selecting delegates to the Democratic National Convention. As US News and World reports, the problem is that:

“In 2006, the Democratic National Committee voted to allow a handful of states to join the traditional “first” states of Iowa and New Hampshire in holding caucuses or primaries during the first five weeks of 2008; Florida was not among them. The rules were designed to create order, preserve tradition, and add diversity. But Florida decided to get more attention in the presidential sweepstakes, and that is creating bizarre possibilities”

“…the state could lose huge blocs of delegates to both national nominating conventions next summer. Republicans have left wiggle room to review state-by-state primary plans, probably this fall. The Democrats have gone further as disciplinarians, stipulating that any candidate campaigning in a state that violates the rules will be ineligible to win any of the state’s delegates. Florida Democrats could have avoided the problem by treating the January vote as a so-called beauty contest, without the power to choose delegates, but they decided to go ahead with a full-fledged primary.”

“While the GOP ponders its options, the DNC’s rules and bylaws panel is scheduled to consider the Florida situation on August 25, and DNC Chairman Howard Dean says the party won’t back down. “These are automatic sanctions,” says a Democratic strategist close to Dean. “Without these rules, all of the states would start leapfrogging.”

The Democratic National Committee is meeting today to decide the fate of Florida’s delegates if the Primary is held on January 29 in violation of the previously agreed upon rules for delegate selection and primary dates.