Barack Obama | Charlie Crist | Democratic Party | Election 2008 | Florida | Hillary Clinton | Michigan | News

DNC Chair Dean Urges Florida and Michigan to Re-do Contests

DNC Chair Howard Dean is urging officials from Michigan and Florida to propose plans to re-do their state primary contests, the AP reports:

Dean"The two state parties will have to find the funds to pay for new contests without help from the national party, Dean said. 'We can't afford to do that. That's not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race,' he said. Officials in Michigan and Florida are showing renewed interest in holding repeat presidential nominating contests so that their votes will count in the epic Democratic campaign. The Michigan governor, top officials in Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign, and Florida's state party chair all are now saying they would consider holding a sort of do-over contest by June. That's a change from the previous insistence from officials in both states that the primaries they held in January should determine how their delegates are allocated. Clinton won both contests, but the results were meaningless because the elections violated national party rules."

The Detroit Free Press reports: "Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter, said the victory in Ohio changes "the landscape a bit" and could open the door to a Democratic caucus -- not a primary -- in Michigan, though it would have to be privately funded and both candidates would have to agree. 'Michigan and Florida votes should count. To not count them at all would alienate these states in the general election,' she said."

Granholm_cristAnd according to the Tampa Bay Tribune, "Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, the state's senior elected Democrat, called Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday to discuss the possibility, according to a spokesman. The two agreed that Florida taxpayers shouldn't pay the tab, and Nelson thinks the Democratic National Committee should bear the cost, said Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin. A statewide vote would likely cost into the double-digit millions. Meanwhile, Crist, a Republican, issued a joint statement along with Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm calling it 'reprehensible" and "intolerable' that both national parties are penalizing Florida and Michigan over their primary dates. 'Seat our delegates,' Crist and Granholm demanded."

Howard Dean's appearance on MSNBC this morning, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I think caucuses are probably the cheapest way to do this, if it needs to be done. That will probably send the Clinton folks into a huge tizzy, though. This could have all been avoided if FL and MI decided to follow the rules in the first place. Now they're trying to bully their way back in--both of them are that annoying girl from elementary school who refused to play unless she won, then came crying back when everyone said, "OK then, go."

    Posted by: Adam | Mar 6, 2008 11:38:54 AM

  2. Adam

    BUT Clinton's guy Terry Mcc-however you spell his name has put foreword the Firehouse caucus model.

    Which means even smaller time periods and less polling places then a regular caucus

    I do find it ironic that FL and MI moved their dates to gain relevance, but if they had just waited they would have been extremly relevant this cycle.

    Lets do it! FL most likely goes Hillary and Michigan most likely goes Obama so everybody gains and both states delegates get sat.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Mar 6, 2008 11:49:57 AM

  3. I'm all for a redo. It was incredibly stupid of the DNC to wipe the delegates off the map. The RNC were smart enough to only cut half of theirs as punsihment, thus avoiding this problem.

    Posted by: Marco | Mar 6, 2008 11:55:20 AM

  4. Shillary is really getting desperate and calling in all her markers, amazing,but, not really, anything to get beat by McCain for this woman.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Mar 6, 2008 11:58:57 AM

  5. This is BULLSHIT. The states broke the rules, END OF STORY. Why do Democrats have to be such flaming pussies all the time? Voters in MI and FL should take it out on their respective state's party. How convenient that a troublemaking GOP governor and a true blue Hillary supporter are pushing for new contests.

    Let's be realistic about what is probably going on here: Hillary is forcing Obama to waste all of his money fighting her off, even though she has no way of winning the nomination without a massive superdelegate coup. Of course, she wants him to lose so she can run in 2012 when McCain probably won't run again due to age.

    Just apportion the MI and FL delgates 50/50, seat them at the convention. They will have their voice in the party platform, it won't waste any more money, and it adheres to the spirit of the DNC rules (that MI and FL have a net zero effect on nominee selection).

    Posted by: Naha | Mar 6, 2008 11:59:53 AM

  6. Naha

    democrats are supposed to be the party that tries to do the right thing even when not convenient. Dems ae supposed to be better than repubs.

    MI's white poulation is very much like wisconsin which went heavily for obama and it has a huge AA poulation so MI will most likely go Obama and FL will most likely go Hillary.

    Proper rule followng votes would be good for both states, the party, the nation, and both candidates.

    Posted by: Jimmybyo | Mar 6, 2008 12:06:18 PM

  7. Jack!

    Hillary's own people are calling for a firehouse caucus. Those are shorter time periods and even fewer polling places than a reg caucus.

    Take a deep breath, relax.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Mar 6, 2008 12:11:46 PM

  8. If you believe in democracy you believe in voting. One person, one vote.

    Yes, the state parties broke the rules, and their punishment wouldn't have made any difference if this election had gone as everyone expected...over by Super Tuesday.

    So what if they revote? Why not? It's shocking to me to hear progressive, liberal Dems -- even some dude from The Nation magazine! -- braying the "THEY BROKE THE RULES!!!" so its too damned bad for the people of MI and FL. No votes for you. Wow. That's not very democratic. All I can assume is that they are all Obama supporters. And they are afraid of people voting. Why? Just calm down, let the process work through and may the best candidate win.

    Posted by: Alleen | Mar 6, 2008 12:14:01 PM

  9. Well then MI and FL democrats should have pressured their state parties to abide by DNC rules ... like EVERY OTHER STATE DID. Now, after the fact, many months later, it is a big deal. B.S. MI and FL gambled and lost. The state parties must take responsibility for their pathetic failures.

    What precedent does this set for the future? 50 states are going to ignore the DNC, creating primary calendar chaos. I mean, why follow the rules? They can just say "yea we broke the rules, but how can you deny our people the vote?? how can you!??!!?!" Um, because YOU broke the rules. YOU should answer for it. It's not a dem vs. repub thing. It's not a tactical issue as to who might benefit more from a re-do. It's a matter of political and economic fairness.

    My solution (the 50/50 split) is the only logical one. It will reinforce the precedent that breaking DNC rules comes at a price. It will not cost taxpayers any more money. It will not drain campaigns of tens of millions of dollars needed to fight off John McCain. It will allow MI and FL state delegates to participate in all aspects of the convention other than nominee selection.

    Posted by: Naha | Mar 6, 2008 12:16:31 PM

  10. Alleen

    I am an Obama suporter from before it was cool (New Hampshire), and I support the redos 100%.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Mar 6, 2008 12:21:34 PM

  11. NAHA: "My solution (the 50/50 split) is the only logical one. It will reinforce the precedent that breaking DNC rules comes at a price."

    I guess I would value the voting rights of individuals over rules of the parties. But that's just my opinion.

    I would compare this situation to giving a student an F for missing an exam. Late you discover that the student was not to blame for missing it (missed bus? drunk parent?) and had to have a certain GPA to stay in sports and qualify for a college scholarship. Would I allow that student to come in and take that test over again? Or would I say "rules are rules" and stick with the F?

    Multi-million dollar cost of the revote is certainly a big punishment for the Democratic party if it chooses to go ahead with it. Given that they'll need the $$ in the general, they probably won't want to do that for FL and MI unless donors can cough it up now.

    Posted by: Alleen | Mar 6, 2008 12:27:48 PM

  12. Alleen: Your analogy makes no's not a case of a hapless student who, through no fault of his own, misses an exam. The students were there for the exam (a lot of them). The problem was the exam was set up by the school outside of the guidelines approved by the school a year ago, so the exam is faulty, period. Yes, there should be a re-do. However, FL and MI's state Democratic parties should pay for it—they broke the rules and are now crying democracy. PLEASE. What's next, primaries a year before the election? It's a joke. If the candidates feel strongly about a re-do, then they can chip in. No way does the DNC bear any responsibility for what happened. Obama was stupid to keep his name off the ballot in MI, though. (By the way, I love both Hillary and Obama and would be happy with either winning the nomination because either one would bury McCain.)

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Mar 6, 2008 12:38:04 PM

  13. Damn, if we'd had a "redo" of the Florida general election vote in 2000, we'd have never had this nincompoop in the White House for the last 7 years...a very dangerous nincompoop.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 6, 2008 12:40:32 PM

  14. As a Floridian: the candidates told us that based on a vote by our legislature moving our primary--that our primary votes didn't matter to them. As a result, the only people that turned up at the polls were those that were impacted by the property tax legislation, therefore landowners in Florida. A very limited voting segment. Therefore that vote cannot be used to represent us as a state. I don't think a re-vote will do any good however, the damage was done. It wasn't the Floridian people that moved the date up, it was the legislature playing their games. Looks like they didn't play well doesn't it? As a Florida Democrat, they made their bed and we shouldn't have to pay for new linens, we should save up for tarps for our roofs!

    Obama and Clinton made a pledge to ignore Florida Voters. We are used to it, the least they could do is stick by their guns on an issue for once.

    Posted by: Kris | Mar 6, 2008 12:52:59 PM

  15. Matthew,

    One small point: Obama didn't stupidly "keep" his name off the MI ballot. Like Clinton and Edwards, he had already secured a place on the ballot before the DNC ruled. Then Obama and Edwards jumped through whatever administrative hoops were necessary to remove their names from the ballot. Clinton either failed or, more likely, chose not to remove hers. Typical.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 6, 2008 1:05:21 PM

  16. Even after Ohio and Texas, the media's calling on Hillary to quit. They always spins the results in a manner that's favorable to Obama. And while that's certainly their perogative, one could always manipulate the data to send a different message.

    Though it is true that Obama has won many more states, were the media biased towards Hillary (in the same way they're currently biased towards Obama)... they'd simply point out that if this were November, Hillary would have 266 electoral votes right now (and Obama 185).

    Eye of the beholder.

    Posted by: John | Mar 6, 2008 1:06:57 PM

  17. Whatever the parties choose to do to decide their nominee is not democracy. They can choose to have a primary or a caucus or a tea party. That's just the way it is. They are not one person = one vote. e.g. the party can weigh particular precincts or states more heavily because they are "more likely to vote democratic". Fair doesn't have anything to do with it. Nor does "feeling disenfranchised". A lot of people in WA felt disenfranchised because they had to work on Saturday rather than go to a 2 hour caucus. But that's the way the party chose to make their decision here.

    Yes, they can allow FL & MI to do another vote, or another teaparty or whatever. To me, it makes the party look spineless. To a Dem in FL, it might make them feel included. So the dems just have to decide who they can afford to piss off more.

    Posted by: Alan | Mar 6, 2008 1:11:21 PM

  18. John,

    1) In the contest for 370 delegates on Tuesday, Clinton took home about 5—12 more than Obama. And Obama was endorsed by 5 superdelegates yesterday, so Clinton made no headway against his lead. That's why the media is still questioning the viability of her campaign, especially since Obama will likely increase his lead further as a result of this week's contests in WY and MS.

    By the middle of next week, despite her fantastic, decisive victories on Tuesday night, Hill will be in an even bigger delegate hole than she was when everyone was righting her off as finished last week.

    2) If this were November, either Democrat would be running against a Republican. States won in primaries do not equal electoral votes in those same states.

    Your beholder's eye needs glasses.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 6, 2008 1:17:47 PM

  19. I have been a registered Democrat since 92' and wrote several emails to my Senator and Congressman regarding the fact that the Dems were taking our vote away in Florida and basically got no response. My response was to change parties and I will not vote for any Democrats as my personal protest. I will vote 100% Republican this year. If my vote isn't good enough for the Primary then it isn't good enough for the General election. I hope Florida continues to change the date to make it the first Primary in the country.F**k Dean and F**k Iowa.

    Posted by: Jason | Mar 6, 2008 1:37:47 PM

  20. it's important to note that while michigan democratic party knowingly broke party rules by moving up their primary, not so the case in florida.

    the primary date in florida was set by a republican governor and a republican legislature. it was not a maneuver by the florida democratic party to move up the primary.

    Posted by: psgoodguy | Mar 6, 2008 2:10:05 PM

  21. Aileen and every other THEY BROKE THE RULES Obama supporters.

    A REPUBLICAN GOVENOR and a REPUBLICAN STATE CONGRESS in order to influence the GOP nomination mandated the day of the election.

    Voters could either vote that day.

    FL has a good case against the DNC disenfrancising the voters of that state.

    Let the vote stand.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Mar 6, 2008 2:54:13 PM

  22. MC,

    How about all the voters who stayed home on primary day because the DNC had already declared Florida's primary ineligible? Letting the outcome of the vote stand would disenfranchise all of them.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 6, 2008 3:09:17 PM

  23. Not four posts in before Senator Clinton is called "Shillery" and it's not even Limbaugh doing the name calling.

    Must be that hope and change Obama keeps talking about.

    Whomever gets the nomination gets my vote in the fall. After that, I am out of this party for good. The hate Hillary first "progressive movement" truly sickens me.

    Posted by: Marco | Mar 6, 2008 3:14:14 PM

  24. Michigan announing new caucus in afew days

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Mar 6, 2008 3:49:54 PM

  25. If Clinton wants any delegates out of FL and MI, she'd better work on getting these re-votes planned out, agreed to, and paid for. There's apparently no way in hell the delegates allocated from the earlier, illegitimate votes will be seated by the DNC Credentials Committee:

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 6, 2008 5:03:18 PM

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