DNC Rules Committee Finds Florida In "Non-Compliance"

by: Chris Bowers

Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 13:53

This just in:

Under a vote taken moments ago by a powerful committee of the Democratic National Committee, if things don't change, Florida's primary on Jan. 29 will be a beauty context - the delegates won't count toward the party's presidential nomination.

Florida officials complained they were being "disenfranchised," but the DNC strongly pushes back against that contention, since it has rules that Florida decided not to follow.

This is the party's way of trying to stop the crazy domino effect of states moving their nominating contests earlier and earlier, which causes OTHER states to go earlier and earlier.

The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee voted nearly unanimously that Florida's plan is non-compliant with party rules, and gave the state 30 days to fix it. Otherwise, the state will lose 100 percent of its delegates.(…)

What will happen at the national convention? Will Florida have a section with a "Sunshine State" sign and the funny hats?

Herman: "This would then come under the purview of the credentials committee of the convention. And the convention credentials committee would then have to make a determination as to how they would interpret whatever activities would have occurred in Florida - be it the 29th process, or any subsequent activities, if it were not party approved."

Read the fine print in the last paragraph, and allow me to translate for those not as close to the process. Florida will have a delegation seated at the 2008 Democratic convention. However, that delegation will not be determined by the January 29th Florida "primary," at least until the nominee is already decided. Only be when the nominee becomes a foregone conclusion, without the assistance of anyone from Florida included in their ongoing delegate counts, will the delegates from Florida be reinstated through the credentials committee in some manner.

Even though they have been given thirty days to do so, the Florida Democratic Party can't actually change the date of the Florida primary on its own, because the January 29th primary date is now state law. However, rather than to actually force Florida to change, this move from the DNC is being undertaken primarily to prevent any other states, such as Arizona and Ohio, from moving to January 29th or earlier. Whether or not the DNC will succeed in preventing any more states from moving earlier than February 5th, and whether or not the political repercussions will be worth it, remains in the realm of pure speculation at this point. The disaster situation for the DNC now is if the nominee is not a foregone conclusion after Super Tuesday on February 5th. Otherwise, this incident will become little more than an annoying footnote to the nomination campaign.

I except New Hampshire and Iowa to announce their final dates shortly after the 30-day window for Florida handed down by the DNC rules committee expires in late September.

Chris Bowers :: DNC Rules Committee Finds Florida In "Non-Compliance"

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Florida could change (4.00 / 1)
They can't change the primary date but they could hold a party caucus or convention or something along those lines on the 5th.  Delegates selected through such a process could be seated with no ill effect.

Why isn't this pissing off the RNC as much? (0.00 / 0)
I would think that they are loathe to have Romney to be the general election candidate.  His path to the nomination has to be using the Iowa bounce to win NH, and using the back to back victories and his money to sail to the nomination.  This front-loaded schedule just plays into his hands, and against Guliani.

Of course, it could be that they want Guliani to lose.  Which baffles me, as I don't see how Romney could possibly win the general.  Then again, I didn't see how W could have possibly won the general, so perhaps I'm not the one to ask...

FEC loophole if any primary/caucus is in 2007... (4.00 / 1)
It seems that if any state (like Iowa) moves their primary or caucus up to December 2007, then the years 2007 and 2008 may be treated as separate primary-election years by the FEC, allowing candidates to hit their contributors up again and potentially double the primary contributions of the big donors. I don't think I like this.

From Political Wire:

  December Primaries Could Open Fundraising Loophole

  "If Iowa pushes its presidential caucus into December of this year, could candidates tap old money veins all over again? The payoff could be millions of dollars of new, unanticipated cash," reports the AP. "The possibility is sending campaign finance teams to the law books. A wrinkle in federal law could open a tempting new money cycle for 2007 that would allow candidates to solicit donors who have already given the maximum."

  "Under federal law, candidates can raise up to $2,300 from donors for primary elections and another $2,300 for the general election. Because the presidential nominating process requires numerous state primaries and caucuses, federal law states: 'All elections held in any calendar year for the office of the president of the United States (except for the general election for such office) shall be considered to be one election.'"

  "In short, a strict reading of the law means the contribution limits apply only to primaries and caucuses held in 2008. If a state moves its primary or caucus to 2007, it could mean a whole new cycle."

Take your medicine Florida (4.00 / 1)
And stop lying about the process.

NYT: "In arguing for the Democrats to allow Florida to go early, Ms. Thurman and other party officials said that the party had unsuccessfully fought the effort by Florida Republicans to move up the date. Again and again, party officials presented themselves as victims rather than protagonists, and asked the party to grant them relief because of that."


Don't lay it all on the Republicans feet, Ms. Thurman. The Florida House voted 118-0 to move the date and the Florida Senate voted 37-2 to move the date. It bill moving the election date was tied to a popular bill eliminating touch screen voting machines but it's revisionist history to suggest that Florida Democrats were victims of the Florida GOP. In real time, FL Dems supported the move. It's just false to say FL Dems were victims of circumstance. A 118-0 vote to move the primary date in the FL House should tell you something about the accuracy of Sen. Nelson and Karen Thurman. They tried to bully the DNC into changing the rules in the middle of the game and the DNC held firm. Here's how the Orlando Sentinel described the move on their election blog.

ORL Sent.:The House unanimously passed a sweeping elections reform package that scraps virtually all touch-screen machines and moves Florida's primary to Jan. 29. The bill now goes to Gov. Charlie Crist, who is expected to sign it into law.

Moving up the primary, which is currently in early March, would put Florida's contest behind only the Iowa and Nevada Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary - and on the same day as South Carolina's Democratic primary.

National Republican and Democratic leaders have said they will strip Florida of delegates to the nominating conventions if it moves its primary earlier than Feb. 5. The Democratic National Committee has said a candidate who campaigns in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 will be ineligible for receiving any of the state's delegates.

State party leaders have supported legislators who have argued Florida's diversity and size merit more influence in deciding the nation's leadership.


State party leaders supported the move. It's just wrong to pretend otherwise.


John McCain

Thank joejoejoe (0.00 / 0)
I'm one of those idiots that live in FL and can't afford to move the hell away. I'm also a realist in knowing that unless I plan to live another 50 or so years, FL will remain a retched Republican stronghold -hence my ultimate desire to leave. I'm also a foolish Democrat that thinks my small, insignificant voice/vote matters in the 'grand scheme' of things. If nothing else I was looking forward to knowing that whatever happened, I at least TRIED with my own pathetic, singular, minuscule vote to have my voice heard. What an idiot! I know now that when FL Democrats (Which I have NO control over) capitulates with a SOLID majority Republican legislature somehow its medicine I deserve.
I wonder if you feel the same regarding FISA, or Iraq spending, or nullifying the ability to strike Iran. (Examples of national Democratic capitulation as of late)
At the time I agreed with the idea of FL moving up its primary because I watched in horror as Iowa & New Hampshire decided Kerry was the best option. I had no idea of the extensive vagaries involved in moving the FL primary up. Especially unaware of the flat out conceit that tradition trumps reason in daring to allow ANYONE but Iowa & New Hampshire the decision on who should be the Democratic candidate. But mindful of those vagaries I silently assented to the notion of moving up the primary. I made no calls to my representative as she is a Republican and as I stated in another post I am a neophyte in attempting to keep up with the effects of, let alone affect, government.
And precisely what should I have said to this lady?!? http://www.sptimes.c...
Am I to believe anyone so brazenly pandering could possibly comprehend anything reasonable I might have to say?
The best I thought I could do was vote against her and continue to plot my escape from the sunshine state.

Incidentally if FL moving its primary up was such an ipso facto example of outright rule-breaking why was the decision to throw out all FL Dem delegates made public nearly 4 months after the idea was fixed into law? Oh right FL needs to be made an example of. In that regard it's helpful that we're talking about Florida right, 2000 anyone, anyone, Bueller?

So I guess I am privileged to watch in horror as HRC is decided to be the best option for Democrats. I can imagine who I'd vote for (Edwards) and then go ahead and vote Hillary in the national election. Just like these Kossacks suggest, http://dailykos.com/...
http://dailykos.com/... lest I not best not rile the real Democrats.
I am privileged to just take whatever the other states decide and go with the flow. My vote doesn't matter anyway right? I'm just from FL.

[ Parent ]
Your voice does matter (0.00 / 0)
The time for it to matter was in warning FL state party leaders NOT to pursue this path as the penalties were clear and foreseeable. When I got my email from the FL Democratic Party asking for my opinion (I'm in FL too!) on what to do with the primary move I said 'No, don't do it!' in my message. It was a bad bet to move the primary and it didn't pay off. You may be suprised, I am not. I also don't think people who make irresponsible bets with something as precious as my voting rights should be praised. I think they should have their proverbial ass kicked and that is what I was trying to do with my post above.

I've NEVER voted in a Presidential primary that mattered going back to 1988 and I've lived and voted in 4 different states. I want the system reformed too. I just don't think Florida has a unilateral right to fix it for themselves against the wishes of every other state.

The thing for Florida to do was take a leadership role in reshaping the entire process for fairness. Instead Florida's Democratic leaders decided FL residents were more important than New York or California or Illinois and tried to junk the entire process. Then when the DNC unsuprisingly stood up for all of it's members against the desire of Florida Dems to do things however the hell they want, those Florida Dems misrepresented the debate to blame Republicans.

John McCain

[ Parent ]
My voice matters, (0.00 / 0)
retroactively speaking.
Apparently your voice 'No, don't do it!' didn't matter much back then either.
Is that why you titled your post 'take your medicine FL'? Are you mad that your words meant so little in the end?
I realize you're angry at the FL Democratic Party, so why lump all of FL in the title?
For someone who wants to vote you seem awfully pleased to have no vote in the primary now. Guess that showed em huh.
That kind of cannibalizing won't attract many supporters.
I don't support FL bullying its way to the front of the line. I also don't support 2 states having a monopoly over the primaries. By the way, NH threatened to give the DNC hell when Nevada and South Carolina came up.
Considering how easily despised FL is http://www.mydd.com/... I doubt they would have much success in 'taking a leadership role' in much of anything. Those criticisms seemed prepared to be used whatever the occasion.
I'll just keep plotting my escape from the sunshine state and you can keep shooting yourself in the foot.

[ Parent ]
I'm mad... (0.00 / 0)
...that the very plain language in the DNC agreement is somehow beyond the comprehension of FL Democratic party. I'm mad that Karen Thurman blames Republicans for moving the primary date when it passed unamimously in the FL House. Other than that I'm basically content with the ruling - the DNC did the right thing, the easily foreseeable thing -- it enforced it's own rules, rules FL delegates to the DNC agreed to in Aug. '06 but now want to conveniently ignore. When I say 'Take your medicine Florida' I really mean it. I have no sympathy for smart people who can't comprehend plain language because they are drunk with self-importance and power.

John McCain

[ Parent ]

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