Florida Dems Drop Plan to Re-Vote, Is Michigan Next?
If Florida's delegates to the Democratic National Convention aren't seated, about 1.7 million voters who participated in the state's primary will, in a way, be disenfranchised. If Florida's delegates are seated, millions of Democrats who would have voted but didn't because they'd been told in advance that their vote wouldn't count, would also effectively be disenfranchised. (As the estimable Carl Hiaasen put it, "It's like Major League Baseball waiting until midseason and then declaring that spring training games will count in the final standings.") Either way, Democratic voters in one of the nation's biggest states would be screwed.
Florida Dems could have another primary, but there are some major legal and financial restrictions. They could try some re-vote-by-mail process, but no one is confident in the integrity of the system. Everyone has been trying to think of something, but to no avail.
So, yesterday, Floridians gave up.
Setting the stage for a contentious fight well into the summer, Florida Democrats gave up Monday on redoing their Jan. 29 presidential primary, leaving it to the national party or rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to hammer out a solution to make the state's delegates count.
Florida Democrats, who had already closed the door on holding a full-scale conventional election or a caucus, scrapped the controversial vote-by-mail primary they had proposed less than a week ago as their best option, saying it just isn't possible.
"While your reasons vary widely, the consensus is clear: Florida doesn't want to vote again. So we won't," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman said late Monday in a letter to Florida Democrats.Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is still pushing a proposal to have the DNC simply cut the state's delegate totals in half (instead of eliminating them altogether), but the Clinton campaign is reportedly opposed to the idea.
Obama supporters are offering an alternative, but it also seems a little too controversial.
[Allan Katz, of Tallahassee, who supports Obama] is recommending that the [Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee] give Florida its delegates back -- but award half to Clinton and half to Obama. Florida activists would be allowed to participate in the convention, but the ground rules for the primaries wouldn't be changed after the fact.
"Fifty-fifty is the way to do it, and I don't think there's any other fair conclusion," Katz said. "Everyone agreed -- Hillary Clinton agreed, Barack Obama agreed -- that we weren't selecting delegates in the Jan. 29 election, so how can we do that now?"That has some advantages -- Florida's delegates would at least be seated and recognized -- but there's no way on Earth that the Clinton campaign would approve of a solution that erased her margin from the primary that wasn't supposed to count.
And what about Michigan?