MI/FL: The DNC Changed The Rules

By Big Tent Democrat

This horse has long been beaten to death, but this thoughtful diary about the MI/FL fiasco ignores the fact that, as commenter dhonig points out, it was the DNC that changed the rules of what the punishment would be for moving up the Mi and FL primaries. Rule 20(c)(1) of the DNC Rules on Selection of Delegates at the time the date changes were enacted by Michigan and Florida stated:

Violation of timing: In the event the Delegate Selection Plan of a state party provides or permits a meeting, caucus, convention or primary which constitutes the first determining stage in the presidential nominating process to be held prior to or after the dates for the state as provided in Rule 11 of these rules, or in the event a state holds such a meeting, caucus, convention or primary prior to or after such dates, the number of pledged delegates elected in each category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent, and the number of alternates shall also be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state’s delegation. In determining the actual number of delegates or alternates by which the state’s delegation is to be reduced, any fraction below .5 shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any fraction of .5 or greater shall be rounded up to the next nearest whole number.

(Emphasis supplied.) The DNC, led by Howard Dean and Donna Brazile, changed the penalty rule for moving up a primary and ignored the violations of the rules by Iowa, NH and South Carolina.

These are the facts. Too many conveniently ignore the villains in this piece, the DNC, Howard Dean and Donna Brazile. I will not let them off the hook for this disaster.

Update [2008-2-15 17:29:13 by Big Tent Democrat]: I want to add that Rule 21 states:
Subject to Rule 18.C. of these Rules, wherever any part of any section contained in these rules conflicts with existing state laws, the state party shall take provable positive steps to achieve legislative changes to bring the state law into compliance with the provisions of these rules. Provable positive steps shall be taken in a timely fashion and shall include: the drafting of corrective legislation; public endorsement by the state party of such legislation; efforts to educate the public on the need for such legislation; active support for the legislation by the state party lobbying state legislators, other public officials, Party officials and Party members; and encouraging consideration of the legislation by the appropriate legislative committees and bodies.

My understanding is that Florida Dems took these steps in as timely a fashion as was possible. I think there is a strong argument that the DNC flat out violated its rules regarding Florida.

Update [2008-2-15 18:24:25 by Big Tent Democrat]: See also dhonig's excellent diary.

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    how different (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:07:54 PM EST
    would the current camp narrative be, had the dnc played by its own rules?

    campaign narrative (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:08:27 PM EST
    that is.

    isn't there a certain (none / 0) (#47)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:13:36 PM EST
    ex post facto aspect to that? and doesn't that raise the question of the additional sanctions being arbitrarily imposed, particularly in light of no sanctions having been imposed on ia, nh, and sc?

    depends (none / 0) (#56)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:29:53 PM EST
    whether you consider the violation to have occurred when the primary date was officially changed, or when the primary was held. but once the date was changed, there wasn't much the florida democrats could do.

    i don't think the delegates, as they are, should be seated. i do think both sides share enough blame that both sides need to make some compromises on how to resolve it.


    Kudos to you for digging this up (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by felizarte on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:08:27 PM EST
    This could be one of the reasons that the Obama campaign seems to be frantic.  Please do not let this issue die.

    seat half those delegates, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Turkana on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:11:17 PM EST
    and add those popular votes, and suddenly we have a different race.

    how are they (none / 0) (#68)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:36:43 PM EST

    That's what gets me... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:16:00 PM EST
    Two states are punished 100%, three states with zero punishment. If folks cry about rules being applied, ah, they weren't. That's selective application, and worse upon worse -- AGAIN -- on FL.

    If anything, FL and MI should have what the rules state: 50% reduction in delegates. It's the same punishment the GOP put on FL, and they're not fussing over it.

    BTW, FL couldn't even move the date back. The FL legislature blocked it, so even if they wanted to move the primary date back, they couldn't.

    50% reduction would be fair, because FL and MI did indeed violate the rules. Even fairer is to apply them to the three states that also moved their primaries ahead (not happening, but that is absolute fairness -- never a possibility in politics, and thats sickening).

    (sigh) I used to think Dean Speaks for Me.... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by katiebird on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:18:28 PM EST
    I feel awful.  I just quit MoveOn & DFA over this issue:

    I'm outraged by the Super Delegate issue.

    With the threat of 2 states FL & MI not being seated at our convention, you're pandering to One Candidates (perceived) interest with this petition.

    Do you really want Tweety looking over the convention floor talking about how Historic it is NOT that the 2 candidates are Hillary & Obmama -- but that we aren't seating 2 states?

    This SuperDelegate issue is a SHAM

    If you were really interested in Democracy, you would be demanding representation for FL & MI.

    I QUIT.

    I Hear Ya... (none / 0) (#116)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:39:22 PM EST
    The only reason I haven't is beacuse I want to see what they are doing next.  But I have written them both to say that Obama has paid almost $700,000 to superdelegates since 2005 compared to $195,500 from Clinton.  They should be careful for what they ask, and for their implications.  Who knows - the media might actually start doing its job at some point!!  

    I could not BELIEVE MoveOn endorsed someone, ANYONE, that early, and with 10% of its membership voting, or its ALLEGED membership voting.  (As I understand it, there were quite a few shenanigans involved in that whole vote thing, like ballot box stuffing...Merely anecdotal, though.)


    Does Anyone Actually Know Why (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:24:09 PM EST
    the DNC decided to strip them of 100% of their delegates rather than the 50% mentioned in the rules?

    The Question Was Why 100% And Not 50% n/t (none / 0) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:35:58 PM EST
    Don't know why but the rules permit it. (none / 0) (#23)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:39:16 PM EST
    Rule 20(C)(5), to be exact.

    The Fact That They Could Possibly Decide On (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:10:47 PM EST
    stricter sanctions does not answer the question of why they would chose to do so. The 50% rule allowed them to impose penalties on MI and FL for not abiding by the rules without completely disenfranchising the voters in two states that we need to win the GE.

    To me the DNC's actions went beyond stupid and completely ignored the harm that they might be doing to the party. BTW, my feelings on this issue are not candidate related.


    I acknowledged that it didn't explain why (none / 0) (#64)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:35:24 PM EST
    My best guess is that the DNC was really trying to impose order and keep the states from leapfrogging each other, so they decided to come down extra-hard.  Law of unintended consequences strikes again.

    It violated Rule 12 (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:09:14 PM EST
    Or if your prefer, "changed" Rule 12.

    How on Earth you folks can pretend it did not change Rule 12 is beyond me.


    Perhaps we're looking at different rules? (none / 0) (#60)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:33:42 PM EST
    This is the one I'm referring to.

    I don't see what bearing Rule 12 has.  Can you please clarify?


    Rule 20c1 (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:36:44 PM EST
    So Rule 12 was a typo? (none / 0) (#75)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:44:49 PM EST
    I agree that Rule 20(C)(1) sets the default punishment, but 20(C)(5) does authorize additional sanctions.  So then we're just arguing whether "additional sanctions" encompasses additional delegate stripping.  There are decent arguments on either side: expressio unius suggests it does not, but it also says "without limitation".

    It's not Hillary that loses (none / 0) (#82)
    by katiebird on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:51:55 PM EST
    if the delegations aren't seated -- or if the summer drags on with Obama trying to decide if he'll allow them to be seated.

    It's Obama who'll lose.


    Oops (none / 0) (#92)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:58:10 PM EST
    I see lower you did say you meant Rule 20(C)(1).  I'll keep my posts on this here to avoid further confusion.

    20(C)(5) says "Nothing in the preceding subsections of this rule shall be construed to prevent the DNC Rules & Bylaws committee from imposing additional sanctions ... against a state party and against the delegation from that state.  (emphasis added).

    So it does speak of additional sanctions against the delegation.  Also, 20(C)(5) expressly states that 20(C)(1) should not be construed to limit sanctions, which is exactly what you appear to be arguing.


    That is false (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:48:22 PM EST
    The DNC stripped them and THEN there was a pledge. All an forced pander to Iowa and NH, two other villains of this piece.

    The villains of this piece are the DNC, Dean and Brazile.


    dhonig (none / 0) (#94)
    by standingup on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:59:41 PM EST
    has posted a full diary Florida Law, DNC Rules, Punishments, and Primaries covering this in greater depth.  It certainly appears Brazile overstepped the DNC rules and started the Rules Committee down the wrong path.  

    I don't see any good solution here that is fair to the voters, candidates and doesn't hurt the party.  I would be in favor of asking Brazile for her resignation from the DNC for her part in contributing to this mess.  


    I Think Obama Should Spend A Lot Of (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    his remaining campaign time telling everyone that the votes in MI and FL should not count. Not including those votes will do wonders for his primary campaign and will definitely insure that he will carry those states in the GE.


    Does This Make Obama Look Dishonest? (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:43:21 PM EST
    TAMPA - Barack Obama hinted during a Tampa fundraiser Sunday that if he's the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, he'll seat a Florida delegation at the party's national convention, despite national party sanctions prohibiting it. Link

    I notice that you say hinted (none / 0) (#55)
    by independent voter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:26:06 PM EST
    and you do not have an actual quote from the candidate.
    What the article said is, "He'll do what's right by the Florida voters"
    I will make the argument that it is open to interpretation.

    fine, if you will also demand that (none / 0) (#51)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:18:27 PM EST
    Hillary explain why she agreed to these sanctions, and why she felt that these votes should not count.

    And then, of course, as an additional explanation, why now, all of a sudden, they should.


    You are lying Tano (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:36:15 PM EST
    Please stop it.

    Clearly you have a fair argument to make, Obama idd not get to campaign there.

    Stick to that instesad of lying about the pledge.


    could you please explain (none / 0) (#84)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:52:19 PM EST
    Hillary was quoted in an interview, justifying leaving her name on the ballot, claiming it dindt matter, the vote would not count.

    If you are going to accuse me of lying, please have the courtesy of specificying exactly what you think is false.


    She did not pledge the vote would not count (none / 0) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:59:29 PM EST
    An interview in Iowa about this is absurd.

    Please stop with the lying.

    this is the flip side of people saying Obama promised to seat the delegations. all lies. all of you stop lying.


    Not to me not at all (none / 0) (#71)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:39:27 PM EST
    The Rules are for Everyone, Every State. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:02:38 PM EST
    If South Carolina and others are not to be penalized, Florida and Michigan should not be penalized either. They should be seated along with South Carolina and the others.

    FL, IA, MI, NH and SC all broke the same rules. (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by john5750 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:11:33 PM EST
    Rule 11.A specifically set the date for the primaries & caucuses for those three states as ,"no earlier than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February" (Iowa), "no earlier than 14 days before the first Tuesday in February" (New Hampshire), and "no earlier than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February" (South Carolina).
    Iowa held their caucuses on January 3rd. That's more than 22 days before the first Tuesday in February. New Hampshire held their primary on January 8th. That's more than 17 days before the first Tuesday in February. And South Carolina held their primary on January 26th. That's more than 7 days before the first Tuesday in February.

    The fact is that "the rules of the game" were changed to continue to give Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina preferential treatment in the Democratic Party's presidential nomination process.

    Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, all violated Rule 11.A., but only Florida and Michigan were punished for it.

    If you're going to enforce the rules, then the rules need to be applied equally and fairly.

    i think it is a bit more comlicated than that (none / 0) (#54)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:23:45 PM EST
    The rules of the game were that IA, NH, SC and NV would go first.

    While you could argue that they broke the rules by changing their dates, you would also have to acknowledge that they did so only in response to FL and MI moving up (breaking the underlying rule) and by changing their dates the 4 of them were actually trying to keep in place that underlying rule that all agreed to - that those 4 would go first.


    Rule 21 (none / 0) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:34:06 PM EST
    simplifies it for Florida.

    Florida got ROYALLY screwed by the DNC.


    Delegate selection (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by residents77 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:17:49 PM EST
    Whatever one does in MI and FL will be unfair to someone.  Caucuses are unfair.  Superdelegates are unfair.  Including independents and Republicans in some states is unfair.  Let's face it:  It's a stupid system.  How about this:  The DNC pays for a national election, Democrats only, between Clinton and Obama, most votes wins?  It's clean, simple, and will generate lots of interest and enthusiasm (plus, it makes the DNC foot the bill!)

    I suggest (none / 0) (#97)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:14:48 PM EST
    the two candidates participate in an episode of American Gladiator.  I actually think it would be more fair than what we're experiencing.

    In a fight Obama's got the reach... (none / 0) (#102)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:34:51 PM EST
    But hillary knows how to take a hit and come up swinging.

    Not sure I follow (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:18:24 PM EST
    Candidates agreed not to campaign, and more or less stuck to it.

    How is that related to the votes counting? Just because candidates don't campaign does it somehow negate the votes? So do the votes of states where a lot more campaigning occurred somehow counts more than more neglected states?

    they not only agreed not to campaign, (none / 0) (#52)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:20:01 PM EST
    they also agreed that the votes would not count, and the delegates would not be seated.

    Hillary had supporters on the committee that passed on this, and she was fully supportive.


    That is false (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:35:28 PM EST
    I am confused (none / 0) (#72)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:40:48 PM EST
    how is that false?

    That she pledged the votes would not count (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:58:08 PM EST
    We have gone over this many times.

    But some of you persists in LYING about this.

    Stop lying.


    You are being needlessly hostile (none / 0) (#96)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:06:53 PM EST
    They may be wrong, although that remains unclear.

    But you have absolutely no evidence to suggest that either Tano or Boss are lying.  That is uncalled for and goes against the spirit of this blog.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#114)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:12:15 AM EST
    but I DO know they are lying because this has been gone over repeatedly AT THIS BLOG with THOSE COMMENTERS.

    The Boss is a repeated;y banned troll.

    Tano is lying here deliberately.


    Can you please point out something (none / 0) (#103)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:46:50 PM EST
    That shows the candidates agreed the votes wouldn't count? Not something someone said, but an actual matter of record.

    To turn a beauty contest into a vote (none / 0) (#83)
    by Maggie on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:52:10 PM EST
    that 'counts' is unfair to the voters who stayed home believing it was a beauty contest.  

    And the lack of campaigning is unfair to the voters who had the right to have the sort of attention from the candidates they would have had if they were allowed to campaign.

    This is my make-or-break deal with Hillary. It's just dishonest to try to treat this as a 'real' vote when it was neither advertized as a real vote nor subjected to the real campaigning that proceeds real votes.  That's bad enough.  Trying to make a claim for MI is miles beyond the pale. Kudos to Bob Kerrey, a Clinton supporter, for placing respect for the integrity of the political process ahead of his preference in candidates.

    The only way to 'fix' the problem in FL and MI is to schedule a real primary.    


    To those who hate her (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:57:18 PM EST
    Who really are not her audience anyway.

    Whoa... (none / 0) (#112)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:27:59 PM EST
    The DNC had nothing to do with the issue to  campaign or not campaign in FL or MI.

    The lack of campaigning was voluntary by all who signed the 4 State Pledge - the so-called "beauty contest" was created by the candidates themselves - the DNC is not at fault for this (except for allowing the NH, IA, SC and NV Chairs to even issue the Pledge)  


    Who stayed home?  Every account I have read stated that FL delegates would be seated at the Convention. So the primary was indeed a vote for delegates to the DNC convention.


    FL Campaign (none / 0) (#115)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:31:24 PM EST
    See, here's the thing - Obama VIOLATED the Campaign Pledge, and aired both tv and radio ads in FL.  HE campaigned there; Clinton, Edwards, and the rest did not.  Yes, it was voluntary, but he signed it, then he violated it (not unlike his pledge to run a positive campaign - THAT train sure left the station early).  So, he should be the LAST one complaining about this!

    The right to vote is one of the most precious Americans have.  For Floridians, who came out in RECORD numbers, to have THEIR votes stripped, when others all around them have theirs COUNTED, is reprehensible.  And FLoridians HAD NO CHOICE - the Republicans are the ones who pushed them into this corner, and we're going to add insult to injury???  (As for MI, give the Undeclared votes to Obama, and do the 50% thing.)


    Except... (none / 0) (#117)
    by AmyinSC on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:59:15 PM EST
    That Obama DID campaign in FL.  And a RECORD number of Democrats turned out to vote, believing, apparently, that their votes WOULD be counted at some point.  I just cannot discount 1.7 MILLION votes in FL, and over half a million in MI.  Sounds like much more than a "beauty contest" to me (that's a media phrase, btw  - they used that one a lot to diminish Clinton's landslide win in FL).

    DOnna Brazile said on CNN that this is not the first time this has happened, and the state appeals to the DNC to get their delegates seated.  A board just for that purpose will be set up fairly soon.  Typically, the delegates ARE seated.


    Why should they count? (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by magisterludi on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM EST
    I can't even tell you how much it pains me to read anyone dismiss the individual voter in defense of what amounts to candidacy advocacy.

    Exactly, DNC leadership are the culprits (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jim J on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:09:40 PM EST
    "Dr." Dean seems to always get a pass for his frequent boneheaded moves.

    but if they seat the delegates (none / 0) (#6)
    by athyrio on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:15:05 PM EST
    Al Sharpton (none / 0) (#35)
    by magisterludi on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:56:20 PM EST

     has the potential to destroy BHO as a candidate if he does not reel in his rhetoric.

    Sharpton actually made sense to me when he himself was a candidate, but he is a poison pill in the GE for BHO if he keeps the race issue front and center.


    Now there are two thoughtful (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:15:14 PM EST
    from years past who've been drowned out by the primary noise at dkos.

    Well Bob Kerrey, a HRC supporter, (none / 0) (#10)
    by maritza on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:23:44 PM EST
    contradicted Hillary's position today on whether to include the Florida/Michigan delegates.  He said "You don't change the rules in the middle of the game.  Period."...  "No new vote and no new caucuses, either.  Just stick to the rules that they agreed to".


    I guess he didn't get the memo...LOL!

    Fine, suppose they don't count (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by g8grl on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:55:45 PM EST
    How then do you suppose that Democrats go back and campaign in FL and MI in the general election?  How do we compete against the Republicans after we said we didn't want their votes?

    Rules Are The Rules And Must Be Obeyed (none / 0) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:16:16 PM EST
    regardless of the cost. So, if it loses the GE and this puts a Republican in the WH in 09, we can all be happy because the rules were obeyed to the letter. <semi-snark>

    LOL! (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:26:31 PM EST
    Then we stick to the rules - count 50% of the delegates.

    LOL! Sheesh.


    No rules were broken (none / 0) (#29)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:47:42 PM EST
    Rule 20(C)(5) permits the Rules & Bylaws committee to impose additional sactions.

    Rules were changed (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:09:54 PM EST
    at the least.

    I believe they were broken. But they were certainly changed. There is not a doubt of that.


    Rule 20c1 and Rule 21 (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:37:23 PM EST
    appear to have been violated by the DNC.

    "Rules" (none / 0) (#39)
    by magisterludi on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:05:58 PM EST
    don't make a damn bit of difference to voters that expect their voices to not only be heard, but be counted. All this inside politics stuff is thoroughly lost on the average citizen. And everything I have read that describes the dem process of nomination points to dissarray and sloppy process.

    It also projects that any candidate who wins the nomination will have a pall cast upon them because of said disarray.


    You are ignoring (none / 0) (#15)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:30:21 PM EST
    that Rule 20(c)(5) allows the DNC to impose additional sanctions.  The DNC didn't "change" the rules in the same sense that a decision by the convention to seat the FL/MI delegates wouldn't be "changing" the rules.

    Should be Rules and Bylaws comm., not DNC (none / 0) (#17)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:32:08 PM EST
    Not ignoring it at all (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:46:31 PM EST
    "additional" means in addition to the delegate penalty. But the sanctions on delegates is governed by Rule 12.

    The sanctions refer to OTHER actions taken, not further actions taken regarding the delegates.

    Your interpretation renders Rule 12 a nullity.


    It's Rule 20(C)(1)(a), not Rule 12 (none / 0) (#34)
    by JJE on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:54:25 PM EST
    That determines the punishment for violations of the timing rule.  The 50% is a minimum, not a maximum.

    That is simply false (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:08:04 PM EST
    Rule 12 determines the delegate punishment BY ITS EXPRESS AND SPECIFIC TERMS.

    Rule 20 does not even mention delegates at all. It mentions "additional sanctions."


    Rule 20c 1 (none / 0) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:35:05 PM EST
    Not rule 12

    Actually, I think this is likely (none / 0) (#16)
    by kjblair on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:31:54 PM EST
    I think seating 1/2 of the FL delegates 'as is' and seating 1/2 of the MI delegates with the uncommitted allocated to Obama is the most probable solution. And you could argue that it is more closely adhering to the spirit of the DNC rules than most of the other options people are pushing. (On both sides.)

    That helps Hillary but doesn't totally overcome her deficit in pledged delegates. Leaving the uncommitted as uncommitted gets her to within 76. Allocating the uncommitted to Obama leaves her 104 delegates behind.

    I'm basing this only on pledged delegate numbers since the superdelegate numbers can change much more easily. (They're definitely not as tied down as the pledged delegates are.)

    Question (none / 0) (#18)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:32:28 PM EST
    What does this part refer to?

    In addition, none of the members of the Democratic National Committee and no other unpledged delegate allocated pursuant to Rule 8.A. from that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the state's delegation.

    Doesn't it mean that that "Florida's delegates will not be seated, or, if seated, will not be able to vote, at the National Convention" as per Rena's reference to the wikipedia article? I've assumed that that was the basis for not seating them - does it refer to something else? It's certainly puzzling that it says "in addition."

    It refers to Super Delegates imo (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:45:03 PM EST
    {{shudder}} I don't think I realized that. (none / 0) (#30)
    by katiebird on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:48:09 PM EST
    What have they DONE?

    Then isn't that the basis for not seating them (none / 0) (#33)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    at all - i.e., not a rule change? It says none of them shall be permitted to vote.

    No (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:56:31 PM EST
    It refers to UNPLEDGED delegates.

    clearly that is only the Super Delegates.

    If that is Rena's argument, she is stone cold wrong.


    Never mind (none / 0) (#37)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:59:00 PM EST
    Got it on the re-read. Yes, that's clearly what it means.

    It's not a distinction she makes (none / 0) (#48)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:15:55 PM EST
    The implication left is that the rules were clear ahead of time that NO delegates were to be seated.

    She's wrong again (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:34:41 PM EST
    Rena is not a lawyer as far as I know.

    They pledged not to Campaign (none / 0) (#22)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:38:52 PM EST
    In Fl your name is put on the Ballot by the state.  

    Not really. The major political parties (none / 0) (#111)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:10:16 PM EST
    submit names to the Florida SOS.


    October 31 Deadline for major political parties to submit list of presidential candidates to the Secretary of State for the Presidential Preference Primary ballot (Section 103.101, F.S. - By October 31 of the year preceding the Presidential Preference Primary)

    Obama signed the Pledge on September 1, 2007

    Obama filed to remove his name from MI ballot on October 9, 2007.

    Obama had 3 weeks to tell the FL DNC NOT to put his name on the FL ballot... why didn't he?


    Adults are acting like children (none / 0) (#24)
    by Joike on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:39:36 PM EST

    People need to look forward in this campaign not backward.

    Florida and Michigan will not have delegates seated based on the straw polls that occurred earlier this year if the nomination is still in doubt.  If one candidate has clearly won by the time of the convention, the DNC may decide that no harm can be done by reversing themselves and seating the delegates.

    If the DNC decides to allow both states to hold new elections, I'd be fine with that.  If the DNC decides to leave bad enough alone, I'm fine with that as well.

    Seating these delegates would simply compound the original bad decision.

    Clinton can try to pressure the DNC to seat the delegates, but she risks winning the nomination and causing a serious rift within the party.

    At some point, one of the two candidates has to be a team player and concede.  It wouldn't be an easy choice.  Both have put their heart and soul into campaigning.

    One of them has to lose and when that finally occurs, I hope that person can enthusiastically endorse the other.  And the rest of us, if we care about the future of our country need to close ranks behind the winner and move on to the general election.

    I promise you not one hour into the GOP hatevention (or fearvention) in Minnesota we will all be huge Obama or Clinton supporters.

    Glad to know you would be fine with it (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 03:44:40 PM EST
    Actually, I lied. I do not care what you are fine with actually.

    Ok BTD What is our remedy? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:32:25 PM EST
    How do we force the DNC to apply the rules as they were intended?  This seems the appropriate fix correct the original error, and Dean and Donna should resign for the good of the Party.  

    Credentials committee (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:33:19 PM EST
    Who takes the action (none / 0) (#65)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:35:25 PM EST
      do we hire an attorney, who would have standing?

    I'm thinking of forwarding this post to (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:50:16 PM EST
    HRC campaign, which should then have the savvy to run with it, find the proper plaintiff, and assist that plaintiff/plaintiffs with obtaining savvy counsel.  

    She does ot know that (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:56:21 PM EST
    The fight will be decided at the Credential Committee.

    This is a political question now.


    Hold On (none / 0) (#90)
    by Salt on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:57:19 PM EST
    Hillary sure is impacted so is Obama, but it is the voter whose vote is being suppressed by not counting their delegates, that is who has been injured.

    Actually, I misspoke, as I don't (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:05:16 PM EST
    think any court of law would determine it had jurisdiction to litigate whether or not the DNC broke its own rules, much less whether Obama and/or Clinton "campaigned" in FL, much less whether Obama's vol. decision to remove his name from the ballot in MI invalidates the vote of the MI caucuses.  

    Credentials committee (FL and MI Dem. org.) plus public opinion is the route to go.  


    The candidates pledged not to participate (none / 0) (#76)
    by cmugirl on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:44:56 PM EST
    No, no, no!  Please stop parroting the Obama talking points.  They never pledged not to participate - they ONLY pledged to not campaign.  They could still fundraise and still leave their names on the ballots!

    did they agree (none / 0) (#77)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 04:47:15 PM EST
    that the vote would not count?

    No. How could they? (none / 0) (#113)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:37:57 PM EST
    The primary was a vote to select the delegates to the convention and everyone knows that the delegates will be seated.

    The question is not if FL's voted counted (it did!) but if the delegates should be seated and have a their vote used to select the nominee.


    On Day One (none / 0) (#99)
    by satyr9us on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 05:19:08 PM EST
    The horse race is the horse race. What I want to know, irrespective of who wins:

    What are they going to be up to on day one?

    Let's make our democracy more democratic-- let's all play a role in setting the agenda.

    The Boss (none / 0) (#105)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:37:59 PM EST
    lets take your logic for a spin you state on various comments that section 5 says;
    Nothing in the preceding subsections of this rule shall be construed to prevent the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee from imposing additional sanctions
    ok let's say you are right and as far as I'm concerned you are not but for the sake of argument let's say its true.
    It does say preceding.

    Section 8 that does not precede section 5 says;

    A state party may provide in its Delegate Selection Plan the specific method and procedures by which it will reduce its delegation pursuant to this Rule 20 in the event the state party or delegation becomes subject to this Rule 20 by which categories of delegates must be reduced by fifty (50%) percent, which specific method and procedures shall be subject to the review and approval of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee.

    Notice is says "must be reduced by fifty (50%) percent.

    somehow that shows the intent of those that wrote the rules that it shall be reduced by 50% as stated in section 1 a..

    and pleas notice that on this section (none / 0) (#106)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 06:40:30 PM EST
    it on methods and procedures that the committee may rule.

    Not to mention the ways section 21 opens the door to other arguments.


    Did the FL Dem. party do its due diligence (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:00:25 PM EST
    after the FL Legislature set the new primary date?

    Occulus I don't know (none / 0) (#108)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:06:08 PM EST
    but then I am not a Democrat my wife is.  I could research the subject.  And the due diligence has to do with Rule 21 and the boss was talking about rule 20.  I put in the part about rule 21 to show that there are other avenues to be pursued by the FDC if they are going to appeal the decision even if the DNC had only imposed the 50%.

    O.K. Seems important b/4 the (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:16:05 PM EST
    FL Dem. party makes its case to the cred. committee that it have its chips in a row.  

    Agree with you 100% (none / 0) (#110)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 07:21:37 PM EST