Michigan/Florida Myths, Mistakes and Misinformation
I wanted to set a few things straight prior to the May 31 RBC meeting. There has been a lot of bad memes and misinformation floating around regarding all that has happened and I thought I should clear up a few of the larger ones.
According to Ballenger, the senator could not have done the same thing in Florida -- the other state whose primary was unofficial -- as there was no state law there that allowed a candidate to remove his or her name.
This excuse more often appears as the urban myth that he couldn't remove his name because he wouldn't be able to be on the general election ballot. Both are wrong. A candidate only signed the affidavit after the list made it to the Department of State. So here's how it works:
October 9, 2007
Some of the candidates removed their name from the Michigan ballot.
October 26-28, 2007
FDP has state convention. At the end of the convention the ballot list is voted upon. Any candidate could have contacted the FDP prior to this to ask to be removed from consideration. The state is NOT involved at this point.
October 31, 2007
The list of candidates from each party is due to be turned into the Secretary of State.
November 6, 2007
The Presidential Candidate Selection Committee meets. Any candidate can be added or deleted via a unanimous vote by those members of the same political party. For a Dem that would be the FDP chairperson, the minority state Senate leader and the minority state House leader. Any candidate could have contacted the Secretary of State or a member of the committee prior to this date to ask to be removed. No affidavit would have been required.
From the statutes
Each person designated as a presidential candidate shall have his or her name appear, or have his or her delegates' names appear, on the presidential preference primary ballot unless all committee members of the same political party as the candidate agree to delete such candidate's name from the ballot.
November 7, 2007
The PCSC turns over the list to the Department of State. The Department of State notifies by mail each candidate. Only at this point, the affidavit would come into play.
So the candidates had a month and 2 separate ways to remove their names from the Florida ballot.
Clinton only candidate on Michigan ballot.
Candidates asked to remove names from the ballot.
There's the fact that Hillary Clinton's name and the uncommitted slate was the only thing that was on the ballot in Michigan because the Democratic National Committee asked the other candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot. So, here you have the institution itself asking people to pull their names off the ballot.
[Fellow panel member says: "Not the other ones; they asked all of them.]
All of them, yes. That's what--I don't know what I just said-But, OK, that's what I thought I said.
This covers two mistakes. First of all, Clinton was not the only candidate on the ballot.
Secondly, the DNC did not ask any of the candidates to withdraw their names. Nor did the writers of the 4 state pledge. Which is why its important to note the first item in my list - they could have withdrawn from the Florida ballot but didn't even try.
Millions of people didn't vote
This report - A Problem with Seating the Florida and Michigan Delegates Based on Existing Primary Results - was quoted far and wide in the blogosphere. The authors claim:
Democratic voters should have numbered 2.85 million and 1.305 million in Florida and Michigan, respectively. Given actual numbers of 1.7 million and 590,000, an estimated 1.15 million Floridians and 715,000 Michiganders stayed home on primary day, who otherwise would have voted had they behaved like voters in other states.
I wrote a diary at MyDD debunking this. I won't repeat it all here but I'll quote this:
Let's look at that with the other closed primary states.
Average Dem Turnout 40.74%
Median Dem Turnout 41.75%
Actual Florida Dem Turnout 42.30%
Projected Florida Dem Turnout based on Repub Turnout 68.89%
No closed primary state came close to the turnout these authors decided Florida should have had.
I may add a few more to this diary later today, but I wanted to post it as soon as possible since the RBC meeting is Saturday.
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