The Michigan Proposal is Unfair to Hilllary
This is the supposed Michigan compromise.
The state party’s executive committee voted today to ask the national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee to approve the 69-59 delegate split when it meets May 31. The plan would shrink Clinton’s delegate edge in Michigan from 18 to 10 and allow the state’s 157 delegates and superdelegates to be seated at the convention.
Clinton won the Jan. 15 Michigan primary and was to get 73 pledged delegates under state party rules, while Obama was to get 55. The state also has 29 superdelegates.
The 69-59 split was proposed last week by four prominent Michigan Democrats who have been working for months to find a way to get Michigan’s delegates seated at the Aug. 25-28 convention in Denver: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and DNC member Debbie Dingell.
Shorter version: It not only gives Obama all of the uncommitted delegates, a number that includes those who voted for uncommitted for Edwards, it includes those who voted for Dodd, Kucinich and Gravel and gives him some that voted for Hillary. [More...]
A separate plan submitted to the rules committee by Democratic National Committee members Joel Ferguson of Michigan and Jon Ausman of Florida, both superdelegates, apparently will be withdrawn now that the Michigan executive committee has settled on the 69-59 plan. Under their proposal, delegates would have been allocated based on the primary election results, but have had only half a vote each. The superdelegates would have had full voting rights.
On April 29 when it was proposed, I wrote a long post outlining why the planned Michigan compromise was unfair to Hillary. I'm just going to reprint it below as my thoughts haven't changed.
Michigan Primary Results (Jan. 15, 2008)(from MI Secretary of State's office):
Chris Dodd 3,845
Dennis Kucinich 21,715
Mike Gravel 2,361
As I wrote here,
On January 15, 2008, 594,398 Democrats went to their polling places and voted in their state's primary. The official Michigan election results are here.
328,309 Democrats in Michigan voted for Hillary Clinton. She won all but two counties, Washtenaw and Emmet. 238,168 voted uncommitted. 21,715 voted for Dennis Kucinich. 3,845 voted for Chris Dodd. 2,361 voted for Mike Gravel.
Hillary got 55% of the vote. The uncommitted, who either were truly uncommitted or for Obama, Edwards or Biden, all three of whom voluntarily withdrew their names from the ballot, got 40%. Kucinich, Dodd and Gravel won 5% of the vote.
Barack Obama proposed he get 50% of the state's delegates. That would be vote-stealing. It would be disenfranchising 5% of Hillary's voters. It would be assuming that every uncommitted voter and every voter for Kucinich, Dodd and Gravel now want their vote to go to Obama.
As to all the Michigan plans proposed so far, none are fair to Hillary. I think all the delegates, not half of them, should be counted. Hillary should get her's now. Those who voted uncommitted should be seated at the convention as uncommitted votes and they choose between Hillary and Obama then, if the race is still going on.
From the letter sent today by the Michigan Democrats:
The Clinton campaign has taken the position that the results of the January 15 primary should be honored and that Senator Clinton should receive 73 pledged delegates in accordance with the vote she received. The Obama campaign has taken the position that the January 15 primary results should be ignored and that the 128 pledged delegates should be seated but evenly divided between the two candidates. Both candidates have a basis for their argument. The January 15 primary result was flawed because Senator Obama’s name was not on the ballot. He took his name off the ballot, interpreting the DNC injunction and the New Hampshire pledge against campaigning in Michigan to require him to take that affirmative step. As a result, we cannot totally agree with the Clinton campaign’s position that the outcome of the primary should be honored and that the pledged delegates should be apportioned 73/55 (Clinton/Obama). At the same time, we also cannot accept the position of the Obama campaign that the primary should be totally ignored and the pledged delegates should be evenly apportioned 64/64 between the two candidates, given the fact that almost 600,000 Democrats voted in the January 15 primary, 55% of whom voted for Senator Clinton and 45% of whom voted for Uncommitted or other candidates.
....As a result, we recommend that the Michigan Democratic Party request the DNC to seat Michigan’s delegates, and that the pledged delegates be apportioned 69 to Senator Clinton and 59 to Senator Obama. That approach splits the difference between the 73/55 position of the Clinton campaign and the 64/64 position of the Obama campaign, based on our belief that both sides have fair arguments about the Michigan primary. While we expect that neither candidate will explicitly embrace this approach, we believe that the DNC should adopt it and both candidates should accept it because it is fair and because it would resolve an impasse that with each passing day hurts our chances of carrying Michigan and winning the Presidency. We also believe that the DNC must exercise the leadership to resolve this impasse and not allow it to fester any longer.
As to the plan to seat all the superdelegates and half the pledged delegates, the letter says:
Mr. Fergusons’s proposed remedy – seating Michigan’s so-called super-delegates with a full vote, and seating Michigan’s pledged delegates with a half vote – is unacceptable to us on two grounds. First, we cannot agree to a remedy that allows for super-delegates who didn’t run for the position to have a full vote, while pledged delegates selected by the voters have only half a vote. Second, we see no justification for seating Michigan’s delegates with anything less than full voting rights. If Michigan is punished for fighting the DNC’s decision to grant New Hampshire a waiver, it will hurt the Party’s chances of carrying Michigan in November.
Michigan is a toss-up state. Democrats cannot afford to lose it. That's exactly what will happen, I predict, if voters in Michigan either don't have their votes count in determining the nominee or if they voted for Hillary and see their vote being given to Obama.
The plan to seat 1/2 the delegates looks DOA. Obama's response to today's proposal:
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of the decision, “It is clear results in January won’t be used to allocate delegates, and we agree with that decision. We have been talking with Michigan leaders about this proposal and will continue to do so.”
Meanwhile, John McCain is busy courting voters in Michigan:
He attended a fundraiser in the state Tuesday night with former rival Mitt Romney before holding a town hall meeting this morning at Oakland University in the Detroit suburb of Rochester.
“Clinton and Obama have boycotted Michigan for a long time while John McCain has been getting to know us,” state Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis said in his blog.
Barack Obama removed himself from the Michigan ballot and may get the delegates from those who voted for Dodd, Kucinich and Gravel, those who voted uncommitted, which includes those who voted for Edwards or truly were uncommitted and and 5 of HIllary's delegates.
This is fair? This is new politics? This is vote-stealing.
Update: 11:00 pm Comments now closed.
|< The Electoral Map vs. the Primary Map | Thursday Night Open Thread >|