Saturday, February 9, 2008

Truth Nipped in the Bud

There is a diary by nailbender up on DailyKos right now purporting to
dispel a talking point ... that the FL Democratic Party was bound by the decision of the GOP-controlled FL legislature and Governor to a January 29th date for the selection of Democratic Delegates.
This diary is being hailed as a
Great Diary with facts and info
Well, it's not a great diary. It does have some facts and info. But it does not have all the facts and it does not have all the info.

So, let's nip this in the bud....

Here is a document I am sure most of you have never seen. This document is the DNC Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. It is 27 pages long. And it is augmented by this document, which is the 36 page long Regulations of the Rules and By Laws Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Now in the DNC Delegate Selection Rules, Rule 3A states the following:
All official Party meetings and events related to the national convention delegate selection process, including caucuses, conventions, committee meetings, filing dates, and Party enrollment periods, shall be scheduled for dates, times and public places which would be most likely to encourage the participation of all Democrats, and must begin and end at reasonable hours.
Rule 11A states, in relevant part:
No meetings, caucuses, conventions or primaries which constitute the first determining stage in the presidential nomination process (the date of the primary in primary states, and the date of the first tier caucus in caucus states) may be held prior to the first Tuesday in February or after the second Tuesday in June in the calendar year of the national convention.
It goes on to provide the exemptions for the four "early states" of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But here we are at the heart of the problem, at least here in Florida. We had two different rules of the DNC Delegate Selection Rules brought into direct conflict with each other by the actions of the Republican controlled state legislature. Those are the facts. There is nothing to be nipped in the bud here.

The Florida Legislature is dominated by the GOP. It also has absolute authority to set the dates for presidential preference primary elections here in Florida. And the GOP has the votes in the Legislature to do exactly that - with or without the support of the votes of our Democratic legislators. And our legislature set the date for the Presidential Preference Primary as January 29th, in advance of the dates allowed by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

Now, the Florida Democratic Party did not have to elect to use the January 29th Presidential Primary as the
first determining stage in the presidential nomination process
This is true. However, if it wanted to comply with Rule 3A it did. Because no other method available to it was seen as likely to achieve the "particpation of all Democratic voters" as a primary election would. And here is Florida, Democratic leaders were determined to encourage the "participation of all Democratic voters."

The DNC Rules and By Laws Committee, however, was obviously more concerned with compliance with Rule 11A which protects the right of Iowa and New Hampshire voters to go first than it was with encouraging the "participation of all Democratic voters" in Florida.

Now that's the truth of the matter.

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