Wednesday, March 12, 2008

FDP Floating Vote by Mail Plan

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the Florida Democratic Party:
proposed a new vote-by-mail primary overseen by an independent commission.
I can't find a lot about the actual plan yet (nothing on the FDP's web site), but here's what I do know...

forethought has this diary with USA Today reporting:
The Florida Democratic Party plans to move forward with a June 3 vote-by-mail primary to restore the state's role in the presidential race
USA Today quotes the Florida Senate Minority Leader, State Senator Steve Geller as saying the plan will be announced Thursday or Friday.

I have seen an email from Florida DNC member Jon M. Ausman to FDP Chair Karen Thurman that starts out:

Thank you very much for the Vote-by-Mail (VBM) proposal submitted by the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) on 12 March 2008.
So apparently something is up.

I have been reading some of the comments in forethoughts' diary. Those comments are really what prompted me to write this diary. Because one thing is very clear to me. Most people commenting on this have never even laid eyes on the 2008 DNC Delegate Selection Rules. So before anybody else says something about the Rules, maybe you ought to read them first.

First, make no mistake. Florida broke the rules. The Florida Democratic Party submitted a Delegate Selection Plan under Rule 1 D. However, that plan did not comply with Rule 11 A which precluded Florida from holding its "first determining stage in the presidential nomination process" before February 5th, 2008. The FDP Delegate Selection Plan was rejected by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. However, the FDP has an open invitation to submit a plan that does comply with the Rules. That is what the FDP is attempting to do here. In the eyes of the DNC, this is not legally a "do over". That is because, per the DNC, Florida has not held a legal (that is within the DNC Rules) "first determining stage in the presidential nomination process".

Second, let's talk about state election laws. Or rather, let's not. Remember what we are doing here. We are not actually electing anyone to a State or Federal office. We are talking about a Party process. Remember, the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the FDP
proposed a new vote-by-mail primary overseen by an independent commission.
So we are talking about a party process overseen by someone other than the State of Florida. Hard to see how state election laws apply here.

Full disclosure time. I support Senator Barack Obama. But I think his campaign is taking the wrong tack here. Talk of somebody sitting down and deciding how Florida's delegates should be divided is totally dismissive of the voices of Florida's Democratic voters. It is more than OK to be concerned about the details of how this plan will be executed. And the Devil is always in the details. But to say that some back room deal should be cooked up to seat Florida and Michigan delegations is like sitting in a room figuring out who to send invitations to a party to. It is not about enfranchising the voters of Florida.

To Senator Obama I say, come on down here and campaign. Bring that great get out the vote machine with you. Let Florida's Democrats really get to know you. You'll do fine. You might even win. And you will win in the long run by supporting the right of Florida's Democratic voters to have an actual say in who the party's nominee is going to be.

It will pay off for you in the fall when you are our Party's nominee.


alonewolf said...

Hear, hear!

I agree and think both campaigns have taken the wrong tack. Obama's saying ignore the will of the voters and Clinton's saying ignore the DNC rules. Neither is appropriate and neither will work.

This is all a dangerous distraction. (as I said today in an email) Although I support and voted for Obama, I will vote and work for the Democratic ticket in the fall regardless of its make up and urge all Democrats will do the same. This election isn't about any individual candidate. It is about the future of this country and we cannot afford to allow partisan bickering to increase the chances for yet another Republican administration in control of the White House.

Liquid Sunshine said...

They should suspend the rules as a part of settling Ausman's appeal, and then make all of Florida's delegates into super delegates.

Just an idea.

That would scrub the entire Hillary Clinton sleight-of-hand, Oops I did it again thing with original primary.