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September 24, 2007
Florida State Democratic Party and DNC Playing Chicken
The state Democratic Party of Florida has decided to go ahead with their plans to hold their presidential primary on January 29 - despite the ruling by the Democratic National Committee that no delegates from Florida would be seated at the convention if the state held a primary before February 5:
The Florida Democratic Party announced Sunday that it would move ahead with its plan to hold its presidential primary on Jan. 29 despite the national party’s decision to block the state delegation from the 2008 Democratic convention. They may not campaign in Florida, but will the Democratic nominee seat the delegates from Florida at the convention anyway? Apparently, this is the game of chicken being played by the state party:
State party leaders said that even if none of the state’s delegates were seated at next summer’s Democratic presidential convention, the earlier primary would still help determine the nominee.
The Democratic National Committee voted last month to strip Florida of its delegates unless it decided by Sept. 29 to obey party rules and delay its primary until Feb. 5 or later. Then, under pressure from the four states permitted to hold contests in January, the major Democratic candidates pledged not to campaign in Florida if the primary was moved ahead.
Whether to seat Florida’s delegates at the convention would ultimately be up to the presumptive nominee, said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Broward County. Rather than risk the wrath of Florida voters, Ms. Wasserman Schultz said, the party nominee will undoubtedly seat the delegates. I think the state party is correct. No nominee would dare offend voters from such a large state. Meanwhile, Michigan is still agonizing over its own decision to hold an early primary on January 15, being threatened with the same fate as Florida if they don't back down. It would seem likely that Michigan too will risk the wrath of the DNC and slip its primary in before South Carolina while pushing the Iowa Cacuses and New Hampshire primary back to the beginning of the month.
“We’re going to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear on that convention floor,” she said, adding that the state’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation supported the decision to stick with Jan. 29.