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May 28, 2008
DNC Lawyers Say no full representation by FL and MI at Convention
In what is sure to be a huge disappointment to the Clinton campaign, DNC lawyers are saying there is no way that the Rules and Bylaws Committee can restore full delegate representation to Florida and Michigan before the convention.It is probable that the committee will decide very little since they can only award half the delegates and there remains no good way to divide them that would satisfy both sides.
This means one of two outcomes; either Florida and Michigan win a reduced seating role at the convention this Saturday when the committee meets or Clinton takes her case all the way to the convention credentials committee where she is guaranteed to lose:
A Democratic Party rules committee has the authority to seat some delegates from Michigan and Florida but not fully restore the two states as Hillary Rodham Clinton wants, according to party lawyers.
Democratic National Committee rules require that the two states lose at least half of their convention delegates for holding elections too early, the party's legal experts wrote in a 38-page memo.
The memo was sent late Tuesday to the 30 members of the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee, which plans to meet Saturday at a Washington hotel. The committee is considering ways to include the two important general election battlegrounds at the nominating convention in August, and the staff analysis says seating half the delegates is "as far as it legally can" go.
Saturday's meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, with Clinton supporters among those encouraging a protest outside demanding that all the states' delegates be seated. Proponents of full reseating have mailed committee members Florida oranges and pairs of shoes to get their attention.
It may all become moot if Hillary Clinton drops out of the race prior to the convention. But if Clinton decides to fight, she will face a credentials committee full of Obama partisans and Howard Dean puppets who would almost certainly deny any effort to seat the full delegations the way she wants.