Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled Michigan's presidential primary law unconstitutional because of a provision that would give the list of voters' partisan preferences from the Jan. 15th primary election to the Democratic and Republican parties only. The AFL-CIO brought the suit in January on behalf of the Green, Libertarian and Reform parties and the judge agreed with them that it infringed upon their constitutional rights. While the Clinton campaign had hoped the judge would order a re-vote as a remedy, she did not and in fact insisted that her decision had absolutely no bearing on the presidential election at all.

Since the judge made no effort to address the disenfranchisement of Michigan from the primary process, the Clinton campaign took the opportunity to call for a state-run primary re-vote.

"In the wake of today's court ruling regarding Michigan's January 15th primary, we urge Senator Obama to join our call for a party-run primary and demonstrate his commitment to counting Michigan's votes."

{crickets}

But does her ruling really have no bearing on the nomination battle? At least one Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson thinks this decision actually puts the nail in the coffin of the re-vote prospects altogether since it bars the Secretary of State's office from handing over the lists that would be needed for a re-vote to occur.

"We need those lists to prevent people who voted in the Republican primary from voting in the Democratic do-over. Those are DNC rules," said spokeswoman Liz Kerr, referring to the Democratic National Committee. "This is basically the final straw in preventing us from having a do-over election."

But are those the DNC rules? Marc Ambinder calls bullshit. Is this statement perhaps tipping Howard Dean's hand? Hmm, wonder of this is the sort of thing that Harry Reid meant when he said "things are being done" to make sure the nomination ends well before the convention.

[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]Liz Kerr is a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, not the DNC, so there's really no reason to think she's channeling Dean here, but rather communicating the message that as far as the MDP is concerned a re-vote is dead.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, Michigan primary, re-vote (all tags)

Comments

62 Comments

When do we get a re-vote on Ohio 2004?

by bobdoleisevil 2008-03-26 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

lol he says the rules don't say that but he doesn't even give us a link to the rules.

so does anyone know where the rules are or what part we would look at?

basically how does he know the  rules don't say that?

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

actully it seems it IS in the rules

http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/ de68e7b6dfa0743217_hwm6bhyc4.pdf

Rule 2.e. states:

"No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential
candidate who also participates in the nominating processes of any other party for the
corresponding elections."

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Yes, but there is such a thing as legislative intent.  The current situation has to be about a million miles removed from whatever the rulemakers had in mind with this provision.  Do not become a Scalia!

by rfahey22 2008-03-26 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Frankly, I agree with you -- I'd love to see the DNC make a concession in this case and suspend the rule.

I haven't seen anything indicating they're willing to do so, however.  Have they even been asked?

by Rorgg 2008-03-26 07:23PM | 0 recs
I disagree, this is exactly the intent of the rule

to prevent Republicans (or those far out of the mainstream of the Democratic party) from strategically manipulating the Democratic Party nominating process.

Same reason we have superdelegates.

I don't see a good solution here. I wish I did. It's a train wreck.

by clawed 2008-03-26 09:30PM | 0 recs
And Scalia says ...

... when the text is clear, stick with the text.  Don't go to fuzzy versions of what the legislature "really" meant.

by Adam B 2008-03-27 04:41AM | 0 recs
Ambinder is correct: I'll explain

Rule 2.e. states:

"No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential
candidate who also participates in the nominating processes of any other party for the
corresponding elections."

This rule does not require states to implement any specified process to assure that persons may not vote in both nominating processes, such as by consulting a list. Read it: it applies only to "persons," not to "states." If Michigan makes its best effort to comply with this DNC rule, for example by making people sign a statement saying they didn't vote in the GOP primary, there's no reason under the sun that this rule would bar them from conducting a primary that is fully compliant with DNC rules.

by Trickster 2008-03-26 08:52PM | 0 recs
Fair enough

but be careful what you wish for, you are putting Republicans on the honor system...

by clawed 2008-03-26 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Fair enough

you are putting Republicans on the honor system...


Yes that is just how we got the country in Iraq.  And the Republicans set up some sort of Honor System for bankers and look how well that worked.

by Fred in Vermont 2008-03-27 03:39AM | 0 recs
Hmmm...

Why is this the candidates' issue?

Neither Hillary nor Barack caused this.  Their getting involved is just weird to me.

Sure, it can appear "noble" (bbbuuttt, the VOTERS! - They have to have a VOICE!)

The reality is that this is a consequence for an action that is far beyond the candidates.  Either way is fine - revote or not, but why would Clinton and Obama need to weigh in on this?  It's not really their doing nor theirs to undo.

by sick of it all 2008-03-26 06:44PM | 0 recs
True

I've never heard of an election where candidates manage the affair.  Some would call that a conflict of inteerest!  Imagine that.

But at this point what's another disingenuity? The rules were agreed upon long before re-writing them became politically expiedient.  So go ahead.  Who believes in icebergs?  Engines:  Full Ahead.

by Quicklund 2008-03-26 06:50PM | 0 recs
We could always settle it by

having the candidates shoot free throws. ;)

by clawed 2008-03-26 09:33PM | 0 recs
Harry Reed

"Hmm, wonder of this is the sort of thing that Harry Reid meant when he said "things are being done" to make sure the nomination ends well before the convention."

It might well be part of it.  A small part I'd venture, since the MI re-do already seems long past moot.  But it might well be one small tooth on a cog.

Politics ain't beanbag.

by Quicklund 2008-03-26 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Harry Reed

My guess is that nothing happens until after the last primary, then the leadership pressures the candidate behind in delegates to drop out & the Supers to support the delegate leader.  

Way too many people want this to end before the convention.  Right after the last primary is the first best place to do it.

Oh, and as soon as that happens, MI & FL become non-problems, my guess is that as a condition of being seated, they'll be told who to vote for as determined above in the first ballot.  

I know, it's not fair, but then MI & FL shouldn't of broken the rules in the first place, whey were warned. They got greedy, now they pay the piper.

by NvDem 2008-03-26 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Hmm, wonder of this is the sort of thing that Harry Reid meant when he said "things are being done" to make sure the nomination ends well before the convention.

Is it really necessary to posit conspiracy theories regarding a federal judges decision?

How exactly is this helpful?

by liberty and fraternity 2008-03-26 06:46PM | 0 recs
Does not refer to the judge

I understood the comment to refer to the bureaucratic insistance on having the voter lists.  That does not involve the judge in any CT.  It is merely to point to teh judge's ruling, explain how that causes a technichal difficulty in the Party, and then dragging one's feet t prevent any re-vote.

That is what I took the allegation to mean. That would be no CT.  That woul d just be using parlimentary procedures to kill an unwanted political initiative.  That's called politics.

Which, as observed, ain;t beanbag.

And it is sorta of encouraging, as we want to know our untimate candidate is a fighter!

by Quicklund 2008-03-26 06:55PM | 0 recs
What did the judge really decide?

 It is merely to point to teh judge's ruling, explain how that causes a technichal difficulty in the Party, and then dragging one's feet t prevent any re-vote.


It sounds to me like the judge found not the whole election to be "unconstitutional" but rather just the provision of the Michigan law that only made the list of who voted in each primary available to the party involved in that primary.  It was that provision which created a problem because clearly the DNC rules say that people who vote in the Republican primary can't vote in the Democratic one.

If both primaries are held together and you have to select one ballot or the other this issue takes care of itself.  But if you decide you want to have a revote then you really need the list of voters in the Republican primary to enforce the rule.

So now the judge has said that the part of the Michigan election law that says that list is only made available to the Republican party in unconstitutional.  But what would be the remedy for this? Could the Michigan Democratic party petition the state to get the list of voters in the Republican primary and prevail on the grounds that provision limiting the availability of that list to the Republican party in unconstitutional?

The suit the judge ruled in might have just asked for a declaratory judgment and if that is all the judge did then the next step would be for the Democrats to demand the list.  Of course this all may well be moot since the Michigan lawmakers seem to have rejected the idea of a revote.  However if the problem with knowing who had voted in the  Republican primary was the real reason they had rejected a revote I suppose they might want to reconsider.

But I don't see how Hillary's demand the Barak somehow get involved adds much.

 

by Fred in Vermont 2008-03-26 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: What did the judge really decide?

The judge decided that small parties should have had the same access to voting information as the larger parties. And will not allow this information to be made available to the Democratic party for potential use this year.

Since that did not happen, Michigan must change its primary system looking forward. Most likely they will hold their primaries on the same date like most primary states do. In that case they vote in one primary or another, but only one vote per person. It is not necessary in that case to have such lists made available.

But the result of the elections was not overturned and there is no guidance as to how the Democratic Party should handle it's Michigan problem other than that they won't be able to access these lists.

And so, it's still the Democratic Party's problem, but there are now less options on how it can be fixed.

by clawed 2008-03-26 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

to be fair, when someone says "things will be done" you're just iinviting conspiracy theories.  try to imagine harry saying that, and stroking his fingers like mr. burns, or doing dr. evils pinky thing. it's not hard is it?

by Doug Tuttle 2008-03-26 07:15PM | 0 recs
Yes

But it is being handled by "top men"...

by clawed 2008-03-26 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

Just a thought on the allowing revote.  Let's say we allow a revote in either Florida or Michigan.  What sort of presedent does this set for 2012 or 2016?  You can't move your primary or else?  Or else what?  We'll let you revote in a couple of months later?  There would be no consequence for their actions.

They broke the rules.  They knew what would happen if they did break the rules.  They did it anyway.  Sorry, there has to be consequences or the next primary season will be a better mess.

by chewie5656 2008-03-26 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

...but in fact, the DNC has said quite clearly that the concept of a revote is fine.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

I hadn't heard that.  Thanks for replying.  This thing is such a mess.  If it didn't cause any issues in the next primary, I'm cool with a revote.

I honestly just wish both of these candidates would stop being so negative.  This is really hurting our party.

by chewie5656 2008-03-26 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

I think actually, a revote is a GOOD result in terms of setting the right precedent for next time.  Any outcome where the January election doesn't count would send the message that if you violate the rules, you're going to have an expensive election for nothing.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

Good point!!!

by chewie5656 2008-03-26 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

This only works it the STATES pay for it. if the campaigns or rich supports foot the bill, well . . .

by poserM 2008-03-27 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

I stated this above but I will do it again.

the revote was fine because the party thought they would get the lists, and they NEED those lists becuase of this rule

http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/ de68e7b6dfa0743217_hwm6bhyc4.pdf

Rule 2.e. states:

 

"No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential  candidate who also participates in the nominating processes of any other party for thecorresponding elections."

no list, then there is no way for them to comply with this rule, then they won't do a re-vote because it would obviously be in violation once again of the DNC rules.

so why hold ANOTHER re-vote if it will only once again violate the rules. this is why a re-vote in MI is probably dead.

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

I don't agree that they need the lists because of the rule.  The rule can be satisfied in a number of ways.

For example, if the state had a procedure that required voters to sign a pledge, under penalty of perjury, stating that they hadn't voted in the Republican primary in January, my educated guess is that the DNC would deem that to be a satisfactory procedure.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

heh. well as the very diary we are commenting in seems to point out.

the Michigan democratic party disagrees and feels that they DO need those lists before they will do a re-vote.

and honestly how will they check the pledges? then EVERYONE would just vote because the judge just ruled that the lists of people who voted can't be released

so how do you actually prove who committed perjury? since the only way to prove it can't be released!

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

Well, perjury is a crime that's prosecuted by the state, and the state obviously has access to the lists.

I don't believe that most people would choose to engage in voter fraud, when the penalties are severe, and your vote has only a minute impact on the election.

I wouldn't necessarily take Brewer's statement as the final word on the subject.  They may not have talked through these other options yet, or they may have decided a revote is dead regardless and it would behoove them to point the finger at a federal judge instead of taking the heat themselves.  It's worth waiting to see how this shakes out.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

honestly I think its that the state doesn't want to go through the hassle of a revote so they will point fingers at the judge and this rule and say see we can't do a revote.

I mean you have to then get the State and the DNC to agree on how they won't violate the rule

so then you basically have to get the lists released now, and I am not even sure of all the legal hassles but they just cant release it thats what this judgement states

so then we are talking about an appeal and what not

this is time and money that I doubt Michigan wants to go through (remember the polls they did show that only 33% want a re-vote) that is alot of time and money when only 33% of 1 of the parties in the state even want it.

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

...actually, as I re-read the article, I see Brewer pointing the finger of blame at the ACLU.  Heh!

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

basically because of all this and that comment below mine

a re-vote is dead.

unless everyone in MI has no problem with their party preference being made public, but I do see this happening do you :-P

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

The DNC need to maintain this rule-- it is part  of why they challenged the blanket primary in CA (CA v Jones 2000). If they concede about allowing people to vote in the other party's primary they could be ceding ground on this question.  

by hctb 2008-03-26 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled

also it should be noted that Obama's campaigns problem with the re-vote was this very rule!

they didn't think it should apply since so democrats crossed over and voted in the GOP primary since the democratic one wouldn't count

now if they did a revote THOSE people can't now vote in the re-vote and is that really fair to them?

the rules where changed after the fact had they known there would be a redo they wouldnt have voted.

THIS was the problem with the Michigan revote, and THIS is what they had been debating

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:14PM | 0 recs
there is the rub

now if they did a revote THOSE people can't now vote in the re-vote and is that really fair to them?


Now that it looks like Michigan might need to let the Democratic Party use the list of Republican primary voters we come to the other problem.  The DNC rule talks about excluding anyone who


participates in the nominating processes of any other party for the corresponding elections. [emphasis added]


But how does an election with Obama not on either ballot "correspond" to an election where he is on the ballot?  You could make a case that since there will be different candidates on the ballot the Republican primary held at the same time as the first Democratic primary does not "correspond" with the new one.

That takes care of the people who voted in the Republican primary because their candidate was not on the Democratic ballot, but it opens up a much bigger problem.  All of the ditto heads who are told that Good Republicans should game the Democratic primary so that Hillary can, in Rush's words, "bloody up" Obama would be able to come and support Hillary as they seem to have done to a significant extent in Texas and Ohio.

No wonder Hillary feels safe in challenging Obama to support this sort of a revote.

by Fred in Vermont 2008-03-26 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: there is the rub

it doesn't go by people on the ballot it is what is it for.

and it would still be the primary to nominate the 2008 presidential election nominee

the exact same election that the Jan 15th republican primary was for, to elect the 2008 presidential election nominee

so no they are still the same and the rule still applies

and obvious since he wasn't on the ballot he knows he probably had alot of voters cross over and if there is a revote Obama wants them back.

and its not fair to them that they rules changed mid way through and they get screwed out of their vote counting where they want it to count.

by TruthMatters 2008-03-26 07:39PM | 0 recs
Why, oh why, did Hillary agree

...to the DNC penalties in January, and yet leave her name on the ballot as tacit participation in a faux election? Why didn't her campaign protest then? Why did her campaign WAIT FOR THE RESULTS, and then demand another election, or demand that the delegates be seated per the election she AGREED was bogus? Why is her campaign arguing that this is somehow the candidates' affair to dictate or manage?  This is between the DNC and the violating states. A little late to be lamenting about "disenfranchising the voters." That time was BEFORE the bogus vote. And strange, not a peep from Hillary's campaign then. Why would that be, I wonder?

by rhetoricus 2008-03-26 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

by rhetoricus 2008-03-26 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Indeed.  There have been rescheduled votes before.

The big problem here is that the states kept holding out this concept, backed by one of the candidates, that the uncertified contests were going to count anyway.

If everyone had been clear and consistent from day 1 that the uncertified contests just were plain meaningless, then they could have rescheduled two months ago and they'd probably have already voted again.

by Rorgg 2008-03-26 07:12PM | 0 recs
Not Sure If Anyone's Posted This Yet

But this diary seems like a great place for it...

Statement from Campaign Manager Maggie Williams on New Vote in Michigan

In the wake of today's court ruling regarding Michigan's January 15th primary, we urge Senator Obama to join our call for a party-run primary and demonstrate his commitment to counting Michigan's votes.

Senator Clinton has consistently urged that the 600,000 votes cast by the people of Michigan be counted and if that is not possible, that a new election be held.

Michigan voters must not be disenfranchised and the Obama campaign must not continue to block Michigan's efforts to hold a new vote. Rather it should move quickly to announce its support for a party run primary.

Michigan will be a key battleground state in November. Disenfranchising Michigan voters today will, in the heat of a general election, provide Senator McCain with a powerful argument to use against the Democratic nominee. We cannot allow this to happen.

The people of Michigan must be counted and their voices finally heard. What the people of Michigan need now is just action, not just words.

We need to find a way forward out of this mess - a revote is the only way to resolve it.  My folks back in Michigan MUST HAVE THEIR VOTES COUNTED dammit!

by alegre 2008-03-26 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Sure If Anyone's Posted This Yet

I didn't know you were from Michigan, alegre.  Me too.  In fact, I've appeared in front of Judge Edmunds before, she's a tough customer.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Sure If Anyone's Posted This Yet

Yeah - I grew up north of Detroit, went to MSU and then moved out to DC to intern for Carl Levin in '84.  Been working, playing and lovin' life in the DC area ever since ;o)

by alegre 2008-03-26 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Not Sure If Anyone's Posted This Yet

Funny, I'm from the same area, and also an MSU alum.  Let's hope for a big win come Friday!!

Now, I never worked for Sen. Levin, so there we diverge.  But my great-aunt sorta used to baby-sit him, no joke.

by Steve M 2008-03-26 11:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Well, then the DNC and Michigan Democratic Party and legislature need to work something out.

by Rorgg 2008-03-26 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Marc Ambinder called bullshit, but didn't back it up with any facts. Actually, he himself blogged about the DNC's rule 2.E 9 days ago, acknowledging that the DNC rules DO prohibit cross-over participation (as has been pointed out by several commenters above):

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/arch ives/2008/03/not_technically_a_hurdle_in _mi.php

Not Technically A Hurdle In Michigan

17 Mar 2008 09:30 pm

I said this might be a hurdle.

Turns out that DNC rules do prohibit cross-over participation. The state party has to comply with rule 2.E, which states:

   "No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential candidate who also participates in the nominating process of any other party for the corresponding elections."

by along 2008-03-26 07:38PM | 0 recs
There absolutely should be a do-over.

I absolutely think there should be a do-over in MI and FL.  A lot of voters stayed home during the primary becuase they were told it didn't count.  They are the voices that are truely being disenfranchised.  

Only a legitimate do-over can fix that.

That being said, I find it a little disingenuous for the candidates to insist that the do over be a primary or a caucus.  I can remember a time not long ago when Clinton's campaign said it would not accept a revote in MI or FL and now they're criticising Obama for not "commiting" to one.  That doesn't sit well with me.

by DawnG 2008-03-26 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Michigan legislature is in recess.  There will be no re-vote.

by leshrac55 2008-03-26 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio
The Michigan and Florida Democratic Party operatives did this to themselves. If the Democrats in those two states don't like the fact they were disenfranchised let them take care of it by removing those party poobahs.
Meanwhile like life, there are no do-overs. Sorry.
by usedmeat 2008-03-26 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary

This is a mess.

Because the Republican nominee is already decided and we're talking about an open contest.

So we will have a much larger percentage of Republicans than usual voting in such a contest if one takes place.

I think the prospect of primaries like this is why superdelegates were written into the current Democratic rules - because they didn't want Republicans pushing a candidate through our nominating process for strategic reasons.

If I were leading the DNC there is no way I would allow such a contest to take place.

by clawed 2008-03-26 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

This sucks.  I really would have liked to see a solution that allowed for a MI revote.  One can only hope that the people of MI (and FL for that matter) find some good Dem challengers to unseat the morons that allowed the primary dates to get bumped up, knowing full well that they were voiding the votes of their constituents.  

by thatpurplestuff 2008-03-26 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

This sounds like where you bitch to (a) your Governor (b) your Congressman and (c) your Senators.  

Get enough people together doing that & they'll get the message to the state legislature, in no uncertain terms.

Much easier to go after three targets and let the message roll downhill.  

by NvDem 2008-03-26 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

That honestly sounds like a great idea to me.  If I was a bit less busy and a bit more motivated, I would get a list of contact info together and make a diary about it.  We seem to all be focusing on trying to fix the problem (which is a good idea) but I almost never hear anything about the people who created this problem to begin with.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-03-26 10:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Is this statement perhaps tipping Howard Dean's hand? Hmm, wonder of this is the sort of thing that Harry Reid meant when he said "things are being done" to make sure the nomination ends well before the convention.

by Kobi 2008-03-26 10:23PM | 0 recs
A tough one

Obama supporter here (always feel the need to preface that).

I really struggle with this.  I like to consider myself fair minded and would love to see full re-votes take place.

I think the DNC got caught this primary cycle by the length and competitiveness.  Im no campaign historian so I will gladly be proven wrong, but I dont remember an actual campaign being this long and competitive.  I know theyve gone deeper in the calendar but they never started this early before.

I think the DNC had to act firmly on primaries jumping the system (no matter how flawed the system is) and all agreed in the beginning on the consequences and the consequences were known.    

My guess is the DNC figured this would be a normal campaign and it would be over before Michigan and Florida could become festering sores.

But now Florida and Michigan are important - and I believe that.  But I want it to be fair and I think they must be punished in some fashion.  They moved up illegally to become king makers and they shouldnt be allowed to be so in the end - even though it appears they still could be.

But since we know these two candidates are in it through August, what do we do?

Whats a just punishment first?

Some have mentioned being stripped of half their delegates.  Which is apparently allowed and has been done before (on the repub side I believe - again, willing to be corrected).  Im OK with this but it still doesnt seem wholly right, but Im willing to listen to other punishment options.  But they must be punished.

Then on to what to count and how to count it.  I am of different minds for the two states.  I give Florida a wee bit more sympathy than Michigan (for which I have none).  I believe the dems got outflanked in Florida.

So for Florida I suggest counting half based on the original vote and if no other revote/caucus is held the other half being split 50/50 between the two (if a revote is held then those results would allocate the other half).  So Clinton would get a bump in pledged delegates.

As for Michigan?  Im damned if I can think of something equitable.  Under no circumstance should the original vote be counted in any way.  Any arument counter to this is disingenuous to say the least.  We are dems here and fairness is priority one.  Sure each side has their little pet petty argument, but cards on the table honesty, the original election is bunk.

So then how do we allocate Michigans delegates?  50/50?  That doesnt seem right because its not really reflective of anything then is it?  And now based on this jazz from this article, a revote seems DOA.  But could a firehouse caucus still be had?  I know the Clinton side is not keen on caucuses (even though I remember hearing firehouse caucuses are more like primaries - dont know for sure though).  But I would like to think that at this juncture in the game, with so much on the line that the Clinton side could mobilize, get over their caucus fear and with enough press on the subject and the view of the political world on the 'Michigan do over caucus', that any advantage Obama might have would be easily wiped away and it would be more fair than other caucuses.  If this were to happen, then I would be fine with counting the results and allocating the delegates based on those results.

Other than that, Im stumped on Michigan.

In the end, I dont think there is any truly 'fair' option at this point.  Id love to see do-overs in full, but I cant see how that would happen.

by pattonbt 2008-03-26 11:32PM | 0 recs
Whatever the solution..

1) Michiganders who voted in the GOP election because they were told the Dem votes would not count (all my friends voted Ron Paul, for snark), should be able to vote for the Dem candidate. They should not be kept out, since they had no warning that their GOP vote would disqualify them in a "real" primary later.

2) Troublemaking Republicans should absolutely not be able to participate and exert a "Limbaugh liberal" effect.

So, I think that could only leave a caucus solution.

by rhetoricus 2008-03-27 07:12AM | 0 recs
Pelosi, Reid and Dean cannot with a straight

face say that the tallies of the pledged delegates and the popular vote - that DO NOT include Florida and Michigan - represent the 'will of the people' --

Bredesen
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/030 8/9217.html

I hope is aware of this as well.  

by Molee 2008-03-27 05:07AM | 0 recs
No re-vote that..

keeps out the people who voted GOP in January (as I've said, my friends voted Ron Paul for snark, since they were assured a vote cast for a Dem would NEVER be counted)

or that allows current Republicans to exert a "Limbaugh liberal" effect can be considered the "will of the people" either.

That, to me, leaves only a caucus limited to Democrats, which Hillary's campaign won't agree to.

by rhetoricus 2008-03-27 07:16AM | 0 recs
"Things are being done"

Can someone expand on this or post some links with thoughts on what Reid might be doing?  Sorry if I'm being dense, but I don't get it and would like to understand it better.

Thanks.

by joanneleon 2008-03-27 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law Ruled Unconstitutio

Obama and his supporters sound too much like Bush with their "Stay the Course" logic.

"It's the rules, the rules", as if they were chiseled in stone and handed down from the Lord behind a burning bush.

If the DNC made "the rules" then the DNC can correct "the rules".

Funny how Obama has no interest in recognizing two huge states.  I though he was the Great Uniter?  He can't even unite the Democratic Party, how will he ever unite left and right?

The sign of true leadership is the ability to Change Course when it has become obvious that the course is leading to a rocky grave.

Instead, Obama acts like the Great Divider himself.

Barack "Stay the Course" Obama, time is running out.

by wblynch 2008-03-27 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan State Primary Law
Todd, Your idea about what to do with FL sounds like a fine resolution.  50% based on the vote, 50% distributed 50-50.
Michigan delegates could be distributed based on the percentages earned by the candidates in the other 49 states. That way the delegates would be seated, and Michigan would be lucky to get some resolution.  Certainly Obama is not responsible to fix it, but the DNC could implement a fix as soon as the primaries are over.
by cando 2008-03-27 05:23PM | 0 recs

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