On Saturday, the Democrat Party decided to give Florida and Michigan their seats back for the National Convention in Denver. Not all of the seats that they are entitled to, however.
The history on how this came about goes back to 2007. Florida and Michigan wanted a more prominent role in choosing the nominees for President. Florida has a Republican Congress and a Republican Governor, however, it was a Democrat that first proposed moving their primary up the order. The Democrat National Committee warned them that if they moved their primary to an earlier date, they would be penalized by not allowing Florida to seat their delegates.
Michigan also wanted to move their primary up earlier so they too could have more of a say in the nomination. Michigan has a Democrat Governor, a Democrat House and a Republican Senate. They too were told that they would be sanctioned with the loss of their delegates being seated at the convention. Florida moved their primary up to January 29 and Michigan moved theirs up to January 15.Please note that the people that decided to move the elections up were the Congresses of each state. It was not decided on by the people of the two states.
The Republican National Committee penalized the two states by removing half of their seats at the Republican Convention in September. The DNC removed all seats of both states for their Convention the end of August.So what we had was the RNC and the DNC both penalizing the voters of the two states for the actions of the elected officials. All of the Democrat candidates agreed to follow the DNC rules which included no campaigning in the two states.
From this point, I’m going to mostly confine my remarks to the state of Michigan because I’m in Michigan and a little more familiar with what’s happening and happened here.Prior to the Michigan Primary, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, along with Senator Joe Biden, former Senator John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson, all candidates, decided to remove their names from the ballot in Michigan.On January 15, 2008 Michigan held its’ primary.
Due to so many of the Democrat candidates removing themselves from the primary in Michigan, the state decided to add another unnamed candidate. They called this candidate “Uncommitted”. So if you were voting for a Democrat, your choices were Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich (who did campaign in Michigan despite the rules) and Uncommitted.Clinton won the Democrat primary. Her take from this victory was 73 delegates which represented the vote she received. The other named candidates have since dropped out of the race, but the votes they received were insignificant. Uncommitted however came in second place.
Let’s stop for a second and talk about what this has done in Michigan to this point. When Presidential candidates come to a state, they naturally generate business in the areas that are visited. Usually, this means visits to the Detroit area on the east side of the state, the Grand Rapids area on the west side of the state and Traverse City in the northern portion of the lower peninsula of the state. Citizens show up for these events. A chance to meet possibly the next President of the United States.
When they show up, they visit businesses in the area, which helps the economy of the area. This is especially important in Michigan which is currently in a one state recession and has been for nearly four years. The revenue generated from these visits wouldn’t do as much as the baseball All Star game a few years ago, or the Super Bowl game two years ago, but it does create economic activity in the area.
Let’s move ahead to Saturday, May 31, 2008. The rules committee of the DNC met to hear why Florida and Michigan should be permitted to seat their delegates. There were three proposals put forth to allow these delegates and how many for which candidate.The officials from the State proposed dividing the delegates up between the two remaining candidates based on exit polls from the primary. Their reasoning was that had Obama been on the ballot, Clinton’s victory would have been closer. They proposed that Clinton get 69 votes and Obama get the remaining 59 votes.
The Obama campaign gave their proposal which was to take Michigans delegates and split them 50/50 because Obama wasn’t on the ballot due to the primary not counting according to the DNC rules as stated prior to the primary.The Clinton campaign said that Clinton should receive her 73 delegates based on the vote. However, their exit polls showed that Obama only received 75% of the uncommitted vote, with the bulk of the remainder going to Edwards.
The DNC rules committee decided on the Michigan proposal. This took the actual votes that Clinton had won and removed four delegates from her, giving the balance to Obama who wasn’t on the ballot. This meeting was a farce. It very much reminded me of the election of 2000. We all remember that election. It took 35 extra days, and numerous court visits. Florida laws were tossed aside during this process and we were subjected to county workers holding ballots up in the air, staring at ballots and deciding how the voter INTENDED to vote based on whether the chad was hanging, pregnant or any of the other descriptions that they used. What it boiled down to was that elected officials were determining how people voted regardless of whether the voter voted that way or not.
This meeting on the 31st was much the same thing again. The DNC took delegates away from Hillary Clinton that she had earned by keeping her name on the ballot. She received the votes, but the DNC told some of the voters that their votes didn’t matter. That THEY have decided that it’s fairer to remove votes from Clinton and give them to Obama despite the fact that he chose to remove himself from the ballot. Again, this is reminiscent of the election in 2000 in Florida. The Gore campaign wanted a recount, but they only wanted a recount in certain areas. With each recount that was taken, both during that 35 day election process and every recount done since by various news organizations and others, Gore lost each time. Yet the Democrats, to this day, only talk of how they were cheated out of the 2000 election.
Getting back to the Michigan delegates, again, elected officials in the state moved the primary up. Not the voters. The DEMOCRAT National Committee’s rules committee decided to take votes away from the Michigan voters that chose Clinton and give some of them to Barack Hussein Obama, who chose not to be on the ballot. With each of these elections, the Democrats don’t seem to want the voters to decide, nor to follow the wishes of the voters. In addition, they stripped Michigan of half of it’s delegates. So even the votes that did come in, they only counted as half.I think it’s probably easier to say that the Michigan elected officials put the voters of Michigan in a precarious position in choosing the next president, and then the Democrats took some voters choices from them and gave them to a man that didn’t want to be voted for by Michiganders.
Wouldn’t this be the same as ballot stuffing?
I welcome your comments.