Sunday, May 04, 2008

RBC Member predicts Florida will be seated at 50%

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Garry Shay, superdelegate from California and member of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee took part in a panel at the annual California Democratic Council Convention in Fresno. From the California Progress Report, Shay had a lot to say. First, on Florida:

What I anticipate will happen is that—and I have not received any communications from anybody, this is just my own thoughts on the matter—that the superdelegates will likely be seated from both states. That Florida will be seated with a half delegate for each pledged delegate based upon the January results. The concept there being that there must be some punishment for violating the rules, and at the same time, excluding those two states is very difficult.
Seat the Florida superdelegates, seat the pledged delegates at 50%. This is Option 3 on our Florida and Michigan By the Numbers post. This option would give Clinton +19 net pledged delegate votes, and +4 net superdelegates, with 14 Florida superdelegates uncommitted, cutting Obama's current lead from 130 to 107 votes. Assuming Clinton doesn't make significant inroads into Obama's lead over the next 2 1/2 weeks, I think the Obama campaign would jump at this. It would take Florida off the table as an open issue, and remove any possibility that the Florida delegation could be seated as is.

And for those reasons, I would expect the Clinton campaign would oppose such a solution. The only plus for Clinton is that it would help their case to include Florida in the popular vote totals. But I think those superdelegates who want to use the popular vote as a metric in their decision making process can already choose from the numerous differing calculations of popular vote, and I just don't think that allowing the Florida delegation to be seated is going to change any significant number of superdelegates view of which popular vote measure they might want to use to help them decide who to support.

Shay thinks Michigan, however, is another matter:
As far as Michigan is concerned, that’s anybody’s guess. I have no idea what is going to happen with them.
There’s the fact that Hillary Clinton’s name and the uncommitted slate was the only thing that was on the ballot in Michigan because the Democratic National Committee asked the ... candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot. So, here you have the institution itself asking people to pull their names off the ballot.
In any event, and you also have the uncommitted slate on the ballot—you have an uncommitted slate on the ballot and, you know, one of the proposals that came forward that I’ve seen is: Why not give half of the delegation to Clinton and half of it to Obama and that way it won’t make any difference and people can be seated. Well, what do you do with the fact that there was an uncommitted delegation that got votes and is entitled to delegates? I think that one is a whole big mess.

Shay is right. For many reasons, Michigan is a much harder problem to solve.

Update: We were remiss in not noting that Garry Shay has endorsed Clinton. But we will also note that he has recently said "I am committed to Clinton, at this point." Shay has published a long, detailed list of the various reasons he should vote for one candidate or the other.


billreef said...

This isn't going to happen until AFTER Hillary concedes. There is absolutely no incentive for Barack to do this. He has already weathered the storm of "disenfranchising" the voters. I have another solution, Dont seat any of the FL and MI supers. They are the ones who screwed this pooch. Why should we pay to send those morons to Denver? One might notice that there hasn't been a single proposal that didn't seat both slate of supers.

One might also notice that the national Supers haven't ended this race before it got stupid. Maybe they forgot to wear their magic lapel pins, huh?

Xyxox said...

I would note, Shay has endorsed Clinton, as have 12 other members of the rules and bylaws committee.

Here'smy prediction: Obama will reach the necessary 2024.5 delegates within days of reaching 1627 pledged delegates (which the math shows will happen without any doubt on May 20).

The Rules and Bylaws Committee will then strip him of the win on May 31.

Matt said...

Xyxox - good point on his endorsement of Clinton - I should have noted that in the post, and it's now there.

Tony Wesley said...

I believe another issue with Michigan is the federal judge ruling it to be unconstitutional.

From the Detroit News. March 26:

"DETROIT -- A federal judge on Wednesday ruled Michigan's presidential primary law unconstitutional and blocked the state from giving voter lists from the Jan. 15 election to the state's major political parties.

"U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing on behalf of several small political parties, that the law's provision giving the list of voters' partisan preference only to the Democratic and Republican parties violated the rights of other parties."

I'm a Michigan voter. The national Democratic party told me that this primary didn't count so I didn't participate in it. While I was not real happy with that, I would be very upset if somehow that election was now counted.

Matt said...

Tony - if you look at the original article I linked to, Shay mentioned the constitutionality issue as another complication:

"First of all, the primary law was challenged as to its constitutionality and it was thrown out. So, there’s no law supporting the Michigan primary."

tmess2 said...

50% with no unpledged delegates is still what the original rules called for as the minimal punishment. While obviously the Obama campaign doesn't like the net swing caused by seating the two states, if you limit them to those half-votes and insist on Obama delegates instead of uncommitted from Michigan, that should still leave him with a large enough lead in the pledged delegate count to get the nomination.

I don't agree that he has weathered any storm for disenfranchising the voters since the big impact will be in the general election not among Democrats where everyone is seeing this fight as everyone trying to get an edge for the nomination.

This issue needs to be resolved on May 31st and going back to the original minimal penalty in the rules would do that.

Mitchell Aboulafia said...

Democrats now find themselves in the position of having to slog through several more weeks of a contest that should be over. Why? In large measure because the Clintons have been able to play a new game, the metrics game, which includes the national popular vote as a "metric." The very fact that we are talking about different "metrics" reflects the degree to which the Clinton campaign has managed to set the agenda. The notion of "a collective popular vote" in the nomination process is a myth that simply hasn"t been properly "vetted" by the Media. One has to ask why the Media hasn"t done a better job.

Please check out: "The Popular Vote Myth"

Also, "How Would Primaries Have Changed the Results in Caucus States?" by Gregory P. Nini and Glenn Hurowitz .

[The latter's conclusion, "We wish to make three broad points. First, because voter turnout is lower in caucuses, the popular vote dramatically devalues the popular will of citizens of caucus states. Second, the size of the devaluation is large, given that about one-third of states have used caucuses and caucus turnout is only one-fifth of primary turnout. Finally, both the actual caucus results and the results of our hypothetical primaries suggest that were every state to have held primaries, Obama would have a larger lead in the current tally of the popular vote."]

Aaron said...

"I think the Obama campaign would jump at this. It would take Florida off the table as an open issue, and remove any possibility that the Florida delegation could be seated as is."

A renegotiation of the rules at this point does not take this off the table. It takes a matter that Obama should argue is settled, puts it back in play, and adds new people around the table that can decide to open the door further.

All any 'compromise' would do at this point is prepare the ground more favorably for Clinton for when the Rules Committee meets. If the Florida Supers are allowed in, they are not going to sit peacefully and say the deal is final. They are going to fight for more.

Yamaka said...

To paraphrase what Gov Dean said to Russet 10 days ago, "Voters of MI and FL did not violate any law. All done by Officials and Politicians. Therefore, I want to count their votes and seat delegates.....Our Congressional seats are in peril"

1. If the voters have NOT done anything wrong, then why to punish them with only 1/2 delegates?

2. It is unfair, unethical and immoral, probably illegal.

3. Therefore, I like Option 6 as published by DCW. Give FL and MI all their delegates, and keep the MI "Uncommitted" as is as per the wishes/choice of the primary voters.

4. If you want to punish the State SDs for all this mess-up, be my guest. Give them only 1/2 votes.

That would be the appropriate punishment. Punishing the primary voters is undemocratic for just they obeyed their State Law calling for a Primary Date. Plus, remember that FL is governed by GOP, and MI Senate is governed by them.

Democrats did NOT have any teeth to enforce the Party Rule in FL. Probably, in MI it was a little possible. But the SDs screwed it royally! Punish them, NOT the primary voters.


Mitchell Aboulafia said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't every Democratic member of Florida's legislature vote to approve the date change?

Yamaka, in terms of Michigan and Florida, I find it totally unacceptable that the candidates who played by the rules, including in this case Obama, should be penalized in this fashion. Just what kind of message would this send to candidates in the future? Be like Clinton: agree to the rules and then fight to change them when it is to your tactical advantage? (And just why did Clinton keep her name on MI's ballot? She should have removed it.)

Amot said...

Ladies and gentlemen, as I have stated in a previous post about MI, any change of DNC first decision about MI will start a chain of law suits! The only position DNC can strongly defend is keep the 100% penalty! I agree that any deal on MI and/or FL now will result to new appeals addressed to the Credential committee with demands for further seating! If Clinton lose the battle with 50% seating deal she has to carry this to the convention or the battle is over! I agree Clinton will make a noise but will not publicly suggest any deal from now on until August and will insist on 100% seating no matter what! Actually MI can ruin the whole nomination process because if Hillary gets MI seated, and wins the nomination, and after that any court announce the seating illegal, Dems will lose by a landslide in November! And I can suggest at least 3 possible scenarios when any seating of MI delegates is announced illegal!

Mike in Maryland said...

Blogger Mitchell Aboulafia said...
"(And just why did Clinton keep her name on MI's ballot? She should have removed it.)"

I heard that she stated a campaign worker was supposed to remove her name from the ballot, but that campaign worker didn't file the paperwork before the date stipulated by law. "It was a mistake" is what she said.

If this is the case, what does that say about Hillary's ability to hire people who are competent and able to do the job they are assigned?

If the above is not the case, what does this say about Hillary's ability to stick to a promise she makes?

Either scenario does not shine a favorable light on her.


David said...

Mike in MD:
That's the "current" rationale. However, if you read the archived news reports from the time, Howard Wolfson said "There's no need to take Sen. Clinton's name off the ballot."

Mike in Maryland said...

Blogger David said...
"That's the 'current' rationale."

That she lied when she stated that she would campaign in compliance the rules?

I'll go with that 'rationale'.


s.b. said...

So why did the DNC ask candidates to remove their names in Michigan and not in Florida.

My understanding is that no such thing happened and that Obama and Edwards chose to remove their names to score points in Iowa.

It was their choice and Clinton should not be punished for their campaign choice.

I believe the same rules will have to apply to Michigan and Florida.

I also don't believe that seating them at 50% vote each procludes them from getting their whole vote back at convention as the Republicans will certainly be reinstating their votes.

The nominee if their is one by then, would certainly be beholden to seat them with 100% of their vote. This is what the plan was always going to be.

They should be seated. Obama's poor campaign choice was his own, no one else's.

Yamaka said...

"I find it totally unacceptable that the candidates who played by the rules, including in this case Obama,"

My rationale is

1. Voters of MI and FL did not do anything wrong, as conceded by Gov Dean. Therefore, they should not be punished.

2. The Rule was poorly implemented.

3. Obama violated the Agreement by running campaign cable Ad in FL. He left his name in FL ballot, I don't know why?

I am for Option 6 with a modification: If possible punish the SDs from MI and FL, and NOT the the primary voters.

If you punish the voters, they will retaliate us in the General Election.

Do we need only 48 State Strategy?

We will lose both the WH and the Congress, I am afraid.


Yamaka said...

"Either scenario does not shine a favorable light on her".

However, against a well financed opponent, she has won most of the MUST win large Primaries for a Democrat.

Thus, she is leading in popular votes by 122K so far, but lagging barely 9.5 total delegates!

What does it tell you?

People love her message!


Yamaka said...


Amen. Well said.

Yamaka said...

"And I can suggest at least 3 possible scenarios when any seating of MI delegates is announced illegal!"--amot

In your enthusiasm for illegality of MI,

how come you left out the immorality of punishing the innocent voters of MI and FL?

In which God's name the Democratic Party seeks to disenfranchise about 3 million voters, who just followed their State Law for Primary Election?

The SDs can see the seriousness of the mess created by the Date Rule and seat ALL delegates.

For we are for All Voters of ALL States.

Otherwise, we have already lost the General Election even before it started!


Mike in Maryland said...

s.b. said...
"So why did the DNC ask candidates to remove their names in Michigan and not in Florida."

In Florida, to remove your name from the primary ballot would have meant you had permanently dropped out of the race, and your name, by statute, could not be on the ballot in the General Election. That is the reason Obama's and Edwards' names were on the ballot in Florida.

Michigan has no such law.

Get your facts straight before you post idiocy and make an ass of yourself.


Yamaka said...

"Get your facts straight before you post idiocy and make an ass of yourself".

See yourself in a mirror!

How rude and angry, thus inept your are!


LindaS said...

This is the problem with Blogs...Free Speech is all well and good but it gets very annoying when people spew misinformation:

1.) there are no "must-win" large Primary states--it is an erroneous comparison to the general election;

2.) there is no "popular" vote count for HRC to be ahead in--caucus states are not counted.

3.) "lagging 9.5 total delegates"--what are you talking about? this site shows the number of delegates each candidate has and Obama is clearly ahead in pledged delegates.

4.)Obama didn't make a "poor campaign choice"--the DNC stripped these states of their delegates--BOTH candidates signed a pledge to not campaign in either state (my understanding about the Obama TV ads were that they were national).

5.) Well said, Mike in Maryland--thanks, I don't need to continue with anymore points!

Yamaka said...


Please go to the Open Thread (use the prompt in the top left).

We will debate on the points you mention here.

You are ill-informed, IMHO.

Cheer, Smile and Vote for Hillary, the First Woman POTUS.

Yamaka said...

.) "lagging 9.5 total delegates"--what are you talking about? this site shows the number of delegates each candidate has and Obama is clearly ahead in pledged delegates."


This site also includes the Total Picture including the MI and FL, as per Option 6 at the left bottom.

That is the most Comprehensive Total Count.

All others are just Partial Truth.

Do you care for Total Truth?
Can you handle it? Go there.


Mike in Maryland said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha

Yamakamekaze telling someone to go somewhere to get the "Total Truth" by referring them to option 6?

You know why it's called an "option" (or more accurately, it should be called a 'scenario' or 'possibility')? Because it's not a certain fact. Therefore it is not the truth until it is a fact.

And what are the chances that scenario 6 will become a 'fact'? It might barely beat out an unprotected snowball's chance of surviving for a day in the middle of a street in Houston in July.


Amot said...

Yamaka, you are true idiot!
Mike, why do you even bother to answer him?

Hillary has announced the 'Nuclear option' - appeal to RBC and force them to seat MI at 100% with no delegates for Obama - 'because he was not on the ballot'. Of course that will be further appealed by Obama and everyone else in front of the Credential committee, and new formula will be applied, but Clinton will achieve her desire - get it to the convention floor! And probably bribe, cheat and lie until she gets nominated... Fortunately, that will get her lose MI by a landslide and GE too, and because of her 'brilliant' personality Dems will lose the majority in both House and Senate! What a great triumph! Every 2 out of 3 elected officials/supers backing Hillary will lose their seats! As a result instead of first woman President no woman will be nominee during the next 20 years!

The moral: Every woman desiring to see woman in WH, has to urge Hillary to drop out of the race with dignity when the time comes! I don't say time has come now! If she keeps civil tone and has the money to spend, she better stay in the race until June 3rd; but if on June 4th she is behind with 100 or more pledged delegates (not counting MI&FL) she has to drop out. Any destructive action she takes from now on must be stopped immediately by Dems leaders and supers!

Rufus said...

I agree with billreef: the FL and MI superdelegates are the last persons who should have a vote in Denver. They helped create this mess; their sanction should remain fully in place. No Convention for you, FL/MI supers!

Aside from that, I'd be OK with the 'Half-Nelson' for FL delegates. And I think that since MI had its illegal primary back when Edwards was still running, its delegates (counting half, like FL) should be evenly divided amongst all three candidates.

mlnmatt said...

I just want to add that Garry Shay is awesome, regardless of who he endorses -- I got to know him through the LA County Dem party, and he was one of a small handful of DNC members who brought a Lieberman censure resolution to the table in 2006 -- before Joe lost the primary, but after he threatened to run against the nominee if he lost.

Amot said...

Unfortunately Shay is much more reasonable than his candidate (his as at the moment)!

Hillary announced the Nuclear option - seat all FL and MI with full votes for everyone, and as a bonus giving Obama no delegates in MI!

But that is history... She lost NC big and only mischievous Reps saved In for her...

Tomorrow Hillary will announce 'Tripple Nuke Option' - very complicated plan aiming to seat MI in tripple number of delegates, rewarding them for the 'won't count for anything' primary! Since Hillary has control on RBC she can not only neutralize the penalty on MI but discover the new tripple formula and put it in action! Why not, after all, victory is what only matters...

$1M question:
If Hillary could travel back in time and had the possibility to go back last Monday, and she had a Nuke, would she annihilate NC before they vote Obama?
A) No, she would ask Bill to do it for her
B) Yes, without doubt
C) Yes, but she would say Obama did it
D) Yes, but she would say she was busy with 3AM call and misspoke to her aides