Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Michigan Dems propose 69-59 split

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Michigan Democratic party has gotten behind last weeks proposal from U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and DNC member Debbie Dingell:

The state party’s executive committee voted today to ask the national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee to approve the 69-59 delegate split when it meets May 31. The plan would shrink Clinton’s delegate edge in Michigan from 18 to 10 and allow the state’s 157 delegates and superdelegates to be seated at the convention.
The state’s Democratic leaders also pushed back the date of the party’s State Central Committee meeting from May 17 to June 14 to give the rules committee time to act. The party is to pick 45 pledged delegates and two superdelegates at that meeting. It chose 83 pledged delegates last month at district conventions.

A separate plan submitted to the rules committee by Democratic National Committee members Joel Ferguson of Michigan and Jon Ausman of Florida, both superdelegates, apparently will be withdrawn now that the Michigan executive committee has settled on the 69-59 plan. Under their proposal, delegates would have been allocated based on the primary election results, but have had only half a vote each. The superdelegates would have had full voting rights.
Not clear why the Florida challenge would be withdrawn...
Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of the decision, “It is clear results in January won’t be used to allocate delegates, and we agree with that decision. We have been talking with Michigan leaders about this proposal and will continue to do so.”
Again, I think the Obama campaign would be smart to come out in full favor of this plan.

One issue will certainly be that the 55 Uncommitted delegates will lose all representation as Uncommitted delegates. Sure, it was mostly Obama voters, but Edwards was still in the race, and some local organizations may want Uncommitted delegates at the convention.

Also, note the move of the State Central Committee meeting from May 17 to June 14 . So the 19 state-wide Uncommitted delegates, as well as Michigan's 2 add-ons, will not be resolved until the middle of June.

Thursday update: The Clinton campaign is opposing the deal.


loki50 said...

Personally, if a commitment for the add ons which slightly favoured Obama was included (say a 13 to 8 split) to reduce the net deficit, I think that this proposal should fly.

The only question would be how it would be c!onstrued relative to Florida

Unknown said...

Why would the split not be in Obama's favor? Maybe in proportion to his current pledged delegate lead?

Why is the losing candidate being given a 10-delegate advantage?

tmess2 said...

The split is in Clinton's favor because she "won" 73 delegates in Michigan's primary. Michigan is trying to find a way to seat delegates that gives some voice to the people who did vote in a flawed election.

There are 4 issues that impact Michigan: 1) What should be the penalty for going early? 2) Given that voters were told by the media and the national party that the vote would not count, how did that effect the result? 3) Given that voters were told by the state party that the vote would count and that Obama and Edwards supporters should vote for uncommitted, how did that effect the results? 4) How to deal with the fact that Obama and Edwards were not on the ballot?

This split roughly accounts for those facts, not perfectly, but roughly. It assumes that most of the uncommitted were Obama supporters (it was probably around 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 split between Obama supporters and Edwards supporters). It also assumes that not having those candidates on the ballots and not having anyone campaign increased the percent for Clinton somewhat. However, the split also reflects that the actual votes cast did favor Clinton -- thus a shrinking of the gap but not an elimination of the gap.

Florida has somewhat similar issues (except that Edwards and Obama were on the ballot). Florida may be more difficult because of the size of the gap. Reducing the gap in Michigan to 10 makes it easy to sit Michigan. It also makes it harder to decide what to do.

My personal preference (but I don't have a vote) would be to sit Michigan at 73-55 (with the 55 being Obama delegates, not uncommitted) and Florida as is, but give them only 0.5 votes. That would actually be in accordance with the 2008 Delegate Selection Rules for the Convention (unlike the current penalty which was a discretionary additional penalty imposed by the Rules & By-laws Committee)and would be a result that everyone but the Clinton campaign could live with.

MA said...

The Michigan delegation is tricky since Obama and Edwards both followed the agreed upon arrangement and removed themselves from the Michigan ballot while Hillary left her name on so the vote results in Michigan are irrelevant in my book. That said, how we fairly allocate the delegates in Michigan is still not finalized in my mind.

As far as Florida goes, again Hillary didn't follow the agreement of not campaigning in Florida and while Obama and Clinton were both on the ballot in Florida, the fact that Clinton actively campaigned in a state that she agreed/promised to leave alone really irks me and again marginalizes the Florida voting results once again.

If you cheat, you don't deserve to win...haven't we had enough of that mind set with Bush?...argh!

I just want this over and without the Dems hurting themselves so we are weakened against Crazy John.


S.K. said...

If the DNC over-rides a state election to arbitrarly award delegates then as a left leaning Liberal, I hope the Republicans win the white house, Michigan, Florida, every state contest in Michigan and Florida, never get any more money from anyone in Michigan and Florida and I now fully support the Supreme court decision in 2000 to give Bush the presidency.

The Democrats don't care about democracy how sad.

It would be better to not count any delegates at all then to arbitrarily decide an election after the fact and after the beneficiary of this decision blocked a revote.

It reminds me of Zimbabwe its called rigging an election.

It's disgusting. Weren't the Texas caucuses bad enough!

The Democrats don't deserve the white house.

Count the Votes or McCain 08!

S.K. said...

By the way, no one was asked to remove their names from the ballot.

Obama and Edwards did so to win votes in Iowa.

Why didn't they remove their names in Florida if the DNC asked them to? Because the DNC didn't ask them to.

This is vote stealing. It's disgusting. No one should give money to the DNC or the Michigan Democratic Party for the forseeable future and I hope they lose all their races!

_libby_ said...

If you read Politico, Hillary Campaign is saying NO WAY to the deal that Michigan has struck.

She's not exactly making friends over her denying the deal and I can see why.

s.b., your comments make no sense at all. Absolutely none.

Susan said...

Clinton agreed not to participate in the Michigan primary.

a: to take part b: to have a part or share in something

Even after the primary has taken place, retroactively claiming that the vote counted and trying to get delegates constitutes participating. Clinton is violating the rules and it would not be inappropriate to declare that even if MI is seated she may not get ANY delegates for that violation.

She should jump at the current proposal. It is better than what she deserves, especially after she shut down negotiations on a revote by insisting that not all registered Democrats should be allowed to vote! Talk about disenfranchising voters!

jmarie23 said...

This whole issue came about because of Howard Dean's weakness. When the rules were made, he should have sat down with all candidates involved to inform them that they would be penalized if they participated in any way in either of the two elections. That means no names on ballots for any Democrats. This whole thing is disgusting. If we are to follow the rule of law, there should not now be any negotiation about anything relative to Florida and Michigan. The penalty was set and agreed upon. You can't then go in later and use the same penalized states to affect your election.

The voters in those states were not helpless. Had they raised their voices in protest when their delegations were coming up with ideas to break party rules, trust me, the delegations would have backed down. The citizens by their silence were complicit in this whole thing. They were not disenfranchised. They are not stupid.

If you don't like what your elected officials are doing, pick up the phone, protest, march to the State house. You would get action. But nooooooo, Michigan and Florida voters said little and their Governors and legislators did what they damn well pleased and here we are.

Annette M said...

Jonelle -- I agree, but there's a little more to the Florida mess than meets the eye.

Not enough space here to get into all the dates and times and names, but a few "googles" got me to a series of separate news items that, when put together, show a more complicated situation.

I'm a big fan of checking out primary sources on my own. I apologize for not having the links to give you, and realize that you can therefore take all this with a grain of salt.

I pieced all this together from a number of unrelated Florida news stories, dated over a period of months, the Florida election-whatever-it's-called-that-has-a-picture-of-the-actual-ballot, an online copy of the Florida primary election booklet for a description of the propositions, etc., etc., etc.

Seems the Florida legislature (Republican) decided to move the statewide primary date up early.

... yes, I know all the good arguments you're about to voice ... just bear with me a minute, okay? (smile)

I find it interesting that this date was chosen *after* the DNC set the earliest Democratic primary date for February 5th. We can only make assumptions as to their motive.

Now, the democrats in Florida had the option of setting their own, separate primary, in agreement with their party's rules.

The Republicans then put a very interesting "tax" proposition on the state's primary ballot. (I believe it was a reduction in property taxes. I'm not positive.)

The tax proposition was one that would slash social benefits across the state, to some programs that would be of value to the traditional democrat.

And the legislature (Republican, remember), said that if the democrats chose a separate, later primary, that tax proposition couldn't be included on it.

Because of course, (horrors) some voters might change parties in the interim and vote TWICE.

So the democrats had a choice -- either set their own, later, date, and not be able to vote on the tax proposition, or join in on the earlier primary, and violate their party's rules.

NOT that I think the state democratic party was full of intellectuals, who based their decision on moving the primary date early.

If they'd all gotten together and made the decision for this reason, I'd think the DNC would have been a little more flexible, and that they'd be screaming about the corner they were placed in.

But it DOES add an extra wrinkle.

One could even say that the Republicans were playing "Chicken" with the democrats -- making them choose between wanting to defeat the tax proposition and losing their primary delegates, or wanting to conform to the DNC rules, and lose the tax proposition.

But, of course, assuming something like that about the Republican Party would make one look biased.


At some point, I had all the links and quotes for all of this, but it's somewhere lost on my son's laptop, and I apologize for not being able to provide you with actual primary sources.

Annette :)

prospero said...

Personally, although I am aware this would NEVER happen, I think that if Michigan delegates are to be seated, they should be split evenly among Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

What is lost in the Clinton high dudgeon is that, given when the illegal primary occurred and given that Clinton did not act in good faith to also remove her name from the ballot, Clinton received a boost from the Michigan beauty contest nationally which would otherwise never have occurred.

If I were an Edwards supporter (and I am not), I would be livid at any solution that did not at least recognize that the Michigan fiasco hurt him pershaps much more than Obama, because with a good showing there he might have stayed in the race longer. Who knows what the consequences would have been in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The petulant hypocrisy of Clinton both then and now should not be rewarded with a delegate gain, nor should the Democrats of Michigan who stupidly decided solely on their own to thumb their noses at the rest of the states be able to escape punishment.

Of course, we all know that the decision here will be made so as to keep the Clinton supporters from throwing a conniption fit, even though in the end it will have no logic, justice or moral authority to support it.

I have absolutely no respect for the intellect or morality of any argument for having the results of the Michigan beauty contest as it stands being dispositive in any way at all. Cut the Michigan and Florida delegations by 50%, seat Florida with the Clinton, Obama and Edwards count obtained from the illegal primary (at least the Edwards disadvantage is not so glaring there), and split Michigan 33:33:33.