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Letter to Candidates

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dear Democratic Presidential Candidate:
Throughout 2005 and 2006, the Democratic National Committee worked diligently to establish a presidential nominating calendar that would ensure victory for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee, preserve the traditional role of retail politics early in the nominating process and to include the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity that makes this Party great.
In 2006, through a fair and open process conducted by the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina were selected for the "pre-window." The calendar was approved by the full DNC over a year ago. We are in agreement that the states chosen by our party reflect the energy and diversity of our great country and our party.
Recent actions by a few states could dismantle this thoughtful and deliberate effort by the DNC. Presidential campaigns, county chairs, elected officials, activists and the media have reached out and asked for our help in bringing this uncertainty (and potential chaos) to an end. Campaigns need to make major spending decisions. County Chairs need to find precinct locations and precinct chairs. Elected officials need to finalize election logistics. As a party we owe it to these organizations and individuals to conduct a sensible and timely nominating process.
For the good of our party and our candidates, it is our desire to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar. We ask you to accept the attached four state pledge, steeped in established DNC rules, by signing and sending the pledge form by Thursday, September 6, 2007, via email to South Carolina Chairwoman Carol Fowler at Please also mail a hard copy to Chairwoman Fowler at SCDP, PO Box 5965, Columbia, SC 29250.
We appreciate your consideration of this pledge which brings order to the presidential nominating calendar. We look forward to focusing on electing a President, rather than selecting dates. If you or your staff has any questions, please contact any of the four State Party Chairs or Executive Directors.

Thank you,
Senator Tom Harkin
Governor Chet Culver
Chair Scott Brennan, Iowa Dem. Party
Senator Harry Reid
Chair Jill Derby, Nevada State Democratic Party
Chair Ray Buckley, New Hampshire Dem. Party
Congressman Jim Clyburn
Chair Carol Fowler, South Carolina Dem. Party

Four State Pledge Letter 2008
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina
August 31, 2007

WHEREAS, over a year ago, the Democratic National Committee established a 2008 nominating calendar;
WHEREAS, this calendar honors the racial, ethnic, economic and geographic diversity of our party and our country;
WHEREAS, the DNC also honored the traditional role of retail politics early in the nominating process, to ensure that money alone will not determine our presidential nominee;
WHEREAS, it is the desire of Presidential campaigns, the DNC, the states and the American people to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar.
THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as "campaigning" is defined by the rules and regulations of the DNC. It does not include activities specifically related to raising campaign resources such as fundraising events or the hiring of fundraising staff.

_____________________________ __________
Democratic Candidate for President DATE

By Washington Post editors  |  August 31, 2007; 3:58 PM ET
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