Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Michigan Democrats Seek Clarity on N.H. Date

Three top leaders in Michigan's Democratic party on Friday sent a testy letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean demanding an explanation about the schedule for New Hampshire's primary.

In the letter, Sen. Carl Levin, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and DNC member Debbie Dingell allege that New Hampshire is set to violate the DNC's rules by moving earlier than Jan. 22.

"We want to know what the DNC intends to do about the New Hampshire Secretary of State's decision to move forward the date of the primary to select their delegates even though that date violates the DNC rules," they wrote.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has not yet chosen a date for his primary. But he has indicated that the primary might go on Jan. 8. And this week, he and his allies hinted at an even earlier date -- December 11.

Either of those dates would frustrate Michigan's attempt to become more relevant by moving their own primary to Jan. 15. The Michigan legislature earlier this summer passed a law moving to that date.

The result has been good for Michigan Republicans, who have seen the GOP candidates pay more attention to their state than in previous years. The Republican candidates held a debate in Dearborn last week.

But the move has not worked out as well for Michigan Democrats. In response, Democratic leaders in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada have requested that presidential candidates not campaign in the state. Last week, four Democratic candidates requested that their names be taken off the ballot.

Lawmakers in Michigan may consider new legislation next week aimed at putting the candidate names back on the ballot. In Friday's letter, the Democratic leaders in Michigan said New Hampshire's earlier date is a violation of the party's rules.

"The process for selecting the delegates to our 2008 Convention to choose our Democratic Presidential nominee is spiraling out of control," they wrote. "Michigan Democrats have always said that we would abide by the DNC's rules on the timing of the delegate selection primaries and caucuses as long as other states abided by them. That is now no longer the case."

A spokeswoman for the DNC declined to comment on the letter.

--Michael D. Shear

By Post Editor  |  October 12, 2007; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Primaries  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Romney's New Ad on Jihadism
Next: Edwards Would Ban Lobbyists' Donations

Comments

Oh my, people that ask the same questions.

I have voted in several primary presidential elections and the last one left a bad taste in my mouth. Before the Illinois primary was held, Edwards had already ceded to Kerry. Now, why was that? Money? The number of backers in the DNC? I went to the polls and voted, but it made no difference.

I respect the right for New Hampshire and Iowa to be the first in the nation, but who the hell died and left them in charge? And now why did we decide Nevada and South Carolina were also representative of the diverse American people? The American public has changed and the areas they think are important, well, lets just say, look at their electorial votes. Is it a case of maybe the candidates with the least amount of money will have an opportunity to campaign?

Biden has said he will bow out if Iowa doesn't pan out, Obama's wife says it is a lost dream if he doesn't win there . . . why does Iowa decide? Because they, the candidates, have to drop so damn much money there, plain and simple.

Michigan, I feel for you but you are also wrong. Hell, I wish Illinois could be one of the first states along with Florida, New York and California, but rules are rules. New Hampshire, by law, has to be the first state to vote. So why not let all of these four states vote, tell the media to go to hell and we vote? To me the logical thing is the four states and then everyone on February 5th, wouldn't that cost some people a bunch of money?

Now I have a question. What good is the SEIU in Michigan if Edwards isn't even on the ballot? This shows some guts, doesn't it? Hey vote for me but I wouldn't stand up to your (my) party. This is pathetic when a Union endorses someone that CHOSE to take his name off of the ballot and now we can watch and see how the southern gentleman will work the DNC campaign law in his favor.

Geez, and we have several more months of this.

Posted by: mel | October 16, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong Democrat and have voted in every presidential election since 1968 without ever voting for the Republican candidate. If you do the electoral college math, Democrats have to win two of these three states-Michigan, Ohio, Florida-to gain the White House. A Mitt Romney-Mike Huckabee Republican ticket could sweep all three because of actions taken by the Democratic National Committee, the major Democratic candidates for President, and the Republican candidates for President.

By stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates for scheduling early primaries, the DNC risks alienating Democratic voters. The Democratic candidates have pledged not to campaign in those two states and, in the case of Michigan, removed their names from the ballot(Hillary wisely left her name on).

Michigan and Ohio rank one and two in the nation for motor vehicle and parts manufacturing employment. Democratic leaders Reid, Boxer, Jerry Brown, Durbin, Pelosi, Obama, Dodd, and many others have demonized Detroit's auto companies with respect to CAFE standards. Now Pelosi is going to have an "informal" conference with the Senate on energy legislation because she does not want the less restrictive Hill-Terry CAFE rules to get any more traction in the House. The entire Michigan and most of the Ohio delegations Republican and Democrats along with the UAW and The Big Three and Toyota support Hill-Terry. Mitt Romney's roots are in Michigan and he stated at the recent debate in Dearborn that his door would be open to the auto companies in the White House. Florida has many auto company retirees from Michigan and Ohio as well as the appeal Huckabee would bring to those native conservative Democrats that could keep Florida red.

A sympathetic Romney would siphon off UAW votes in Michigan and Ohio. Stringent CAFE standards may win some points with environmentalists, but it will be a hollow victory. This is why Michigan needs an early primary so that Democratic candidates and leaders will be forced to deal with this issue before it is too late and they are swept in all three of these crucial states.

Posted by: ljbohner | October 15, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong Democrat and have voted in every presidential election since 1968 without ever voting for the Republican candidate. If you do the electoral college math, Democrats have to win two of these three states-Michigan, Ohio, Florida-to gain the White House. A Mitt Romney-Mike Huckabee Republican ticket could sweep all three because of actions taken by the Democratic National Committee, the major Democratic candidates for President, and the Republican candidates for President.

By stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates for scheduling early primaries, the DNC risks alienating Democratic voters. The Democratic candidates have pledged not to campaign in those two states and, in the case of Michigan, removed their names from the ballot(Hillary wisely left her name on).

Michigan and Ohio rank one and two in the nation for motor vehicle and parts manufacturing employment. Democratic leaders Reid, Boxer, Jerry Brown, Durbin, Pelosi, Obama, Dodd, and many others have demonized Detroit's auto companies with respect to CAFE standards. Now Pelosi is going to have an "informal" conference with the Senate on energy legislation because she does not want the less restrictive Hill-Terry CAFE rules to get any more traction in the House. The entire Michigan and most of the Ohio delegations Republican and Democrats along with the UAW and The Big Three and Toyota support Hill-Terry. Mitt Romney's roots are in Michigan and he stated at the recent debate in Dearborn that his door would be open to the auto companies in the White House. Florida has many auto company retirees from Michigan and Ohio as well as the appeal Huckabee would bring to those native conservative Democrats that could keep Florida red.

A sympathetic Romney would siphon off UAW votes in Michigan and Ohio. Stringent CAFE standards may win some points with environmentalists, but it will be a hollow victory. This is why Michigan needs an early primary so that Democratic candidates and leaders will be forced to deal with this issue before it is too late and they are swept in all three of these crucial states.

Posted by: ljbohner | October 15, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I am a lifelong Democrat and have voted in every presidential election since 1968 without ever voting for the Republican candidate. If you do the electoral college math, Democrats have to win two of these three states-Michigan, Ohio, Florida-to gain the White House. A Mitt Romney-Mike Huckabee Republican ticket could sweep all three because of actions taken by the Democratic National Committee, the major Democratic candidates for President, and the Republican candidates for President.

By stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates for scheduling early primaries, the DNC risks alienating Democratic voters. The Democratic candidates have pledged not to campaign in those two states and, in the case of Michigan, removed their names from the ballot(Hillary wisely left her name on).

Michigan and Ohio rank one and two in the nation for motor vehicle and parts manufacturing employment. Democratic leaders Reid, Boxer, Jerry Brown, Durbin, Pelosi, Obama, Dodd, and many others have demonized Detroit's auto companies with respect to CAFE standards. Now Pelosi is going to have an "informal" conference with the Senate on energy legislation because she does not want the less restrictive Hill-Terry CAFE rules to get any more traction in the House. The entire Michigan and most of the Ohio delegations Republican and Democrats along with the UAW and The Big Three and Toyota support Hill-Terry. Mitt Romney's roots are in Michigan and he stated at the recent debate in Dearborn that his door would be open to the auto companies in the White House. Florida has many auto company retirees from Michigan and Ohio as well as the appeal Huckabee would bring to those native conservative Democrats that could keep Florida red.

A sympathetic Romney would siphon off UAW votes in Michigan and Ohio. Stringent CAFE standards may win some points with environmentalists, but it will be a hollow victory. This is why Michigan needs an early primary so that Democratic candidates and leaders will be forced to deal with this issue before it is too late and they are swept in all three of these crucial states.

Posted by: ljbohner | October 15, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

What I dont understand is how come the voters in these states waited until now to make this an issue? Why wait until the process is happening in order to risk losing your delegates? Obviously this will be the last time the primary is run like this, why not push your lawmakers to make a change outside of a national election?

I also live in a state other than the four that go first, but I don't feel the need to disrupt the entire process right in the middle to get what I want. I also don't feel the need to threaten either party for not giving me what I want when I want it. It sounds like sour grapes and it is discouraging to see people that resort to insulting other states in the union and the people of those states over something they didn't ask for.

Posted by: mim5677 | October 15, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic party should have the guts to tell Iowa and New Hamphire that they have had their time in the sun and it's not up to the Party to boost their economies.

But having said that it is too late this year to make a change. Michagan and Florida should abide by the rules as they were set this year.

Why not fight this out beginning February 2009 and then if it continues this way some of the states could hold their primaries for the 2012 elections in January 2010. Not so far fetched considering the ridiculousness of some of our local state leaders.

Time has come for some reality into this. And it is time for Iowa and New Hampshire to stop holding the parties hostage to their own self interest.

Posted by: peterdc | October 15, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the Republican party with the exception of Ron Paul are all pretty much the same. Oh and Fred Thompson who's Stuttering and Stumbling all over the place, he needs a his screen script that he usually uses on Law & Order.

Putting aside your favorite candidate, whose Policies in the Republican Party stand the best chance against Hillary Clinton? ------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=711

.

Posted by: PollM | October 15, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

This foolish campaign/primary cycle will only end if Congress makes the primary season statutory, not a Party toy. That will not happen in time for 2008.

The rotating regional primaries that have been proposed make good sense, but the most widely publicized plan STILL puts IA and NH ahead of the pack.

The desire to keep the primary season open for retail politics long enough to allow "merit" to overcome an early financial advantage is understandable, and a "tweak" might be in order. Perhaps the regional plan can be imposed upon to allow a couple of early small states to rotate at the head of the pack.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 15, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

the primary process is a joke. Consider that most of the major news orgs predict that if Hillary wins Iowa she becomes the nominee because nobody will be able to keep up with her fund raising. Why does one state get to decide the nominee? it makes my vote worthless.

Posted by: uclazy31 | October 14, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

NoMugwump, thanks... and i think we all feel your frustration. It seems that every year I've been of voting age, the true "campaign" has gotten shorter and shorter. Yes, politicians hit the stump for longer, but the real value of one's vote disappears sooner and sooner. There was a time when California's June primary was the big daddy, followed by New York. Now, it's the eight days between Iowa and New Hampshire. No wonder people are disillusioned and don't participate in the process.

Posted by: jade7243 | October 14, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Granholm has publicly endorsed Clinton makes her efforts re the primary date a bit biased.

Posted by: democrat2 | October 14, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

jade 7243,

Excellent post and I apologize for my somewhat harsh tone, but the Florida and Michigan jockeying have me a bit angry. Both great states and, again, both handicapped by their state leaders.

Agreed with the "coronoation", I'm sick of it and hopefull that voters will show up and vote their choice before, on and after February 5.

Posted by: NoMugwump | October 13, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I hate to see all this bickering over dates for primaries. States like Florida, Michigan, even South Carolina (which moved its primary to make it more "relevant") are really highlighting the same point: premature coronation.

Voters are told over and over that without "winning" in one of the key states, the primary, delegate-gathering season is over for all but one possibly two candidates. Why bother to vote if your state isn't one which caucuses or votes in January or February?

Iowa and New Hampshire get the benefit of retail politics. But realistically neither state is representative of problems and issues that face voters in other states across the country. Neither are large urban centers with diverse populations. Neither are manufacturing centers. Those descriptions fit more states than just Michigan or Florida. If the argument is whichever state has the most delegates, then Texas, California, New York, Ohio and Illinois deserve to go first.

Every voter-- whether in the primary or general election -- wants his or her vote to count, to make a difference, to matter. And they want candidates to come to their states and ask for that vote. The current electoral process leaves most of us out in the cold. We used to complain that candidates were selected in smoke-filled rooms by political bigwigs in exchange for traded favors. Today, the media tells us Hillary is a lock, don't bother voting. States are scrambling to make their primaries relevant and tripping over each other to do so.

Perhaps the DNC should use a lottery system to assign states to dates on the primary calendar. Every four years, a new lottery is held and different states will be at the front end of the primary season.

The way things stand now, no one wins.

Posted by: jade7243 | October 13, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Michigan, but 48 other states decided to abide by a fair process. IA and NH may not be representative of the U.S., but Michigan isn't either.

I've wanted a national, popular vote primary for years, but until that occurs, Iowa and NH have served us well. Besides, if the candidates had to campaign in Detroit they'd need SWAT teams with them to keep from getting shot!

Posted by: NoMugwump | October 13, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Let's eliminate all candidate travel expense, do campaigning through electronic forums such as UTube and Yahoo and nationally televised town halls, ban TV political advertising otherwise, and have primaries on one day. That way everyone has an equal sense and all of our money is not being wasted away on everyone's variation of the same apple pie.

Posted by: kryptounderdog | October 13, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

msutt,
You are correct that Republicans are benefitting in MI and FL. However, considering higher number of electoral votes, I am surprised by Dean, who promoted 50 state stratgey, ignoring reality while pampering NH and IA.

Posted by: skarfam | October 13, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Allyssen, I feel your frustration as I live in Oregon and our primary is in May 2008.

However, since we are talking abou the nomination by the Democratic Party, all states must play by their rules. These would prohibit Michigan from moving their primary up to January. Michigan was warned that if it did so, its delegates would not count in the process. It chose to do so and its delegates will not be counted if the vote is held in January. It will be a meaningless stubborn event, by Michigan's own decision.

I agree that New Hampshire must abide by the same rules. The problem is that their State law requires their primary to be the first in the nation. And the discussion of moving it up before Jan 22 is being driven by the defiant approach taken in Michigan and Florida.

All the while, the Republicans are benefitting in both Michigan and Florida. Perhaps this was their plan.

Posted by: msutt | October 13, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

>

I guess we Michigan Democrats should be sorry not to know our "place." We're not.

What we do know is this. We do know that both IA and NH have a combined 13 electoral votes and that our state has 17 electoral votes alone. We do know that IA and NH have homogeneous population bases politically and that our state is politically diverse and is therefore a much better "map" of the country's overall political thought. We do know that our state has been hurt the most by the downturn in manufacturing and that we need real leadership in whoever we elect President. We do know that the Democrats have told us that our votes don't matter.

What's more "undemocratic," one state deciding to make its voice heard, or two states deciding that they get to pick everything? IA and NH are much more "undemocratic;" they've told the nation that they get to put a stranglehold on the primary process. What divine edict gave them the right to write into their state constitutions that they will always be first and why are other states, states in much more need and who much better represent the country as a whole, bound to follow this ridiculous notion just because it's tradition? Why do their interests trump ours?

The Democratic Presidential pack needs to understand three basic things:

1.) Michigan Democrats are active Democrats. In 2000, the Republicans opened their primary to all comers and the Democrats crossed party lines in droves to vote for McCain, just for a chance to make sure that our hated Governor John Engler did not receive a seat in Bush's cabinet after his "Michigan is a firewall for Bush" comment. We will do what we need to do to be heard.

2.) Michigan Democrats have a long memory and they are not likely to forgive a slight if they're angered.

3.) Michigan Democrats are madder right now than they have ever been.

So, I guess it's the Democrats choice -- 17 votes or 13 votes combined, because, as a life long Democrat, I will not vote for anyone who doesn't campaign in my state during the primary, in either the primary or the general election. They can "leave their names on the ballot by mistake" or "choose not to slight Michigan voters because they don't want to alienate them" all they want. They either actively campaign here during the primary or they can basically just stay out of Michigan during the general and put those 17 votes in the Republican column.

Posted by: Allyssenn | October 13, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

There's no need for further clarification from the DNC to the "Renegadecrats" in the sorry state of Michgian. "Which part of 'no delegates' didn't you get!"

Imagine going to court to put names back on a ballot. This is democracy. As comedian, Yakov Smirinoff said years ago, "In Russia, you don't find party, party finds you". Apparently, Michigan is the present day equivilent of the discredited Soviet Union.

Go on Debbie Dingell, run for Trustee of Wayne Sate or whatever, but enough. Same for the other whining Dingell and one Canadian transplant, Granholm. A once proud state whose economy continues to collapse and the best they can do is behave like brats. Hey Mitt, looks like you just picked up Michigan.

Posted by: NoMugwump | October 13, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Michigan should move back to its' normal place.
Otherwise it will be a farce in the democratic primary, and allow Clinton the false appearance of a victory. This is undemocratic.

Posted by: river845 | October 12, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company