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Voters Face Confusion in Michigan Dem Race

Updated 6:37 p.m.
By Peter Slevin
CHICAGO -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the only top-tier Democrat on the Jan. 15 Michigan primary ballot, but followers of her chief rivals are hoping to wound her all the same.

A fresh poll suggests that running nearly unopposed will not mean winning nearly 100 percent of the vote.

The campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and former senator John Edwards are urging their supporters to cast ballots for "uncommitted," according to state Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer. The Obama campaign says there may be "grass-roots efforts," but that the Chicago-based campaign is not involved.

In an effort to signal that Clinton cannot stroll away with the state's delegates, even in a largely uncontested race, Michigan Rep. John Conyers and his wife, Detroit city council member Monica Conyers, taped a radio advertisement Wednesday afternoon. In it, they called on Obama backers not to surrender their vote.

They say on the radio spot that they intend to vote "uncommitted" and give Obama a chance to compete for those delegates in Denver.

An "uncommitted" vote would take the place of a write-in, which is not permitted.

"People are already frustrated here in Detroit because they can't cast a ballot for Obama. Many on their absentee ballots many have tried to write in Obama, but they have spoiled the ballots," said Sam Riddle, Monica Conyers's chief of staff. "We know we've got to educate the voters in a hurry."

Following Michigan law, local clerks are allowing voters a chance to redo their ballots.

The reason for the confusion is a fight between Michigan's leading Democrats, including Sen. Carl Levin and Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and the Democratic National Committee. Frustrated that Iowa and New Hampshire were getting so much attention, Michigan's political elites in both parties changed their Feb. 9 caucus to a primary and bumped it to Jan. 15.

The Republican National Committee did not object, meaning the GOP results will stand. But the DNC declared that no delegates chosen that day would be seated at this summer's convention -- the same sanction imposed on Florida. Neither side budged.

During the stand-off, Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot. Obama and Edwards did not.

Michigan voters will see Clinton on a list with three candidates who have been afterthoughts this season: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH), former Alaska Gov. Mike Gravel and Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT), who has dropped out.

Mo Elleithee, a Clinton spokesman, said the New York senator will not be campaigning in Michigan.

"We signed a pledge saying we wouldn't campaign there," Eleithee said, "and we're honoring that pledge."

A Michigan poll of 300 likely Democratic voters taken Monday and Tuesday, before Clinton's narrow win over Obama in New Hampshire, suggested that 47 percent would support Clinton and 28 percent would vote "uncommitted."

Another 10 percent volunteered "other" and 10 percent said they were undecided, according to the poll by Rossman Group/MIRS/Denno-Noor.

Michigan Democrats are trying to spread the word that voters should vote, whether or not they choose a candidate on the ballot. Brewer said he and party spokesman Jason Moon have done nearly 100 media interviews, including one on YouTube and many on local radio. The party is also sending emails to registered voters.

If "uncommitted" receives at least 15 percent in a congressional district or statewide, Brewer said, delegates will be sent to Denver where any candidate -- including Clinton -- can compete for them.

Despite the brouhaha and the DNC's vow not to seat delegates chosen next week, Brewer feels confident. Historical precedent and the high stakes in the November election convince him that primary votes in Michigan and Florida will count.

"I think we'll get seated. I'm not concerned about that penalty at all," Brewer said. "Politically, the Democratic nominee needs to win Michigan and Florida, and they are not going to start the general election campaign by antagonizing the parties in those two states."

This is the script of the John and Monica Conyers radio ad, which will be broadcast on Detroit-area stations. Monica Conyers is president pro-tem of the Detroit City Council.

MALE: THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS CONFUSING. I WANT TO VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA BUT OBAMA'S NAME IS NOT ON THE BALLOT.

FEMALE: THERE IS NO ONE ON THAT BALLOT I WANT TO BE PRESIDENT.

MALE: WELL, THESE FOLKS CAN HELP US. EXCUSE ME, CONGRESSMAN CONYERS AND COUNCILWOMAN CONYERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP.

FEMALE: HOW CAN WE VOTE FOR OBAMA ON TUESDAY?

Rep. Conyers: YOU CAN'T. YOU CANNOT EVEN WRITE IN OBAMA'S NAME. IF YOU DO YOUR VOTE WILL NOT COUNT BECAUSE OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN CHOSE NOT TO PLACE HIS NAME ON THE MICHIGAN BALLOT SO AS NOT TO VIOLATE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY RULES. BUT YOU CAN VOTE UNCOMMITTED

Councilwoman Conyers: IF AT LEAST 15% OF THE PEOPLE VOTE UNCOMMITTED, THE STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY MUST SEND THAT PERCENTAGE OF DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION UNCOMMITTED.

Rep. Conyers: MY WIFE AND I ARE VOTING UNCOMMITTED. WE WILL WORK WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO MAKE SURE THAT UNCOMMITTED DELEGATES GO TO THAT CONVENTION TRULY UNCOMMITTED SO THAT OBAMA CAN COMPETE FOR THEIR VOTE.

MALE: THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN CONYERS AND COUNCILWOMAN CONYERS. I WILL JOIN YOU AND VOTE UNCOMMITTED ON TUESDAY.

FEMALE: ME TOO - AT LEAST MY VOTE WON'T BE WASTED

Councilwoman Conyers: THIS TRUTH IN POLITICS MESSAGE WAS PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF MONICA CONYERS

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 9, 2008; 5:45 PM ET
 
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Comments

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON --
Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

OBAM YOU'RE NO JFK --

"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

"GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

THE SPEECH --

The Apologia has arrived and once again the self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, promises to heal the wounds of the world. The speech is the rude awakening of mass messianism of his campaign. Apologetically, Obama the MUSLIM double-cross X-boX-BorraX has an astonishingly empty two-prawn echelon explanation of his misjudgment.
In the first prawn: with regard to his connection to separatist-racist Rev. Wright; Obama summons voodoo and juju to express slavery as beginning and ending with the Rev. Wright.
In the second prawn: Obama's speech takes credit for Ashley's dream. A dream of unity Martin Luther King, Jr. borrowed from Ashley for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech. In Obama's speech, the connective bond Ashley, the elderly black man and Obama's grandmother share; represents Obama's self-indicting rise to the Harvard Yard. For Obama, the grand flag of language is the semi-fore of words, bestowed upon our nation by the messiah-alumni from Harvard. Obama's Swoon-Song Apologia to the nation represents a failed hymn -- a hymn that fails to heal the nation, repair the world, or make this time different than all the rest. Obama's speech is a brilliant failure.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Posted by: jreno18 | March 23, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Phasn:

The comment "Democracy is dead and the Republicans killed it" sounds ignorant. If you are going to make a blatant comment, at least follow up with support and evidence. If you are referring to the article about Michigan maybe you misunderstood. Read below:

"The reason for the confusion is a fight between Michigan's leading Democrats, including Sen. Carl Levin and Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and the Democratic National Committee. Frustrated that Iowa and New Hampshire were getting so much attention, Michigan's political elites in both parties changed their Feb. 9 caucus to a primary and bumped it to Jan. 15."

Leading Democrats from Michigan (not republicans) wanted to move the primary up to gain more recognition for the state of Michigan.

I will admit the theory behind democracy is lost but all parties are equally at fault.

Posted by: farmerkt | March 5, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Democracy is dead and the republicans killed it.

Posted by: phasn | February 19, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I will vote uncommitted because I do support Senator Obama. I am however, very angry that I and fellow Michigan voters are disenfranchised from the selection of our Presidential nominee. I wonder how the actions of a group of state Democrats of whom I had no voice in appointing should cause me to lose my rights as a citizen.

Posted by: b_fanger2000 | January 15, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I feel quite ignorant, but can someone help me understand why Michigan moving its primary upset the DNC? MN moved its primary to a date earlier than originally scheduled and this did not seem to be a problem. I'm not understanding why this made the DNC upset and how the penalty to Michigan is good for the Dems. Am I missing something really obvious?

Posted by: 1.singer | January 15, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste your vote by choosing uncommitted. Make a difference.

http://antiwarprotest.blogspot.com/

Vote in the Republican primary for the only candidate that opposes the Iraq War...Dr. Ron Paul.

Please.

Posted by: waldorf1222 | January 14, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Michigan Democratic Primary fiasco has been engineered by Party bigwigs, all of whom are vocal supporters of Senator Clinton. Voting for "Uncommitted" delegates is a bogus alternative, equivalent to giving a total stranger the right to cast your vote for you, however he or she wishes and in return for whatever he or she may be promised in return. A preliminary stage of selection and favor-swapping will precede their final selection for the convention.

This election has been stolen, principally by Mark Brewer (Michigan Chairman), Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Carl Levin. They are not even sincere in urging supporters of candidates not on the ballot to choose "Uncommitted." Their minions have denounced efforts to organize voters for "Uncommitted" rather than voting for Clinton. They included in the new priary election law rammed through last month the provision that anyone who writes in a name not on the ballot--in other words Obama or Edwards--will forfeit their votes. Nothing must be allowed to detract from Sen. Clinton's inevitable triumph.

It is difficult to think of an election in which more voters have been effectively disfranchised than this one. That is probably why Brewer, Levin and others are so volubly pleased with the situation. It's too bad that they are probably justified in thinking that the convention credentials committee will go along. Levin is confident that they will, no matter how undemocratic the process of selecting them will be.

As a Democrat for over forty years I have never been so alienated by my party and I assure you that my outrage will last long after Tuesday's disgraceful charade.

Posted by: mmacdon | January 11, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The election situation in Michigan is a fiasco. It's shameful that the Democratic National Committee would disenfranchise the entire state of Michigan over a political squabble with our legislature.

If you are a Michigan voter, you can find more information and some ideas for how to make your voice heard at:

http://WhoStoleMiVote.org

Posted by: sgifford | January 10, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Confused, you are not kidding! I keep hearing about this dude running against Billary, but I can't figure out who they are talking about? All three guys should not be eligible as best I can tell?!!

"Hussein" was hung, and is dead!

Ehud "Barak" is a Jewish guy!

And "Osama" is in hiding!

Who are the Dem's promoting?

Posted by: rat-the | January 9, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

If I didn't know better, I'd think Mr Slevin is going to extraordinary lengths "to educate the voters in a hurry" in what may be the most thoroughly explanatory post of the entire campaign. I hope Obama's people appreciate it.

Posted by: zukermand | January 9, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

They should get everyone to vote for Kucinich; that would mess with their minds.

Posted by: gregg_lopez | January 9, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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