"GOP scheme"? EVERY SINGLE FL HOUSE DEMOCRAT voted for their primary date

Todd had this to say about the decision by Florida's Congressional delegation to not support any kind of re-vote in their own state (emphasis mine):

Senator Clinton wants the delegates seated according to the vote in January; kos thinks it should be a 50-50 split. I'm not a fan of either. Look, it's no accident that Florida and Michigan are the only states in which Republican turnout exceeded Democratic turnout. Those were not real representations of the Democratic primary electorate and for state representatives to keep the will of their own constituents from counting in this historic election when the will of every other state in the country, even Puerto Rico and Guam, will, would be a true shame, especially when the dis-enfranchisement was a result of a scheme perpetrated by the Republican-led state legislature.

Oh, by the way?  Almost every single Florida DEMOCRAT voted to move the date forward.  Just look at the bill.

My little bit of amateur sleuthing began where all great journeys begin:  Wikipedia:

In the spring of 2007, the Florida legislature passed House Bill 537, in response to public support for Florida to return to a "paper trail" for elections, however, during the legislative process, a number of amendments were added, one of which moved the date of their state's primary to January 29th

Hmm...House Bill 537, huh?  I bet Google has something to say about that...

GENERAL BILL by Economic Expansion & Infrastructure Council and Rivera and Hukill (CO-SPONSORS) Adams; Allen; Altman; Ambler; Baxley; Brandenburg; Bucher; Culp; Gonzalez; Jordan; Kiar; Kravitz; Murzin; Nehr; Patterson; Porth; Precourt; Roberson; Sands; Schenck; Traviesa; Waldman; Weatherford; Zapata

Elections: Revises fines applicable to violations of requirements relating to third-party voter registrations; revises dates relating to presidential preference primary; authorizes municipalities to move their election date by ordinance to coincide with presidential preference primary; exempts persons seeking federal office from resign-to-run law; requires that all write-in candidates reside within district of office sought at time of qualification, etc.

Effective Date: January 1, 2008, except as otherwise provided.

Last Event: 05/21/07 Approved by Governor; Chapter No. 2007-30 on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 6:26 AM

Hey, I'm must be in the right place.  Moreover, it would be pretty impossible for Republicans have pulled the wool over the eyes of the Democrats on this, considering the primary date change is located in the executive summary of the bill that some idiot with a laptop discovered in about 20 seconds.

But you want to see the most interesting part? (partially edited for space)

Chamber    Date    Yeas    Nays    Actions   

House    03/21/2007 01:24 PM     115    1    Passage        

Senate    04/27/2007 11:49 AM     37    2

House    05/03/2007 11:31 AM     118    0     Passage          

But wait!  I thought that the Florida election getting moved up was a scheme by those dirty Republicans to disenfranchise Floridian Democrats!

118-0 was the final House vote.  Not ONE DEMOCRAT voted against the bill, including its provision to move up the primary.  The actual votes of the Senators aren't listed in the FL congressional record, so the two "nays" could easily be Democrats or Republicans - in any case trumped by the 37 "yes" votes.

Oh, and the actual amendment to move the primary got passed out of committee 7-0.

First, we get a week full of coverage (and echo chamber) talking about how Obama is subverting the will of the people by not a) wanting to just give up a substantial chunk of delegates when he NEVER campaigned there and b) wanting to pony up up to $15 million to support a re-vote for a state that broke CLEARLY STATED RULES to his own disadvantage.

And then with a straight face, all the Hillary supporters here talk about how he apparently "doesn't care about the will of the people" or "has a 48-state strategy".

Just like Barack Obama didn't invent the caucus, he didn't make the rules for the DNC.  He also didn't vote to move up the Florida primary in the face of those clearly-stated rules - even though 145 of 147 Florida state legislators did.

Ask any Clinton supporter:  Do you REALLY, SINCERELY think that Hillary Clinton, in Obama's position would be for a re-vote?  Clinging to a substantial but small lead, and armed with a plausible reason for NOT wanting to support a re-vote (they DID knowingly break the rules), you really think Clinton would pay one red cent to cede delegates?

Everyone talks about how they want a "smart candidate" that can stand up to the Republicans, and then they knock Obama for having the GALL to not want to take fifteen million dollars and have a big ol' bonfire with them, and then donate delegates to Clinton "for the sake of democracy".  Remember, this is the same Hillary Clinton who who wouldn't renounce Geraldine Ferraro for saying "They're attacking me because I'm white" (something she did in 1988, too), and who said that John McCain "crossed the threshold" for President, while Obama hadn't.

If you tell me you honestly believe that, I'm calling you delusional at best or a liar at worst.  Hillary is not the white knight of democracy, and attempts to gussy up her VERY self-motivated reasons for a re-vote as "caring about the voters more" are a joke.

The Florida situation is messy.  I really want Floridians to feel like they had a voice in this process.  I don't like Clinton's idea of seating delegates as is, because it WASN'T representative of a true campaign (based more off of name recognition at the time). Moreover, turnout was VERY low for the contest because even back in January they said it wasn't going to count.  Nobody played up Michigan OR Florida as if their contests were meaningful until Hillary needed the delegates..

And I don't like kos' idea of a 50-50 split with half the power, because it also doesn't reflect the true sentiments of the people (including the 250,000 people that voted for Edwards that would likely change their votes to Clinton or Obama at this point).

But it's important to remember who got us into this clusterfuck in the first place:  The collective will of almost every elected official in the state of Florida.  And if there isn't a re-vote, it will be Florida elected officials (and NOT Barack Obama) that - again - made that call.

Originally posted at the Great Orange Satan

Tags: Barack Obama, Election 08, Florida, Hillary Clinton (all tags)




Facts have a well known anti-Clinton bias.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-12 02:21AM | 0 recs

Which is why you don't want to confuse them with the facts.

Here's a fact which I found in another thread, a fact that should be repeated as a mantra as often and in as many places as possible.

Democrats voting in the primaries have outnumbered Republicans voting in primaries (and often by huge margins) in all but two states. Michigan and Florida. Coincidence? Not bloody likely.

by vermontprog 2008-03-12 02:28AM | 0 recs

There were two other states where Republicans outnumbered Democrats.

Arizona, where Republicans came out in droves to vote for McCain, and Utah where Republicans came out in droves to vote for Romney.

Michigan and Florida suppressed any turnout because they did not count and voters knew it. Now they want to change the rules after the fact.

If Florida and Michigan are seated, I'm going to demand the Spring exhibition games count for the Cubs this fall.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-12 02:31AM | 0 recs

Interesting to note that Obama's margin of victory in MS was within spitting distance of Billary's in TX. If s/he wants to pursue his/her specious argument that she should get the nomination if she gets the most popular votes, the lack of caucus counts notwithstanding, she just dropped another 100,000 behind.

by vermontprog 2008-03-12 02:47AM | 0 recs
they voted for the bill because

they knew they need the voting machine reform.  They were forced to vote for it or be damed for keeping Florida voters disenfranchised by lousy ineffective voting machines.

Yes Clinton would be for seating the delegates or having a re-vote if the situation were reversed.  She is a more ethical candidate.

Obama has no good excuse to oppose the re-vote except that it is to his advantage to disenfranchise Florida voters. How Clinton would act in the same situation is really immaterial.  Saying "she would do it to" shows a serious lack of ethics on the part of Obama supporters.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-03-12 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: they voted for the bill because

TIP, I think we should all try to stick to data and facts rather than questionable subjective judgements.

"Hillary is the more ethical candidate" is an opinion, and not a fact.  

The fact is that the "vote" was not recognized by the DNC.  The facts is that candidates did not campaign in MI or FL, thereby no case was made to potential voters.  Ergo, the "results", aside from being non-recognized are fatally flawed to begin with.

by a gunslinger 2008-03-12 05:46AM | 0 recs
ps... Obama did campaign in Florida

Just like Clinton's supporters, his ran a campaign sending out fliers etc... He also ran a commercial there and he met with the press when he was there for a fund raiser.

by TeresaINPennsylvania 2008-03-12 05:10AM | 0 recs

What Democrat would have voted against a bill to add paper-trails to the voting machines.

Should they have voted 'No' just because a bunch of Republicans added a revised primary date ammendment?

by rolnitzky 2008-03-12 05:29AM | 0 recs

The Florida Dems moved to amend the bill once the Repubs changed the new date from Feb 5 to Jan 29, and lost.  they then voted for it when the Repubs rolled it all into an omnibus bill, including paper trails.  

Look folks, this is simple. We can read diaries that tell us what we want to hear, or we can actually ask the Florida Democratic Party what happened.  We are still Democrats, right?  Okay, you decide, do you want to take your factual information from somebody you know as "The Great Gatsby," or do you want to ask the Party itself?

The Rules say you had to try to stop the primary move, but Democrats voted for the law. What gives?

Initially, before a specific date had been decided upon by the Republicans, some Democrats did actively support the idea of moving earlier in the calendar year.  That changed when Speaker Rubio announced he wanted to break the Rules of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. Following this announcement, DNC and Florida Democratic Party staff talked about the possibility that our primary date would move up in violation of Rule 11.A.

Party leaders, Chairwoman Thurman and members of Congress then lobbied Democratic members of the Legislature through a variety of means to prevent the primary from moving earlier than February 5th.  Party leadership and staff spent countless hours discussing our opposition to and the ramifications of a pre-February 5th primary with legislators, former and current Congressional members, DNC members, DNC staff, donors, activists, county leaders, media, legislative staff, Congressional staff, municipal elected officials, constituency leaders, labor leaders and counterparts in other state parties.  In response to the Party's efforts, Senate Democratic Leaders Geller and Wilson and House Democratic Leaders Gelber and Cusack introduced amendments to CS/HB 537 to hold the Presidential Preference Primary on the first Tuesday in February, instead of January 29th. These were both defeated by the overwhelming Republican majority in each house.

The primary bill, which at this point had been rolled into a larger legislation train, went to a vote in both houses. It passed almost unanimously. The final bill contained a whole host of elections legislation, much of which Democrats did not support. However, in legislative bodies, the majority party can shove bad omnibus legislation down the minority's throats by attaching a couple of things that made the whole bill very difficult, if not impossible, to vote against. This is what the Republicans did in Florida, including a vital provision to require a paper trail for Florida elections. There was no way that any Florida Democratic Party official or Democratic legislative leader could ask our Democratic members, especially those in the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, to vote against a paper trail for our elections. It would have been embarrassing, futile, and, moreover, against Democratic principles.

by dhonig 2008-03-12 06:02AM | 0 recs
Great post, dhonig. That's what I knew all along but not many people know all the facts.
I'm just a foreign observer living and working (legally) in South Florida and am mesmerized by the vitriol with which this campaign is being waged within the Democratic Party. It was a poor choice on the part of the DNC to punish Florida and Michigan by stripping them of all their delegates, considering how these two states may be crucial for a Democratic win in November. The DNC could have done what those politically-savvy Republicans did and only take away half the delegates. Now I hear a lot of pissed off Democratic colleagues and friends who vow to vote for McCain, or not to vote for prez but only for the Senate and House of Representative in the November election.
by LovingIT 2008-03-12 06:17AM | 0 recs
Nice C+P

Nice C+P of your comment on dKos.


So you're arguing that no political backbone needed to be exercised?  Isn't that rationale the same argument that got us into Iraq - "Voting against it would have been suicide"?

Look, I'm NOT against paper trails, and I understand that there's a lot of politics that goes into EVERY bill passed at the state and federal level.  There's always someone somewhere that has an interest in a bill, or it wouldn't be proposed.

But be real here.  The argument that you CAN'T vote against a bill, CAN'T show any kind of disagreement with it if it contains politically popular ideas is absolute bullshit - and the kind of spinelessness that defined Congressional Democrats for a long time.

Here's my caveat - I don't know how the Senate operates in Florida.  Maybe they have a filibuster or some kind of way for the minority to stop majority tyranny - maybe it's really poorly designed, and they don't.  I don't know.  But there's no reason why at EVERY SINGLE JUNCTURE there was NO opposition to moving the primary date registered in the voting record.  

Paper trails are VERY important, especially given Florida's history.  But as we're finding out, so is having an election that counts.  And if Democratic politicians can't go to their constituents and say "I feel it's absolutely imperative that we have paper trails, but I also want to make sure that your vote counts for something in the primary", then, again, the state of the Democratic Party in Florida would appear to be woeful indeed.  

EVERYONE knew what moving that bill would do, positive and negative, and nobody stood in the way of it happening.  If the motive changes from opportunism ("maybe we can make our state more important!") to straight politicking ("we can't vote against a paper trail, we'd look terrible!"), it doesn't change the fact that the responsibility for making sure the FL Democratic primary counted was with the Florida Democrats, and they ultimately were the reason it didn't

There was no opposition to this in the voting record.  In the end, you have unanimous support in the FL House for passing that bill.

Or do we really want to get into "I voted against it before I voted for it"?

by The Great Gatsby 2008-03-12 11:55AM | 0 recs


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