Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A proposed solution for Fla. and Mich

Lanny J. Davis wrote in Politico.com Here are two important neutral principles that should guide the Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee when it meets May 31 to decide whether to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations — and, if so, how to allocate them between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. One principle is based in law, the second in pragmatic politics. Both principles result in the same solution: in some rough approximation, honoring the results expressed by almost 600,000 Michigan Democrats and more than 1.7 million Florida Democrats, who turned out in record numbers though they were told their votes didn't count, were not responsible for the rules violations, and don't want to be disenfranchised.
And both give Hillary a netter chance of claiming she won.

The legal principle supporting that solution is pretty simple. In U.S. contract law, the party breaching a contract usually has the right to "cure" the violation during the term of the contract. But if the other party stands in the way of that cure, the breaching party cannot be further sanctioned — and certainly, as a matter of fairness, the party preventing the cure should not stand to benefit.

That is, in fact, what happened in 2008 to Michigan and Florida. Those states violated the party rules when they scheduled their primaries before Feb. 5. But then in March, elected officials and party leaders in both states were willing to "cure" — i.e., to hold new primaries and raise the money privately to pay for them. In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Carl Levin proposed a "fire house" primary in June, in which voters could revote at local fire houses or libraries. In Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson and others supported a revote by mailed ballots and perhaps also offering the fire house alternative for those voters who preferred to vote in person.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean said at the time that such revotes were permissible and would bring Michigan and Florida back into compliance. And there was precedent: In 1996, Delaware Democrats held a party caucus earlier than the permissible date, resulting in a rule violation. But state Democrats were allowed to hold another caucus later on and were then found to be back in compliance.

In March and April 2008, Clinton publicly supported the revote proposals of Michigan's Granholm and Levin and Florida's Nelson. She repeatedly invited Obama to join her and do the same. He never did — and the revotes never occurred.


Anonymous said...

I do believe if Hillary and Barack would stop bashing each other, they could be a power couple. The Republicans have slim pickings right now and just one person seems to be running. I wonder if anyone will come out of the independent closet and run for office. I wouldn't trust any Florida votes, because of of the hanging chads in the past election.

Anonymous said...

Too much damage was done between the two love birds of politics, so unless then get to a thinkin about who they want for running mates - would Barack chose John Edwards? - we shall see - guess Ted Kennedy can't do much, because, he is ill and may not recover - but the man has alot of power - maybe this will pass on to Caroline, but I'm not sure how much she wants to be in the political arena. With all the stuff going on in Florida right now, the election seems like a second thought - people are out of work and losing their homes - ok Dems and Reps, what do you plan to do about that?

Anonymous said...

Hey, maybe a new law should be passed so Hillary could run with hubby dearest....that would be a hoot! He is more popular that ever and women seem to think he's cute and don't really care about his womanizing. Don't get me wrong, I think Hillary is a brilliant woman - I guess one of her best ideas was to take on the Clinton name, because it had the clout she needs.

Anonymous said...

Not staying with the general topic is something I am famous for. Sorry.....Anon....