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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Michigan Democrats Disenfranchised Today by DNC

George Wenschhof

Today, if any Michigan Democrats go to the polls to vote they will soon discover two things, neither one of which is fair.

One involves the Democratic National Committee (DNC), who in a move to flex their power, stripped the state of their delegates. These delegates are what are needed by Democratic candidates for President in order to receive the nomination of the Party. This action the DNC said was necessary due to Michigan moving their primary to January without their approval.

Unfortunately, the DNC doesn't seem to understand that disenfranchising voters in a state the Democrats must win in the general election in November only hurts the voter and does not punish state Democratic party officials. But once was not enough, the DNC also disenfranchised Florida voters, another state the Democrats need in November, on their primary January 29th for the same reason.

If action is needed to be taken to ensure a planned primary schedule, it certainly should not involve taking away the vote of a Democrat. For the DNC to say it is acceptable for Nevada and S. Carolina to join Iowa and New Hampshire in January and that it is fine for 23 states to hold primaries on February 5th while taking the vote away from Democrats in Michigan and Florida just does not make any sense.

The second thing Democrats will discover when they go to vote in their meaningless primary is that there are only three Democrats on the ballot for President. Senator Barack Obama and former Senator John Edwards both withdrew when they heard of the sanction from the DNC. Only Senator Hillary Clinton, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Senator Chris Dodd, who has since dropped out of the race, stayed on the ballot.

Will Senator Clinton claim a victory in Michigan if she receives the most votes in Michigan? How about if the voters give Congressman Kucinich or non-committed significant votes thereby showing a dissatisfaction with Clinton? In reality, this vote is ridiculous and meaningless and the DNC is to blame for their inability to reach a reasonable agreement with Michigan state Democratic officials prior to this primary. If the media gives any credence to the Democratic vote in Michigan, shame on them.

Another question is what would happen if no Democratic candidate for President wins the necessary delegates to win the Party nomination. This would result in a broker-ed Democratic convention later this summer. Would Florida and Michigan have their delegates restored and then become major players in determining the nominee?

Unfortunately, it will be the Republican party who will hold a primary today where the votes will count. Their contested primary will receive all of the media attention as it should while they explain over and over again that the Democratic vote did not count today.

So it is now on to Nevada and their DNC sanctioned primary this Saturday, the 19th. One month ago Senator Hillary Clinton was leading Senator Barack Obama by 27 points in polling conducted in Nevada. Today it is Obama - 32%, Clinton - 30% and Edwards - 27%
To see the Nevada tracking polls reported on Real Clear Politics click here:

The latest battle between the Clinton and Obama camps has to do with where some of the caucuses will be held. As I pointed out in an earlier post the culinary workers union which has over 40,000 members has endorsed Obama. The state of Nevada approved holding caucuses in nine casinos located in Las Vegas to make it easier for workers to attend the caucuses. Well it seems the Nevada Teachers Association who have endorsed Clinton doesn't like this and has instituted a lawsuit challenging the approval of caucuses located in casinos. And the beat goes on.... stayed tuned for the legal ruling on this case.

In the meantime, tune into MSNBC tonight to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate live from Las Vegas. This is one time when the saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" will not be true. The Debate begins at 9:00 PM EST.

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