According to the latest reports, Florida is going ahead with it’s plans for a primary on January 29th. Florida Dems have a few days to change their minds, since the DNC has set September 29 as the last day to comply with Party rules preventing the seating of any delegates from a state that holds a primary before Feb 5th, except for NH, SC, IA and NV
It’s hard to say how many Floridians are pissed about being told they can’t have an early primary because it might offend the privileged status of those four states. But judging by the sour grapes over early primary scheduling that keep rolling out of Florida, it is a problem. A recent example comes from the Sunshine State’s top columnist Carl Hiaasen, who makes some valid points and gooses a few bitter chuckles out of Florida’s unhappy predicament along the way. Says Hiaasen:
At first, the dispute looked like a fiendishly clever ploy to make the party leadership appear self-destructive and incompetent, thereby lulling Republicans into a sense of complacency. Now it’s obvious that the DNC really is self-destructive and incompetent, stubbornly insisting on perpetuating the charade that allows only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold nominating contests before Feb. 5.
Hiaasen’s point should resonate with those who can actually count electoral votes. Florida is a big bad mother, electorally speaking. So is Michigan, the other state dissed by the pledge of Democratic Presidential candidates not to campaign in states that have scheduled primaries before Feb. 5th, except for the privileged four.
FL and MI are being asked to take one for the team, but without a sweetener. Some of this fuss is about economics. NH reportedly rakes in about $300 million as a result of it’s first-in-the-nation primary. Perhaps giving FL and MI each one of the Democratic conventions in the years ahead could help with the resentment. In that event, however, you couldn’t blame other states for grumbling. Sooner or later Dems will have to allocate primary dates equitably, either through random selection or taking turns.
The early primary conflict between the DNC on the one hand and FL and MI on the other has been likened to a game of chicken. Unless grown-ups prevail and work out a compromise everyone can live with, after September 29th it may look more like a demolition derby.
The Florida Democratic Party has decided to go ahead with the January 29th primary. They had a chance to hand count their votes themselves after Feb. 5th with a mail in or a caucus, but chose to get people to the polls early, mostly to fight a property tax amendment that ironically was tossed off the ballot by a judge. On the same day FDP chair Karen Thurman announced her decision!
Now, the Democrats will let the Republicans count their votes for the Presidential primary, and the national Democratic party will refuse to seat the delegates. It is like some mad Peter Sellers bedroom farce that would be hysterical if we weren’t facing the prospect of another stolen election and four more years of unjustified war.