March 12th, 2008
08:58 AM ET
10 years ago

Florida Dems v. Nelson on re-vote

 Florida Dems go head to head with Sen. Nelson.

Florida Dems go head to head with Sen. Nelson.

(CNN) - Tuesday night's statement from Florida's House Democrats stating their opposition to Sen. Bill Nelson's primary re-vote plan came after an unhappy meeting between that group and Nelson's chief of staff earlier in the day, according to a neutral Democratic source familiar with the talks.

A majority of the state's congressional delegation opposes both a primary re-vote and vote-by-mail, and feel Nelson was trying to dictate both without their consent. They gathered again after their unhappy meeting with Nelson's aide and released a statement stating their opposition – a move meant to send a message to the Florida senator that despite his public statements that a deal on terms he's described is imminent, the effort will not be successful if their concerns are not addressed.

"We are committed to working with the DNC, the Florida State Democratic party, our Democratic leaders in Florida, and our two candidates to reach an expedited solution that ensures our 210 delegates are seated," the delegation's statement read. "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind."

The group is not unified in their objections – but enough are opposed to Nelson's plan to potentially short-circuit the proposal. In order for the plan to be approved, Florida leaders need to sign off before it can be considered by the Democratic National Committee.

Wednesday morning, Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams released an open letter to her counterpart on the Obama campaign, David Plouffe, saying that both the Michigan and Florida votes - which were not recognized by the party - "were fair and should be honored." Williams indicated that a primary re-vote would also be acceptable, and said they were in contact with leaders in both states - including members of Florida's congressional delegation - to ensure that one of those two options occurred.

Florida and Michigan are both weighing options that would allow their delegations to be seated at the party's presidential nominating convention this summer. Both lost their voting privileges because of DNC penalties resulting from their decision to hold their primaries in January, in violation of party instructions. No major presidential candidate campaigned in either state.

–CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    Will Florida ever get its voting right?????

    March 12, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    I'll through my mail ballot in the trash!

    March 12, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. NoBama

    Can't wait to hear what kind of hopeful and unifying words the Obama supporters have to say about this....

    March 12, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. Alecia

    Private Clinton supporters should not be allowed to pay for an election. What is this now, "We can pay for elections to be held" what is the precedence for this? The people that should pay should be the politicians in Michigan and Florida who put their constituents rights on the line and loss. No one else should pay. The spin on this is incredible. All of a sudden it is the DNC that is at fault? I think not, the leaders in these two states are the ones at fault and should shoulder all the blame and should be held to come up with a solution and/or the money.

    March 12, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. jp

    If Hillary Clinton thinks the Florida and Michigan contests were "fair"- even though the candidates could not even campaign or simply contact voters to ask for their vote- then she should not be our President.

    Think about it- her husband ran in 1992 with 95% of Americans having never heard of him. Could he have won primaries without being able to campaign in those states?

    She is not fit to be our leader- pure and simple.

    March 12, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Angel

    Florida broke the rules. A recount would only encourage other states to follow their footsteps and move their primary's up in the calendar.

    March 12, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Obamacrat

    If the Florida and/or Michigan delegates are seated based on the original voting procedure the Dems can kiss the Whitehouse goodbye. It's that simple.

    March 12, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. sascha

    The Michigan and Florida were "fair"? The definition of fairness has nothing to do with breaking party rules!

    March 12, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Ron, TX

    I'm sure Maggie Williams thinks it's fair... considering Obama never campaigned in Florida, and his name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan...

    Who knows how many voters for either Obama OR Clinton would have shown up if: 1) they thought the primary would matter, which at the time of the vote, many people knew it would not count, and 2) Obama's name was actually on the ballot in Michigan, and 3) he actually got to campaign, seeing as how everywhere he campaigns, his poll numbers jump anywhere from 10 to 30% relative to Clinton.

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Ryan

    Floridians voted for the government hacks that torpedoed their primary. I think that the state should finance the re-vote, or seat delegates 50/50 or as a reflection of the national popular vote.

    These folks shouldn't be disenfranchised, but continual protraction of the vote or any chance of tampering must be avoided.

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Alice

    Hallelujah! Sanity is slowly creeping in!

    A re-vote is a complete waste of time and money. It will not alter the present situation (Obama ahead of Clinton in the delegate count) and will only postpone the inevitable (superDs will have to bite the bullet choose one or the other). And in the meantime, the party will tear itself apart.

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. simple thought ?

    it simple. I'm from mo. , if Florida and michigan votes don't count.
    i leave the democrat party.
    end of story...............
    it's up to the dnc.
    they count as part of America or i vote for the republican...........
    dems cant win without these two states.
    disinfranchise them, you disinfranchise me.......


    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. Jim in FL

    What a crock from the Hillary camp ......

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Brian

    This whole thing is incredibly messed up. I'm an FL voter and I didn't even bother voting simply because I knew my vote wouldn't count. NOW they're saying it WILL?! I call BS, and I swear if the democratic party decides to honor the votes as they stand now WITHOUT letting the MANY people like me have their voices be heard – I WILL vote republican.

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Charlotte

    The superdelegates are going to decide this race. That's all there is to it. End of discussion!!! Let the arm twisting begin?

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. Elisa

    Clinton will cheat her way to victory. It's sad how nothing ever really changes in this country.

    March 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. ktlin

    YIp they should be honored. And the rules that Harold Ickes (who is working in HIllary's campaign)I helped make and now is trying to change should stand as written. You can't go back and correct blunders once they are blunders. This is just like HIllary said about Mississippi – they aren't important and necessary. Oops! She got a little behind and now Fla and MI are needed. Let us hope that Pennsylvania is won by Barack. Good news is that she campaigned in Wyoming and Mississippi and STILL LOST. She hasn't yet figured out when Bill campaigns for her or anyone else they lose. When Penns hear about 200,000 jobs in NY that she promised and didn't deliver, the Canadian Naftagate was from her camp, she criticized Barack for Rezko but suddenly Spitzker, her superdelegate and one who was to support the superdelegates behind HER had a little problem, plus her dissing of Mississippi as backward, G Ferraros comments that she is accepting (she is not getting her off her campaign) plus I imagine plenty more to come because Hillary doesn't know any better. By the Barack should be firmly ahead both in respectful behavior and delegates and the popular vote. He gained over 98000 votes yesterday alone.

    March 12, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. melissa

    Florida and Michigan knew the consequences before they held their primaries. So why are we even considering allowing their delegates to count at the convention. And I am sure Hillary things that is the best thing....she is the only nominee that still held press conferences and rallies and whatnot in Florida, in direct conflict of what the DNC asked her to do! Others didn't rally in why does hillary think just because she won they should count? If another candidate had one those states, I BET she would be doing all she could to ensure they were disenfranchised.

    March 12, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  19. Sandra

    Florida Dem here:

    I don't want a revote, and I don't want our delegates to "count" in deciding the nominee. What's done is done: every candidate agreed ahead of time to these rules, and it's BS to change them now. Let the delegates be seated after the 'big business" is taken care of, so they can help with the party platform stuff.

    I find it amazing that not only are the Florida Democrats duking it out with the DNC, they are now turning on each other. A few months ago, it was FDP/Nelson/House Dems vs. Dean/DNC, now it's a crazy free-for-all. This reminds me of WWE's Friday Night SmackDown!

    March 12, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  20. scott

    OBama always sez every vote counts.
    Or is that unless its going to go to Hillary

    March 12, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. Keith, GA

    There should be no revote because in hindsight it is convenient. After the primaries have concluded in June, the DNC should gather the super delegates to settle who is going to be the nominee. The would settle the issues prior to the election and maintain the purpose of super delegates as elected representatives. People sometimes forget our society is not a democracy, but a republic. The popular vote is influential, but not deciding.

    March 12, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. pa4hillary

    what is obama going to do if or should i say when he can't win these big states? will he then bring race into it, or cry about how it wasn't done fair? and, i agree, if it was not for his skin color he would not be where he is.

    March 12, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. Meredith

    I'm sorry. Is Maggie Williams crazy? Do any of these hacks know how ridiculous they sound? I have a master's degree in campaign management, and I am absolutely appalled by the way this campaign is being run for Hillary Clinton. Who are these hacks? They're supposed to be some of the best and brightest, and I have yet to understand any moves they've made since primary season began. If this is the best staff HRC can come up with, there's absolutely no good indication her Presidential staff would be any better.

    Ms. Williams, you cannot seat delegates as-is because of two fundamental reasons: only one name appeared on the Michigan ballot and proper campaigning was not had in Florida (or Michigan for that matter). In what alternate universe is this scenario favorable for anyone, including Mrs. Clinton?

    I'm just going to go ahead and say what I always said to my parents when something was way too obvious for words.. DUH.

    March 12, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. Garba

    Nice move Clintons.

    What they are doing is coming out in public saying that they will accept a recount. However, they have their supporters in the party in FL opposing it – that way they can come out and say "we want a re-vote but the FL democratic party will not allow it and it is not fair on the people of FL not to get their vote counted"

    At the beginning of this primary, Clinton was confident of the win and agreed not to seat the delegates from FL – she did not ever imagine they will be necessary. Now that she is losing suddenly the FL voters count. What part of con game don't you folks understand. Clinton does not give a hoot about the voters in FL and MI and it obvious to my 13 year old.

    March 12, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. Dennis

    Anything for Hillary. Hillary said the contests wouldn't count last year and made no mention of counting in her Florida "victory" speach. The only fair options are to seat 50-50, or to cut the delegates in half and run caucuses which are CHEAPER.

    The republicans will say we can't manage a budget if we hold another election.

    Of course if the roles were reversed, ie, Hillary leading, then there would be no discussion of a revote.

    I think minorities understand moving the bar, changing the rules to keep the oppression up.

    March 12, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6