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. Chris

    Yes they should be seated and Florida should at least be seated as is. Michigan should re-vote. But, Its Obama's fault for not leaving his name on the ballot. If I recall, leaders in the States part were wanting people to vote Un-Committed as their support for Obama. Guess that did not work. As for Florida, both names were on ballot. They had been in the news for months and people knew enough about them to make a decision. And this crap that Obama supporters did not come out because they thought it would not count means nothing. HE, Obama was telling people to go out and vote and was running ads in the state of Florida. We could also say that Hillary voters did not come out also because they thought their vote did not count also. But, We could say a lot. What we can say for a fact is that Hillary WON the state of Florida and if WE the Democrats want to win the election, We need Florida and Michigan.

    March 12, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. 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 like the republicans did 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 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. polly molly

    CAn we all do a re vote? please stick by the rules, I am sure the Clintons are behind this. Can anyone explain to the voters, how this whole thing went down, who approved it, who supported it and who over all agreed to stick to the rules and has not?
    CNN please provide all the facts, rules and details. you keep stirring this but do not provide with the facts of how this whole thing started. that is not fair reporting.
    thank you,

    concerned voter.

    March 12, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. ross

    Spli the delegates between the candidates. That will cost Michigan and Florida nothing. But obviously, it won't make Hillary and her supporters happy. But rules are rules. Without them, we have corruption, choas, and mahyem. Do we let murderers or thieves off the hook? Is NY going to let Spitzer off the hook? No. No. No. So why should Michigan and Florida be treated any differently? And who's going to stop other states from doing in the future? I wonder if the citizens feel the same way as Nelson or even the Florida State Democratic party leaders? My guess is no. They were silenced because of their political leaders.

    March 12, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. Ellis, Brown University

    Is the Clinton campaign serious?! They think that the votes in Michigan were "fair and should be honored", when Obama wasn't even on the BALLOT?!

    I don't know how anyone can trust this campaign – they will do and say anything to tear this party apart.

    March 12, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. David C. In Indianapolis

    Of course, the Clinton camp wants the current tallies in FL and MI to count. A re-vote could drastically change the outcome. God forbid, some voters would want to alter their vote. Again, HRC will say or do anything to win, even if the Democratic Party self-implodes. Just like HRC campaigning for John McCain. I wonder if people look at the Dem's party mascot in a negative light.

    Obama '08

    March 12, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. Sarah

    What else is new? A big racial divide was shown in FL, NV, SC, AL, AR, TN, MS, OH, and others. The media is focusing on this now, because? After NH obama and the media played the race card to the tee divided the Democratic party, the AA community has been voting completely on race identity, with the exception of a few and to those who haven't thank you.

    March 12, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Jewel - NC

    Voting by mail would be devasting. We need to let the DNC handle it.

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

    Both the Michigan and Florida votes "were fair and should be honored"? I can see Florida, but Michigan? What planet is the Clinton campaign coming from to call that fair?

    March 12, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  10. Michael Servos, Aachen, Germany

    I just can´t understand the whole discussion taking place in the US. There were rules, FL und Mi broke them, they have to take responsability for their actions. Given that both candidates want them to take part in the national convention, they have to re-vote in any way. It´s impossible, that they get away with this rule-breaking behavior! Even worse: Those potential democrativ voters that stayed at home in january (15./29.) because they knew, their vote would not be counted will be punished, if the election result would be accepted two months later and their correct behavior of respecting the democratic parties rules would lead them to be not allowed in taking their part in the nomination process.
    The onlpossibility is to let the re-vote or caucus or whatever but it would be totally unfair to just seat them at the convention.

    Please apologize my bad english, as I am german. Thanks!

    March 12, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. New York expat in Santo Domingo

    The DNC needs to make the cost of a re-vote and the division this causes Dems in FL and MI to go away. The rules were set and not followed. Edwards was still in the race with Obama and Clinton at the time. We cannot roll back to that point in time. Talk about buyers remorse, Hillary was the frontrunner a year ago across the board and feels entitled to the nomination – she'll tear the party apart until the vanguard of the Party (Dean, DNC, key Supers) come out publically that it is over for her. COST. DIVISION. N0-WIN-SITUATION. Hillary cannot try to increase the margin in every state she's lost. She cannot continue to do re-dos until she wins. She's soooo invested in this that she is somewhat self-delusional. Hillary's peers need to let her get out of this with grace and dignity so it won't erase the legacy that remains for her dedication and service to the public. BUT, she must get out.


    **********OBAMA WON TEXAS**********

    by an estimated 5 delegates over Clinton

    What "Big victory" by Hillary? The story is, "Obama Made Huge Inroads Amongst Clinton Base" leading up to Texas and Ohio. Three weeks before, he was way behind. President Bill Clinton and advisor James Carville said she needed to win "big" in both contests (thus, the post-primary rhetoric) OR it was OVER. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news: HILLARY - IT IS OVER!!!

    When will Candy Crowley and Wolf Blitzer and the majority of CNN's "best election team" get off the Hillary bandwagon and become objective arbitors of this election and process, holding candidates accountable for their own words and representations? Who is going to interview President Clinton and ask him to deconstruct what has taken place? James Carville the same? Didn't Richardson come out two days before Super Tuesday and say whoever was ahead in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday was the presumptive nominee and the other should drop out? Who has followed up on that?

    Rather than devoting hours to salacious sex scandals, can CNN at least devote a few minutes to some HARD NEWS????

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

    Maggie Williams is full of Clintonology.

    You agree that the states would not count before the primaries start and then you want to count them with no strings attached even when Obama didn't introduce himself to Florida and wasn't on the ballot in Michigan.

    Maggie, you can't change the rules in the middle of the game.

    If this were Obama trying to seat uncontested delegates, you would be at arms against it.

    March 12, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. fred

    They should have a re-vote, or count the votes from the previous election!!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  14. Jim, Youngwood, Pennsylvania

    I find it amazing that the candidate for change actually prefers the old-Washington style of politics that promotes the disenfranchisement of voters because they had the AUDACITY OF HOPE that their states could have an equal say in the nomination process. Barak is supposed to be the candidate of hope, but all Barak hopes for now is that the voters that voted fairly are disenfranchised by old-Washington style anti-democratic rules! That's not change in Washington politics, that's more of the same. Maybe Hillary can ask for a do-over for the states that she didn't do well in as well?

    Isn't it amazing that the inspiring man, wants nothing more than to disenfranchise the fair votes that occurred, including the 33% in Florida, who voted for Barak, simply because it's to his political advantage? How pathetic Barak! How very pathetic!

    March 12, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Emiel

    Where was Maggie Williams when her boss agreed to not seating the Florida and Michigan delegates? Changing the rules during the game, it's such a typical strategy nowadays.

    "One of your supporters calls my candidate a monster? Shame on you, you should denounce and reject and fire her."

    "One of my supporters accuses your candidate of being good for nothing else besides having a dark skin? Well yeah I do not agree but I'll leave it at that."

    March 12, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Daniel

    Yeah... all those votes were fair. I mean, it's not like Obama's name wasn't on one of the ballots at all, or that he didn't campaign in Florida. It's fair for Hillary because she didn't listen to the DNC's ruling. Not only did she keep her name on the ballot in Michigan (with the likes of Mike Gravel and Kucinich, but not Edwards) which was a violation, but she also campaigned in Florida, another violation. I'm not opposed to the re-vote, but honestly, if two states are dumb enough to not heed a strict warning, I'm not sure I want their input for our next president. We all know how good Florida is at conducting elections...

    March 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Ogoigbe L.

    The rules have to be strictly followed.Hence,there should be any re-vote in FL & MI.Just why can't somebody agree Obama is coasting home to victory.

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    Perplexing how Florida and Michigan now are trying to get seated at the Democratic National Convention. The DNC established the rules; both states agree to the rule; and now that Hillary is behind in popular and delegate votes, they want to change the rules. You can't have your cake and eat it to; however all of this has been concluded at the expense of the American voter, who were "hoodwinked." I believe that you are going to experience for the first time a Democratic National Convention which will only be represented by 48 states.............times are truly changing.

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. Greg

    Another Clinton stunt, show us your 2006 tax returns Hillary

    March 12, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. Craig

    How can they tell use are votes don't coun't thats like telling us to go back to days of segregation I hope we have not gone back to this as all people have the right to vote !!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Independent

    Most people in FL and MI didn't know who the other candidates were until much later in the process. I didn't know who Obama was until Feb 4th. Did they move up their elections in order to give Clinton a name brand advantage?

    March 12, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. Lou in Miami

    the notion of 1.7 democrats in Florida are so stupid that we went to vote in records ill-informed and made the wrong choice is totally moronic. We saw the debates; we read the paper and watched the news. We know what's going on and we just want the votes counted.

    March 12, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Pgh Jack

    I'm sick and tired hearing about this re-vote. Each state went against the DNC. Let each state go to Obama and Clinton and have them raise the money for the re-vote and the candidate who will not help, the voters will know which candidate is against the will of the voters and is more worried about themself then the people.

    March 12, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. T800

    Our USA is built on competition. The competition/event has rules which both side must abide by or else get accessed a penalty. (Watch any sporting event)

    So why are we even considering a re-do or accepting the results "as is" when the rules were set a year ago. Where was the outrage then? Now that one candidate would benefit if the rules had not been in place we what to change the rule in favor of that person?

    So the message is, if you can’t win by the rules use all your power and influence to change the rules.

    So I guess this year if Tiger Woods hits a bad tee shot, misses’ a putt, shanks a shot out of the ruff in any of the big 4 majors, he gets a re-do on his shot!! If not then he could use his influence and power and say if I don’t get a re-do I will start my own tour.

    No re-do’s it is not in the spirit of fair competition. Plus what type of message does it send to the states in 2012 you can hold your caucus/primary anytime you want and if the race is close where you can be the deciding factor you get a re-do!

    March 12, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. polly molly

    Clinton show your tax returns, she is pretending that it is not an issue...............
    The iguana

    March 12, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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