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. Ghost

    Um Hillary Clinton campaigned 4 times in FL using certain appearance type loopholes. So it is very poor reporting to claim no major canidate campaigned in FL. Just the opposite, Hillary campaigned there to gain the vote to set up this stunt.

    March 12, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. AJ

    There should not be a re-vote. Just seat the delegates.

    March 12, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Susan

    Typical, first they say they are committed to getting the delegates seated but in the next breath they say they do not want a mail in or redo. Sort of contradict themselves don't they. Oh, I know only their vote counts. Well, we know who does not want a revote and they will find themselves out of office when the time comes. Every person who took their time off to vote should be counted and it is sorta funny that Obama once said every vote should count but now he changes his mind (could be because he thinks he might loose)!

    March 12, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. brettjay

    FL and MI think they can play political leapfrog and get away with it. FL and MI have A LOT of delegates! Too many to be distributed in the first stages of the primary elections. FL voted for this maverick governor, we will have to live under his rule. Gov Crist has let down his constituents.

    March 12, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Martin

    For Clinton to get Michigan and Florida delegates counted when other candidates were excluded because of her two faced double standards would just look like her using a Jim Crow law like trick to her benefit. If she had any decency (not much chance there from present behavior) she should request a re-vote or that every vote that wasn't FOR her should be counted AGAINST her. Split the delegates evenly that way (as her margins were small) and then both states can be counted in effect. That would still mean she was down on delegates overall, and would ultimately mean she still would have to appeal to super delegates or admit that she can't win the national vote. She's already over 10 states behind Obama in wins

    Clinton and her delusional backers believe that the "Ends Justifies The Means" which anyone who knows history is the gateway to evil. Clinton should stick by her word and either back the exclusion of Florida and Michigan she agreed to OR she should go for a re-vote. She cannot have their votes unfairly as this would just invalidate any possible win. If she got the nomination by such dirty tricks no one who backed Obama would support her and McCain would win a landslide.

    I don't doubt the sincerity of many Hillary supporters but they are fooling themselves if they can win the nomination cleanly and ultimately they are utterly insane if they think after that Hillary can win the Presidency.

    March 12, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  6. Kris

    The last statement in your article above is not quite accurate. Senator Obama did not "physically" campaign in the State of Florida but there were Campaign ads on TV prior to the Florida Primary. Does this not constitute "Campaigning"? Did he actually break his pledge?

    March 12, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  7. e

    Re vote in Florida after breaking the rules?!
    Imagine if Russia had done that!
    USA the whole world is watching.
    Racism, political pandering, deception, manipulation, disinformation, lies, cover ups:
    Welcome to the Whitehouse.

    March 12, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Brian

    How can an election be fair if your not allowed to campaign?

    March 12, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Celia

    How in the world would they do a mail-in primary in Michigan. We do not have the ability to designate a party on our registration form. There have been so many forclosures here, how are they going to find people. Maybe they will just mail it to every address in the state.

    March 12, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Texas Teacher

    Re-vote or don't seat. They knew the rules and decided to ignore them, so accept the consequences. Even an eight year old child can get that concept!

    March 12, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. Ogoigbe L.

    To Craig
    When you jump the gun you have to face the consequences.Off course
    your vote won't count when the rules are not obeyed.It is just about obeying the rules which FL & MI didn't do.Let's call spade spade,American DEMOCRATS have spoken & wisely for that matter:they surely prefer & want CHANGE.

    OBAMA'08 &'12

    March 12, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. MD in CT

    Obviously, Florida and Michigan have to be rehabilitated. Since CNN and others mistakenly have listed Clinton as the winner (with no delegates awarded, which is the only reason for the election) and Clinton did not obey the National Democratic Party and participated in each state, she has a significant advantage. Obama, if you really are the candidate to united people, suck it up and just agree.

    Now here is how to do it.

    The voters in each state, and the rest of the country, need to know how this colossal mess happened so the 2 candidates need to meet for 2 hours and agree on 1 person to write what actually happened and make it available to anyone who wants it on the internet, TV, etc. If they cannot agree, Clinton and Obama each put 10 names in a hat and 1 name is drawn by a Republican or some other equally disinterested or hostile person (maybe the national chairperson or even McCain would enjoy this job) or in a similar neutral manner.

    The 2 elections should be the last ones of the campaign year. In school if you butt in line for ice cream, you were sent to the back of the line. Things don’t change for childish adults.

    The superdelegates of each state must be allowed to vote but they have some responsibility for the problem. So they are automatically divided in half mathematically (11 in Florida and 12 in Michigan to each candidate) until the convention and then they cannot vote until the 2nd round of voting. At that time, they can vote their heart.

    How should each candidate be allowed to campaign? Only the candidates themselves should tell the voters their policies in person and on TV during 1 week. Each spends Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in one state and Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the other. There is a single Sunday television appearance where each candidate speaks straight for 30 minutes. Who goes first is determined by a flip of a coin. On Monday, both states vote at the same time. No other person who is officially from either campaign can participate in any manner and should not even appear in the state (either now or during that week). No television ads from either campaign can be specifically targeted to affect Michigan or Florida or have anyone from those 2 states in an ad even now.

    And at the end, the central committee must prevent this from happening again. I think the best way is to have a bingo-like lottery for 5 to 10 dates of state voting so each state has a chance to be first. No more games. Sorry Iowa and New Hampshire, you have had the monopoly of being first just too long.

    March 12, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Trev

    It is not the people of Florida and Michigan who broke the rules, it is the party leaders and elected officials. Punish them. Take their superdelegate status. That would hurt the candidate I support (Hillary Clinton) but it would punish the people who deserve it. Do we really think that the voters in Florida and Michigan are going to vote Democrat in Novemeber if they are not counted in the primary. People keep talking about the rules. They forget the other half of the equation. Rules are only meaningful if you can identity the people who break them and punish those people. The type of collective punishment on display here is something they do in dictatorships.

    March 12, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  14. Mary

    Florida should stand as it is. Broke the rule and learn from it. If the Clinton's want to put up money (I think they were offering $15,000.) to do a redo with Obama putting up another $15,000., let them instead donate their $15,000. to the needy since Hillary claims she has done so much in Louisiana.
    She is whining and will do anything to win this race. She has completely turned me off and "Bill" needs to get lost. They are a power hungry team and should be run out of town.

    March 12, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. vicki $$$$$$$$

    Why spend Millions of dollars on a re- vote. Since Hillary and Obama have split the vote in every state split the delegates .... Even with these delegates counted I still don;t think Hillary can catch up SSSOOOOO
    is every one suddenly back paddling with this. two weeks ago every one was against it It won't solve anything Clinton was ahead in every state unti;l Obama campaigns why does anyone think this will be diferent It just gives Clinton more time to destroy the Democratic Party .......GOOD IDEA I ........
    Spend al this money ( oh that's right Hillary supporters and Hillary Have spoken)
    Who exactly were the folks that originally agreed to these terms show us the original people who said this was a good idea or agreement

    Why bother since Hillary will drag this thing further into the mud and neither candidate will win . thanks Hillary

    Just cause she' s used to life in the gutter doesn't mean she should have taken the whole party there .....

    March 12, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Kathy

    I do not trust O'bama. I have not from the beginning. Its not because he is Black or that is is a man. Although you will somehow make it racial when it is not. He makes a good speech and everyone is ready to follow him. I learnt to trust my instinct. It is almost always right. When someone states a fact that he is only where he is because of his color not meaning to be racial. It's a fact. Just like you said he won most of Mississippi Black votes which is a fact not ment to be racial.

    March 12, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Dee-SC

    I wonder why Hillary wasn't screaming about FL and MI prior to the TX and OH primaries....could it be, she didn't believe that she would need them!! But now all of sudden, their voices should be heard...they voted and she won...are you kidding me??? First of all, all of the candidates were suppose to remove their names from the ballots in MI....of course, Hillary didn't adhere to the rules that she agreed to...and in FL, millions of voters didn't vote because they knew their votes weren't going to count...but lets just count them anyway!

    I can't believe any American could consider this fair...and the state legislatures screwed this up and now want to put the blame on the DNC...get real!! They need to pay for any re-vote or else in upcoming years other states will use this is a precedence to break the rules!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Nik

    Stop all the bickering and whinning about race, gender and what's fair. As a democrat and Obama supporter, let's do a revote in Florida and Michigan. If Clinton beats Obama in a revote, so what.? Will that propel her to the nomination....I think not. Oh, I forgot...she and her supporters still have that illogical argument that she won the BIG STATES. I thought she was campaigning for president of the United States; not president of Big States.

    Go away Hillary.

    By the way, perception is everything and don't be fooled. The republicans are salivating over an opportunity to DESTROY Clinton with all her baggage if she's the nominee. Do a fact check...from missing people, to linked murders, to Bill's drug smuggling in Arkansa, to Bill's $136 million uranimum deal, middle eastern money dontated to the library, lies about her foreign policy experience, corrupted donars....the list is infinite.

    March 12, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Craig in MI

    Most people of Florida and Mich did not even know they state was braking the rule's they never told me they did that and i think they didn't inform a lot of voter's to that so how can you say the voet's don't coun't if the local Dem commity did somthing wrong they should have to pay for re-vote not the tax payers and above all count these voters !!!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. polly molly

    People like her and Bill, and many Democrats who claim to be so civil rights and human rights, are not so. Just like Spitzer, these are a bunch of sad people who get to power and find themselves so unhappy then end up doing what they do.
    I agree with many of the writers here, Junior 4 you, you are right. None wants to call it for what it is, simply because the Clintons held such a high place none believes Bill did what he did, none sees that Clinton voted for the War, none cares that she is the one who talked to the Canadians, none cares to say that in the democratic party there are very racist individuals who when it works forthem and their personal political carreers then they are for helping minorities blah blah, blah, but at the end they dont walk the talk. there is one posting here, which I could not agree more with, one that said (and i quote you ) "Sen. Clintons new campaign strategy: RACISM" this is very clear and just wait, she has just started. She does not denounce what Ferraro said, did not denounce what Eliot did, where does she stand? she knows that if she denuonces this she looses two votes ( superdelegates or delegates not sure which one.) But this is very shameful and these Women, Clinton and Ferraro have no place in our politics!!!Shame on y ou Clinton Clan

    March 12, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  21. James, Pennsylvania

    Clearly by saying that we should stick to the rules and disenfranchise the voters of Michigan and Florida because they thought that they should somehow have a say in the nomination doesn't sound very unifying and uniting to me. If Barak can't unify the democrats by being a man and saying seat the delegates "as is," then how would he ever think that he was going to unify Republicans and Independents behind his speeches not solutons campaign? Good luck Obama supporters!

    If the DNC does not recognize the delegates of Florida and Michigan based upon the votes that already Occured, then I will change my party affiliation and vote Republican!

    Way to unify Obama-the majority of Americans behind McCain!

    March 12, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. jp/michigan

    I read in the Detroit News today, that Obamas campaign doesn't trust mail in re due of the Michigan Primary. He want the delegates split 50/50. I voted in Michigan in January . Obama choose to keep his name off the ballots along with Edwards. So, I feel leave the votes as is or re-do them. He left his name on in Florida, so they should not have to re-do them. Obama is looking not to count Michigan votes only to help himself.

    March 12, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Dana

    I agree for a re-vote in Florida and Michigan, however Hilliary needs to realize that she is not going to get more delegates than Obama. She needs to drop out of the race because she is not going to win in November because of the damage she has done to the Democrat Party.

    March 12, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. GEORGE

    I believe Michigan needs a revote. However, Florida had all the candidates names on the ballot. Obama was the only Candidate running campaign ads. when he shouldn't have been. So talk about playing by the rules. After last nights primaries looks like race is starting too raise it's nasty head. NOT GOOD!!!!

    March 12, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. jp/michigan

    Oh! Obama was not campaigning personally in Florida. He only spent 1.3 million in advertising.

    March 12, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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