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)

    Is not the democractic party ,is the republican governors fault.
    My suggestion the DNC should seat delegates 50/50 and move on.

    March 12, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. M. S. Indiana

    If we do a re-election in the 2 states, what will happen in 2012 when we need to vote again ?? maybe all will have their votes in jan ??

    Fire the 2 states leaders !!!!!! Maybe HRC can be GOV of both states.. Just a little change and fixing a few rules..

    March 12, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. TheLeftNut


    March 12, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Eric M

    I feel that a re-vote in either Florida or Michigan is going to set a precedent that the Democratic Party does not want. If these states are granted the re-vote, then what is going to stop all of the other states in the country from moving up their respective primaries or caucuses? If this happens, these states will argue past practice and the whole candidate election process will be in shambles.

    March 12, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Mike Smith, Port Washington, NY

    Seat the Florida delegation only after Clinton concedes the nomination. She is well behind at this point, and cannot win without this type of shenanigans in trying to "count" votes that even she had agreed, in advance, would not count.

    March 12, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Barack the Vote-GOBAMA!

    I know it's been said a million times before, but this is un–be–lievable. I lose more respect for Billary and her top-notch, state-of-the-art, can't-lose team every day, and she should question whether loaning herself $5 million is going to be enough to finance the repairs to her damaged ego. Rules are great, until you're getting popped for breaking them. Spitzer who?!

    Meanwhile, pa4hillary, as far as "Gerard Ferraro's" comments go, I'm as white as the snow pounding Ohio, and I would vote again and again for Obama. Why? Because–even though he's human and makes mistakes–he's a.) open about them; b.) at least TRYING to run a better, more positive campaign; and c.) is NOT HILLARY CLINTON. Oh, and he's black...get real. Maybe we should say the same about Gen. Powell.

    That's the message the MAJORITY of Americans are sending you, Clinton folks. Please keep your arms and legs inside the tram at all times, and leave your ridiculously battered egos and racist and sexist and moronic comments at the door. Thank you for riding Obama Air. Next stop–1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    March 12, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. CaliMale4Hill

    All of you Clinton bashers want to disillusion millions of other voters cause this will put your preacher out of the nomination. The truth is that if this is not resolved Hillary will take it to court and win.

    They cant not count those votes, its illegal ultimately and they can prove Obama campaigned because of his ad run in Florida. Hillary never campaigned there. Imagine the court awarding her ALL of Florida's delegates cause Obama broke the rules?

    I can't wait!

    Hillary Clinton 2008

    March 12, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Shannon

    I live in Florida, I voted regardless because I wanted to be heard. Why should my vote not count because a Republican Governor ok'd the move up of the Primary? Do I not matter? How ironic that it always comes down to Florida? This is not an issue of Clinton vs Obama, it is clearly Dem vs. Rep and if our votes don't count will can just hand the presidency to Mr. McCain.

    March 12, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Obama '08

    "were fair and should be honored"?? What is that campaign smoking? Do they honestly believe anyone outside the Clinton campaign will rationally conclude that Michigan was "fair" when Obama wasn't even on the ballot??

    Clinton's campaign is irrational quite often, but this notion is just ridiculously absurd.

    PS – go ahead and count Florida as is, it'll barely put a dent in Obama's pledged delegate lead.

    March 12, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Linda

    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."

    How in the world can she say that vote in which she was the only name on the ballot was FAIR??? Hillary is such a sleazy politician..

    March 12, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. jfs Memhis, Tn

    SORRY HILLARY>>>>50/50. That is the best that should be offered considering YOUR CAMPAIGN DID NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD HAVE WON AFTER SUPER TUESDAY !!!! YOU NOR YOUR"SUPER DELEGATES" have a right to dictate what terms are acceptable because thats what you want!!!! I do not recall anyone giving the control of this party to the CLINTON'S !!!

    March 12, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. matt

    jUST COUNT THE FLORIDA VOTE .. it doesnt make sense not to! everyone was on the ballot. over 3 million came out! more then ever before in the state of FL. SO WHY NOT!!!

    do a re count in michigan, count the florida . GIve me 1 good reason not to make florida count! 1 reason

    Everyone was on the ballot, no one campaigned there, Completely FAIR

    March 12, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Barbara M Campbell

    If Florida does a re-vote, the ballots should not be counted by a private firm as desired by Senator Nelson (a Clinton activist). Obama volunteers and Clinton volunteers should participate in the counting, given Florida's banana republic voting history.

    Interesting that Michigan is dragging its feet on a revote, now that polls are showing that the candidates are tied, with Obama likely to pick up steam over time. Nice for Hillary that both the governors of Florida and Michigan are doing everything they can to make sure she wins.

    March 12, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Rebekah in Michigan

    As a Michigan voter, I will protest at the steps of my capital if they allow the votes to be counted as is. 40% of our state voted uncommitted, rather than voting for Hillary Clinton, and those were the votes of the people who actually came out. I did not vote that day because I was told my vote would not count. I can guarantee you that the votes as they stand now do not represent the will of the people of Michigan (and probably not Florida either).

    Also, can we move on from this race thing about states being split racially in votes. How about votes being split gender wise? I can guarantee you that if you look at the primary results the percentage splits of females who voted for HRC and the splits of blacks who voted for Barack are similar. Why is it ok to vote by your gender but not your race? Oh...and by the way...I am a white, female who is a supporter of Barack Obama...because of his stance on issues.

    March 12, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. Freethinker2008

    Is there one sane person(besides a few party bigwigs) who thinks revoting Florida & Michigan, spending oh say 50 million in the process, not to mention the money the campaigns will be forced to shell out, just to reach a 53 – 47 split in the vote and essentially change nothing in the popular vote, elected delegates or status quo of the Democractic Race? I'm a life long Florida resident and I hear the folks who say my vote didn't count or I didn't vote because I knew it didn't count and I realize that we had no say in moving the primaries up or in handing out the penalty by the DNC, but somewhere along the way the insanity of the situation must stop. Split the delegates of each state 45% / 45% with the remaining 10% free to vote for the canidate of their choice. This option will save the 80 million, maintain the status quo, make the vote of each state matter, prevent us from having to endure the chaos of a hastily called revote and any aftermath and stops the insanity that none of the voters from either state brought upon themselves.

    March 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Bill from Oklahoma

    Democratic National committee I do not want to hear about you complaining about the republican party's disenfranchisement of voters in any more elections. You lost that right when you decided to disenfranchise the voters of michigan and florida.
    YOu are the worst of hyprocrits.
    Why should we want to allow the idiots in new hampshire and Iowa continually choose the presidential candidates for our party? Why shouldn't we have a voice? The whole DNC should be replaced if they do not seat the delgations.

    March 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. Mary, TX

    Everyone seems to forget that at the time the primaries were held, John Edwards was still in the race. If they had been held within party rules, there is no telling the impact that third candidate would have made. So, how do they account for that or doesn't he count?

    March 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. jhs

    Ya know, I just can't believe some of the comments I've read here. Do you really thing voters in Michigan and Florida are dumb? We do have TV, cable and newspapers/magazines too! For anyone to say we didn't KNOW the candidates is just ridiculous. We really aren't as stupid as you think we are you know. I live in Michigan, didn't cast a vote for Clinton OR Obama, but if there's a redo, I'll make sure Clinton gets my vote. Too much nastiness coming from the Obama supporters, it is you, supporters of BO that don't seem to be following your candidates lead.

    March 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. JH

    I am Hillary's support. Democrate's leadership have a problem. Let the Hillary and Obama fight each other. We are tired. This situation must be changed and otherwise the people will swith to publican.

    March 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Mac in Tampa

    To all the FL voters who didn't even bother voting because they knew their vote would not count...

    I DID vote, even though I had been told my vote would not count. Why?? Because I am an American Citizen.

    I will fight for my rights, even when others try to take them away.

    I will stand up and use my voice, even when others will try to silence it.

    I will meet my duty and responsibility to participate in our political processes, even when others try to take away that right. and negate my responsibility.

    That is why I voted, and it appears there are a WHOLE bunch of other Floridians who obviously felt the way I did. We voted for our candidate of choice. We have internet, we have TV, we have print media – we did not need a candidate to make a personal appearance here to inspire us and whip us into a frenzy to get us to get out and vote. We did the right thing, even though many said "don't bother", you don't count. We did not take that as appropriate then, and we don't take that as appropriate now.

    We were sending a message to the DNC then, and we are sending a message to the DNC now – hear us, the registered Democratic voters of this state. We want to participate – now it is up to you to allow our voices to be heard, for our votes to be counted.

    I do wish ALL registered Democrats in this state had stood up for their rights, but some chose not to. Do not penalize me for your inaction. I did my civic duty, and I am demanding my voice be heard, my vote be counted, and my rights not be violated in this process.

    March 12, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Pon Mao

    Clinton's camp is trying to fool people again: of course the previous primary in MI and FL were NOT "fair", because lots of people there knew the DNC had RULEs that would not count their vote, so those people didn't even vote, how about those people's voice?

    And only Hillary's name was on MI ballot, how can someone (who is sane) to consider that was fair?

    March 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. James

    Being a Florida voter, I'm appalled at the suggestion that the primary should be seated as is. The election was far from fair. Voter turnout was terrible because we knew months in advance that our votes would count for nothing anyway, but hey, at least we're voting two months earlier, right? Let the superdelegates decide this one or have a FAIR re-vote; counting the votes as they stand would be the true disenfranchisement of Florida voters.

    I'm tired of my state being a laughingstock, but really, when they do things like this...

    March 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Sam, Florida

    Why the DNC is not acting strongly on this issue? It seems to me by providing another chance or chances to both Michigan and Florida is telling anybody who breaks the rules: "Listen you broke the rules but it is okay here is your award you run the show!" (you deserve it more than who obeyed the rules)

    The DNC approach should be a clear NO (Sorry Charlie!) just like what they told them before people went to polls knowing that their votes wouldn't count!

    Everybody is talking about how important Florida and Michigan will be in the general election, so they should be given a second chance. Well, the last time I checked their importance didn't pop out just after Hillary won Ohio and supposedly Texas (Since Obama won the total State once the republican who favored Hillary were excluded from the caucas!).
    Weren't these 2 states important when the DNC punished them since they broke the rules? And what did it change in the clear defined rules and circumstances (other than Hillary fell behind) now since the DNC is allowing all this theather to happen?

    Republicans won Florida during the last two major elections! The governor is Republican (who is happy seeing the Democrats fights and not follow their own rules!). And knowing Charlie is charge the Republican McCain will win Florida in 2008 (Whether Hillary or Obama is the nominee).

    So I don't see why the DNC is NOT reminding the rules to those who broke them and say the case is closed!

    March 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Dusacre

    I) Florida and Michigan knew the rules and punishment for breaking the rules before their leaders decided to break them.

    II) All the candidates including Obama and Hillary agreed with the punishment imposed by the DNC

    III) The remaining states and territories kept the rules

    If will be a BIG MISTAKE for future elections to let these two states go "unpunished" in some form or other.

    Michigan and Florida delegates should be seated but their impact on deciding the nomination should be zero.

    That may not seem faire to individual voters, but this is the only outcome that teaches responsibility and preserve order for future elections.

    Hillary and Obama lost their options to change those rules or manipulate the outcome when they agreed with the DNC before the race started.

    March 12, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. Tom Swift, NH

    The DNC is Flip-Flopping.

    March 12, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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