August 24th, 2007
11:12 AM ET
16 years ago

Florida Dems may seek legal action against DNC over primary fight

Nelson said Friday Florida Dems are prepared to pursue legal action against the DNC.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, vowed Friday to consider legal action against the Democratic National Committee, if the national party imposes sanctions against the Florida Democratic Party for holding its presidential primary on Jan. 29, 2008.

“If the Democratic National Committee sanctions Florida then some of us [in] the Florida Congressional delegation may ask an appropriate legal venue to determine whether or not a political parties rules can supersede someone’s right to vote,” Nelson said in a conference call.

DNC rules prohibit any state other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding a nominating contest before Feb. 5, 2008. One of the sanctions would be to limit the number of delegates Florida would be able to send to the Democratic National Convention next summer.

On Saturday, a DNC committee will consider the 2008 state delegate selection plans for 33 states including Florida.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. crisscrossapplesause

    "ask a legal venue to determine whether or not a political parties rules can supersede someone’s right to vote,”

    We already went through this in Florida..., the answer was no.

    August 24, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Don R., San Antonio, TX

    I agree the historical primary process has been largely fiction with tiny white-dominant states effecting inordinant influence, and it is a good thing for richly diverse states like Florida and California and Ohio to have more access to candidates. With that said, disagreements over the primary process have no business in the court system, since political parties are, after all, basically clubs with voluntary membership. If Florida creates a situation by cutting to the front of the line that invokes sanctions, they should have to live with them.

    At this point, a state the size and importance of Florida might want to look at the advantage of moving away from the pack to the other end of the calendar, closer to the National Convention, and hold themselves out as a big ripe orange.

    August 24, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. David, Salinas, CA

    This is ridiculous. We need to fix the whole system, not just keep changing the rules state by state.

    I’m for national regional primaries, constitutional campaign finance reform, FEC regulators with teeth, electronic ballots with paper copies, and scrapping the undemocratic Electoral College.

    Any other suggestions?

    August 24, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. Grovin, Darnassus, IL

    Of course. Because fighting one another is exactly what "they" want us to do.


    August 24, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Pat, Huntington Station, NY

    If its in the DNC rules, then why bother with a lawsuit? It's a waste of time and money.

    August 24, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Myron, Honolulu, HI

    There is some rush to vote, to get your State into the earliest category so we can all vote before the campaign even starts. Why let the voters actually know anything about the candidates? Let’s not let real inspection destroy a candidate’s chance to trick the voters!

    August 24, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Loyda, WDC

    You know what????? DNC and GOP should change the rules and move ALL PRIMARIES, CAUCUSES ect to MAY instead of January.... therefore, making this gruelsome and utterly useless 22months campaign period we have now a lot shorter, a lot less painfull and a lot more 'relevant'..... (we will certanly due without "so-and-so play basketball", or "so-and-so-other" made a bu-bu.....)

    August 24, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Chip Celina OH

    Simple solution. Don't change your primary date to keep up with the Joneses.

    Typical response though, we're not gonna play by the rules and if you penalize us for breaking them, we'll "See ya in court!"

    As lame as this is, I'm still glad I voted for Senator Nelson, but this is definitely not one of his stellar moments!


    August 24, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. James, Phoenix AZ

    Why should dems follow the rules?

    August 24, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    So it is a waste of time and money to act when the DNC is threatening to take away the Democrates voice in regards to the Democrate Presidential candidate?

    But if the DNC wants to destroy there party I could care less. Maybe they could get the Republicans to do something equally idiotic and increase the independent movement in this country since the 2 party system is crap anyways.

    August 24, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Alex Luthor, Madison, WI

    I really don't want my choice of candidates narrowed until closer to the real election.

    January primary? Why the rush? Afraid that the candidate (Hillary) you already decided on for us might not win the nomination if it were held later? That she might trip on her own promise-everyone-everything campaign? Rushing a primary like this make me suspicious.

    I am not a sheep. I will vote for whoever I please, reguardless of party, even if it means a write-in candidate.

    This just keeps adding strength to my growing belief that there should be no political parties-everyone has to run as an independent. I'd rather see 50 names on the presidential ballot in November than just two.

    August 24, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Christian, Tampa FL

    The only reason I registered as a Democrat was so that I could vote in the primary! If the DNC wants to abandon us Floridians, I'll just abandon them in return and go back to being an Independent. Whether it's in January or February, I want to vote in the primary.

    August 24, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. David, Jacksonville, Fl

    The idea that who we vote for and when we can vote can be controlled by the political parties is blatently unconstitutional.
    I agree with Alex's comment:
    "This just keeps adding strength to my growing belief that there should be no political parties-everyone has to run as an independent. I'd rather see 50 names on the presidential ballot in November than just two."
    Ever since "We" decided to go to a two party system, the parties have had to be everything for everyone. Lets have more parties, with none controlling when or where we vote, follow the constitiutional mandates on how that is done. Allow the Socialsit Party, the Communist Party, the Green Party, the Labor Party, the Immigrant Party, or whoever wants to start a political party, the opportunity to stick their necks out there and try for office.
    Why are we given such few, imperfect, and generally useless choices for office?

    August 25, 2007 11:50 am at 11:50 am |