October 6th, 2007
08:24 AM ET
13 years ago

Florida Dems sue DNC over primary date

Watch Tom Foreman's report about the dispute between Florida Democrats and the national Democratic Party.

(CNN) - The accelerated primary calendar of the 2008 presidential race has yielded its first lawsuit. Tom Foreman reports on the legal action taken by two leading Florida Democrats to try to stop the Democratic National Committee from punishing Florida Democrats for holding their presidential primary before February 5, 2008.

Filed under: Florida • Primary Calendar • South Carolina
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Daniel, NY

    Clinton has certainly the most to gain from FL having more influence in the process. Check out full analysis at Campaign Diaries.

    October 5, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. laurinda,ny

    To me this article doesn't even make sense. Why would anybody post something like this?

    October 5, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Frances Blue, Ocala, FL

    I guess you're only a disenfranchised voter when the DNC deems it to be so.

    October 5, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Sheryl Stolzenberg, Lake Mary, Florida

    I can't understand why CNN and other national news media are ignoring what is being done to Florida voters. Michigan has also moved its primary date up, and, as far as I know, their votes in their primary will count. How does a political party get the power to interfere with a Constitutional right to vote? How does this differ from President Bush using 'signing statements' to refuse to implement laws passed by Congress – also not in the Constitution? Why are no national news outlets examining what it means when political parties and Presidents take on powers not in the Constitution?
    If I bother to vote in my meaningless primary, it will be for Dennis K, who said he would campaign here before the primary. After this, I will register as Independent. If my vote isn't good enough for my former party, their candidates will never again be good enough for me. There is a strong level of anger in this state – and no one in the national media is paying attention. It's 'just goofy old Florida', I guess. No. It's a bad, bad precedent that's being set, and no attention is being paid.

    October 5, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  5. Joyce, Naples

    Good.. Keep fighting folks.. Florida and our country is being destroyed by these liberals. My fellow Floridians.. forget about these democrats. Go republicans....

    October 6, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    This is laughable. After all the fuss the DNC made about votes being disallowed in 2000 and 2004. I guess the right to vote is only a right if the DNC says it is.

    October 6, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  7. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    I hope the courts expedite this case.

    And, I hope they rule in favor of the people of Florida and against the DNC.

    The DNC is taking a huge gamble to alienate the voters in Florida to satisfy voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Those four states represent a very small percentage of the electoral votes that will be needed in November of 2008. And Michigan is also a worry.

    The DNC has made their point, now they need to back off and let the voters decide.

    October 6, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. phil margate fla

    if you would like to see voter turn out put a box for none of the above on the ballots ... as to the attitude of florida not counting if the dems wish to ignore florida they could be sending the vote they would get to the reps or the independents ... with that kind of thinking are the dems intelegent enough to hold office

    October 6, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Hey Jude

    Back off DNC. I am a moderate Democratic and Hillary
    backer. No one likes a bully.

    October 6, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Scott from Freehold

    The Florida situation points out the absurdity of the primaries. As they come on us quicker and quicker, one begins to wonder why we don't simply start the process the day after the presidential election is over.

    Why New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina have always reigned supreme is beyond me. What gives them the right to this privilege. I say divide the country into five sections along the lines of Northeast, Southeast, West, Mideast, Midwest, with 10 states in each group. Have 5 primary days in February and March of a presidential election year. Rotate the states from each group, so that two come up per primary day. This way each state will have the opportunity to go first and so on.

    The entire process is a joke. I hope the Florida situation causes it to blow up completely.

    October 6, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Allow me to UN boggle your mind. The CLINTON machine has pulled favors from Florida Dems/Republicans to move their Primary up to the same day as South Caroline Jan 29 and before the big Feb 5 second round of primaries. Since Hillary will loose in South Carolina and would have just lost in IOWA and New Hampshire primaries. She will use that Florida primary win to have the media to declare she is still in the race. Since all candidates pledged to not campaign in Florida. Hillary would win that states Unrecognized DNC Primary because of her name recognition. By the media promoting it as a win state for her it will have a mental effect on the Feb 5th Voters letting them think a vote for Hillary at that time would not be wasted. All Candidates, Better be somehow circumventing that Pledge and getting themselves up in the Florida polls. Honestly if you are a Candidate and you are dumb enough to sit back and not get your poll numbers up in Florida, Then you are too stupid to be President and should drop out NOW!

    October 6, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    This whole mess was started by the GOP majority in the Florida Congress. The national committees of the parties "set" the schedule, but this idea of leapfrogging to the front of the schedule has caused the national party of the DNC to say "enough!".

    The people of Florida are not at fault, but their legislature is. This is a nationwide primary, NOT just a Florida primary. It was very irresponsible of them to go beyond the dates set by the DNC and RNC. There are ways of dealing with their issues, but pushing the date up on their own is not the way.

    This is the same state that gave us the "hanging chad". Pushing them to the front of the primary schedule isn't what I would call a great idea. The state is a heavy retirement state so I doubt they are going to give us a balanced view of the candidates anyways. Anyone supported by AARP would be likely to win the state.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 6, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    Ummm.. By the way, to all those people saying they are being denied the right to vote.

    This is a PRIMARY, not the general election. The Primary is run by the DNC and RNC committees. It's a party run process. So of course the party is upset that the State Legislature has highjacked their schedule. It's within their rights to withdraw the delegates from their national convention.

    Sorry folks, but you need to read more about your own government!

    Telling it like it "is",

    October 6, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Dave, Cheverly, MD

    Wynter, I agree with you and most people know that the Florida Democrates will not win their court battle and they know that also. But then that is NOT the plan. The plan is to move the primary date up so that it will be a win for Hillary. They do not care if the delegates count or not. This is a state that has shown it does not care about votes being counted. Only the political gaming. If Obama or some other candidate gets Iowa, SC and Florida, it would be OVER for Hillary's campaign and she knows it. Just because Republicans initiated this strategy, still they are all Politician and when the day is over. They will scheme with whomever when they need to.

    October 6, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  15. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    It is my understanding from all that I can read on the matter, that the state of Florida ergo the people of Florida are paying for the cost of the primary.

    The cost of primaries nationwide is borne by the individual states. If the states pay for the election they should have the right (as they do) to decide when the election is held.

    If the DNC wants to hold a special election after February 1, let them pony up the money.

    October 7, 2007 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  16. NJ, San Diego, CA

    yes, FL have the right to choose the date they want to have the pres. primary... BUT the stinking fact is FL could have applied last year to submit their proposal with DNC had it really been their intention to be part the early pres. primary! Why push it now when it is already so late and will put into havoc the schedules of the early states-Iowa, NH, SC?

    The one million dollar question is which candidate will benefit from this change? Yes, it's HC–and FL is playing her game!!

    October 7, 2007 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  17. James, NY, NY

    Good luck to the Democrats. Time to take back your party from the 2 bit hacks running it into the ground.

    October 7, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. slimegreen

    Sorry Florida, I can hear the Dean Scream and Hillary Cackle already...

    America needs real change, America needs a third party candidate.

    October 8, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. Henry Tucker, Ga

    "The people of Florida are not at fault, but their legislature is. This is a nationwide primary, NOT just a Florida primary. "

    Posted By Wynter, Loudon, NH : October 6, 2007 7:23 pm

    When did the DNC suddenly eliminate "States Rights"?? Yeah I guess those disobedient voters in Florida should be punished for not following "the rules" set by Howard Dean and the DNC.

    DNC Motto: Party above People

    October 8, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |