March 7th, 2008
08:28 PM ET
14 years ago

Levin: No practical or fair way to hold a Michigan re-vote

(CNN) - Michigan Sen. Carl Levin - one of the most powerful Democratic politicians in Michigan - has weighed in against a re-vote that would allow the state’s delegation to be seated at the party’s national convention this summer.

“Senator Levin doesn’t see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a ‘do-over’ election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates,” read a statement posted on his Senate Web site Friday.

Negotiations over a new vote - involving representatives from the state and national parties and the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - hit a snag Thursday when the Michigan Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer said that it could cost as much as $10 million.

Levin’s statement said that unless an agreement was reached before August, the decision would fall to the Credentials Committee that certifies delegates – with their ruling subject to appeal to the full convention.

Michigan and Florida lost their voting power as a result of Democratic National Committee penalties for their decision to hold their primaries in January, despite party instructions.

The major candidates all signed an agreement that they would not campaign in either state before those votes, and most withdrew their names from Michigan’s ballot, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who won both contests.

Levin has not backed any presidential candidate this cycle.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Michigan
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Kathy Ritch

    The DNC should raise "soft money" to cover the cost of a mail in ballot primary in both Michigan and Florida. The Democrats need those states to win the general election so shouldn't punish the voters for the stupidity of both the National and State Party leaders.

    March 7, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Allison Marie

    I don't find this Clinton's problem the problem lies with the DNC, and it's sickening to see this unfold!

    I am a Florida voter that doesn't count, and feel unfair comments being made by the media. One would think they would be out raged that some Americans votes matter more, especially after what happened in 2000, which we never heard talk of a re-do!

    If our votes aren't counted, all of you are as guilty as the President & the FAILED policies, because they don't seem to know what the Consitution is either.

    Countless in Florida

    March 7, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. L, TN

    I agree no do overs. Count the votes the way they are. You start having do overs and where do you stop. There have been problems at every voting poll. You can't tell anyone their vote doesn't count. It was the states that moved up the vote, not the voters.

    March 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Dennis

    No one campaigned in either state. The voters went to the polls in record numbers anyways and we have a result. Senator Obamas' name was not on the ballot in Michigan. His campaign did not have the forethought to realize the nomination could not be won outright without these two states. The state of Michigan should not be held accountable to the ommission of his campaign. Senator Obama was on the ballot in Florida and lost significantly. Florida should not be held accountable for the ommission of his campaign in Michigan.

    In both states the primary was moved up by state legislators and governors who represent the Republican Party. Although the GOP caused this problem, their national committee saw fit only to "halve" the delegates in punishment. The Democratic primaries were taken along for the ride and they a punished with no representation even though their early primaries were the result of others outside of the party. That in itself is excessive.

    The Republicans caused this problem. There is significant evidence they voted heavily in our primaries (up to 9% of the millions of votes in the Democratic Primary in Texas as but one example). Now we talk about spending millions of dollars because we can't see straight about who is responsible for what behavior. I say we wipe the slate clean and let the results stand as they are.

    March 7, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Patrick

    I feel sorry for the voters of Michigan and Florida. If your politicians had foregone the election in January you would still have the funds needed to hold a later primary. You guys deserve better, more intelligent, elected officials who are willing to abide by the rules they agree to just like the other 48 states who didn't break the rules and held their primaries fairly.

    One thing that will not and should not happen is the delegates being seated without a revote. That would signal to the other 48 states that they don't have to abide by the rules just like Michigan and Florida, both of which seem to currently have elected officials that feel their states should be allowed to break the rules that the other 48 followed.

    March 7, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Linda Brwon

    As far as a Florida do over goes, both candidates were already on the ballot there, so why do that one over? As for Michigan, they would need to redo that one only for the simple fact that Obama was not on the ballot there. It's the only fair thing to do. I am a Clinton supporter and still feel that Michigan should have a do over.

    March 7, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. mansoor saifi

    James Carville suggested that he or Clinton campaign will raise $15 million for primaries in Florida and Michigan. He sugested simiolar contribution from Obama campaign. James should stop this nonsense. After all his family fat income is guaranteed , no matter who wins the Presidency. This Clinton supporter did not raise his voice when the Democratic party decided not to seat Florida and Michigan delegates. Terry and he can raise $30 million from their corpoarate contributors to pay for Florida and Michigan primaries. Many of us who supported Obama campaign did not doante for these primaries, which are largely to support Clinton's failed campaign.

    March 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  8. Solution

    Why not just split the split the delegates? The net result is zero and no candidate will have a delegate count advantage over the other, except what already exists now, but at least FL and MI can be seated at the convention.

    March 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Scott

    Does it matter?

    Even with them seated AS IS... She would need to win every remaining state by over 65% to come close to Obama's pledged delegate lead.

    Even then though, she wouldn't catch him...

    This is all over and just for posturing. She wants them seated so she can call them a victory and use them as leverage in trying to convince the Super Delegates to ignore the vote of the people and give her the nomination...

    Because to her Ohio / Texas / Florida all count but the other small states don't matter.

    I guess to her while all our voices need to be heard some are more important than others.


    Obama has this locked up, even if he stopped campaigning today.

    He is going to win Wyoming tomorrow and then Mississippi, then PA

    March 7, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Jesse

    This election was ok I was for Hillary or Obama. Recently I see Hillary campaign driving a wedge down the middle of the democratic party. This only favorites McCain. I feel she is being selfish as I have heard over the years defending her from republicans and now I see that. She does not seem to care if she hurts the party or not. "SHE JUST WANTS TO WIN AT ALL COST"

    Work it out guys/gals so we can put a democrate in the white house.

    March 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    OOPS, I think Sen. Levin has had enough of this power playing game and I don't think it would be wise for anyone to think any different.

    March 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. Mark

    Let the Hillary bashing commence, right Obama followers? Cause, God knows Florida and Michigan aren't crying out to be heard themselves. Maybe you should tune out Barack for a moment and listen to the people of these two states?

    March 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. KE

    Who do you want for president, a candidate who will fight for all the delegates to be seated or a candidate who don't fight for all the deligates to be seated, a candidate who feels Michigan and Florida vote matters now and in November or Michigan and Florida vote don't matter now and in November?

    March 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. Truth Be Known

    The stories dovetailed with the Clinton campaign’s refunding more than $800,000 in donations solicited — or bundled — by Norman Hsu, who used his influence in Asian-American circles to help raise millions for Democrats, all while he was considered a fugitive from a 15-year old grand theft conviction.

    The Los Angeles Times looked at 150 donations made to Clinton after fundraising events targeting the Chinese community. It had trouble tracking down many donors.

    Most had not registered to vote, many held low-paying jobs that would make it difficult to scrounge together cash for political contributions and some said they said they were instructed to give by community leaders, the paper reported.

    A cook in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood told the New York Post she was reimbursed for her $1,000 contribution to Clinton, a senator from New York.

    Federal election laws prohibit donors to be reimbursed for donations or to allow others to give on their behalf.

    And now it is Michigan time...

    March 7, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  15. Scott

    It is funny that Hillary didn't give a crap about the voices of the people when she was winning and was presumed the eventual nominee.

    Now that she is behind she cares.

    Of course you could bet your LIFE that she would oppose this if Obama was behind right now and needed it to win.

    Split them 50/50

    She would hate that because like I said, the only reason she wants this done is so she can gain more delegates, not for some altruistic notion of democracy.

    She is so full of it I can't believe EVERYONE doesn't see it.

    March 7, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  16. Lindsay Graham

    I am just more and more outraged every day by the antics of the Clinton campaign. I'm a staunch Democrat, but if it is Hillary vs. McCain – Hillary has already convinced me that McCain would be a find choice so I will get out and campaign for McCain.

    If it's Obama vs. McCain – well then that is an easy choice:

    Obama 2008!

    March 7, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Curious

    It has to be our own voices and not a 50/50 split which isn't what the results were. Anything else is saying our voices don't matter. This whole thing isn't about whether we should vote again or not, it's about who should pay for it.


    But it did, and no one stopped them. When Michigan saw everyone pull out except Clinton on the democratic side, why didn't anyone say anything loud and clear enough to get everyone's attention then? When Floridians went out in record breaking numbers, why did the "suits" think it would all count regardless anyway? Why did they let us vote and think we were making a difference?

    It hasn't effected the republican side, that candidate is clear.

    But the democrats in Michigan and Florida must not be very important if they are going to be snubbed and shoved out of the way like this.


    And that's not the tax payers either thank you very much.

    Bottom line.

    March 7, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    The game is in play with the rules agreed upon. No do over. An obscene amount of money has already been spent on an entirely too long primary process. Typical of public people on some one else's dollar – spend more. The real question is – why did the DNC 'penalize' (one of Hilary's favorite words – do it my way or I will penalize you) MI and FL? Excuse me, but this is a 'republic of united states' , the States can make decisions

    March 7, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  19. Julia

    It would be an outrage if the democrats were even more callous to the voters of Michigan and Florida than the republicans were to the Florida voters. We want a nominee who reflects the will of all of America, not 48 states, especially when those two states are important for teh general election. Why don't they raise money online?

    March 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Black Republican in New York

    Levin is exhibiting more commonsense than those two idiots down in Florida. This is a logistical nightmare if anyone thinks it is as easy as saying the votes of Floridans and Michigans should count in the form of seated delegates.

    The DNC is the authorized body to make and change rules, and if it said you lose your votes if you bring up your primaries, then you abide by the consequences. Run the red light or stop sign and you face the consequences. The rule is what guides us and saves us.

    And what about the John Edwards factor?

    To re-vote in Michigan and Florida would require Edwards to return to the race, because at the time both states voted he was still in the race. How he would have fared is anybody's guess, but it is only fair that he not be left out of a re-vote.

    March 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Gary in CT

    For those of you that care to get the facts, the Florida primary had a dispropotionately higher number of Republican voters than Democratic voters. Common sense tells you that is because the Democratic voters knew it wouldn't count, so they didn't waste their time driving down to the polls. THAT makes the results irrelevant.

    I have to ask all the Hillary supporters.....Do you really want a president who continually tries to use these unfair tactics? Really? She wants the Michigan delegates to be seated when she was the only choice they had on the ballot! How can anyone possibly want their leader in world affairs to such an injust person?

    March 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Chris in Va.

    Since when does Hillary do anything "practical" or "fair"?

    March 7, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. Kevin Orr

    I don't see any more fair way for this to happen than to have a primary or caucus. As for how much it costs, ask George Soros or others with deep pockets to ante up the money. And I hope Michigan and Florida have learned their lesson.

    I think Florida Democrats could have had a second primary and not stay linked with the date the Republican controlled congress set. Seems like South Carolina had seperate primaries.

    March 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. solomon

    Divide the votes according to the person who was on the ballot and subtract 10 votes for whining. Then give half to hillary and the rest to the other candidates.

    March 7, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. Cindy

    Sorry Michigan. I would be mad as heck, if I were from your state.

    Some states have primaries for the different parties at different times. Why didn't Michigan and Florida?

    So, both states are run by Republicans who didn't care that the Dem voters votes would not count if they moved the primary dates? That's sabotage. Somebody should sue them.

    March 7, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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