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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The rush to relevancy

More news on the effort to move up the Florida primary.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Defying national Republican and Democratic party threats, Florida lawmakers in a House committee Thursday unanimously approved a proposal to hold the state's presidential primary as early as January.

If the bill (HB 537) becomes law, Florida's primary - currently in March, when it's virtually irrelevant - would take place either seven days after New Hampshire's, or on Feb. 5, whichever comes first. That would mean Florida's 2008 contest could be in late January or earlier. New Hampshire's secretary of state is waiting to schedule the primary until other states set theirs, to preserve its first-in-the-nation status. National Democrats have recommended that New Hampshire hold its primary Jan. 22.

An identical bill has been filed in the Senate.

With states around the country, including California, jockeying for position to challenge the traditional dominance of the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary, Florida legislators on both sides of the aisle don't want to be left behind. They believe a state as large and diverse as Florida should play a fundamental role in the nomination process.


The national parties want to prevent a nationwide arms race for the earliest primary. Both parties could punish states like Florida that move their primary earlier than Feb. 5 by taking away delegates to the nominating convention. The Democratic Party could even punish candidates who campaign or advertise in states that move their primaries earlier than Feb. 5 by essentially keeping them from getting the state's vote.

Those threats pale in comparison to the influence Florida could gain, the bill's sponsor, Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, told the House Ethics and Elections Committee.

"I think that having 67 less individuals attend five days in Minneapolis is a very, very small price to pay to increase Florida's relevance on the national stage," said Rivera, referring to the number of Florida Republican delegates that could be lost at the site of the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, the House Democratic leader, said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called him to say the move could have consequences. But Gelber said it wouldn't make sense to punish Democrats for the actions of a Republican-controlled Legislature. Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman also wrote the House committee members in a letter, warning them not to push the primary any earlier than Feb. 5 to avoid potential backlash.

"I don't have any constituents in the DNC," Gelber said. "I only have constituents in my district. They would like to be more relevant."

Gelber is totally right. Florida voters deserve to heard every four years, and screw the Power brokers in Washington and their idiot allies in the MSM.

Someone explain to me why tha National parties want to keep the existing system. Two small states have way too much influence over who the Presidential candidate is every four years. Most of the nation has little say in who the primary winner is. By bringing the primaries together, this huge disparity may disappear. Shouldn't the candidate be a national selection rather than that of Iowa and New Hampshire?

I smell the old culprits at work when it comes to politics- Money and power. The National party and the big money donors want to keep the presidential close as close to them as possible. They don't trust the voters, and we all know what the voters think of those running the national party.

The legislature should ignore the threats and proceed with the primary date change. In other words- Make our day Howard Dean and Mel Martinez.

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