Moving on up
Florida Governor Charlie Crist just signed a new law.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Monday moving Florida's 2008 presidential primary to Jan. 29 and shaking up the race by bypassing a dozen other states set for Feb. 5.The National Democratic and Republican committees aren't happy with the change.
The move puts Florida's primary, which had been scheduled for March, behind only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and on the same day as South Carolina's Democratic primary.
Florida has by far the largest population of any of the early voting states set for January and is the most expensive in which to campaign, giving well-funded candidates an even greater advantage and possibly drawing attention away from the smaller states.
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Stacie Paxton said the state would lose 50 percent of its delegates and all its superdelegates — typically members of Congress. Any candidate who campaigns in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 will be ineligible for receiving any of the state's delegates, Paxton said.First Senator Martinez should resign. Obviously his loyalties are to the National party not to the citizens of Florida. He's going to get one of my Knucklehead awards, for I was sure from the beginning Martinez sooner or later would betray the people of this state. The Senator is doing just that.
She added that the DNC hoped to work out a separate plan with the state party, such as a caucus, to avoid the penalties.
The Republican National Committee has warned it will strip 50 percent of Florida's delegates if the state's primary is moved.
"The rules are inflexible and it doesn't matter who is running the RNC, those rules will be enforced because they are part of the rules that were crafted at the last convention and they can't be changed," RNC chairman and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez (news, bio, voting record) said Friday.
Party leaders say the rules are in place, in part, to keep states from constantly leapfrogging over each other to gain a greater say in selecting a president.
My opinion all along has been screw the national parties and the intellectually dishonest pundits like David Broder and the Orlando Sentinel editorial board. Florida's primary has been irrelevant for years, giving this state's voters no say in who the Presidential nominees will be. That will change now, and why that is a bad idea is beyond me. The Presidential primary system is flawed, but leaving the 4th biggest state without any say in this important matter, is a situation that needs repair. This date change does it.
Hat tip- Dr. Taylor at Poliblog who wrote- "Indeed, the focus should be allowing citizens to properly be able to register a valid vote that will be of consequence in the matter. Clearly if one’s state is too late in the process, that will not happen and hence the move by so many states to put themselves earlier in the process."
Linked to- Bright & Early, Cao, Perri Nelson, Right Wing Nation,