From the Miami Herald-
Almost the entire Democratic field of presidential candidates has agreed to skip campaigning in Florida, which violated Democratic National Committee rules when it moved up the presidential primary to Jan. 29.This is all hypocrisy, when seen in the light of the 2000 debacle where the Democrats were screaming that all votes must count.
Joining the boycott on Saturday: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
The boycott was pushed onto the candidates by four smaller, DNC-blessed states planning to host the earliest and most critical primaries in the country.
To reject the boycott would have meant antagonizing powerful party leaders in those states, which include Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
For the moment, it means Florida voters won't be seeing Democratic contenders unless they have a check in hand. That's because candidates can still hold fundraisers.
The pullout stunned Democratic officials and activists, who have been touting their prospects of taking back the White House in 2008.
''That's not good news for the party, and it's not good news for Florida voters,'' said Bob Goldstein, vice president of the Democrats of South Dade.
State Sen. Jeremy Ring, of Parkland, who sponsored the bill moving up the primary, said he would yank his endorsement of Obama.
''The Republicans are campaigning in the state, and the Democrats would be ill-advised to give them a six-month head start,'' he said. ``They're taking an inside-baseball food fight and telling Floridians that they're not relevant to the process. That's a tremendous mistake.''
The Republican National Committee also is cracking down on the state for busting the primary calendar, but its sanctions are not as harsh. Florida will find out sometime between this week and the end of the year whether the state GOP will lose half of its delegates to the 2008 convention.
I'm betting some of these candidates will change their mind as soon as New Hampshire and Iowa are by the way side. This is all empty posturing. What serious candidate wants to write off Florida entirely in November 2008? None of them.
The Democrats decision not to seat Florida delegates isn't over yet. A lawsuit has been filed.
TALLAHASSEE - As Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean put out peace feelers to Florida Thursday, a Tampa party activist filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force the party to recognize the results of the state's Jan. 29 presidential primary.Truthfully I'm sick of politics ending up in our courts system, though I hope DiMaio is successful. What bugs me almost as much as the DNC action, is that large chunks of the conservative blogosphere while saying the system is broke, thinks the DNC is right. The system is broken, and waiting another four years isn't the solution.
Participants in an hour-long conference call with Dean said they held out hope for a compromise to resolve the DNC ultimatum to back off the early date.
The DNC threat led Victor DiMaio, a Hillsborough County campaign consultant and Democratic activist, to file suit seeking a declaratory judgment in
U.S. District Court. A ruling in his favor would force the DNC to recognize the Florida delegation.
"The shocking thing that happened to all Florida Democrats was the decision in Washington last week by the DNC to strip Florida of all delegates," DiMaio said in an interview. "I saw a quagmire and I wanted some clarity on this."
Through attorney Michael Steinberg, DiMaio asked a Tampa federal district court whether DNC rules can supercede state law. He maintained that the voting rights of Democrats who might seek to be convention delegates are diminished by the DNC penalty.
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