Fight among Washington, Florida Democrats continues

09/14/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The St. Petersburg Times reported on its website today that Jacksonville area Congresswoman Corrine Brown has written an angry letter to Democratic National Committee member Donna Brazile. Brown expressed her disdain at the DNC decision to penalize Florida for moving up the presidential primary by taking away all the state's delegates.

In her letter, Brown refers to the disputed 2000 presidential election, and writes: “Especially in minority communities not only in Florida but across the nation, belief in the fairness of our election system has dipped dramatically. We cannot afford to stamp on the morale of Florida's voters even more by disenfranchising the state's delegates. To me, that would be not only unconscionable, but politically disastrous for our party."

Adding to the frustration of Florida Democrats is the fact that nearly all the presidential candidates have agreed not to campaign in Florida unless the state pushes its primary back to February.

Although there has been no new solutions offered to appease both sides regarding the presidential primary, Democrats are not staying silent.

Earlier this week, some Florida Congressional members wrote to DNC Chairman Howard Dean asking why he has been quiet regarding whether to punish New Hampshire if that state moved its primary up, as has been rumored.

The letter, reportadly signed by Sen. Bill Nelson, and other Florida House Democrats, questioned why the DNC has been silent with New Hampshire officials publicly saying they may hold a primary on Jan. 22 to stay ahead of Michigan and South Carolina.

Although some observers, including most Republicans in the state, say the Democrats have been far too vocal about their intraparty affair, Democratic political consultant Bob Buckhorn says the issue is serious.

Earlier this week former Tampa Congressman Jim Davis appeared before a lunchtime crowd at a new local Democratic Party group, the Democratic Professionals Council. Asked by an audience member what he thought of the dust-up between the state and national parties, Davis said the Washington Democrats were blowing it by punishing voters.

But Davis said ultimately it’s not about next summer’s Democratic Convention in Denver, because the possibility of a brokered convention is slim. He said it could adversely affect the Democratic nominee come next November.

On Wednesday, Nelson sent an e-mail to 12,000 supporters, asking them to sign a petition demanding that DNC leaders permit Florida’s Jan. 29 primary to officially count toward the selection of the party’s presidential nominee.

If you’re interested in seeing or signing the petition, go to

The Florida Democratic Party has until Sept. 29 to come up with an alternative plan to avoid sanctions.

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