Obama coffers filling; Thurman faces challenge
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10/01/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama announced today he had raised $19 million in the past 3 months, bringing his total fundraising for the year to nearly $80 million.

Obama was in the Tampa Bay area, at private fundraisers in both St. Petersburg and Tampa yesterday afternoon. Those appearances are not considered campaign events, and thus Obama was not considered to be in violation of the pact he and the other major candidates have made with the Democratic National Committee.

That pact says that the candidates will not campaign in Florida; it is part of an agreement made with the DNC and the four states voting ahead of Florida in next year’s presidential primary.

The DNC plans to strip Florida of its delegates to the national convention for moving its presidential Primary up to January from Feb. 5.

Now Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller says that a lawsuit will be filed, perhaps later this week, against Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the four early voting states, for "conspiring" to violate the civil rights of minorities in Florida by having the DNC ignore the January 29 vote.

The DNC had given the state party until Saturday to come up with an alternative plan for selecting delegates.

But that deadline has now passed, and State Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman says the state will go ahead with the Jan. 29 primary, and just hope that its delegates are recognized next summer.

Not everybody within the Democratic ranks is supports Thurman. George Maurer is a State Committeeman in Monroe County. He says he plans to call for Thurman to be replaced at the state party convention in Orlando at the end of the month, because he says, there were viable options to try to secure those delegates that Thurman ignored.

Adding fuel to Mauer’s fire are previously published reports that Thurman is working with former Republican Party Chairman Al Cardenas as lobbyists on Miami-Dade’s behalf in Washington.

Maurer says that’s an issue with him, and he thinks other Democrats might be upset too, if they knew about it.

Thurman has said in previous interviews that she was hired by Miami-Dade County after the Democrats recaptured Congress last fall to lobby on issues related to Port Security.

An official with the Florida Democratic Party said George Mauer has very little, if any, support within Party ranks.

Calls to other Democratic officials last week by WMNF confirm that Thurman maintains strong support within the party.

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