Bipartisan group: Primary should count listen04/28/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Tomorrow Floridians from across the state will protest in front of the Democratic National Committeeâ€™s headquarters in Washington. Theyâ€™ll be calling on DNC Chair Howard Dean to decide the issue with Floridaâ€™s congressional delegates.
Rallies were held across the state on Saturday calling for that as well. In St. Petersburg, around 50 people gathered at Gladden Park to demand that the votes from Floridaâ€™s Jan. 29 primary count. The event was sponsored by the newly formed group, Floridians Demand Representation (FDR). Palm Harbor resident Jim Hannagan is the founder and state chairman of the group.
The DNCâ€™s Rules & Bylaws Committee announced Friday that they plan to take up the delegates issue about both Florida and Michigan at a meeting on May 31.
Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton's campaign said it would help pay for a re-vote of the Jan. 29 primary, but Barack Obama's camp wasnâ€™t interested.
One possible compromise that Sen. Bill Nelson has proposed would be to have the national party restore half of the delegates â€“ which would cut Sen. Clintonâ€™s delegate lead in the state from 38 to 19. But FDR's Jim Hannagan said heâ€™s not interested in seeing anything less that what happened Jan. 29.
Anita DePalma is the former state Director for LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and is running as a Democrat for Congress in Floridaâ€™s 9th District. She says as an American, she demands that Floridaâ€™s delegates be seated for the Democratic Convention in Denver in August.
Although FDR insists it is bi-partisan, Barack Obama supporters were in short supply at Saturdayâ€™s event. Clinton has slammed Obama for supporting the disenfranchisement of Florida voters. Obamaâ€™s camp says it is waiting for the DNC to decide how to deal with the delicate situation.
Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court Pat Frank, a Clinton supporter, blamed the Republicans, and said that Florida should be allowed always to vote early.
In the aftermath of the Pennsylvania primary, more political analysts say the race is becoming part of the anti-Obama vote. Among white Pennsylvania voters, 1 in 6 said race was a factor, and three-quarters of them voted for Clinton.
In the increasingly bitter fight between Clinton and Obama, polls have shown a certain percent of those candidates supporters will not vote for the other Democrat in November. Those polls show a higher percent of Clinton supporters saying they will vote for John McCain in the fall against Barack Obama, despite the fact that the policy differences between Obama and Clinton seem negilible.
Frank Sanchez is the National Latino Fundraising Chair for the Obama campaign. Speaking from Washington, he said that he also wants Floridaâ€™s votes to count â€“ but not the Jan. 29 primary results.
Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that FDR Chair Jim Hannagan, the man behind the effort to count Floridaâ€™s votes on Jan. 29, did not vote in the primary. Hannagan denies that, saying that the Pinellas County voting records are wrong, and that he did vote.