Florida Republicans may lose delegates too

08/29/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Although much has been made about the Democratic National Committee penalizing the Florida Democratic Party for moving its presidential primary, the Republican National Committee is penalizing the Florida Republican Party as well.

The New York Times reported today that the RNC plans to penalize five states holding early primaries, including New Hampshire and Florida, by refusing to seat at least half of their delegates at the national convention next year.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows Floridians by a small margin oppose the DNC’s move to penalize the state.

The Insider/Advantage Poll shows 53 percent of Florida Democrats are upset at the move by the DNC’s rules committee voted to remove all of Florida's delegates to the national convention next year unless the state party agrees within 30 days to establish a later caucus.

Susan Smith of Odessa is with the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee. She’s one local Democrat who is not upset at the decision by the national Democratic Party.

But former Tampa congressman Jim Davis is not in support of what Howard Dean and company did last week.

Davis says he understands the DNC wanting to enforce their rules, but penalizing the voters isn’t right.

Chris Hand is a Jacksonville attorney and a former aide to Sen. Bob Graham. In an op-ed in today’s Orlando Sentinel, Hand said the Florida Democratic Party’s response shouldn’t take 30 days, or even 30 seconds. He says it should consist of one word to DNC Chairman Howard Dean: No.

WMNF attempted to speak to both the Republican National Committee and state Republican party, neither responded back by airtime.

But Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer appears to be in as much denial as Democratic state Chairwoman Karen Thurman has been. Greer is quoted in today’s Times as saying that it was unlikely they would face penalties. “Florida is too important a state as it relates to electing the next president,” Greer said.

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