Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee source documents and staff analysis regarding the Michigan and Florida delegate challenges

SHARE Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee source documents and staff analysis regarding the Michigan and Florida delegate challenges

WASHINGTON–The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee meets Saturday to wrestle with the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida. The essential questions, according to documents prepared for the meeting by the DNC–and obtained by this blog–is whether the Florida and Michigan delegates are to be seated and how these delegates then should be allocated between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the likely Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama.

The package of materials includes staff analysis of the various issues, arguments and potentials. solutions. Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates as punishment for holding January primaries, violating DNC rules. There’s also a very useful timeline and background. Delegate selection rules for the 2008 cycle were adopted in August, 2006 after years of discussion,

DNC RULES AND BYLAWS COMMITTEE

IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES CONCERNING FLORIDA NATIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATION

FILED BY JON AUSMAN ET AL

STAFF ANALYSIS

Pursuant to Rule 20(B)(2) of the Delegate Selection Rules, Jon M. Ausman, a member of the

Democratic National Committee (DNC) from Florida, and other Democrats from Florida, filed two

implementation challenges on March 20, 2008.

The first challenge requests the Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) to reinstate all of Floridas

unpledged delegates (also known as superdelegates). The basis for the challenge is that the

Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States (the Charter) provides that delegates shall be

chosen through processes which provide for all the members of the DNC to serve as unpledged

delegates,1 and which permit unpledged delegates consisting of several other categories

including all Democratic Members of Congress and Democratic Governors.

The second challenge claims that the RBC did not have authority, under the Delegate Selection

Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention (the Delegate Selection Rules) themselves,

to impose any reduction in the number of pledged delegates from Florida beyond the 50% reduction

automatically imposed by Rule 20(C)(1)(a). This challenge asks the RBC to revisit its action of

August 25, 2007 and to allocate to Florida 50% of the pledged delegates and alternates originally

provided for in the Call to the 2008 Democratic National Convention (the Call).

Both of these challenges were properly filed and met the applicable procedural requirements for a

properly filed implementation challenge. No adverse party was named in either challenge. Under

the circumstances, the Co-Chairs previously determined that the provisions of Regulation 3.4 of the

Regulations of the RBC requiring an answer and referral to the State Party were inapplicable.

The purpose of this Staff Analysis is to identify the issues that the Committee would need to address

to resolve these Challenges; and to provide background information and analysis with regard to

those issues.

Summary of Challenge I

Challenge One cites and relies upon the following provisions of the Charter:

Article Two, Section 4. The National Convention shall be composed of delegates equally

divided between men and women. The delegates shall be chosen through processes which:

.

(h) notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Section:

(i) provide for all of the members of the Democratic National Committee to

serve as unpledged delegates, . . . .

(iii) permit unpledged delegates consisting of:

1) the President and Vice President of the United States, if Democrats,

2) the Democratic members of the United States Senate and the Democratic

members of the House of Representatives,

1 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(h)(i)

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3) the Democratic Governors,

4) former Democratic Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States,

5) former Democratic Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States

Senate;

6) former Democratic Speakers and Minority Leaders of the United States

House of Representatives;

7) former Chairs of the Democratic National Committee,

8) such delegates shall not be permitted to have alternates and such

delegates shall constitute an exception to Subsection (b) of this Section 4.

In essence, the Challenge contends that these Charter provisions require that all of these categories

of individuals be allowed to serve as voting delegates to the Convention. According to the

Challenge, since the Delegate Selection Rules have only the status of Bylaws, the provisions of the

Charter take precedence over the Delegate Selection Rules. The action of the RBC enforcing the

Delegate Selection Rules conflicts with these Charter provisions, it is argued, and is therefore

invalid.

Analysis of Challenge I

Challenge One presents issues of interpretation and application of the provisions of the Charter, the

Call, and the Delegate Selection Rules.

Background

The language at issue reflects the evolution of the Party s rules concerning the role of Party leaders

and elected officials at the National Convention. The 1972 and 1976 Rules did not confer on Party

leaders or elected officials any special right or ability to serve as delegates to the National

Convention. In fact, one of the Delegate Selection Rules prohibited any person from serving

automatically as a delegate by virtue of Party or elected office.

The Winograd Commission, which issued its report in 1978 with respect to the Delegate Selection

Rules for the 1980 Convention, summarized the debate over the role of Party leaders and elected

officials as follows:

Some felt certain officials should be made automatic voting delegates because of their role

as publicly recognized policy makers. Others point out that, if elected officials choose to

run for delegate status, they are in the difficult position of having either to take seats from

grass roots supporters in their home districts or to take an at- large seat and thereby further

unbalance the composition if they are white males.2

In response to these competing concerns, the Winograd Commission recommended, and the DNC

adopted, a new delegate selection rule providing for a new category of pledged Party leader and

elected official delegates from each state, equal to 10 percent of the states base delegation. 3

2 Winograd Commission, OPENNESS, PARTICIPATION AND PARTY BUILDING: REFORMS FOR A STRONGER DEMOCRATIC

PARTY 100 (1978)

3 Id. at 100-101; 1980 Delegate Selection Rules 7(D)

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As of 1980, there were no unpledged delegates. The languages of the Charternow Article Two,

Section 4(g)provided that delegates were to be chosen through processes which prohibit

unpledged and uncommitted delegates.

The Hunt Commission, which issued its report in 1982 proposing new Delegate Selection Rules for

the 1984 Convention, recommended creating a new category of unpledged Party leader and elected

official delegates. The provision for what the press now calls superdelegates originated with this

Hunt Commission recommendation. The Commission explained:

[We regard] this as an important way to increase the conventions representativeness of

mainstream Democratic constituencies. It would help restore peer review to the process,

subjecting candidates to scrutiny by those who know them best..It would strengthen party

ties among officials, giving them a greater sense of identification with the nominee and the

platform. And the presence of unpledged delegates would help return decision-making

discretion and flexibility to the Convention. 4

The Hunt Commission recommended, and the DNC adopted, a new delegate selection rule

conferring automatic, unp ledged delegate status on each State Party chair and vice-chair and 3/5 of

the Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Democratic Caucuses.5

The language of the Charter was amended to authorize the DNC to allocate delegate positions for

Democratic elected public officials designated in the Call to the Convention. 6

In 1986, following the work of the Fairness Commission, chaired by Don Fowler, the DNC adopted

a further change to the Delegate Selection Rules for the 1988 Convention, to provide that automatic

unpledged delegate status would be conferred on all DNC members; all Democratic Governors; and

4/5 (rather than 3/5) of the Members of the Democratic Caucuses of the U.S. Senate and U.S.

House. A conforming change to the Charter was made at that time, providing that delegates shall

be chosen through processes whichnotwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this Section:

(i) provide for all of the members of the Democratic National Committee to serve as unpledged

delegates.7

The Delegate Selection Rules were further amended for 1992 to provide for all Democratic

Members of Congress and certain former senior party officials to serve as automatic unpledged

delegates.

Discussion of Analysis

The language of the Charter provides that the delegates shall be chosen through processes which. .

. provide for all of the members of the DNC to serve as unpledged delegates.8 The language further

provides that the delegates shall be chosen through processes which. . . permit unpledged delegates

4 Report of the Commission on Presidential Nomination 16 (1982)

5 1984 Delegate Selection Rule 8(A)

6 Charter, Article 2, Section 5

7 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(h)(i)

8 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(h)(i)

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consisting of all of the Members of Congress and Democratic Governors, and certain other

officials and former officials.9

Based solely on the plain language of the Charter, then, it can be argued that the Delegate Selection

Rules must provide for all DNC Members to serve as automatic unpledged delegates but that the

DNC itself can, in the Delegate Selection Rules, determine whether to confer such status on

Members of Congress and Democratic Governors and the other specified officials in Article Two,

Section 4(h)(iii). The Charter can be amended only by a two-thirds vote of the full membership of

the DNC,10 whereas the Delegate Selection Rules, which have the status of bylaws, were adopted by

a majority of the members of the DNC. Arguably, then, Rule 20(C)(1) of the Delegate Selection

Rules was invalidly adopted insofar as it provides that, if a State Party violates Rule 11 (the

Timing Rule), none of the members of the DNC from that state are permitted to serve as delegates

to the Convention.

On the other hand, it can be argued that taken as a whole, the language of the Charter cannot fairly

be read to require that any category of delegates actually be seated at the Convention if that

category is chosen under a Delegate Selection Plan which itself violates the Delegate Selection

Rules. The language of Article Two, Section 4 of the Charter sets out the basic principles to which

the Delegate Selection Rules must conform: full, timely and equal opportunity to participate

(subsection a); fair reflection of presidential preference (subsection b); prohibition of the unit rule

(subsection c); prohibition of fees and poll taxes (subsection d); restriction of participation to

Democrats only (subsection e); prohibition of processes beginning before the calendar year of the

Convention (subsection f); and prohibition of any unpledged delegates (subsection g).

As noted above, after these fundamental principles were set out in the Charter, language was added

in Article Two, Section 4, Subsection (h) that notwithstanding the general absolute prohibition of

any unpledged delegates, the processes i.e., the Delegate Selection Rules, should provide for all

of the members of the Democratic National Committee to serve as unpledged delegates. It could

well be the case that, this language was simply intended to mean that the DNC would be permitted

to confer automatic unpledged delegate status on all members of the DNC, notwithstanding the

general ban on unpledged delegates.

Indeed, it could be contended that the Charter language could not have been intended to mean that

all DNC members are automatically entitled to serve as delegates even if they were chosen through

a process or certified under a delegate selection plan that violates the Delegate Selection Rules or

provisions of the Bylaws. For example, if the DNC Members from a state were chosen through a

process that is not one of those listed in Article Two, Section 3(a) of the Bylaws, presumably the

Secretary of the DNC could refuse to accept the certification of such DNC Members as unpledged

delegates, despite the language of Charter Article Two, Section 4(h)(i).

This view may find further support in Article Two, Section 2 of the Charter which provides that, in

the event that a state law conflicts with the Charter or other provisions adopted pursuant to

authority of the Charter, which would include the Delegate Selection Rules, State Parties shall be

required to take provable positive steps to bring such laws into conformity and to carry out such

9 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(h)(iii)

10 Charter Article Ten, Section 1

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other measures as may be required by the National Convention or the Democratic National

Committee (emphasis added). It could be contended that the DNC, in approving Rule 20(C)(1) of

the Delegate Selection Rules, was mandating that in a state in which state law set the date of a

presidential preference primary in violation of the Delegate Selection Rules the State Democratic

Party would be required to run an alternative process complying with those Rules. Under this

interpretation, in imposing the automatic sanctions of Rule 20(C)(1), the DNC was exercising

authority conferred by the Charter itself: the authority to require a State Party to carry out such

other measures that the DNC sees fit, to ensure that Party rules prevail over state law.

Summary of Challenge II

Challenge Two argues, in essence, that the RBC acted beyond its authority in imposing sanctions on

the Florida Democratic Party beyond those imposed automatically under Rule 20(C)(1). The

Challenge implies that, in order to impose a penalty in addition to the penalties of Rule 20(C)(1),

there must be some reason or basis in addition to the violation of the Timing Rule. According to the

Challenge, the RBC, by imposing a penalty of a one hundred percent (100%) reduction violated

Rule 20(C)(1)(a) as the only finding of non-compliance was the timing of the Florida Presidential

Preference Primary.11

The Challengers acknowledge that Rule 20(C)(5) authorizes the RBC to impose additional

sanctions against a state Party for violation of the Timing Rule, proportional representation or the

threshold.12 At the same time, however, the Challengers point to the language of Rule 20(C)(6),

which authorizes the RBC to impose additional sanctions, specifically including reduction of the

states delegation, only where the failure or refusal of the State Party is not subject to subsections

(1)(2) or (3) of this section C, meaning the violation did not involve the Timing Rule, proportional

representation or the threshold.13

Analysis of Challenge II

Resolution of Challenge Two would require the RBC to address at least four separate issues:

(1) Whether the RBC had authority to impose the additional sanction of 100% reduction

of the States delegation.

(2) If the RBC grants the Challenge in whole or in part and allows pledged delegates to

be seated, whether the allocation of delegate positions among presidential

preferences should be based in any way on the results of the January 29, 2008 staterun

presidential preference primary.

(3) If the RBC grants the Challenge by revoking the additional challenge and leaving

only a 50% reduction in pledged delegates in place, and uses the results of the

primary, whether the RBC has the authority to seat all of the individual delegates

11Affidavit for Florida Challenge Number 2 (Challenge No. 2) 23.

12 Challenge No. 2 29

13 Challenge No. 2 27, 32.

Staff Analysis of Ausman Florida Challenge Continued

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selected by FDP in accordance with its Delegate Selection Plan, but grant each

delegate a one-half vote.

(4) If the RBC does not have or does not choose to exercise such authority, how the

remaining 50% delegate positions are allocated among presidential preferences:

specifically, whether the allocation of positions be applied to the full complement of

delegates with the 50% reduction then applied after such allocation is made; or

whether instead the 50% reduction should be applied to the number of delegate

positions in each category, followed by the allocation among presidential

preferences.

(5) If either option under (4) is chosen, how will the pledged delegate positions be filled

(i.e. slating of delegates).

Issue 1: Authority to Impose of Additional Sanctions

Challenge Two is based on an interpretation of Rule 20(C) that emphasizes the fact that between the

two provisions authorizing additional sanctions – Rule 20(C)(5) and 20(C)(6) – the specific

subsection referencing reduction of the states delegation is Subsection (C)(6). That subsection

applies only in the case where a State Partys noncompliance is for a reason other than violation of

the Timing Rule, proportional representation or the threshold. The Challengers believe that this

structure indicates an intent to limit the Committees authority to reduce a states delegation to

situations where rules other than the Timing Rule, proportional representation or the threshold have

been violated.

On the other hand, this argument would seem to ignore the plain language of Rule 20(C)(5), which

provides that Nothing in the preceding subsections of this rule shall be construed to prevent the

DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee from imposing additional sanctions, including without

limitation those specified in subsection (6), against a State Party which is subject to the provisions

of any of subsections (1) through (3). . . (emphasis added). Rule 20(C)(5) thus expressly confers

on the RBC specific authority to impose additional sanctions on a State Party which is subject

to subsection (1), i.e., which has violated the Timing Rule. Those additional sanctions may

include those specified in subsection (6), which as noted specifically refers to reduction of the

states delegation. Thus it seems clear that the RBC had authority to further reduce the pledged

delegation of the Florida Democratic Party which had already become subject to the automatic

sanctions of Rule 20(C)(1).

The legally more defensible view seems to be that the RBC had authority, in its discretion, to

impose the additional sanction that it did impose in August 2007, but by the same token, that the

RBC now has discretion to revoke those additional sanctions, thereby leaving in effect the

automatic sanction of Rule 20(C)(1), i.e., a 50% reduction in pledged delegates.

Issue 2: Discussion of Use of Results of Jan. 29, 2008 State-Run Primary

Challenge Two as submitted requests that the number of pledged delegate positions simply be

reduced by 50% from 185 pledged delegate positions to 92 delegate positions. The Challenge does

not address how these delegate positions would be allocated among presidential preferences.

Staff Analysis of Ausman Florida Challenge Continued

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The initial issue presented is whether, if any pledged delegates from Florida are to be seated,

whether those delegate positions should be allocated based on the results of the January 29, 2008

primary.

On the one hand, it can be argued that since the timing of that primary violated the Timing Rule, the

Delegate Selection Rules require that it be treated as non-binding, and therefore that the results of

the primary simply should not be taken into account in any way. Further, a case can be made that

the RBC implicitly deemed the primary to be non-binding. The RBC took the position that

Delegate Selection Rule 20(C)(1)(b) depriving a presidential candidate of pledged delegates

from a state in violation of the Timing Rule if that candidate campaigns in the state was

inapplicable because as a result of the RBCs imposition of a 100% reduction in delegates, there

simply were no delegates to be awarded and so campaigning would not matter.

On the other hand, if the RBC does determine that Florida should be allowed to send some pledge

delegates to the Convention (leaving aside for the moment the separate issue of how many), there

must be some basis for allocating those delegates among presidential candidates (preferences). A

fundamental principle of delegate selection is expressed in the provision of the Charter requiring

that delegates be chosen through processes which assure that delegations fairly reflect the division

of preferences expressed by those who participate in the Presidential nominating process.14

Similarly, Rule 13(A) of the Delegate Selection Rules provides that, Delegates shall be allocated in

a fashion that fairly reflects the expressed presidential preference or uncommitted status of the

primary voters.

In this case, it can be argued, there is no basis for ensuring fair reflection of presidential

preference other than to use the results of the January 29 primary. Further, under the law

establishing the January 29 primary, presidential candidates were not required to take any

affirmative steps in order for their names to appear on the primary ballot, and were not permitted

under applicable state law to withdraw their names unless they declared themselves no longer a

candidate for the nomination. 15 Thus, the names of all those seeking the Democratic nomination for

President in fact appeared on the ballot for the January 29 primary.

Issue 3: Discussion of Authority to Permit Delegates to Cast Half Votes

If the RBC does decide to use the results of the primary to allocate delegate positions among

presidential candidates, the next question presented is how to do so.

If the RBC decides to grant Challenge Two, leaving in place a 50% automatic reduction in pledged

delegates, one approach would be to restore the total number of pledged delegate positions but

simply allow each delegate to cast a half-vote. The issue is whether the RBC has authority to

authorize such a means of effectuating the 50% reduction.

On the one hand, there is no specific authority conferred in the Call, the Charter or Bylaws or the

Delegate Selection Rules for the RBC to allow delegates to cast half-votes. Furthermore, the

14 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(b)

15 Section 103.101(2), Florida Statutes (2008)

Staff Analysis of Ausman Florida Challenge Continued

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language of Rule 20(C)(1) and Rule 20(C)(8) appears to contemplate that the actual number of

pledged delegate positions would be reduced, rather than allowing the full number of pledged

delegates allocated to the state to cast half votes. Rule 20(C)(8), which allows a State Party to set

out in its Delegate Selection Plan a method and procedure by which the 50% reduction of a

delegation under Rule 20(C)(1) will be accomplished, further provides that if the State Party does

not do so, then the RBC shall, by lottery, or other appropriate method determined by the DNC

Rules and Bylaws Committee, determine which delegates and alternates shall not be a part of the

states delegation.

On the other hand, the Delegate Selection Rules appear to confer broad authority on the RBC to

determine exactly how to implement the 50% reduction in pledged delegates imposed by Rule

20(C)(1)(a). While the Rule mandates that the number of pledged delegates elected in each

category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by

fifty (50%) percent, the Rule does not actually specify whether the reduction is to be accomplished

on the basis of delegate positions or delegate votes. Further, Rule 20(C)(8), while as noted

apparently contemplating a reduction in delegate positions, rather than in delegate votes, does not

limit the RBC to such an approach but confers on the RBC authority to require the State Party to

follow any other appropriate method determined by the RBC.

Issue 4: Discussion of Allocating Remaining Delegate Positions Among Presidential

Preferences Based on Primary Results

If the RBC grants the Challenge, leaving in place a 50% reduction, and uses the results of the

primary, but does not seat all pledged delegates with half-votes, the question would remain as to

how to allocate the reduced number of delegate positions among presidential candidates.

Rule 20(C)(1)(a) simply states that the number of pledged delegates elected in each category

allocated to the state pursuant to the Call shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. Rule 20(C)(8)

provides that a state party may provide in its Delegate Selection Plan the specific method and

procedures by which it will reduce its delegation pursuant to this Rule 20 in the even the state party

becomes subject to this Rule 20 by which categories of delegates must be reduced by fifty (50%)

percent.. The FDPs Delegate Selection Plan does not set out any such method or procedures.

The specific question raised by this language is whether the allocation of delegate positions among

presidential candidates should be made before or after this reduction in delegate positions is

effected.

If allocation is made before, then the full original number of delegate positions based on the results

of the January 29 primary would be allocated based on the primary results, in each category, as if

there had been no sanction, and then the total number of pledged delegates awarded to each

candidate would simply be cut in half. This method would produce roughly the same result, in

terms of allocation, as seating a full delegation allocated based on the primary results and allowing

each pledged delegate to cast a half vote.

If allocation is made after, then the number of pledged delegates, district by district, would first be

cut in half; the number of at-large delegates would be cut in half; the number of pledged Party

leader and elected official (PLEO) delegates would be cut in half; and then the allocation would be

Staff Analysis of Ausman Florida Challenge Continued

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made based on the district by district primary results for the district- level delegates and based on the

statewide results for the at-large and PLEO delegates. An argument in favor of this approach is that

it seems more faithful to the literal, plain language of Rule 20(C)(1)(a), which appears to

contemplate that the number of pledged delegate positions in each category will be reduced as a

first step, before the allocation of positions among presidential preferences is made.

Issue 5: Filling Delegate Positions

As noted, the FDP has completed the selection of delegates as if no sanction had been imposed,

filling all delegate positions originally provided by the Call, and allocating those positions based on

the results of the Jan. 29 primary. Several issues are presented with respect to the status of that

process.

First, reportedly the Obama campaign did not participate at all in the selection process, including

the candidate right of approval process, because the campaign did not recognize the legitimacy of

the primary. The question is whether the delegate positions allocated to Sen. Obama should be

filled anew, through a process involving ne w filings by delegate candidates and the exercise of

candidate right of approval by the Obama campaign.

Second, if the RBC grants Challenge No. 2 but does not seat the full delegation with one- half votes,

then some delegates already chosen will be seated and others will not be. The question is how that

determination will be made. One possibility is to require the FDP quickly to submit, for RBC

approval, a method for making these determinations, as contemplated by Rule 20(C)(8) of the

Delegate Selection Rules. Another possibility would be simply for the RBC to mandate that the

highest vote getters of the appropriate gender in each category be awarded the delegate positions to

which the FDP is entitled as a result of the resolution of the Challenge.

DNC RULES AND BYLAWS COMMITTEE

IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES CONCERNING MICHIGAN NATIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATION

FILED BY MICHIGAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY

STAFF ANALYSIS

Pursuant to Rule 20(B)(2) of the Delegate Selection Rules, the Michigan Democratic Party

(MDP) filed an implementation challenge on May 12, 2008. The Challenge requests that the

Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) reconsider and reverse its decision of December 3, 2007 and

order that the entire 157-member Michigan delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention

be seated with full voting strength. The MDP also requests that of the 128 pledged delegates, 69 be

allocated to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and 59 be allocated to Senator Barack Obama.

This challenge was properly filed and met the applicable procedural requirements for a properly

filed implementation challenge. No adverse party was named in the challenge. Under the

circumstances, the Co-Chairs previously determined that the provisions of Regulation 3.4 requiring

service of an answer and referral to the State Party were inapplicable.

The purpose of this Staff Analysis is to identify the issues that the Committee would need to address

to resolve this Challenge; and to provide background information and analysis with regard to those

issues.

Summary of Challenge

As noted, the Challenge seeks to have the RBC reverse its decision of December 3, 2007 and to

order that the entire 157-member Michigan delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention

be seated with full voting strength.1

The Challenge notes that the MDP decided to use, to allocate its pledged delegates to the National

Convention, a state-run presidential preference primary held on January 15, 2008. The timing of

that primary violated Rule 11 of the Delegate Selection Rules (the Timing Rule). The RBC

decided to impose a delegate reduction of 100% of the entire delegation. 2 The Challenge does not

indicate that the State Partys decision to use the January 15, 2008 primary comes after the State

Party originally planned to conduct its own Party-run primary on February 9, 2008.

The basis for the challenge is that Michigan Democrats have already endured a substantial penalty

for moving their primary to January 15th;3 that [f]urther punishment in the form of no Michigan

delegation or a reduced Michigan delegation at the National Convention will only aid the

Republicans in their effort to win Michigan in November;4 and that Michigan has been and will

be a battleground state.5

With respect to the allocation of delegate positions among presidential preferences, the Challenge

notes that the name of Senator Hillary Clinton appeared on the ballot for the January 15 primary,

but that Senator Barack Obama voluntarily withdrew his name from the primary ballot.

According to the Challenge, Senator Obamas campaign and the campaign of former Senator John

1 Cover Letter from Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Mark Brewer to RBC Co-Chairs, May 12, 2008

2 Challenge 1-3

3 Challenge I

4 Id.

5 Id.

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

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Edwards organized efforts to cast votes for Uncommitted status which received 40% of the votes

cast.6

According to the Challenge, Senator Clintons campaign has taken the position that the results of

the January 15 primary should be honored and that Senator Clinton should receive 73 pledged

delegates based on the results of the primary. The Challenge indicates that Senator Obamas

campaign has taken the position that the January 15 primary results should be ignored and that the

128 total pledged delegates should be allocated evenly between the two presidential candidates,

meaning that Senator Clinton would receive 64 pledged delegates and that Senator Obama would

receive 64 pledged delegates.

The Challenge proposes that 69 pledged delegates should be allocated to Senator Clinton and 59 to

Senator Obama.

Analysis of Challenge

Resolution of this Challenge would require the RBC to address at least six separate issues:

1. Whether the RBC has authority to restore 100% of the MDPs delegate positions

as requested in the Challenge.

2. If the RBC restores any delegate positions, whether the allocation of delegate

positions among presidential preferences should in any way be based on the

results of the January 15, 2008 state-run presidential preference primary.

3. If the allocation is based in any way on the results of that primary, how that

allocation should be determined given that most of the active candidates then

seeking the nomination did not appear on the ballot for that primary.

4. If the RBC grants the Challenge by revoking the additional sanctions and leaving

only a 50% reduction in pledged delegates in place, and uses the results of the

primary, whether the RBC has the authority to restore the full number of delegate

positions to the MDP but grant each delegate a one-half vote.

5. If the RBC decides not to restore all delegate positions with one- half votes, how

will the remaining 50% delegate positions be allocated among presidential

preferences: specifically, whether the allocation percentages should be applied

to the full complement of delegates with the 50% reduction then applied after

such allocation is made; or whether instead the 50% reduction should be applied

to the number of delegate positions in each category, followed by the allocation

among presidential preferences.

6. If either option under (5) is chosen, how will the pledged delegate positions be

filled (i.e. slating of delegate candidates).

Issue 1: Discussion of Authority to Restore 100% of MDPs Delegate Positions

6 Challenge, Statement of Facts 8

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

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As noted, the Challenge does not address the RBCs decision, on December 3, 2007, to impose a

100% reduction in the MDPs delegation, but rather requests that 100% of the delegate positions be

restored, at full voting strength, based on political considerations.

An initial question presented by this request is the scope of the authority of the RBC. Rule 20(C)(1)

of the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention (the Delegate

Selection Rules) provides that if a State Party violates the Timing Rule, the number of pledged

delegates elected in each category allocated to the State under the Call to the 2008 Democratic

National Convention (the Call) shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. In addition, none of the

members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and no other unpledged delegate from

that state shall be permitted to vote as members of the states delegation (emphasis added). Rule

20(C)(4) further provides that once the RBC determines that a State Party has violated the Timing

Rule, the reductions required under those subsections [Rule 20(C)(1), (2) & (3)] shall become

effective automatically and immediately and without further action of the DNC Rules and Bylaws

Committee, the Executive Committee of the DNC, the DNC or the Credentials Committee of the

Democratic National Convention.

In imposing the 100% reduction in the delegation, the RBC was acting pursuant to its authority

under Rule 20(C)(5), which provides that nothing in the automatic sanction provisions shall be

construed to prevent the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee from imposing additional sanctions,

including, without limitation, those specified in subsection (6) of this section C. against a state

party and against the delegation from the state which is subject to the provisions of any of

subsection (1) through (3). Subsection (6) of Section C authorizes the imposition of specific

sanctions including reduction of the states delegation.

Based on this language, a strong argument can be made that, while the RBC has authority to revoke

the discretionary additional sanctions imposed under Rule 20(C)(5), the RBC cannot revoke or

prevent the operation of the automatic sanction provision of Rule 20(C)(1) which, by its terms and

the terms of Rule 20(C)(4), takes effect without any action of the RBC.

To be sure, the Credentials Committee of the Convention is vested with broad authority, under the,

to determine and resolve questions concerning the seating of delegates and alternates to the

Convention. As the Partys highest authority, the Convention itself, on the recommendation of the

Credentials Committee, could arguably determine that the MDP should be provide all the delegate

positions originally allocated to it, without regard to the sanctions imposed by the Delegate

Selection Rules. By contrast, however, the RBCs authority is limited to hearing challenges

regarding alleged violations of an approved Delegate Selection Plan, Delegate Selection Rules

20(B)(2), and in resolving such challenges the RBC is limited to finding that actions taken in the

delegate selection process comply or do not comply with the State Partys delegate selection plan

and to requiring corrective action to bring about compliance.7

For these reasons, it seems clear that while the RBC could revoke its additional sanctions, leaving in

place the automatic sanctions of Rule 20(C)(1), it does not have authority to reverse or prevent the

imposition of those automatic sanctions.

7 Id. 20(B)(3)

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

Page 4

4

One caveat to this conclusion is the argument that Rule 20(C)(1) can be applied so as to deprive

members of the DNC and other individuals of the right to attend the Convention as unpledged

voting delegates. Although it was not made in this challenge, there is a countervailing argument

that unpledged delegates have a right to attend the Convention as voting delegates by virtue of the

language of the Charter, Article Two, Section 4(h). That language provides that delegates shall be

chosen through processes which, among other things, provide for all of the members of the

Democratic National Committee to serve as unpledged delegates. This argument is analyzed in the

separate staff analysis of the Challenge submitted by Jon Ausman et al. regarding the seating of

delegates from Florida. As noted in that Analysis, there is merit to both positionsthat the RBC

does have power, by virtue of the Rules, to preclude the unpledged delegates from serving at the

Convention and that it does not have such power by virtue of the Charter.

Issue 2: Discussion of Use of Results of January 15, 2008 Primary

If the RBC determines that any of the pledged delegate positions should be restored to the MDP, the

first question presented is whether the results of the January 15, 2008 primary should be used in any

way in allocating the results.

On the one hand, if the RBC does determine that Michigan should be allowed to send some pledged

delegates to the Convention, there must be some basis for allocating those delegates among

presidential candidates (preferences). A fundamental principle of delegate selection is expressed in

the provision of the Charter requiring that delegates be chosen through processes which assure that

delegations fairly reflect the division of preferences expressed by those who participate in the

Presidential nominating process.8 Similarly, Rule 13(A) of the Delegate Selection Rules provides

that, Delegates shall be allocated in a fashion that fairly reflects the expressed presidential

preference or uncommitted status of the primary voters. In this case, it can be argued, there is

no basis for ensuring fair reflection of presidential preference other than to use the results of the

January 15 primary.

On the other hand, it can be argued that the primary as a whole could not possibly have served as a

fair reflection of presidential preference because most of the candidates then running for the

nomination were not on the ballot. Under the law establishing the January 15, 2008 presidential

preference primary, any presidential candidate that did not wish his or her name to appear on the

ballot could cause his or her name not to appear on the ballot by filing an affidavit with the

Secretary of State.9 Pursuant to this provision, all candidates seeking the nomination at that time

withdrew their names from the presidential primary ballot with the exception of Senator Clinton,

Senator Christopher Dodd, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and former Senator Mike Gravel.

The result of the primary was that only two presidential preferences exceeded the 15% threshold:

Senator Clinton and Uncommitted.

Issue 3: Allocation If Primary Results Are Used

The Challenge requests that a specific number of pledged delegate positions, in the aggregate, be

awarded to Senator Clinton and to Senator Obama, respectively. Even if the RBC determined that

8 Charter, Article Two, Section 4(b)

9 MCLS 168.615a(1)

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

Page 5

5

the results of the January 15, 2008 primary should be used to allocate delegate positions, however, it

is far from clear that RBC would have authority simply to award delegate positions to any

preferences other than Senator Clinton and Uncommitted.

The Challenge alleges that Senator Obamas and John Edwards supporters organized efforts to cast

votes for Uncommitted status10 Nevertheless, there is no specific authority whatsoever in the

Delegate Selection Rules or the Call for the RBC to award delegate positions won by the

Uncommitted preference to a particular candidate or candidates. To the contrary, the Charter,

Article Two, Section 4(g), provides that delegates or alternate expressing an uncommitted

preference shall be permitted to be elected at the district level, if such preference meets the

applicable threshold and qualifies for at large or similar delegates or alternates, such at large or

similar delegates or alternates shall be allocated to that uncommitted preference as if it were a

presidential candidate.

On the other hand, it can be argued that the voters expressing the Uncommitted preference were

expressing a preference for at least one of the candidates whose names did not appear on the

January 15 ballot, rather than rejecting the entire field. Therefore, following the principle of fair

reflection of presidential preference, it can at least be said that the Uncommitted delegate

positions should be considered as being allocated collectively to the candidates whose names did not

appear on the ballot: Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards, Senator Joseph Biden

and Governor Bill Richardson.

Based on this logic, a strong argument can be made that in awarding delegate positions to

Uncommitted status in the unusual circumstances presented by the Michigan challenge, the RBC

would at least have the authority to make special provisions for the exercise of candidate right of

approval in the selection of delegates to fill the se pledged Uncommitted positions. The Delegate

Selection Rules clearly require that Uncommitted be treated like any other presidential

preference, including with respect to candidate right of approval. Rule 12(E) provides that delegate

candidates removed from the list of bona fide supporters by a presidential candidate representative

cannot be elected as a delegate or alternate at that level pledged to that presidential candidate

(including uncommitted status). Further, Rule 12(E)(2) provides that Presidential candidates

(including uncommitted status), in consultation with the state party, may remove any candidate for

at large and pledged party leader and elected official delegate or alternate position[s] from the list

as long as one name remains for every position (emphasis added). This language suggests that

uncommitted status is to be treated as a presidential candidate to the greatest extent possible in the

candidate right of approval process.

Normally, there is no candidate representative for the Uncommitted preference and thus no means

of exercising candidate right of approval. But in the circumstances of the Michigan primary, there

is a means of effectuating the clear intent of the Rules. Those candidates appearing on the January

15 primary ballot were able effectively to exercise candidate right of approval over the delegate

candidates for the pledged delegate positions awarded to them. Those candidates who withdrew

their names were not able to do so.

At the least it would appear that the RBC could grant to those candidatesthe ones who withdrew

their names from the January 15 primary ballot collectively the right to exercise candidate right

10 Challenge, Statement of Facts 8

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

Page 6

6

of approval with respect to the eligibility of persons to be considered to fill the Uncommitted

pledged delegate slots. It is possible that these candidatesonly one of whom actively remains in

the racecould work out among themselves the mechanics of approving the persons to be

considered for the Uncommitted pledged delegate positions.

Issue 4: Discussion of Authority to Permit Casting of Half Votes

If the RBC does decide to impose a 50% reduction and to use the results of the January 15, 2008

primary to allocate delegate positions among Senator Clinton and Uncommitted, the next question

presented would be exactly how to do so.

If the RBC decides to go as far as it legally can in granting the MDP Challenge, it would revoke the

additional December 2007 sanctions and leave in place a 50% automatic reduction in pledged

delegates. One approach would then be to allocate the full complement of delegate positions

assigned to Michigan in the Call and simply allow each delegate to cast a half-vote. The question is

whether the RBC has authority to do that.

On the one hand, there is no specific authority conferred in the Call, the Charter or Bylaws or the

Delegate Selection Rules for the RBC to allow delegates to cast ha lf- votes. Furthermore, the

language of Rule 20(C)(1) and Rule 20(C)(8) appears to contemplate that the actual number of

pledged delegate positions would be reduced, rather than allowing the full number of pledged

delegates allocated to the state to cast half votes. Rule 20(C)(8), which allows a State Party to set

out in its Delegate Selection Plan a method and procedure by which the 50% reduction of a

delegation under Rule 20(C)(1) will be accomplished, further provides that if the State Party does

not do so, then the RBC shall, by lottery, or other appropriate method determined by the DNC

Rules and Bylaws Committee, determine which delegates and alternates shall not be a part of the

states delegation.

On the other hand, the Delegate Selection Rules appear to confer broad authority on the RBC to

determine exactly how to implement the 50% reduction in pledged delegates imposed by Rule

20(C)(1)(a). While the Rule mandates that the number of pledged delegates elected in each

category allocated to the state pursuant to the Call for the National Convention shall be reduced by

fifty (50%) percent, the Rule does not actually specify whether the reduction is to be accomplished

on the basis of delegate positions or delegate votes. Further, Rule 20(C)(8), while as noted

apparently contemplating a reduction in delegate positions, rather than in delegate votes, does not

limit the RBC to such an approach but confers on the RBC authority to require the State Party to

follow any other appropriate method determined by the RBC.

Issue 5: Discussion of Allocation of Remaining Delegate Positions Among Presidential

Preferences Based on Primary Results

If the RBC grants the Challenge, leaving in place a 50% reduction in delegate positions, and decides

to use the results of the January 15 primary, but does not restore all delegate positions with halfvotes,

then the question would remain as to how to allocate the reduced number of delegate

positions as between Senator Clinton and Uncommitted.

Rule 20(C)(1)(a) simply states that the number of pledged delegates elected in each category

allocated to the state pursuant to the Call shall be reduced by fifty (50%) percent. Rule 20(C)(8)

Staff Analysis of Michigan Challenge Continued

Page 7

7

provides that a state party may provide in its Delegate Selection Plan the specific method and

procedures by which it will reduce its delegation pursuant to this Rule 20 in the event the state party

becomes subject to this Rule 20 by which categories of delegates must be reduced by fifty (50%)

percent.. The MDPs Delegate Selection Plan does not set out any such method or procedures.

The specific question raised by this language is whether the allocation of delegate positions among

presidential candidates should be made before or after this reduction in delegate positions is

effected.

If the allocation is made before, then the full original number of delegate positions based on the

results of the January 15 primary would be allocated based on the primary results, in each category,

as if there had been no sanction, and then the total number of pledged delegates awarded to each

candidate would simply be cut in half. This method would produce roughly the same result, in

terms of allocation, as seating a full delegation allocated based on the primary results and allowing

each pledged delegate to cast a half vote.

If allocation is made after, then the number of pledged delegates, district by district, would first be

cut in half; the number of at-large delegates would be cut in half; the number of pledged Party

leader and elected official (PLEO) delegates would be cut in half; and then the allocation would be

made based on the district by district primary results for the district- level delegates and based on the

statewide results for the at- large and PLEO delegates. An argument in favor of this approach is that

it seems more faithful to the literal, plain language of Rule 20(C)(1)(a), which appears to

contemplate that the number of pledged delegate positions in each category will be reduced as a

first step, before the allocation of positions among presidential preferences is made.

Issue 6: Filling Remaining Delegate Positions

As noted, the MDP is in the process of completing the selection of delegates as if no sanction had

been imposed, filling all delegate positions originally provided by the Call, and allocating those

positions based on the results of the Jan. 15 primary.

If a determination is made to award the positions originally allocated to the Uncommitted

preference collectively to the candidates whose names were not on the ballot and to allow them to

exercise candidate right of approval, then the RBC presumably would have to require the MDP to

undertake a new selection process, including filing by delegate candidates and candidate right of

approval, to fill those positions.

In addition, if the RBC decides that it cannot or should not permit the casting of half votes, the 50%

automatic reduction in pledged delegates would mean that half of the people already chosen could

not serve as delegates and would require some mechanism to determine which persons should fill

the remaining positions. Rule 20(C)(8) permits a state party to include in its delegate selection plan

the specific method and procedures by which it will reduce its delegation if it becomes subject to

Rules 20(C)(1), (2) or (3). MDP did not include any such method or procedures in its delegate

selection plan. The RBC would therefore have to decide whether to require the MDP to provide for

such a method in a revision to its plan or whether the RBC would simply want to impose a

particular mechanism for making this determination.

CHRONOLOGY OF KEY DATES & STEPS

DEVELOPMENT OF 2008 CALENDAR, FLORIDA & MICHIGAN

This document gives the key dates and activities in the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC)

development of the 2008 presidential primary and caucus calendar, including drafting the rule on timing

as well as the activities related to Florida and Michigan. This document attempts to answer the question

how did we get here and has been prepared for the Committees May 31, 2008 meeting.

GENERAL CALENDAR & RULES DEVELOPMENT BACKGROUND

July 25, 2004

2004 Democratic National Convention approved a resolution establishing a

Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling charged with

the responsibility of studying the timing of presidential primaries and caucuses

and developing appropriate recommendations to the Democratic National

Committee for the nominating process beginning in 2008.

March 12, 2005

The Commission held its first meeting in Washington, D.C. Congressman

David Price D-NC) and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman

served as Co-Chairs of the 40-member Commission, which became known as

the Price-Herman Commission. Commission members included Senator Carl

Levin and DNC member Debbie Dingell both of Michigan and Congressman

Kendrick Meek of Florida. The Commission held five meetings over the course

of ten months and heard testimony from a number of experts and from a variety

of state party officials, party leaders, elected officials, national organizations

and academics. Numerous timing scenarios were developed and debated

extensively by Commission members.

December 10,

2005

At its final meeting, the Commission adopted its Report and Recommendations.

The Commission concluded that, while its members understand and

appreciate the valuable role the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary

have played in the Democratic nominating process, a majority of Commission

members expressed serious concerns that Iowa and New Hampshire are not

fully reflective of the Democratic electorate or the national electorate

generallyand therefore do not place Democratic candidates before a

representative range of voters in the critical early weeks of the process. The

Commission favored an approach that would preserve the first in the nation

status of Iowa and New Hampshire but address the diversity, representation

and participation issues in a meaningful way by including other states in the

pre-window period in a schedule in which they would play an important role

alongside Iowa and New Hampshire. The Commission also recognized that

effective implementation of the Partys rule on timing required the support of the

partys presidential candidates and urged the RBC to impose appropriate

obligations on presidential candidates to support, cooperate with and otherwise

participate in making the timing system successful in achieving its fundamental

goals.

March 11, 2006

RBC met and agreed to accept the Commissions recommendations as the

framework for drafting the 2008 rule on timing. The RBC also voted to

invite State Parties to apply to be one of the early contests alongside Iowa and

New Hampshire in the pre-window period.

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 2

April-June 2006

RBC meets each month, either in person or via telephone conference call, to

evaluate the 11 state Parties that applied to conduct the new early pre-window

events. In total, eleven state Democratic parties submitted extensive written

presentations and testified at length before the RBC at this series of meetings.

In evaluating the states that applied, the RBC was guided by the Commissions

recommendation that racial and ethnic diversity; geographic diversity; and

economic diversity, including union density, be highlighted in the selection of

the new pre-window states. Florida did not apply at any time to be one of the

states that would be allowed to hold its primary prior to February 5, 2008.

Michigan did submit an application to be one of the new early pre-window

states alongside Iowa and New Hampshire. The State Party proposed to

conduct either a traditional tiered caucus or a Party-run primary.

July 22, 2006

RBC recommended to the full DNC that the Iowa caucuses take place no

earlier than January 14, 2008; that one caucus be held between the Iowa

caucus and the New Hampshire primary, and that the caucus be held in

Nevada, a state with a significant and growing Latino population, a sizeable

Asian American and Pacific Islander community, a strong organized labor

presence, and in the western region of the country where the Democratic Party

was making electoral gains. The RBC further recommended that one primary

be held between the New Hampshire primary and the opening of the window on

February 5, and that that primary be held in South Carolina, a southern state

that has prior experience in hosting an early event and a state in which African

Americans represent a significant share of the Democratic electorate.

August 19, 2006

At its meeting in Chicago, the full Democratic National Committee voted to

adopt the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National

Convention. Included was the rule on timing (the pre-window and window

periods) as well as provisions for enforcing those rules. The vote on the Rules

was taken by voice vote. As best the DNC staff could determine, and as the

press reported, only members of the New Hampshire delegation voted against

the proposed Rules.

August 31, 2007

All eight Democratic presidential candidates signed a pledge sponsored by

the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina not to

campaign in states that hold primaries before the opening of the window. It

should be noted that this pledge was organized by the four early states and had

no relationship to the DNC RBC. It is presented here as merely a point of

information.

December 1,

2007

RBC met and considered requests from the states of Iowa, New Hampshire and

South Carolina to hold their respective caucuses and primaries on different

dates than provided in the rules. The representatives of each state Party

testified before the RBC that the date changes were necessary to preserve the

spirit and intent of the goals of the early pre-window period. The representatives

further acknowledged that the date changes were necessary because other

states had scheduled events in the pre-window period. The Nevada State Party

Chair testified to the RBC that the Nevada State Party had concluded that it

was in its best interests to hold its caucus on the date provided in the rules, but

that it supported the requests of the other three (3) states to move.

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 3

FLORIDA CHRONOLOGY

January 23, 2007

Legislation was introduced in the Florida legislature to move the date of the

state government-run primary from the first Tuesday of March (March 4, 2008)

to January 29, 2008, which would violate the Partys rule on timing.

April 5, 2007

RBC Co-Chairs wrote to Democratic members of the Florida congressional

delegation notifying them that the proposed legislation had passed the Florida

House of Representatives and was pending before the State Senate to move

the date of the primary. The letter detailed the automatic sanctions in the rules

for states that violate the rule on timing. The letter concluded by urging the

congressional representatives to use their leadership and influence to oppose

and help to defeat the state legislation that would put Floridas presidential

primary in violation of DNC rules.

March-April 2007

DNC officials and Florida Democratic Party officials had discussions about the

status of the pending legislation and what activities the DNC could engage in to

try to influence Democratic state legislators to bring Floridas system into

compliance with DNC Rules.

May 7, 2007

DNC officials and Florida State Party officials met in-person in Annapolis,

Maryland, to discuss the pending legislation and strategies about how to cope

with the legislation that was expected to be signed into law.

May 21, 2007 Legislation moving the states presidential preference primary to January 29,

2008 was signed into law by Governor Charlie Crist.

May – early June

2007

With assistance of DNC officials, Florida Democratic Party developed a plan for

an alternative, Party-run 100% vote by mail process that would be scheduled

for a date complying with the rules.

June 10, 2007

The Florida State Democratic Executive Committee voted to make the January

29, 2008 primary binding and to draft a Delegate Selection Plan based on that

primary.

June 15, 2006 DNC Chairman Gov. Dean met with members of the Florida congressional

delegation.

July early

August 2007

Discussions between the DNC and FDP officials continued. The DNC

developed a proposed State Party-run caucus system, with congressional

district caucuses to take place after February 5, 2008. That system would fully

comply with the DNCs Rules and afford an opportunity for all Florida

Democrats to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. The DNC offered

to pay approximately $880,000 to implement the caucus system.

August 4, 2007

The Florida State Democratic Executive Committee adopted a 2008 Delegate

Selection Plan based on use of the January 29, 2008 primary and that plan was

submitted to the RBC on August 7, 2007.

August 11, 2007

An in-person meeting was conducted between DNC officials and Florida State

Party officials, including RBC Co-Chair Jim Roosevelt, State Chair Karen

Thurman, and several Florida DNC members. During that private meeting, the

DNC officials informed the FDP representatives that, if the State Party persisted

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 4

in its refusal to adopt an alternate plan complying with the rules it was likely that

the RBC would not only allow the automatic sanctions to go into place (50%

reduction in pledged delegates and a 100% loss of unpledged delegates), but

would likely use its authority to further reduce Floridas delegation to zero (0)

delegates.

August 25, 2007

RBC considered Floridas amended 2008 Delegate Selection Plan based on the

January 29, 2008 state government-run primary. By voice vote, with only one

(1) no vote cast, Committee found the Plan in Non-Compliance for violating

Rule 11.A. Under the authority of Rules 20.C.1, 20C.5, and 20.C.6 RBC

imposed a 100% loss of delegates (pledged and unpledged) and alternates.

August 28, 2007

RBC Co-Chairs formally notified the State Party in writing of the RBCs finding

of Non-Compliance. Pursuant to the Committees Regulations, the State Party

was given 30-days upon receipt of the written notification to submit a revised

Plan that complied with the rules.

September 2007

Throughout the month of September, DNC officials had conversations with a

number of Florida party leaders, elected officials and FDP officials. Through all

of those conversations the DNC reiterated that the FDP had the option to use a

Party-run caucus process to allocate delegates and that the DNC was willing to

pay for it. On September 29, 2007 State Chair Karen Thurman notified the RBC

Co-Chairs that the FDP was reaffirming the Plan previously submitted based on

the January 29, 2008 primary. Chair Thurmans letter acknowledged that the

FDP spent months considering potential Party-run alternatives that would have

complied with the DNC Rules but that the FDP did not consider any of those

alternatives to be acceptable.

October 5, 2007

The RBC Co-Chairs formally notified the State Party that the Plan remained in

Non-Compliance and that the delegate and alternate reduction imposed at the

August 25, 2007 RBC meeting was now in place.

October 31 2007

Pursuant to state law, State Chair Karen Thurman submitted to the Secretary of

State a list of presidential candidates whose names would appear on the

January 15, 2008 primary ballot. Chair Thurman named all eight (8)

Democratic presidential candidates.

January 29, 2008 Florida presidential preference primary.

Early-March

2008

Discussions resumed between DNC officials and State Party officials about

holding an alternative Party-run process before June 10, 2008 that would

comply with the rules. These discussions included, among other things,

consideration of a new state-run primary taking place in the spring of 2008

funded by the state; a new state-run primary taking place in the spring of 2008

funded by private contributions raised by the FDP; and a Party-run vote-by-mail

process, taking place in the spring of 2008. In the course of these discussions,

the FDP submitted to the DNC, in March 2008, for informal review and

discussion, a written plan for an alternative, party-run vote by mail process in

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 5

which ballots would be mailed out to all Florida Democratic voters on May 9,

2008 and returned to the FDP for counting by June 3, 2008.

March 17, 2008

State Chair Karen Thurman announced that after careful consideration of

various alternatives, it was logistically impossible to conduct an alternative

Party-run nominating event before June 10, 2008.

March 17, 2008 Florida DNC member Jon Ausman filed two (2) challenges seeking the

reinstatement of Floridas delegates.

April 2, 2008

Gov. Dean met with State Chair Karen Thurman, Sen. Bill Nelson and members

of the Florida Democratic congressional delegation. Following the meeting, the

participants issued a joint statement that a delegation from Florida will be

seated at the Convention.

April 25, 2008

The RBC Co-Chairs notified Committee members that the RBC would meet

May 31, 2008 in Washington, D.C. to consider the Ausman challenges as well

as a challenge concerning Michigan filed by Joel Ferguson.

MICHIGAN CHRONOLOGY

April 2006

Michigan applied to be considered one of the new early pre-window states

alongside Iowa and New Hampshire. The State Party proposed to conduct

either a traditional tiered caucus or a Party-run primary.

April 28, 2007

Michigan State Central Committee adopted a 2008 Delegate Selection Plan

based on a February 9, 2008 State Party-run primary with in-person voting

centers, vote-by-mail and internet voting following a 30-day public comment

period. (In the past this process has been called a caucus by the State Party,

or a firehouse primary.) The February 9, 2008 Party-run primary would

allocate delegate and alternate positions among presidential preferences. The

2008 Plan was submitted to the DNC RBC for its consideration.

June 27, 2007

Legislation was introduced in the Michigan legislature to move the date of the

state government-run primary to January 2008, which would violate the Partys

rule on timing. The legislation also provided a mechanism for the government

to record those voters who take a Democratic ballot, thereby meeting the

Partys rules standard of declaration and recordation.

June 30, 2007

RBC considered proposed Michigan 2008 Plan and heard presentation from

State Chair Brewer on internet voting. RBC postponed taking a formal vote on

the Plan until its next meeting in order for the State Party to provide more

detailed information concerning its internet voting component.

August 25, 2007

RBC considered Michigans 2008 Plan for a February 9, 2008 Party-run primary

and found the Plan in Conditional Compliance. The only deficiency indicated

at the time was Committee staffs desire to more fully evaluate the internet

voting component.

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 6

August 30, 2007

Legislation establishing a January 15, 2008 state government-run presidential

preference primary passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor

Jennifer Granholm on September 3, 2007.

September 11,

2007

Pursuant to state law, State Chair Mark Brewer submitted to the Secretary of

State a list of presidential candidates whose names would appear on the

January 15, 2008 primary ballot. Chair Brewer named all eight (8) Democratic

presidential candidates.

October 9, 2007

Sen. Joe Biden, former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama, and Gov. Bill

Richardson filed the necessary affidavits to remove their names from the

January 15, 2008 presidential primary ballot. Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chris

Dodd, former Sen. Mike Gravel, and Cong. Dennis Kucinichs names remained

on the ballot.

November 27,

2007

Michigan State Executive Committee voted to amend the states 2008 Delegate

Selection Plan. The amended 2008 Plan allocated delegate and alternate

positions among presidential preferences using the results of the January 15,

2008 state government-run primary. The amended Plan was submitted to the

DNC RBC for its consideration.

December 1,

2007

RBC considered Michigans amended 2008 Delegate Selection Plan based on

the January 15, 2008 state government-run primary. Committee found the Plan

in Non-Compliance for violating Rule 11.A. Under the authority of Rules

20.C.1, 20C.5, and 20.C.6 RBC imposed a 100% loss of delegates (pledged

and unpledged) and alternates.

December 3,

2007

RBC Co-Chairs formally notified the State Party in writing of the RBCs finding

of Non-Compliance. Pursuant to the Committees Regulations, the State Party

was given 30-days upon receipt of the written notification to submit a revised

Plan that complied with the rules.

January 7, 2008

The 30-day time period for the State Party to submit a revised and corrected

Plan expired. RBC Co-Chairs formally notified the State Party that the Plan

remained in Non-Compliance and that the delegate and alternate reduction

imposed at the December 1, 2007 RBC meeting was now in place.

January 15, 2008 Michigan state government-run primary.

February 9, 2008 Date of originally planned State Party-run primary featuring in-person voting

centers, vote-by-mail, and internet voting.

March 2008

Legislation was drafted for the state government to conduct a new Democratic

only presidential preference primary in either May or June 2008. The primary

would be conducted by the government, but paid for by the State Party.

However, the legislature adjourned without taking action on the proposal to

conduct a second Democratic primary.

April 4, 2008

The State Party announced that it was logistically impossible for the State Party

to conduct an alternative Party-run nominating event before June 10, 2008.

KEY DATES & STEPS CHRONOLOGY CONTINUED

PAGE 7

That same day, DNC Chairman Gov. Howard Dean, Sen. Carl Levin, Cong.

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, DNC member Debbie Dingell, and UAW President

Ron Gettlefinger released a joint statement that a delegation from Michigan

would be seated.

April 17, 2008

DNC at-large member Joel Ferguson filed a challenge seeking the

reinstatement of Michigans delegates. The challenge sought to reinstate all

unpledged delegates with a full vote each and all of the pledged delegates with

a half vote each.

April 25, 2008

The RBC Co-Chairs notified Committee members that the RBC would meet

May 31, 2008 in Washington, D.C. to consider the Ferguson challenge as well

as challenges concerning Florida filed by Jon Ausman.

May 12, 2008

Through State Chair Mark Brewer, Michigan State Executive Committee filed a

challenge seeking the reinstatement of Michigans delegates. The challenge

sought the reinstatement of all delegates (pledged and unpledged) with a full

vote each. The challenge requested the 128 pledged delegates be allocated 69

to Sen. Hillary Clinton and 59 to Sen. Barack Obama. At the same time, Joel

Ferguson formally withdrew his challenge filed on April 17, 2008.

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About 750 people attended the vigil, which provided a “spectrum” of healing — from tears and frustration to laughter — in the wake of the Highland Park mass killing.
This is good news that we hope leads to a full-on effort to preserve the historic school — and rebuild its curriculum also.
Activist and Club 100 founder Andrew Holmes brought this elite group of centenarians out to enjoy a Chicago White Sox game against the Minnesota Twins.