Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Texas Dems Reject Verification/No FL Do-Over

Texas Democrats have responded to threatened legal action by the Clinton campaign over allegations of illegalities in the March 4th primary by rejecting calls for a "verification" of those who participated in the evening precinct caucuses. Here are excerpts from a statement released by the Texas Democratic Party:

The overwhelming majority of problems reported in Texas do not affect the legitimacy of delegate allocation. It is important to remember that the precinct conventions are just the first of three steps where delegates and alternates are selected. "Final results" will not be determined until June 6-7 at the Texas Democratic State convention. And at each convention step, Texas Democratic Party rules provide a credentials process to address problems and provide an avenue to register complaints and make formal challenges

For that reason, the Texas Democratic Party will not do as suggested by one campaign and circumvent Party rules to set up an unnecessary, ad hoc "verification" process that could effectively disqualify delegates selected at their precinct conventions after the fact. The Party has never stated any intention to set up a verification process of this nature because Party rules already provide for "verification" through our credentials process. Candidates who wish to disqualify delegates must pursue formal challenges based on evidence filed appropriately in accordance with our party's rules.

Fair enough, in my opinion. As I stated yesterday, there is no evidence that any shenanigans at the precinct caucuses benefitted one candidate over the other, nor is there any showing that a verification of all the signatures of the one million participants in the caucuses. The Clinton camp should not be permitted to stop-down the process simply in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of Obama's delegate lead in Texas. Clinton hacks will spin this predictably, but as far as I'm concerned Texas Democrats have rightfully stood up to the Clinton campaign.

In other news, there will apparently be no do-over in Florida. Florida Democrats having already rejected a full do-over of the primary, also rejected the mail-in ballot proposal that had been floating around for a few weeks. Now it is left to the campaigns the DNC to try and figure out what to do with the delegates from Florida. As you can probably imagine, Clinton will fight to have the delegates seated at the Democratic National Convention, and Obama will fight to have them seated in some manner that reduces their value to Clinton.

UPDATE: A do-over in Michigan appears to be in danger as well. The AP reports that talks are hung up on a proposal to ban from the do-over voters who voted in the Michigan Republican primary, even if they were Democrats or Independents voting in the Republican primary because Barack Obama was not on the Democratic ballot. However, Marc Ambinder is reporting that talks on a do-over are almost completely dead, making it more likely that there will be no re-vote in Michigan at all and the two campaigns and the DNC will have to hammer out a compromise for both Michigan and Florida.

UPDATE: Carrie Giddens, in the NY Times writes concerning the Michigan and Florida do-overs:

There is no such thing as a do-over. Do-overs are what you get when the end results don’t matter. Do-overs are what children do on a playground. Adults accept their mistakes, learn from them and move on.


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