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Democratic Party Challenged Over Delegates

February 18th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

A March first deadline looms for Florida Democrats to make their voice heard at the national convention. That’s the day the national party certifies delegates around the nation. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, one Florida based Democratic National Committeeman says the party is violating its own rules.

Hillary Clinton wants Florida’s Democratic delegates seated. Barack Obama Doesn’t. In the middle, 1.72 million democrats who cast a ballot on January 29th.

One National Committeeman is now saying that the national party is violating its own rules and bylaws by not seating all 22 Florida super delegates and at least half of the pledged delegates. Jon Ausman will file paperwork to begin a challenge this week.

“The reality is that if the national party follows its own rules, then we should have 22 super delegates and 91 pledged delegates as well.” says Ausman.

The documents seem clear. Party bylaws call for seating the super delegates, like U-S Senator Bill Nelson and 9 democratic members of congress. The documents also spell out that the state should have lost, at best, only half its delegates. Ausman says Clinton makes out better than Obama if the challenge is successful.

“Obama is up by roughly 100 delegates and if we counted the Florida delegates, Hillary Clinton would cut that down by 37.”

Dan Gelber, the top democrat in the state house calls the showdown a mess that threatens November. “The planets always seem to align and the bounces always seem to bounce in a way that puts us in the center of something that’s all weird and screwed up and that’s almost where we are right now.” says Gelber.

Whatever happens will make some democrats unhappy. And the outcome of the election in November may depend on just how angry they become.

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