Monday, January 14, 2008

Don't Blame the MDP, Blame Those Who Refuse to Listen to MI

As a result of our efforts, the GCYD has brought attention to the DNC's harsh ruling against Michigan that will disenfranchise Democratic voters. We have had our letter published in the Flint Journal and on several forums. We have been interviewed by ABC-12 and the Flint Journal. We have illicited a response from the DNC.

Here is the response from the DNC:

Thank you for sharing your concerns with the DNC. On December 1st the DNC*s Rules and Bylaws Committee, nearly unanimously, found Michigan*s 2008 Delegate Selection Plan in Non-Compliance with the
2008 Delegate Selection Rules because of its January 15, 2008 primary date - a date that violates the rule on timing. It should be noted that the full DNC, including members from Michigan, voted to adopt the Rules
last year after an 18-month-long transparent, thoughtful and deliberative process.

The DNC gave the Michigan Democratic Party 30 days to submit a plan that could have complied. During that time, the DNC worked with the Michigan State Party to develop a plan that complied. It should be noted
that in the summer of 2007 the RBC considered and took action on a Michigan Delegate Selection Plan that used the results of a State Party-run caucus process on February 9, 2008 to allocate delegate positions among presidential candidates. This system and date complied with all relevant Delegate Selection Rules and that original Plan was found in Conditional Compliance by the RBC. In the end, the Michigan
Democratic Party chose the January 15, 2008 primary date. Because of this the DNC is forced to enforce its rules.

This was not an arbitrary decision made by the DNC, but one that was considered by the entire Rules and Bylaws Committee. We feel it is important to enforce the rules that were voted on by the full DNC to ensure that the nominating process is more fair, more representative and more effective as a proving ground for our own candidates. Our ultimate goal is to put forth the strongest presidential nominee. The Party must
enforce its calendar at this time to prevent other states from leapfrogging ahead.

We are disappointed by this turn of events because we know how important it is to the Party that Michigan Democrats play a meaningful part in the nominating process and send a full delegation to the Convention. We remain hopeful that the Party leaders and elected officials in Michigan will reconsider their decision to use the state government-run January 15, 2008 primary and will instead continue to use the State Party's traditional caucus process as was originally planned.

We appreciate the hard work of the Michigan Democratic Party in dealing with this matter and re-commit ourselves to continuing to work with the Michigan Democratic Party on many other levels to strengthen the Party
in Michigan and achieve victory in 2008."

The letter is a polite way to dismiss Michigan voters. The DNC argues that they had no choice, yet, the DNC could have made reforms to the primary system. Instead, the DNC has sided with political and financial interests
in the early states who desperately want to remain first in the nation. As a result, the DNC has given up on competing in Michigan. Not only are Democratic candidates not campaigning in MI, the DNC is sticking to its decision over refusing to sit our delegates.

The MDP has urged the DNC to reform this old-fashioned system that guarantees MI no role in the process. The MDP seems to have been caught bluffing, believing that the DNC would never take actions that would alienate an entire state of voters. While the MDP is not free from guilt arising from other issues in this primary fiasco ($10 million of state funds to pay for Republican and Democrat primaries, "uncommitted," and bluffing), the DNC is crazy for throwing away our votes. MI is a battleground state last time I checked. The Republicans understand this and allowed their state party to violate the bylaws. The Republican candidates understand this and have made MI a priority. Only Howard Dean and the rest of the DNC seems unable to comprehend this point. Howard Dean's DNC has acted rashly and harshly to take away our rights to vote. These actions should demonstrate the amount of political force these early states are able to muster against the DNC to defend this unfair primary system.

MI voters matter. Stick up for your state party concerning reform in the DNC. They are only trying to carry our voice to a national capital that has forgotten all about us. So what should you do on Tuesday? Here are some tips and clarifications:

1) DO
NOT vote "uncommitted" believing that it is a vote in opposition to the few candidates on the ballot. "Uncommitted" is a vote for delegates to pick whoever they want at the convention, including candidates already listed on the ballot.

2) If there is a candidate you oppose on the ballot, then vote for the other candidate
on the ballot. Dennis Kucinich is one of the candidates to vote for in opposition to others.

3) Another option is to vote in the Republican primary. Voting
Republican does two things: 1) gives Democrats control over a more moderate Republican candidate than our current President, and 2) sends a message to the DNC that MI matters and that any candidate who hopes to win had better pay attention to Michigan voters.

How can we reform the DNC so that this does not happen in the future? Write to the DNC using the link at the side-bar. Organize a protest event. Get media attention. Use your vote on Tuesday to send a message to party leaders that this behavior will not win them votes. Keep your eyes open as the GCYD continues to take a stand on this issue.

- Keith