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Maybe they could sell the naming rights?

The Florida Democratic party says there'd be no cap on the money it could take in for a do-over presidential primary, meaning the presidential campaigns or other Democratic donors could foot the bill and see that Florida gets a seat at the convention.

A mail-in primary appeared to be the favorite solution Sunday as politicians and pundits grappled with how to lift the state's renegade status. A mail-in election could cost as much as $6 million, Sen. Bill Nelson said, and "since Governor Dean has said he's not going to do it in the DNC, the Florida Democratic Party's going to have to go out and raise the money."

A spokesman for the party said a vote-by-mail primary is "certainly under consideration" and that the party would be able to accept unlimited contributions.

Spokesman Mark Bubriski said the question of whether the party would need to use the state's election equipment has yet to be resolved, but that the party would not ask for taxpayers dollars to be involved, even if it had to rent state equipment.

DNC chairman Howard Dean, who has ruled out having the national party pick up the tab, called vote-by-mail "actually a very good process.

"Every voter gets a ballot in the mail,'' he said on CBS's Face the Nation. "It's comprehensive, you get to vote if you're in Iraq or in a nursing home. It's not a bad way to do this."

Not everyone is on board. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Fox News Sunday that there are talks on developing a "weighted formula" that would assign delegates to the campaigns:

"You would count the election on the 29th in some way and then other factors like the possible outcome of the rest of the primaries and weight that as well," she said.

Dean said he doesn't expect any resolution until after after Pennsylvania votes in April. He called it "very unlikely" that Florida and Michigan would be seated "as is," without some sort of a do-over, but said he's hopeful "things are moving."

Comments

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Robert

On January 29, nearly two million Florida Democrats --- a record number --- turned out to have their voice heard as to who they preferred to be our party's nominee for President. With two excellent candidates, the best opportunity for Democrats to take back the White House in nearly a decade, and with the knowledge that Floridians could have a major role in determining who our nominee will be, Democrats from Pensacola to Key West had a reason to be excited to come to the polls...and that showed in the turnout.

As everyone knows, the date of our primary was decided by the Republican-controlled Legislature They knew that in doing so that they would be in violation of the rules of both major political parties. While many among our Democratic bretheran eventually voted in support of the date change, one has to remember that it was only one part of an overall election reform package which, among other things, mandated a paper trail to avoid the use of touch screen machines, and thus prevent the chaos we experienced in 2000.

The rules regarding the schedule for primaries and caucuses was agreed upon and put into place by both parties in order to maintain a level of discipline and thus prevent oneupmanship among states which would result in disorder with events held before January 1. I'll be the first to say that there should be a consequence for violating the rules. Any child knows that if you mess up, you pay the price. But how severe should that consequence be?

The decision by Democratic National Committee Chairman Dr. Howard Dean to strip Florida (and Michigan, which held their primary earlier) of it's entire delegation was a classic example of overreaction, so to use a medical term that even the doctor can understand, a case of political malpractice. It disenfranchises the voters of two key states that will be important if our party's eventual nominee is to have a chance in the general election.

So, what do we do now?

There has been talk over the past week about some type of "do-over" vote, wheather it be a repeat primary, a mail-in option, or a caucus. I agree with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D - FL), who said that “With two outstanding candidates battling so closely for their party’s nomination, there’s no way you can tell nearly two-million Florida voters they don’t count.”

Then just count them! Let the results of the January 29 primary count!

I personally do not believe that any type "do-over" option would be appropriate, for several reasons:

1) When one considers the record number of voters who participated January 29 in the belief that their choices would be honoured, we should not do anything that would possibly disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Florida Democats who would be either unable or unwilling to do a revote.

2) A mail-in vote makes me nervous. While it has been done elsewhere, it has never been tried in Florida. In Oregon, the mail-in option was done as an experiment for two decades before it was determined to be acceptable. I would not want to see use such an important election as an experiment here.

3) The caucus option is unacceptable because it would prevent many of our fellow Democrats from being able to participate. This would especially affect working people, the elderly and infirm, along with those who would have transportation issues; I believe that it would be much more difficult for minorities to participate.

4) Any alternative plan would have to be agreeable not only to the state and national party organizations, but also to both candidates, else you risk a contentious court fight by the loser. In addition to the hard feelings which would be left over to possibly split the party, it would consume time and money which at this point noone can afford.

While I don't agree very often with our Republican brothers and sisters, their national party organization did the right thing in the case of Florida and Michigan in stripping their convention delegation number in half. This is the option that the DNC should have --- and still can --- follow.

As the Florida delegation would still be based on the number of votes each candidate received on January 29. However, the formula as to how many delegates each congressional district receives, and which candidates gets how many delegates in each district, would have to be reworked. That would likely eliminate the delegates for John Edwards, who has withdrawn from the race.

In my opinion, while you won't make everyone happy, the idea of seating only half the delegation would seem to be not only the easiest and fairest option, it would be much less expensive and time consuming for all parties involved.

Hey Robert, the legisation to move the primary was initiated by Democrat Jeremy Ring and only one Democrat in the entire legislation voted against it. Get the facts straight, even if you aren't.

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