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Hastings boycotting Democratic convention

At least one high-profile Florida Democrat is not ready to set aside the dispute with the national party: U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings of Miramar said he would skip the nominating convention in Denver.

Here's his statement, a dramatic commentary on the right to vote by a black congressman:

It is with reluctance and disappointment that I accept the DNC’s decision today.  I do so not because I agree with the decision but because it is time for us to move on and focus on winning in November.

I applaud Karen Thurman and the Florida Democratic Party, Robert Wexler, Bill Nelson and others who represented our state and the candidates for doing the best they could with a bad situation.

Florida Democrats have been serially abused and the DNC is the latest of offenders.  How the DNC has the authority to ignore the votes of ‘Jack and Jane Lunch Bucket’ is beyond my understanding. The insiders who actively sought to disillusion and disenfranchise the more than 1.75 million Florida Democrats who voted on January 29 give new meaning to collective arrogance.

The DNC’s decision today ignores the core principle of our great democracy: the right to vote.  I know that the 1.75 million Democrats who voted on January 29 count and don’t give a damn what the DNC rules pronounce.

Going to a party’s convention is a privilege. Courts have said that political parties have a right to make their rules.  In this case, the DNC has chosen to take away that privilege from people who I believe have earned the right to participate in the National Convention in Denver with a full vote.  As Americans, we should never insinuate or give vent to taking away the constitutional, time honored, died for, and cherished rights of voters from any state.  Yet that is what today’s decision has done to the people of
Florida and Michigan.

I suppose the DNC has the right to block Democrats in Florida from attending the National Convention.  They also have the right to be stupid, and stupid they are.

At the beginning of our great country’s history my ancestors were counted as only 2/3 of a person.  Until passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870, they weren’t allowed to vote. During that same time and until 1920, women could not vote.  White men who did not own property could not vote at one point in our history as well.   

Now, on May 31, 2008, a group of elitist insiders of the DNC have effectively said that some of my ancestors’ progeny equal only 1/2 and that men and women in Florida who voted on January 29th are 1/2 also.  For a Party which will crown its historic nominee on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, the DNC’s decision today is tragically ironic.

As a matter of protest, I do not intend to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Despite all of this, too much is at stake this November.  I refuse to allow those who have done me and my constituents wrong to stop us from taking back our country.  Together, we will do whatever it takes to increase our majority in the House and Senate and win the Presidency.

While I cannot speak for others, I do not intend to take any further legal action against the DNC.  If I believed that we could win, believe me, I would act and so would others.  But based on case history, it is an uphill battle screaming for a change in federal law.   

I will, however, spend enormous energy on convincing my colleagues in Congress that we must create a rotating regional Presidential primary system.  30 political insiders – nearly all of whom ain’t ever been elected to a damn thing in their lives – must never again have the ability to reject the will of and unilaterally disenfranchise 1.75 million voters.

This election is bigger than Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton.  It is certainly bigger than the DNC.  There are over 46 million Americans who are uninsured, gas and energy costs are spiraling out of control, America’s economy is faltering, and U.S. troops are dying nearly every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It will take the energy and resources of all of us to fix these problems and the others facing our nation.

As Florida voters have demonstrated time and time again, we will rise above those who have sought to silence our voices and vote big and win in November.

Comments

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Philip J Dennany

National Democrat Leaders had to inforse the rules. The Florida Democrat leaders did a dis-service to their members. Grow up Hastings, act like a leader.

mwl

Is anyone else disturbed that a Representative to
Congress thinks slaves were counted as 2/3, instead of
the correct value of 3/5? One would hope that someone
in charge of writing legislation would have a firmer
grasp of the text of the Constitution that he's sworn to
uphold.

Huey

OMG... Ann Wells has Alcee Hastings and the word integrity in the same sentence.

What does that mean.... that he took the bribes and stayed bought?

Integrity! Alcee Hastings! Amazing.

Trinity

The states of Florida and Michigan broke the rules .... simple as that. No one has been disenfranchised. The constituency of these two states should have done their homework and realized their state's representatives caused this problem. If people from Flordia and Michigan are angry and believe they have been disenfranchised, they should pay attention to their elected officials who are up for re-election in their state and vote accordingly.

From a Michigan voter who has not been disenfranchised.

PATina

Wow. 1st... Any ELECTED Democratic member had to know what the DNC rules were (if not... shame on him). Why didn't Rep. Hastings and others protest the DNC rules when they 1st announced that the FL votes wouldn't count??? (Before the primary actually got underway) 2nd... The DNC didn't have to reinstate the FL or MI delegates at all... they should be happy that they were only penalized half a vote. 3rd... Why is it that a number of states are disenfranchised every other presidential primary year when the nominee is chosen by Super Tuesday and none of us ever complained. 4th... Will someone please tell me when the DNC EVER chose its candidate based on popular vote. I'm sorry... I just can't understand why people don't find out the rules BEFORE they play the game. What point does it make to get angry afterwards?

Now... I do agree w/ Rep Hastings that they should have rotating primary dates... or even a lottery system. I'm in PA and this is the 1st time since Jimmy Carter ran for President that we had a real say in the primary contests.

jimbob

What I don't understand is how Floridians (and Clinton supporters) can continue to blame the DNC or Obama for a decision made by FL state party elites to ignore party rules, advance their state's primary, and then expect that everyone would just turn a blind eye. Floridians should be upset at their state party leaders for creating this mess and stop blame everyone else.

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