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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Conflicts of interests on DNC rules panel?



UPDATE: Seems Katz is wrong on this, according to Karen Finney at the DNC. There is no prohibition on RBC members working on campaigns (Donna Brazile didn't step down while working for Al Gore), although Katz, the only Floridian on the panel, is right that he can't vote. The rules say a member can't vote on a challenge "arising in his or her own state."

So that's one less pro-Obama vote on the committee, but we're thinking it's somehow fitting that Florida's vote won't count on whether or not Florida's votes should count. Phil Singer at the Clinton campaign weighs in on the jump.

So now that the DNC’s rules and bylaws committee has agreed to consider a couple of appeals to reinstate Florida’s delegates to the national convention, accusations of conflict of interest are surfacing.

Rules committee member Allan Katz, a top Barack Obama fundraiser, says he may call on a couple prominent committee members, Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy, to recuse themselves from the May 31 vote because they are working for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

"If your’e being paid that would normally be considered a conflict of interest,’’ said Katz, who said he may also be precluded from voting because he is a super-delegate directly effected by the decision. That would also eliminate Michigan Democratic party chairman Mark Brewer.

Phil Singer's response to Katz on Ickes and Flournoy: "1. Absolutely not true - nothing in the rules says that if you are paid by a campaign that you can't participate. 2. Martha Fuller Clarke who sits on the committee was Obama Campaign Chair in NH - would Mr. Katz suggest that she recuse herself. 3. Mr. Katz cannot vote on the Florida challenge."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 10:54am]


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