Kiss Democratic presidential FL campaigning goodbye?
It wasn't even close. The rules and bylaws committee voted to strip Florida of 100 percent of its presidential delegates unless within 30 days the party makes the Jan. 29 primary election non-binding and sets some other system for allocating delegates after Feb. 5. Karen Thurman, Jon Ausman and Terrie Brady gave it a good try, begging for mercy, blaming the Republicans, etc., but the committee didn't buy. Only Floridian Allan Katz voted on Florida's side.
We particularly appreciated Ausman's plea, which practically begged a violin backtrack: "We're asking you for mercy, not judgement. ... It's like a family when you have a black sheep of the family. What do Republicans do? They cast them out, they throw them out. ... What do the Democrats do? We bring them in. We try to reform, we try to make them better. We try to make it collegial and build consensus. that's mercy."
Thurman tried valiantly to argue that Democrats tried to stop the Jan. 29 date, and that lawmakers even made a motion to move the date to Feb. 5 but in the end they could not vote against paper trails. It didn't help their case. The DNC members had handouts that included quotes by House Minority leader Dan Gelber brushing off Howard Dean, and the following transcript of Steve Geller making the motion to move the primary to Feb. 5:
Geller: "...So the Democratic leader and the Democratic leader pro tem are jointly making this motion, which we will duly show them later, that we tried not to have the election on, um, before (Feb. 5).
President: "And so Sen. Geller are you urging a negative vote or would you like us to pass this vote?"
Geller: "Oh no sir. We really, really want this. Don't we senator? (sarcasm and audible laughter in chamber).