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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

RNC trying to reach deal w Fla GOP convention



Jeff Larson, chief of staff to the Republican National Committee, is flying into Tallahassee to try to hammer out a deal to get Florida's legislative leaders to comply with the RNC's nominating calendar to re-schedule Florida's January primary at least until March 6. We've only heard so far of meetings tomorrow set with legislative staffers, and it's not at all clear why Larson thinks he's won't be wasting the plane fare.

House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos have made at least a couple things clear: First, they have no desire to bump in front of the officially recognized early states - Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South carolina. Second, they are not willing to move the Florida primary into March where Florida would be lumped together with many other states and lose much of its significance.

Florida GOP Chairman David Bitner has suggested Florida "compromise" with a February primary, but that's hooey and certainly no compromise. Rules are rules, and February would still violate the rules that everybody in the RNC - including Florida's representatives - agreed to.

Republicans seem to be tying themselves in knots over this, just as Democrats did four years ago - to the glee of Republicans. Check out this release from the New Hampshire Democratic party:

Today, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley released the following statement demanding GOP presidential candidates stand up for New Hampshire's first in the nation status and against Florida's presidential primary power grab. This comes as Florida GOPers continue their call for an earlier primary as well as calling Granite Staters names.
"Protecting New Hampshire's first in the nation primary has always been a shared responsibility for both the Democratic and Republican Party.
"Presidential candidates hoping to earn Granite Staters' support must defend the New Hampshire primary to ensure our first in the nation status is protected. Not taking a stand in support of New Hampshire's first primary is the surest route to defeat in our important first in the nation election. Simply put, you can't win it if you don't defend it.
"Further, hoping that Florida's move 'won't come to pass' isn't enough, and I was very concerned to see that my counterpart Jack Kimball refused to join his colleagues in South Carolina and Iowa and condemn the Florida Republicans' attempt to jump to the front of the line."


[Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011 2:09pm]


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