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Defusing the delegate dilemma

What other newspapers in Florida and elsewhere are saying about the Democratic primary debacle:

Chicago Tribune

"Michigan, Florida: Hush," March 10

Those rogue states defied the rules of both parties by butting ahead of other states on the calendar of primaries and caucuses nationwide.

... Cutting favors for Michigan and Florida would cheat Democrats in all the other states who followed their national party's rules. We hope that doesn't happen, not because it would disadvantage (Sen. Barack) Obama, but because picking presidents is serious business: People who defy rules they helped write should accept the consequences of their actions.

Hillary Clinton was correct in January: Michigan's primary should count for nothing. Florida's too. See you in 2012.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Primary error: Michigan and Florida

have two flawed choices," March 9

As Americans set their clocks ahead this weekend, political leaders in Michigan and Florida are wishing they could turn back time.

... At this point the Democrats have two choices, both of them flawed: deny Michigan and Florida the seating of their delegates because the states broke the rules, or hold new primaries with both candidates' participation. We prefer the latter.

This whole disheartening situation is further evidence of the need for a regional primary system that rotates the early balloting.

Miami Herald

"Florida voters must not be silenced,"

March 7

There is plenty of blame to go around. State leaders like Gov. Crist, who now says both parties should give "full participation'' to Michigan and Florida, should have spoken up earlier. The national committee didn't have to impose a draconian penalty (the GOP limited itself to cutting its Florida delegation in half).

In hindsight, the Legislature would have been better off doing nothing. Originally, the primary was scheduled for next Tuesday (today) — just in time to allow the state to play the role of kingmaker. Instead, lawmakers plunged the state into a controversy that has left voters feeling frustrated.

Orlando Sentinel

"If Democratic Party won't seat delegates,

it should pay for mail-in vote," March 9

We would prefer that Mr. Obama follow Mrs. Clinton in pledging to seat Florida's delegates to affirm the results from the state's Jan. 29 primary, when 1.7-million Democrats cast ballots. They deserve to have their votes counted.

But this isn't likely to happen.

... The best alternative is another Democratic primary, conducted by mail and funded by the party.

... A second vote is a safer bet than leaving the delegates' fate up to the credentials committee at the Democratic convention — the smoke-filled room option. If the committee rejected the delegates, Florida would have no recourse.

Florida's Legislature would have to pass a law to permit a presidential primary by mail. But that's the least it could do if the party agrees to pick up the tab.

Defusing the delegate dilemma 03/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:34am]
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