DNC leaders in 2006 painstakingly crafted a schedule primary schedule that allowed only four states - Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina - to hold elections earlier than Feb. 5. The idea, an Florida Democrats supported it at the time, was to have add some diversity to the process, while trying to maintain some control.
But Florida lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, wanted their state to have more influence in the nomination and went ahead and scheduled the primary for Jan. 29. Many assumed the DNC would never strictly punish such a politically important state and that delegates don't matter much anyway.
Wrong on both counts. Now the national and state parties, and the candidates are trying to dig themselves out of this mess.