NAACP Head Wants Barred Delegates Seated

Hello? I wonder why no one else has caught on to this and made the point that “refusing to seat the states’ delegations could remind voters of the ‘sordid history of racially discriminatory primaries.'”

On Feb 8, NAACP chairman Julian Bond sent DNC Chairman Howard Dean a letter expressing “great concern at the prospect that million of voters in Michigan and Florida could ultimately have their votes completely discounted.”

Refusing to seat the states’ delegations could remind voters of the “sordid history of racially discriminatory primaries,” he said.

The DNC penalized Michigan and Florida for moving their primaries to earlier dates in violation of party rules. Both states were stripped of their delegates, and the party’s presidential candidates signed a pledge not to campaign in either state. Florida lost 185 delegates; Michigan, 128. […]

In an interview, Bond said the NAACP had taken no position in the race between Clinton and Obama and would not endorse either candidate. He sent the letter on behalf of the voters in Michigan and especially Florida, where the Republican-controlled legislature and governor changed the state’s primary date.

“It struck me as making the voters, including minority voters in Florida particularly, victims of the Republican legislature in Florida. I wanted to get Chairman Dean to find some way to rectify the situation,” Bond said.

The whole delegate system is a mess in my opinion — a mess. No one can agree on who has the most delegates.

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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12 Responses to NAACP Head Wants Barred Delegates Seated

  1. alrudder says:

    First of all, all of this talk of Equal Protection, Voting Rights, One person one vote, is sensationalized and inapplicable. The entire caucus concept violates all of the above. Parties are private organizations, we are not electing public office holders now, that is in November.

    To me, I think there should be new caucuses called for in MI and FL. It is a no-brainer for several reasons. (1) The earlier ones were not contested thoroughly. (2) Obama shouldn’t back down since he is supposed to be good at caucusing. (3) Hillary can’t back down since she supposedly has won support in those states before, she shouldn’t be afraid now. (4) Most importantly, both of those swing states would have Democratic voters energized and new grassroots political networks formed.

  2. Andy Witmyer says:

    alrudder – excellent points. I was about to make them myself.

    If Michigan and Florida are to count, they should be redone. Keeping in compliance with DNC orders, Obama campaigned in neither – and wasn’t even on the ballot in Michigan. To me, this looks less like correcting democracy and more like Hillary’s camp getting increasingly nervous and desperate for delegates.

  3. Andy

    The NAACP has not endorsed either candidate. A point I heard made a few times is that Obama and Edwards campaigned to have voters in Michigan vote uncommitted. Obama gets those delegates.

    FYI, contrary to the meem that the Obama people put out, Clinton did not campaign in Florida either — but Obama did run TV ads through a large cable buy that encompassed a few states.

    Too bad Chris Dodd dropped out, he was on the ballot in Michigan too. Maybe Obama could have cried foul with him too.

    Duh… maybe Obama should have stayed on the ballot? But by not, he now sets himself up to have reason to complain.


    Did anyone think about the fact that this would affect the race when the DNC started penalizing?

    Clinton did not campaign in Michigan and she didn’t need big rallies and speeches about hope to get out the vote — that speaks volumes. It’s too bad people don’t get that.

  4. alrudder says:

    Clinton won without campaigning because she has 100% name recognition. Obama is proving that campaigning in a location matters.
    As for the DNC, they wanted small states to not have to compete with big states to force the candidates into retail politicking mode.
    Daily Kos has more tonight

  5. Alrudder

    Kos noted that the delegates will be seated once the nominee is chosen. I think we all know that. For now it is a mess.

    I don’t think it’s fair to pin this letter on Clinton as Andy did. Good gracious she’s not the pariah of the Democratic party as many Obama supporters and Obama himself purports.

    For all the times Obama has made the claim that his supporters won’t vote for her, he needs to think about how divisive that sounds to her supporters.

    As a 51 year woman I’m insulted to hear that hers is the politics of the old, like older is an issue. Wisdom and experience come with age and they are two things that should be valued in this country. The age thing is just one of the many things that have insulted me in this race. The sexism is another. I’m not a staunch feminist, though I have recently been accused of being one, but I am offended by the sexist crap – including references by both Barack and Michelle Obama that Hillary “claws have come out.”

    In my opinion, Clinton’s message has been distorted by the media much in the way they distorted Kerry. I’ve said here all along that I will support the nominee no matter who it is, but I take issue with supporting a candidate that doesn’t even have women’s issues on his damn platform. And I am sure other women do too.

  6. Alrudder

    P.S. Sorry to rant but I am disgusted at this point with this race. And I know a lot of women who feel the same way.

    It has taken women decades to a get to a place where they make better wages than they did when I was my daughter’s age. Hillary Clinton is the first viable candidate to come along that actually has a chance. She’s got a damn good platform, she’s not her past or Bill’s past – she’s her own woman.

    I see in her the opportunity for change. The change that comes from a leader who has experience and wisdom and has lived a full life learning some tough lessons. She’s been smacked down time and time again, but no one can keep her down. And in the midst of all of that she’s done a lot of good for this country.

    Barack Obama would be jumping at the chance to have her endorsement and Bill’s too if she wasn’t in this race. So his talk of her being divisive is BS in my opinion.

    He can’t fight her on her Senate record – the two have very similar records for the short time he has been in the Senate. So instead he pulls up old right wing talking points that the Clintons are divisive. Well we all know they are not divisive when the party wants their help.

    As a woman she’s inspiration to me of what is possible for young women like my daughter.

  7. cindy says:

    As a Florida voter I certainly feel that the citizens are the victims here. For
    what it is worth, over a million people went out and voted in the primary.
    The DNC never asked us. The Florida Legislature never asked us. The
    primary was moved. Why did the DNC decide to punish Florida and
    Michigan with the harshest of penalties? Why did the same ‘rules’ not
    apply to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina who also moved their
    primaries up? Why not award 50% of the delegates which was an
    option available at the time? Now they say we can have a caucus? A
    Caucus would be extremely hard to have here as well as unfair to many
    of our senior citizens and workers who will be unable to attend. We have
    never had a caucus. We have enough problems with just counting votes.

    As to campaigning here, Obama did. He ran ad’s for well over a week.
    I do not buy his ‘I was told I couldn’t run a national ad and take out just
    Florida’ spin. Once he knew the ad would run in Florida he knew it
    would be against the rule but chose to run them anyway. Neither Clinton
    or Edwards had any television ad’s running hourly here. By the time
    Florida came around you would have had to have just landed from mars
    not to have heard of him and know him.

    The Republican Legislator’s dangled legislation over the Democrats head
    we had a homestead exemption measure on the ballot which is an
    important issue to seniors, middle class and the poor. This was a penalty
    that did not fit the ‘crime’ and was foolish on the part of the DNC.

  8. suskin says:

    It’s obviously very frustrating to Hillary supporters that the DNC has not seated the Florida and Michigan delegates. Dean & Co. has cornered Hillary not just by the FA an MI decision which stalled her momentum, but Dean & Co. shut down the Clinton Campaign’s attempt to expose Obama’s weaknesses and told them to play “paddy cake” –though the DNC did not seem to get the same message out to Obama. The DNC thought Hillary would win no matter what, so they used they used the FA and MI delegates like play money. The problem is the DNC completely disregarded the rights of the voters when they did. And they have made it a heck of a lot harder for Hilary to win.

    But there’s nothing we can do about the superdelegate issue right now. Instead we have to turn our attention to the problem at hand. The Clinton Campaign needs our help. The Media is doing everything it can to cast this thing as over. We need to get the word out that Hillary can and WILL win the nomination. We need to give voters a reason to vote.

    I have a friend who volunteers for the American Cancer Society. She recommended trying to build a base of block managers. Help me out here if I am not describing it properly. These block managers can take charge of the areas around them – where people know and trust them. They can walk the neighborhood, hand out fliers, show enthusiasm. Older supporters can pull out their church phone books and start calling. Get the kids involved, pull out the school directories.

    Is there a web page where we can coordinate activities and share ideas?

    Let’s do this guys! Let’s fight for Hillary!!!

  9. We’re in sort of uncharted territory here. Even back three of four months ago when I was lamenting at DD about how ugly I was afraid things might get I didn’t think it would be this bad. Thankfully much of the public isn’t tuned in enough to pick up most of the details but campaigns are wars and this just seemed to me to be one time that we didn’t need Democrats fighting each other.

    I’m only asking, but what do you think that it would take, realistically, for Hillary to throw in the towel? I’m starting to detect a distinct flavor of it heading that way.

  10. Darrell

    I don’t think Hillary should have to throw in the towel. Read my post above. She gave a phenomenal speech last night in Texas, 12000 supporters there cheering her on like she was a rock star and the friggin WaPo claimed she was booed. This is the problem. The media distorts her message and boosts Obama. Why??? Same thing happened 4 years ago with Kerry.

  11. Thomas says:

    Florida should be counted. Both names were on the ballot, and neither actively campaigned there. They both, however, ran TV ads. As for Michigan, they should just count half the delegates. Not counting these states for something will result in serious trouble in November, and remember the republicans haven’t taken the white house without Florida since 1924.

  12. Pamela: I’m not saying Hillary should have to stop, but I’m saying that it seems far less likely that she will actually come out on top. Speculating on the future is just an academic exercise, but it seems reasonable under the circumstances. And with a long string of wins, Obama sure has the momentum.