Do-over of Democratic presidential primary violates rule of law
Monday, March 17, 2008BY JASON C. MILLER
Under pressure from the Democratic National Committee, Michigan Democrats may be holding a new presidential primary to allocate national convention delegates. This do-over would put Michigan back in the spotlight, but it would also establish a dangerous precedent.
As much fun as all of that would be, it undermines the rule of law that sustains our democratic institutions. Holding a do-over election establishes a dangerous precedent because of the temptation in the future to hold new elections to get new results. Do-overs undermine the integrity of and faith in elections.
In this particular case, it violates more than just our tradition of not having do-overs, it ignores the law. Michigan law (MCL 168.613a(2)) requires the state party chair to notify the Secretary of State by Nov. 14, 2007 if the party will use a method other than the Jan. 15 primary to allocate its delegates. The Michigan Democratic Party considered not participating in the January primary, but chose to press on and face the consequences.
Michigan Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer did not opt his party out of the process within the deadline set by law. That particular notice provision allows the state to save the money and expense of holding the primary if the parties are not going to use the results. Brewer chose to let the taxpayers hold a primary, but now the Democrats may want to not face the consequences and use those results.
The Democratic National Committee is the real villain here since they are refusing to seat Michigan's delegates because the primary was held too early in violation of their rules. Rules are rules, they say.
Yet, as Sen. Carl Levin rightly points out, New Hampshire held their primary earlier than allowed and broke the same party rules that Michigan did. Michigan is being punished, New Hampshire is not.
The courts will not intervene in this matter. They rightly try to avoid the political thicket and generally leave party affairs to the parties. But just because a judge won't tell DNC chair Howard Dean that he's bending the rules for New Hampshire and demanding Michigan break its own law passed by a Democrat House and signed by a Democrat governor doesn't mean that Howard Dean is right to do so. Nor does this justify ignoring our own laws.
Jason has a good argument here. I don't like revotes in general, especially in any state level elections. The people spoke. The difference in presidential primaries however is that the party delegates decide who each party's nominee will be.It's a different ballgame than our gubenatorial or senatorial primaries.
I hope they have another primary (if we don't pay for it), or even a caucus, if nothing else so they can dump more money here kicking the hell out of each other instead of facing more Soros money sliming our side. I'd also want to hear their plan for Michigan. I don't expect much from them, but Detroit is the most democrat city in the entire country. What are they getting for their loyalty? A lot less than they deserve. The legislature and governor can take care of the laws. This early primary was a gamble for the GOP and Democrats, and the DNC is screwing Michigan over more than the RNC is (1/2 delegates). Levin and Dingell are tired of New Hampshire and Iowa going first, and wanted to push some hardball. I'm no Levin fan, but I can not fault him for that.
However, I'm not surprised. With the democrats' steady abandonment of the auto industry and blue collar America in exchange for the money from Manhattan and Hollywood, this was bound to happen. If Dean, Obama, and to a lesser extent Hillary want to give Michigan the finger, we all should give the finger right back to them when it really matters - November.
BTW - Inside word - this mulligan primary is not going to happen.