Archive for February, 2008

Demos Pick Delegates– To go or for show?
February 29, 2008

Democrats across Florida will meet tomorrow. 25 meetings in the state’s 25 Congressional districts, to select delegates to next summer’s convention in Denver.
It promises to be colorful political pageantry. Would-be delegates will bring scads of their (D)-registered pals to vote for them. There’ll be lots of placards and politico back-scratching, and some string emotion; imagine being an African-American delegate who may get a chance to help nominte the first-ever major-party candidate of color.
But the fact remains– it could all be an empty exercise. So far, the Democratic National Committee continues to say– rules is rules, and Florida broke party rules by moving its primary up, before 2/5. The penalty– no delegates, unless FL holds a hugely expensive and logistically nightmarish re-vote or caucus, something Florida party leaders say wouyld disenfranchise 1.7 million Democrats who voted in the 1/29 primary.
Hillary Clinton is in favor of bending those rules in Florida’s favor. No surprise there– she won our primary. But the odds are now, that the Clinton camp won’t be in control of the convention, and Barack Obama has shown no inclination to seat FL delegates who would favor his opponent, 105-67.
So– is all this delegate selection all for show? Well, there’s a lawsuit aiming to seat the FL delegates that could change things.
And party leaders say– even if Obama’s the nominee, Florida will have a delegation in Denver.
Here, according to Broward D Chair Mitch Ceasar, is why– Democrats can’t afford to alienate voters in FL and– perhaps even more so– Michigan, which has also been stripped of delegates for moving its primary up.
Michigan’s an even-bigger mess– only Hillary Clinton’s name was on the ballot there. And Michigan’s an even-bigger must-win for the Democrats in the fall, so Ceasar figures the party will have to mend fences somehow with those two mega-states.

New Miami-Dade Demo Chair– Quick Note
February 14, 2008

Late this month, Miami-Dade Democrats will elect a new chairman to replace Joe Garcia, who’s taking a run at the Congressional seat now held by Mario Diaz-Balart. A couple of contenders have emerged.
The “inside” candidate is Bret Berlin. “Inside”, because he currently serves as one of two County Committeemen on the state Democratic committee. He runs banquet halls– the Signtature Grand in Davie, and Signature Gardens in Kendall. His father Jerry– a renowned Democratic fundraiser– was shot to death at the Signature Grand in April 2003. The shooter– Jerry Berlin’s business partner– then committed suicide.
The “outside” candidate is North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns– Miami-Dade’s first openly-gay mayor. Burns and his partner have also made headlines because they are adoptive parents of a little girl. Though Florida law forbids gay couples from adopting, Burns and his partner adopted as part-time residents of Vermont.