Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dems blast party over primary penalties

Leaders in Michigan, Florida, say New Hampshire also should face penalty for moving up vote.

By Gordon Trowbridge
Detroit News Washington Bureau
12 September 2007

WASHINGTON -- Democratic lawmakers from Michigan and Florida issued a stinging rebuke on Tuesday to the national Democratic Party, saying party chairman Howard Dean is threatening their states with penalties for breaking primary scheduling rules by establishing early voting dates while allowing New Hampshire to flout those same rules.

Stepping up their fight with Dean and the Democratic National Committee, 16 members of the states' congressional delegations sent a letter to Dean, asking him to penalize New Hampshire for its public commitment to move its primary earlier than its party-assigned date of Jan. 22.

"We are proud Democrats, insisting on fairness, and we will fight the selective enforcement of our party's Delegate Selection Rules," said the letter. It was signed by both Michigan's U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and all Democratic House members except Rep. Bart Stupak. Stupak and other supporters of John Edwards' presidential campaign have criticized the move to a primary in Michigan.



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