State Senator Joyner of Florida gave an impassioned speech asking that the full delegation be seated.
Rep. Robert Wexler responded with an equally rousing speech on behalf of the Obama campaign in support of the Ausman petition. The Ausman petition calls for full seating of superdelegates (23), 50% seating of pledged delegates (50%), and 3 unpledged delegates.
Wexler is saying that unity amongst the Florida competing camps (as represented in the Ausman petition) is more important than seating all the delegates.
Ickes and Wexler sparring now. Ickes saying your tune was different four years ago — Wexler said there was not a hotly contested primary at that time.
Wexler: you should not penalize a campaign for complying with your rules.
Alice Huffman: Some of us here might truly believe that the Democrats were not at fault for what happened in Florida. What I’m confused about — I’m interested in the voters — why would seating them all be disunity rather than unity?
Wexler: I wish you had asked that question last year.
Huffman: I couldn’t forsee such a primary a year ago, so forgive me for not being able to see that crystal ball. I’ve gotten thousands of letters and emails from people requesting that they have their votes counted.
Wexler: Nobody cares more about having every vote count more than me.
(Committee moving on to Michigan before lunch.)
Mark Brewer, Michigan Dem Chair: Reducing Michigan delegates will only hurt the changes for the Democrats to win Michigan in the fall. Asking for a waiver that will allow the committee to seat the entire delegation.
Huffington Post is now reporting:
Sources with knowledge of the RBC’s inner dealings say a compromise is being crafted in which all of the candidates who took their names off of Michigan’s ballot would voluntarily agree that the now-uncommitted delegates would go to Sen. Barack Obama, after which the state’s entire delegation would be seated.
Levin: Also making a "unity" argument. It was a flawed primary — we tried to get the legislature to re-run the primary. No such luck. We want the Michigan delegation seated in full with full voting rights. Wants a 69/59 allocation. Obama wants a 64-64; Clinton wants 73-55.
(Jerome says he’s hearing there is a 17-11 support on the committee for the Ausman petition.)
Emptywheel has been following the Michigan situation closely. They split us up here today like the bad kids in class (I’m on the floor, she’s in the balcony) but she’s got more over at her place.
Levin to Ickes: "You’re calling for a fair reflection on a flawed primary." We’re trying to keep the party together for victory in November.
Bonior: Four major candidates stood with this committee to prevent nominating calendar chaos. This event, that happened on January 15, was not anything close to a normal primary election. Doesn’t mean that our state shouldn’t be represented, but does mean that the delegates should be split evenly between the remaining candidates.