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Thursday, December 06, 2007

All About the Delegate Question

This article in CQ addresses in a concise and comprehensive way the issues related to Florida queue jumping the primary process and explains the negative consequences to members of both the Republican and Democratic parties to the legislature's unprincipled decision to participate in the mass rush to lower the level of our national political discourse by frontloading the process.

I would like to quote from that article about my pet peeve - the frontloading of the nominating schedule.

Can anything be done to reduce “front-loading” for future presidential primaries?

A reform of the presidential primary scheduling plan could help avoid future front-loading and many lawmakers, party members, and political observers have offered their solutions to solve primary scheduling problems. Among them:

•The Delaware Plan- States are divided into four regions with the least populous holding the first nominating contests. One election day would be designated for each region.

• Rotating Regional Primaries Plan- Nominating contests would be grouped by regions: East, South, Midwest and West. A lottery would determine which region holds the first contest and that region would go last in the next election year. Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their historical status and the first states to hold nominating contests. This plan is supported by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

A rotating regional plan was introduced in the Senate in July by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. It is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 8 senators from both parties. Democratic Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida introduced a companion bill in the House.

•A plan to divide states into six regions which would each contain six sub-regions. One sub-region from each region would hold a nominating contest on one of six designated election dates. No favored status is given to any states. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida and co-sponsor Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan offered this plan in Senate legislation this year. Michigan Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell, wife of Democratic Rep. John D. Dingell , and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saulius “Saul” Anuzis proposed a bi-partisan plan this week patterned after the Nelson-Levin legislation.

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