TEXT OF E-MAIL from Florida DNC Member Joe Ausman

26 April 2008
I am pleased to report the Co-Chairs of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC), Alexis Herman and James Roosevelt, have called a meeting of the DNC RBC for Saturday, 31 May 2008, to hear and decide the two appeals filed from Florida and the appeal from Michigan.  A copy of the Co-Chairs’ memo calling the meeting is attached as a Word document.

Florida’s appeals are twofold:  one, the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States contains language stating persons holding certain positions (DNC Members, US Senators, US Representatives, DNC Officers, former DNC Chairs, etc.) “shall” be delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and this supreme document (the Charter) requires that all rules be consistent with the Charter; and, two, the appropriate penalty for a state violating the timing rule (Rule 11 of the Delegate Selection Rules) is contained in Rule 20.C.1 which states a timing violation “shall” result in a 50% reduction in the pledged delegates (not 49%, not 51% and certainly not 100%).
Two other sections of Rule 20.C were cited by the RBC last 25 August 2008 when it penalized Florida by reducing its delegation 100%.  Rule 20.C.6 was cited to justify the higher penalty but 20.C.6 specifically states it cannot be used if a state is subject to the timing penalty in Rule 20.C.1.  The other section cited, 20.C.5, states that additional penalties referenced in 20.C.6 can be imposed (though remember, 20.C.6 states no additional penalties can be added onto the timing penalty reduction of 50%.
The DNC RBC staff  in its written report, and as available on CSPAN (a copy of CSPAN’s coverage of the Florida hearing is in my possession), clearly shows that the ONLY issue of NON-COMPLIANCE was the timing of Florida’s Primary (passed by a Republican State House and Republican State Senate and signed by a Republican Governor).
I am very appreciative to the Co-Chairs for their openness and willingness to hear both Florida’s and Michigan’s appeals (a copy of the Michigan appeal is attached, Florida’s having been sent out some time ago).
I am also thankful to two specific staff members of the DNC who have been willing to respond to a large number of questions:  DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler and DNC Delegate Director Phil McNamara.
Independent polling in Florida, previously sent out, clearly indicates that Floridians are very concerned about the 100% penalty.  Over 62% of Florida Democrats believe that the appeals should be granted and that a 50% penalty is appropriate.
Let me repeat this point.  My arguments in my appeals filed on behalf of Florida accept that fact that a penalty for the timing violation is appropriate and should be imposed.  However, the penalty should have been 50% of the pledged delegates, not 100% of the entire delegation.
The whole purpose of Rule 20.C was to protect the first four states designated to select delegates before 5 February 2008 – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.  This goal was achieved.
Even if the RBC gave Florida back 100% of its delegates – an outcome I would welcome even though I support the 50% penalty – the first four states were protect and Florida was severely punished.  No candidates campaigned in Florida, no recognition by the main stream media or all the internet bloggers has been given to Florida, we do no even have a designated hotel, Florida does not have a welcoming event scheduled to greet a delegation from our state even though every other delegation (but Michigan) does have one, and we certainly have been ridiculed, minimized and ignored.
Frankly, Florida has been “shunned” and in some societies that is one of the most severe penalties that can be imposed.
We would like to be welcomed back into the Democratic community, chastised and embarrassed though we may be, so we can work to heal our heartache and take the fight to Republican John McCain and his plans to continue Bush’s war in Iraq and failed domestic policies.
I would much rather spend the remainder of the year fighting Republicans than working to achieve a delegation to Denver (and yes, I did spend a lot of time last year trying to stop the Florida Legislature from moving the primary forward and  in trying to find an alternative delegate selection method once they did).
Attached is a copy of the DNC RBC Membership.  I am aware that not everyone agrees with me that Florida should have delegates.  Most Democrats who have contacted me have been very encouraging and supportive of my efforts to bring this appeal forward.  Some have not.
Regardless, I attach the membership of the DNC RBC so that those who want can directly write to the members and express their opinions.
I believe in an inclusionary decision-making model and I believe in persuasion as the way to influence people rather than manipulation or coercion.
If you want to attend the meeting in Washington you are welcome to do so.  It may be broadcast on CSPAN but I am not the CSPAN programmer so they will decide whether to do so or not.
Finally, I have asked  Raul Martinez of Miami-Dade and Janee Murphy of Tampa to assist me in presenting my appeals.  Raul Martinez is running for Congress against an incumbent Republican.   He has already raised a large treasury and is a very credible candidate.  He has endorsed Hillary Clinton.  Janee Murphy is the Secretary of the Florida Democratic Party and the former party leader of Tampa.  She has donated $2,300 to Barack Obama.
As for myself, since more than a few have asked in their emails, I am uncommitted.  I had originally supported Dennis Kucinich both because of his policy beliefs and because he saved my Mom’s life.  Since he has dropped out I have not made another selection yet.
If you have any questions please write to me at ___________________ or call me at ______________.
With respect, I am,
Jon M. Ausman, Member
Democratic National Committee