Hon. Howard Dean, Chair
Democratic National Committee
30 Ivy Street
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Chairman Dean:
In a spirit of fairness and compromise, I am submitting the following proposal to seat Michigan's Delegation to the Democratic National Convention. I have also provided copies of this proposal to Senator Clinton and Senator Obama.
The current stalemate between the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Parties of Florida and Michigan reminds me of the saying by Will Rogers when he quipped, "I do not belong to an organized party, I'm a Democrat!"
The 2008 election gives us, as Democrats, a unique opportunity to make history and change the direction of our country. The last thing we want to do as Democrats is to disenfranchise voters. I have heard from countless Democratic and Independent voters who are frustrated and angry to think that their votes are being ignored.
I hope you will consider this proposal to seat the Michigan Delegation and make sure that our voices are heard.
Member of Congress
Michigan's First Congressional District
Cc: Senator Clinton
Mark Brewer, MI Chair
Karen Thurman, FL Chair
Much has been written and discussed about whether the Michigan and Florida delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be seated. Reporters, party officials, campaign surrogates and voters across the country talk about the importance of this election, the historical significance of the remaining two Democratic candidates and how the outcome of this election can change the direction of our country.
Lost in these discussions are the more than half million Michiganders who went to the polls on January 15 and voted in the Democratic primary. During my travels throughout Michigan's First Congressional District, I have heard from countless Democratic and Independent voters who are frustrated and angry to think that their votes are being ignored. The last thing we want to do as Democrats is disenfranchise voters.
I was disappointed when the Michigan legislature and the Governor changed the law and pushed through the January 15 Presidential primary. Michigan Democrats usually select our Presidential nominee through the caucus system.
Michigan Democratic County Chairs worked extremely hard to set up caucus sites only to have the caucus procedure scrapped as the Legislature mandated the January primary. Democrats went to the polls and voted even though most of the candidates had withdrawn their names from the ballot and did not campaign in the state.
After the primary, Democratic County Chairs then set up Congressional District Convention sites and mailed thousands of notices for a scheduled March 29, 2008 convention to select delegates to the National Convention. The district conventions have now been postponed until April 19, 2008. New sites will need to be chosen and additional notices will need to be sent. It is no wonder why many Michigan Democrats are frustrated and angry.
In April of last year, I endorsed Senator John Edwards. I was disappointed when he suspended his campaign on January 30, 2008. Since that time, I have remained neutral, endorsing neither Senator Clinton nor Senator Obama. In the debate over Michigan's delegates, I am advocating only for Michigan voters.
I recognize that the DNC feels that both Michigan and Florida knowingly violated party rules in moving up their primary dates, but it seems unfair to punish so many for the actions of a select few. Both Michigan and Florida are critical to electing a Democratic president in the fall. We must make sure our voices are heard.
In a spirit of fairness and compromise, I propose that Michigan's 83 pledged delegates be chosen at the congressional district conventions according to the results of our January 15 Presidential primary. This would award 47 delegates to Senator Clinton and the 36 uncommitted delegates to Senator Obama. I would further propose that the remaining 73 Michigan delegates be awarded based on the percentage of the popular vote garnered nationwide by both Senators Clinton and Obama after the last Democratic Presidential Primary is completed.
My purpose in submitting this proposal is to appeal to the Democratic National Committee, state party leaders, and the Clinton and Obama campaigns to draft a fair and equitable agreement which accurately reflects the wishes of the Michigan Democratic Primary voters and allows the Michigan Delegation to be seated at the National Convention.
I encourage the Michigan State Democratic Party leadership, Chairman
Dean and the Executive Committee of the National Democratic Party, and
representatives of the Clinton and Obama campaigns to reach an agreement
that recognizes the wishes of Michigan voters by adopting this or a similar