Four key Michigan Democrats have been discussing with the Clinton and Obama campaigns a plan to hold a do-over primary in the state of Michigan on June 3. The four Democrats include Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. Carol Cheeks Kilpatrick, the president of the United Auto Workers, and a member of the Democratic National Committee. This plan stands a good chance at becoming reality, because it would require the state of Michigan to use no public funds. Who would pay for the do-over primaries has been the main stumbling block in both Michigan and Florida. The DNC has contended that the states should pay, while the states think that the DNC should foot the bill.
In order for any do-over to occur the Michigan state legislature would have to draft and pass legislation to hold a new primary. The campaigns, the DNC, and the governor all would have to sign off on any plan before it could become a reality. Things will have to move very quickly from this point forward because the deadline to hold primaries, and have the delegates seated at the convention, is June 10. Raising the money to hold the do-over should not be a big problem, as has Democrats have been raising money at a jaw dropping pace for over a year now. The problem may be getting everything scheduled and coordinated for a new state wide election.
The issue in Florida is that Democrats can’t agree on a plan for a new primary. An idea for a both mail in and in person vote was floated this week, but the plan has faced opposition from both the Democratic congressional delegation and the Obama campaign who expressed concerns about the security and accuracy of a hastily organized mail in vote. The practical politics involved here says that both campaigns could benefit from two extra June primaries. The difference is that Obama is ahead so he can try to sit on his lead and run out the clock, but Clinton needs to win as many contests as she can.
I am more than a little skeptical of the Florida plan. If Michigan can raise $10 million privately to hold a do-over, why can’t Florida come up with the $20 million they would need? Why can’t they adopt the Michigan plan? If you want to blame anybody for this mess, blame the governors and legislatures in each state. They were the ones who thumbed their noses at the DNC rules. If they would have held their primaries on or after February 2, like they were supposed to, all of this would have been avoided. They created this fiasco, and now they are both scrambling to get out of it. I don’t think the do-overs will solve anything. Clinton and Obama will probably continue to run close, and the solution likely won’t occur until the convention.