Sunday, February 24, 2008

Michael Moore: Make Michigan Revote

Michael Moore: Make Michigan Revote

Documentary film-maker Michael Moore may pick up another Oscar tonight for his health care movie "Sicko." While discussing health care on a conference call Friday, Moore also touched on the Democratic nomination calendar controversy and said his home state of Michigan should re-vote rather than keep the results of its renegade Jan. 15 primary. And the precedent for a re-vote may have been set Saturday on the Las Vegas Strip.

"There was no election there (in Michigan)," Moore said. "That was a Soviet-style election with one candidate on the ballot." Most of the leading candidates took their names off the ballot to support early states like Iowa and punish Michigan for breaking Democratic party rules. But Hillary Clinton stayed on, winning with 55 percent to 40 percent for "uncommitted."

Now Clinton is pushing to seat the Michigan delegation, which could have a big impact on the still-close delegate count.

Moore initially supported seating his state's delegation. "I live in Michigan so my votes didn't get counted," he told CNN's Larry King on Feb. 7. "It's a crime that people in Michigan and Florida, our votes are not going to be heard or counted."

Moore is not endorsing either Clinton or Barack Obama and doesn't like either of their health care plans. He favors a single-payer system instead. Still, Moore says either Obama or Clinton would be an improvement after "eight years of madness" under George W. Bush.

The precedent for a re-vote in Michigan and fellow rule-breaker Florida may have been inadvertently set Saturday, as the Clark County, Nevada Democratic convention collapsed under its own weight in a too-small hall, and Clinton and Obama leaders reluctantly agreed to re-convene at a date to be determined.

Nevada has a system similar to Iowa's. County convention delegates are elected on caucus day, and they choose congressional district and state delegates. Those district and state conventions choose the national delegates. But Nevada also has less experience with a caucus system than old pros like Iowa. No one in Las Vegas was counting on the nomination still being unsettled by county convention day, and they booked a too-small hall expecting the a high attrition rate of delegates. When both sides made maximum turnout efforts, organizers were overwhelmed.

Nevada blogger Las Vegas Gleaner writes a summary of the fiasco, and calls for the immediate resignation of Clark County Democratic chair John Hunt's immediate resignation. "A restraining order should also be issued to keep him from coming within 500 yards of any decision that might have an impact on the county or state Democratic Party for as long as there are people who call themselves Democrats and a state called Nevada," the Gleaner adds.

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