Saturday, March 08, 2008

Levin Still A Barrier

Michigan Do-Over: Levin Still A Barrier

While most of Michigan's Democratic leadership moves toward a do-over caucus to get the state out of its self-made Democratic delegate dilemma, Sen. Carl Levin's agenda remains firm.

"Michigan Democrats have for years argued against the unfair and irrational system in which New Hampshire and Iowa almost always have a hugely disproportionate impact on our presidential nominating process, began a Friday statement from the senator's office. Levin has long been the number one opponent of Iowa and New Hampshire's lead-off role, and was one of the biggest forces behind Michigan's leapfrog move to Jan. 15, in violation of the national committee's calendar.

"It was only after New Hampshire indicated its intention to violate the new sequence -- and the DNC's failure to enforce its own rules in light of New Hampshire's violation of those rules -- that Michigan decided it would move up its primary to January 15," the statement continued. New Hampshire moved up from its originally scheduled Jan. 22 date after South Carolina Republicans moved to Jan. 19. As the dominoes fell, Iowa's caucuses moved from a scheduled Jan. 14 to Jan. 3.

Levin was asked to join with other Michigan leaders, the DNC, and the Clinton and Obama campaigns to help arrange a new date for a party-run caucus, but in the statement, he declined. "Senator Levin doesn't see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a 'do-over' election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates," it read.

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