Get ready for January 2 or January 10, Iowans: Florida is officially flouting the rules and going a full five weeks early on January 31. And they have the nerve to point the finger elsewhere:
Lopez Cantera said that if other states hadn't moved their primaries early, Florida would not have been "boxed in" and forced (sic) to move up its date.Matt Strawn was swift to respond:
"I want to make it very clear out intentions of being fifth have been public for months,'' he said. "The narrative that is going to come out of this will probably be about Florida but it really should be about the other states -- Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona. When they moved their dates they kind of cornered us into this date based on our fully transparent intentions of being fifth in the country."
The consequences of Florida's intransigence must be swift and severe, including the refusal by the RNC to credential or seat any member of Florida's presidential primary date commission at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa.
Note that location. Want to get serious, GOP? Start talking about moving that convention.
You know who else shouldn't be seated? The Democrat who made the motion to hold the primary January 3:
The other Democrat on the panel, former Sen. Al Lawson of Tallahassee initially moved to set Jan. 3 as the primary date, arguing that the Florida shouldn't have to "take a back seat to any state. We are a mega state.'' he said. He withdrew the motion.To their credit, the two other Dems on the 6 R, 3 D panel voted for March 6. the first day allowed under rules agreed to by both parties.
SO what does this do for us? Frontloading HQ offers multiple nightmare scenarios. (Post was written Wednesday; in the interim Georgia has opted to follow the rules and go on March 6.) Also noted:
New Hampshire law, as mentioned above, requires a seven day buffer on either side of its primary. An exception was made in 2007, and another one may have to be made in 2011. Why? Well, the Nevada Republican Party over the summer tethered their caucuses to New Hampshire, requiring that the caucuses be set on the Saturday after New Hampshire. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has already said that that would not work for the Granite state.That exception, of course, was for us going five days before New Hampshire in order to stay in calendar 2008. But Gardner seems pretty adamant about seven days AFTER.
So the best case scenario for Iowa:
January 31: cheaters
January 28: South Carolina, which has done non-Tuesday elections in the past
January 24: Nevada
January 17: New Hampshire
Tuesday, January 10: us. Monday January 9 is the BCS championship which probably x's that date.
But if South Carolina insists on a Tuesday, we get:
January 31: cheatersSouth Carolina won't announce anything today.
January 24: South Carolina
January 17: Nevada
January 10: New Hampshire
Monday, January 2: us, or possibly Tuesday the 3rd.
Also in the mess; Missouri didn't manage to get its law changed it got caught up between the Democratic governor and GOP legislature over photo ID and other such issues. So they're on February 7, which was the 2008 Super Tuesday. But they've made it a no-delegate beauty contest and will have caucuses in March. And with Florida cheating so much worse, Missouri is no longer a factor in the early state dates.
And I never trust Michigan (currently February 28) until everyone's date is 100% locked in.
You know who we have to blame for this? The Democrats who refused to enforce the party rules last time. Michigan and Florida should have been booted from the convention. Then states would be following the rules this year. Dems don't have much say in it this year, but it's worth a mention to Debbie Wasserman Schultz if you run into her this weekend.