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Friday, May 9, 2008

Clinton Rejects Michigan Compromise!!!!

Clinton Rejects Latest Michigan Delegate Plan
By Marie Horrigan, CQ Staff
Thu May 8, 1:29 PM ET

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday rejected a compromise plan to seat Michigan's delegates to the national convention that would give 69 delegates to Clinton and 59 to Barack Obama.

"This proposal does not honor the 600,000 votes that were cast in Michigan's January primary. Those votes must be counted," Clinton spokesman Isaac Baker said.

The Michigan Democratic Party had approved the plan and intended to submit it to the Democratic National Committee meeting on May 31. Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said in a statement that the plan was a "good step toward a solution that unites Democrats and ensures that our state will not face a McCain presidency."

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had stripped Michigan of its delegation to the Democratic National Convention because the state party scheduled its Jan. 15 primary in violation of national party rules. Several plans have been proposed to find a way to seat Michigan's delegation.

Clinton's campaign has maintained that the delegation should be allocated according to the vote in the Jan. 15 primary (73/55) but Obama's campaign had argued the delegation should be split between the two candidates (64/64) because he was not on the ballot. Clinton won that contest with 55 percent of the vote but most of the other major party candidates, including Obama, had removed their names from the ballot because the state violated national party rules.

Since any plan must be approved by all the players -- the state and national parties and both candidates -- it is unclear what will happen now.

The Michigan Democratic Party's Executive Committee on Wednesday had endorsed the 69/59 plan offered April 29 by a group of senior Michigan Democrats including Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and DNC member Debbie Dingell.
Elizabeth Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said the Clinton campaign's assertion that the votes "weren't honored" was "incorrect."

"This proposal honors the result of the January 15th primary but also takes into consideration that Obama's name was not on the ballot," she said.

If the state party ends up offering the plan to the national party, the DNC would consider it at the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting in Washington on May 31. The DNC did not have any comment on the plan.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who has endorsed Clinton, said the former first lady would not make any decision about the future of her campaign until the status of the Michigan and Florida delegations had been settled at the May 31 meeting. The Democratic National Committee stripped Florida of its delegates to the national convention because the state legislature set the primary for Jan. 29 in violation of national party rules.

Some Democrats have pushed Clinton to consider suspending her campaign, particularly after her narrow victory in Indiana and her heavy loss to Obama in North Carolina during the primaries Tuesday.

"She's going to make the decision when the time comes," Feinstein said.

Catharine Richert contributed to this story.

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