Democratic Party to refuse lobbyist donations

Today Howard Dean announced that the DNC would not be taking donations from lobbyists or PACs in order to align itself with Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s policy. The following is from an e-mail sent from Dean to members of the Democratic Party mailing list:

Dear (recipient),

I wanted to drop you a quick note about a major policy change here at the Democratic Party.

As we move toward the general election, the Democratic Party has to be the Party of ordinary Americans, not Washington lobbyists and special interests. So, as of this morning, if you’re a federal lobbyist, or if you control political action committee donations, we won’t be accepting your contribution.

This is an unprecedented move for a political party to make — one that has sent shockwaves through Washington and has turned the debate on clean campaigns upside down. We’ve unilaterally agreed to shut lobbyists out of the process, and are we’re relying on people just like you.

Just imagine what hundreds of thousands of Americans donating $20, $30, or $50 at a time can accomplish together. Imagine the signal that it sends to anyone who looks at John McCain’s political machine and the special interest money it needs to fuel every move it makes.

This is a pretty monumental development in American politics and one only hopes that it continues after Barack Obama’s campaign. This is hopefully only one of many examples of change that Sen. Obama hopes to bring to Washington.

Democratic leadership might intervene in primaries

How could you say no to a face like that?

The Huffington Post reported this afternoon that national Democratic leadership might force superdelegates to make public their endorsements if the primary season ends without a conclusive winner. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chariman Howard Dean might write a joint letter demanding their endorsements; he also indicated that if they don’t decide he “might have to” be forced to intervene more personally, noting that leadership “is in contact with each other.” Pelosi and Dean have also intensified their pleas for superdelegates to end the race in order to avoid protracted battle that might hurt the eventual nominee’s general election chances.

Reid has indicated in past interviews that he had collaborated with Mr Dean in efforts to bring about the Democratic race’s conclusion. Politico also reported this afternoon that Pelosi’s spokesman said that she “has no specific plans” to write a letter [but] is not opposed to the idea.”

[Dem Leadership] May Intervene In Dem Primary” – [Huffington Post]

Reid, Pelosi, Dean may intervene in nomination” – [Politico]

Howard Dean calls for superdelegates to decide

DNC chair Howard Dean appeared on CNN and said that now is the time for superdelegates to make up their minds.

I need them to say who they’re for starting now. We cannot give up two or three months of active campaigning and healing time. We’ve got to know who our nominee is.

With the Democratic race getting nastier and nastier, Dean is hoping that the race can be resolved before the convention in August in order for the Democratic nominee to have more time to campaign and shake off the bad vibes from the primary race.

Dean: I need a decision ‘now‘ – [CNN]

Dean Lays Down the Law for Michigan and Florida

 

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean (above, singing for his metal band, The Dean Scream) said in a letter today that he would not manipulate party rules to allow Michigan and Florida’s delegates to be seated at the Democratic National Convention, an announcement which will be a disappointment to the Clinton campaign. Sen. Clinton “won” both Michigan and Florida which were stripped of their delegates and therefore she didn’t receive any tangible benefits. Both states were penalized after moving their primaries up and now are calling for their delegates to be seated. Candidates were asked to remove their names from the ballot in Michigan by the DNC (Clinton was the only major candidate who left theirs on) and were barred from campaigning in Florida (Clinton had “fundraisers” there instead and arrived to celebrate victory the moment the polls closed).

The Democratic Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, and the Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, released a joint statement pleading for the seating of their delegates:

The right to vote is at the very foundation of our democracy. This primary season, voters have turned out in record numbers to exercise that right, and it is reprehensible that anyone would seek to silence the voices of 5,163,271 Americans. It is intolerable that the national political parties have denied the citizens of Michigan and Florida their votes and voices at their respective national conventions.

However, I would imagine that they left some key interests out of that statement. For Granholm it would be something along the lines of, “I am a Clinton supporter and realize that it is nearly mathmatically impossible for her to win via pledged delegates so PLEASE seat the delegates from Michigan even though there was only one candidate on the ballot.” Crist I’m sure wanted to add, “Please seat our delegates in the interest of prolonging the Democratic nomination process so McCain will have a huge head start, get elected, and essentially be Dubya’s third term.”

While I do feel that they should have delegates at the convention, they must be seated within the legal confines of the Democratic Party. Thankfully, Howard Dean agrees and released a statement today saying that they can either appeal to the Convention Credentials Committee to seat their delegates as is or submit for a re-vote. However, the former option is unlikely as the Credentials Committee currently doesn’t have enough members for quorum and is highly unlikely to get members who would be willing to just hand over the delegates to Sen. Clinton in what were clearly unfair elections. I believe Howard Dean said it best himself:

The Democratic Nominee will be determined in accordance with party rules, and out of respect for the presidential campaigns and the states that did not violate party rules, we are not going to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Read the rest of the statement here.

Dean Statement on Florida and Michigan
– [The Democratic Party]
Fla. and Mich. Governors: Give Us Our Delegates – [New York Times]

Edwards Waiting For “ppeeeyaawwww!”

John Edwards is playing down Hillary Clinton’s sizable lead in the polls by stating that Howard Dean looked like the inevitable winner in 2004, before his complete implosion of course.