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Democratic Rules Committee To Meet Secretly May 31 To Avoid Delegates' Rights Demonstrations?

May 19, 2008 (EIRNS)—When the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, D.C. May 31, Floridians demanding the seating of their elected delegates at the Democratic National Convention will be demonstrating in the nation's capital, representing 157,000 signers (so far) on a petition to uphold the delegation's rights. But they can't find where Howard Dean's DNC will hold this "open, public" meeting, which appears to be resorting to secrecy to avoid being pressed on the rights of Florida's and Michigan's delegates.

According to Jim Hannagan, the state chair of Florida Demands Representation (FDR), a member of a coalition of groups demanding that the Florida delegates elected in the state's Democratic Party Primary be accorded and seated in accordance with the primary vote. The Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting scheduled for May 31st which is expected to take up that issue, will meet at an undisclosed location in violation of Open Party rules adopted in 1964. Hannagan, who is organizing a demonstration of at least 1,000 Floridians in Washington, D.C that day, and will raise the issue at the "open" meeting, says he cannot learn its location or what the procedure is for attending it, although by Party rules it must be open to the public.

Hannagan said his group, which endorses neither Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, is also planning a series of "Respect Our Votes" demonstrations at campaign stops which Obama will make thoughout Florida this week, to demand that he support the seating of the Florida delegation, and that all the votes cast be counted. "FDR" will also build demonstrations throughout the country on May 31st to coincide with the flagship demonstration in Washington. The organization is updating its plans on its website, www.floridademandsrepresentation.org

In a petition being circulated among registered voters of both parties, the group declares that the Democratic National Committee, in not recognizing the Florida primary vote, is acting counter to due process and democratic principles, and is engaging in an act of disenfranchisment, and warns that the resulting alienation of voters, who acted in good faith when they cast their votes, may result in protest votes for non-Democratic Presidential candidates.

As of May 9th, some 157,080 Floridians had signed the petition, and 1,037 FDR volunteers were actively organizing throughout the state.

Hannagan reported that a recent FDR survey of Florida voters shows that the failure to resolve the issue is increasing polarization; and that 15-20% of those who took part in the survey are planning to leave the Party. Florida is considered a key swing state in the November Presidential election.