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Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get half-votes

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080531/ap_on_el_pr/primary_scramble;_ylt=At40lBG.RvHFBAiNw_ThpD2s0NUE Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get half-votes By
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080531/ap_on_el_pr/primary_scramble;_ylt=At40lBG.RvHFBAiNw_ThpD2s0NUE

      Officials say Fla., Mich. delegates will get
      half-votes

      By NEDRA PICKLER and BETH FOUHY, Associated Press
      Writers 1 minute ago

      WASHINGTON - Democratic party officials said a
      committee agreed Saturday on a compromise to seat
      Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes after
      Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to get
      enough support to force their positions through.

      The deal was reached after committee members met
      privately for more than three hours, trying to hammer
      out a deal, and announced in a raucous hearing that
      reflected deep divisions within the party. The
      sticking point was Michigan, where Obama's name was
      not on the ballot.

      Clinton's camp insisted Obama shouldn't get any
      pledged delegates in Michigan since he chose not to
      put his name on the ballot, and she should get 73
      pledged delegates with 55 uncommitted. Obama's team
      insisted the only fair solution was to split the
      pledged delegates in half between the two campaigns,
      with 64 each.

      The committee agreed on a compromise offered by the
      Michigan Democratic Party that would split the
      difference, allowing Clinton to take 69 delegates and
      Obama 59. Each delegate would get half a vote at the
      convention in Denver this summer, according to the
      deal.

      They also agreed to seat the Florida delegation based
      on the outcome of the January primary, with 105
      pledged delegates for Clinton and 67 for Obama, but
      with each delegate getting half a vote as a penalty.

      The resolution increased the number of delegates
      needed to clinch the nomination to 2,118, leaving
      Obama 66 delegates short but still within striking
      distance after the three final primaries are held in
      the next three days.

      Obama picked up a total of 32 delegates in Michigan,
      including superdelegates who have already committed,
      and 36 in Florida. Clinton picked up 38 in Michigan,
      including superdelegates, and 56.5 in Florida.

      Obama's total increased to 2,052, and Clinton had
      1,877.5.

      A proposal favored by Clinton that would have fully
      seated the Florida delegation fully in accordance with
      the January primary went down with 12 votes in support
      and 15 against.

      Tina Fluornoy, who led Clinton's efforts to seat both
      states' delegations with full voting power, said she
      was disappointed by the outcome but knew the Clinton
      position had "no chance" of passing the committee.

      "I understand the rules. ... I can tell you one thing
      that has driven these rules was being a party of
      inclusion," Fluornoy said. "I wish my colleagues will
      vote differently."

      The committee unanimously approved a measure supported
      by the Obama campaign that sat the delegates according
      to Clinton's winning vote in the Florida contest, but
      penalized the delegation by allowing each only half a
      vote.

      "We just blew the election!" a woman in the audience
      shouted. The crowd was divided between cheering Obama
      supporters and booing Clinton supporters.

      "This isn't unity! Count all the votes!" another
      audience member yelled.

      Alice Huffman, a Clinton supporter on the committee,
      explained that the compromise was the next best thing
      to full seating.

      "We will leave here more united than we came," she
      said.

      Some audience members heckled her in response.
      "Lipstick on a pig!" one shouted.
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