Is Michigan Delegates’ Loss, Host Committee’s Gain?

Michigan Democrats tried squeezing in a presidential primary before Feb. 5, 2008, against Democratic National Committee rules. So the DNC may vote the Michigan delegation off the island in punishment. However, an important question remains: What happens to the 156 rooms reserved at the Red Lion Denver Central for the Michigan delegation at the Democratic Convention should they not comply?Democratic rules prohibit states other than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina from holding presidential caucuses or primaries in January. However, Florida defiantly set its primary for Jan. 29, and Michigan scheduled its primary for Jan. 15.

Obstinacy did not pay off. The Florida delegation has been negated, and Michigan Democrats have been given a 30-day reprieve to amend their primary date. Florida delegates were never assigned a hotel, but Michigan was — at the Red Lion, 15 minutes from downtown.

The Democratic Convention is scheduled for August 25-28, 2008, in Denver.

According to a Democratic National Committee Convention official, the Michigan Democratic Party was given a 30-day period to submit a revised plan that complies with the 2008 Delegate Selection Rules. Following that 30-day window, an official word from the Rules and Bylaws Committee will determine the next step concerning Michigan delegates. So far, no action has been taken, as Michigan is still within the 30-day window.

But who could gain if Michigan chooses to disregard DNC convention rules, and like Florida, is not given delegate seats?

Perhaps some of the delegations that were placed way out in the boonies would be moved.

“Enjoy the ambiance that soaring ceilings, slate stone columns, rich hardwood fixtures, Tibetan area rugs and a hand-painted mural provide,” the website for the Red Lion reads. “Rooms feature brand new furniture, a 27″ flat tube TV set along with free high-speed wireless high-speed Internet access and a pool and fitness center.”

Who wouldn’t want to stay in luxurious accommodations during the Democratic Convention?

So, here’s a fundraising idea for the Convention Host Committee: auction off those 156 rooms to the media.

A tip of the hat to 2008 Democratic Convention Watch for the question: “Are Michigan’s convention rooms available?”

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Leslie Robinson

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