Dean: Respect key to delegation decision

May 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- A decision on whether to seat any of Florida or Michigan's delegates at the Democratic convention should include respect for those involved, Howard Dean says.

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee told participants in Saturday's Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting they should respect voters in both states, along with those in the other 48 U.S. states and the two remaining Democratic candidates, a DNC transcript said.

The 30-member rules and bylaws committee was brought together to determine whether any of the two states' delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver should be divided between U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill. The state parties moved their primaries up in defiance of the national party, and as punishment all Florida and Michigan delegates at present are banned from the convention.

If the committee does decide to reverse the party's earlier decision and seat the delegates, it most also determine how to fairly distribute them amongst the candidates.

Dean said by making a final determination on the electoral quandary, the committee could help heal the Democratic Party.

"We have got to come together and unite our party," Dean told committee members. "Every one of us has the responsibility to help ensure that our party is united."

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