Granholm's Role In The Democratic Primary
Granholm will be at the White House tomorrow and the hopeful word in some feminist circles is that she might be there for the announcement that she is being nominated to the United States Supreme Court. If this is the case, I think Democrats have very good reasons to oppose her appointment.
In August of 2007, the Michigan Republicans introduced a bill to move the state's primary date up. It passed the State Senate, over unified Democratic objection. Once in the House, 29 Democrats voted for it, while 22 voted against the bill and 7 abstained from voting. It was a voting block of 38 Republicans which passed the bill into law. Once passed, two courts found the move up date unconstitutional and it was back to the legislature for tinkering. By this time, the Republicans had proposed a primary date of January 15th.
From Wayne Barrett:
...Andy Dillon, the Democratic House speaker who'd voted for the move-up initially, walked away from the early primary in November, almost a month before the DNC voted to strip the state of its delegation. When two court rulings found the move-up bill unconstitutional for technical reasons, giving Democratic state legislators who initially voted for it a chance to reconsider, they took it. Dillon and his House Democrats refused to support a bill that would've protected the January 15 date from threatened judicial cancellation by correcting the technical deficiency. The Senate, again voting along party lines, quickly adjusted the bill to the court decisions, but Dillon refused to allow a vote in the House. All of this suggests a "good faith" effort to block an early primary -- as required by DNC rules.
Had not the state's highest court overturned the earlier decisions by a 4-to-3 vote just days before absentee ballots had to be mailed out, the early primary would not have been held. Significantly, all four of the judges who voted to allow the election were Republicans, and two of the judges who voted against it were Democrats.
So, here we have a situation where every Democrat voted against moving the primary up, and only one Democrat - Governor Jennifer Granholm - supported the bill and signed it into law. Because of Granholm's action, Michigan lost half of its delegates, and the hearing on that action also resulted in Obama being arbitrarily assigned all of the uncommitted delegates and in him receiving several delegates that Clinton had won fairly and squarely.
From the beginning of Barrett's article:
The presumption of much of the national coverage about Michigan, to start with, has been that the Dems did this one to themselves -- a presumption based, in large part, on Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm's endorsement of a January 15 vote, a date far ahead of the anticipated February 9 primary. All Clinton-backer Granholm did, however, was a sign a bill. The bill originated in a Republican-controlled Senate and passed by a 21-to-17 straight party-line vote -- with every Democrat casting a no vote.
It leads one to wonder why a Democratic governor would sign into law a bill that all of the Democrats in her state legislature opposed, which would cost her state fully half of their delegates at the national convention and which would ultimately result in the winner of her state's primary losing the nomination.
Is it gauche to ask if there was a quid pro quo? Certainly, it displays ghastly judgement on Granholm's part and suggests that she was willing to use her authority to alter the outcome of the Democratic nomination.
*Edited because I left out the opening paragraph.