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: June 13, 2008, 02:50:14 PM


A new tiff on Florida delegates
By Anthony Man, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 13, 2008
Party unity is on the agenda at the Florida Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson weekend. But first, before celebrating Barack Obama, they'll engage in a little ritual bloodletting.

The Obama campaign wants a new selection of some delegates to August's convention in Denver to reward supporters.

Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, for one, endorsed Obama last summer and campaigned for him even as almost every elected Democrat in the county backed Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Most of the state's 211 delegates were elected in caucuses and won't be affected. But 26 Obama delegates and two alternates selected by the state party could be.

The move has sparked some outrage, particularly from Jon Ausman, a member of the Democratic National Committee from Tallahassee.

"They are going to destroy 20 to 30 people's dreams," he said. "They are going to be authoritarian, not democratic."

It's also bad politics, said Ausman, who endorsed Clinton: Anyone who is removed won't be motivated to help with the fall campaign.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said the move would affect just a few delegates.

"By the time Nov. 4 rolls around, it will be clear to Democrats across Florida that stopping John McCain from extending Bush's policies for another four years is more important than a handful of hotel rooms in Denver," he said.

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#1 : June 13, 2008, 02:57:35 PM

And more:
http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2008/06/dems-delegate-t.html

Dems delegate fight turns ugly

So much for party unity: As Florida Dems prepare for Saturday's Jefferson-Jackson dinner aimed at bringing the party "together once and for all," a spat over the Obama campaign's decision to replace some already-designated Florida delegates with Obama backers has intensified.

And how. DNC member Jon Ausman late Thursday e-mailed Dems (and reporters) choice sections of what he says were e-mails from Obama's Florida finance chair Kirk Wagar -- in which Wagar curses Ausman out and criticizes Sen. Bill Nelson and party director Leonard Joseph.

The highlights: "You (Jon Ausman) f&^%ed us. We are dealing with it. You need to accept the fact that you f*&^ed us."

And of Nelson: "I am getting very sick of (Senator) Nelson making a bad situation worse."

Said Ausman to Wagar: "We are at a point in time when we need to heal and come together. Help me understand how these messages, which you have sent to me in writing, help Senator Obama's campaign."

Wagar sent out an e-mail shortly after, apologizing for the profanity, but suggesting Ausman had used "out of context snippets from some ongoing and sometimes heated arguments we have had over the course of this campaign.

"I apologize for the profanity that you were subjected to," he said in the e-mail. "It is a vice of mine that I try to minimize but seems to rear it�s head with more frequency when I deal with Jon."

Of Nelson and Joseph, Wagar said he disagreed with them on seating the delegates, but "did not malign them in private nor in the excerpts Jon blasted out.  I have worked with Leonard for years, long before he came to Florida, and I have worked very hard for and with Senator Nelson. On this issue we disagreed and despite Jon�s effort to twist it into something more, it isn�t."
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