Tuesday, November 27, 2007



Alright. Alright. Your Mittiot knows when he's spittin' into the wind and must admit, begrudgingly, that it looks like the joint Michigan Primary will go - as planned - January 15th. In my humble lil' opinion, there is still a slight chance that another court battle may be brought up in terms of "who's" paying for the re-printing of ballots (explained below) now that the legislature has passed the "primary fix" putting the four dem candidates back on the ballot. However, though anything can happen - as most noted that the chances of the MI Supreme Court reversing both the initial court ruling and the appellate court ruling on the "constitutionality" of original primary legislation were very slim - it appears now all but certain the January 15th primary will go forward. Your Mittiot lost a few bets on this one, as I was certain the dems would prefer to caucus behind closed doors to choose their candidate, while enjoying the privilege of voting in the GOP primary to "help us" choose our candidate. BUT, I believe we will get a true, competitive, primary election. . . which is a good thing.

Here's the run down if your head is spinning. Both the state dems and GOP wanted to move Michigan up to have a little more prominence in the process of bumping candidates forward in the election process. This brings not only political advantages to the state, but also some economic plums. Iowa and NH, of course, wish to retain their prominence - which I can't blame them for - and applied pressure to the RNC and the DNC to reconcile the leap frogging, encroachment. On top of that - in an effort to appease the "first in the nation" states - Democrats (unwisely) promised to not campaign in Michigan (or Florida) as punishment. On top of this, four candidates (Biden, Richards, Obama, and Edwards) went as far as to file paperwork to have their names removed from the Michigan primary ballot all together - which left Clinton as the only top-tier candidate on the ballot.

earlier this month, as noted in previous blogs, a dem operative and data broker named Mark Grebner filed a lawsuit questioning the legality of the original January 15th primary legislation which gave the ballot preference data only to the dem party and the GOP. In other words, when a voter requests either a GOP ballot or a dem ballot - that recorded info would only be handed over to the respective parties.

Grebner was successful in persuading the lower court that the law was unconstitutional and the primary was off. On behalf of the SOS, the AG asked for an emergency appeal and the appellate court took a gander at the case. The MI Court of Appeals concurred with the lower court finding that the January 15th primary was, indeed, unconstitutional. An appeal was made to the state Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, legislation was already working its way through Lansing to put the four candidates back on the ballot - so a full, competitive slate of candidates appeared on the dem ballot. The legislation passed the Senate, but failed to get the necessary votes for "immediate effect" - which meant the names would be put back on the ballot (given the House concurred) but AFTER the election took place. Regardless, the vehicle was in place to legislatively address the issues noted by the court regarding the ballot preference data. However, the dems refused to take up the legislation. And this is where we sat just prior to Thanksgiving.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I got email after email noting the the MI Supreme Court reviewed the case and reversed the decisions of the two lower courts. The primary was back on. . . BUT, we still have the dem names off the ballot, the need for the state party to sign off on the plan, AND, now we were getting some grumblings from the MI Clerks Association that there was not enough time to get the ballots printed and out to - among others - the military absentee voters.

On Monday, the legislation adding the four dems back to the ballot was taken up and passed - but, again, DEMOCRATS would not give the bill immediate affect. So on Monday, I was holding my bet that the primary would not go on. Among the things listed above as road bumps, I was also certain, the REPUBLICANS would not allow a defacto repeat of 2000 (dems caucus, GOP holds "open" primary - only this time, dems only have Hillary on the ballot and the GOP holds an "open" primary).

Today, I got word that the legislature has put the four candidates back on the ballot - with immediate effect - and ballots will be printed this weekend (if not sooner). The primary appears to be on. AND, thanks to a late showing by Obama in Iowa, the election could actually be competitive - meaning the dems will stay on the dem side. . .

What might derail the process? The dems may still conclude that they're going to caucus to decide whom their candidate will be (though at this point, I doubt it). Someone may file a lawsuit that stops the process again, on the grounds that the primary will disenfranchise the absentee voters. OR, the cost of reprinting ballots with the four names will become a point of contention. Possibly, one of the candidates whose name was added back on the ballot might sue, though I'm not sure why you'd want to do that - other than to get a boost in Iowa or NH (look for Obama to sniff that one). But all in all, weighing the possible outcomes, I am ready to pay my dollar to my good friend whom I bet regarding the viability of the MI January primary. . . I hate you, Steve.

And, that's where we're at. . . though - like the Michigan weather - if you don't like it, wait a minute. . . it'll change.


Yeah, right. . . .

~so sayeth the Mitiot.

PS. Kudos to Megyn Kelly for refusing to allow Billy O the ability to drop the very, very, poor decision of a Mass. judge at the feet of former governor Mitt Romney. That's BS Bill, and you know it.

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