Clinton supporters plan DNC rules committee protest

Supporters of Hillary Clinton are forming together in an effort to disrupt this Saturday’s DNC rules committee meeting and are planning further protests at the actual Democratic convention in Denver, Colorado if the saga drags on.

Story from MyWay:

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Democratic presidential race is heading into a fractious end game as supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton mobilize for a protest Saturday to demand that the party count two outlawed primaries that favored her.

Protesters planned to rally outside the Washington hotel where the party’s rules committee will tackle the vexing question of how to punish Michigan and Florida without completely disenfranchising Democratic primary voters from those states.

At least several busloads of Clinton supporters were anticipated from Florida and perhaps scores of people from Michigan as well as demonstrators from various parts of the country. Barack Obama’s campaign discouraged a counterprotest, although his supporters vied with Clinton backers for the limited public seats inside the meeting.

Among the scheduled speakers at the rally are Clinton fundraiser Elizabeth Bagley; two members of Congress who back the New York senator, Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and Corrine Brown of Florida; and Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. Her group’s political action committee has endorsed Clinton.

Party officials voted before the two January primaries, without much controversy outside those states, to strip Michigan and Florida of their convention delegates as a penalty for holding their primaries earlier than Democratic rules allowed. All the Democratic candidates agreed to the rules and avoided campaigning in either state. Obama removed his name from the Michigan ballot.

Clinton won a majority of votes cast in both the renegade contests.

Even if Michigan and Florida are counted in total, that’s not going to change the outcome and hand Hillary the nomination, so I’m not sure what they’re wanting there.

Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns have commented:

The pressure is intense on the rules committee to find a solution. Without one, the party’s internal fight could drag on through the summer and into a divided convention in Denver, a nightmare for Democrats.

The Clinton campaign said it was not organizing the rally.

“I am aware that there are lots of people very passionate about this topic who are coming,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said his side was hoping to avoid a “scene.”

“Obviously, with the click of a mouse it would be pretty easy for us in the mid-Atlantic to get thousands of people there, but we don’t think it’s a helpful dynamic to create chaos and in the interest of party unity, we’re encouraging our supporters not to protest,” he said.

Obama supporter David Wilhelm, a former party chairman, echoed that sentiment. “We’re not going to have Obama folks protesting. We’re not going to turn this thing into a circus.”

So technically they’re planning a Denver protest only if Michigan and Florida aren’t decided the way they want them decided, which would be counting them as actual primaries and seating all the delegates.