PRESS RELEASE from the Office of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)

March 7, 2008

Statement on Michigan Delegate Dispute

WASHINGTON -- The office of Senator Carl Levin released the following statement today:

Michigan Democrats have for years argued against the unfair and irrational system in which New Hampshire and Iowa almost always have a hugely disproportionate impact on our presidential nominating process. A DNC commission reviewed the system and recommended a new sequence for 2008 in which New Hampshire would hold the third nomination contest. It was only after New Hampshire indicated its intention to violate the new sequence -- and the DNC’s failure to enforce its own rules in light of New Hampshire’s violation of those rules -- that Michigan decided it would move up its primary to January 15. The DNC subsequently voted to strip Michigan of its convention delegates.

Senator Levin was asked to join with Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, and DNC Member Debbie Dingell to work with the DNC, Senator Clinton and Senator Obama in an attempt to resolve the Michigan delegate dispute.

Senator Levin doesn’t see at this time a practical and fair way to hold a “do-over” election in Michigan given the immense financial and logistical hurdles, and in any event believes that a change in course would require acceptance by both candidates.

Unless an agreement is reached before the Democratic National Convention in August, the issue will be addressed by the Democratic Convention Credentials Committee. The Credentials Committee’s recommendation would be subject to an appeal to the full Convention.

The current course is for delegates allocated to Michigan’s congressional districts to be selected at district conventions on March 29 based on the proportion of the January 15 primary vote in each district tallied for Senator Clinton or “uncommitted.” The remaining pledged delegates will be selected at a Michigan Democratic Party State Central Committee meeting on May 17 based on the statewide election results.

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