DNC Member
United States Senate

September 28, 2005


Dear Democrats:
        Many people believe that our national party's presidential nominating process unfairly and disproportionately advantages Iowa and New Hampshire and the issues these two states especially care about to the prejudice of other states.  In 2003 the Michigan Democratic Party seriously considered scheduling our delegate selection caucuses on the same day in 2004 as the New Hampshire primary.  That confrontation was avoided by the commitment of our national party leaders to create the Commisssion on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

        We are both currently serving on the Commission under the leadership of Representative David Price and former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.  The Commission has already heard compelling testimony that our party's presidential nominating process should give states that are more representative of the nation as a whole and the constituencies of our party an early and prominent role in our presidential candidate nominating process.

        Potential Democratic Presidential candidates are already beginning to travel around the country, particularly in Iowa and New Hampshire.  We believe it is important that the critical issues which will be at the forefront of the election in 2008 be part of the dialogue now across states that represent a spectrum of regional and population diversity.

        We expect that you have been, or will be, asked to make commitments to maintain the current privileged position of Iowa and New Hampshire.  We urge you not to make any commitment that favors one state at the expense of others, and instead to let the Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling complete its work.

        As Democrats, we pride ourselves on our party's commitment to fairness and equity.  Fairness and equity demand that we change our current system for selecting our presidential nominee so that all states have a fairer chance to influence and participate in this important effort.  We in Michigan are hopeful that potential Presidential candidates support this principle as well.


Debbie Dingell
Carl Levin