Jim Hannagan of Ozona started Florida
Demands Representation (FDR) in March 2008.
The group's website (http://floridademandsrepresentation.winntech.net/)
described it as "a volunteer grassroots coalition demanding our 2008
primary votes be counted." Below is an April 2008 overview
from the website:
2008: a date not
forgotten by Florida
voters! On this date, the State of Florida held a
legitimate and legally mandated primary election for both the
the Republican parties as part of the nationwide
to determine the presidential nominee for the respective parties.
In the State of Florida, the dates on
which primaries will be held are established by the State Legislature,
either party in the State. The resulting
story becomes sordid, complex, and beyond the comprehension of most
well as among some elected officials.
Vital facts must be
addressed. Florida voters turned out in record
numbers. In fact, more than 1.7 million
Florida Democrats cast a ballot that day, the highest turnout ever for
Democratic primary election.
candidates did not campaign in the State, all Democratic candidates
were on the
ballot. Given that five other contests
were held prior to the Florida
primary, all candidates were well known to the voting populace.
demonstrate this: Of Florida's 67
counties, Clinton won 48; Edwards won 11, while Obama won 8. The
resulting number of delegates follows: 67 for Clinton,
41 for Obama, and 15 for Edwards.
To argue that an absence
of campaigning affected the primary election outcome holds little
merit. Results point to a highly motivated and
well-informed Democratic electorate.
The decision to move the
State's primary, bypassing the rules of both parties, was not a
which the electorate actively participated.
Most Democrats did not know
the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) would punish its own constituents, essentially
Constitutional right to vote an exercise in futility.
"punishment" of the Florida
Democratic electorate continues to alienate and disenfranchise its own
members! The DNC's refusal to seat Florida delegates at the
Democratic National Convention,
based on the January 29, 2008 primary results, is an act of sabotage
against Florida's Democratic
Party and, perhaps, the Democratic Party nationally.
As Americans and voters in
this great democracy, we believe that when called upon to vote, we
do. We regard this right and the resulting
outcome as sacred--that it counts! How
often we hear public service announcements reinforcing the idea that every
Instead, we are subject to
autocratic rules and insolence by Democratic Party leaders that border
absurd. These leaders continue to
espouse their rules are more important than the voices of millions of
voters. It is beyond comprehension that
after spending more than $20 million in consort with 1.7 million voters
exercised their Constitutional right to vote the DNC continues to dig
heels to the point of alienation and disenfranchisement of the very
purports to represent.
Representation (FDR) is dedicated to one cause:
protecting voters' rights and civil liberties. We are adamant in
our demand for
representation. We seek no less than
recognition of our votes as valid by the DNC and the Florida delegates
seated at the Democratic
National Convention based on the results of the January 29, 2008
We are incensed by the
unwillingness of the DNC to understand the plight of Florida
Democrats. We are dumbfounded that our party leaders
have not moved quickly and resolutely to remedy this situation.
More disconcerting is the
lack of strategic forethought. A
stubborn insistence that rules are more important than the voices of
million Democrats are autocratic and a disgusting display of arrogance.
We do understand that
there is a need for guidelines to ensure process and structure when
a Presidential candidate. Many
Floridians, like most voters in other States, are not even slightly
with the rules, by-laws, credentials, and other aspects that constitute
"appropriate" rules of engagement by States in this process.
FDR is the truest of a
grassroots movement. We are not
funded. We are not tied to any
campaign. We do not endorse a specific
candidate. Our organization is comprised
solely of volunteers who support their candidate of choice. That
support is a private and personal issue
not relevant to the cause and mission of FDR.
As such, our volunteers
are from all political persuasions.
Whether Democrat, Independent, Republican or member of a minor party,
share a common set of philosophies that binds us together:
1. We believe when we
vote in the United States our votes count.
2. We need to protect
Democracy for ourselves and for future generations.
3. We honor the
that came before us giving their lives to maintain our freedom and our
Constitutional right to vote.
4. We know that
a Presidential candidate without representing the ENTIRE United States
is NOT democratic.
5. We need to identify
flaws in our primary system and require elected leaders to address
Apathy destroys democracy. Autocratic
decisions made by the DNC
Leadership are destroying the faith in the electoral process of
millions of voters, not only in Florida,
but also in Michigan, Oklahoma,
across our great nation. Collectively,
we need to put an end to this. We,
the people, have an opportunity
not often afforded us, to effect change.
History shows this can happen. We
have done it before. We WILL do it
Over 230 years ago, 13
colonies, each with different charters, goals, and citizenry, banded
to fight for the principle of representation.
While the odds were against them, their belief in their cause propelled
them to victory. Today, their victory is
ours to protect!
Our volunteers are
motivated to protect our civil liberties.
Many of our volunteers are anguished by the demise of the party with
whom they have so long been associated, the party of the people.
What has happened to the party of the people,
for the people, by the people?
The DNC cares to neither
understand nor empathize with the sentiment of Florida Democrats and
general. They do not take us
seriously. WE DO!
We hear the frustration of
voters. A woman in Miami,
from the Dominican Republic,
now a United States
citizen, was so excited to vote in her first Presidential
election. Now she is considering sitting out the
November election--unless her vote in the primary counts. We hear
it from the 81-year-old man in
Jacksonville who has cast a Democratic Party vote his entire life but
not vote in November--unless his primary vote counts. We hear it
from the homemaker in Orlando who will
vote against her party in November out of frustration, hoping
will count. We hear it from the
Independent voter in Oldsmar who asks, "How can you run a country when
can't even run your own party?"
These are the voices of Florida voters. This is serious.
Our Democratic Party leadership has
jeopardized its own Party, perhaps the future of the United States as
Because the Party rules are THAT important. Shame, shame, shame!
We cannot afford to
FDR calls upon voters
nationwide to stand with us. Help us
change our democracy. Go to our website
(www.floridademandsrepresentation.org) and download our petition.
Forward our website to your friends and ask
them to do the same.
Attend one of our
statewide rallies on May 31, 2008.
Better yet, organize a rally in your state on the same day in support
our effort, and help us send a message to Democratic Party leaders.
We need your support and
we need it quickly--our democracy is at stake.
In closing, a true leader
does not exclude but stands up for the rights of others, for equality,
representation, for inclusion. Who is