DNC Finds Florida's Jan. 29 Primary In Violation of Party Rules

ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports: The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Saturday to give Democrats in Florida 30 days to come up with an alternative plan to choose its 210 delegates to the party's 2008 nominating convention, finding that the state's plans for a Jan. 29 presidential primary violated party rules.

"I'm going to send a message to everybody in Florida that we're going to follow the rules," committee member Donna Brazile said. 

The DNC forbids states from holding primaries or caucuses outside of a Feb 5 - June 10 "window". Exceptions are made for early states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Florida state party chairwoman Karen Thurman has tried for months to get the DNC to make a special exemption for Florida after Gov. Charlie Crist R-Fla., signed into law legislation moving the state's primary in violation of DNC rules by seven days.  Thurman's claim that Florida Democrats had done all they could to prevent the Republican-controlled state legislature from moving Florida's primary fell on mostly deaf ears.  The committee chose to send a stern message to Florida and other states considering moving up their presidential nominating contests in '08. 

Thurman rejected the idea of holding a non-binding primary on Jan 29 and then another official primary or caucuses at a later date. 

Earlier in the week, prominent Florida Democrats including Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Alcee Hastings sent a letter to DNC chairman Howard Dean threatening to take legal action to determine whether striping Florida of some or all of its delegates violates any state or federal laws.

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