Florida Dems ask court to move quickly

The group of Florida Democrats suing former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are asking the federal judge in the case to move quickly to ensure that Florida’s delegates are counted next year.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world Bottom Line MORE’s (Fla.) office released a statement Monday saying that Nelson, Reps. Alcee Hastings and Corrine BrownCorrine BrownFormer Florida rep sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, tax evasion Genuine veteran charities face a challenge beating the fakes Former Florida rep found guilty of tax evasion, fraud MORE and a group of voters are planning to file a new motion in federal court in Tallahassee “seeking a quick decision by a federal judge that Dean and other political party bosses in Washington have violated the constitutional rights of millions of Florida voters.”

Nelson and other Democrats filed the suit after the DNC voted to punish Florida by stripping the state of all of its nominating delegates after the state legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist (R) moved the state’s primary to Jan. 29, outside of the DNC’s allowed primary window.

The release came after the conclusion of the state party’s three-day convention in Orlando that was boycotted by the party’s major presidential candidates, who signed a pledge not to campaign in states that are in non-compliance with the DNC’s rules.

“Our lawsuit is about the right of every American to have access to the ballot box, and to have their vote count — and to have it count as intended,” said Nelson in his speech to the convention. “We believe there’s no reason that can excuse the denial of this fundamental right.”

Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the DNC, said the Florida Democrats are responsible for the lawsuit’s delay.

“We would also like to see this matter resolved quickly,” Paxton said in an e-mail Monday. “But the comments are interesting given that they just filed an amended complaint this past Friday, delaying the decision.”

The primary calendar picture remains muddled for both parties as all eyes await New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s decision about when Granite Staters will vote.

Iowa Democrats joined their Republican counterparts when they decided Sunday night to hold their caucuses Jan. 3. Gardner has said he will not schedule the vote for any date past Jan. 8, and he has not ruled out the possibility that the first-in-the-nation primary could be held in December.

Michigan moved its primary to Jan. 15, but almost all of the Democratic candidates removed their names from the ballot. Michigan Republicans continue to campaign aggressively in both Michigan and Florida.