Rod Smith Threatens Democrats About Rules Challenges Using Voter Suppresion Metaphor

File this under “unbelievable.” We have often talked about the Democratic Party’s unwillingness to follow its own codified rules. But now Chairman Rod Smith is taking things to a new extreme by cautioning members of the State Committee against filing any challenges related to Saturday’s election. Using the mantra of “voter suppression” Smith strongly implies he will judge any challenge unfavorably.

As has been mentioned time and time again on this site the rules of  the party exist for a clear reason and in the cases of members of the State Committee they are governed by Florida Statutes. The rules do not exist to be followed when convenient and routinely broken when inconvenient. Chairman Smith much like his immediate predecessors have flaunted the party rules claiming they have inhibited the ability to do the job while selectively enforcing them when a political purpose was served.

Both sides in the race for FDP Chair have the right to fairness and due process under the rules that govern the Florida Democratic Party. But threats towards those who are simply trying to safeguard the integrity of Saturday’s election cannot be deemed acceptable.

The letter from Chairman Smith follows and is in the opinion of this writer, outrageous.

Smith Letter

13 thoughts on “Rod Smith Threatens Democrats About Rules Challenges Using Voter Suppresion Metaphor”

  1. Can you explain this in more detail? What specifically is Smith trying to stop? What are some of the rule changes that are expected to be proposed? How would that change how the election is conducted?

  2. My understanding is that we have multiple state committee people who were either not elected properly via local DEC elections and a question about one or two state committee people as to whether or not they were actually elected as seated precinct members in August. Unlike FDP elections in-between Presidential elections (2003 Jan, 2005 May, 2011 Jan) this is an election where EVERY single State Committee member had to both be elected in a precinct (not appointed to the DEC) AND had to have been properly elected in a December DEC election (Not appointed or elected in a non official organizational meeting). So the membership of the State Committee for this meeting is limited.

    I do not know who the people in question were planning on supporting for Chair, but that really does not matter. My problem is the continued unwillingness of party leaders to follow the bi-laws of the party. This has been an ongoing problem for years and when you ignore the rules and precedent you create chaos which is just another explanation as to why we keep losing.

  3. Any talk of KK selling out erased w/ this timely and shocking revelation. Good work. Shows Smith is in Tant’s back pocket!

  4. Fla Dem Insider

    Very disappointing letter from Rod who has not covered himself in glory recently. Totally uncalled for.

  5. A clear example of the outgoing Chairman who is part of the establishment trying to intimidate those who are trying to reform the party and follow the rules. This heavy handed attempt to manipulate the vote tomorrow MUST BE FIRMLY REJECTED.

    As far as John Ramos is concerned we have your back if you vote for Clendenin but if you defy your rank in file members here in Palm Beach we are coming for you hot and heavy.

    Rod Smith’s tenure ends in disgrace, which is appropriate for how he has conducted his business through the years.

  6. This is an absolutely shameless attempt to circumvent due process and fix an election. We will pay the price as a party for this heavy handed behavior by the chairman.

  7. I think it’s only fair, Kartik, if you are going to accuse someone of violating the bylaws, that you cite the section of the bylaws that you think are violated. That way, people can decide for themselves whether they think it is an actual violation, a technical violation, or a violation of the spirit of the bylaws. I admit that I don’t know what they say, but we might use an elected official as an example. If they somehow did not meet the qualifications for office (say by not living in the district), is the election invalidated and the legislator removed from office and her votes revoked? Please cite the bylaws

  8. Why are you guys so surprised by this. The party can put out a press release regarding this but do NOTHING regarding corruption of DEC members and chairs. Hey Mark Alan Siegal and Burt Aaronson sends their love. You people are fucking pathetic.

  9. Timeline:
    2000- Voter supression-Bush vs Gore-Tant working for ChoicePoint company that help supress vote/husband lawyer for Bush

    2010-Ds lose because of Obamacare, Ds backing an R during a Senate race.

    2012- Ds win slightly national election, gerrymandered seats by Ds and Rs deals are set statewide, Ds stand up to Scott’s voter supression

    2012-2013-DWS, Deutch, Nelson, Crist, push Tant and Charlie down our throats talking about voter supression. Scott changes in voting supression.

    2014-Ds lose big because they have isolate the entire Democratic Party with Alison Tant, Charlie Crist and continued corruption.

    Thank you for your help,

    Jim Greer
    Charlie’s friend
    and The Republican Party.

  10. In Orange, the people we selected to be State Committee Members, all very legally and in compliance with the rules, are – now – refusing to talk to the members about what has gone into their decisions to support Tant. When Chair Smith refers to “leaving counties without their share of the vote”, it just reminds me that we, in the County Committees have had little voice in this whole process after the elections, when we knew nothing of the emerging contest.

  11. I think that it is safe to say that if all the precinct committeemen and women in the state had one vote, Mr. Clendenin would have won this race hands down.