Rhode Island’s Presidential Primary Will Be On March 4

From Jack Perry of the Projo’s 7-to-7 newsblog

Governor Carcieri has vetoed a bill moving Rhode Island’s presidential primary from March 4 to Feb. 5.
The governor said a change in the date would “create an excessive burden on local boards of canvassers.”
He vetoed the bill yesterday and announced it today.
Here are the important dates that supporters of all of the candidates need to be aware of, courtesy of Dave Talan’s unofficial analysis
  • Wednesday December 5 to Friday December 7 – Presidential candidates file to run in R.I.
  • Tuesday December 6 to Wednesday December 26 – Presidential candidates gather 1,000 valid signatures of registered voters; and turn them in to the local Board of Canvassers of the City or Town where the signer lives.
  • Monday January 7 to Wednesday January 9 – Candidates for Delegate to the GOP National Convention file to run in R.I.
  • Tuesday January 8 to Friday January 18 – Delegate candidates gather 150 valid signatures of registered voters in their Congressional District; and turn them in to the local Board of Canvassers of the City or Town where the signer lives.
  • Thursday January 31 – last day for Delegate candidates to receive permission from the Presidential candidate of their choice, to appear on the ballot under him on the R.I. Primary ballot.

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Will
Will
13 years ago

Kudos to the Gov for vetoing the “Help Hillary Act of 2007”. This wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad bill, if it had passed in May or June when it was supposed to have originally, before the GA leadership conveniently “forgot” about it. However, to pass it in a special session at the very last minute and then expect all the presidential campaigns — who are much more occupied with much more relevant states — to play catch-up for our little state, was a little beyond ridiculous.
Besides, it really would have screwed up the party disaffilation process for some people, since, with a Feb. 5th primary date, they would have had to have gone to their Boards of Canvassers and changed their affiliation by 4pm today!
I think a good compromise would have been to hold the primary a week or two later in February, not on Super Duper Nuclear Tuesday or whatever they call it now. There’s just too much else going on that day which would marginalize us even more than we already are. Besides, I don’t think the race will be decided for either party on Feb. 5th anyway. It’s going to be a long year.

Bobby Oliveira
Bobby Oliveira
13 years ago

Dear Will,
That’s not what this is about at all.
This was about making this state matter and maybe getting a couple of visits. (Please note, Hillary is often here without the change of dates)
Based on Primary participation numbers of the past, while you are correct about the disaffiliation date, it’s impact would have been minimal. Same is true for the Governor’s assertion.
It is nice to see that you are loyal enough to this Governor to try and even spin this ridiculous decision.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Hi!
I am delighted that the Governor has vetoed the change in primary date.I mentioned it to him last Thursday when I was at the Operation Clean Government meeting and left a vice message last week at night at his voice mail for constituent affairs.
I did talk to Sen. “Lou” Raptakis who wanted it at the OCG meeting.I do not have a problem with the February primary but I don’t like changing the rules this late in the game.I sincerely hope that the law is changed someday so a filing period more than three days is open for delegate candidates.At least a week anyway.
Regards,
Scott

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Why should the Gov do anything to help the Blues select Billary? Trying to ‘make Rhode Island matter’ is as stupid as the system we have now where New Hampshire matters.

Monique
13 years ago

“This wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad bill, if it had passed in May or June”
That’s right. But waiting until zero hour turned it into a bad thing. The Governor did the right thing.
If this was so important, why did the General Assembly wait so long to act on it? If there is anything to the argument that this would have made Rhode Island more relevant in the primaries, it was the G.A. who botched our chances by waiting literally until the last day to try to pass this.

Will
Will
13 years ago

I stand by my prior comments. They were not made out of loyalty to the governor, as I’ve been very vocal when I’ve disagreed with him. His decision made objective sense given the ridiculous timeframes involved.
“This was about making this state matter and maybe getting a couple of visits.”
Matter to whom? We’ll still elect the same number of delegates, regardless of the date. I couldn’t give a rats rump who visits us. Visits from whom? Hillary and Obama? Kucinich, perhaps? Now there’s an incentive!
If we had changed our primary date to Feb. 5th (Super Duper Tuesday), we would be the 21st state to have done so. We already have the second most difficult system in the country to even get on the ballot, and you’re expecting the campaigns to bend over backwards and adjust their schedules for our whims? Do you honestly think that we would even gain the slightest amount of attention, when you consider all the other states with primaries on that date? As far as I’m concerned, this race will be far from over in February. If it’s as close as I suspect it’s going to be on both sides of the aisle, I think every delegate vote will matter, regardless of the exact date they are chosen.
PS From a RI Republican Party point of view, given our recent change to a proportional representation system for electing delegates to the RNC, it should make it more likely that we’ll get some attention from the GOP candidates, as any candidate getting at least 15% of the vote will be entitled to delegates, and the race will likely be far from decided in February.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

–“This wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad bill, if it had passed in May or June”
They meant to.
But then the Frank bosses called, and they had to drop everything, don their kneepads, and pass a bill to erect the Frank Williams monument, and then a bill to display proper subservience to Frank Montanaro, i.e., the bill to kill privatization of state jobs.
Then, just as they finished getting their Democrat kneepads off and rinsing out their mouthes, the legislative session ended!
The clock having run out, they then had to wait for last week’s overtime session to try to jigger the primary dates.
Priorities are priorities, and pleasuring the Franks supersedes setting primary dates.

Bobby Oliveira
Bobby Oliveira
13 years ago

Dear Monique,
There’s a problem with the Governor’s comment:
He’s the only one who’s ever heard this complaining from the cities and towns. Nobody said anything when I broke the story on Thursday of last week; no one said anything in Committee. He also didn’t come forward at the end of the session to say it was a good idea.
Will,
In 2004, the Dean campaign qualified for the ballot, upon review because you can’t know that at the time, on an opening rainy day. That hard to get on the ballot stuff doesn’t hold up.
What does hold up is this decision, especially on your side, makes it harder for regular folk to qualify. Our side is down to 2 after New Hampshire.
Ragin,
The only respobnse I can give you is this: regardless of what you may think, they were at least consistent. On your side of the aisle, we had folks, coming off tough goes last time around, voting for the bill than having to vote for the veto in order to cover the override. Expect to see all that in an ad near you very soon. (Thanks to Gio’s efforts, it would seem we have less folks to concentrate on then we planned)

Andrew
13 years ago

BobbyO,
This is from The Hill

The governor’s office released more than a dozen letters from town clerks urging the governor to veto the legislation because of the logistical nightmare they would face in trying to put together a primary on short notice.

Most of the clerks’ letters, however, made it clear they would favor a Feb. 5 primary in the future. Several states, including California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, moved their primaries this year.

Maybe the problem is that “the Committee” isn’t really responsive to needs of Rhode Island’s cities and towns.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

— The only respobnse I can give you is this: regardless of what you may think, they were at least consistent. On your side of the aisle, we had folks, coming off tough goes last time around, voting for the bill than having to vote for the veto in order to cover the override. Expect to see all that in an ad near you very soon.
Bobby,
Granted the RIGOP has a RINO problem.
Run your ads. Take ’em out. We’ll all be better off.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Hi!
The big question really is was the failure to move the primary to February a punishment to Sen. Raptakis because reportedly the House Leadership in Rhode Island does not care for him?
Ironically if that is the case it backfired as the House passed the bill last week although vetoed by the Governor.I wanted the Governor’s veto as I did not want changes this late in the game.
Ironically the changes in the RI GOP delegate selection process for 2008 was at least in part the result of the handling of delegate selection by Patricia Morgan, then RI GOP State Chair and the acrimony it caused.My regret is she is a visible person in the Guiliani campaign in Rhode Island, and I like Giuliani.”Gio” Cicione,current RI GOP State Chair will save himself some headaches by allowing most delegates be elected by the voters in 2008 and not the selection process orchestrated by Patricia Morgan in 2004,.
Regards,
Scott

Bobby Oliveira
Bobby Oliveira
13 years ago

Dear Scott,
Yes, Senator Raptakis has been punished twice. Once, by his own leadership, a little slap on the nose over the budget. Then, by folks in the House, a little more severely so.
However, it had nothing to do with this in eaither case.
P.S. By the time we get to March, I don’t think Giulani is an issue anymore. Then again, neither is McCain or Romney (really, really sad because I think he wins the first 2).

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