Seeking an edge, Florida shifting its primary date

first_imgMIAMI – Casting more uncertainty over the presidential nominating process for 2008, the Florida Legislature on Thursday moved the state’s primary up to Jan. 29, ignoring the threat of sanctions from the national Republican and Democratic parties. The new date puts the Florida primary ahead of all but four states. State party leaders hope that it will give Florida, the most populous swing state, a bigger role in choosing presidential nominees. But officials in other states said Florida’s move would only create more chaos around the nominating process, which has already been upended by other states’ decisions to hold earlier primaries. New Hampshire may move up its primary as a result – possibly even to this year, political leaders in other states said. And in South Carolina, Republican officials said they, too, would advance the date of their own primary. “South Carolina will name a date that keeps us first in the South,” said the chairman, Katon Dawson. “It could be as early as Halloween and our version of trick-or-treat, if we have to.” He added, “At the end of the day, the truth of the matter is that the nominee of either party is going to want to make sure they have not offended the big donors and the biggest activists in the most important state in the country that is electorally available.” Some of the states that have moved up their primaries to Feb.5, including California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, said they did not expect to seek even earlier dates. “I just don’t see it as likely,” said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party. “California is going to be relevant, regardless of what other states choose to do.” In addition to New Hampshire, the states with contests before Jan.29 are Iowa and Nevada. In recent presidential election years, Florida’s primary has taken place in March. The Florida House voted unanimously for the change on Thursday, a week after the Senate approved the measure. In the same legislation, they approved Gov. Charlie Crist’s plan to replace the touch-screen voting machines used in many of Florida’s counties with paper ballots counted by scanning machines. Spokesmen for two Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, indicated they would not hold back from campaigning in Florida. “The DNC and the Florida state party will arbitrate this, and we will compete on the final field vigorously,” said Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama. Stacie Paxton, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said the party would hold fast to its rules but suggested that Florida’s primary could be nonbinding. Its delegates could still be allowed at the nominating convention, she said, if the state agreed to hold a caucus later in the year. “This is not the first time that a state Legislature has set its primary on a date outside DNC party rules,” she said, adding that the committee is working with the state party to find alternatives that comply with the rules.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Choosing primary dates has always been contentious, with states that held primaries late in the season feeling marginalized. But frustration soared this year, and dozens of states began to jostle for position, with more than 20 so far settling on Feb.5, or considering it. The shifting dates have forced the presidential campaigns to reconsider every aspect of their nominating strategy – where to compete, how to spend money, when to start television advertising. Both parties have been trying to put a halt to the leapfrogging. They have said they would penalize all but a handful of states if they hold a primary before Feb.5, stripping them of half their delegates to the national nominating conventions. Under Democratic Party rules, the candidates can also be penalized, losing the delegates they won in the rule-breaking state. But Florida officials scoffed at those threats, calling the conventions little more than a formality. “We have people who get invited to a big party where they drop a balloon and people wear funny hats,” said Marco Rubio, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives. “But they don’t have any role to play.” last_img read more

Liverpool done deals: Top five transfers at Anfield in Ian Ayre’s tenure

first_imgLiverpool chief executive officer Ian Ayre will step down in 2017, it has been announced.When he finally leaves Anfield, Ayre will have had several roles at the club in his decade with his hometown side.After joining as a commercial director, the 52-year-old then move to a role as managing director in March 2011 where he gained more power.Ayre has since played a major role in most transfer deals but some of these switches have gone better than others.Click the right arrow above to see which five deals we believe are his best at the club… 5 5 5 4. Jordon Ibe – £500,000 (from Wycombe Wanderers) – This transfer is turning out to be value for money as he makes his mark on the Liverpool first-team. His goal at the Britannia Stadium in January was vital as the Reds went on to beat Stoke City on penalties to reach the Capital One Cup final. Jurgen Klopp appears to rate the youngster so Ibe could be a fixture of the team for seasons to come. 5. James Milner – Free transfer from Manchester City – Click the right arrow above for Ian Ayre’s best transfers… – Alright, his wages are a bit pricey but the England midfielder has hit the ground running at Anfield since his move from Manchester City and offered up solid performances and key goals, especially his winning strike against Augsburg in the Europa League last 32. 3. Daniel Sturridge – £12million (from Chelsea) – Right now, most comments surrounding the English striker centre on his fitness, or lack thereof. It shouldn’t be forgotten that in first season and a half he hit 35 goals in 49 games and almost won them the Premier League title. On form, he’s still one of the best finishers in the country, he just needs to make sure he’s fully fit. 5 2. Emre Can – £9.75million (from Bayer Leverkusen) – The signing of the German, in retrospect, was a bit of a risk given he had only played one full season of Bundesliga football with Bayer Leverkusen. Can has been a huge success though. Last season in a back-three he helped to hold a dodgy defence together and this season has, despite the odd loss of form, played well in midfield for Jurgen Klopp. 5 1. Philippe Coutinho £8.5million (from Inter Milan) – The Brazilian star joined from Inter Milan with plenty of potential and the Little Magician has gone a long way to realising it with the Reds. His skill and cunning, along with his excellent dribbling make his a tricky opponent, but his shooting could do with some work if he wants to improve his goal tally and his effectiveness. He was well worth the money and could go on to be an absolute bargain when everything is said and done.last_img read more