Howard Dean: "Democrats Should Not Seat FL Republican"

Howard Dean says that democrats will use their US House Majority and will not seat Republican Vern Buchanan. The Florida Republican led Democrat Christine Jennings on election night and after two subsequent recounts:

Republican Vern Buchanan might be the official winner in a messy Sarasota-area congressional race, but Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean says the Democratic-controlled Congress should not seat Buchanan without another election.

“Absolutely not,” Dean said in a taped Political Connections interview scheduled to air Sunday on Bay News 9. “You cannot seat someone if you don’t have an election that’s valid.

“This election is not valid. There are 18,000 people who may have voted, and we don’t know what happened to their votes,” Dean said. “You can bet that if the Republicans were 500 votes short they’d be calling for a new election, and they’d be right.”

On Wednesday, Democrat Christine Jennings said she will ask the U.S. House to take the extreme measure of conducting its own investigation into the election.

Though Jennings has filed a lawsuit asking for a revote, a little-known provision in the U.S. Constitution gives the House the final decision on who sits in its chamber.

Her decision could set the stage for a volatile political showdown at the start of the new Democrat-led Congress. Though Democratic leaders, include incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say all options are on the table, others privately say they hope to avoid the partisan warfare…

Buchanan led Jennings by a few hundred votes on Election Day and in subsequent recounts. But Jennings is challenging the result because touch screen voting machines in Sarasota County recorded that more than 18,000 people, or 13 percent of all voters, did not vote for either candidate, a rate much higher than in other counties in the district.

Florida District 13 has deep Republican roots. In 2004 Katherine Harris won the District 13 House Seat by 10% points.

Speaker Pelosi has the authority to seat Democrat Jennings over the Republican winner Buchanan:


Federal law gives Pelosi, as House Speaker, the power to seat Jennings over Buchanan, citing the disputed election. But political experts say such a move would create hard feelings with Republicans, which would hurt Pelosi’s ability to deal with them on other issues.

Hammill said what happened in Sarasota underscores why the need for paper trails will be a priority for the speaker-elect in the new Congress.

Did it really take “political experts” to predict that stealing a House Seat would create hard feelings?

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