DNC Meets to Consider Sanctions in Primary Calendar Jumping.


What is harder these days - keeping track of the arrest records of Young Hollywood celebutantes or keeping track of the presidential primary calendar jumping?

This weekend, the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws committee may demonstrate that it can deliver harsher punishments than the Los Angeles County Superior Court when it meets on Saturday to discuss sanctions against Florida, the state that started the primary calendar free-for-all by moving its 2008 presidential primary to January 29.

On Saturday, the party's rules and bylaws committee will meet in Washington to review states' plans for the primaries -- and dole out punishment to states that are trying to jump the line. The DNC may consider reducing the number of Florida delegates allowed to attend the Democratic Party Convention in '08.

But it's not just Florida – Michigan had to go and try and top that by moving its primary to Jan. 15. (We'll deem Michigan the Lohan to Florida's Richie.)

This move could totally blow up the calendar since Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are committed to keeping each of their unique historical positions in the nominating contest.

The shifting of dates has provoked a backlash and both parties are trying to reassert control of the primary calendars on behalf of their candidates.

The DNC will try and use of its influence to try to reclaim control of the calendar, but ABC News' Rick Klein reports that there's little the national parties can do to control when states hold primaries, since each state can hold such elections whenever it wants to.

Though each primary and caucus date is determined independently by each individual state, the state parties do have some leverage over the states since the contests are technically held to elect delegates to the national conventions, Klein reports.

Walking to New Orleans…

Next Wednesday is the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and several presidential candidates will be in New Orleans to mark the occasion with policy speeches and appearances.

Barack Obama is up first with remarks on his Gulf Coast rebuilding plan at 8:30 am ET at the First Emanuel Baptist Church in New Orleans before taking a press tour of the neighborhood affected by Katrina.

On Monday, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) hosts a summit to mark the Katrina anniversary - "Hope & Recovery Summit."

Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter will all participate in the summit with remarks and a Q&A session. Every Democratic and Republican presidential candidate was invited, per Landrieu's office.

The summit features five panel discussions: Coastal Protection, Levees and Infrastructure; Education; Business Recovery; Rebuilding the Criminal Justice System; and Housing and Sustainable Community Recovery.

Edwards announced his presidential run in New Orleans last December and launched his July poverty bus tour from the city. (How much progress will Edwards be able to report in his effort to contact New Orleans residents who have been foreclosed on by a Fortress-related entity? LINK

Look for the Democratic presidential candidates to use Katrina as an example of the incompetence of the Bush White House and the federal government and an example of the need for change in Washington.

Roll out the schedule…

SATURDAY: DNC Rules and Bylaws committee holds a meeting to discuss sanctions against Florida.

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