Nor is it easy to seat state delegations apparently. The message concerning each wasn't clear it seems.
Yesterday, I discussed the apparent difference between the Democratic and Republican parties on penalizing states violating the timing of delegate selection events. The Democrats stripped Florida and Michigan of all their delegates before returning half of them and then, just prior to the convention, restoring complete voting rights to both states. The Republicans, at least according to reports out of Wyoming had stuck with their "if you go early, you lose half your delegates" rule. But the statement in the article on seating seems to have been false and so too is at least one aspect of the delegate penalty.
Here's the deal:
1) The Boston Globe reporting on the New Hampshire delegation, and its relationship with McCain since 2000, referred to a delegation that was 37 members in size. Huh? That's large for a small state that was penalized and voted for John Kerry four years ago. Was this referring to the size of the delegation with family members and friends tagging along or did New Hampshire avert the sanction regime?
2) In hunt of an answer to that question, I came across a piece on the Florida situation, one that implied the state would have a full delegation at the Republican convention. What? Are there sanctions or not (or worse yet, why didn't Wyoming get the memo)?
3) The Detroit Free Press finally clarified the situation in its story about the Michigan delegation's trip to the convention. Apparently all of the sanctioned states have their full delegations in attendance (the pre-sanctioned sizes), but only half of those members have voting rights. That number includes both actual delegates and their alternates. And that explains the 37 for New Hampshire; 24 delegates, 13 alternates. But only 12 of those 24 can vote on the presidential and vice presidential nominations.
And the seating position point in the Wyoming story appears to be false, since New Hampshire, according to the Boston Globe, is up front with the Arizona delegation. Michigan didn't look to be at the back either when a member of its delegation spoke not long after the convention kicked off in St. Paul during C-SPAN's converage.
This isn't as large a story as the rumormongering and subsequent revelations about a certain VP nominee and her family, but the clarification was worth bringing to everyone's attention.
The Electoral College Map (8/31/08)
From Wyoming: An Answer to the "Will the GOP Sanctions Have Teeth" Question
The Barr/Nader Effect Revisited