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More oh-eight: Primary penalties

Midnight was the deadline for the state Republican parties to submit their delegate-selection plans for the 2008 GOP convention. And an RNC official used that deadline as the basis for a conference call with reporters yesterday to discuss penalties for state parties that hold their nominating contests before February 5. The official said that states -- like Florida and Michigan -- that hold their contests before that date will lose 50% of their delegates to the convention. And they will lose 90% of their delegates if they announce their contest date after the RNC's "Call to Convention," which must occur before the end of the year (and has typically occurred at the end of December in past cycles).

By comparison, the DNC has said it will strip 100% of delegates from states -- other than Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina -- that hold their contests before February 5.

Clinton's Michigan chair, Jim Blanchard, is quoted in today's Detroit Free Press saying Clinton's decision to sign the pledge vowing to ONLY compete in IA, NH, SC and NV in January was a mistake. But he also said candidates would find loopholes to campaign in Michigan.