Mich. tries to best N.H. with early caucus

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Gov. John Lynch is not happy with Michigan Democrats who have asked to hold their caucus ahead of this state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

“Michigan has been leading the charge against New Hampshire from the beginning,” Lynch’s spokeswoman Pamela Walsh told the Union Leader on Friday. “And they finally made clear that their motives were exactly what we suspected they were. This was not about trying to make a better nominating process,” she said. “It’s about Michigan.”

At the urging of some Democrats, including Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, the Democratic National Committee recently recommended that one or two caucuses be added between Iowa’s caucus and New Hampshire’s primary.At least eight states, including Michigan, applied Friday to move up in the early voting for the 2008 Democratic presidential contest.

“These are exactly the type of shenanigans the DNC set in motion with its ill-conceived commission,” Walsh said.

Decisions about the final lineup are not expected until summer.

Walsh said Lynch will support any decision by Secretary of State Bill Gardner to protect the state’s leadoff primary.

State law requires Gardner to schedule the New Hampshire primary at least one week before any similar event. Lawmakers also gave him the right to change the filing period so that candidates can file to run in New Hampshire before anyone knows the primary date.

The goal is to protect candidates from being pressured to bypass New Hampshire by national Democratic party officials, who are likely to be upset if New Hampshire schedules its primary in opposition to party rules.

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