Who would pay for primary do-overs?

Berto Gonzalez votes in the Florida primary at a polling station in Miami.

TEXT OF STORY

TESS VIGELAND: There is, of course, one big job opening that won't be filled until November 4. And now there's a controversy over whether two of the job candidates will get a do-over on their interviews. Michigan and Florida broke Democratic party rules and held their primaries early, so were stripped of delegates. But the two states are now proving pivotal for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's chances of securing the nomination. There's talk about having a re-vote. But the question of who would pay for it has everyone running for the exits.

Jeremy Hobson has that story.


JEREMY HOBSON: Let's start with Florida -- a new primary there would cost about $25 million. But the Republican-run state is in the midst of cutting billions from its budget and says it won't pay. The Democratic National Committee says it can't afford it and Alejandro Miyar with the Florida Democratic Party says don't look at me. And as far as the candidates' splitting the cost:

Alejandro Miyar: Certainly that's not something that we want to do, you know, asking them to commit millions and millions of dollars. You know, perhaps other donors might come to the forefront who want to resolve this bump in the road for the democratic nomination.

Miyar says the rich donor scenario would mean the Florida democratic party -- not the state -- would be the one putting on the primary.

The cheaper alternatives are a caucus, which Miyar says the state has no experience with and is:

Miyar: Definitely not an option.

Or a vote-by-mail, which would still cost up to $10 million. That's about the same price as a new primary in Michigan -- a state that isn't doing too well these days, if you hadn't heard. Here's the governor's press secretary, Liz Boyd.

Liz Boyd: Tax payers will not be asked to pay for the cost of any redo of a primary they have already held in January.

What if a billionaire donor was willing to pay for it?

Boyd: If a billionaire wanted to provide the money, I'm certain they could call the Michigan Democratic Party.

She laughs, but that scenario has now become about as likely as anything. The rules allow anyone to give as much as they want to a state party. Maybe Michael Bloomberg does have a role to play in this race after all.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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