Political Notes: Dems Will Return to Florida

Democrats have decided to return to what they think is the scene of the crime for their annual convention.

The Democratic National Committee will hold its annual conference in Miami Beach, Florida, from September 13-16. The announcement will come next week.

Democratic party sources say the event will have several seminars on combating voter repression and increasing black, Hispanic and female voter turnout. Some Democrats claim minority voting rights were infringed in the 2000 election in Florida.

The Miami Beach event is also expected to focus on defeating Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who may face a re-election challenge from former Attorney General Janet Reno. Reno has dramatically stepped up her public appearances this summer and has all but said she will run. Democrats are already portraying the Florida gubernatorial race as a bellwether.

The decision to hold the conference in Florida is being credited to Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, but not all Democrats are happy about it. McAuliffe has said repeatedly that he would make the 2000 election a major issue for 2002 and 2004. He has called Bush an illegitimate president and said Gore was the rightful winner. In Florida many Democrats are still deeply angry about the election, but elsewhere many Democrats have said it is time to move on.

Democrats, such as Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, have been highly critical of McAuliffe's rhetoric and tactics and say his attacks on the Bush tax cut are harmful to the many moderate Democrats who supported tax relief.