Moore wants Michigan vote re-do to fix 'Soviet-style election'
Nick Juliano
Published: Friday February 22, 2008

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Filmmaker Michael Moore says he and his fellow Michigan voters should have their voices heard as Democrats pick their presidential nominee, but he does not want results of the state's previous "Soviet-style election" to count.

Michigan and Florida each were stripped of their delegates after they broke Democratic National Committee rules in scheduling their primaries too early. Hillary Clinton easily "won" each delegate-free state in which candidates agreed not to campaign, and she is now pushing for those states to have their delegates re-seated at the Democrats' convention this summer.

Moore, who previously lamented the disenfranchisement of his states voters, said he wanted the Democratic party to "fix" the situation, ideally by holding another primary or caucus. Barack Obama and John Edwards, unlike Clinton, removed their names from Michigan ballots before the state's Jan. 15 vote.

"There was no election there," Moore told reporters on a conference call Friday. "That was a Soviet-style election with one candidate on the ballot."

The documentary filmmaker, whose most recent project Sicko is up for a Best Documentary Oscar this Sunday, said he hopes his film catalyzes focus on fixing America's broken healthcare system just like Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth expanded environmental activism.

Moore has not endorsed either Democratic presidential candidate, and he accused Obama and Clinton of getting side-tracked with small-bore debates rather than focusing on what he thinks should be the primary goal: securing universal health coverage for all Americans.

"They're having silly debates about who's going to mandate how many people. We're not cars," he said, comparing the candidates' proposals to laws requiring drivers to hold auto insurance. "This needs to be treated the same as our Social Security system."

Also on the call were several patients profiled in Moore's film who said their problems battling insurance companies to secure needed care have not abated since Sicko was released this summer.

"It's about the men and women who ran into danger and now are having to trade food ... for medication that we need," said Reggie Cervantes, a 9/11 New York rescue worker profiled in Moore's film.

Cervantes and other first responders will appear on Capitol Hill next Tuesday to protest cuts in funding for 9/11 workers' healthcare.

Moore said healthcare activists should be more focused about electing members of Congress who would support HR 676 a universal healthcare bill. He said either Obama or Clinton would be more likely that Republican John McCain to sign the bill if Congress could generate the support to pass it.

"We have the money to do it," Moore said of establishing a national healthcare plan. "That certainly has been proven with $12 billion a month spent on this war."