Anti-caucus statements Howard Dean made four years ago are the hot topic on the campaign trail today. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean appeared on Canadian television four years ago and said the caucus system was tilted toward the extremes. In New Hampshire today, Dean said Iowa’s been good to him and has been a great place for a candidate, like him, who didn’t start out with a lot a money, to gain some momentum. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer says ultimately, Iowans will have to decide whether Dean owes them an apology for what he said. Fischer says Dean has spent a lot of time here and “has probably undergone a change.” Fischer says the Iowa Caucuses are really “Grassroots Democracy 101” and none of the candidates have complained to him. Fischer says he gets a sense the candidates and their campaign staff are impressed by how seriously Iowans take their role in the nominating process. The campaign managers for Dean’s rivals are charging that out-of-state Dean campaign volunteers and paid staff will try to “infiltrate” the caucuses and vote in order to tilt the outcome. Fischer doubts it’ll happen. Fischer says he’s “absolutely certain the Caucuses are going to be cleaner than a hound’s tooth.” Fischer says anyone who misrepresents themselves at a Caucus can be charged with a felony. Fischer says with about two-thousand Caucus sites throughout Iowa, it’ll be difficult for out-of-staters to fool the folks in the neighborhood meeting. Fischer says “even if someone had the malicious, evil intent to flood the state” with out-of-states, the “diffuse nature” of the Caucuses make it extremely difficult to pull off. Iowans will gather at 1,993 caucus sites on January 19th to express their presidential preferences.
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