Tim Roemer Should Not Become DNC Chair

Remember Tim Roemer, who is supposedly being backed by Reid and Pelosi for DNC chair? WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Amid strong competition over who will lead the party as the next Democratic National Committee chairman, former Indiana congressman and 9/11 commission member Tim Roemer has emerged as a possible new candidate.

He has the strong backing of Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, senior party sources told CNN Tuesday.(...)

With the support of Reid and Pelosi, Roemer immediately has an advantage over the declared candidates, former presidential candidate Howard Dean and former Clinton aide Harold Ickes.

Reid is strongly encouraging a Roemer bid, according to the sources.

Roemer's experience on the 9/11 commission, together with the fact that he comes from a "red state" -- one that voted for President Bush -- were decisive factors in Reid's decision to back him, the sources said.

That is really cute that he is from a red state. Good for him. However, there is a snag in Roemer's recent past that makes him an unacceptable choice to lead the DNC during 2005-2008. As Josh Marhsall writes (boldface mine):I want you to meet some friends of ours. We call them the Fainthearted-Faction. They are the thirteen Democrats who look most likely to go wobbly when President Bush comes a'courting, asking for votes to phase out Social Security. But first: a bit of history.

I was recently reminded that back in 2001 there was something called the Filner Amendment. Without getting too bogged down in the details, this was a proxy vote on social Security `privatization.' Specifically, it aimed to "prohibit funds for the purpose of implementing the final report" of the President's Social Security Commission (i.e., privatization).

It turned out pretty much as a party line vote. But not entirely. Twenty Democrats voted against it.

The good news, -- if, of, shall we say, a rather painful sort and the kind that one can only survive so much of - is that six of those representatives aren't in the 109th Congress... I might add that one of those Dmeocrats o longer in Congress is Tim Roemer, member of the 9/11 commission, and now an aspirant to head the DNC.

The upcoming battle to save Social Security from destruction by lying, rampaging conservatives is the single biggest domestic issue we have faced in the country in a decade. During this fight, we do not need the chair of the DNC to be in favor of said destruction. Unless Roemer publicly, loudly and completely repudiates his recent position on Social Security, he is utterly unacceptable as DNC chair. Mark my words: if Roemer becomes chair without doing this, I will actively encourage all progressive activists to donate and volunteer to third-party groups instead of and at the expense of the DNC. The Fainthearted Faction has no place in the Democratic leadership. This must be made clear to all involved (PDF).

Tags: Democrats (all tags)

Comments

37 Comments

There is good news...
It appears that endorsement from congressional leaders is almost the kiss of death in the DNC race. Everyone who has come forward to be the favorite with the DC set has almost immediately fallen out of favor with the actual members of the DNC committee.

The DNC members are tired of inside-the-beltway people. Thus recommendations from insiders are almost immediately seen as a black mark.

by Chris Andersen 2004-12-22 08:54AM | 0 recs
Say "No" to Roemer.
I feel as emphatically as Chris does about Roemer's candidacy.  In a diary I authored earlier this month, I point out some factors in Roemer's record that enforce his prostration to the Bush clan.  That involves votes on Abortion, Criminal Justice and other crucial issues.  It is an absolute mystery to be why Reid and Pelosi would support such a man.  That is another question that we must seek answers to.  I suggest calling both their offices and demanding specific justification for their support of Roemer in light of his record in Congress - which seems a slap in the face to our party ideology and even worse, an affirmation to the Republican neo-conservative philosophy.
by kitsae 2004-12-22 08:56AM | 0 recs
official list of candidates?
Is there an official list of candidates?

Or since there's no official filing process as with public election can new candidates emerge whenever?

by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-22 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: official list of candidates?
Candidates have until 8PM on Feb 10th to round up 20 nomination signatures. Because of this, Jerome's Cattle Call is the closest thing we have to an official list. Here's some more on the DNC Chair election rules
by Bob Brigham 2004-12-22 09:04AM | 0 recs
by the way
Chris,

If you feel I'm stepping on your toes by seeking interviews with DNC chair candidates, I won't.

I figured the point of the exercise was the make the process as transparent as possible and to create connectedness between regular Democrats and the chair of the DNC.

by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-22 09:02AM | 0 recs
Roemer's record gets worse
I'm sure he did a wonderful job on the 9-11 commission, but Roemer voted against the 1993 budget. And this is not just some posturing; Roemer voted against the bill that went to conference, that came from conference, and several other votes in between. Now, if you can't vote for a budget produced by a Democratic President that Martin Frost can swallow, I don't think you deserve to be party chair of the county party in your home town, let alone nationally.
by niq 2004-12-22 09:30AM | 0 recs
Interesting
I saw that, too, but he has ran in a republican-dominated district.  Would you vote on party interests or that of your constituents?
by kydem 2004-12-22 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
I would vote for the interests of my constituents--by voting to not destroy Social Security. He voted agtainst the interest of his Republican district.

Anyway, if we have a DNC chair who is acting on behalf of the interest of Republicans instead of Democrats, we are finsihed.

by Chris Bowers 2004-12-22 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting
I favor social security as is.  This was a vote that took place over 11 years ago.  I'm giving Reid a chance and I'll give Roemer a chance.
by kydem 2004-12-22 11:21AM | 0 recs
Republican-dominated?
IN03 was not as Democratic as the districts around Indianapolis and Gary, but it's basically a swing district with union voters and Catholics.
by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-22 02:17PM | 0 recs
I just called Harry Reid's office
I suggest that we let him know how little the grassroots wants Tim Roemer.  I have been against Tim Roemer since that 1993 vote on the budget.  Remember only Democrats voted for that budget, no Republicans.  How does that qualify him to be chair of the DNC?

In my mind he's as awful as Evan Bayh.  I would stay home if Evan Bayh was in any national position.  

I have been donating heavily to the DNC since 1992. I am a founding member of oneoof their main fundraising arms, the Women's Leadership Forum, which has give tens of million to the DNC since its founding in 1993. And I told his office that I would no longer give a dime to the DNC if Roemer was chair.  

Reemeber this time the grassroots gave as much, if not more money that the corporate donors or rich individual donors.  We have MONEY power.  We should indeed use it.

by debcoop 2004-12-22 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: I just called Harry Reid's office
Nothing wrong with Evan Bayh.  He's a centrist.

Before giving the keynote, Evan Bayh said the following in an interview that can be found here

MARGARET WARNER: Well, your father, of course, Sen. Birch Bayh, was one of the leading Great Society liberals of his day. How does he feel about your evolution away from that?

GOV. EVAN BAYH: I think he--my father and I share the same values and the same principles, and I think that if he were with us here, he would say that it's natural, that the way in which the specific policies through which we go about implementing those values and principles should change. I think a lot about my nine-month-old twin sons, and I think that thirty or forty years from now, how could I possibly sit here and say today to them, look, here's what's going to be right for you? I hope to give them a sense of what their priorities are, the way, you now, decency, honesty, hard work, an approach to life. But the specific policies that will be right for their time will be much different than ours are today just as the policies of the 30's and 60's are not right today, so the values are the same, but the specific policies we should expect to change.[...]

MARGARET WARNER: Now, some Republicans in your state--and you've had to deal with a Republican-dominated state senate--I think it was the state Republican chairman asked about you said, well, he's been a pretty good Republican governor. Others have called you a "Republicrat." How is the kind of fiscal conservatism that you're espousing and the way you govern, how is it different from a moderate Republican?

GOV. EVAN BAYH: Margaret, I'll tell you the difference. I view balancing the budget and fiscal responsibility as a necessary precondition to social compassion and progress. The people who get hurt first in our country, the poor, the sick, the young, are those who depend upon the government. So if we go bankrupt as a state or a country, they're the ones who get hurt first. If we're going to do more for education, more for health care, more for the environment, we only can do that if we have the money. And that means balancing our budget and growing our economy. So I think that the priorities would be a little bit different.

by kydem 2004-12-22 11:17AM | 0 recs
what's your definition of "centrist"?
Are their any "centrist Democrats" who don't support Israel annexing Palestinian land?

Why don't you just drop the ruse you are a "centrist" and call your wing of the Dems the "Israel hawks"?

by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-22 02:19PM | 0 recs
right winger's salivating over Roemer
The Anti-choice crowd is delighted Roemer is running, consider this from their "Life-News":

Pro-Life Democrat Seriously Considering Party Chair Bid, Talks Abortion
South Bend, IN (LifeNews.com) -- Former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer is pro-life in a party that is overwhelmingly pro-abortion in its upper echelons. But with loses in the last two presidential elections that polls attribute in part to the issue of abortion, party leaders may be ready for someone different.

Earlier this month, it came as a shock to many that the top two Democrats, incoming Senate Democratic chief Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, are actively encouraging Roemer to run for the DNC chairmanship.
[...]
"Tim Roemer would provide an interesting leadership change for the DNC, particularly in view of the many pro-life votes he cast as a member of Congress," Indiana Right to Life executive director Mike Fichter told LifeNews.com.

by Bob Brigham 2004-12-22 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
I am pro-life, but not anti-choice, for the most part but there are exceptions: rape, incest, mother's life in danger, and if the child would be mentally disabled or have a hereditary disease.

I am against abortion on demand.

by kydem 2004-12-22 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
Why in heavens name do you consider yourself a Democrat? What exactly is it about the core principles of the Democratic Party do you agree with?
by Parker 2004-12-22 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
This might answer your question.  Would I vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.  No.  There is a difference between pro-choice and pro-life.

I believe in the core principles of the party but I live in a purple state where only centrist Dems can win.

by kydem 2004-12-22 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
You didn't answer the question.

What is it about the Democratic Party that you favor over the Republican party, and why?

by Parker 2004-12-23 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
If some people make being unapologetically pro-choice is THE litmus test for being a loyal Democrat, then you've already lost.

Guiliani, Pataki, and Ahnold are loyal Republicans who disagree with their party on abortion. Generally speaking pro-choice Republicans are treated much better than pro-life Democrats. I don't understand why this party can't be a bit more tolerant.

As for myself, I believe that abortion is wrong. However, making abortion illegal will just lead to illegal abortion. It would be much better to reduce abortion by giving pregnant women better options and more resources so they would choose to have the baby. Abortion should be strongly discouraged, but not completely banned.

As for overturning Roe, you can't overturn Roe without having a long list of nasty unintended legal consequences. Either we have no right to privacy, or the activities of any woman of childbearing age could be considered the compelling interest of the state. Neither is good.

by wayward 2004-12-24 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
This idea you have to have to be pro-abortion on demand to be a Democrat just makes me sick.  The democratic party claims to have a big tent policy, but in truth, if you are not pro-choice than you are automatically a Republican lacky or just a Republican.  I am very sorry to inform you that being pro-choice does not make you a Democrat, it is way more than that, it is your opinion on the protection civil rights, protection of individual rights, gun control, welfare, healthcare, tax reform...etc. and yes abortion.    

I am so happy Rep. Roemer had the guts to stand up and be counted as a Democrat and I whole heartedly support him as Democratic Chair.

leon.s@democratsforvalues.com

by tall2z 2005-01-10 03:37AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
abortion on demand

Is that something like PayPerView??

It is amazing that aou keep spouting these talking points but haven't a clue what they mean.

by Parker 2004-12-23 01:52AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
You can definitely see where the congressional leaders are going with this.  But I don't see what good a Zell Miller wannabe is going to do the grassroots of the Democratic party.  Why is this guy a democrat anyway?
by descrates 2004-12-22 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: right winger's salivating over Roemer
Good question, if you actually read his voting record you can see for yourself why he considers himself a Democrats and why I do as well.  You can find it here:

http://www.issues2000.org/IN/Tim_Roemer.htm

leon.s@democratsforvalues.com
 

by tall2z 2005-01-10 03:44AM | 0 recs
abortion
I don't think this is an appropriate issue to hit Roemer on.

However, I do think voting against the Clinton budget is a problem with his party loyalty. I am also concerned about his position on Social Security.

by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-22 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: abortion
WHY THE HELL NOT???
by Parker 2004-12-23 01:53AM | 0 recs
Re: abortion
The chair of the party is an organizer more than a policy person.
by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-23 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: abortion
LOOK, if you are going to proceed with this interview in this vain then make it clear that you are NOT representing the true mojority of the grassroots activist but are playing politics just like any other DC Dem
by Parker 2004-12-23 01:55AM | 0 recs
Re: abortion
I'm interested in what the guy will do as chair of the party.

I'm not interested in using the vote for chair as a proxy for grievances over other issues.

by Carl Nyberg 2004-12-23 06:08AM | 0 recs
Roemer
as DNC chair would make us all long to Terry McAuliffe around.  I know many hate him, but Terry did more for the party itself and its infrastrucure than any prior DNC chair ever.  

And he was the most aggressive propagandist for Demoratic party positions from asserting in early 2001 , unlike our mealy mouthed, elected officials that George Bush was really elected.  He said outr real presidient was Al Gore.

Tim roemer thinks it would be his job to get Republicans to like him.  ABsolutely wrong!

Reid and Pelosi's support is based upon that now discredited moral values question.  I would have thought better of Pelosi.

by debcoop 2004-12-22 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Roemer
Agreed.  I really thought she was going to push left for us.  Shows how constituency oriented these members of congress are.
by descrates 2004-12-22 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Roemer
Absolutely (not)

Gee, all that propaganda sure helped in those elections we hired him to win didn't it.

leon.s@democratsforvalues.com

by tall2z 2005-01-10 03:49AM | 0 recs
Are Reid and Pelosi nuts?
I am getting more and more baffled by what the hell these people are thinking. Are Reid, Pelosi and Roemer all DLC "New Democrats"? Is Roemer an example of the direction the DLC wants to take the party? Are Kerry, Bill and HRC DLC types?

What's the angle for Reid and Pelossi supporting Roemer? How does the DNC chair return favors for support? Can the DNC chair funnel contributions to specific candidates or races?

Does anybody have a list of DLC Democrats? Does the DLC have a membership list?

by Gary Boatwright 2004-12-22 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Are Reid and Pelosi nuts?
Pelosi is non-DLC.
Bill is DLC
Kerry is DLC but he abandoned the platform/

go to NDOL.org and click directory.

from and reed get a bad rap.

Ed Rendell and Eliot Spitzer are in the DLC.

by kydem 2004-12-22 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Are Reid and Pelosi nuts?
harry reid and nancy pelosi are not in the DLC.
by kydem 2004-12-22 11:05AM | 0 recs
Who are these "unnamed" sources...
...who claim that Pelosi and Reid back Roemer?  I'm taking all these claims with a huge shaker of salt.  Everyone else should do the same.
by The Mouse that Roared 2004-12-22 05:29PM | 0 recs
Roemer...NOT
I got a letter from Roemer about his candidacy. Since I don't know much about him, I did a bit of googling.

In 2001 he voted to ban Family Planning funding in US aid, for the constitutional amendment banning flag burning, and against raising CAFE standards for cars. To be fair, he also voted against drilling in ANWR and banning gay adoptions in DC and for implementing the Kyoto treaty.

I need my DNC Chair to be progressive. Roemer doesn't really sound like my kind of guy. Choice is a basic Democratic value, as far as I'm concerned. The vote against the UN Population Fund is a deal-breaker.

There's a pretty good synopsis of his voting record here.

I'm distressed that Pelosi is allegedly supporting him. I thought better of her. Can we fact-check this?

Given what I saw at the State Chair's meeting, I don't think Roemer has any advantage because of being backed by Reid and Pelosi. The states aren't in any mood to be dictated to by people in DC.

by Jenny Greenleaf 2004-12-22 08:08PM | 0 recs
What poor calibre candidates ...
Every time someone new pops up, Governor Howard Dean looks more principled, more honest, more capable!  He is not one to sup with the devil, even with a long spoon.  Character counts, and any choice of someone with less character than Dean has will substantially reduce the moral core of the Democratic Party.
by CuriosityKilledTheCat 2004-12-23 08:44AM | 0 recs

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