Taking over the DNC From the Ground Up

The Silent Revolution is going on in many states right now, as state Democrats vote for new DNC Member leadership. While I was in Orlando, I talked with DC DNC members about the overthrow there that's already happened-- the Dean reformers taking over control of the local Democratic Party. We all read about Dean supporter Jenny Greenleaf knocking off a DNC member Mary Botkin in Oregon. I just got the list of new DNC members from other states. In Maryland, Terry Lierman, National Finance Co-Chair for Governor Howard Dean's 2004 Presidential Campaign, has replaced Ike Leggett as State Party Chair. In Washington State,  Greg Rodriguez, who was backing Dean as far back as I was in the Spring of 2002, is running for the State Party Chair, challenging state party Chairman Paul Berendt; and in Connecticut, Dean-backer Aldon Hynes is considering running for state Party Chair.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, according to the Albuquerque Journal, via Hotline:

NM Gov. Bill Richardson (D), incoming Senate Min Leader Harry Reid and House Min Leader Nancy Pelosi are "planning to endorse" a DNC chair candidate before the cmte votes 2/05. Richardson said the decision was made during a conf. call 12/21 that included the 3. He added that the chair "should not be a high-profile liberal or someone with strong ties" to DC. He "declined to handicap the field of contenders." Richardson: "We're going to stay loose for now and let the candidates show their stuff."Pelosi and Reid, a week after saying they wouldn't back a candidate, and a month after getting behind Vilsacks failed bid, are again backing a candidate, to which Hotline had this astute comment to add:The candidate du jour is 9/11 Commis./ex-Rep. Tim Roemer.  -- And while the Cong. Dem leadership has enough sway to get news outlets to report about a new candidate, they may not realize that to the DNC members, their opinion is a kiss of death. While DNC members are not in agreement about who the ideal candidate would be, there is a near unanimous contention that the next chair can't be a DC creation. So unless Reid/Pelosi are using some political jujitsu tactic to kill potential candidacies by endorsing them, they may need to realize that about the most influence they'll have on this process is veto-power (and even that has be used judiciously).Richardson is playing all over the map on the DNC Chair. Multiple sources tell that he's backing Dean, and he's gone on the record as saying that the DGA will endorse (possibly 2 candidates) and now that he'll endorse along with Pelosi & Reid.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)



Inside baseball now reaching the interesting
point but Tim Roemer is not my idea of a reform candidate.

Jerome, if you get a chance to interview any of the state Dean chair candidates, let us know what they are up to.

As Dean said, Democrats have already lost 2008 if they do not act now and make huge changes.

As Rev. Jackson said, Kerry conceeded too soon. And that is just the tip of the iceburg about Kerry's failures in leadership at the point of an election crises.

I don't think the party leadership knows just how disgusted many of us are at this point, we arn't going to take it anymore.

Compalency and capitulation are not winning stratagies.


by leschwartz 2004-12-25 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Inside baseball now reaching the interesting
It's not in losing the battle, it is in not fighting that cowardice shows up - Jesse Jackson
by leschwartz 2004-12-25 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re-po man coming
We aren't taking over the DNC, we are taking it back.

I am a Reform Democrat. Merry Christmas.

by Bob Brigham 2004-12-25 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Re-po man coming
I don't think we ever had it to begin with though. At least in a truely progressive sense.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-12-25 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re-po man a knockin' at the door
Just because we haven't had it doesn't mean it isn't ours.
by Bob Brigham 2004-12-25 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Re-po man a knockin' at the door
We bought it we own it?  Yea, I agree with that in principle, but we still gotta win it away from the status quo.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-12-25 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re-po man a bustin' down the door
6 weeks...
by Bob Brigham 2004-12-25 07:59PM | 0 recs
from the ground up
Dean on MTP was right: our representatives need to engage pro-life dems who don't vote for us anymore because we let the GOP paint us as promoting abortions when really we just don't want anyone telling us what to do with our bodies.

Unlike many, I'm not scared by Tim Roemer as DNC head, as long as he doesn't play into the GOP hopes that we compromise our freedom of choice principles.

We just need someone with a plan, organization, and balls.  Someone who is capable of engaging us AND the resistant establishment in the common goal of winning.

So, whoever gets this DNC job, we need to make our voices heard and make sure we have a seat at the table and that they engage us too.

To sin by silence makes cowards of men.
We plan on staying vocal.

by Sam Loomis 2004-12-25 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
Unlike the Pro-Life Republicans, this pro-life Democrat believes in affordable education as well as healthcare for the child.  I am against criminalization of abortion.

I'm split between Rosenberg and Roemer.

by kydem 2004-12-25 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
I know many pro-life democrats that are that way in their own lives, but aren't too up on government and strangers poking their noses into their wombs.  Though they might not get an abortion, they don't want it criminalized.

I think you can find a way to talk to these people. Unfortunately, when is the last time someone tried?  Best way to disarm an enemy is to take away the weapon.  Exploring this area in terms of perhaps rape/mother's health concerns/incest/adoption-promotion might not disarm totally, but would make more sense than not discussing the issue, much like Kerry did most of the campaign.

by Sam Loomis 2004-12-26 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
Clinton said it the best: "safe, legal, and rare."  I couldn't agree more.  Thing is, the GOP paints the party as supporting it on demand--which is an utter distortment.
by kydem 2004-12-26 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
Future DNC head needs to play the role of main spokesman on this issue and others.  And future DNC chairman has to be charismatic and aggressive and consistent.

I went to the circus last year and they had the big main tent and eleven little sideshow tents.  Everyone left talking about the action in the main tent with the elephants and trapeeze artists.  But they ALL visited the little tents, too.  

Future DNC head has to be the ringleader in our big tent on ALL issues.  When we don't speak loud enough about issues like abortion rights, the customers are left only with the voices from the little tents, the planned parenthoods, Hollywood Activists, etc..

We need the little tents, but the main memorable message needs to come from the DNC ringmaster and candidate. So, whoever they pick, I hope they are ready to grab the megaphone, the whip, and prepare to hold the interest of the crowd.

But that's just my opinion from my small island of blue in central Florida.

by Sam Loomis 2004-12-26 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
Nice idea
from a blue county in north central kentucky.

our mayor voted for a Republican in Congress!

by kydem 2004-12-26 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
It should interest you to know than....

That Roemer voted to end Social Security and:

# Voted YES on banning human cloning, including medical research. (Jul 2001)

# Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)

# Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)

# Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)

# Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)

# Voted YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration. (Jul 2001)

# Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)

# Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)

# Voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals. (Mar 1996)

# Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)

# Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)

# Voted NO on banning soft money donations to national political parties. (Jul 2001)

# Voted NO on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award. (Aug 2001)

# Voted NO on Prescription Drug Coverage under Medicare. (Jun 2000)

# Voted YES on banning physician-assisted suicide. (Oct 1999)

# Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)

# Member of Democratic Leadership Council. (Nov 2000)

Hope that helps....

by Nazgul35 2004-12-26 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: from the ground up
Lord, how lame Kerry was on the abortion issue in those debates.  He got asked about it at least twice; it was an opportunity for him to put Bush on the hot seat about his "rape and incest" exception but he let it go and did the typical pander of "respecting" the anti-abortion voters.  

When Schieffer asked him about the Catholic bishops, Kerry should have said that the Catholic bishops also do not support Bush's position on abortion.

When the town meeting woman asked him about abortion, he should have engaged her about whether she supported Bush's position and what Bush's position REALLY means:  

     political opportunism, pure and simple.  
     Bush doesn't think its a baby any more than
     the head of Planned Parenthood thinks its a
     baby or he couldn't support a "rape and
     incest exception.  He's just using the
     issue for political opportunism.

by Frances 2004-12-26 05:49PM | 0 recs
Washington State Party Chair race
"Greg Rodriguez, who was backing Dean as far back as I was in the Spring of 2002, is running for the State Party Chair, challenging state party Chairman Paul Berendt"

Go Rodriguez Go!

Paul Berendt is a treacherous snake.  We lost the WA  8th CD because Berendt betrayed everyone else in the party, and ran his own fucking game.

Disclosure: I was on the senior staff of the Alben campaign.

Alex Alben, a multi-millionare who could have self-financed the general election if he'd had to, who was endorsed by both Senator's Murray and Cantwell, by Gov. Locke, by all but one Democractic Congressman (and we intentionally didn't ask for his endorsement, as it wasn't going to help us in our district), by labor, by education, by NARAL PAC, by every major paper...  not to mention having been in the race when it was a 5:1 or worse odds suicide run against Rep. Jennifer Dunn.  And in spite of having a great fund-raising team, a good media team, the best web-site in the state (it was nominated for a Pollie Award), and an amazing ground campaign (over 30,000 doors), when the popular local sheriff ran on the Republican side, what did fucking Paul Berendt do?

That asshole went and got Dave Ross - whom everyone loves as a radio Talk Show host (and we still love him as a talk-show host), but Alben would have been a brilliant Congressman, and Ross, um, wouldn't have - who had NEVER declared a political party affiliation, and over the loud objections of Gov. Locke, both Senators, the DCCC, and everyone else - not to mention the Alben campaign which had been running full steam for eight months and was closing in on half a million in the bank - and talked Ross into running for Congress, starting in mid-June, three months before the Primary.

So what happened?  What every single person predicted would happen, and screamed at Berendt would happen, and he went ahead and betrayed every promise he'd made, as well as the committment of a Party Chair to provide a level playing field.  And so, we lost the WA8 open seat, as predicted,  through Berendt's massive asshole incompetence...

Dave Ross had enough name recognition to beat Alben in the primary - although Alben (in a three-way race, with the prior three-time loser, Heidi, who'd had her ass wiped worse each time she ran against Rep. Dunn) came in a strong second - Ross: 47%, Alben: 31%, Hedi: 22% - getting more actual votes than even the Repubulican front-runner (who was in a five-way primary.)

But in the General election, as everyone on the Democratic side had warned, Ross, with just a pick-up campagin staff with no experience, no fund-raising team to speak of, and nothing really going for him but his name recognition - got his ass kicked all over the place.  Out of state money poured in against Ross at a 2:1 ratio, and he lost by over 5 points on election day.

By contrast, had Ross not got in the race, Alben would have won the primary easily, and had over over 3/4 million dollars waiting for the General election, plus the DCCC money.  Plus, his personal worth of $45 million.  The 8th CD voted for Kerry, Cristine, and Patty Murry.  It would have voted for Alben as well with the right ad buys - and we'd have picked up the WA8 CD, and be one seat closer in the House.

What you say - Washington State is turning bluer?  Yes, we are.  But that's demographics.  Berendt's incompetence as a Party Chair is why we're not further blue.  We should have owned the State legistlature last cycle, and that Christine almost lost - and that her election is going to be challenged and still might be overturned - lies at least partially at Berendt's feet.

Berendt is an asshole of the highest order.  He's a lousy strategic thinker, he doesn't provide a level playing field, and he betrays his word.  He is not to be trusted.

Go Rodriguez Go!  
Greg Rodriquez for Washington State Party Chair.

by bzengo 2004-12-26 11:01AM | 0 recs
DC or Not DC?
I think I posted this in another thread, but it's important here.  As I see it, there are two groups of candidates (or maybe candidates).  One includes those who have made their careers in DC -- Frost, Ickes, Roemer, Rosenberg.  The other includes those who made their careers outside DC as elected officials or party leaders -- Webb, Kirk, Malcolm, Fowler, Dean.  I'm not totally certain about what I believe here on this, yet if we need grassroots changes in Washington, why would we pick someone else from Washington?  Maybe there is a reason I don't know about.
by twyford 2004-12-26 06:02PM | 0 recs
In the last election, many Democrats for better or worse wisely or foolishly spent much effort trying to keep Nader and to some extent the Greens off the ballot (the Greens selfdestructed).

Abortion is a wedge issue that can bring back the Green Party (and not incidentally the left wing of the Libertarian Party) to full-blown life, should the Democratic Party abandon its prochoice position.  Support for Bush's war on Iraq is another such issue.

by phillies 2004-12-26 06:58PM | 0 recs


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