The Associated Press State & Local Wire
January 20, 2005
HEADLINE: Dems criticize chairman's endorsement
DATELINE: OKLAHOMA CITY
A handful of Democrats are upset with the state Democratic Party chairman's endorsement of a former presidential candidate to lead the Democratic National Committee.
State chairman Jay Parmley on Wednesday said he supported Howard Dean to lead the Democratic National Committee. Dean is one of seven candidates seeking the post.
Parmley and party chairs from Mississippi, Florida, Utah, Washington and Vermont have also endorsed Dean's bid for the chairmanship to replace Terry McAuliffe.
State Rep. John W. Carey and Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, both Democrats from Durant, have objected to Parmley's backing of Dean.
"This endorsement certainly does not represent the majority view of Democrats in my legislative district," said Gumm.
"If Mr. Parmley thinks Howard Dean is the best choice, he is seriously out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Oklahoma Democrats and Democratic elected officials."
Parmley downplayed objections to his decision to support Dean, saying the former Vermont governor would provide party leadership that would help all 50 states, not just states that traditionally support Democratic candidates.
"He is clearly the best at managing and putting resources into states," Parmley said. "He's a great motivator and can energize people."
Parmley is voting in place of Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, who is a member of the Democratic National Committee.
Leftwich said she's disappointed in Parmley's choice.
"My name came to be associated with this endorsement by offering my proxy some time ago to the Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Jay Parmley," Leftwich said. "Given Mr. Parmley's endorsement of Governor Dean, he will no longer hold my proxy. Like most Oklahoma Democrats, I do not believe Governor Dean shares our values or is the right person to lead our party at this time."
Parmley said Dean's desire to reach out to local parties should strengthen the presence of Democrats across the country and hopefully pave the way for a Democratic president in 2008. He noted that the post is not an ideological position and Dean would not be affecting policy or the party's platform.
"I didn't support Howard Dean for president and wouldn't support him again," Parmley said. "But I believe he has the right energy and enthusiasm for this job."
Dean led the presidential race through 2003, raising more than $40 million and recruiting thousand of supporters, including young people who hadn't engaged in the process before the 2004 election.
A new DNC chairman will be chosen at a meeting in Washington on Feb. 12. Former Texas Rep. Martin Frost, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, New Democratic Network president Simon Rosenberg, former Indiana congressman Tim Roemer, former Ohio Democratic chairman David Leland and party strategist Donnie Fowler are also seeking the position.
We clearly are just going to disagree over the nature of the ads. So be it.
But there are some other problems with your argument:
[First, though, thanks for calling me a "good man." That was nice of you, and I appreciate it.]
1) You're whining about Tarrant County??? Do you realize that without Martin Frost there is NO Tarrant County Democratic Party??? Who do
you think has been funding it for the past 10 years???
2) You write "that being said, i think it was totally stupid of him to try and run in the new 32nd when he didn't have a prayer."
This I find disgusting. With you he's damned if he does and he's damned if he doesn't. You miss 100% of the pitches you don't swing at. Democrats can't afford to sit around with their bats on their shoulders.
Frost stood up and fought. He and his campaign knocked on every door in the district (mine was knocked on 3 times...I told them I supported
him...then they reminded me to vote early...then they came by my house November 2), made hundred's of thousands of phone calls, and must have IDed a whole new generation of Dems in Norther Dallas than NO ONE knew existed.
That's organzing. That's what the DNC needs.
3) Frost was involved in redistricting in 1990. It is supposed to happen ONCE per decade, after the Census.
When he was a part of it, he made sure every incumbent was given a district to run it: no incumbent's district was destroyed, and minority districts were created (as opposed to abolished, as under DeLay).
Tom DeLay decided to redistrict in 2002 (after a 2000 redistricting had already been done), and he made a point to screw every incumbent Dem he could.
4) About fundraising you say "the Frost model is outdated and now (again, mccain-fiengold)illegal."
How do you explain the fact Frost raised $4.5 million for his campaign? Seems to me like he knows how to fundraise in any regulatory environment.
Anyhow, I'm sure this conversation isn't over yet.
Did Martin run over your dog or something? You are very angry...it is quite upsetting.
I could refute all your arguments, but quite frankly it's not worth my effort--you're stubborn, and perhaps so am I.
Nonetheless, I do have have a few things to point out (and look forward to your response):
EVEN if Martin did do what you claim in his ad(and I DON'T think he ran to the right of Sessions or claim to support Bush on anything other than one vote), do you really suppose putting a big picture of John Kerry on the screen with a voiceover that said "Martin Frost Loves John Kerry" would have won him any more votes? Again, here is where you have a fundamental lack of understanding when it comes to political strategy--which is DISTINCTLY different from political ideology.
Your argument about post-1994 inevitability is easy to make in hindsight. Had we won seats in 2004, my guess is you would have said (assuming you were trying to discredit the DCCC Chair) "they had no where to go but up." Clearly not the case. It takes talent to win; Martin Frost has it. That is not to say other candidates don't as well; I just happen to know a lot about and like Frost, and it angers me when people in his own party try to discredit him for their own political ambitions.
Are you really claiming that if elected, Frost won't use the internet effectively? This race is targeting 440 voting members of the DNC...wouldn't it be a waste of resources, then, to focus on a fancy website.
As an aside, I think the "netroots" take far too much credit for what has happened. Has a lot of money come through the internet? Yes, but that is far different from saying that "the internet has raised tons of money." People will always do what is easiest, and it is far easier to give online than by phone or mail. I only give online, but the internet and the "netroots" didn't inspire me to do so.
How many of you attacking Martin Frost have actually seen the ad?
Not many, I presume.
I have, and it in so way suggests that Martin Frost supports George Bush.
So here are the facts (I live in Dallas, saw the ad plenty of times, and read more than just some anti-Frost bloggers post about it):
1) There was a bill before the House (and Senate) that would put more air marshals on planes, reinforce cockpit doors, and create a workforce of professional baggage screeners.
INTERLUDE: Raise your hands if you like safer airplanes? Exactly.
409 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate voted for this bill. Frost's opponent, Pete Sessions, did not. I know, Pete is pathetic. What's new?
Martin Frost was running in a district with a DPI of 35%.
So what's happens when you ad these things together?
You soon realize that Frost wasn't voicing support for Bush (or at least not any less so than the 200 Dems who voted for the bill (and none voted against it)), but rather he was arguing (and I think rightly so) that Pete Sessions was too extreme even for this very Republican-leaning district.
Look--Martin Frost is NO friend of George Bush. He is NO friend of Karl Rove. And lastly, he is NO friend of Tom DeLay. After all, DeLay went after Martin Frost precisely because Martin Frost is such a strong Democrat.
How do you know they have no urgency for change???
All these candidates are saying effectively the same thing, and while I don't know much about Leland or Webb I do know that Frost will come in and reform the DNC for the better.
For those of you who don't know, Martin Frost COMPLETELY reshaped the DCCC when he came in after the 1994 debacle. What did he do?
Good question (and a fair one).
Well, Martin Frost:
-Was the first DCCC chair to recognize that national money had o be spent to help turn out our base. He hired Donna Brazile to turn out African-Americans in key districts, and this strategy worked.
-Went against the Washington establishment and began regional polling and localized research to help Democrats shape messages that fit their particular race's needs.
-Recruited and then supported (doing the former but not the latter is a recipe for disaster) candidates in every region of the country--just ask Dennis Moore (KS-3) how Martin Frost's DCCC helped him get elected in what many assumed to be a less than Democratically friendly district.
-Refocused the efforts of the finance office and SHATTERED all DCCC fundraising records in 1996 and 1998.
The result: seat pickups in BOTH 1996 and 1998.
Frost saw the need to change, and his reforms brought results.
I expect he'll do the same as DNC chair if elected.
Democrats and Republicans are the same. [They aren't.]
I would argue we have a much more diverse constituency. I think this is great, but it also makes it more difficult to coalesce
around a polarizing figure such a Dean.
And yes, I think his image is one that is just as polarizing as Newt's. And while I find Dean the person perfectly fine, his image (which, thanks to our 24/7 media, is all that really matters) is a problem.
Things like the Scream and Confederate Flag remark sure didn't help, and sadly things like this are part of his permanent image now.
"Instead of hiding in a hotel room out of state they should have taken off on a bus tour holding town hall meetings all over the state to educate the people about redistricting. Martin failed here. He is not a strategic thinker."
Get your facts straight, friend.
Who was it that organized BUSLOADS of people from all over the state to attend redistricting hearings:
Who was it that stood up and fought Tom DeLay:
There has been no more passionate leader of Democratic politics in Texas over the last 25 years than MARTIN FROST--I would guess that even Jim Wright would attest to that.
Rosenberg seems like a smart guy with a lot of passion for the party, but the man has never been elected to anything in his life (which I think makes it difficult for him or anyone else so situated to understand what it takes run and then win) nor has he endevoured, like Martin has, to take on the tough fights.
First, it's only fair to admit that I am a fan of Frost's. Also, this post, unlike some above, is not designed to tear down any other candidate. [We are ALL Democrats here people...COM'ON!]
Anyhow, my only motivation for writing this is not that I think Frost would be a good chairman--getting the facts out, and preventing the wild distortion of the truth, is.
So about these ads:
a) Is Bush in them? Yes.
b) Is Bush being based? No.
Given a) and b), does that mean Frost loves Bush. NO. Absolutely not. Not even close.
Look, the ads pointed to one (1) specific issue: airline safety. Raise your hands if you like feeling safe on an airplane. Exactly. It's not a partisan issue.
So why, then, was Frost using Bush in the ads?
Well, a bill regarding airline safety came before the House. 409 members voted for it (with Bush). 10 (JUST TEN STUPID MEMBERS) voted against it. Pete Sessions, who is both dumb and was Frost's opponent, was one of those ten. Yeah, I know, he's a moron.
Anyhow, the point of Frost's ad, in a district with a DPI of like 35%, was to show that Sessions was too conservative and radical even for most Republicans. It wasn't embracing Bush: it you think it did, then as a corrolary you would also think that Nancy Pelosi and Eddie Bernice Johnson and Dennis Kucinich, etc, etc also hugged Bush by virtue of being one of the 409.
My point is this: separate political strategy (forcing moderate Republicans to reject a radically conservative nutjob (Sessions)) from political ideology (Martin Frost is about as strong and passionate a Democrat as you're going to find).
"Annatopia notes this strategy of hating our party also cost down-ticket Democrats in tight races -- meaning Dallas County ended up a half a percentage point from turning blue. To recap, Frost is a loser who ran ads praising Republicans while also running ads attacking Democrats -- hurting all of the Democrats around him."
Is this a joke? Does this woman know what she is talking about?
Ask ANY of the countywide Dems who won what single factor pushed them beyond 50% and the answer will be "MARTIN FROST." Lupe Valdez, Dallas' new sheriff, won thanks to Martin's hispanic turnout effort.
And please, could you make a reasonable argument as to how the ads would have caused liberal Dems (the group you claim was most offended) to vote AGAINST down ballot Dems...or John Kerry for that matter? It just doesn't make sense.
If, however, you have a plausible explanation for Annatopia's theory I am all ears.