Monday, March 18, 2013

If this is true, this is ridiculous

Steve Ross sent me a link yesterday to a Randy Neal post about a plan by Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Lowe Finney of Jackson and Rep. Jason Powell to completely overhaul the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee.  Take a minute and go read it if you have not done so. Go on, I'll wait.

Aren't you glad they believe in the "democratic" process? It would designate the current House delegation as the ExecCom and let the Democrats in the House and Senate appoint five other members each from around the state.

Given that it was a Democratic-controlled TNGA that put the current system in place, where a male and a female each elected from every state Senate district, you may well think this is the right thing to do.  There are points to the legislators objections, as these seats rarely turn over (unless you live in Memphis!); as Ross notes in the comments of the Neal post, only NINE of the 66 seats were contested in 2010.

I also have a complaint that the system of electing these members in August of the gubernatorial election year does not hold the state ExecCom accountable for picking bad chairs or for non-performance (again, we only seem to do that in Memphis).  One could argue that we should have these elections (albeit paid for by the parties) in March following a November general election so that we can hold these people accountable for the elections in their Senate districts.

However, even with all that, the reputed Finney/Powell plan is like trying to kill a gnat with a light anti-tank weapon.  Ladies and gentlemen Democrats of the TNGA, if you want change, then, by heavens, why don't YOU find people to run for these seats and get behind them??   Get off YOUR butts and help rebuild the party and if you don't believe your ExecCom reps are performing to your standards, go find new ones, and then effect the changes you want from your ExecCom, it's that simple.

It's also the DEMOCRATIC way of doing things, both small and large D Democratic.

Now, ExecCom reps, I'm not done with you yet, either.  Not all of the legislators' complaints are without merit, people.  In the rural areas, there are county parties that are non-existent and some of you have sat there and watched it happen and done little or nothing to stop it..  What have YOU done about this?  Why SHOULD you be retained?  Why haven't you taken more action to prevent this from occurring?  Do you really need another term if you're just looking for a title?

There needs to be a serious sit-down with the Caucuses and the State ExecCom members and the County Chairs, a retreat, if you will, to have serious discussions.  Any one who fails to show up for any reason other than illness or work should be noted, and possibly replaced.  Were I still Christian, I would call it a Come to Jesus meeting for all concerned parties.

Senator Finney, Chair Herron, the ball's in your court.


dwayne said...

This is getting weird. First we understand that they are cutting membership to legislators and a few others from Congressional districts. Now Rep. Powell says he is expanding membership from the current ones to more. We really should stop this for now and have a frank dialogue with Powell, Finney, and any other legislator who is interested. What are their motives? I am open for change but for a valid reason, not change for change sake. Now Finney may be mad since his last two candidates for chair have lost but Jason Powell is a newcomer. I am anxious to find out the underlying reasons before making a final opinion.

Sean Braisted said...

"If this is true" - it is not.

Steve Steffens said...

It certainly turned out not to be, but you have to wonder if the proposal didn't have its intended effect of sending a shot across the TNDP's bow. I think that it did.