Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Causing Trouble at Local Dem. Party Meeting

At last night’s monthly Montgomery County Democratic Party meeting two candidates appeared as guest speakers; one was running for State Rep., the other for Agriculture Commissioner (yes, it’s pretty nuts that they elect an Agricultural Commissioner – the job entails food safety and protecting consumers from fraud).

Both spoke about why they were running for office, why we should vote for them, and waxed poetics about being proud Democrats.

Then came Q&A time.

My question was: “Both of you talked about how proud you are to be Democrats, how important the Party is, but on both of your literature (their staffs distributed palm cards) no where do you say that you’re Democrats. The message that sends to me is that you don’t want people to know your Party affiliation, that maybe you’re even embarrassed by it.”

The Agricultural Commissioner candidate stood up first. He looked at both sides of his palm card and then said that he was proud to be a Democrat, this was a mistake, and that he’d contact his printer to have “Democrat” added to the palm card.

Next the State Rep. candidate spoke and rambled for two minutes that it was also a mistake, but people should vote for him first and foremost because of his agenda and values.

Then someone else in the audience asked the State Rep. candidate: “How long have you been running?”

A: “Since June.”

Q: “So you’ve been running since June, and you’re just noticing now that your literature doesn’t say Democrat?

The State Rep. candidate then rambled for three minutes about how party affiliation isn’t important, we get too hung up on that, etc. etc., but then remembering that he was at a Democratic Party meeting, he occasionally interjected how proud he was to be a Democrat.

On my way out of the meeting he pulled me aside and admitted that he didn’t give a good answer to my question, that the truth is that he’s running in a +12 Republican district, and that he needs Republican votes to win.

I responded by saying that the problem with the Democratic Party is that they’ve allowed Republicans to brand us to the point that candidates like him are afraid to be identified as a Democrat, and that he shouldn’t show up to a Party meeting asking for support from the Party while giving out literature that hides the fact that he’s a Democrat – at least have two versions of your palm cards and bring the “Democrat for State Rep.” version to meetings like this.

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