Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Delaware State Party Convention Recap--05/19/2009

High points--the platform and resolutions were wonderful, in no small part to the progressives who served on these two key committees. Their requested and approved ongoing role is also refreshing. I'll take Ted Kaufman over Carper any day of the week, and certainly twice on Saturday.
In the election of John Daniello as party chair, it is clear that we progressives hold much less than a majority of the current state Democratic party. As such, I consider it all the more impressive that we had such an effective presence in the platform and the resolutions committee, and in their results. While I am disappointed that we did not have a ‘clean progressive’ to run for state chair, or for the other state-wide party offices this month, I am hopeful that we will in 2013.
Low points--there are several. Chief amongst them was the bumbling straw poll to avoid the embarrassing disclosure that we may have two Democrats who wish to serve as party chair. That is sarcasm—I have yet to understand why our party leaders feel that it is embarrassing to have two Democrats running for a single post.
Every time Daniello opened his mouth he demonstrated how he is an awful choice for the party going forward. He makes me wonder why we spend so much time stating that Thurman Adams is the top Democrat to be embarrassed with.
Most disappointing, however, is the platform (believe it or not). It makes clear the wide moat between core principles of our party, and the principles of many of our state legislators, most notably Adams and DeLuca. We need for the platform and party to have teeth, to have the party refuse to endorse (and fund) any candidate who refuses to endorse ALL of the party platform.
Resolutions are at http://www.deldems.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/1259465
Platform is at http://www.deldems.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/1259463
To get a copy of the state party rules, send an email to Katie Ellis at HQ, kellis@deldems.org
Daniello supporters—A part of me was disappointed in the endorsement of Daniello’s candidacy by some prominent DE progressives. In retrospect, as long as each endorsement was a private endorsement (and each was), and not the endorsement by the PDD organization, I have NO PROBLEM with it. While serving on the PDD endorsement committee last year, we sometimes had to choose amongst two non-progressive candidates. One candidate, however, may have been considered by us to be one who was more capable than the other, and one with whom we felt PDD would be better able to work. This, however, was not sufficient, and we typically did not endorse those candidates. For PDD to endorse a political candidate, they should be demonstrably supportive of all critical progressive ideals.
John Daniello and Brian McGlinchy each fail this test. That is not an opinion, that is a fact. Each, for instance, supports gerrymandered redistricting (reapportionment). That violates our approved state party platform, and it violates PDD ideals (perhaps our second current initiative, after FOIA, open government). Rebecca Young cannot claim Daniello to be a 100% progressive candidate, nor can John Kowalko claim Brian McGlinchy to be a 100% progressive candidate. Each was/is flawed. Rebecca and John each considered both candidates and came to an individual decision to support the candidate which they felt would be best, albeit they selected different candidates. That is fine. That is democracy, and I celebrate that. However, the PDD, the Progressive Democrats of Delaware did NOT endorse either candidate, and that is also something to celebrate.

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