Below is my letter to the members of the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses. If you would like to send a letter, you may do so by clicking here.
Senate and House Democratic Caucus Members:
My name is Steve Ross. I’m a resident of Shelby Co., a former Democratic candidate for Shelby Co. Commission, a member of the Shelby Co. Democratic Party Executive Committee, and a Democratic activist/blogger.
I’m writing to voice my opposition to the amendments proposed that would make the bills HB898/SB297sponsored by Rep. Powell and Sen. Finney.
The past six years have been hard for Democrats. The losses of the 2008 election are one of the reasons I made a personal decision to get more involved in state and local politics. In that time I’ve worked to highlight the importance of focusing on the fundamentals to build a strong state party, and local parties in support of our candidates and ideals. I’ve made it my personal mission to bring insight to important issues, often ignored by traditional media, through my blogs – vibinc.com and the now defunct speaktopower.org, as well as other activities.
While there’s no question that we have some fundamental problems within our party, it is my heartfelt belief that seeking a unilateral change to the structure of the Executive Committee is both short sighted, and will only further weaken the party by ripping the scab off deep wounds that exist. Re-opening this wound will make it more difficult for our party to heal and will diminish any hopes of holding the ground we currently have, not to mention making gaining ground.
While I was disappointed that my preferred candidates for Chair did not win over the past two cycles, I understand my opportunity to have a voice in who becomes chair in the future is through lobbying current Executive Committee members, and if they are unresponsive, through my work to elect someone more responsive in August 2014. Further, as a Democrat, and someone who values the democratic process, I understand we must work together to show our strength. This effort does not affirm that value.
While I oppose this current effort, know that I am not completely opposed to a potential change in structure. In fact, change is something I have openly advocated for in the past, and will likely advocate for in the future.
That said, any proposed change cannot be imposed on our party. It must be made with the cooperation of the State Executive Committee and Democrats throughout the state. If we are to be the party “of the people”, we must include them in decisions that impact them.
Thank you for your time and service.
An Ohio-based group of Democratic Hillary Clinton supporters say they’ll work actively against Sen. Barack Obama if he becomes the nominee, arguing that Clinton has been the subject of “intense sexism” by party leaders and the media.
Is this really what Hillary would want? Don’t answer that.
I get it. A lot of people, particularly of a certain age group (boomers), are pissed that no woman has served as President yet. On a certain level, they have a right to be. Sure there’s sexism involved, but from the party? Are you serious? Was sexism involved in the hiring of Mark Penn? Was sexism involved in all the stupid little mistakes that led to his firing? Was sexism involved in her post-Super Tuesday staff turnover (that should have included Mark Penn but didn’t)? No, your candidate made some bad choices. Pair that with a charismatic opponent, and a highly motivated grass roots staff, and it’s a tough road.
Now, on the other hand, the media has been 8 kinds of wrong to Hillary. They’ve called her just about everything this side of the C word (yeah, THAT C word). If you want to fight the media, I say go for it. They need fighting. Corner Tweety in some DC bar and slap the snot outta him, or make him very afraid. Whatever makes you happy. Smack O’Reily down with his own Loofah. Videotape Charlie Gibson and John Stossel express their unrequited love for themselves, through each other (EWWWWW), then post it on YouTube. Whatever it takes!
Just don’t take it out, on a party that ultimately stands for all the things you’ve been fighting for, all your life. That’s just plain stupid. If you really want to piss off the media, drop the internal fight, and start fighting to elect a Democrat.
Considering President Bush’s history, this shouldn’t have been so hard…
1. We admitted we were powerless over reality—that our lives had become unmanageable due to our media message and really bad policy.
From the twelve steps of policy screw ups.
If anything is a sign that Republicans are desperate, this is it.
The ballot initiative, if passed, would split California, a state that Democrats have won in all four of the last four Presidential cycles, into 53 electoral contests, with the majority winner for the state taking the final 2 electoral votes. This is a potential disaster for the Democrats in ’08 should it pass.
In 2004, had this rule been in place, President Bush would not have had to make Kenneth Blackwell, former Secretary of State in Ohio, carry his water. The 20 odd districts he would have taken in California would have given him the election alone.
I am no fan of the Electoral College. Honestly, while this would be a step closer to a direct election, until the issue of smaller states with disproportionate EC power is addressed, this move would cripple any future Democratic Presidential candidate.
Back in 2000, I did some math that compared the single vote power to Electoral College vote for every state in the union. States that have 6-10 electoral votes faired pretty well, with just about a 1:1 average. States with 11-20 electoral votes saw the power of their vote drop to about .9:1, or each voter was worth about 10% less than the average voter in a state with 3-5 Electoral votes. When you go to states like Texas and California the ratio is more like .75:1. This means that it takes 4 voters in California to achieve the same electoral vote power that it would take 3 in Montana or North Dakota.
Right now, even though states like Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and Idaho have some of the lowest populations per square mile, if not per state in the Union, they have a great deal of power because of their electoral college distribution. For instance, Wyoming has less that 500,000 people, but it still has 2 Senators and a Representative, giving it 3 Electoral College votes. 500,000 people is fewer than in TN-09. Were Tennessee to do the same thing with it’s electoral votes, we might be able to give one to a Democratic nominee, but not three. Wyoming can.
Think about it this way. In Electoral College math, Wyoming has 1 vote per165,000 people. California has one for every 664,000. Tennessee has one for every 545,000. So in effect, Wyoming has 4 times the EC power per vote than California, and 3.3 times the power per EC vote than Tennessee. Splitting up California actually makes the problem worse by decreasing the power of each of the 53 districts to 689,000 per. The final two being winner take all…2.
If Republicans really want a fair fight in ’08 they would start a Constitutional Amendment repealing the Electoral College. Unfortunately, over the past 8 years it has taken cheap stunts like this to get a Republican elected President. I guess you do what you know. Sure the Electoral College is a messed up way to elect a President, but California baby, this ain’t the way to fix it.