Tuesday, April 04, 2006

If I were a Democratic precinct committeeman..

If I were a Democratic precinct committeeman in the Illinois 17th Congressional District I would not be asking potential candidates how much money they raised in their last race or whether they had the backing of party leaders in Springfield or Chicago. Those are things the county chairmen are impressed by when they make a selection. But the county chairman are not going to have any more say this time than any other precinct committeeman. If I were a committeeman I would go to the candidate forums being organized by Don Johnston, Mary Boland and John Gianulis looking for someone I could get excited about the way John Kennedy and Lane Evans excited me and the way Barak OBama excites me now. I would want to vote for someone who seemed to care about more than just raising money and getting elected.

The news media and Ray LaHood are trying to convince us that the national Republican Party is going to be pouring money into this race and bringing in party heavyweights to help Andrea Zinga. If I remember correctly early in the campaigns of 2000, 2002 and 2004 such things were said but it never happened. Perhaps it will happen this time now that it is an open seat. Whether it does or not the Democrats are not going to win by nominating someone who gives voters the impression that he/she will do or say anything to get elected.

In the 2004 presidential primary I voted for John Kerry not because I liked him best but because I thought he would have the best chance in the general election. I was wrong. If the precinct committeemen vote for a candidate that does not excite them but because someone in the newspaper or some party heavyweight tells them raising money is the most important thing they will be making the same mistake I made in 2004.

7 comments:

paladin said...

Kerry was already in as the nominee by the time the IL primary rolled around in March---I voted for Howard Dean anyway as a protest against our dysfunctional political process, just as I voted for John McCain in 2000 even though GWB was a lock for the Republican nomination. Besides, I liked Dean and McCain better than Kerry and Bush. So unfortunately your vote for Kerry in '04 didn't make a darned bit of difference in the outcome (and neither did mine). But forget them, I've noticed you have been dispensing advice for committeemen lately---and good for you. But I read today in the Dispatch the 41 unfilled committeeman seats may be filled in a party caucus later this month. Why not go for it if your precinct has a vacancy?

Dave Barrett said...

My precinct has a long time committeeman (he was appointed when I resigned about 8 years ago.)
I don't know how he will vote but when I discussed things with him the last time he came around with nominating positions I got the impression he and I did not see things totally the same.

I don't think they will be appointed at the caucus. The caucus is the place where the elected committeemen are sworn in.

paladin said...

According to information I just read over at Passing Parade, it appears that appointed precinct committeemen do not have to live in the precinct in which they are appointed. If there is any way you can do this Dave, I think you should do it.

Dave Barrett said...

The appointment is completely at the discression of the county chairman. If he is appointing people just to vote for a candidate to replace Lane then I suspect he is not looking for mavericks like me.

Anonymous said...

Who would want a yahoo like Dave making decisions for them.

Dave Barrett said...

What decisions does a precinct committeeman get to make? I was a precinct committeeman for 5 years. Mostly it is attending meetings and carrying around other people's nominating petitions. Now the county chairman wants to appoint people just for the purpose of voting in this special election. Listen when he talks about the appointments and try to detect whether he is concerned
with appointing people who represent the precinct to which he will be appointing them or whether he is appointing people over whom he can exert influence?

Anonymous said...

Choosing the Congressman silly.