History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: January 2007 (Page 1 of 3)

Its “Democratic” Party and we’re all federalists

Whacky Nation proves its name:

They’re the Democrat party.

I spent many years in the news media during the 70’s and 80’s …. and I never once wrote copy that read “Democratic Party.” It was always “Democrat Party.”

Forget your new spin, liberals. There is nothing democratic about your party. There’s actually nothing democratic about our great United States of America. We’re a republic (under God to many) with a republican form of government. We elect representatives who create laws for us.

You are such losers. You must have flunked civics, if you ever took it. Must be sad to be a Democrat.

First, I don’t doubt that Mark was a reporter, but I do doubt whether he was a good one. He obviously (if he’s telling the truth) didn’t consult his AP Stylebook very often. The stylebook, pretty much the bible of usage for reporters, takes this stand on Democratic Party:

Capitalize both the name of the party and the word party if it is customarily used as part of the organization’s proper name: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party.

Capitalize Communist, Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Socialist, etc., when they refer to a specific party or its members. Lowercase these words when they refer to political philosophy (see examples below).

Democratic when referring to the party, Democrat when you’re talking about the member of the party.

On the second notion that our country is not actually a democracy, but rather a republic. I don’t disagree there, but I do disagree that there is something different about the two. Democracies and republics are not exclusive of the other. You aren’t one or the other.

Here’s a civics/history lesson for ya: The Democratic Party began as the Democratic-Republican party, and morphed into the more current Democratic Party in the 1830s or there about. In those early days it was common for those Jeffersonians to refer to themselves as Republicans
(the current day Republican Party was formed by Whig Party activists in the 1850s).

The term “Republican” was a reference not to a system of government but rather a political philosophy that rejected monarchy and corruption.

But, if you’re a stickler for systems, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, we’re a “Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition” and the World Fact Book says:

The Constitution creates a federal system, in which political power is divided between the national government and the governments of each state. The national government is sometimes called the federal government. The Constitution also creates three separate branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—to share the work of creating, enforcing, and interpreting the laws of the nation. The branches are represented by Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

So, actually we’re neither republican nor democratic, we’re federalist.

Junkballer non-roster invitee

The best news of the day, Jorge Campillo, the 28 year old Mexican junkballer that I’ve been rooting for over the past two years, is going to Arizona with the Mariners. He was released last fall and I thought for some reason that was the last of him.

I like the idea of a Chris Bosio from south of the border making it to the Mariners. Maybe I’m projecting though.

The Mariners first signed him two years ago. He progressed through the farm system quickly, getting his first start in 2005, and after one inning leaving with a serious injury. After Tommy John this last year he starting pitching in the minors over the summer, and made it back to Seattle in the fall, finishing with some mediocre innings in relief.

Though the rotation looks pretty stacked (not necessarily with talent, just arms), I’m hoping he gets a chance.

Here is a hiralously translated piece from Mexico on his first year in the majors:

Campillo was the one of the sensations of the Mexican equipment last Series of the Caribbean, which was worth to him to be recruited by Sailors of Seattle. After going and coming to branches, had its great opportunity Tuesday 2 of August before Tigers of Detroit, but as soon as it completed an entrance.

And a piece from scout.com reminding me why I liked him to begin with.

The blog difference between Richardson and Edwards (its local)

Ken and I are fighting the good fight (seemingly about over now) over at Scoble’s blog about why our guy is just as good, or even better, than John Edwards regarding the blogs.

I’ve made the point that not only are Richardson’s supporters the only group using an independent tool to organize themselves in the real world, but that Richardson has met with bloggers in Iowa, South Carolina and Washington.

The main difference between Edwards (especially his blog powered tour a few weeks ago) and Richardson is that one has focussed on the national blogosphere, while the other has focussed on smaller, regional blog networks. Edwards is the national guy, Richardson has focussed his attention on the regional blogosphere.

This may seem like a difference in time and money, that Richardson can only attract small fish, but the three instances above were when he was acting as chair of the Democratic Governors Association, when focusing locally was important. It also shows a different understanding of why blogs and the netroots are important.

Matt Stoller on the local blogosphere (and here):

You’ll notice that on the netroots page almost every candidate has a local blog or set of blogs that are covering the race. That’s because it’s the local bloggers that are going to keep tabs on the races and the campaigns, and create the buzz and the excitement necessary to win. Local blogs and netroots communities don’t just channel money, they channel volunteers, energy, intelligence, and news coverage. And sometimes, lightning strikes. A really effective local blog can shape a race the way the Ohio 2nd blog shaped the Hackett special election.

At least in how Richardson has approached the netroots, he seems to understand that local matters. It doesn’t matter really what national bloggers pay attention to you, it matters what the bloggers are getting locally.

Richardson’s “for governor” site last year also kind of proves this point. “The Plaza,” (which you can’t see anymore, was a scoop based community site. Open diaries, the whole schmere. I’m pretty sure it was the first open community blog in New Mexico.

His upbringing as a politician, which has included thousands of local town hall meetings and regular “open door” sessions, extends this point. I’ve said that Richardson was a blogger before AOL was around. By that, I mean, he has had the kind of open, up front, conversations that bloggers want, without actually blogging himself.

Win free tuition at Evergreen State

I just heard that the Athletic Director is paying for this himself:

from “Weber, Dave (Staff)”
to Tesc Community Announcements
date Jan 26, 2007 10:45 AM
subject [tesccrier] Students: Win big at tonight’s game with some luck and some skill!

Tonight, Friday, January 26
Evergreen basketball takes on Eastern Oregon University
Women’s Game: 5:30 pm. Men’s Game: 7:30 pm.

This evening marks the beginning of the Spring 2007 Tuition Shot Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Athletics!

At each remaining men’s home game, two students names will be drawn and the first one to make a shot from the half court “hot spot,” will have their Spring 2007 in-state tuition paid in full!

RULES:

1. There will be no more than one winner for the season — first successful shot wins the contest and ends it!

2. Students wishing to participate must sign up in the gym lobby BEFORE the start of the men’s game at 7:30 p.m. Two names will be drawn during the first media timeout of the second half and each selected student will take one shot from the midcourt “hot spot” during the second media timeout of the second half.

3. No current or former student-athletes may participate.

4. Open to all currently enrolled Evergreen students but the winner will receive the amount of in-state tuition only, even if they are not a Washington resident. Have your student ID with you to enter.

GOOD LUCK!

Last Monday and roles of PCOs provided by statute

During the county central committee meeting on Monday we introduced the bylaw change that would allow participation by “paid members” in local Democratic affairs. Right now, the only people who vote on what our local party does are PCOs, who are elected or appointed.

This change, that would allow pretty much anyone who is interested into the process, is important to me because it recognizes how things have changed in the past 100 years. Neighborhood political organizations are reflected in the PCO idea (only one representative for a geographic area). But, we don’t live in an era of neighborhood connections, we live in an era of much more flexible social connections.

Anyway, there is some confusion about what roles PCOs are afforded under state law. Some think that PCOs are the only ones allowed to vote in our affairs, but that isn’t actually true. There are very specific roles for PCOs:

What Roles are Provided for Precinct Committee Officers by statute?

  • Electing a chair and vice chair of opposite sexes during a county party reorganization (29A.80.030)
  • Electing a state committeeman and state committeewoman to the state central committee. (RCW 29A.80.020)
  • Electing a chair of a legislative district chair (RCW 29A.80.061)
  • Fill a vacancy on a major party ticket (RCW 29A.28.011)
  • Nominating qualified polling place workers (RCW 29A.44.430)

Beyond the above, votes on who to endorse, our budget, resolutions, etc…, our affairs can be open to all comers.

Edwards not all that netrooty compared to Richardson

Over at Scoble’s blog, he gives too much credit to the netroots outreach of John Edwards:

One thing I just saw over at TechMeme is that USA Presidential campaigns now are conversations?

Really? So far only one Democratic candidate has met with bloggers who aren’t avowed supporters of his (and has had live chats on DailyKos), that I can see. Only one candidate has invited a blogger behind the press lines.

Yes, its a great thing that Edwards is doing, but he’s not the only one doing it. He’s the only one that is going way out of his way to take credit for it.

Bill Richardson has had two sit downs with bloggers, that I know about. Both happened well before Edwards’ well publicized tripping with bloggers and both were with groups that didn’t necessarily support him.

The first, I’d admit, was put together by a couple of pro Richardson guys (me and Ken Camp), but it was attended by now seriously pro-Edwards Will.

This wasn’t a high powered group of folks, but rather some regular folks that Richardson wanted to reach out to because he recognizes something in the netroots that I think he likes. Twice during the meeting his handlers tried to move him on to the next meeting, and twice he brushed them off so everyone could have a chance to get their answers.

You can find the audio of that meeting here. Also attending were Jimmy and Goldy, among several others.

He also met with some bloggers in South Carolina.

Also, if you check out the blog from Richardson’s 2006 race, you’ll notice its a community blog.

Richardson’s netroots coolness

I’ve been on the internet off an on all morning, watching the reaction to my guy announcing his candidacy. One of the neatest things is this post (not directly related to Richardson for President) but rather on the difference between campaign controlled “house parties” and less formal “meetups” (from Joho):

But campaigns generally are not re-creating MeetUp. They’re replacing meetups with house parties. That’s what the Kerry campaign did, and I could never convince Zack Exley (who’s also civic-minded, bless him), who was in charge of Kerry’s Internet campaign, that house parties are fundamentally different than the Meetups that fueled the Dean campaign.

First, and most obviously, house parties traditionally are traditionally fund raisers. Dean Meetups were not. The house party message is clear: Have a nice chat while you take out your checkbook.

Second, campaigns generally assume more ownership of house parties than Meetups. At times, the Dean campaign provided some topic they thought the group might want to talk about. A couple of times, Dean addressed the Meetups via TV. But there’s a real difference in feeling between that and arriving at a friend’s house and being dealt the official house party “kit” materials.

Third, and most important, house parties are in private spaces. Meetups were in public spaces. A house party is put on for the attendees. The host has an obligation to make sure it goes well. But a Meetup in a bar or a restaurant is an empty space within which we are trusted to figure out what to do…what to do during the Meetup and what to do to take our country back (as Deaniacs put it). House parties are parties with guests. Meetups are meetings among citizens.

On the Richardson for President website, they’re linking to the several dozen zanby groups that have been started by Richardson supporters this last year.

Progressive Spirits, like Drinking Liberally, but not

I’m going to start a “Democratic Drunks” one of these days, but for now, we have enough drinking lefties in Olympia. Here is the link to DL.

WHAT is Progressive Spirits!? It’s an informal get together where people meet with like minded folks and have a beer, glass of wine and get aquainted … no program, no speeches, no announcements, no being talked at.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 23d, 5:30-7:00 pm

WHERE: Fish Bowl Brew Pub

WHO: Open to anyone who considers themselves liberal, progressive, or whatever, but Sponsored by TC Pro-Net.

WHY: Because you owe yourself a beer with friends after all those meetings you attend

Other counties and their membership

You’d be surprised by how many county Democratic organizations don’t post their bylaws on the internet. Though here are some examples of Washington county organizations that don’t follow the strict PCO-only rule.

Whatcom County:

Section 1: Open Membership

The Central Committee shall be open to all who support the party and wish to be known as Democrats. All members shall enjoy equal rights, protections and opportunities in all proceedings. Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age (except where state or federal law precludes participation), religion, sexual orientation, economic status or ethnic origin is prohibited in the conduct of Central Committee business.

Section 2: Membership
The membership of the Central Committee shall consist of:

  1. Precinct committee officers (hereinafter referred to as PCOs), elected or appointed, who are duly certified by the County Auditor in accordance with RCW 29A.80.040.
  2. General members, who are registered voters, residents of Whatcom County and have paid their membership dues to the Central Committee.
  3. Associate members, who are not registered to vote in Whatcom County but have paid their membership dues to the Central Committee.

Clallam County has a Democratic Club, a parallel organization that meets separately from the county central committee, which might be something to consider if this membership idea fails. Or even if it doesn’t, I don’t know.

The Grays Harbor County Democrats mix the Club idea with membership. Central Committee meetings are limited to what is actually outlined in law, and everything else is at the club level:

3.2 All citizens who wish to declare themselves Democrats are eligible, upon payment of a $5.00 annual dues, to be members of the Grays Harbor Democratic Club. Democratic Club members will be eligible to vote on all matters not restricted by law at the next GHCDCC meeting following the meeting at which their yearly fee was received.

3.3 The right to vote in all matters not specifically restricted by state law to Democratic precinct committee persons is granted to Democratic elected officials and members of the Grays Harbor Democratic Club with legal voting residence in Grays Harbor County.

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