Thursday, March 1, 2007

Nobody's Left Out in the Cold

God forbid that the DPG would do something logical and strategic like trying to unite party leadership behind one candidate in the 10th congressional district. We wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, now would we? It's about time that the DPG became much more deliberate and "less nice" about winning elections.

To this point, I have avoided much commentary on the meeting held yesterday with party leaders, electeds and those Democrats interested in running for the 10th Congressional district. It seemed to me that this was a strategic move and not something I wanted to advertise on this blog. But, now that this has been reported in the mainstream media, and now that Republicans are discussing our strategy on their blogs, it seems time for comment. (I know, Erick, Peach Pundit is bipartisan, just like Politics and Lunch.)

According to a post on Peach Pundit, Terry Holley was "left out in the cold" by the process and has been "running since November 8th." I can find no where in any news account where Holley has used the phrase, "left out in the cold." He did say that he has been running since Nov. 8th. Perhaps this is a case of a Republican trying to start a fight among Democrats. Of course, that would never happen. Personally, I think that Republicans are just jealous, and perhaps a little bit worried. Democrats are acting different-like winners. I bet they'd rather have one strong Republican candidate than a field of, what is it now, nine?

My understanding is that participating in this meeting at the Party was voluntary, but that those who came agreed that they would support the eventual recommendation of the group. I don't know whether or not Holley participated, but I do know this: as the minority party in this state, we must find a way to avoid nasty, expensive primaries, and this seems to be as good a method as any. If we want to win, we have to be willing to make tough, strategic decisions and worry less about whose feelings we hurt. Not that long ago, it would've been Republicans engaging in a much-less-transparent process, weeding out their field to ensure that the resources they had would be directed to the candidate who had the best chance of winning. This is part of the reason they are in power in Georgia now. Now, the shoe is one the other foot.

I see this as a test run for Democrats in Georgia- a way of checking out a new approach to candidate selection. In the past, the party has remained officially 'neutral' in primaries. (Frankly, if you believe that, then I have some swampland in Florida I'd like to discuss with you.) The difference is that this was an open, transparent and deliberate process. The appropriate role of the Party in primaries is something that should be a matter of lively debate. No doubt there will be divergent opinions. But, as far as I am concerned, if you want to run for Congress and you can't convince the officers of the DPG, representatives of the district and elected officials that you're the "guy" or "gal", you are probably also going to have a tough time convincing the voters.

By the way, I have nothing personal against Holley and respect most anyone willing to offer themselves for service, BUT, he lost badly to Norwood and there is no evidence that he can raise the cash to run a credible race. (His 12/31 disclosure showed that he had total receipts of $28, 453 against disbursements of $31,821 and debt of $10,000. That's not the picture of fiscal health I'm looking for in a candidate.)


MelGX said...

Great post Amy. Well said, as always.

Amy Morton said...

Thanks, Mel.

Kathy said...

This is good news indeed! If the destructive 2006 gubernatorial race taught one major lesson, it was the importance of unity before and after the primary. DPG seems headed in the right direction. We are beginning to act like winners!