Friday, December 09, 2005

Rick has an interesting post on the democrats looking to replace Henry Hyde. Specifically about the hostility that Tammy Duckworth seems to be facing from DuPage County Democrats who appear to favor Christine Cegelis (who ran last time at got 44% of the vote).

It appears that at least one township organization in DuPage has said that Tammy Duckworth and her supporters are welcome to attend but are not welcome to speak. Rick's post covers why he isn't comfortable with that.

The very idea of not letting someone representing someone running for office in a party primary speak at a party meeting blows my mind. I the am vice-chair of a neighboring Republican Township Organization (but I am not blogging in my 'official' role). We have had situations in the past where a popular incumbent has faced a primary challenge (more than once) and we always let any Republican primary candidate or their representative speak at any meeting they attend or even make announcements for them if they were unable to attend. Our members can and do endorse during the primary and work for the candidate(s) they want to. But as an organization we stay neutral.

Seriously the whole 'We will not let you speak' thing is just nuts, self destructive and bad for the process (as Republican a small part of me says 'You go gang') but as someone who loves the process it really bothers me. I consider Rick a personal friend regardless of how our politics differ, if he told me that the Naperville Democrats were going to do the same thing I would get in my car, drive to his house, say hi to Robin and the ask Rick if he had lost his freakin mind.

I couldn't imagine us telling someone they couldn't speak and if we even tried our members would toss the leadership team out and rightfully so. We have an organizational policy to not endorse in any way shape or form in the primary. It is a policy that has served us very well in the past and I look forward to it being our policy going forward. A leadership role in party should not and can not be to serve as a gatekeeper preventing people from sharing information with the party faithful.

In politics memories are very, very long and the candidate you jerk around today is the elected official you are trying to headline your fundraiser tomorrow. Regardless of even that it isn't how you treat your candidates and as a party unless there is some really compelling reason to refute someone within a primary all of the primary candidates are 'your' candidates. Picking sides as a party organization in the primary just sets you up for problems.

I think Rick is right on here. There is a reason you have primaries and it is to let the voters who chose to vote in that primary decide who the candidate will be.

I think part of this is coming from how Tammy Duckworth is getting DCCC support and the local DuPage Democrats who have been taking it on the chin for the last billion years or so are rightfully bent out of joint a bit that the DCCC is now stepping in and trying to push their candidate. The DuPage Democrats who have seen Christine Cegelis around at their events for some time now feel comfortable with her, know where she stands and likely know her personally. They likely feel a bit put off with the fact that she ran last time and may have helped lead to Hyde not seeking a second term and the thanks she (and they) get for this is a new candidate who they really don't know pushed by an entity that likely didn't give a crud about DuPage county for the last 20 years. Heck that would tick me off.

However the Duckworth vs. Cegelis race in some ways may end up being a big test of the whole 'Dean' grassroots thing, if Christine Cegelis stays in the race and wins it over the candidate being pushed by the DCCC it will show that the grassroots can trump outside money and organization. You now have the perfect chance to prove the 'Dean Model' (my term) of grass roots politics can work.

Also Rick you should feel good now that there is infighting it shows that the DuPage Democratic party is becoming more legitimate... I also have to give you credit for blogging about this. I am sure you are going to hear about it from within the party. It sound like to me some DuPage Democrats need to figure out if elections are about getting your candidates elected or about using your power.



Anonymous said...

Rick doesn't mention the other candidate, Professor Lindy Scott. According to many observers Scott did much better than Cegelis in their two public debates. He has worked on the issues much more than she has and his books show the strength of his positions. He has already turned in his petition signatures and has gained the support of several township chairs and precinct committeemen. If Rick really wants a healthy primary, then let all three candidates get equal time.
An open primary with the publicity surrounding Duckworth will be good for the party. May the best candidate win...and then go on to defeat Roskam!

Rick Klau said...

Fair enough. But my post wasn't intended to be a thorough review of the race in the 6th (I'm all for Prof. Scott being in the race, and trust the voters in the 6th will pick wisely) but a specific reaction to the unfortunate behavior exhibited by certain party leaders.


Anonymous said...

I had the opportunity to testify in front of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee with Tammy Duckworth. She is an impressive individual with integrity and drive. I'm a right leaning independent, but she has my support. I'd love to see more people with no professional political experience get into the mix. Her courage under fire is more than enough life experience to lead a congressional district. I live in Duke Cunningham's district. Believe me, some fresh new faces would all of us a great deal of good. Although that fool once had courage under fire,he forgot what public service is supposed to be about. Major Duckworth is person of unquestionable integrity. The people of Illinois would be fortunate to have such a representative. Go Tammy!
Joe Costello
Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran

Anonymous said...

I think some democrats are missing the point here. What's happening is that the debate is moving away from candidate platforms (qualifications, agendas, opinions, experiences, etc) and instead, turning to exclusionary tactics. I think most will agree that Cegelis has "paid her dues" the last few years positioning herself for this election. However, at this stage, all candidates should be asked to participate in the primary. The voters of the 6th district should be given the chance to hear what the candidates have to say and offer and choose whom they think is the best candidate.

Anonymous said...

Elections are all about VALUES. Duckworth's are more in tune with the ENTIRE district, not just the Democratic primary voters. Remember elections are won in November. Roskam is a geek for the NRA and Duckworth can make that case without being seen as just another left wing Democratic goo goo. I really want to hear Roskam and Duckworth discuss the war. Peter you could have voluntered for the Judge Advocate General's branch. Like the Vice President it appears you had "other priorities".

Gary Kleppe said...

I think you misread or were misinformed about what the township organization said. The York Township Democratic Organization, of which I'm a member, has said that Duckworth may attend and speak, but that her handlers or other surrogates may not speak on her behalf. To my knowledge, no one has barred Duckworth from speaking -- on the contrary, there's a lot we'd like to know about her, but we want to hear from her, not her handlers.

Anonymous said...

I have had the honor of being of some small service to Tammy while she was at Walter Reed. I never Spoke to her of her Politics but from what I have seen and heard of her she would not be a tool of the DCCC. And besides that she has one other thing over all others running she took the "Oath" and knows the consequences of that for us to be free.