Tag Archive: platform

How Fast Things Change: A Marriage Equality Plank for the Dems

576472297A few days ago, I sketched out a diary about a decision by state Democratic Chair John Wisniewski join 10 other state chairs behind an effort to include marriage equality plank in the 2012 Democratic platform. And I held it in draft hoping for an exclusive quote for us about it.

And frankly, as glad as I was to see Wisniewski sign on to that – joining both our U.S. senators and the Dem chairs of the 3 biggest states of California, Texas and our open-for-marriage neighbor New York among others – I didn’t think the effort, organized by Freedom to Marry, stood a chance in hell. Adopt a plank to the left of the president? Yeah, right. But I love being wrong…  

Democrats Believe…

For the longest time I have been trying to reconcile certain notions of what it means to be a Democrat.  I mean, there are the traditional liberal notions of what we are… and then there is the reality.  

    We support collective bargaining.  Except the NJ Senate President tries to legislate it away.  

    We believe in government.   Except the President accepts the Republican framing that Social Security needs reductions and spending is out of control.

     In the same room where I hear State Committee Chair John Wisniewski pledge Democrats support unions, a Democrat tells me that Reagan was great because he fired the Air Traffic Controllers.  She told me the Air Traffic union held a gun to the head of America.  

   No, no – thats the exaggerated Republican Frame.  WW2 was a gun to our heads.  The Mortgage crisis was a gun to our head.  The Air Traffic Controllers merely inconvenienced us.  

I could go on, but, you know what I mean.  A Big tent is one thing… but geesh, many Democrats accept right wing framing on issues that used to represent the core values of our party.  

So, with all due deference to the lovely speech recently given by our State Chair in Burlington County,  what plurality “beliefs” can we ACTUALLY claim as a party?  

Michael Kasparian Releases Party Reform Platform

Promoted by Jason Springer:  Bill W gives us the scoop on what’s going on with the Bergen Democrats.  What do you think?

Bergen County Democratic Committee members should be receiving a correspondence from Mike Kasparian outlining his platform for party reform should he be elected BCDO Chair. Skipping to the meat of the matter, here are the six points he lists :  (retyped by me, so I’ll take credit for any typos)

1. Mandatory ethics training: Our reform package must start with Ethics Reform. All BCDO Officers, members of the Executive Committee, staffers and candidates must receive mandatory ethics training similar to that which Governor Corzine mandated for all State Commission and Advisory Board members.

2. Internet Accessibility of BCDO Information: Posting on the Internet of all County Committee members names, along with all BCDO by-laws, governing documents and notices.

3. Independent Audit: We must conduct an independent third party audit of BCDO finances and make that information available to all members.

4. Open and Fair Conventions: All special conventions will be admnistered by an impartial third party, such as a retired member of the judiciary.

5. Charitable Outreach: BCDO should establish a fund in support of outreach organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, YMCA/YWCA and the Red Cross as examples.

6. A Committee Process: In accordance with our by-laws we must conduct regularly scheduled sub-committee meetings and seek the input of the full County Committee on all issues including fundraising, candidate selection, and policy issues.

Now, you can count me as skeptical of a candidate who seems to be drawing the support of all the wrong people, and lacking the support of many of the right people, but if he did manage to implement these six ideas, and if they were carried out conscientiously and fairly, I think it would be a good step in the right direction. I know, though, that’s a couple of big “ifs”.

One I find somewhat puzzling is the “Charitable Outreach” business — it doesn’t seem to me something that a party organization would typically involve itself in. Do other County Committees do this?

Any other thoughts on these proposals?