Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona
On Thursday, two Arizona Democratic Party luminaries– Terry Goddard and Raul Grijalva– asked the party faithful to delay the vote for new officers which is scheduled for tomorrow, January 22, 2011, in Phoenix.
Citing the need to heal and grieve after the events of January 8– when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot– the two suggested re-electing the current officers for one month and rescheduling a second vote then– thus requiring statewide committee representatives from all over Arizona to schlep back to Phoenix. (See the letter below.)
I agree with the Feathered Bastard that Saturday’s election for state chair could be a “donnybrook”, although I have been calling it a dog fight. Former Tucson City Councilman and former US Senate candidate Rodney Glassman is running against former state treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny for state chair of the Democratic Party.
For months, Glassman was the only candidate, but in recent weeks Cherny entered the race. Unlike the Three Sonorans, who has come out strongly for Cherny, I have resisted backing either candidate because I believe they both have issues. I wish there was a third choice.
Obviously Glassman has burned LOTS of bridges with multiple politicians and constituencies in his short career as a politician. There is a long list of Democratic politicians who have jumped on the Cherny bandwagon in recent weeks. (I think there is a significant percentage who are backing Cherny just because he is not Glassman.) Although none of his fellow Tucson City Council members are backing him, Glassman has his supporters, most notably Congressman Raul Grijalva– Glassman’s former boss.
Cherny has been painted by some as the “shining star” in this race, but I have a problem with how this star rose in the sky. To run for state party chair, the party bylaws dictate that you must be an “elected” precinct committee person (PC)– a foot soldier of the Democratic Party. Cherny wasn’t any type of PC– elected or appointed– until after he decided to run for chair. He also is a strong supporter of the “No Labels” movement. Many are asking: Why would the Democrats elect a state chair who supports No Labels? There are so many under-informed voters in the US that if you delete the Ds and the Rs from the candidates’ names many will vote based on the last TV commercial they saw. (We all know who has the money to buy an obscene amount of TV time, and it ain’t the Democrats.)
Greasing the skids and bending the rules to shoe-horn Cherny into the state chair election is a fix, as I said on Steve Leal’s “All Things Political” radio show. The Cherny supporters should just own up to it, in my opinion, but that kinda tarnishes the shining star.
Anyway, given Glassman’s history (on multiple levels) and the political fix behind Cherny– I don’t support either one.
The Pima Dems’ Reorganization Meeting was on January 8. After about 2 hours of confusion trying to find out more about Gabby and fellow Democratic Party volunteers, we came together and voted in our officers.
Asking for a delay of tomorrow’s votes isn’t about Gabby. The party machine doesn’t want the election to blow up in the press– which it already is. Multiple political bloggers will be at tomorrow’s event. Several bloggers are Democratic Party PCs and will vote; others are going to cover it. Stay tuned.
The Democrats should vote on Saturday, as planned.