And I’m asking all of my fellow state delegates to vote against this “Precinct Reorganization Reform Proposal.” (See it attached below.)
It’s unnecessary. It opens doors to undemocratic campaign trickery. It gives opportunity for only a handful of people to rule and control county parties, and for them to exclude and block new members. And the problem this “Reform Proposal” is supposed to address could be handled in other ways that don’t have such problems.
Currently, every two years a county party has a precinct reorganization meeting; at that meeting, each precinct elects a county executive committee representative, and county delegates are elected, too. Following that precinct reorganization meeting, county delegates meet at a county convention to elect county party officers.
What the “Reform Proposal” would do is allow county parties to eliminate the precinct reorganization meeting, and eliminate county delegates, too. The executive committee members would be voted on at the county convention by anyone who attends.
More specifically, the proposal would allow a current county party executive committee to form a subcommittee. That subcommittee could search for and select candidates for the next executive committee. (Current members could be re-nominated, of course.)
Here’s what’s wrong with it:
That subcommittee could simply select friends or ones they know will be their allies on the next executive committee. They could also select ones they know will vote for them and current officers, and simply to re-elect themselves. It could be used by some to boot out other executive committee members they don’t agree with, and could be used to prevent new people with new ideas from coming on board, too.
For example, let’s say that I, as a member of the executive committee of the county party, can’t get majority votes for what I want. By eliminating Precinct Reorganization, I can simply get on the subcommittee that nominates people to be on the next executive committee. I can then nominate my friends, and so I’ll have support for my proposals and motions.
Then, at the County Convention where the next executive committee is elected, I can invite my friends, family and neighbors. My selected nominees can do the same. They’ll all vote for the nominees I want. This lets me bring in new committee members of my choice, and would help me get rid of the current committee members I don’t want. And I could then get my own way on the projects I want.
This would also allow established members to block new ones. As a hypothetical example, a more conservative-leaning executive committee could use this method to prevent newer and more liberal people from joining, and vice versa.
For example, immediately after Precinct Reorganization and before County Convention, a review could be done of precincts that don’t have representation. Voter records could be used to determine potential Democrats from those precincts, and they could then be invited to the County Convention. At the County Convention, those Democrats could be elected by the county delegates who are elected at Precinct Reorganization. This method would address the problem, and without opening any doors for anyone to stack the election at the convention.
Continuous growth and development has been the goal of the Democratic Party over the last 50+ years. To not allow that would be counterproductive. And so too could this “Precinct Reorganization Reform Proposal” be counterproductive.
We’re already having problems bringing in new party participants, too, and which allows objection to our party become more publicly visible. We all see new organizations forming all across the state, for example, that consist of progressive-minded people who feel alienated by the Democratic Party in South Carolina.
This “Precinct Reorganization Reform Proposal” would allow such alienation to expand. I ask all my fellow state delegates to vote against it at the upcoming convention.