Wednesday, September 5, 2007

178. Steve Beshear, Congressman Yarmuth, and Chairman Dean

I attended a fundraiser last night for our Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Beshear. There were about 40 people in attendance, most of whom were not regulars at Democratic Party events. They were, for the most part, Republicans - upset with the hypocrisy of their candidate of four years ago and the administration he has managed to wholly mismanage since they themsleves helped elect him. There were a few Democrats in attendance as well.

In listening to the comments of the Republicans, there was a theme. "We sent Fletcher to Frankfort to clean the place up. We aren't really for you, we are against him. If you do the same as he did, we will go back to our Party's nominee the next time." As Beshear is already planning on being a two-term governor, the message was strong and clear. There were also, in the discussions, several comments made on both the state and legislative assemblies, the General Assembly and the House and Senate in Washington.

No one seems overly happy with any of them. Then again, legislators benefit from a curious anomaly - people tend to dislike the legislature overall but tend to like their personal legislator. People will say "Oh, the Congress is horrible." But when asked about their own member, they'll respond "Well he (or she) is ok, but the rest aren't worth a nickel." Of course, most in the Congress are worth millions.

As with all even numbered years, next year is one in which we all have a chance to put term limits into use, as far as legislative assemblies are concerned. I've always opposed term limits, since we elect quite a few legislators every other year. Every member of the state House as well as half of the state Senate will be on the ballot next year. Every member of the federal House as well as one-third of the United States Senate will be up as well. And one-half of the local Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Council will also be up for election. Where I currently live and vote, with the exception of the allegedly 117 year old United States Senator Jim Bunning, all of my legislative representatives (city, state, and federal) will be open for a challenge should they choose to seek re-election. To my knowledge, they are all seeking re-election.

Also next year, each of the major political parties will be reorganizing, from the precinct level all the way up to the National Party Chair, currently held by Dr. Howard Dean. On the Democratic side, chances are available in this process, assuming one participates, and very few do, to take part in the election of those persons who represent you as a precinct committeemember; a legislative district chair and vice chair; and by extension, your district's At-Large member, your county chair and vice chair; your chair, vice chair, and representatives on the State Party committee (of which I am currently a member and will likely seek re-election); as well as your chair, vice chair, and representatives on the National Party committee. It is also through this process that persons are chosen to attend the upocming State and National Party conventions, the Democratic ones of which will be held in Lexington, Kentucky and Denver, Colorado, respectively.

If any of this has any interest to you, let me know. It is a cumbersome process, but one in which few people participate. It is, at least for the Democratic Party, the same process which takes place in every precinct in each of the fifty states, as well as DC and several other territories and jurisdictions. The process formally starts on April 5th.


Anonymous said...

Jeff I was always curious, do these positions pay or are they all volunteer?


Anonymous said...

All of the position written about are volunteer. That is one reason there is so little interest.

There are paid positions now and then at the State Party HQ as staff, but they are irregular and usually short-lived. The paid positions usually pop up in gubernatorial and presidential election years.


The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.