Saturday, January 28, 2012

721. Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party Reorganization Filing Deadline

Every four years the Democratic Party, from top to bottom, reorganizes itself. It is a nationwide process in every precinct in every state and territory and culminates in the selection of a presidential candidate at the Party's quadrennial convention, this year slated to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While the first election in the process will not be held until March 31st at 10:00 a.m., Jefferson County follows a protocol which calls for candidates for the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee to register their interest as candidates by a given day and time and that day and time in 2012 is Tuesday, January 31st at 4:00 p.m. By that time, those persons interested in running must have filed the appropriate paperwork with the local headquarters, located at 640 Barret Avenue, just north of Broadway, down in the bottomland along Beargrass Creek.

Jefferson County has eighteen legislative districts (LDs) numbered 10, 28-35, 37-38, 40-44, 46, and 48. Each of those districts have offices to be filled through an election process which begins on March 31st and ends a week later at LD conventions held in the eighteen districts.

My interest in the process is personal in that those LD conventions will also elect a number of delegates to the state convention, presently scheduled to be held at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds in Louisville on June 2nd. I personally disagree with the decision to hold the event at the Fairgrounds and to my knowledge the State Central Executive Committee of which I am a member, never specifically voted upon that site. Also, given that there is an $8.00 entry fee for each car and most people will have to leave to eat lunch, an additional $16.00 is going to be incurred by every car entering the Fairgrounds for the event. This, of course, will help the state's bottom line, I suppose. But, I digress.

As stated in the previous paragraph, I am currently a member of the State Central Executive Committee, serving as a State-At-Large member since September 2008. From 2004-2008, I served as a Third Congressional District Committeemember. I have toyed with the idea of not seeking reelection but have not made that decision. But, should I run again, I will need the votes of those persons elected as state delegates at the April 7th elections, so my interest begins by alerting everyone I can that an election is at hand.

Internal Party elections can be infernal affairs. My uncle's race against Ernstine Roach and Mary Margaret Mulvihill in 1976 left bitter tastes in three different camps from the 35th District, where I later served as LD Chair, for many years. In fact, it wasn't until my race in 2000, with Mary Margaret as my running mate, that an effort was at least made to heal some of the wounds from 24 years earlier. The race between Stan Jakubowski and Irv Maze in the 46th LD race from 1980 was decided by mere thousandths of a vote - a very, very small fraction. The 2000 race in the 41st LD was only resolved by the addition of a local committee member under an action at the state level. Finally, four years ago I was challenged by an unnamed person to not file a candidate in a certain district simply because the incumbent was a good guy, which he admittedly was (and is). Like a kid told not to get in the cookie jar, I jumped right into that affair with an 19 year old college student who I knew from the 2006 campaigns of Jerry Abramson and John Yarmuth, someone I personally liked a lot, and felt would be a good addition to the Party. With little work, that particular candidate defeated the incumbent good guy, mostly because he could. (As a note, that didn't work out well as that same newly elected 19 year old LD chair later supported, in so many words, a libertarian candidate for Congress against Congressman Yarmuth and voluntarily resigned his seat. He is now a registered Republican and is active in the Ron Paul for President campaign. But, again, I digress.

If you are one of those people who want to be involved in the local Party, or if you are one of those people who constantly complain about the Party, to paraphrase Ephesians - Chapter 5, "no longer deceive us with empty words." Here is your chance to make a difference. While the election process is still two months away, one must file for office and that deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. For more information, call the Party headquarters at 502-582-1999 tomorrow, Monday, or Tuesday, or the State Party in Frankfort at 502-695-4828.

Happy Election Season.

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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.