Saturday, December 18, 2010

Democratic Destination: January 23rd Departure

On Sunday, January 23rd the Democratic Party in Maine will elect a new chairperson and its officers. All of us have a critical stake in this election.

The past general election not only reduced our public officeholders but it placed a hold on our agenda of progress and there now exists the most determined effort to roll back advancements made on behalf of Maine workers, our environment, and health care. To combat this effort we must prevail in the next general election within this state. We need to win back the Maine House and Senate. We must force Paul LePage to take up his veto pen, which may lie dormant in these next two years, and we must be poised to override his objections. These are enormous but vital goals.

We must have strong candidates and a strong party.

The election of our chair is a significant start along the comeback path. The individual elected can represent our party externally with a resonating message, wisely deploy resources toward building a 2012 victory, attract new members, inspire current members, and focus everyone’s efforts and attention toward truly representing the interests of Maine citizens.

We cannot afford a chairperson without a clear vision or one who is easily bogged down with internal squabbling, excuse creating, factional power plays, narrow allegiances, or personal detractions. The chairperson can be paid a salary and at present, the chairperson wields enormous influence over selecting the party’s paid Executive Director. In effect, the State Committee is hiring the party’s CEO.

You can influence this selection. You must.

The chairperson is elected by the Maine Democratic Party Committee. As a start one should identify who they know or have heard of or simply ought to be called or represents their county on the State Committee. Find those members here.

Advocacy of your aspirations for our party’s future is vital. Communicating our interests and creating awareness of our scrutiny with this election can help empower a good result. And if you encounter silence and stones, think about going to your next county committee to discuss and perhaps act upon your expectations.

Candidates for chairperson are listed here. More candidates will be announced and some may be nominated from the floor on January 23rd. Be sure to seek out these individuals messages about their candidacies and find out as much as possible about what inspires them to seek this position, how they plan to fill the role, and what they will do to accomplish the many significantly challenging tasks ahead.

You can get an advance look at candidates in forums that are beginning to happen around the state. Contact your county committee and/or local committee to see if it plans to hold a forum for party chair candidates and be sure to suggest one if such an offering is not occurring in your area or at reasonable driving distance.

Kennebec and Sagadahoc Counties are jointly supporting a forum; open to all democrats, for Maine Democratic State Party Committee Chairperson candidates on January 8th at 1:00 pm with a snow date of January 15th at 1:00 pm. It will be held at the Kennebec County Government Center at 125 State Street, in Augusta, Maine.

This will present an excellent opportunity to hear candidate remarks, questions poised by the county committees to all candidates, and your questions from the floor. All serious candidates should be in attendance. All serious democrats are invited and welcomed to attend and participate.

The election of a new chairperson on January 23rd is our next important destination. It can signify a new beginning, a strategic departure toward a future destiny.

Please feel free to email, post, and pass along this article in full or part anyplace it will encourage interest and participation.

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