Michael B Jacob wrote:PD doesn't run any candidates. We support excellent candidates who want to bring progressive, active representation to their districts. Chris Kratochwill is running his campaign, with the help of dedicated volunteers. PD is endorsing and supporting that effort along with many others. That is absolutely appropriate.
Semantics. PD endorsed a candidate. PD advertises for a candidate on its website. You, as a PD representative, say on the radio and elsewhere that PD has a candidate in the 10th district. Is it illegal? Not to my knowledge. Are you being disingenuous by saying that PD does not "run" candidates but rather "support" them? Yes.
Michael B Jacob wrote:PD makes endorsements pre-filing deadline in limited circumstances.
9 pre-filing deadline endorsements out of 20 races is limited? Granted, 6 of those are incumbents, but 3 hardly seems limited to me. And if I recall correctly several people filed against Brian Benford as of last week, but he already has the PD endorsement because he is an incumbent; the merits of his challengers are unknown, AFAIK. It seems like PD wanted to get out ahead of anyone else and scare them off the field. That is why you'd endorse so early, is it not? Otherwise why not have a meeting shortly after the filing deadline and do the endorsements then?
Michael B Jacob wrote:We get behind candidates if they are working very hard, if there is limited/no talk of other possibilities, if we think we can assist the campaign (namely add some value to a solid candidate with a solid team around him/her that they build themselves), and if there is disatisfaction with the incumbent/other challengers.
I have a problem with the "limited/no talk of other possibilities" part. Given the very small fraction of the population that is active in party politics in this town, I don't see that as a valid cover. You don't really know who is out there until the first Tuesday in January at 5pm. It is personal opinion, but strongly held, that the parties should not even consider endorsements until after the filing deadline.
Michael B Jacob wrote:Lori Nitzel (15), Lisa Subeck (1) and Chris Kratochwill are all fabulous candidates
I am sure they are. I am not questioning them. I am questioning the timing of actions by PD as a party.
Michael B Jacob wrote:Sure there's a risk that some greater candidate will emerge between the PD endorsement vote and the filing deadline, but that's a risk PD takes in making these early endorsements.
Why? Because winning is more important than helping the best candidate?
Michael B Jacob wrote:A practical consideration that also comes into play is that PD's general membership meets at the end of the month, so waiting until the filing deadline really means waiting until the very end of January to assist candidates.
That should not even be a serious consideration. Change the date of the meeting, even if it is just the endorsement meeting. Something as mundane as a meeting schedule shouldn't short-circuit the ideal of finding the best candidate.
Michael B Jacob wrote:Especially for those headed toward a primary, that's too much time to lose helping candidates that will clearly be the membership's choice no matter who files or doesn't file.
Unless that hypothetical better candidate comes along, then your membership did not endorse the person that they really wanted. I know this is splitting hairs, but the argument that "The party will pick so-and-so anyway" is not a good reason to freeze the field by putting out a candidate about two weeks after the the signature collection period begins and three weeks before it ends. It is not a reason at all, it is a justification for actions taken without knowledge of the full field.
Michael B Jacob wrote:By the same token, when there isn't a candidate who has clearly established him/herself as a good choice for PD to consdier backing, or where the field is still wide open as of mid-December, PD takes a wait-and-see approach. Two examples come to mind this spring: Districts 11 (MacCubbin) and 13 (Heidt) are open seats and plenty of people are expressing interest in running. PD will see how the field shakes out and decide on endorsements, if any, in January.
Could PD have done anything but "wait and see" in District 11? Jean announced on December 6 that she wasn't running, 9 days before the PD meeting. Unless some people already knew through the grapevine that she was not running, the field should have been wide open. Did anyone come to PD at all about Districts 11 and 13 before the 15th?
Michael B Jacob wrote:Andy Olsen will likely characterize this approach as some sort of king-making effort by PD (he'll probably also claim that simply by naming him here I am attacking him).
Why are you picking on Andy? I've been far more vocal in this thread than he has.
And I will say it again: PD endorses candidates in December in an attempt to freeze the field to anyone else who might want to run. Sure, call it king-making, call it whatever. Since nothing stops PD members from helping a candidate at any time, why does the party put its stamp on him or her so early if not to mark territory?
Michael B Jacob wrote:Is it so wrong that they seek some experience to help them with the mechanics of carrying their vision to the voters?
Nope, it is necessary. A political newbie needs help running a campaign in this town - even with relatively small districts, they are still bigger than one person can reach. They need help and support, both moral and financial. But there are a whole bunch of ways that can happen. Endorsements before the slate is even defined strikes me as a party posturing for its own benefit.
Does it ever bother anyone else that in districts with 10,000+ residents there are often only a small handful of candidates for open seats, and incumbents can often go unchallenged? Despite all the discussion about "grassroots" politics in town, participation is woefully low.