The Montgomery County Democratic Party believes the best system is to eliminate primaries whenever possible by picking candidates in a closed room before the filing deadline.
Often times, they collude with the Republican party and agree not challenge in some races, instead of running a full slate of candidates every time.
This lack of people willing to serve, or to jump through the hoops, is hurting both the party and the region.
Let’s look at the Debbie Lieberman race for County Commission. With no Republican opposition, Mark Anthony Newberry, received almost half the votes cast:
Times Blank Voted 33625
DEBBIE LIEBERMAN 53070 66.47%
MARK NEWBERRY 26769 33.53%
Newberry has multiple criminal convictions in his past. This may be due to the fact that Commissioner Lieberman just got stopped for drunken driving- however, had she killed someone (or herself), we’d have been electing a person who probably doesn’t meet the standard we expect for a County Commissioner. This would have been inexcusable.
I received an e-mail on election day which worries me:
Good luck with your campaign today. Interestingly, I voted for the first time today ever, (Obama), and was confused about the other names on the ballot and who to choose.
On a whim, I chose yours – knowing nothing about your or your campaign. I am now doing research into the person I chose (you) and am quite pleased that I made what I feel is the right decision, albeit by accident.
Therefore, this is a ‘good luck’ email hoping that you receive the vote for the people who have heard your message, and also that you receive the vote for people that did not hear your message, yet choose you anyway!
Instead of working to inform democrats of who their choices are, and what the difference were between the three candidates, the party expended considerable effort and money pushing their choice. Instead of being the party of inclusion and fairness, we had many new voters faced with unfamiliar names and no information to base their choices on. This is not helping the democratic process at all- or instilling good decision making (see the example above with Newberry).
In reality, I came in fourth, not third, since 24,330 people skipped the congressional race altogether:
Times Blank Voted 24330
DAVID ESRATI 8704 11.95%
JANE MITAKIDES 40734 55.94%
CHARLES W. SANDERS 23383 32.11%
Come November, those votes could be the difference between a Democrat and a Republican representing our district. If the party had instead focused on informing the voting public that there were three good candidates in this race instead of only one, maybe they would have more people believing they had a stake in this race.
We’ve seen the power of having two good candidates in the presidential race- it’s energized the voters and the party, bringing many R’s and Independents into the fold. Now it’s even more important to embrace the idea being the party of change and choice.
If you doubt that, go ask most Republicans how they felt about their primary.
Lastly, I come to the race in the Ohio-40 between newcomer Lt. Col. Victor Harris, US Army Ret. and Roland Winburn. Both were good candidates, in a district guaranteed to go Democrat no matter what. What good did it serve the party to pick Winburn over Harris instead of letting the people decide? Money was spent, endorsements made, but no where, were the candidates given a stage to speak to the people to let them hear and decide for themselves. To me, that isn’t a democracy- it’s more of an autocracy, and it’s not what either I, or Col. Harris signed on to serve and protect when we joined the Army.
This practice, of these people who believe they know better than us, must stop. It’s undemocratic, unpatriotic and downright idiotic, and if you agree with me, it’s time to get organized, before we do end up electing a Mark Anthony Newberry by default.
We’re planning the revolution- starting this Sunday at noon or one. Place to be determined. Stay tuned.