Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Update on the AZ Delegation post

After hours upon hours of diligent research (OK, OK - it was an email to Emily Bittner, the AZ Democratic Party's communications director), it has been determined that the rumor of a challenge to Charlene Fernandez' election as 1st Vice Chair of the ADP is only that, a rumor.

However, Tedski's post in response to my original post shed some light on the likely basis of the rumor.

Apparently Janice Brunson, a National Committeewoman and a Clinton supporter, objected to the number of proxies that Charlene Fernandez (and her supporters from Yuma County) brought to the meeting - 38 distributed over 4 attendees - and is seeking a bylaw change to bar someone from holding more than 3 proxies.

From a Brunson email quoted by Tedski in his post -
I urge immediate consideration of a bylaw limiting the number of proxies any one person can carry to a State Committee meeting and cast in any Party election.

At the meeting of April 26, one person carried 45 proxies. Based on the outcome of elections - not only for party first vice chair but also for presidential delegates - these proxies were cast as a block, clearly swaying outcomes. I learned during the meeting that this had been prearranged by a small handful of committee members.

There was more, and I recommend reading his entire post, but let me summarize -

She thought it was unfair that political maneuvering took place at a political meeting.

Anyway, I have my doubts that such a move will gain much traction - for this change to take place, it would probably have to be supported by the very same rural Democrats that she is seeking to disenfranchise.

Probably not gonna happen... :)

Proxies are allowed specifically to help ensure that rural Dems have a voice in the Party. In a state as large and rural as AZ (and outside of Phoenix and Tucson metro areas, this *is* a very rural state), it's very difficult for activists from the state's hinterlands to make four hour (or longer!) trek to one of the metro areas for a meeting of the state committee.

Perhaps a better solution would be to find a way to encourage fuller participation from all over the state, not just the urban areas, and no, I don't have any idea how to pull off that one.

BTW - Apparently Tedski viewed as a challenge my suggestion in the earlier post to check his blog because he would probably scoop me on the details.

Couple of points here -

1. No challenge intended, just a compliment - when it comes to the inner workings of the state party, he's got waayyyy better sources than I do. Period.

2. I was right - he did have the details before I did. :)


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