It's the Organization, Stupid

I was going to put this in a reply to a previous thread, but I'm making it its own entry. It's important.

New Idaho Democratic Party chair Keith Roark put the screws to Curtis Bowers earlier today. I'd hardly call these comments soft-spoken, as Roark has recently been accused of being in this space.

Apparently the Republican strategy is to close the primaries, which in turn allows them to nominate more people like Bowers and Steven Thayn, because they assume the Democrats won't contest these seats with viable candidates, which is exactly what's happened in the past, particularly outside Boise. If that happens, their plan works and things will get a lot worse for the political health of this state.

BUT, if there are real races for these people in November, it could be the beginning of a sea change in Idaho politics. I personally know of many Democrats who would make outstanding local candidates, but don't want to run because a lot of our local organizations are, um, lacking. Indeed, many Idaho Democrats who were successful in the past built their own organizations from ground zero out of necessity more than anything else. When they were active public officials, Cecil Andrus and Richard Stallings didn't rely on the Democratic organizations. The opposite was true.

Ada and Nez Perce Counties have well-organized county level organizations complete with their own dedicated offices. It's little wonder Democrats have been on the upswing in both counties over the past couple cycles. By contrast, I recently sent a letter to a county clerk in a Magic Valley county that shall remain nameless asking for a list of that county's current Democratic precinct captains. This county clerk called me today and told me ... there weren't any.

Another point to consider: There are a good many moderate Republicans in Idaho who would be comfortable in a functioning Democratic Party, but remain Republicans because they know that's where the power base is, and because they know they can get elected that way, no other reason. If the Republicans insist on pushing out their moderates, perhaps we should take it upon ourselves to bring them in.

Of course, we need to show them we have the juice to justify it first. That's the challenge right there.

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I have to agree with Faustus

when he says "There are a good many moderate Republicans in Idaho who would be comfortable in a functioning Democratic Party, but remain Republicans because they know that's where the power base is, and because they know they can get elected that way, no other reason. If the Republicans insist on pushing out their moderates, perhaps we should take it upon ourselves to bring them in."

I left the Republican party a couple of years ago http://www.boiseweekly.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A154375 and have found the emptiness of being an independent moderate in Idaho similar to the loneliness of masturbation. I'm sure there are many more like me out there that yearn for a meaningful connection with the possibility of a real commitment.

The Democrats have a rare opportunity here to seize the middle ground, it's just to bad that the infrastructure isn't there to take advantage of the moment.

Closed primaries

I'm going to stop trying to talk sense into a Republican party that wants to shoot all of the moderate and liberal Republicans and become the nutjobs that they've always wanted to be.

From now on, I support the Republican closed primary in Idaho, fully and 100%. Go Repubs! You do what you have to do to make Idaho look even more like a bunch of religious fundamentalists that would even hide Eric Rudolph.

I stand corrected

OK, maybe Roark is not so 'soft-spoken'. I do like his trigger-finger and willingness to mix it up with the GOP wingnuts...very refreshing.

On the other hand, our party's pursuit of a no-growth, anti-jobs strategy by following that enviro-zealot, "Laird Maxwell of the Left" Peter Rickards, and trying to torpedo power plants (nuke or coal)....will cost us legislative seats. Didn't Boise just lose 2 major potential employers over the electricity issue? Those Dem legislators who recently proposed such---deserve a hard fight on their hands.

That will not be in our favor if Hillary's at the top of the ticket in Idaho, come Nov. 4th.

Y tu Binky?

I'm curious. You still think electing Roark was a "huge mistake"? Is he doing a "crappier job than his predecessor?"

Tom - Glad to hear you've come around a bit on Roark.

But P.S. - why don't you can the "enviro-zealot" b.s. statements. Comparing someone to Laird Maxwell, one of the top dog Idaho wingnuts? You ought to save that strong stuff for a really odious character, not someone like Peter Rickards.

Golf clap for the shrew

Shrew, I'm not sure if this merits the praise or if I'm just having an oddly-good day, but just wanted to say I'm overly impressed. Came into this comment expecting to mutter/groan over someone's 'et tu' malaprop. But I do believe you've nailed it. Two cliche's, an obscure homonym, Bravo!

</golf clap>

Returning to our scheduled programming, a big-mittened 'woof woof woof!' for Roark's release.

I aim to please ...

But I, too, came into this oddly-named comment ("golf clap for the shrew") expecting ... something other than your praise d2! "Golf clap?" Surely there's a good joke here. Dare I ask what that means?

Duh

Now that I'm awake the meaning of golf clap is quite obvious.

How embarrassing.

Long term

I'd rather take the long term view and see if he can keep up the high level of attention to the party or if he can be easily entertained by some shiny objects like Washington Party Dems.

I'm impressed for now, but lets see if he can keep it up.

Which county, Faustus?

Dunno why you'd keep the county nameless. Which one?! After all, that's exactly the sort of issue we should be trying to document and fix. Everything starts locally...

Ask Me Privately

And I'll tell you. It's a small one, but one that should know better.

It could be us...

We're doing the best we can with what we have to work with around here... and some stuff isn't very structured. We have a couple of folks who have agreed to be named precinct captains... but it's like 4 out of 7... and one of those four can't be reached by phone or e-mail. The rest are mostly in name only... we don't really have a clue as to what we need to do... we're willing to try, however!

In the meantime, we surprise the crap out of the county clerks who don't seem quite know what to do with us!! (They've been good to us, but it's new to them as well, this two-party system we're trying to implement down here in red country...!) I don't know if our precinct captains are listed or not...

So... that's our side of it... please don't judge too harshly...

Actually

Based on my recent list crunching, in all seriousness Gooding County, and the city of Gooding in particular, appears to be among the better-represented places in the Magic Valley in terms of Democrats. Wendell and Hagerman need work, though.

So no, I'm not referring to Gooding County.

Wendell and Hagerman: We want you!!

Our Dem candidate for county commissioner totally focused on Wendell and Hagerman (and Bliss) because we knew they'd been kind of "left out"... we're really hoping for a good representation at the caucus... but yeah, there aren't any reps over there at all...

(If you are reading this and you know folks in Wendell/Bliss/Hagerman... let them know about us/me whatever!!)

"You can't leave footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt... and who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?"