Phoning it In

In case you haven't heard, the Idaho Democratic Party wants to forego real speeches from our candidates at the upcoming Frank Church Banquet in favor of Youtube-style videos. Cost to you: $75, rubber chicken included.

Former Twin Falls resident Julie Fanselow is up in arms, and I don't blame her.

I went to banquets featuring speeches from Cecil Andrus, J. D. Williams, Richard Stallings, Larry LaRocco and Larry EchoHawk: all elected officials at the time. They were fine.

That's FIVE. And they're complaining about four, three of which are there to nail Bill Sali?


I'm having a hard time justifying $75 to go as it is, and I have a free place in Boise to stay. I'm having a harder time justifying it now. If I may be so bold, Kos isn't that interesting.

Go sign Julie's petition to stop the madness. Don't donate; just enter your information, click "Sign Petition" and be done with it.

This is the kind of stupidity that makes us a minority. I can hear the ghost of Frank Gooding laughing now ...

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"This is the kind of stupidity that makes us a minority."

Gee, thanks. I expressed a preference for the videos. I guess that makes me stupid.


Please indeed....

Hey Lane - were you part of the conversations the banquet committee had on how to improve the banquet this year? Do you think you're somehow way *smarter* than each of those Democrats who in all likelihood weighed the pros and cons of this issue in exquisite detail?

I doubt it. And yet you and so many others feel you have the right not only to comment on the decision, but arrogantly critize those who are actually doing the work. That's the kind of stupidity that makes us a minority - silly bickering and criticism over petty issues. You don't like their decision? Then volunteer to organize the banquet next year. I'll be very interested to see what a *smart* person can do.

Why don't we give this a try? If it doesn't work, then next year we can go back to boring speeches. And if I may be so bold, Kos is certainly going to be one hell of a lot more interesting than the speeches we'll all have to hear Walt Minnich and Larry Grant give about a 100 more times between now and May.

And finally, a plea to the banquet organizers - for god's sake don't make us sit through both speeches and videos as one commentator suggested on another blog! Then we'll really have a reason to be up in arms.

Please read the comments at Red State Rebels

and on the petition before you decide.

Many good points are being made on both sides of the issue.

There's some concern out there that this decision was made to protect one candidate who is a less-than-scintillating speaker. I have no idea if that's true, and I really don't care. I just like the idea of preserving some live speechmaking in the video age.

At RSR, Alan suggested a possible compromise - let the candidates introduce their videos. At least that way, we can get a feel for how they really speak and think.

Both sides have made

good points, I agree. I also think there's room for respectful commentary, as most of those on RSR have been. However, I object to Lane's suggestion that the video decision reflects "stupidity." Those type of comments do nothing but piss people off and, frankly, cause me to question his judgment as a potential candidate.

Surely this decision to simply shake things up at one banquet doesn't mean live speechmaking is going down the tubes. That sounds a little dramatic to me. These candidates will have countless opportunities to hone their speeches, and we'll have countless opportunities to listen to them and thus get the feel of how they "really speak and think."

Allowing the candidates to "introduce" their videos will only mean that we then have to endure both the speeches and the videos and will be stuck in our seats that much longer. Please no! That completely defeats the purpose of the experiment and will just cause me and plenty of others to feel that much worse in the morning b/c of the extra wine we'll have to drink to get through the experience. :)

Both Videos and Live Speaking From the Candidates

Would be just fine. If that's what it comes down to, then there's no controversy as far as I'm concerned.

But to just have videos along with Kos speaking is gimmicky at best. There's quite a bit of cost involved with attending this event, especially if one is coming from out of town. I can't imagine many people from places like Pocatello or Coeur d'Alene would be more likely to attend because of this. Indeed I view it as a decided turn-off, particularly among those who aren't as tech savvy as us bloggers. These are the people we really need to reach out to. Ada County Democrats have done quite well over the past couple cycles; it's the other 43 counties we need to worry about.

I don't have a problem with the cost per se. This is a fundraiser, after all. Still, in light of that cost I do think the IDP could do better than just Youtubing the candidates. I don't mean to hurt feelings, and I apologize for being overly harsh last night, but I stand by my contention that this is not a particularly intelligent thing to do.

Opportunities Lost

I recall sharing a table with Jerry Brady at one of the banquets where the speaker was a legislator brought in from UTAH - and Jerry was running for Governor at the time.

I remember thinking of two things:

1. Jerry could have sure used the exposure as speaker - because the event was well attended by the media.
2. Wasn't there a least ONE Idaho Democrat of sufficient standing in the Idaho Democratic Party that could speak at this prestigious function? Heck, I would have been happier with Cy Chase (RIP) than an unknown from Utah.

Idaho Speakers

I agree the FC should feature an Idaho keynote speaker in years where there's a clear-cut choice for one (and I also think Jerry Brady would have qualified in years past). We don't have that this year, especially when considering that 1st CD primary, which could get a bit chippy, so it's entirely appropriate to split the time with the four major candidates and our guest. I just don't want to see it entirely canned.