Monday, April 23, 2007

Finally, an ALL DISTRICT STRATEGY for California Democrats

Let's face it. California is not as strongly Democratic as we think it is, or as we'd like it to be. Right now our state is a "blue state", but it is fast turning RED. In 1992, Bill Clinton won 45 California counties when he first ran for President. In 2004, John Kerry only won 22 California counties. In the past six years, Democrats have only picked up ONE CONGRESSIONAL SEAT from the Republicans... And Democrats have actually LOST SEATS IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE during that same period!

So what can we do about it? Well, if you're a delegate to the State Democratic Convention in San Diego this weekend, then you can find out what to do after the flip...

Leon Thompson, the Executive Board representative from the 77th Assembly District, has written a resolution to be voted on at the convention. Now we've heard all this talk about a "58 county strategy" to make Democrats more competitive throughout the state, but what will it actually do? Leon's resolution actually has some teeth in it, as it requires the state party to give some seed money to EVERY PARTY-ENDORSED LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE in the general election. This resolution will actually direct the party to refocus resources to grassroots campaigns in "red districts". This resolution actually gives a boost to those Democratic candidates in "red districts" who fight hard for our Democratic values, but who may not have enough funds to really get the message out throughout the district. This resolution actually does something to make our party more competitive statewide, and more importantly it offers more than just pretty language and empty rhetoric...
It offers real action.

This may not be the ultimate solution, but it is a good start. And it's something we really need to start doing a better job at. After all, if the Democratic candidates can't depend on their own party for at least some support, then what's the point of having a Democratic Party?

The full text of the resolution is directly below, and can be found here.

All District Strategy for Funding California Legislative Races

Whereas the recent Democratic takeover of Congress has proven the effectiveness of Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy for funding the Democratic Party in every state regardless of the voter registration advantage to the other side or the history of Republican voting patterns and resulted in election victories and Democratic Party advances and

Whereas the California Democratic Party’s recent election funding decisions resulted in only modest advances and victories not on the scale of results nationally, and

Whereas providing resources for candidates in each legislative district will build the Party’s identity in every geographical area, develop a deep reserve of competitive Democratic candidates and encourage volunteer loyalty,

Be it resolved that the California Democratic Party shall adopt at its 2007 Convention to allocate at least $4 million to be spent in all Assembly and State Senate districts that are open seats or in which there is a Democratic challenger to a Republican incumbent, to assure that every endorsed Democratic candidate for the state legislature gets at least some funding for the general election, enabling candidates to mount a viable campaign, then

Be it resolved that for the general election, each party-endorsed Democratic challenger or party-endorsed Democratic candidate for an open legislative seat shall receive at least $50,000 in seed money, and that candidates who raise $50,000, produce a field plan, and sign up 50 volunteers or more shall received at least $50,000 in additional matching funds. The money shall be spent to implement a grassroots organizing and GOTV effort by the candidate. Evidence of volunteer sincerity will be a five dollar check to the candidate.

This policy will spread the Democratic message to voters in every part of California, thus helping to grow the Party and get out the vote even in conservative regions. This strategy will improve the chances of victory not only for those legislative seats funded, but for all Democratic candidates in California - including “down-ticket” candidates for local offices as well as candidates running for statewide and national offices.

Submitted by Leon Thompson

77th Assembly District E-board Representative

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