NEW FORMAT: Shorter but more frequent posts. Feedback welcome.
I didn’t attend the HCDCC meeting Wednesday night because I’m still recovering from the Cold of the Century and it’s just as well. Two members, Melinda Ciarabellini and Marion Brady , are no longer members and party discipline is the reason. The HCDCC has been flooded with new members whose identity as Democrats is shaky or at least awfully recent, but all you have to do is go down to the Election Office and sign the paper, and poof, you’re a Democrat. That’s the American Way.
As for me, I’ve been a Democrat since infancy. One of my earliest memories is of Election Night 1952 when all my teacher relatives were crying in the kitchen. I didn’t even know what “Nixon” meant, but I knew it was bad. I DID vote for a Republican once- Milton Marks in San Francisco. I was comfortable voting for him because he shared my liberal, pro-Labor philosophy. Folks like this are nowadays referred to as “Eisenhower Democrats”, if you can find one. Unfortunately, politics have become extremely polarized since the ’08 elections as I’m sure you all know.
I was a voting member of the HCDCC for 4 or 5 years. I went though the awful procedure of gathering signatures (need 20 currently registered Democrats in your supervisorial district, which is harder than it sounds). I attended many many meetings, staffed register-to-vote tables, spent lots of money (for me) on donations. But in the last year or so, I’ve lost my enthusiasm. When we had our first heated discussion about supporting non-Democrats and the punishment that would result, it was pretty clear we were talking about blatant and unmistakeable PUBLIC support. The waters became murky immediately when Marian Brady made the case that she wasn’t really supporting Joe Bananas or whatever his name was- she was WORKING for him, so that was okay. I never was clear on whether the rules applied to the non-voting members.
Fast forward to last Fall. I had resigned as a voting member because this blog takes up a lot of time, but when it was announced that we were having the Democrat of the Year Dinner at the Ingomar Club I knew I was running with the wrong crowd. I organized a counter-dinner in Fortuna for those of us who were uncomfortable with paying the Ingomar for our dinner, and it was a great evening. But it’s getting harder and harder to find common ground among the HCDCC members. Look what we’re got: HumCPR devotees, GPU devotees like me, union folks, environmentalists all in one “big tent”. It’s hard to find a common thread, except on social issues. Friendships have been strained. The HCDCC leadership is pushing to make every election a partisan election. I am not enthusiastic. Look what partisanship has done to us nationally: gridlock. I voted for John Fullerton. I’d do it again.
I’m still an associate (non-voting) member of HCDCC and I just signed up to help with their June fundraiser, but now you know where I stand when I write about business. I’m pro-environment, pro-union, AND pro-business. Tough work but someone’s got to do it.
Politics can be destructive and ugly, as was demonstrated Wednesday night. As Will Rogers used to say,
“I am a member of no organized political party. I am a Democrat.”