Committee In Chaos
|April 9, 2009||Posted by committeegrrl under 2009 Primary Election, Allegheny-County, Discussion, Elections, Endorsements, Issues, Politics, voting|
Although it is not stated anywhere for the public to see, the purpose of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee is to endorse Democratic candidates for political office and follow up those endorsements with support. ACDC has long required its members to support the endorsed candidate and, on occasion, has forcibly removed people from office who have chosen to support an alternative option.
This system has been pretty powerful in ensuring that the same kinds of candidates are elected to local office over and over again, thus stamping out the voice of any alternative opinions within the local party. However, the system is getting weaker each year as more unendorsed candidates are elected to office and as party loyalists break the rules for their own agendas.
Most notable in the current election cycle, is the support of unendorsed City Council candidate Anthony Coghill by established Committee members as well as endorsed candidates. Despite the steadfast position of ACDC that its members may only support endorsed candidates, there have been no consequences for folks like 29th Ward Chair Mary Angela Ogg, Committeeman Tony Mosesso, Commiteeman Matt Hogue, and Mayor Luke Ravestahl for their support of Coghill. According to precendent and policy, Ogg, Mosesso, and Hogue should be removed from their Committee seats. Furthermore, the Committee should not provide support to an endorsed candidate that does not respect its process by supporting someone not endorsed.
In recent years, unendorsed candidates have seen success in local races. For example, Bruce Kraus and Patrick Dowd were victors in their Council contests in 2007 without the endorsement.
All of this only indicates that the relevance of ACDC is waning, not only among the people who actually make the decision of who to elect, the voters, but also among its own ranks. There is less and less respect for the party process that attempts to suppress the democratic process by limiting choice and telling voters what to do.