Latinos For Texas Blog

2006-Jun-6

Texas Dem Party State Chair and the Executive Director should be a strong team

ok, i like you Alfred Stanley, so dont take this personal. BUT i have some disagreements with how your email to TDP Convention Delegates is presenting information, some of it small, but still telling, some of it larger, and questionable.

perhaps its just a misunderstanding, in which case, someone, Alfred or Boyd or Ruben if you are reading, please fill me in.

In an email the TDP delegates just received, Alfred calls Boyd, ‘our current chair’ but really, by law and more importantly by concept, he is the ‘interim chair’ and BECAUSE its already been debated, and i would be surprised if Alfred didnt see this debate on BOR, to keep calling him just Chair hardly seems a meaningless slip. I think someone wants folks to think Boyd, a good and hard-working fellow and all, IS the Chair, and that in just a few weeks he can properly claim credit to things outside his control, and that support for any other candidate is preventing Dem unity or is time-wasting or rock-the-boat-for-rocking’s sake — and its exactly that sort of game-playing with the rules that make people think Boyd is the establishment-machine back-room deal-making being foisted upon the Party.

Whomever wins Saturday’s vote will be Chair, and have the full support of folks like me and other delegates i am sure, but until then, its frankly a disservice to use that title now.

Also, Alfred’s email claims that we dont need Glen to be TDP chair because we have Ruben Hernandez as Executive Director. I have met Ruben, and i like him and am impressed and i hope he stays on as ED, but thats a red herring as to whether Glen or Boyd are better for the role of TDP Chair.

On to the specifics of why Ruben negates a need for Glen and how the ED prescribes a CHAIR role better suited to Boyd, Alfred writes “Ruben has hired the most diverse staff the Texas Democratic Party has ever had including two Hispanic field organizers, an African-American field organizer and an experienced, bilingual Deputy Communications Director whose top priority is Hispanic media and outreach. ”

Meanwhile Boyd has been claiming credit for these decision/actions both in person at the LFT meetup, and in his emails and direct-mail.

“As TDP Chair, I’ve already hired staff to concentrate on Hispanic media and grassroots outreach and have also initiated meetings with activists to begin our campaign efforts for the November election.” - June 03 email from Boyd Richie

You cant have it both ways. If Ruben alone made those decisions, why is Boyd claiming credit and merit for them, and if it is in fact a joint decision, then of course it matters who makes up the team that leads to those decisions. If its a joint decision, or perhaps one that came from the Chair, the assertion that Ruben negates a need for a personality like Glen is spurious, and non-causal.

BUT more importantly, let me remind folks who forgot, or perhaps never knew, that the bilingual, hispanic, black, and anglo field staff are ordered, and paid for by Dean’s DNC. And those of us who went to the DNC Hispanic Summit in San Antonio last year will recall Dean’s direct statement that money will not come into to Texas until TDP staff reflects Texas, and that specifically until TDP hired some black and hispanic field staff.

It is a good decision, but it wasnt really Ruben’s, or Soechting, or Boyd, or Glen or me or you. I think probably Ruben would have made a similar decision because it is a good decision, as building the strongest team is the goal so that the strong decisions become the ordinary fare of the day.

So speaking of a team and each member’s role, the explicit conclusion of Alfred’s email that the presence of Ruben as ED means that the TDP Chair exists solely for “fund-raising and financial ability, communications and coalition-building skills, knowledge of the entire state and the administrative skills to support the fine work our new executive director is doing” is, to me and i think people like me, a partial picture, and a little bit of exactly what people say when they say “establishment.” Its more of the same, tweaked up and all, but its not likely to be enough, in my humble opinion. I mean, if it were, whats been going on the last dozen years? Does anyone claim the previous Chairs and staff were so out of touch that they couldnt see they just needed some tweaks. Of course they werent. They were and are hardworking and committed and caring, but (enjoy this metaphor) they seem to be deciding among the best driving routes from here to there — as there are many many routes in this big State– and in the meantime have forgotten you can also get there both by flying, and telephone.

i think reasonable people can disagree, but it certainly doesnt seem like a tweak is gonna break us through to the winning side. Glen’s responses that i have seen and read easily sail past Boyd’s toward my desire for big structural fundamental RE-definition of TDP Chair’s roles.

Having a politician/political consultant who has won CONTESTED races for himself and others, as the head of a political party is a really obvious (and sensible) decision! Choosing an atty who theoretically can tap other attys for funds is a short-sighted decision, in my estimation — especially now that ‘tort reform’ laws have dried up much of the trial lawyer’s long-vaunted funding.

comments, ideas??
mario

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