2005/07/06

SCDP Executive Board Chair Forum

Last night, the wife and I went to a forum at the main branch of the public library spotlighting candidates running for chair of the Shelby County Democratic Party’s executive committee. The five candidates are David Cocke (a two time former chair), Cherry Davis (a four-year member of the executive board), Matt Kuhn (a party activist and former John Tanner aid), Joe Young (worked with Myron Lowrey’s campaign) and A. Talut El-Amin (vice chair and presently acting chair). Jackson Baker of the Memphis Flyer was the moderator for the evening.

One key aspect of politics discussed was factions. All candidates seemed to agree that factions do exist within the party, but that they are not necessarily negative. Factions are a natural part of politics. They are negative when they run the party or cloud the judgment of party members. It is leadership’s function to acknowledge the factions and to work with them to achieve the common goal of moving the party forward.

Whether the local party should deal with national issues was also discussed. The candidates agreed that purely local issues do not exist anymore. Because everything from Iraq to the environment and the economy affect us locally, they should be addressed.

One thing that was apparent from the start is that A. Talut El-Amin represents the current party leadership, although that is not necessarily a strike against him. In his opening statement, he attacked his fellow candidates for what he perceives as attempts to paint a dismal picture of the achievements of the party under the current leadership. While adequate leadership HAS been lacking, I’m not sure I’d call it dismal. Then again…

David Cocke has had his chance, twice. So, maybe it’s time for some new blood.

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