Today's the first Wednesday of the month, and for almost 10 years, first Wednesday of the month meant my monthly meeting of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee. Served on that from 1994-1999 and from 2006-2010.
Don't know what the Central Committee is? Does it sound a little Politburo-esque? That's OK, about 99% of voters don't know what it is either. Including some members of said Central Committees!
And I use the plural because both the D and the R party has this thing. Members are elected to the committee by registered voters of their respective party in the gubernatorial primary. Members can also be appointed due to resignations or to provide gender balance on the committee.
The duties of members of the committee are to work to support and expand the party's presence in the county. This means raising money, supporting candidates, working with party clubs, recruiting and training and managing activists to perform the party's election activities, and deciding matters of party policy. Each committee has officers and the Chair of the committee is, at least in a titular sense, the Chair of the (whatever) party in (whatever) county.
But sometimes, the party committee doesn't do those things. Sometimes, a party committee is grabbed by the ego of a single person and goes down the wrong path. And sometimes that creates a serious disconnect.
It is not the role of a party committee, or their chair, to recruit candidates to run for office against legitimate Democratic candidates. As in ones who are already supported by the party's other elected officials.
It is not the role of a party committee, or their chair, to play favorites among their committee members. Discrimination of anyone based on their gender, race, age, orientation, or any other criteria is filthy.
It is the role of a party committee chair to use resources prudently, especially on the recommendation of elected officials and committee members. Spending money that can be used on elections on unnecessary administrative overhead is a waste.
It is the role of a party committee to be transparent with finances.
When these things happen, there is created a gulf within the party, and the official "party structure" becomes irrelevant and useless to that party's elected officials and major candidates.
What brings that relevance back? Well, reversal of all of these things, plus, getting out in front of communicating the party message through all means possible, and approaching the job with an orientation of service rather than of ego.
Now, I'm not saying these things are going on somewhere in Howard County. Or am I? If you want to find out for yourself, ask me! Will be happy to tell you when and where our local Central Committees meet. Find out for yourself the value of your membership to the political party of your choice.
Happy National Custodial Workers Recognition Day! Let's be careful out there.