The In-Depth Discussions And Planning That The Central Committee Of The MCDP Should Have

This is a draft of a note I intend on sending to some members of the MCDP Central Committee

Mark Owens, Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party and Clerk of Courts

I’m looking forward to working together with you this year as a fellow member of the Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee. I know you agree with me that we need to insist that the Central Committee become a legitimate legislative group, not the rubber stamp that it is famous for being.

If we are to be effective Central Committee members, we need to be well-informed. I wonder if you would support a motion to ask the chairman to take responsibility for generating reports and for scheduling discussion in the Central Committee on the following topics:

  1. The MCDP finances and budget over the last five years and goals and plans for the next several years.
  2. A breakdown of the 2018 Democratic campaign in Montgomery County. Some questions:
    What was the ODP role?
    How much money did the ODP spend, and on what?
    What was the MCDP role?
    How much money did the ODP spend, and on what?
    What worked and what didn’t work?
    Why was turn-out in strong Democratic precincts so low and how can this turn-out be improved?
  3. Plans for generating the strongest possible candidate for the open seat in OHD-39 in 2020 — since Fred Strahorn is term-limited.
  4. Plans for finding and encouraging Democrats to seek election to local city councils and school boards.
  5. Plans for making the work of the Central Committee transparent to all interested Montgomery County Democrats.

I feel that the Democratic Party should do everything possible to become known as the “pro-democracy” party. The place to start is at the grassroots — the county level — and the MCDP needs to walk the walk. In a pro-democracy MCDP party organization, the Central Committee — along with all interested county Democrats — would be fully engaged and fully informed in the work and decisions of the MCDP.

Let me know what you think. — Mike

P.S. There is a pro-democracy faction in the MCDP and then there is the pro-status-quo faction that has been in control for many years. Members of this pro-status-quo faction personally benefit from the traditional political boss structure, even though it has resulted in a very weak party organization.

Even if our pro-democracy faction is small, say 30% of the total group, we have more influence than our numbers suggest. The leaders in the MCDP are also elected county officials — Clerk of Courts, County Auditor, etc — their names periodically must appear on the ballot of a Democratic Primary. Mark Owens has chosen to not only hold an elected public office, Clerk of Courts, but also to be the Chairman of the MCDP. Karl Keith the county auditor plays a big role in the MCDP, so does Matt Heck and Nan Whaley. Because these leaders in the MCDP are also elected officials, I feel they have a special responsibility to be “pro-democracy” in their actions in the MCDP.  Because they have a lot of control in party, they have a special responsibility to show that the party is fair and that the system is not rigged. These elected officials, it seems, would want to agree that the Central Committee — along with all interested county Democrats — should be fully engaged and fully informed in the work and decisions of the MCDP.

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