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Monday, April 09, 2007

Local Democratic Party News

I was at the local DCDEC HQ this afternoon and spent a few minutes with Travis Bridges, the new Chair. He has agreed to an interview next week about where he would like to take the party and where he expects it to be in the near future. Owen Holmes over at Flog, worried at sounding ageist, referenced Travis' age and wondered whether or not the party needed a fresh face with energy. My experience to date proves those concerns are unfounded. One of the major advantages Travis offers beyond his experience is the fact he takes on his position as Chair as a full time job without a competitive "day job" getting in the way. So far he seems open to new and fresh ideas and is more than committed to take the party in a new direction to expand the party base. The DCDEC's new blog is a step in that direction.

My interview with Travis will be the first in a series of interviews I have planned. I intend to include all five county chairs in the immediate area as well. I hope to get a handle on where the Democratic Party is going in northeast Florida and compare notes on how to make it stronger.

Earlier I mentioned the new DCDEC blog. This is a great step forward trying to engage local Democrats and offer a critical online tool for interaction and an exchange of ideas. An online presence shows the local party is open to change and encourages new activism for those that are more comfortable in a virtual meeting place not constrained by personal schedules one might find in a younger demographic.

On my way to the DCDEC HQ this afternoon I was listening in to a jaw dropping interview between Andy Johnson on his "Down To Business With Andy Johnson" program heard on AM 1320 with former house majority leader and about to be convicted felon Tom DeLay promoting his book, "No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight." I thought I was listening to a slo-pitch soft ball game the way Johnson served up those easy arcing pitches. I don't think Johnson challenged him on anything he said with any authority. I didn't hear all the interview, but what I did hear Johnson allowed DeLay to frame all the issues through GOP spin. I would have thought Johnson would have at least asked DeLay about his appearance on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" program where he was shown up as not even aware of what was said in his own book. Or Johnson might have asked him why he titled his book "No Retreat, No Surrender" since he resigned from his seat, giving up his fight for re-election and moved out of Texas. Perhaps Johnson could have asked DeLay about his trip to the Marianas Islands where American corporations can claim 'Made In America' on their clothes while employing labor at slave wages and forcing abortions on thier workers who "immigrated" to the islands thinking they were in America. Again, I didn't hear the entire interview and Johnson may have challenged him on some issues earlier in the program. If he did, good for him. By the way, if you follow the link to his book I provided on some of the customer comments reviewing it are priceless. Check them out.

I see in today's paper Johnny Gaffney tells the Florida Times-Union he's"very, very conservative" politically: "Gaffney said he would describe himself as "very, very conservative" politically. He said he is a Democrat because historically, the Republican Party's policies have focused on individual wealth, whereas Democrats have supported social programs that create opportunities for people to advance. He said those non-profit programs "need to be run like corporate America" with accountability for their results." Mr. Gaffney finds himself in a District 7 run-off with Carolyn Anderson (D). No comment needed here. Truman's Conscience endorses Carolyn Anderson.

More details coming on the prospect of live blogging the Edwards event on Thursday.