StoutDemBlog

Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Friday, March 04, 2005

THE MEDIA MISSES AGAIN:

I've met the reporter who penned the tale below. He seems like a nice guy. Unfortunately, he obviously accepted the spin offered by the principal person discussed, and as a result is totally wrong on several points.
After curtailed meeting, Democrat may resign

Security shut down gathering after man rushed chairwoman

09:15 PM CST on Thursday, March 3, 2005

By Gromer Jeffers Jr. / The Dallas Morning News
It's already wrong on the sub-headline. No such thing happened. Plenty of witnesses say so.
Embattled Dallas County Democratic Party leader Susan Hays said Thursday that she's studying ways to bring the splintered party back together -- including the possibility of departing as chairwoman.

"I'm considering all options," Ms. Hays said. "The overall goal is to stabilize the situation."

Dallas Democrat Ken Molberg, one of Ms. Hays' harshest critics, did not publicly call for her resignation, but he said there were problems in the party.

"There is some dissatisfaction with the chair in some respects," he said. "But disputes are a tradition in both parties. I've seen bigger brawls in church."

Monday's meeting of the Dallas County Democratic precinct chairs was anything but churchlike. It featured shouting matches, dueling microphones and walkouts.

Security at the Communications Workers of America union hall ended the meeting early and ordered the Democrats out of the building.
Way off again. There was no building security ordering anyone out. Gene Freeland of the AFL took on himself the authority to declare the meeting unruly and order everyone out. He did this not because of any imaginary disturbances or threats to anyone, but because disgusted Democrats were criticizing the Chair who appointed him Sergeant-at-arms and demanding that she follow the rules -- which would have meant yet another embarrassing defeat for her, just as had happened on every vote already taken that evening.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a strong supporter of Ms. Hays, called her from outside the meeting and warned that it was not safe for her to leave.

According to Ms. Hays, a man rushed her and snatched a microphone from her hand, which helped lead to the abrupt end of the meeting.

"I had to leave through the side door," she said.
Utter nonsense. She was never threatened or endangered in any way, much less "rushed" by anyone. There were people demanding that she recognize valid points of order she refused to follow. It was her improper conduct which was disrupting the meeting, not that of the Precinct Chairs who were consistently voting against her misrule. It was the admitted efforts by her supporters (see their comments at Burnt Orange Report) to get people to leave to break a quorum when they saw they were losing that was threatening democracy.
Ms. Hays feared that her opponents had orchestrated the meeting as a sort of witch hunt.
The meeting was called, against her will, by a perfectly legal petition by Precinct Chairs because she had refused to call one for far too long. It had already passed two positive and helpful resolutions to improve the party's internal communications and controls, in accordance with the Committee's assigned duties under the Rules, when her backers engineered the vanishing quorum.
Although precinct chairs serve essentially as Ms. Hays' supervisors, the chairwoman, whose term ends in 2006, can't be removed from office because she was elected by a vote of the people.
This may be what she says and believes, but it is not true. She is subject to removal for cause. I am not aware of anyone who has accused her of the kind of serious offenses which would most obviously justify that (like embezzling money), nor of anyone who advocated removing her. A growing number would be happy if she resigned, and some have called for that, but as Bush says about Iran, all options are still on the table. No elected party officer is exempt from removal for cause. (And if she had endorsed a Republican candidate for judge in the election, instead of just a Bush appointee, her removal would be automatic.)
Her detractors include Mr. Molberg, Democrat Theresa Daniel and Shannon Bailey, head of the Stonewall Democrats, a gay and lesbian political group. ...

But some Democrats have become disenchanted with Ms. Hays.

In online communications, they complained about her inability to keep "faulty" ballots from 10,000 voters in the congressional race between Democrat Martin Frost and Pete Sessions.

And some complained that she has written letters of support to at least one Republican judicial candidate.

But Ms. Hays says her detractors are angry with her for more personal reasons, including her refusal to give some of them jobs.
The idea that any of those three people mentioned, or any of the other leading spokespeople opposing her, sought, wanted, or needed a job from the party is so obviously untrue that it is laughable. This kind of wild lashing out at people who have been devoting their lives to the party since she was still in school is just sad.
"It's just devastating for this to be happening at this time," she said. "Mob rule will not have an effect on our elected officials. They are not going to play."
Some of these Precinct Chairs she is disrespecting and ignoring the rights of were last called a mob when they testified at legislative hearings against Delay's redistricting. Of course then it was Republicans who were calling them a mob.

Another attendee at the meeting Monday was Precinct Chair Mike Moon, who writes this in response to that article:
Were there two different meetings?

"...Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, a strong supporter of Ms. Hays, called her from outside the meeting and warned that it was not safe for her to leave..."

MM: I thought that Susan walked out with the precinct chairs. I could be wrong. The only person I remember wanting to charge the podium was Pauline Dixon. No... really.

"...According to Ms. Hays, a man rushed her and snatched a microphone from her hand, which helped lead to the abrupt end of the meeting..."

MM: I was 10 feet from Susan and I really do not remember this happening.

"...Her detractors include Mr. Molberg, Democrat Theresa Daniel and Shannon Bailey, head of the Stonewall Democrats, a gay and lesbian political group...."

MM: I will have to give Mr. Jeffers a call tomorrow. I was elected President in November.

"...But Ms. Hays says her detractors are angry with her for more personal reasons, including her refusal to give some of them jobs...."

MM: What is she talking about?

Although I am serious about these curiosities, not everything that happened Monday night was bad, some good did occur. The executive committee passed two positive resolutions: the first one requires the DCDP Executive Committee to meet at least once each quarter to provide Executive Committee members with the most up to date information. The second resolution creates a DCDP Exec Comm Advisory Committee with the charge to develop a two year campaign and finance plan. Three members were elected from each State Senate District. I was honored to be elected to be one of the representatives from the 23rd Senate District. Regardless how this chapter ends, Democrats can be assured that we will be prepared for the 2006 election season.
And, just to cover the legalities, here's the usual fine print about posting the story above:
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

2 Comments:

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger The Shib said…

    Hey there, I just changed domains and was wondering if you wouldn't mind updating the link you have for me to pressing on in the dark. Thanks so much.

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Chris Wilmoth said…

    Bill,

    I vividly recall David W. atempting to wrest the mic from Susan, and then diving to the floor to unplug the mic. It was about this time that the sergeant at arms (rightly or wrongly) declared the meeting adjourned and kicked us out.

    I think leadership was lacking on both sides last Monday; I was ashamed by the stubbornness and immaturity displayed. For a while there, I thought we were having a productive meeting; too bad peoples' control issues overcame their better judgment.

    Chris Wilmoth

     

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