Archive for Friday, October 10, 2008

Party leadership

Local political organizations no longer provide the same leadership and support they once offered.

October 10, 2008


Times certainly have changed. Years ago, the Douglas County Republican and Democratic central committees played an active and prominent role in the local election process.

The committees worked hard to encourage voter registration and provided much assistance to both incumbent candidates and challengers. Various party activities generated much election interest and enthusiasm among the general public.

Chairmen of the Democratic and GOP county committees were well known and engaged in an intense, but friendly and respectful, battle for votes. Contests were held to encourage voter registration and see which party could record the greatest percentage gains on the voter rolls.

At one time, the Lawrence and Douglas County party organizations challenged all other first-class Kansas cities to see which could have the highest percentage of voter turnout at the polls.

Unfortunately, it's a whole new ball game with both Republican and Democratic central committees having a very low profile and sponsoring very few public activities. In today's political world, money and fundraising is the central issue. Fraudulent voter registration and fraudulent voting are major problems, and candidates' truthfulness is a common issue.

This is particularly true at the national level and in larger cities, but it would be helpful and reassuring if local political organizations gave area residents the assurance they were on top of registration and voting practices.

Candidates who make the sacrifice to seek office, whether they are incumbents or challengers, deserve the backing and support of their party's central committee. It's one thing to urge an individual to seek office and tell that person he or she will have the party's support, but too often, after candidates decide to run, they find themselves all alone with little of the promised help and support.

It is unfortunate Douglas County Republican and Democratic organizations are not as prominent and active as they were years ago.


Bob_Keeshan 9 years, 8 months ago

Yes, the editorial is directed at the local GOP. Too bad they felt the need to toss in the local Democratic party for "balance." I have attempted to contact the local GOP regarding those Republicans I support with little success. The hunt for a Republican yard sign may as well be the hunt for the Holy Grail.In the current cycle, the local Democratic party has been providing exceptional support to candidates and their local HQ at 9th and Iowa behind the old movie theater is always humming with activity. As for yard signs, they must print them right there because they have hundreds for every candidate imaginable.

WilburM 9 years, 8 months ago

ACORN? In Lawrence? Always a superficial (and false) reason for losing. Maybe it's just hard work, strong fund-raising and good candidates.Well, if the "Republican Party has probably the best line-up of candidates up and down the ticket," then they should do just fine, shouldn't they? (as long as they actually campaign, get out the vote, etc. -- the things that real parties do.)

WilburM 9 years, 8 months ago

I can't speak for the GOP organization, which looks to be caught up in the social conservative-moderate battle, but the Douglas County Democratic Party has become an exceptionally strong organization -- far stronger than in the past. It can and does register voters, get them to the polls, recruit strong candidates and help provide adequate funding for these candidates. That's what an effective political party does. So being wistful for some semi-imaginary bygone days (when Republicans dominated, by the way) is just nostalgic junk. Local Republicans might well emulate the Democratic success, and we'd have a strong battle in Douglas County. But let's focus on what parties are supposed to be doing -- running good candidates for office and then governing in a responsible way. And if you don't like the results, too the rascals out!

campbellinsurance 9 years, 8 months ago

I guessing that Captain Kangaroo has not really been interested in information on Republican candidates because he seems like he is spending all his time at the Democratic headquarters.The bottom line is that the LJW editorial board doesn't have a clue what either party has been doing because I can tell you for a fact that nobody contacted the Republican Party. I guess because they don't see us having picnics we aren't doing anything.Should I condemn the LJW because at one time everyone got the newspaper delivered to their homes but because times and technologies have changed they need to change with them.The bottom line is that the Republican Party has probably the best lineup of candidates up and down their ticket.

Joshua Montgomery 9 years, 8 months ago

The LJWorld board shows once again how out of touch the newspaper's management is with our overwhelmingly progressive community.The Douglas County Democratic Party ( ) has been extraordinarily active in this campaign. The organization set up headquarters in June and acts as the coordinated headquarters for local and state elections. Sen. Obama's Kansas Campaign Headquarters is located at the Douglas County Democrat's site as well.In addition to registering thousands of new voters in Douglas County, the party has been working with candidates, building bridges with students at KU and promoting party building activities like debate watch parties, picnics, launch parties and volunteer sessions just to name a few.You may have noticed the sudden appearance of thousands of yard signs last weekend? That was the work of Jacob Beaumont, John Cross, Katie Farmer and Tyler Longpine - full time staff for the KDP based here in Douglas County.In addition to paid staff, the Democrats have an astounding lineup of candidates. We have great county level candidates in competitive elections like Nancy Thellman and Ken Grotewiel as well as candidates that are so good at their job that no Republican dares to run against them. Paula Gilcrest, Jamie Shew, Charles Branson, etc. The state level candidates are also working here in Douglas County to make Kansas a great place to live! John Wilson, Stephanie Kelton, Barbara Ballard, Paul Davis, Tony Brown, Tom Holland & Marci Francisco are all running good, clean campaigns based on a desire to do public service - right here in Douglas County.It could be that the Journal-World sees the Democrats as inactive because the news organization barely covers Democratic candidates and events. The editorial board has proved time and again that the best way to influence public opinion in Lawrence is for the Journal-World to cover it poorly.It is disappointing, but hardly surprising.More Info on Douglas County Democrats:925 Iowa St.Suite RLawrence, KS 66044Ph: (785) 749-2121http://www.douglascountydems.orgCompetitive RacesNancy Thellman http://www.nancythellman.comKen Grotewiel http://kenforcountycommission.comJohn Wilson http://www.johnwilsonforkansas.comCarolyn Campbell http://www.carolyncampbell.orgTony Brown http://www.tonybrownforkansas.orgStephanie Kelton http://www.kansans4kelton.orgMarci Francisco http://www.marciforsenate.comTom Holland http://www.tomhollandforkansas.orgAnn Mah http://www.annmah.orgUndisputed Public ServantsBarbara Ballard http://www.barbaraballard.orgPaul Davis http://www.davisforlawrence.orgPaula Gilchrist Branson

Commenting has been disabled for this item.