Pennsylvania Democrats will elect Jim Burn their next State Chair in a few minutes following another back room deal. Groen, citing his need for “psychiatric” care (jokingly) after four years as MontCo County Chair and sitting on the DNC said he is supporting Burn. Pascal got settled for a seat at the table representing progressive issues. The only good news coming from today’s meeting is the establishment of a Progressive Caucus. This year’s election brought quite a few new progressive voices to a conservative body. Meanwhile the same old, same old is going on. How the Party leadership will motivate rank and file Dems whose attitude right now is “a pox on both your houses” is the big question. I don’t see another back room deal changing anything.
Update: Burn was just elected by acclamation. The Democratic State Committee has been reduced to the status of the old Soviet Duma, a rubber stamp for the insiders who negotiate back room deals and make all the decisions. I’m surprised at how readily these people roll over and take it. Progressives get a caucus and some money in the Party budget but how long will it last before they’re frozen out of the process? Too many of these Democrats say they wish the liberal wing of the Party would just go away. One day it will.
Joe Sestak told the press here he’s OK with the new Chair and will support the Party. We’ll see.
Now that Joe Sestak is an officially announced candidate for the U.S. Senate he worked state committee all weekend. He did not address the entire group however as his opponent was allowed in June. Bill Kortz, the other declared candidate was also, again, snubbed. Sestak did work the caucuses and was able to make his spiel in short clips to each group. This is far different from being able to make a speech to the entire committee.
I caught his appearance at the South West Caucus and missed just his first sentence where he referred to his Navy background.
I arrived in Pittsburgh early this afternoon and ran into Roger Lund and Rob Hopkins in the lobby. They both arrived a few days ago and have been enjoying the city. The Westin is right in the downtown area and was easy to find, especially with GPS. What did we do before GPS? Oh yes, we got lost frequently.
The hotelis expensive ($204/night) and that doesn’t include internet access. I have alimited signal in my room and I’ll lose that upon checkout tomorrow. It won’t allow me to upload any video. Because I’m flying to Santa Fe, New Mexico for two weeks Wednesday I may not be able to publish any video of this meeting until late in the month (my laptop can’t handle video). In fact I may simply cover the EFCA rally Saturday morning then head home so I can save a few hours. Without internet access there won’t be much point of hanging around here.
There are two workshops this afternoon, one on Vote Builder and one on blogging. Some of these meetings I’m the only press and I understand why. If the Party cannot accomodate the press the press won’t come. I expect some for the Specter/Rendell circus this time.
The Santa Fe trip begins Wednesday and I’ll be flying to Albuquerque by way of St. Louis all day then shuttling up to the state capital. Santa Fe is one of my favorite places in the world and the chance to spend almost two weeks exploring the desert, the Rio Grande, the museums, galleries and rafting on the Rio Grande is too much to pass up. I will have som elimited internet capability while there but it IS a vacation of sorts. I’ll be calling in to the radio show on Thursday mornings although I’ll be doing it at 6 am local time instead of 8. Bright eyed and bushy tailed likely not… LOL.