Sounds like the LA Young Democrats got scammed by a legion of
Poopeteers. Not only did they stack the deck to get an YD endorsement
for the "Mayor" but took some of their dough on the way out too.
Here is is the story from our friends at the San Fernando Valley Young
Tomorrow I'll post the remainder of my CDP Convention re-cap.
(Trust me, there ain't much left to tell.) But today I feel it
necessary to call attention to a grave injustice done last night to our
sister organization, the Los Angeles County Young Democrats.
LACYD is a terrific club -- many of you may know them best by
their bitchin' debate-watching parties last year at Cinespace in
Hollywood, or by their co-organization of our Mayoral debate in
January. And truth be told, they would probably rather I didn't
highlight the episode I'm about to recount. But what happened last
night is an illustrative example of political hardball and a warning to
every club that makes candidate endorsements, including ours.
Last night was LACYD's mayoral endorsement meeting. It took
place at Acapulco in Hollywood, and like our own was jam packed.
LACYD's Executive Board had recommended Antonio Villaraigosa, and he
needed 50% of the membership to secure the club's endorsement. But in
an incredible upset, Mayor Hahn was endorsed by the membership by a
The reason this happened is simple, and owes to LACYD's
endorsement rules. Under their by-laws, anybody who fits the club's age
range can show up on the day of an endorsement, sign up to be a club
member, and vote. This leaves the club vulnerable to vote stacking, and
I contend this is exactly what transpired. At last night's meeting, a
large portion of the room consisted of Hahn staffers and/or campaign
workers who had signed up for membership either last night or at the
Mayoral primary endorsement in February. They came, they registered,
they voted. But LACYD may never hear from them again.
Let me first say there is nothing terribly surprising about
this. Democratic club elections have fallen prey to this device for
years. In fact, one of the reasons clubs don't fix this loophole is
that it is a decent way to attract new membership. I myself signed up
for SFVYD originally because the Howard Dean campaign had urged
volunteers to pick a Democratic Club that would eventually endorse. Of
course, I signed up well ahead of the actual endorsement and as you can
see, I stuck around. But regardless, there is nothing inherently wrong
with signing up for a Dem club to help out a candidate. And one could
make the argument that at this endorsement, Hahn put in the effort to
bring out his peeps and thus deserves the spoils. Or something like
But in this case, the Hahn contingent took the game one step
further. Twisting the shiv, they called for a vote on LACYD donating
the maximum amount allowable ($1,000) to the Hahn campaign, and of
course the vote passed. This was not the good faith action of a
campaign playing political hardball -- but rather the work of parasites
with no respect for the organization they acted to influence.
I have nothing but respect and sympathy for LACYD in this
situation. Their Executive board acted with the utmost professionalism
and decorum. For that reason alone, it is possible that some of these
one-night stand voters may come back. But most of all, this story could
easily have been about SFVYD, because WE HAVE THE SAME ENDORSEMENT
RULE. It's true: SFVYD allows folks to register and vote the same
night. After witnessing last night's infamy at Acapulco, I will be
pushing for a by-law change for SFVYD that would require voters to be
club members for at least a month. I urge our sister organization to
consider the same.
And to those who swung last night's election at LACYD: I hope
you have the courtesy to continue supporting LACYD when the Mayor's-- Posted by Damian Carroll, SFVYD President
race is over. The respect of your peers will ultimately be of far
greater importance than your allegiance to any one political candidate.
Visit SFVYD on the web at www.sfvyd.org
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