Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Blowback in the District 18 vacancy

Since the fall, the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) has selected three members to the MoCo Delegation in Annapolis. That is 3 of the 32 members. On Tuesday it will select its fourth, 12.5% of the entire Delegation. The voters of these districts have selected nada, zip, nothing.

After the last round of closed ballot votes on September 11, I wrote that there needs to a more open and transparent election process. The MCDCC agreed making the vote open but only after all the votes are counted. Good for them.

However, the unintended consequence or blowback of open votes is to drive the 23 member MCDCC to get a person who can win on the first ballot and avoid a public discussion of the candidates prior to the vote on Tuesday. In CIA lingo it is called "blowback".

"Blowback is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a recently declassified report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people." (Source: Chalmers Johnson, The Nation, October 15, 2001 issue)

So what is the blowback here? For one, I never seen a campaign for public office where the candidates (some not all) seem to go out of their way to NOT talk to people of the district. Counterintuitive don't you think? Well not really, because the voters of District 18 are not the voters in this race. The winner will represent them for the next three years in Annapolis. But it is the 23 member MCDCC, 20 of whom live outside the district who are enfranchised.

It is blowback because the MCDCC is working feverishly to select a candidate on the first ballot and some members of the Central Committee have been calling candidates and encouraging them to get out of the race. That is something not well known (until now), secret and yes, blowback.

I have not campaigned on behalf of a candidate for this office. Today, I announce my candidate will be any of the members of the MoCo Delegation who will end this awful way of non-electing our elected officials, 12.5% of the entire Delegation is enough. This needs to stop -- now. The MCDCC has selected enough members of the Delegation it is about time to have the voters of the district select their own representatives.

I have not doubt that the eventual winner of Tuesday's vote at the MCDCC HQ will be a qualified and competent Delegate in Annapolis. But this process is for the birds. Could anyone out there imagine a process that takes the people who live in the District out of the process to represent them in a democracy? The CIA could.

So those of you from the MoCo Delegation that have told me privately that you read this blog how about stepping up and changing this process? You just finished the special session where you are trying to change the constitution to the benefit of gamblers now how about amending that sorry part of the MD Constitution that makes us choose a replacement twelve days after the death of Jane Lawton and rush to complete the process without the input from the people the eventual winner will represent.

We can do better. Senators and Delegates from MoCo are you with me?