Tue
Mar 19 2013
12:49 am

Party officials met with the House Democratic Caucus for an update on the proposed legislature affecting the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee.

As proposed, the legislation would not reduce the size of the committee, but would in fact increase it. The legislation, which will be introduced as an amendment to HB898 on Wednesday, proposes the following:

• No change to the 66 members of the Executive Committee that are elected as one man and one woman from each state senate district;

• The House Democratic Leader shall appoint six members to the Executive Committee, two from each of Tennessee's grand divisions, for a term of two years;

• The Senate Democratic Leader shall appoint six members to the Executive Committee, two from each of Tennessee's grand divisions, for a term of two years;

• Each U.S. Congressman, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• Each U.S. Senator, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• Tennessee's governor, if a Democrat, shall serve on the Executive Committee or appoint a member to the Executive Committee;

• The Executive Committee may create ex-officio voting positions, provided that the number of such positions shall not exceed nine members.

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Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Sounds much more inclusive than the earlier proposition.

R. Neal's picture

Yes, I think there was some

Yes, I think there was some confusion about what some members were hearing and/or being told. Also some confusion trying to interpret it. The best way to avoid confusion is to do things out in the open.

Perry Aubric's picture

The committee is going to be

The committee is going to be fairly large. As it is proposed, and as the current political situation exists, there would immediately be an additional 14 members. But I would expect that if the House and Senate leaders are appointing six members each, they would lose their own ex-officio membership. So that would be a plus-12.

On the upside, it may actually raise the quality level of the Executive Committee. The two Congressmen can expect to appoint some savvy people. The leaders, however, could go either way: knowledgeable political operatives who can be helpful on one hand, or dreary hacks; paybacks for back home buddies.

The danger is that the Executive Committee focuses too hard on the reelection of incumbents (important, but always-paranoid incumbents--even safe ones--will want resources sent their way, to the detriment of challengers in other districts).

But make no mistake about this. You will have 12 members of the Executive Committee under the direct orders of the House and Senate Democratic leaders. So two individuals will control 12 votes (14 votes if they keep their own ex-officio membership). Had this been in effect earlier this year, Garrison would have been elected chairman. So this is still a petulant hissy fit by Lowe Finney in the feud he and Don Farmer (does anyone know what that is all about, by the way?) have with Roy Herron.

The Executive Committee should, in any case, impose some hard rules about bouncing anyone who gets a seat but doesn't show up.

Rachel's picture

The two Congressmen can

The two Congressmen can expect to appoint some savvy people.

Tennessee has two Democrats in Congress?

Pam Strickland's picture

Cooper and Cohen

Cooper and Cohen

Rachel's picture

I forgot Cooper. Can't

I forgot Cooper. Can't imagine why. :)

Pam Strickland's picture

I can think of one or two

I can think of one or two reasons. I actually double checked it, before my previous post.

Greg H's picture

This hissy fit, er, I mean, "expansion of the discourse"

Make no mistake - this is about the power players still having their noses out of joint about Roy Herron winning the chairmanship against Dave Garrison, who was supported by all the "big dogs" in the party. Either guy was/is fine with me. What isn't fine is changing this very democratic system because the movers and shakers are PO-d about the result.

Michael--Cowger's picture

A pathetic play from an ineffective legislators.

I am not surprised that the inept “power” players wish to change the system to favor them. Much like the Republicans, all they seem to do is talk to each other in their echo chamber instead of talking to the voters. We are losing elections because so Democrats now run away from the National Party while thinking they can run as a mushy weight Republican. As a voter faced with this choice, why vote for Democrat running as a Republican lightweight when you can just vote for a real Republican?

I will admit that our current EC and State party system is flawed but when we were in the majority none of these folks bothered to a change the system. The old guard can only think in the past and as in the past try to continue to game the system. Unfortunately, these same people are now passing up a vehicle that could actually make a difference. We need to form a state wide convention to hash out this and other items that come to mind--A State Democratic Platform! Forming this convention will not be pretty but if we do not change we will continue to lose and become even less relevant then we are today.

Michael Cowger --Treasurer Rutherford County Democratic Party
mjcowger@gmail.com

rebekah.majorsmanley2@gmail.com's picture

DEMOCRATIC PARTY TN

LET'S JUST GET SOMETHING DONE AND ELECT GOOD DEMS IN TN. TAKE THE POUTING PARTIES ELSEWHERE AND PUT ON THE BIG GRIL/BOY PANTIES!

R. Neal's picture

I was going to say two on

I was going to say two on paper, anyway.

Perry Aubric's picture

You know, the more I think

You know, the more I think about this, the more pissed off I am about Lowe Finney basically giving himself seven votes on the Executive Committee. Talk about arrogant power-grabbing hubris. What a shithead.

R. Neal's picture

The proposed bill/amendment

The proposed bill/amendment was delayed until next week.

Sandy Lusk 's picture

Good

That's a relief.

Sandy Lusk 's picture

Latest update- Yay!!

From my inbox:

Executive Committee Members,

Please see Chairman Herron's communications to you regarding his recent conversations with Chairman Mike Turner and Rep. Jason Powell.

kt

-----
Dear Friends:

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner and Rep. Jason Powell have just told me that they are taking the legislation affecting the Executive Committee off notice and it will not be brought up again this year in the House.

I assured Chairman Turner that if he, Rep. Powell and others want to meet with members of the Executive Committee and your staff at the TNDP this summer or fall, we would be happy to do so.

Chairman Turner and Rep. Powell said they look forward to working with the TNDP and the Executive Committee over the coming cycle to elect and re-elect good Democrats across Tennessee.

Your Friend,

Roy

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