Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wilkerson's Gone Too Far

Dianne Wilkerson wants a second write-in campaign, this time against the Democratic Nominee of the Democratic Party, Sonia Chang-Diaz. As an unapologetic party loyalist, I find Dianne's latest actions outrageous as a sitting State Senator and someone who attended the Democratic National Convention, presumably as a delegate.

Note to readers: publicly opposing the Democratic Nominee (through contributions or otherwise) is expressly against Democratic State Committee regulations and would make any such members subject to removal (per Section 3c of the State Party's bylaws). The same goes for most of the local town, city and ward committees - as most share the same or similar provision. Dianne Wilkerson herself is likely in violation of this policy if she is a member of her city or ward committee (she is not a member of the Democratic State Committee).

The larger question: Why did it have to come to this? Wilkerson's completely lost touch with reality. She is not the first person to have been challenged by constituents and found wanting; she won a primary challenge against an incumbent to gain her seat in the first place. Anyone who purports to be a true party loyalist - which should include every elected state official in the Democratic Party - ought to be well aware of the old adage that we come together after the primary. This is party politics 101. What is it to say that she now thinks she is more than the will of her party - the thousands of people who voted in the primary?

I'm a party loyalist because I recognize that we can't accomplish practically anything in government without a wide coalition. The party system is still the best vehicle that exists to create those coalitions. I happen to believe in progressive, populist causes, empowering everyday citizens and keeping the country out of unnecessary wars - hence my registration to the Democratic Party. That a supposed party loyalist and elected representative of my party would want to buck that system and screw the team is a notion both repugnant and revealing.

Dianne Wilkerson needs to get over it. Of course, she's entitled to a recount; that's fine. But a sticker campaign is just whining. It's an attempt to subvert the will of the voters and abandoning the core principals of our electoral system. A true leader would own the loss, clean up their act, continue to engage in the community and run again in two years. Dianne Wilkerson chose to mimic the politics of Joe Lieberman when she could have pulled a Michael Dukakis, who lost an election for governor as an incumbent and won again four years later. We need more dignity in politics, not more arrogance.

Her attempts will likely fail - but let the record be clear: not only will her campaign waste precious resources that could be going to important causes, but anyone that continues to support Dianne Wilkerson is going against the will of the Democratic Party. We have rules in place to participate within the frameworks of the party; Dianne Wilkerson has chosen to abandon them. That's her right, though she'll have to live with the consequences.

Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino and likely MassEquality won't be on her corner this time - expect them to all endorse Sonia, or at least stay out. Without all that help - and the army of volunteers that come with them - I don't know why or how Wilkerson thinks she has a chance at a sticker campaign in which her opponent, the Democratic nominee, will be on the ballot. This is vastly different than her last sticker campaign - much more like this one.

In the meantime, let the record be clear: anyone in the party apparatus who now continues to support Dianne Wilkerson's campaign is in clear violation of party rules and subject to removal from State, City, Town and Ward committees. Furthermore, any organization that continues to support Dianne's candidacy will have to answer to their membership - the financial contributions and volunteer hours that fuel these organizations. There's an easy decision to make here on solid moral grounds, but I'm always a man of the carrot and the stick. In declaring her decision to run a sticker campaign, Wilkerson's gone too far. How many people will jump off the cliff with her?


Anonymous said...

We can thank Joe Lieberman for setting a bad precedent for every disgruntled egomaniacal democrat out there...you too can PERSONALLY overturn the results of a fair party primary.

Thanks Joe!

Elias N.

Anonymous said...

But then again, if a sticker campaign allows her to win the seat in the fall election because more people vote for her than anyone else, that's the will of the people. Isn't that what democracy is all about?

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