Friday, June 25, 2010

SOS Race Just One Major Battle at State Convention

By Jon E. Easter

Indiana Democratic Delegates meet tomorrow at the downtown Mariott to elect the statewide Democratic Party ticket. While there is, as has been previously discussed, a hot battle for Secretary of State, Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker is watching the results of Ballot Question Number 2 as well.

I caught up with Parker at a Melina Kennedy breakfast on Thursday morning at Shapiro's Deli. Kennedy brought in former Barack Obama senior adviser, Betsy Myers, to address party leaders, bloggers, and community activists on leadership and to stump for Kennedy. It was a wonderful event. Parker was amongst the high-level Democratic movers and shakers there that included party faithful, county-wide officeholders, City-County Councillors, township-level officials, and statewide candidates.

After hearing from Myers, I talked a bit with Parker. Apparently, ballot Question Number 2 will determine if the Indiana State Democratic Convention stays in Indianapolis or not. Parker said that there has been some movement within the party to open up the convention to other locations in the state provided they have enough convention and hotel space. That will now be up to the delegates.

On the Secretary of State race front, Vop Osili was also at the Kennedy event. His campaign released a list of endorsements from over 40 County Chairs, several mayors, and a group of labor groups and unions. Tom McKenna sent out a letter to delegates last weekend touting the support of his former boss, Governor Joe Kernan. Kernan will be co-hosting a hospitality suite for McKenna on Friday night.

I also was able to pick Parker's brain about the organization of the convention. The voting for delegates will be done on secret paper ballot. Parker said that delegates will have to sign in when they receive a ballot, and they will have eight tables dedicated to this. There will be 10 voting machines to feed the ballots into. If everyone shows up, there will be 2,000 voting delegates. Parker says the Indiana Democratic Party has done all it can do to make the process as smooth as possible. He said that each county has already been directed to alert the state party to changes in the delegate list and that the party rules will be followed to the letter.

The word of the day on Saturday will be patience! I would encourage all delegates to attend and jump through all the necessary hoops to make your voice heard on the Secretary of State race and the ballot questions.

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