Thursday, February 3, 2011

MAIL CALL: Odd Letter Arrives Just in Time for Slating

I trudged to the mailbox Tuesday only to find a letter in there from the Marion County Democratic Party. I opened it. Here's what it said...

January 28, 2011

Dear Annette:
This week I have received several calls related to your position as a precinct vice committeeperson. Specifically, I have been asked if I have "removed" or "fired" you from such position. Consistent with my Executive Director's conversation with you, the facts do not substantiate any such accusation.

Fact 1: I did not remove or fire you from any position within the Marion County Democratic Party.

Fact 2: You were not elected to any precinct committeeperson position in the May 2010 primary. You did not seek election.

Fact 3: You were not appointed to any precinct vice committee person position by a precinct committeeperson elected in the May 2010 primary.

Fact 4: Since the May 2010 primary, we have not received a form recommending your appointment as a vice precinct committeeperson by a precinct committeeperson, nor have we received a form recommending your appointment as a precinct committeeperson from a ward chair.

Prior to the May 2010 Primary list reset you were, counter to Indiana Democratic Party rule requiring gender balance, serving as a Vice Precinct Committee Person to Lula Patton in PI-42 (where you reside). You indicated that you thought you had been appointed in PI-34 over the summer by Julie Voorhies. This is incorrect, and Julie Voorhies indicated to me that she told you that you were not appointed as that position was filled. However, you did serve as an inspector in PI-34 on Election Day, but were never appointed to Precinct Committeeperson or Vice Precinct Committeeperson.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

Edward T. Treacy

CC: Ward Chairs, Vice Ward Chairs, Precinct Committeepersons, Vice Precinct Committeepersons

I immediately thought that there must be some mistake. Why would I be getting a letter addressed to Annette Johnson about something I really didn't know or, frankly, care about? Then, I looked at the CC line. It was sent to everybody voting at slating. That means that Ed Treacy thought the issue was so important that he should spend Marion County Democratic Party money on a mailing to hundreds of people.

While that's his prerogative as chair, I wanted the other side of the story.

I contacted Annette Johnson, and she asked me to call her. When we made contact, she could provide no insight as to the reason the letter was sent other than to explain that there had been some confusion about her appointment as a Precinct Committeeperson. She said she had thought the issue had been resolved behind closed doors and considered the matter closed. That was until she started receiving phone calls about the letter late on Monday.

"It was never my intention to bring anyone else into this," said Johnson. "I'm very disappointed that the letter was sent to everyone, and I don't know why they chose to do that."

On the positive side, Johnson said the letter has brought her campaign into the spotlight and that people have been expressing their support for her. "I have received many calls from people asking about the letter. Everyone has been so supportive, so I am pleased to have their support," said Johnson.

As for the Marion County Democratic Party , its side of the story is pretty clear in the letter. I just can't precisely figure out why it was necessary to send the thing out countywide to slating voters. This would seem to be a drastic step to me unless there's much more to the story. Unfortunately, Adam Kirsch, the MCDP Executive Director failed to respond to this e-mail sent late on Tuesday.

I am planning to blog on the Pike PC controversy for Thursday, and I have talked to Annette. In the interest of good journalism and balance, I just wanted to give the MCDP a chance to respond.

Why was the letter sent out to all slating voters?

Anything else the MCDP would like to add on this matter?

Indy Democrat

I keep the door open wide if he or the party wishes to respond.

Johnson is running in slot D for slating along with Leroy Robinson. The slating deadline having passed, slots B and D are the only two contested races for At-Large Council. Slating is Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Indiana Convention Center.


Anonymous said...

I received the letter and believe that it was simply an attempt to clear up the rumors and misinformation floating around. The problem is that if a PC or VPC had not heard the info floating around, the letter makes no sense. Several have told me that they are puzzled by it. At any rate, Annette has worked long and hard for the party and most Dem elected officials. Most of the people I talk to are voting for her as I intend to do.

Erin said...

This is one of the stranger things I've read in a while. It seems like there must be more to this than confusion about a PC position, but, if so, it strikes me as a bit unfair to not let the WCs, PCs and vices know what's really going on or, if this is all it is, to make such a big deal about it right before slating. Though, it's possible this has become a legitimate issue of contention during the campaign and so the Party felt the need to clarify. I guess if they are getting calls about it from a lot of slating voters, I could understand addressing it across the board, but I don't see why that couldn't be in a letter directly to the slating voters, rather than one addressed to Annette.

The tone of the the letter seems pretty defensive and is written as if rebutting specific accusations made against the Party, rather than just explaining a mix-up about appointments. Using the Party as a scapegoat, if really it just was an error by the PC or candidate, is a disruptive tactic and not helpful to winning in November. Whatever occurred, it's pretty unfortunate that it came to this.

Your Bartender said...

I would certainly like to know how much Party money was spent mailing Treacy's tantrum out to all those people. Why would the state party vet this?