|Not sure why I picked Waldorf and Stadler for this,|
but it seemed appropriate at the time so I left it.
In the 2008 General Election, I was the slated Democrat in the race for Decatur Township Advisory Board in November. The candidates for the office had struck a deal with the Marion County Democratic Party that we would not pay a slating fee unless we won. The Democrats downtown were as eager as the local Democrats to fill the slate. As a party, we went 0-6. I lost big time, and I haven't run for office again.
I have, however, participated in slating conventions as one of the so-called "party bosses" and "insiders" that some have railed against. I haven't always voted the way that the prevailing winds say I should have voted, but I've never been pressured or been coerced to vote one way or another by anyone in the Marion County Democratic Party leadership. I have always voted for the people I felt were the best candidates. Sometimes, my candidates have won. Sometimes, they have lost.
I became disillusioned with the slating process in 2011. We had a Decatur Township Democrat (Pat Andrews) running for City-County Council. Before the deadline for submitting precinct committeepersons passed, our local organization in Decatur Township submitted a last few candidates. They were submitted to fill slots and no litmus test was applied.
When those Democrats arrived at the slating convention, they were told they could not receive a credential. The Marion County Democratic Party blamed it on a miscommunication and that the Chairman had been ill and unable to approve the last-minute appointments. I was embarrassed, as a Ward Chair, that those people took time out of their days to go downtown, find parking, and vote as precinct committeepersons but were unable to do so.
I have never accused anyone of anything untoward, but I felt that it made me look like an idiot. Shortly after that, I was elected President of the Decatur Township Civic Council, a non-political position, so I resigned as Ward Chair.
These past experiences have given me mixed feelings about slating. I believe that it does have some value, but I feel that the process needs to be reformed...I just don't know where to start to do the reform.
I think that we carry out heavy-handed campaigns sometimes to push the slate, and I don't think that makes anyone enjoy the process. The voters ultimately have the decision in their hands on May 6. If we, as a party, have played our cards right and truly have good slated candidates, then there should be no problem.
On Tuesday, I think the slate carries for the Democrats. I believe the slated Democrats ARE the best people for the job. They are all competent and ready to serve. If I didn't believe that, I would tell you. I'm not beholden to anyone on this blog, and I don't get a dollar for it.
What I do believe is unfortunate is the way we characterize those running against the slate. For stepping out and into the political realm, we should, at some level, praise everyone that runs for office and leaves his or her comfort zone. At the end of the day, we're all Democrats. We all share some of the same core values, and our party is better because we are all in it.
Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. I've probably been guilty of it in the past. For that, I'm sorry.