Monday, February 22, 2010

Uh-Oh --- No Slam Dunk For Precinct Committeemen

Well, there seems to be a lot of Democratic panties in a bunch over contested Precinct Committeemen (PC) elections this year. The blame has been lavished upon Brian Williams, announced candidate for Mayor in 2011. Seems Williams brought a stack of PC candidate forms into the Election Board on Friday, just before the noon filing deadline. The 'Behind Closed Doors' column in the Sunday Star said he brought in 200 forms. The word Friday night was 175. All agree they are his supporters. The Star reports that there are 590 total precincts in the County.

So, I looked over the spreadsheet posted on the Election Board website to see what I could see. I filtered and sorted the data and I found that overall, 216 PC slots are uncontested and 152 are contested. 47 of the contested slots have more than two candidates. 08-002 and WAS-050 each have 6 folks running.

Looking at the data from the perspective of when the slots became contested, 47 were contested before Williams dropped his stack on the 19th. And, 23 of the 105 that became contested on the 19th have more than 2 candidates. Now if we think Williams is a smart man, which I do, then I have to guess that he didn't submit more than two candidates for any one PC slot.

Here's how I see the numbers. Roughly a third of all contested PC races were contested prior to Williams showing up in the Election Office. Also, a third of all contested PC races have more than two candidates. This suggests to me, either another agency promoting their own set of PC candidates have been at work, or there is a goodly amount of widespread dissatisfaction with who is in those slots now.

In my opinion, it would be good for the party to see if there is anything it needs to fix before it hoists all manner of derision on Williams.

Lets be frank here. The County Democratic Party was marching in a line to anoint Melina Kennedy as its candidate. Williams actions suggest he wasn't content to go to slating with PCs selected by the 'system'.

Every time I say that slating must go, I am rebutted with the claim that the PCs know the candidates best. Now I am hearing folks that I respect, say that they won't vote for Williams - not because his ideas for Indianapolis are bad - but because he bucked the system. The preservation of the system should not be the goal. We have lost a lot of good people from the Marion County Democratic Party 'system' because those in a position to make changes have not wanted to do so. That is a crying shame.

In any case, here are the numbers Township by Township (I don't know how many precincts in each township, so be aware that these are only the ones for which a person put their name in as a candidate) --

Center (I believe old city limits actually) - 76 uncontested -- 70 contested
Decatur - 6 uncontested -- 4 contested
Franklin - 9 uncontested -- 3 contested
Lawrence - 18 uncontested -- 19 contested
Perry - 18 uncontested -- 8 contested
Pike - 21 uncontested -- 12 contested
Warren - 13 uncontested -- 11 contested
Washington - 34 uncontested -- 15 contested
Wayne - 20 uncontested -- 10 contested

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