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December 21, 2005

Getting to Know You

Interviews with candidates for the Democratic Party State Chair are showing up over at Washblog.  This is a very important position and we will want to really think about who is running and their thoughts on what we need to do in the state to build an even more robust party and ground effort so we can continue our blueward trend.  A relatively new blogger at Washblog (I can tell he/she's new because he/she doesn't have the hang of Typepad yet), Israelhand, has done interviews with Jean Brooks and Bill Harrington (cross-posted at DailyKos) and hopes to do them with all of the candidates. I will pass along some of the work he is doing, trying to focus our attention on what needs to be done in the Party no matter who is selected.

Here's a description of Jean Brooks from the interview:

Jean has been on the University Place city council since 1995. She serves as an alternate member to the Pierce County Health Department Board, member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Community Action Board, and member of the Aging and Long-Term Care Board. She was honored this year at the the 12th Annual WSDCC Magnuson Awards with the lifetime achievement award.

Jean has a personable, sharp-witted, and savvy presence that seems to translate well to the little screen. I live in University Place, so I see her quite often on UPTV, and our paths cross regularly. Jean seems to be on top of almost everything, and she radiates confidence and a sort of can-do energy.

And an exerpt of her response to what needs to happen:

We need to take a serious look at the way we are dealing with the grassroots. One phone call cannot replace face-to-face contact. We need to be acting at the precinct level, getting out and asking the voters directly about the issues, about what they are concerned about, rather that telling them what our agenda is going to be.  We have systems in place for statewide voter ID, but they are in disrepair.

A bit on Bill Harrington after the fold:

Israelhand's description of Bill Harrington, who is chair of the 2nd LD from the interview:

Bill is an avuncular-looking guy, with a striking mane of snow white hair, and a beard to match. He was relaxed and friendly, and seemed willing to listen. These are all good things for someone who has to deal regularly with the press, as the State Party chair must.

And an exerpt from Bill's response to the question of what needs to be done:

We need a massive outreach campaign to voters in our hard-to-get-at rural and agricultural areas of our great state. We need to take our message out to voters, one on one, rather than simply relying on television and mailing campaign strategies. The big loss in our electoral strategy is contact with individual voters. More and more, it seems, voters in these rural and agricultural areas are voting Republican, and this is a trend we need to reverse. Also, statewide, Republicans have more PCO's than Democrats, and this is a signal we are failing in our grassroots work."

Bill then provides some details of what is needed to strengthen our state-wide presence:

You know, Pierce County is in a unique position--- it can sink a state-wide candidate. And like too many of our counties, our voter identification is poor. The state party has the technical knowledge. I would like to see the state party buy a computer system for each county party, linked together with the state, to share information, and to let us all be working on a equal basis. Donor lists, voter ID--- in some cases our walking lists have 70% of the names with no party ID. A lot of those folks are Democrats, but nobody has ever talked to them.

Thanks to Israelhand.  We'll be looking at the interviews from several different writers and doing our own if we feel like there's more needed. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on December 21, 2005 at 12:33 PM in Interviews | Permalink

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