Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another Message From Bob Peickert

How disappointing!

The November 6 press release by the DuPage Democratic Party states:
Robert Bisceglie, Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, today announced that THEIR [emphasis added] campaign to recruit precinct committeemen more than doubled last year's numbers.

The rest of the release went on to report about the county's efforts in this recruitment period. No mention was made of the efforts or results of township campaigns or that of Operation: Turn DuPage Blue.

Throughout the recruitment campaign that included independent efforts by OTDB and township organizations, OTDB has recognized the work of everyone who played a role in this unprecedented recruitment period. Having spent many days walking precincts and making phone calls, I realize that no one group could have accomplished this by itself. Chris Hotchkin deserves a lot of credit for working on the county plan. Some townships had their own recruitment plans in place, and OTDB had its plan.

Let's look at the results. We now have 237 precinct committeemen (more when you count the "looped" committeemen) as compared to 122 at this time last year. Everyone who had a part in this should be recognized and given credit.

To take sole credit for this achievement sends a message — a wrong message. Apparently some now see this as a competitive exercise rather than a cooperative one. When someone speaks of "reaching out" to other Democrats and organizations, the words are meaningless unless one can attach an action or actions that support that claim or promise. When personal interests override the interests of the party, we won't get very far as an organization.

We can only hope that Rob Bisceglie will send out another press release that recognizes the work of OTDB and the township organizations.

Update: Minor edits at Bob's request.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The benefits of cooperation

Let's take another look at the numbers from the last post. Over the past year, some of the township Democratic organizations worked together with O:TDB on precinct committeeentity recruitment, while others did their own thing. Here are the townships in the first group and the results that they saw:
TownshipPCs on 2006 BallotPCs on 2008 BallotImprovement
Total72151+79 (108%)

By comparison, here are the results from the townships in which there was not substantial cooperation between O:TDB and the township organization:
TownshipPCs on 2006 BallotPCs on 2008 BallotImprovement
Downers Grove2643+17
Total4886+38 (79%)

A number of points need to be made here. First of all, O:TDB is certainly not claiming to have recruited all 79 of the new PCs in the cooperating townships. For example, of the eleven recruits in Addison township, four were already-appointed PCs, six were found by O:TDB, and one was found by someone else. Secondly, even in the townships that did not work cooperatively with us, we did do some recruiting -- we came up with thirteen PCs in Bloomingdale township and five PCs in Downers Grove township.
Update: Corrected some erroneous numbers.
Update 2: Fixed bad formatting. Thanks to michael in chicago for the tip.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So, how'd we do?

The candidate filing period for the February 2008 primary election has ended. Now's a good time to step back and see how successful our party's candidate recruitment efforts have been compared to previous years.

Our Congressional Representative races are well-stocked with candidates, as they have been in previous years. So let's move down to the state level.

Out of sixteen state senator/representative seats up this time around, not including ones which are less than ten percent in DuPage, we filled six slots on the ballot. This is a notable improvement from both 2004 and 2006 in which we only filled four of these slots, but we still have a long way to go.

At the county level, improvement is marginal if even that. Seven out of twelve county board seats will have Democratic candidates on the ballot, compared with five out of twelve in 2006 and five out of six in 2004. We only managed to fill one out of three forest preserve slots on the ballot this time around, compared to none in 2006 and two in 2004. And we filled slots for zero out of five county-wide officer positions, compared with zero in 2006 and two in 2004.

Obviously the quality of candidates also matters, but there's no real way to quantify that until we see how they do against the Republicans. In terms of numbers alone, we're not seeing much progress except for the State Senate.

Where we have seen great improvement is in precinct committeebeing recruitment. Here are some numbers:
TownshipTotal precinctsPCs on ballot 2006PCs on ballot 2008
Downers Grove1282643

That's a total of 237 precincts with Democratic PCs on the ballot, compared with 123 last time around. With well over seven hundred precincts in DuPage, there's still a long way to go with this too, but an increase of nearly 100% is something we should all be proud of.

Update: Edited for formatting fix.