Thank You For Your Support Blue Virginia

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    (Thanks to Ben not just for running, but for fighting for progressive values, for Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, for the importance of the Democratic Party embracing and fully utilizing social media, and for running a positive campaign focused on the issues. As far as I’m concerned, Ben has a lot to be proud of from the way he conducted himself in this race, no matter what the “powers that be” want to say about him (as if they’re paragons of virtue or something – ha!). – promoted by lowkell)

    There’s a lot to talk about from yesterday’s convention.  Before we all dive into the details, I just wanted to write a quick note of thanks to the entire Blue Virginia family for their support of my campaign for the DNC.  

    Look, I know that I was a seriously flawed candidate.  For people out there that couldn’t understand the bigger issues of why I was running to fix the party it was very easy to just latch onto something provocative I wrote on NLS over the last seven years and deem me unfit for any position.  I knew that going in.

    I was surprised though at how much further the attacks went beyond that.  Emails that circulated the week before the convention included all sorts of allegations- far too many to every have any hope of responding.  

    Why was there such a negative campaign run against such an obviously flawed candidate?  Because the establishment candidates literally had nothing positive to report for their time in office.  People weren’t supporting me so much as they were supporting the issues I was running on.  

    In short, I’m taking these results as a huge victory.  At every other state convention I’ve ever attended (back to 1996) ballots are counted by putting them into 2 piles- slate and no slate.  Every time the slate pile is bigger and the ballots are never even counted, the slate is declared the winner.  This time, together with Del. Lionell Spruill we forced the slate to almost exactly 20% (297 of 1480) of the vote.  That meant the ballots had to be counted, and if Frank or George came in under 50% then we would force a runoff for the first time.  And when the votes were counted our incumbent DNC member Frank only got 55% of Virginia Democrats to re-elect him, and his ticket mate fell short, meaning we had forced the run off!  

    Thanks for sticking with me and helping us make a little bit of history.  I’m sorry the runoff vote that we earned never took place. I’m sure there will be a lot more discussion about that and other things that happened this weekend in the future, but don’t let that overshadow what we did accomplish together.

    • hokieguru

      Ben, thank you for running – I noticed how there was complete silence among the party faithful when you said that you were running on platform to produce a strategy to reach out to younger voters.  And when I say silence, I think they were shocked at how low the turn out was in off year elections among this key voting block segment.  I think they were stunned.

      Thanks again for running.

    • sallybee

      I was very thankful to have the opportunity to vote for someone who understood we are in the 21st century.  Yesterday’s convention was the biggest joke of a convention that I have ever attended.  How rinky-dink is it to get kicked out of the facility you rented for this event?

      Please don’t give up the fight!

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      To the assertion by some insiders that you hurt the party, my reply is that they do, some inadvertantly, others not so  much.   You are just the messenger. But every time a slate rides roughshod over due process then they hurt the party.  Every time the real grass roots (which is not isomorphic w/ party insiders) is crushed then harm occurs.  Every time  votes are not counted, no matter who wins, harm is done. Every time lobbyists take a greater hold on our party,  harm is done.  Every time the scared pols waste

      a minute saying to themselves that they need the lobbyists, harm is done. Every time profiteers and their spokespersons undermine public ducation harm is done.  Ever time polluters pollute with the help of some Dems, harm is done. Everytime Dems try to out-conservative conservatives, harm occurs.  Every time a politician-to-lobbyist door revolves, harm is done.  And every time apologists for AFP  the Tea Party undermine our party, harm is done.  But they will always blame it on the messenger.

      I would keep telling it like it is.  You and I have not always agreed, but I know you would have made a better rep than the  “winner.” thank you for trying.  And thank you for being a class act in doing so.  I remain proud to have wanted your victory.

    • swdemocrat

      Are the election results posted anywhere?   I attended the convention but had to leave before they were announced.  There definitely could be some improvements to how the convention is conducted.  It would appear it has been done the same way for a long time.  We could make better use of technology in vote tallying.  Paper ballots–really?

    • eilhen

      I completely agree that closing the venue before the voting and 2nd round voting was complete and tallied was a huge blunder.  Even if the intent was not to supress, that was the impression by some.  

      Ben, your posting is somewhat misleading.  You are an incredibly smart and capable person; but to classify some of your prior posts on NLS as only “provacative” is very gentle and some might call it revisionist history.  You have, on many occasions, not  questioned or attacked a position or vote, which is our duty as Democrats, but you have attacked the person. And not on facts, but on whether you like the person or not. That is why you lost.  You have great ideas and much to contribute, but as much as you might like to pretend that some of your history did not happen, that you were just questioning the “establishment”or “status quo” there are many who know that your writings were quite often very personal, vicious, and uncalled for.

      I personally like you Ben.  You are smart and witty.  You have a great sense of humor.  You have an uncanny ability to evaluate and provide analyses of trends. And I hope that you continue in your growth so that you can contribute to our party.    

    • Teddy Goodson

      was a classic example of an entrenched clique that confused protecting its own personal position of power with the good of the over-all organisation. IMO, when you strip away the personality conflicts and other frou-frou, that clique responded defensively and ruthlessly, refusing to admit to its coveted ranks an insurgent who represented the rising generation. This is the manner in which an aristocracy (or other privileged group in charge) historically responds, despite clear evidence that such dismissal of outsiders knocking at the gates only ends up in the long run by destroying the organisation itself—- just ask Marie Antoinette how that policy works.

      Mr. Tribett has good ideas, and he tried to work within the system to begin a needed and over-due reform process. He was ambushed in a power play which can be described as a successful tactical maneuver, but one which may well turn out to be a strategic error in the long run. Entrenched cliques, if they want to survive and prosper, must sometimes deal with persons they regard as uncouth, who usually carry their own baggage and unfortunately are not shining knights.

      So the Powers That Be had (some of them) had conflicts with Mr. Tribbett in the past and been burned; they did not come to the table with exactly clean hands themselves. Did they fear that Mr. Tribett would be a loose cannon (like, say, Doug Wilder or, for that matter, Jim Webb, former Republican)? Would it not have been far better to bring the loose cannon into the fold to keep an eye on him, and, well, use him where he is part of the system? That is how the hoity-toity but bankrupt English aristocracy came to terms with, and inter-married with, the rising merchant class, and ended up preserving the British monarchy—- old wine in new bottles. It will be tragic if this poorly-run convention meeting ends up driving away or forfeiting the young voters, losing Fairfax County for Obama and thus losing Virginia and the general election…  

    • JGFitzgerald

      All due respect to the work folks put into these campaigns, the last ten minutes of the convention didn’t happen the way they did because anybody was trying to keep Tribbett from being elected. They happened that way because people wanted to go home. A standing count showed eighty percent of the folks wanted to vote on the DNC election and leave. A voice vote seemed like a tie. There’s a metaphor there about louder not meaning the same thing as more. Tribbett didn’t lose when Brian Moran conferred with the parliamentarian. He lost when Spruill withdrew. I know it wouldn’t have been easy for Tribbett to quit, just as I know it wasn’t easy for Spruill to do so. I’ll never forget that Spruill gave up something for the party. That wasn’t a conspiracy or a failure. That was one man’s decision to do what he thought was the right thing.  

    • Paba

      about the future are at this point.

      First off, we had one candidate who didn’t feel the need to address the crowd, which says VOLUMES (despite the lack of talk) about how he views the people he supposedly works for now.

      Secondly, I’m sympathetic to the argument that people were sick and tired and wanted to leave, but this should have never been an issue. Screw cute interactive/electronic vote proposals (we stand for the integrity of the vote, and I can’t believe some people pitch new voting schemes after the past 12 years), when you are confirmed as a delegate, you should be given your ballot. Fill it out. Line up and put it in the box for your district. Have counters assigned to each box. Report the results. Wash, rinse, repeat. Who in god’s name planned things to occur the way they did, with people passing out ballots as if we’re in 7th grade English class passing out assignments. The crowd was NOT happy with all that garbage.

      And now, a few off-the-cuff proposals to improve the party based on what I’ve learned from the state convention:

      – We are utterly lost among the leadership on what the youth vote means.

      – Who chooses the leadership? Who are these jokers? I’ve only been coming to DPVA stuff for a couple years, but I’ve been around DP politics through family in the past, and never have I known the party to have as little respect as this for their leaders. What in the world happened to get Brian Moran his job, and if I knew how, would I still want to be involved in this fiasco of a party?

      – Look, I known why certain people do and don’t go into politics, and I have lawyers in my family. But the Democratic Party already has TOO MANY GODDAM LAWYERS representing it, and last I checked, they were, on average, about as popular as tax collectors and crooked cops. We need to recruit a more diverse group of candidates and activists, no doubt. The makeup of the party grandees is obvious from the confusion this event caused.

      – I ended up as a Democrat due to about 25% family reasons and 75% ideological reasons. Why do we expect more people to join us? What do we offer to people who aren’t DC policy wonks or don’t consider themselves “activists”? The 50 state strategy looked to solve this by putting the party and its distinctions out there in front of the whole country and providing a contrast between the party of privileged and money and the party that supposedly stands for the common man. Apparently we don’t think it’s worth talking to every district, especially here in VA, anymore.

      Why should we govern a state where we aren’t doing that?

      – I sure hope Terry runs, because at least he ACTS like he cares.

      – When is someone going to acknowledge that we are now, as a party and as supporters of Democrats, fighting against UNLIMITED MONEY. Look, talk about changing the law all you want, but right here and right now, that’s what you have to plan for. Get ready for it. Hell, ACKNOWLEDGE IT. This is not 2008, or 2006, or 1992, or whatever. This is UNLIMITED MONEY vs. what I presume will have to be a superior message and ground game. In other words, we should be playing with more tenacity, like we’re already behind. WAKE UP AND PLAY THE GAME.

      I could go on, but instead I’ll post this, because it all sounds like it’s talking about the DPVA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?…

      And to hammer the sports references home, I’ll close with a quote from the wise Vince Lombardi:

      “What the hell’s going on out here?”

      -AHW

    • commentator1

      The progressives got Howard Dean in as DNS chair. His ground game is one reason Obama was elected. Since Dean has departed things have been going downhill with the DNC. Thank goodness for the Obama campaign which has brought young people into the election process and generally operated outside of the traditional party structure.

    • leedynamo

      Perhaps it helps to have an outsider’s perspective along with the knowledge of having been involved in an organization for a period of time.

    • mudcat

      Since they were going to screw Ben, it would have been much more merciful on all of us if they had screwed him earlier in the day. We wouldn’t have had to spend all day there voting for him.  

    • peacepatriot

      I was not afforded the opportunity to vote. PERIOD.  The entire process was a fraud.  15 people from the 1st district did not get to caste their votes. There was also another district that had delegates that did not get to vote.

      There were “observers” behind our group that I believe received ballots that we did not receive.  When we called this to question, our protest, which they would not allow us to submit a formal protest was waved away by Brian Moran and the rest of the “leaders”.  What a sham!!!  Yes I also would have voted for Ben.  I had never met him, but after hearing his speech I was very impressed not only regarding getting out the youth, but the need to allow voters to vote, not a caucus.  After reading the trash sheet that was being distributed against Ben, I really began to wonder what kind of organization this is.

      But who we would have voted for is not the issue. The fact that we drove several hours, stayed in a hotel, and arrived on time at the Convention to be counted so our vote could be counted is the issue.

      I’m ashamed of this organization.

      Oh and I left early out of complete disgust!  This situation also shamed all of the candidates including Tim Kaine and Barack Obama.

      Shelley Napier – 1st District – PAST MEMBER OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY – NO MORE!!!