Del. Morrissey: “This is not Harry Bryd’s Democratic Party; it is the people’s Democratic Party”


    Wow, strong words from Del. Joe Morrssey (D-74th) on the process of selecting the next DPVA chair!

    October 20, 2010


    To: Democratic State Lawmakers

    From: Joseph D. Morrissey

    Dear colleagues

    As you know, our Democratic State Party Chairman, Dick Cranwell, has announced his resignation. From what I have read in the newspapers, Senator Mark Warner and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine have chosen Brian Moran, a former colleague of ours, as Dick

    Cranwell’s replacement. The State Central Committee is expected to ratify this choice in the next several weeks.

    Make no mistake about it – I like Brian Moran. Brian was our House Caucus Chairman and I endorsed, supported, and campaigned for him during his run for Governor. Indeed, I held a party for him out at my farm in Varina where 600 + people attended in June of 2009.

    However, with that said, I am disappointed with the selection process. With due respect to former Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, I think they should have tried to determine what the roughly 5 dozen Democratic lawmakers who are up for re election next year thought about the next State Party Chairman. Senator Warner doesn’t run again until 2014 and Governor Kaine is focused – and rightfully so – on the 2010 Federal Elections. But we are all up for re-election next year. Have any of you been consulted?

    more after the “fold”

    I recognize that both Mark and Tim, as former Governors, are used to dictating the Party Chair. This is a prerogative traditionally given to the state’s Chief Executive. However, the current environment is different. This is not Harry Bryd’s Democratic Party; it is the people’s Democratic Party. We, the House and Senate Democrats, are relevant and cannot and should not be taken for granted.

    The paramount responsibility of the next Democratic Party Chair is to increase (hopefully by one or two seats) the Democratic majority in the State Senate. Similarly, the next Chairman should be “laser like” focused on preventing any additional slippage in the House Caucus. Indeed, there are democratic members of the House who are in desperate need of raising funds so as to maintain their respective seats. Accordingly, raising funds and defending core democratic principles should be the main objective of the next Party Chair.

    Again, let me reiterate what I said above. I like Brian Moran. However, either we are all part of the same team or we aren’t. As Al Pacino said as the fictional head coach of the Miami Storm in the movie On Any Given Sunday “We either stand together and win as a team, or we stand alone and die.”

    In conclusion, I respect Mark and Tim and their views deserve/carry significant weight. But so do your views as well as other Democrats. Please tell me what you’re thinking.

    Joseph D. Morrissey

    Representative – 74th District