Is the Loudoun County Democratic Committee (LCDC) imploding, as this post on Too Conservative, as well as this one by Liz “Doorbell Queen” Miller (the nickname comes from her prodigious door-knocking efforts for Democratic candidates), seem to indicate? Well, I’ve now had the chance to speak with Miller and another prominent Loudoun County Democrat, and sadly, the answer appears to be a resounding “yes.” Here’s what I’ve learned. First, see the “flip” for a transcript by Miller of what went down at the LCDC meeting last night. As you read the transcript, and also as you read the rest of this diary, keep in mind that, just a few years ago, LCDC was named the top Democratic County Committee in Virginia. Now, it’s apparently falling apart. This is what I’ve been told by my Loudoun Democratic sources:
*Only about 30-40 people attend LCDC meetings in a county of 300,000+ people. For comparison purposes, Arlington has 200,000 people, and frequently gets 100-200 people for its ACDC meetings.
*LCDC Chair Mike Turner has been driving people away from the committee. Basically, Turner’s attitude is “my way or the highway.” He’s “out of control.”
*Turner has even formed an secret/ad hoc committee to investigate Loudoun County Board of Supervisors member Stevens Miller (D).
*LCDC is in “total disarray,” “completely dysfunctional.” A number of standing committee chairs (e.g., “diversity and outreach,” “membership”) have left, as “noone wants to work with Turner.”
*This disarray has affected candidate recruitment, fundraising, canvassing, infrastructure, etc. in a “purple”/”swing” county that’s absolutely crucial to Tim Kaine’s and Barack Obama’s chances of winning Virginia in 2012, not to mention Democrats’ chances of holding the State Senate.
*The disarray is having a “cascade effect,” turning off independent voters to the Democratic Party, even as the Loudoun County Republican Committee lurches far (FAR!) to the right.
*Bottom line: this is all a total distraction from
what we need to be doing in Loudoun County
*Last but not least, DPVA Chair Brian Moran hasn’t been involved at all in this situation, may not even be aware of what’s going on in Loudoun (although DPVA political director Don Mark is reportedly now aware). Another major FAIL by DPVA, apparently.
What’s going to happen next? What I’m hearing is that it’s possible the DPVA and/or 10th CD Democratic Committee could get involved, possibly force out LCDC Chair Mike Turner. In the meantime, though, we’re wasting time as we move towards important elections in 2011 (for the General Assembly) and in 2012 (for U.S. Senate and President). We’re also pushing away great Democrats like Liz Miller, even cutting her off from the VAN as she attempts to help Democratic candidates. It’s truly unacceptable, as Loudoun County clearly is far, far too important for this kind of situation to continue. So, who’s going to step in and remedy this situation, ASAP?!?
Mike Turner unsubscribed me, Stevens, and another member from the LCDems Members and Discuss mailing lists.
…Mike said that if we wanted to know why, we should ask.
So last night, during 2 minute rants, I asked (Stevens wasn’t there. He was in DC working).
Mike said that I had said, in a public forum, that I would back Cliff over Andrea; and that Stevens spoke publicly against party unity in the redistricting process and that he and a third person had given “proprietary redistricting information” to the LCRC.
He said that there is an adhoc committee looking into what their response could be to Stevens, but in the meantime, HE felt that he had to cut off our sources of information and ability to help opponents of Dem candidates.
So I said, “is that all?” He said, “yes, but I’m not going to debate you about this.”
I said, “I’m not going to debate that.” And I turned to everyone and said, “I never said in a public forum that I would support Cliff over Andrea. If you’d like to read what I said, you can see it at doorbellqueen.blogspot.com, I HAVE said it to individuals, and it’s true that I will be supporting Cliff over Andrea. I’ve been friends with Cliff for nearly 12 years. If he weren’t running OF COURSE I’d be supporting Andrea. If she weren’t running, there wouldn’t be a problem.”
Then I turned to Mike and said, “I think I’ve been a valuable member of this organization. I resign.”
UPDATE: Here’s the text of an email from Mike Turner which I’m told has gone “viral” in Loudoun. I’m also told this “didn’t sit well with eastern Loudoun Democrats, and Democrats like Kevin Turner, who ran as a D for school board in 07, to be told their plan was basically a Republican plot.”
From: Mike Turner
Date: March 6, 2011 11:09:00 PM EST
Subject: [LCDems-members] HOA Plan Problems
All: I’ve finished analyzing the HOA plan. It has serious problems which you can speak to tomorrow night if you’d like. Here are the key public talking points:
1. It essentially reduces rural representation on the BOS by 50%. Blue Ridge would become the only rural district. Our rural heritage in Loudoun is what makes us so special. Catoctin would no longer be a rural district. Loudoun County’s rural representation is critical if the BOS is to fairly represent both the rural and suburban cultures of our county. We must maintain two rural seats on the BOS.
2. It carves up Leesburg. Broad Run would take four Leesburg precincts, the new Dulles North district would take a Leesburg precinct, and the new Catoctin would take two Leesburg precincts. Leesburg is the cultural center of this county, and this plan would essentially leave Leesburg no vote as a single entity.
3. The plan is clearly an attempt by four suburban HOAs to forcibly make the Loudoun County BOS a suburban-dominated board. This is completely innappropriate for this county.
This plan is bad for Loudoun County for the above reasons, however the plan also has serious implications for the Democratic Party in this county. They are so serious that I’m convinced the HOA plan is really a Republican plan masquerading as a non-partisan community plan. If you plan to speak on Monday night, PLEASE call me on Monday to discuss these additional concerns.