Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Dickie Cranwell Stepping Down as DPVA Chair; Draft Donald McEachin!

Yesterday, Olympia Meola reported rumors that "[l]eadership changes could be afoot at the Democratic Party of Virginia."  Well, I've had it confirmed to me that not only is this a rumor, it's true -- Dickie Cranwell will be stepping down in December as DPVA chair after 5 years on the job.

Let's be blunt; the DPVA has not exactly been the most effective organization in recent times. A few adjectives and phrases that spring to mind include lackluster, uninspired, unimaginative, lazy, slow-to-react, complete inability to create an effective political narrative, etc.  Meanwhile, the 2009 Democratic debacle looms large, and by all rights should have resulted in a housecleaning last fall. Given that it didn't, I guess I'd say "better late than never." I'd also say, let's turn this decision by Dickie Cranwell into an opportunity for positive change at the top of DPVA. Let's get someone in there with energy, commitment, determination, and proven leadership abilities.  Fortunately, I've got just the person for the job:


That's right, Sen. Donald McEachin, the man who more than anyone has filled the leadership vacuum over the past year, has most effectively stood up to Cooch and Company, who most powerfully has articulated Democratic values, who "gets" the grassroots and netroots, who represents everything we'd want in a party chair.  I'd say that right now, it's time for the DPVA to open things up, hold a competitive election, let whatever interested candidates battle it out, but in the end select Donald McEachin to lead the party. I'm not even sure if Donald's interested, but if he is, he should know that he has a lot of friends and supporters in the progressive activists community.  If you're with me, or even if you're not, please let's hear what you think in the comments section.  Thanks...and go Donald!

UPDATE: You can sign the petition here.

UPDATE #2: Sen. McEachin's press release is on the "flip."

UPDATE #3: Dickie Cranwell's and Mark Warner's statements in the comments section.

UPDATE #4: Bob Lewis reports:

The search for a successor has been under way for weeks with Warner, Kaine and others trying to persuade 2009 gubernatorial contender Brian J. Moran of Alexandria to replace Cranwell.

Moran was described Tuesday as "the first among equals," should he resolve issues regarding his family and his job that would allow him to hold the post.

Others under consideration include Greg Werkheiser, who raised and spent about $500,000 in a 2009 bid to unseat Del. David Albo, R-Fairfax County, and Michael Signer, a Democratic strategist who unsuccessfully sought the party's nomination for lieutenant governor last year.

DPVA “Shocked” McDonnell is “so cavalier about Malek’s past”

From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
Cranwell: "Bob McDonnell should do his homework"

Yesterday in an interview on WTOP's "Ask the Governor," Bob McDonnell indicated that he didn't know much about the man who he tapped to chair his newly formed Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring.  

When asked by Mark Plotkin about Malek's controversial past, Governor McDonnell claimed "I didn't know about his background," which includes a $100,000 personal fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission for efforts by his company, Thayer Capital Partners, to defraud the State of Connecticut's Pension Fund. McDonnell went on to defend Malek, claiming he is the "kind of people I want."

"I'm shocked about two things," said C. Richard Cranwell, Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.  "One, the governor has no vetting process for critical appointments and two, the Governor is so cavalier about Malek's past"

Governor McDonnell's statement that business leaders "often" have regulatory violations like this is perhaps the most troubling.  "The fact that our Governor is unconcerned by Fred Malek's involvement in a scandal that jeopardized state employees' retirement funds is alarming," said Cranwell.  "To have someone with this type of history undertake a massive restructuring and reforming initiative of state government borders on insulting to the people of Virginia."

Cranwell continued, "I don't know which is worse, knowing about Malek's past and appointing him to this position anyway, or not taking the time to investigate someone you are appointing to such an important position.  If it were me, I'd have done my homework."

By the way, there is no good reason for a Democrat to be on Malek's commission. Frankly, right now, Democrats on that commission are simply being used as cover for McDonnell and Malek.  That needs to stop.