Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Political Change Demands Strength

Regardless of political rhetoric, filing deadlines result in cold, hard facts.

Monday was the deadline to file for the June primary. As expected, incumbents Cory Storch and Linda Carter filed to run for re-election to the City Council. Republicans put up Deborah Dowe to challenge Storch in the November general election and Sean T. Alfred to run against Carter. The only primary contest is from Tony Rucker, a Democrat who is running against Storch.

Others who talked about going up against the Regular Democratic Organization at local and county levels missed the 4 p.m. deadline to file petitions.

Even if they succeed in getting a judge to rule that their petitions must be accepted, those who showed up late already have demonstrated weakness in their organization.

Challenges to the RDO have succeeded in the past. New Democrats won in recent years and Harold Mitchell ran a slate of City Committee members a while back that won enough seats to topple party chairman Jerry Green if they had wanted to. In each case, the insurgent campaigns were backed by people with both passion and strategic skills.

Of course, in the party system, winning a primary contest means you then go on to the general election under the banner of the organization you set out to challenge. That does not mean you have to park your ideals at the door, it just makes it a lot trickier to effect change and can lead to factionalism.

Entrenched power yields to only one thing – organized power of a different kind. It will be interesting to see whether those who speak of reform can actually do the hard work to bring it about.

--Bernice Paglia


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