Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Clearing the Air

What I am about to write (or what you are about to read) is very likely and most possibly one of the most important posts in the history of this blog.

On Friday, I typed a post, entitled "Pelz campaign playing fast and loose with the truth in bid for state party chair?"

After the publishing of that post I was sure I was not going to touch the subject again, not beyond the updating of the original post.

But I now find it absolutely necessary that I address it again.

Since Friday, I have come under attack by many people - including people I consider friends - who are very unhappy that I published what I did. I have also been praised by other people, again people who I consider to be friends, for trying to shed some light on the race for state party chair.

I need to make some clarifications which I now feel I owe to every reader of this blog and every Democrat in the state party.

First, I do not hate Dwight Pelz. It is not my intention to destroy his candidacy for state party chair - despite what I posted on Friday. In my other assessments of the race for state party chair I have been very fair in respecting Dwight as a candidate. I am not, and haven't been, engaged in some kind of ongoing campaign to stop him. I don't even consider myself an opponent or a detractor of Dwight's. Obviously Friday's post makes it look like I am. For the record, I am not.

Furthermore, I want to remind every single reader that this organization (and, it just so happens, with my personal concurrence) endorsed Dwight Pelz in his bid for City Council. We did not have to issue a dual endorsement - we heard from many people who urged us just to endorse the incumbent, Richard McIver. (You can see the endorsement here).

Second, despite some people's assertions, I do not have a favorite candidate in the race for party chair. I am truly undecided. And I don't think my support really matters. I am not on the State Democratic Central Committee; I have no vote. And I am not interested in trying to lobby members of the Central Committee, either. In fact, I do not intend to make an endorsement of any of the candidates remaining in the race - period. I am just going to watch what happens.

All I want is a chair who understands the importance of the grassroots, will work to improve the party's message and communications strategy, and makes use of the Internet as a medium.

I published a post on Thursday that conveys the concerns of other Democrats who wanted important questions answered. And I am in fact glad that reports contained in my post have been contradicted.

I am extremely grateful, and indebted, to Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, for coming forward and leaving a comment in the thread attached to the post clearing up the confusion. I have always respected her leadership in the state Senate and now I am even more impressed.

I am also very grateful to people who have offered me additional information about the letter sent by the Pelz campaign which contains the endorsements of the Governor and Senator Murray.

I have heard reports that some individuals took it upon themselves to reprint my post and pass it around at meetings that Dwight himself was at yesterday.

I'm very disappointed to hear that, and I wish to make very clear that I had no involvement in that - absolutely none whatsoever.

I'm not happy because I'm pretty sure those materials don't contain the updates I posted yesterday. And I want people to know the truth. The original post is now outdated. I said when I first posted that I welcomed corrections. And I've posted corrections.

I am now sorry for having personally jumped into this in the first place. Really, I think my role is to try to help the new chair (whoever that ends up becoming) and the party's leadership build a stronger Democratic Party, and offer my assistance in helping the Party make use of the Internet as a medium.

I also admit it would have been a good idea to do more research and inquiry before publishing what I published. And I should have attempted to contact Dwight to give him (or his campaign) a chance to say something.

However, I happen to be the kind of person who believes in learning from mistakes. I've certainly learned from this experience.

I have removed the original post from Friday. The questions contained within it have been raised - what's in the post is already out there. I would just like to put it behind me.

Finally, in the interest of fairness, I wish to offer Dwight Pelz and his campaign a personal invitation to send me a guest post, up to a thousand words, which I will subsequently publish here on this blog. It could explain why Dwight is running for chair, what his vision for the party is, seek to address any/all of the concerns contained in Friday's post, or something similar. And I hope Dwight's campaign takes advantage of my offer.

One more thing - effective immediately, I am quitting blogging for the next couple of weeks - perhaps longer, I will figure that out. Other NPI members will step up and keep the Official Blog up to date. I will make one exception - and that is: if I receive a guest post from Dwight (and/or his campaign), I myself will be publishing it.

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