Tag Archives: bylaws change

Let’s Work Together for a Stronger CDP

As we get ready for the State Democratic Party Convention that starts this Friday, I am reminded of what Alan Cranston said over 50 years ago: The Democratic Party should be about electing Democrats, first and foremost.

Times have changed since the days of Alan Cranston, but our party’s priority must remain the same – electing Democrats.  

Unfortunately, June 2010’s Open Primary Initiative could bring back the 1950’s when open primaries allowed Republicans to dominate Democratic primaries and the California Democratic Party was ineffective and weak. We must begin this weekend to build an organization dedicated to defeating this ballot measure. If we fail, we could lose our hard-fought legislative majorities and allow the Republicans to decimate our gains in education, health care and public policy.

Our very existence as a political party is challenged. We must get ready soon if we are to be successful.

That’s why we must improve the things about our party that work, and fix those that don’t. One thing that clearly works is the phenomenal power of internet fundraising and developing more small to medium dollar contributions.  As Controller, I’ve been working to broaden our fundraising base in this way, and helped us raise more than $80 million over my term.  But we can still do better.

If every delegate turned to 10 of his or her friends and got each of them to donate $100 to our party, we would have nearly $3 million to devote to party building activities and have 30,000 additional donors to help us grow stronger.

Something we need to fix is how our money is used to support candidates. Along with the Chair of the Assembly Accountability Committee Hector De La Torre and CDP First Vice-Chair Alex Rooker, I’ve proposed reforms of CDP bylaws that will maximize our resources and guarantee that money raised for an election cycle is spent in that election cycle.

It’s called Common Sense CDP Finance Reform, and will make sure that our money is spent electing Democrats, not sitting in elected officials’ fundraising accounts. The bylaws change is being considered by the Rules Committee and the companion resolution is before the Resolutions Committee this Friday.

If elected, I plan to push for an open process that shows our donors how the party spends, and plans to spend, the money they contribute. I will do this by working with fellow Finance Committee members to produce a series of budget projections to anticipate three scenarios:  exceeding our fundraising goals, meeting our fundraising goals, and a bare-bones projection just in case the party falls short.

This transparency will not only allow members to see clearly how our party spends its money, it will allow us to better plan for and be prepared for whatever may happen in the upcoming elections.

The County Democratic Central Committee in Los Angeles has been using this approach for a number of years successfully, and I will work to implement this procedure in my second term.

Thank you, California Democrats for my four years as your State Party Controller. I am asking for your vote this weekend, and hope to serve you for another four years.