DNC Winter Meeting

Last week, I was in Philadelphia. I spent two days attending meetings of the Western States, Rural, Ethnic, and Black Caucuses as a part of the DNC Winter Meeting. Caucuses are groups that share a common interest and use their association to elevate their concerns to the Democratic Party through resolutions and bylaw changes. By far, my favorite was the Black Caucus. Although I was one of only a few white folks in the room, I felt warmly welcomed. The mood was resilient and determined and the attendees demonstrated a strong will to never give up the fight for equality and better living conditions, ever. I found this very inspiring.

At the General Session on Saturday, party delegates considered a resolution to reorder the primary calendar. This change is significant and monumental. Consequently, there was resistance from Iowa and New Hampshire; the states losing their status as the first in the nation Caucus and Primary, respectively. However, despite their opposition, the resolution passed with overwhelming support.

With this decision, the Primary Schedule for 2024 begins in March with the first four Democratic Primaries. The first state primary takes place in South Carolina on Feb 3, followed by primaries in New Hampshire and Nevada on Feb 6. Then, Georgia will hold its primary on Feb 13, followed by Michigan on Feb 27.

It felt good to see democracy at work and to know that our primaries will better reflect the demographics of the American population. Moreover, it gratified me to play a small role in this big decision.

More Perfect Union

Here are some excerpts from the Op Ed column I published in Wednesday’s Coeur d’Alene Press about this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner guest.

On Saturday, Marjorie Taylor-Greene (MTG) will be in Coeur d’Alene at the invitation of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee to deliver the keynote address at their annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Marjorie Taylor-Greene has called for violence against Democrats and against our government. She has made anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic remarks, and she has made remarks that are just plain crazy (Jewish space lasers sparked a wildfire in California?)

To honor someone the day before Abraham Lincoln’s birthday who expresses such un-American views may be attention grabbing, but it is worse than ironic. It is inappropriate and downright unpatriotic.

None of this escaped the Democrats’ attention. Our reactions varied.

Some folks called for the KCRCC to rescind her invitation. After all, a recent poll found that Marjorie Taylor-Greene is unpopular even among Republicans. But the KCRCC declined to disinvite her.

Some suggested we hang protest signs from freeway overpasses condemning Marjorie Taylor-Greene.

A few folks wanted us to ignore Marjorie Taylor-Greene all together, arguing that any added attention would be unhelpful.

Others called for demonstrations with signs along Northwest Boulevard and outside the Resort during the event. We vigorously encourage the use of our First Amendment rights, but protests that day will not be officially organized by the KCDCC.

Other folks contacted the Coeur d’Alene Resort to ask why they would host someone like Marjorie Taylor-Greene. When the Resort did not respond, some even suggested reserving so many rooms that the actual attendees would be unable to stay there.

This prank seemed no more promising than the KCRCC’s premeditated but failed plot to take over the Democratic Central Committee last year. In contrast, we wanted an action that would be both ethical and impactful.

In the end, the majority of local Democrats felt that Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s visit to Coeur d’Alene called for a response that would make clear that her hateful views are inconsistent with Kootenai County values, and are a danger to democracy both nationally and here in Kootenai County.

We respect Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s right to speak, even about controversial ideas.

But her hatred and bigotry cannot be accepted in silence. We have seen inflammatory speech in the past from Richard Butler and his Aryan Nations followers. Lately, thanks to the KCGOP, we see it from David Reilly, Dinesh D’Souza, and Vincent James Foxx.

Kootenai County Democrats do not want our fellow citizens to become accustomed to this sort of  “angertainment.” Therefore, we elected to host a symposium titled “Hijacking Democracy,” an event in which widely-respected Constitutional scholars and public servants will calmly and clearly describe the threat Marjorie Taylor-Greene and her followers pose to democracy nationally and to local institutions like North Idaho College.

The Hijacking Democracy Symposium will feature two panel discussions moderated by the eminent Constitutional Law Professor Dr. David Adler. Among the bi-partisan panelists will be City Council Members Dan Gookin and Christie Woods, State Representative Ilana Rubel, and Reclaim Idaho Director Luke Mayville.

Hijacking Democracy will take place at Templin’s Resort at 11 AM on February 25th. Admission is $40 and includes lunch, ($15 for students with ID). Details are at www.kootenaidemocrats.org.

More than 20 years ago Richard Butler, through his words, incited Aryan Nations followers to use guns and bombs to terrorize Coeur d’Alene. We came together then and said “NO!”

On Saturday, Marjorie Taylor-Greene will be here. We can expect her to take up where Richard Butler left off.

Like Butler, Marjorie Taylor-Greene may encourage violence and vitriol. But unlike Butler, Marjorie Taylor Greene is an elected official who has support from the KCRCC.

Ultimately, the City of Coeur d’Alene received the prestigious Raul Wallenberg Civic Courage Award for vigorously resisting Butler and his neo-Nazis.

Let us show Marjorie Taylor-Greene and the world that Coeur d’Alene still rejects bigotry and that together we can form a more perfect union.

Idaho’s Legislature is In Session

And finally, please pay close attention to what is happening in the Idaho Legislature. The Idaho Democrats produce a weekly newsletter called Capital Roundup that provides weekly updates on what you need to know. Click here to view the February 8 Issue. When you are asked to support or oppose a bill, please act. Our legislators do listen to us (I think).

Have a wonderful week everyone.

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