Friday, December 28, 2012

What's The Procedure To Replace Our Committeewoman?

James White
Senate District 8 December Newsletter 
by Senatorial District 8 Committeeman James White

The main topics for this month are the SDEC TDP Election Debrief Meeting held earlier this month in Austin and SD8 Committeewoman Replacement Procedures.

Saturday, December 8, the SDEC met in an informal session to discuss election results, where we are, and what we can do. It was more than that, to me it seemed like one of our more information dense meetings. I learned a lot about what happened and what we are wanting to execute on going forward.

Let me give credit first to SD9 Committeeman Michael McPhail who takes real-time facebook notes of the SDEC meetings. Go "friend" him.  We all won't be at the top of the ticket. And I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in having the pox of 2010 revisited upon me.

December SDEC Meeting
Chairman Hinojosa said if we do what we've always done we'll get our butts kicked. I doubt many of you reading this would disagree.

We must put together a statewide structure, we must expand into the rural areas, we must run everywhere. That's me summarizing this and, well, I'm strongly agreeing. We may not have a Howard Dean 50 state opportunity but with work and showcasing our Democratic principles, we can get a 254 county strategy.

We also heard Darlene Ewing, Dallas County Democratic Party Chair, speak, along with Tarrant, and Bexar county chairs. Darlene gave me, indirectly (and I'm positive she wasn't thinking of me at all) a shoutout when she said there are Democrats everywhere in Dallas County, even in Far North Dallas. Yes, she said, there is even a Democratic club in Far North Dallas. Well, that would be the club I'm president of, The Far North Dallas Democrats and you can find us on FaceBook at Far North Dallas Democrats. I'll take the kind word even if it isn't directed at me because Darlene is a successful Democratic County chair and I - and we - can learn a lot from her.

I don't want to fill this news letter up with the minutiae of the event, but I have to say, the information content in this meeting was great. If you want to know more, let me know!

What's The Procedure To Replace Our Committeewoman?

SD8 Committeewoman Linda Magid will leave us this month and move to Bexar County, Texas.  I've been looking up the procedure for mid-cycle replacement of our committeewoman. At the SDEC meeting someone approached me and was fairly emphatic about another procedure that I did not think was correct, so I've researched it. This person perhaps astutely pointed out that I might need "help with complex ideas", so if you agree about that, then proceed with caution. What I believe to be the procedure is based on my questions and research, but the ultimate determination is made by the TDP - so with that proviso and warning, here is what I believe will happen. (TDP RULES CAN BE FOUND HERE. [pdf that opens in googledocs])

"When a vacancy occurs on the SDEC, the vacancy shall be filled by the majority vote of the members of the SDEC. The new member shall be an eligible person of the same sex and from the same senatorial district as the vacating member. The Senatorial District Committee of the affected district shall meet to nominate a person for such position. The State Chair shall mail written notice of the meeting to consider such nomination to the members of the Senatorial District Committee and, if known, the Chair of the affected district’s Senatorial District Caucus at the last State Convention, at least two weeks prior to the meeting. The Committee shall report its nominee to the SDEC. A vacancy shall be filled no later than the next meeting of the SDEC following written notice of the vacancy by at least five weeks."
What I take from this paragraph is:
  1. The majority of the SDEC has to vote for the replacement.
  2. It must be, in this case, a female who resides in SD8.
  3. The Senatorial District Committee of the affected district nominates a person for the position.
  4. Some time constraints spelled out.
That is all pretty straightforward EXCEPT for the "Senatorial District Committee". What is that? Ah, that definition can be found in TDP rules, too:

"For a senatorial district made up of more than one county or parts of more than one county, the District Committee’s membership shall include the County Chair of each county wholly contained within that district and one District Committee member elected from among their number by each group of Precinct Chairs within a portion of a county included in such senatorial district. The District Committee thus formed shall elect its own Chair. The District Committee member so elected by the group (or committee) of Precinct Chairs (from only part of a county included in such a multi-county district) shall be and act also as Chair of such group or committee of Precinct Chairs. (Texas Election Code §171.054)"
What I take from this paragraph is:
  1. The COUNTY CHAIRS are NOT automatically members of the "Senatorial District Committee" in certain Senatorial District mappings such as Senatorial District 8 (re: 'shall include the County Chair of each county wholly contained'.)  Neither Dallas NOR Collin counties are wholly contained in Senatorial District 8. 
  2. Each county shall elect its own "Senatorial District Committee" representative from the COUNTY PRECINCT CHAIRS who are in Senatorial District 8 of each respective county.  
  3. The Senatorial District Committee, once formed and officially notified of the SDEC vacancy by the TDP State Chair, then meets to recommend a person to the SDEC to fill the vacancy. 
SO I've asked others and I've asked party officials and I've heard nothing to disabuse me of my interpretation up to this point. As I see it, Collin precinct chairs within SD8 will elect ONE person and Dallas precinct chairs within SD8 will elect ONE person and that shall constitute the SENATE DISTRICT COMMITTEE.

Officials from the TDP have offered to help us and observe us so that things run smoothly and I've encouraged them to do so. Think about your choice! I believe that these positions and the energy someone might bring are important. DOUBLE CHECK me. I've provided a link to the rules and it's important that we understand them.

Michael Handley

Michael Handley runs the excellent Democratic Blog News. Here he is looking as dapper as ever at the SDEC meeting earlier this month.

If I looked like that I would not hear every morning, "Are you going out dressed like that?"

Now, in this interregnum, is your chance to break your habits, just a bit. Try new clubs and new events, both near you and not so near. I'm sure it would be worth it.

For example, there are several excellent Drinking Liberally Clubs near us.

Drinking Liberally Plano 
Living Liberally McKinney 
Drinking Liberally Addison 
Drinking Liberally Dallas

Subscribe to the Senate District 8 SDEC Committee-persons Newsletter

James White's SDEC page is
James White's SDEC  twitter feed is 

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