Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Was the Democratic Women's Caucus Hoodwinked:

As a life-long Democrat and political activist, I feel compelled to call out The Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC), a group I finally joined this year despite hearing negative opinions about them for the last 3 years. I decided after Jenn Marcum (candidate for Monroe County Clerk on the primary Democratic ticket) told me it was a great group of ladies and the group was worthy of joining, I would go and pay my yearly dues and dive in. It didn’t take long to realize what a big mistake I made.

I was very impressed by a panel of African American women they showcased during Black History Month, a group of women sharing their contributions to the community in the way of racial and gender discrimination issues. I am proud to share my party affiliation with these amazing ladies. However, that is as far it goes with this group.

The DWC is a PAC group that endorses women who run for office and their mission is “to fund, inspire, recruit, support, and train progressive, pro-choice women to increase the numbers of women in the electoral process and in elected and appointed positions.” I find that mission in contrary to the choice they made in their endorsement for County Clerk (among others in the past I have no time to discuss here).

I find it laughable that for the endorsement for clerk, they chose Linda Robbins who was fired from the clerk’s office for her complete incompetence merely a week prior to her endorsement. They dismissed this by saying that Linda disclosed the information that she was fired unfairly and it was “political persecution” and a result of the Republican County Clerk’s desire to ruin her bid for his office that he is not seeking in the upcoming election. They accepted that and further said this is a common occurrence in politics. Sadly, though, the firing was based on unequivocal empirical evidence of her utter disregard for respectful behavior and incompetence in doing her job. The Herald Times did a story about it on 3/5/10 giving all the evidence they needed, even provided the scanned paperwork that documents Linda's specific acts of incompetence. If the DWC really wanted to give a Democrat a chance to win the County Clerk’s seat, held for over 2 decades by a Republican, they could have spent some time investigating the firing and made a better choice in their endorsement.

Essentially, The DWC, in their endorsement of Linda Robbins ensures the Republicans will handily take that seat again because the primary winner for the Republican ballot will not sit back and accept such a lame and baseless excuse for Linda Robbins’ firing from the very office she seeks to hold. They will show the evidence and not sit back and hide evidence that not only was she fired, but that she was removed from the Justice Building by security the following week after her firing for screaming and making a scene in the clerk’s office. She will lose the general election and, again, we will have a Republican holding the seat of County Clerk and we will have the DWC to thank for that if anyone actually takes their endorsement as something to be revered. Linda received $1250, more than double of any other candidate running for local office during this mid-term election.

I find it sad to live in such a diverse and progressive city like Bloomington, IN and yet the women involved in local politics are so catty and talk out of both of their mouths about being progressive and making the best choices for our community but it is clear to me that they are nothing but a bunch of older ladies sitting around a diner eating pancakes one Friday morning a month at 7:30 and making no real progress in our community to help women in our local political arena. They chose a “friend” with no experience in politics except for the last 2 years. Her voting record has not been as a loyal Democrat (as evidenced here) and she didn’t spend any of her last 17 years working for the party like Jenn Marcum has.

In fact, Jenn Marcum spent countless hours working on many of those lady’s own political campaigns, having the experience of working directly with the County Clerk for 6 years in the elections division and she knows the election law like the back of her hand. She is extremely competent and capable of building a more customer service oriented Clerk’s office and doing the job with a strong commitment to excellence. Jenn Marcum’s experience with the Clerk’s office, her commitment to the Democratic party and her strong progressive stance, along with many years of strong community service in Bloomington by far and away makes her a better candidate than Linda Robbins who couldn’t even do the job of a staffer in the clerk’s office.

On May 4th, you decide for yourself whether the DWC made the best choice of a candidate. In the meantime, I hope to create a viable and real PAC group in our county that women can find like-minded Democrats who work for the party and not just people they like or are friends with, but to endorse candidates for their experience and commitment to public service and those that have a chance to win the office for which they are seeking.


  1. I wonder if you would have asked them to endorse a canidate who did not even take the time to appear, nor to send a prepared statement for a friend to read on the day of the endorsement. Most organizations will not endorse a canidate that does not even try to meet their requirements.

    I have been to many of the DWC's Friday breakfasts and have found it is more common than not to have an inspiring speaker, on a useful topic speaking at the events. I have also been refreshed by the age range of the membership.

    Your post sounds like sour grapes. Jenn would do better to focus on her strong points and on fixing her weak points. She has both and if she does not she is likely to loose more of the support she has.

  2. I like the breakfast at the Village Deli. They have good pancakes!!!!!

  3. Dear beitknown: You are right. No candidate is perfect. Jenn also has flaws and no one has said otherwise. However, Jenn has an plethora of experience in the Democratic Party, has worked on a number of NFP boards and helped the United Way with budgets in all their agencies they support indicating her fiduciary experience, and has been an active volunteer, donor and supporter of the Democratic Party and the Caucus since conception.

    Having said that, I am not Jenn Marcum (see the name plus my profile picture?), nor does she endorse or have anything to do with my personal blog. She has no desire to have any endorsement by the DWC PAC group nor did she request an endorsement of the DFMC. However, she was a good enough sport to participate in the forum. Her campaign has been funded by individuals and she has not had to put any of her own money into her campaign nor take money from any PAC group to date. Jenn Marcum chose not to request the endorsement and chose not to participate in the forum with the DWC for personal reasons. Ironically, Jenn worked on many campaigns on behalf of the DWC.

    What is truly puzzling is that the DWC endorsed a candidate that will NOT win a general election because Republicans will honestly point out her flaws (REF: March 5, 2010 Herald Times article w/ links to the documents showing how incompetent the DWC's candidate IS and WILL BE if chosen to run the very office she was fired from!). The DWC should have postponed the endorsement to investigate their chosen candidate's firing before assuming her claims of "poor victim, I was fired for political reasons" excuse were valid and realize that they needed to make a better choice for THE PARTY!

    The icing on the cake is that a self professed "hard core Republican" 2 years ago with little history with the DWC could get the endorsement from a Democratic Women's Caucus when neither her core values nor her voting record indicates she is a Democrat.

    Read the article in the Herald-Times and come to your own conclusion. Be sure to read the links in this article. Here's one of the documents [http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/stories/2010/03/05/0305_robbins_termination_0305.pdf] from the County Clerk's office that specify she was terminated for inadequate job performance for a variety of reasons that include being quarrelsome and misfiling documents in pending lawsuits.

    And, I find it interesting that you see this as "sour grapes" since I look forward to May 4th and the results and we will see who is puckering then! :)

  4. Dear Edward, try mixing the pancakes with some "sour grapes." Tasty! :)

  5. Dear Life,
    Thank you for the opportunity.

  6. J Smiles,

    You are the most positive person I have ever met. Thank you for reading my blog. And, thank you for the opportunity to work with excellence. You rock!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Do you really want republicans in charge of buying voting machines and voting? Would it not be better to support Linda and for Jenn to work in the office to add to her experience so she can run again?
    So come on, please do not become a teabagger. Do not support a republican. Don't let the likes of bud bernnitt and scott tibbs control our voting machines. Even if you do not vote for Linda, please don't help the other team!