Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving On and Looking Forward

I am angry and have had to take this time between the primary until today to have the composure to write down my thoughts without SOUR GRAPES and PUCKERING UP myself. I am not sure who I am angry with, either the PACs or a labor union that endorsed a total failure of a Democratic candidate or the voters for voting like sheep possibly based on the endorsements. I hate insulting our voters that way, though, whereas, I believe the PACs and labor union should have known better and have a responsibility to the constituents in our county to give them an informed endorsement of the best candidates.

I have worked on political campaigns and been a “hard core” Democrat since I was 18 and first voted for Walter Mondale for President to save us from the disaster of Reagan. We all know how that turned out. Maybe I am doomed to work on campaigns that meet with failure. All the candidates I have supported and helped were people I believed in and felt were right for the position they were seeking. In the case of Monroe County Clerk, I found Jenn Marcum to be the best candidate out of all those running on both the Republican and Democratic ticket. She has extensive experience working with elections and directly with Jim Fielder (R), County Clerk. She has extensive knowledge of our election laws and has had a plethora of fiduciary responsibility in agencies through United Way. But, I digress. Her qualifications matter NONE now. She is out of the race and she is no longer a choice that can be made for our county clerk’s office. We now have 2 options. Candi Haley (R) and Linda Robbins (R…oops! I mean D). Basically, we have two republicans running against each other in the general election. One who was a self professed Republican until 2008 and, worse, fired for her inability to perform simple tasks for which she will be in charge of if she is elected. The other candidate is a REAL Republican who has experience with the clerk’s office and has no evidence of being incapable of filling the position she hopes to fill. I observed Candi with the Clerk’s office staff and she is a person who is respected. On election night, I sat in the clerk’s office with Candi and Jenn, watching the results come in and these two women could discuss in detail the clerk’s office needs and duties and it was clear to me that either woman would be an acceptable replacement for the current clerk of the court. As I was there, both women interacted with Jim Fielder and the rest of the volunteers and staff at the clerk’s office who were there working the election. There was great camaraderie between both ladies and the staff and administrators. As the results came in it was clear that Jenn lost, the mood in the office changed dramatically. The sadness and intense emotions were apparent and Jenn kept a smile on her face and said it would be ok. And, it must be.

As a life-long Democrat, I have never voted for a Republican. However, come November 2, 2010, I will make my very first vote for a REAL Republican because if it is between a person who was terminated from the clerk’s office and a Republican that is respected already in the clerk’s office, I think the choice is clear.

It was shortsighted and completely irresponsible for the PACs and a labor union to endorse a candidate for an office from which she was terminated. I also feel it was disingenuous for Linda Robbins to say in a forum, her biggest concern is to make the staff feel safe and secure after a turnover of any kind in leadership. If she were elected, the staff would be EXTREMELY concerned and unhappy as they were affected by her incompetence and are still having to deal with the improperly filed cases and other job duties done poorly by Linda Robbins. It is sad and pathetic that the PACs in this town didn’t ask their candidate to step down. If I were a part of Linda Robbin’s committee, I would have told her it was best for the Democratic Party to STEP DOWN and allow a better candidate, capable of winning and improving the clerk’s office to run and win. If Linda Robbins wins, that office will be turned upside down, merely a result of the fact that she will be supervising those that she was rude to, created more work for and showed a lack of leadership to as a staff person. Imagine the judges and court administrators having to deal with her, not to mention human resources staff. I can’t imagine what precipitated this choice by the DFMC, DWC, and UAW. It’s a travesty and as a Democrat and having lived in Indiana for just 4 yrs this July, I am blown away at the lack of leadership and professionalism in the Democratic Party here. On a scale from one to five, I would give this county’s Democratic Party a 0. As much as I disrespect the PACs in this town, I will work feverishly to ensure we hold our Democratic seats in Congress and the Senate in DC and build a stronger Democratic leadership in Indiana. We have a lot of work to do and I won’t allow the unprofessionalism and rudeness deter me from my duty to my Party and what I believe is right. As for the County Clerk’s race, however, I will NOT vote Democrat. So, the “old shoe” that Linda Robbins talks about is going to be kept around for 40 years if I have anything to say about it. It’s the one time in my life I will work for a Republican. I can’t back an incompetent and disingenuous candidate for a position at the local level. It’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter. What’s another 4 years out of 40 anyway for the position of Clerk of Courts? Life will at least go on and things won’t be turned upside down by incompetence and a lack of leadership. I can’t say that enough. Regardless of Linda Robbins’ experience and education, her experience in the Clerk’s office should have been a wakeup call for voters, unions and PAC groups.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I support Jenn Marcum For Monroe County Clerk*

I would like to express my opinion for the best candidate for Monroe County Clerk. Jenn Marcum has been a true public servant and volunteer for our community for over 12 years. She and her family have worked tirelessly for the Democratic Party volunteering and doing whatever is necessary and asked of them. In addition, Jenn has a strong commitment to our local not-for-profit organizations having served on over 30 committees, boards and commissions including Middleway House Builder’s, United Way of Monroe County and Shalom Community Center.

Jenn currently is a member of the board of trustees for Monroe County Historical Society and volunteers at the History Center. She is also a 21st Century Scholar mentor. Jenn Marcum has been a government employee and public service worker her entire adult life. She has worked in every capacity of the Election Process in the Clerk’s office. She has extensive knowledge of the Election law and how to apply it. Her strength of commitment to the Democratic Party, her experience with the Clerk’s office and her commitment to excellence combined with attention to detail and strong passion makes her an excellent candidate. Vote for Jenn Marcum for County Clerk on May 4th.

*posted as a Letter to the Editor in the 4/9/10 edition of the Herald Times in Bloomington, IN

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.