Alan Clendenin and being FDP First Vice Chair – beware of “dream teams”

The Florida Democratic Party (FDP) Chairwoman/Chairman election is set for Saturday January 14. As we get closer to the day of reckoning the number of rumors that involve “dream teams.” In a fragmented five-way race, ¬†candidates are seeking a way to garner additional ways to find votes to make a second ballot or become chair.

Yesterday, I discussed with Alan Clendenin his tenure as First Vice Chair of the FDP – a period of time where the party suffered record losses all over the state. Clendenin as the First Vice Chair of the party you’d have thought had a role in the disastrous period but he sees it differently (as do most objective observers). The candidate for FDP Chair gave us two quotes that are critical to understanding why “dream teams” don’t work without a fundamental reform of the party rules and structure”

“Decisions were made by a small group of folks by the chair and these consultants and vendors”

“As First Vice Chair you have absolutely no control and no input over the direction of the party.”

It is critical from Alan Clendenin’s own experience to understand that if a candidate for FDP Chair with lots of support ends up teaming up with someone else and accepting the First Vice Chair role, it’s simply a symbolic gesture meant to secure election for the person at the top-of-the-ticket or worse a cynical ploy to undercut other voices within the party.

Whether or not Democrats agree with the critiques of Clendenin or support the direction of the party under outgoing FDP Chair Allison Tant, the most obvious takeaway is that without structural reform or changes to the party rules, decision making is highly centralized with the Chair, party staff, consultants and vendors.

The entire audio interview with Clendenin is embedded below:


  1. Roy Trachtenberg · ·

    I am afraid he is saying it too late. Even if he had no control over decisions that were made, why didn’t he bring it to the attention of the state committee people? Not good enough. He can’t even win his own election as a committee person and had to find a different county.


    1. Sorry, Roy, apparently you are not familiar with how the FDP works! Alan Clendenin was quite vocal about the situation. Problem is, as 1st VP he had no say, no authority and was pretty much shit down by Tant and the staff. As for the State Committee, they have no say in the running of our party. Truth is, nobody can seem to describe what purpose they actually serve! Rules changes need to be made and the entire staff of consultants and Vendors need to go. Alan Clendenin has proposed changes, we should give him the opportunity to prove his proposals will work.


  2. the old man sitting on the green bench · ·

    Look at the scoreboard and tell me what’s score? Who clearly has the mandate to govern? From my point of view, unfortunately it is clearly the Republicans who control all the levers in our government. That is a fact we all must live with. We should look clearly at how did we get in this position and hold those individuals responsible for delivering the results we have to live with. Change clearly is in order and needed if we are to advance our goals and our party. Going back to yesterday is not an advancement.


  3. We need to get away from the corporatism, and look at what was done for Bernie through the Internet at $27 a pop. Only the elderly, stuck in their ways, watch and believe TV news. We need very little TV advertising. We must realize the future is through the Internet, and using the money raised through it, to finance hitting the streets and knocking on the doors.
    Meanwhile, the remnants of the DLC must be swept away: Some people made lots of money, but many jobs were lost along with the White House, both Houses of Congress and a thousand or more state legislative seats and Governorships.
    Because of the flawed leadership, we are facing the end of the New Deal, and with it, the middle class.
    We need a chair with a background of labor organizing, not with a background of sucking up to big money.
    Alan Clendenin is the obvious choice, if we want to pull out of our center-right power dive. Otherwise we will never bring the young Bernie supporters into the party, and thus rejuvenate ourselves.


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