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: