Ray Buckley Promises “Radical Reform” If Elected DNC Chairman

New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley did an interview with my friend/former colleague Paul Steinhauser of NH1 News.

Here are some of the key quotes:

  • “I think that there are some that are running that believe that the road to victory is doing national interviews and I think it’s having one-on-one conversations with the members, many of whom I’ve known for decades.”
  • “I’m feeling very good about my chances. I think in the coming weeks, we’ll start rolling out some  numbers. I think some people will be very surprised at the widespread support that I have all across the country.”
  • “I’ve spoken to him [Howard Dean] as I’ve spoken to all of the candidates. We’ve all been communicating very closely, because we know that whoever is going to be the chair needs to have a united party behind them, so we’re together. I think that Governor Dean did an extraordinary job during the four years he was chair, and I do agree that he would have been a very strong contender.”
  • “Well, that’s really up to the membership of the DNC. So far, everything I’ve heard from the DNC is that it’s [having a full-time chairman] a very big concern, and that’s one of the reasons why there’s the conversation about having a bifurcated chair situation, where you have one chair who is the spokesperson for the party, and the other who is the nuts-and-bolts chair.”
  • “There was considerable discussion about how to create a bifurcated system on Friday at the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, and they have the opportunity to make that change right up until the week before the election.”
  • “It’s radical reform, radical in how we interact with the state parties. I believe that using the model of what we do here in New Hampshire, and making that available and supporting that across the country, we’ll build a ground operation so that even if there’s a last-minute surge like we had this last time across the country, some of these other bluer states would have been able to withstand such a surge if they had a more vibrant grassroots operation. But we need to change how we fundamentally operate as a party as well. We need to reform the superdelegate system. We need to reform how we do the debates, by including more and more people into the decisionmaking process, and I announced that at the Forum as well, where I talked about reforming how the officers operate with the chair, the Executive Committee, the DNC, the convention and the nominating process. All of those need to be opened up, they have to be considerably more transparent.”
  • “I think having such a centralized power between whoever the chair is and their top senior staff, having them make most if not all of the decisions, that does not allow for other people’s input, but it also doesn’t allow for other people to have a buy-in on the decision when you’re unilaterally making decisions. Sometimes you need support out there, and I think by engaging and involving more and more people. I call for having the DNC fundraising policies to be adopted by the full Executive Committee, which represents the party across the spectrum. I called for the Executive Committee to confirm, or support or approve the debate schedule and the criteria for participating in the debates. I think there are a lot of things we can do that can restore trust within the Democratic National Committee and the party as a whole.”
  • “I support a system that has each state delegation properly reflect the voters in that primary or that caucus.”
  • “The fundamental problem with the superdelegates was that they weren’t reflecting the will of the voters in those states. If we can make it so that that occurs, I think that everyone will be able to move forward together.”
  • “I suspect that there probably will be [more candidates running for DNC chair]. Nearly three months is a lifetime in politics, so we’re in for a very interesting time. We just announced the four forums that’ll be across the country throughout the months of January and February. We’ll have a forum in Houston. There’s a forum in Arizona, a forum in Baltimore, Maryland, and a forum in Detroit, Michigan.”
  • “I actually think it [being from New Hampshire] works in my advantage, because one of the biggest issues right now is whether or not the DNC can be totally impartial during the nominating process going into 2020. We’ve shown here in New Hampshire, both in 2008 and 2016, that we can indeed run a party that is completely impartial and fair to all of the candidates.  I take our experience here in New Hampshire and say, ‘Here’s a model of what we should be doing at the DNC level.'”

Author: David de Sola

Editor/Publisher Political Wilderness

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