Former Maryland Governor Endorses Buttigieg for DNC Chair

Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland and Democratic presidential candidate, endorsed South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. O’Malley told Politico:

“I’ve known Pete Buttigieg for many years, he has been a terrific mayor. He’s one of those new, up-and-coming leaders in our country and in our party that’s really bringing forward a new and better way of governing,” O’Malley — who himself briefly considered a run for the chairmanship before bowing out in November — told POLITICO. “He speaks with a clarity that our party really, really needs right now. He has been successful in a so-called red state, he brings to the public service of being mayor the background of having served in our armed forces.”

“He is of a new generation of leadership. Our party sometimes talks about bringing forward a new generation of leadership, well, hey man, there’s never been a better time,” added O’Malley, referring to the 35-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Some context and back story here:

  • O’Malley briefly considered running for DNC chairman himself very early on but ultimately chose not to get in the race.
  • Buttigieg rival Tom Perez – a Maryland native – served as O’Malley’s secretary of labor in 2007.  That O’Malley is endorsing Buttigieg and not Perez is seen as a snub in some quarters.
  • O’Malley is endorsing Buttigieg days before the fourth and final DNC regional forum, scheduled to take place in Baltimore – the city where O’Malley was once mayor – this Saturday.

Buttigieg – a Navy reservist and veteran of Afghanistan – also received the endorsement of VoteVets, a progressive veterans’ group:

“Progressives need fresh and bold new leadership, like Mayor Pete, to lead the way to regaining the majority in Congress, and the White House,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.  “Veterans like Pete know how to communicate to so many Americans why it is progressive policies that will keep America safe, and prosperous.  Being from the heartland, Pete also knows how to reconnect with huge swaths of the country that Democrats, frankly, have ignored.  He has a record of success in Indiana doing just that – not just on a rhetorical level, but on a technical and strategic level, as a great organizer.  That’s why he’s exactly the right person to lead the progressive movement, as chair.”

DNC Forum Houston Liveblog Chairman Candidates

Here’s the field for the second DNC forum. Note that this will be the first appearance by the last four names at the bottom of the list.

Sally Boynton Brown, Idaho
Raymond Buckley, New Hampshire
Pete Buttigieg, Indiana
Keith Ellison, Minnesota
Jehmu Greene, Texas
Jaime Harrison, South Carolina
Honorable Tom Perez, Maryland
Peter Peckarsky, Wisconsin
Sam Ronan, Ohio
Vincent Tolliver, Georgia
Robert Vinson Brannum, Washington, D.C.

Continue reading “DNC Forum Houston Liveblog Chairman Candidates”

DNC Forum Houston Liveblog – Vice Chair Candidates

The Field of Candidates for Vice Chair:
Michael Blake, New York
Melissa Byrne, Pennsylvania
Mitch Ceasar, Florida
Maria Elena Durazo, California
Liz Jaff, Washington, D.C.
Lorna M. Johnson, California
Latoia Jones, Washington, D.C.
Grace Meng, New York
Rick Palacio, Colorado
Adam Parkhomenko, Virginia

Liz Jaff notes that some DNC members don’t know what the vice chair does
Says it is time to rethink the role.

Maria Elena Durazo: We need to do a better job electing the most progressive candidates to office. We did it in California.

Mitch Caesar: This is an opportunity. We don’t have White House or Congress.
We have movement here that is genuine. Need to be part of it, not coopt it.
Need to bring everybody to the table.
So many people were so confident we couldn’t lose this election, and here we all are today.

Grace Meng: Because of this president, many people at JFK so Americans with green cards and man who served with US army 10 years not separated from his family.
Momentum for 2017, 2018, and 2020 elections.  Our job to provide infrastructure so our state parties and candidates have tools and resources to run for office and increase turnout.

Latoia Jones: We need them (marchers) more than they need us.
We have to recruit them, engage them and train them. When we do that, we win.

Adam Parkhomenko: When someone steps up with a good idea or movement, it’s a good idea to work with them.
Ready for Hillary worked because people felt invested.
All this money spent on TV, if we could invest it locally..

Melissa Byrne: I’m running for Vice Chair of the Resistance
Need to make sure every senator votes “Hell, no!” on all the nominations.
Need to make sure Democrats introducing legislation.
When they try to build that wall, we are right there tearing down that wall.
We are the Resistance, we are going to win!

Rick Palacio: We need to afford Donald Trump and Republicans the same benefits they gave President Obama.
We need to be the Resistance as Democrats, oppose all these nominees.
Stand up for our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Stand up with our LGBT brothers and sisters.
Stand with our brothers and sisters in Labor as well.

Lorna Johnson:
We’re in touch with the young people

Maria Elena Durazo: Extraordinary movement in Phoenix. Registered tens of thousands of new voters in the heat of the summer.  What moved them was fact we were out to create more just equal society, and we gave them freedom to talk about it in their terms.
We gave them space to talk about it for themselves. I didn’t pretend to speak for them and nobody else should. Create space for people to speak for themselves and say it in their words.

Liz Jaff: Look at our panel. Lot of young people running for office. The press needs to talk about that. The chair candidates are great. They need to talk to us. We are millennials running to be their vice chairs.
Bunch of Bernie, Hillary and Obama people got 1,500 young people to sign up to run for office.

Michael Blake: talk about technology… People want to be involved. Have to start listening towhat’s going on.  Young people believe in our vision.
Don’t sit there on Facebook or Instagram. Get out there and mobilize. I refuse to sit on the sidelines while we have a demagogue in the White House.

Grace Meng: Tech increasingly important.  Work with sttes and state legislators to make sure our voting rolls are current.
Future Forum – ask DNC chair candidates to provide line item in DNC budget to trget youth and millennial generation, and technology.

Melissa Byrne: As only Bernie alum up here, connecting tech with young people was because we were able to connect with them on key issues.
Connecting offline is where you really build power.
Want to work with DSCC and DCCC to undo their email program. How many of you have gotten “the sky is falling” messages?

Mitch Ceasar: Lot of areas we need to win, but also lot of areas we need to lose not so badly.
We win in South Florida. Central Florida is a swing area. We lose in North Florida. If we did a little better there, our odds would increase.
We need to have a southern strategy.
The DNC needs to invest in the South. The South is there to be picked up on, it is there to be gained from. Use this as an opportunity.
I don’t like losing to Republicans, I’ve done that before. But I don’t like losing to THIS GUY.

Adam Parkhomenko: The sad part is we have to keep asking this question.
Howard Dean talked about this as the outsider, came in, won.
Key here – stick to the rules in the charter.  Saw this in the primary.
DNC needs to be resource to the states.
I did anything and everything I could during 2 and a half months I was at DNC to help Georgia.
We have state parties with no money. State parties like Kentucky that got into debt because they decided to double down.
Kansas – best election in years.
Alaska – took back the House.
Every officer elected should play a role to raise funds for state party partnership.

Lorna Johnson: The system is broken and needs to be rebuilt, from grassroots up.
State and local levels have been ignored during non-election years.
Funding – so we can have year round program.
Need transparency and accountability for the funds that we raise.
In order to get legislative seats, must get out the vote. Local voting is important.

Rick Palacio: DNC lost focus. Turned into a machine which large sums of money went to state parties to elect president every 4 years.
Rebuild our state parties.
Strengthen our parties, empower them to recruit local candidates.
Unacceptable for Republicans to go unchallenged anywhere, even if it’s solid red county or district.
We’re going to grow from inside out, not from top down.

Grace Meng: It is incredibly important, local candidates feel like they have no support.
As we build toward reform, one of our big challenges redistricting: have to make important strides before tackling topic of 2020 presidential elections.

Liz Jaff: we don’t provide tools, resources or data
Want more people to run for office.
We’re closing off information and data, people get upset and move away from the party.
Need to make that information a lot clearer.
This is about crowdsourcing information.
Competition makes us better.

Michael Blake: have to make it easier for everyone to vote.
Can’t s silently by while restrictive policies on the vote.
Should support open primaries. Anyone that wants to vote that should be able to.
Should embrace change, change makes us better party.
Engage all of the time.

Michael Ceasar: We are at crossroads.  Have to search soul and decide whether primaries or caucuses way to go.
Last 8 years, had Dem in White House, decisions were made for us.  We don’t have the White House anymore

Melissa Byrne: What you can do today on local level is knock on a door, build a community. Have 10 friends come over, talk about issues important to your community, go hit 20 doors and talk to people.
In elections, you work backwards.  Figure out all benchmarks you need to accomplish today.
Pay interns $15 an hour – no more unpaid internships.

Rick Palacio: Colorado has 64 counties, 3 organizers. They divide up the state.
Encouraging them to run for office. People who volunteer on campaign are perfect candidates to run for office.
Ask people who don’t want to run for something to make phone calls or write letters to elected officials.
Encourage people to do something simple like have a house party. Invite friends and neighborhood organizations to come in and start spreading the word.
Community engagement meetings is how we do it in Colorado. Encourage other state party chairs to do the same.


Latoia Jones: We have a connection issue. We’re not connecting with young voters, etc.
Need to hear what they’re saying.
In Georgia, we moved the needle. I have done this work.

Mitch Ceasar: I’ve done everything from raise money to organize campaigns to media.
I was one of originators of Florida Recount case in 2000.
I drew ire of Rush Limbaugh by name.
I’m here because I care about party and philosophy we share.

Maria Elena Durazo: Courage of workers at Trump hotel who voted for forming unions and voted against him as president inspired me.

Michael Blake: King said we remember the silence of our friends

Melissa Byrne: Protested Trump in Philly because he had audacity to show up in sanctuary city.

Lorna Johnson: We all want transparency, state party funding, and to be included. The question is implementation.

Grace Meng: Want transparency and accessibility to the budget.  Support candidates so we can increase accessibility to our candidates and increase local turnout. Diversity and inclusion – where we put or money is where priorities lie.

Rick Palacio: When we don’t stand up for one another, no one else will.
Now is not the time for us to be fighting amongst ourselves. Rebuild party from inside out.
The next 4 years going to be long, and we’re not going to win anything sniping at others’ heels.

Liz Jaff: We need to get stuff done. DNC is toolkit for the people. Democrats have never been stronger, more sexy. Donald Trump coming for you.

Adam Parkhomenko: Spent career investing and growing grassroots of our party.  I’m a workhorse. Spoken with 400 DNC members now. I’ve heard a lot, heard you want to see more respect for state parties, real funding for state parties, heard you want to win more downballot elections, heard you want a partner at the DNC.  I want to be that partner, make sure you have someone there for you.


DNC Forum Houston Liveblog – Sheila Jackson Lee

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
(D) Texas

We are Ann Richards… We are Barbara Jordan. We are Lloyd Bentsen
We are Democrats in Texas

I call to order recognition at JFK Airport, an Iraqi interpreter who was coming to get a liver for family.  Someone decided to alter the values of America

Who are you? You are a social democratic engineer

The man who sits in high place wants to deny the DNA evidence that freed the Central Park Five.

Urges people to call their senators to vote no on Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.

DNC Forum Houston Liveblog – Steve Beshear

Steve Beshear
(D) Former Governor of Kentucky

“I am a Democrat. That’s a boast, not a confession.”
“Our problem lies not with core beliefs of the Democratic Party. Our core values are as relevant as they’ve always been.”
I know how a Democrat can win in a red rural state.
Our experience in Kentucky worth looking at.
How did I do it? The reason really simple: feelings are as important, if not more important than facts on the page.
I proved to the people of Kentucky that I cared about them, cared about their families, cared about their future.
We are the party of growth and opportunity. We are the party that respects and fights for personal freedoms. We are the party that led the fight for Civil Rights, worker’s rights, women’s rights.

Donald Trump and GOP tapped that frustration into a change election.
This was not repudiation of Democratic values, it was expression of discontent for way things are. They wanted change.
Voters will soon realize Donald Trump one of those leaders. Nor are Republicans in Congress who alternate between looking other way on Trump harsh proposals or proposing harsher ones.

If we can’t agree on basic principles, we don’t stand a chance in 2018 or 2020.
In order to regain confidence of American people, we don’t just have to grab their minds. Let’s go out there and gain their hearts.

DNC Forum Houston Liveblog -Donna Brazile

What a week.. It began with an inaugural address that was so dark.
Barely a week later on day to remember horrors of Holocaust, Pres Trump introduced policy discriminating people on the base of religion.
In the home of freedom of religion on day set aside for the Holocaust, Pres put in jeopardy, being divided.
Trump erased climate change and LGBT equality from White House website.
Any hope our president would show values for America’s people and laws, that hope is gone.

I marched in the streets of Amsterdam.
Over 500,000 marched in Washington, 3x more than showed up for the inaugurationIt wasn’t about identity politics, it was about unity politics.
Clear message: We will not back down. We will not turn back the clock. We will not remain silent.

Begins introducing former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear.

DNC Forum Houston Liveblog – Maria Teresa Kumar

Maria Teresa Kumar
Voto Latino

Learned in 2008 that way millennials and Latinos gather infrmation is through peer-to-peer
Latinos broke 50 percent mark for first time in this election, because there was a candidate who came after us and questioned whether we were American or not.
Growth opportunities: 141 percent Latino growth.
Texas will be a minority majority state.
Georgia: by the time early voting finished, 144 percent increase in Latino early vote from 2012.

In 2012, $6 billion spent. $20 million of that spent on building infrastructure in the Latino community.

The fall of Pete Wilson was not accidental. We are living a Pete Wilson moment across the country.  Proposition 187 defeated in courts and galvanized Democrats. California a reliably blue state in presidential elections since 1992 and Republicans control less than20 percent of the state legislature.

California – took 25 years to cement a legislative base. In less than 6 years, we kicked out Joe Arpaio and cementing a stronger Arizona.

In 2018, 84 House Districts have Latino population of 4 percent or more. In a tight race, that could make all the difference.

54 percent of Latinos voted before Election Day – those not part of exit polls.
Cubans in Florida voted more for Deocrat than Republican for president.
They voted for Marco Rubio, but at top of the ticket they voted for Hillary Clinton.

20 percent of America is Latino, but we don’t have leadership that looks like us.

Suggests party start talking about wage enforcement as a policy. Voters don’t want to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, but they voted for Trump because they wanted to stop competing against undocumented workers for the same jobs.

Invest in key states: NC, Georgia, Texas. “Florida not lost, just needs massaging.”

I would argue that one of the reasons we lost is we left voters on the table.
Here in Texas, we were registering voters for $3.31,
3 million young Latinos under age of 35.
Lost state by single digits.