Repealing the Neutrality Policy on Endorsements and Nominations
Sponsors: Mike Heichman (Suffolk County) and …. (need a 2nd co-sponsor)
Floor Manager: Mike Heichman, [email protected]
Committee Vetting: CDLC
Background: At the Summer, 2012 StateCom meeting, 4 members of The State Comm. introduced a proposal, which was passed, entitled “Neutrality Policy on Endorsements and Nominations”.
The new and current policy states: “The State Committee adopts a policy to take no action of endorsing or nominating a candidate for public office until after the filing deadline established by the Commonwealth for seeking that office. In the case of a contested GRP primary it will indicate no preference and will respect the choice of primary voters.”
Those who argued against this proposal made the following points:
- 1. Early endorsements/nominations of our candidates by both our local chapters and state party increase the viability and strength of our campaigns.
- 2. The argument that an early endorsement/nomination by our state party would be unfair for potential GRP members who might announce their candidacy after the endorsement/nomination took place without the prior knowledge of the local chapter and state party does not accurately describe the history of our party. The real challenge has been to persuade our members to run for office. Very few of our members have run for public office. Except for the presidential campaign, which is handled in a different manner, we have never had a member of our party run for public office against another member. This policy is a protection plan for a threat that does not currently exist!
- 3. Our party has a strong goal to encourage our members to run for public office as members of our party, and when they do, with our assistance, we want them to run strong and winnable campaigns. Preventing the early support by our state party for our our candidates is an unnecessary hindrance to this major goal.
At the end of February, the Greater Boston Chapter endorsed the candidacy of Francisco White for City Council At Large (which means that he and the GBC will be running a citywide campaign). Francisco reached out to our state party for advice and assistance. He was encouraged to join our party and contact the GBC; he did both of these. Francisco is a very impressive young man. This is his first time running for public office. Except for two others who are not members of our party (yet), the rest of his core campaign committee are active members of the GBC. When we endorsed Francisco, we also requested the support of the state party for his campaign.
4 At Large members will be elected to the Boston City Council in November. As of now, one incumbent is running for Mayor. Since the current Mayor, Menino, has just announced that he will not be a candidate for re-election, it is possible that other At Large incumbent councilors will also decide to run for this open seat. That means that there will be at least one new member elected to the City Council in November. As of now, we know of 2 other challengers; this could change. The 8 candidates in the September preliminary election, with the highest vote totals, will advance to the final election.
All of this means that this is a tremendous opportunity and undertaking for Francisco , for our chapter and our state party. Except for the times when we have run candidates for statewide office, we will be reaching more voters than any of our campaigns in our history. Without question, this is the biggest challenge in the history of the Boston chapter, now the GBC, in our history. We need the active support of our state party!
The next StateCom meeting will be meeting on 4/21. From 4/30-5/21 (3 weeks), the campaign will need 1500 valid signatures to get on the ballot; the goal of the campaign is to get 2100 signatures. Francisco’s campaign would greatly benefit from the early support of our party. While the support of individual members of our party is invited and encouraged, the institutional support of our state party on 4/21 would bring extra needed resources to his campaign.
Scott, in his role as a member of the CDLC, recently talked with Francisco about the current policy. Given this information and encouragement, Francisco has decided to be present at the 4/21 StateCom meeting, but will seek our state party’s nomination in July, after (hopefully) he has been successful in getting on the ballot.
Francisco is not complaining about this policy. However, his campaign will have to do without the institutional support of the state party until after the July StateCom meeting. I believe that this is an important loss for our candidate, for the GBC and for our state party.
Unless this unwise policy is changed, our state party will continue to hamper future candidates and continue to bring harm to our chapters and party. It is not easy running as a Green-Rainbow. Let us remove unnecessary and unwise policies.
Proposal: StateCom will repeal the Neutrality Policy on Endorsements and Nominations, which was passed by the StateCom at the Summer, 2012 StateCom meeting.
Cost: This will benefit future candidates/campaigns, our local chapters and state party. Everybody who believes in the success and growth of our party will win!