Friday, January 20, 2006

"Democratic Party Chairs race update from Dwight Pelz"

"As this race moves into its final week I think fellow democrats who may not be on the central committee mailing list will be interested to read the following update from candidate Dwight Pelz. Much has been said here and elsewhere about the candidates. What follows is a reaffirmation of how Dwight sees the job in the short and longer term and gives an idea of the depth of his support. I welcome comment of course but let us try to focus in on the qualities each of the candidates will bring to the table and to remember that in one short week, regardless of who wins, we need to unite in the goal of electing democrats east west north center and south.

January 20, 2006
Dear State Central Committee Member,

First let me thank all of you for the time and attention you have given this
contest. I know that you have busy lives, which makes me even more
appreciative of the many considerations you have shown me. It has a
wonderful pleasure to meet so many of you in your own communities and to put
our Party and its work into the local context.

On the same day our Democratic Party will be electing our State Chair the
Republicans will be electing their chair too. Chris Vance has lost all
credibility. He's used up and has to be replaced. But whoever they elect
will not run their party. Professional operatives from Slade Gorton's
machine will move into Republican Headquarters. Their party will take the
high road and Gorton's hatchet men will take the low road to conduct a
determined and vicious campaign to capture Maria Cantwell's seat in the U.S.

Our Party must be at maximum strength to meet their 2006 challenge. Our
Democratic Chair must be the best organizer in the state. Our Democratic
Chair must have the closest working relationship with our elected officials
and the powerhouse allies of our party. And he must be able to stand up -
toe to toe - to every maneuver and ploy the Republicans will throw at us.

I intend to be that Chair. I see the job ahead and I am ready for it by
talent, experience and temperament. I want you to join me in meeting this


With more that a month of campaigning behind us and only a week to go before
the vote that will end this campaign I want to give you an update on our
progress toward that goal.

This campaign has been a great pleasure and a great learning experience for
me as I met Democrats and their Party leaders across the state to discuss
their political issues and to give them a flavor of what a Pelz
administration would mean for our Party. I did a four-day tour of Eastern
Washington, visiting Spokane, Newport, Colville, Davenport, Othello, Pasco,
Walla Walla, Clarkston and Pullman. I have met with Democrats in Aberdeen,
Shelton, Mt. Vernon, Chehalis, Longview and Vancouver. I have been to
Kitsap County and will be going to Ferndale, Olympia, Port Angeles and
Renton. Throughout my travels I found our Party committed to making our
state and our nation better places to live, work and raise our families.


In each of these places our Party faces unique challenges. But everywhere
our local parties are as one in their need for help, not direction, from the
State Party. I have learned that the greatest service I can give as Chair
is to help in organizing so they can bring more grassroots Democrats into
their local Parties. They want training in recruiting candidates for all
their partisan offices and for non-partisan offices as well. Across the
board they need help in raising money so they too can play a part in funding

All of these needs play to my strengths as a grassroots political organizer
that I learned here in our state over the past 30 years. But I know that
the Party Chair cannot accomplish these things alone. As Chair I will build
the training component of the Party so we can depend on local Democrats to
do much of the important work that lies ahead.

I will continue to support our regional office and staff in Eastern
Washington. If circumstances permit I want to expand that effort so that
both the 4th and 5th CDs can have their own Party office and full time
staff. To attract more grassroots Democrats into our local Party
Organizations I want to continue meetings patterned on the successful
Eastern Washington Conference held in Moses Lake last year.

I am especially aware that great potential for our Party lies untapped in
our communities of color and in ethnic communities across the state. I want
to build the diversity of our current membership and use it to make the
Democratic Party more relevant in the communities where they live. We will
work together to increase our organizing and to find leaders who will run
for office throughout the state and I believe the State Party can and should
provide it.


So far our campaign has been very successful in bring members of the Central
Committee into our effort. As of this writing more than a majority of the
members of the Central Committee have indicated their support for my


As State Democratic Chair my first priority will be to use the full
resources of the State Party to make every County Democratic Party and
Legislative District Organization as effective and successful as possible.
My second priority will be to make our local elections as victorious as
possible. At the same time I will bring the entire State Party together as
one to solidify our hold on Maria Cantwell's U.S. Senate seat and to expand
our representation in the U.S. House of Representative.

These are goals we can and will meet. Our Party has done great over the
years and together I know we can do even better.


Dwight Pelz


I'd like you to know the names of some of the people and groups who have
endorsed my efforts to be State Party Chair. I consider all of these
endorsements important because they each represent parts of the Party or the
Party's allies that the new chair will be working with in the years ahead.

You have already seen that Senator Patty Murray and Governor Christine
Gregoire have put their confidence in me. They and their staff believe I am
the strongest candidate running to build the Party in our state.

King County Executive Ron Sims and Council member Larry Gossett also
demonstrate that they know and trust that I will work with them in their
offices. Velma Veloria and Kip Tokuda, former members of the Legislature
from the largely minority 11th and 37th Districts endorse me and know that I
will work to develop the Democratic Party across the State.

Former State Party Chairs Karen Marchioro and Charles Rolland, who know the
job better than anyone besides Paul Berendt, both support my election
because they say that I represent our Party's best chance of meeting the
challenges that lie ahead in the 2006 elections. The same evaluation has
brought other Party leaders to support my candidacy, including D.N.C.
members Ed Cote and Pat Notter, LD Chairs Peter House and Scott White, and
Party activists like Greg Mowat, Betty Means and Jeanne Legult.

Dean Nielson the Washington Director of the Progressive Majority is a strong
Pelz supporter because he knows that our Party's success in Washington State
depends on a strong progressive State Chair.

Charles Hasse, the President of the Washington Education Association, addressed to WEA members who serve on the State Democratic Central Committee, saying that the WEA does not endorse in Party races such as this, but states clearly that they consider me a friend of

I have received the endorsement of the Thurston, Lewis and Mason Counties
Central Labor Council. I am proud of their support because the bulk of the
union members this Council represents serve all of us as the people who make
government work in Olympia.

The State Association of Electrical Workers, the labor organization that
includes the IBEW, one of the most active unions working on the behalf of
Democratic candidates, says that it wants to work with me as the leader of
the Democratic Party as we go into battle with the Republicans this year.
The State Council of the Service Employees International Union has given me
their endorsement. I am particularly pleased by this show of support
because no other union is doing more to bring the advantages of collective
action to some of the hardest working and lowest paid members of the State's
workforce. The SEIU has more members from communities of color than any
other union. Their endorsement is a reflection of their trust that as Chair
of the Party I will work just as hard to bring greater political
participation to these same communities. SEIU is one of the three largest
contributors to the Washington State Democratic Party."-from the post on Washblog.

Thanks to Nigel Herbig for passing this along.

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