Friday, February 24, 2006

The Hacketting of New Hampshire

Recently, Ohio senate candidate Paul Hackett ended his campaign after being pressured by party elders in both Ohio and Washington, DC. The party forced Hackett out of the way in order to clear the way for a more conventional candidate, Sherrod Brown. In executing this maneuver, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and its Ohio-based allies deprived Ohio voters of a vigorous debate, denied the people a role in the nominating process, and sent a message that fealty to a crimped party line is more important than ones ideas and ideals.

Now, the same thing is happening in New Hampshire. The old guard of the Democratic Party, with the help of certain staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have decided that Rep. Jim Craig should be annointed as the Democratic nominee in New Hampshire's 1st district, and that everyone else should clear out. I have three words.

"Not gonna happen".

Jim Craig has a right to run for Congress. But he needs to do what Carol Shea Porter, Gary Dodds and I have been doing for the last few months. He needs to travel the district, meet with local residents, look them in the eye, answer their questions and listen to their concerns. He needs to defend his record, and explain his often uncomfortably close relationship with state house lobbyists. He needs to set out an agenda explaining what he hopes to accomplish as our representative in Washington.

If Jim believes that he will win the nomination simply by associating with state house insiders and party apparatchiks, he is in for a rude awakening.

I'm not bailing out of the race, and I hope Carol and Gary won't either. They both bring a valuable perspective to this campaign, and they deserve to be heard. It might not make a few self-styled party barons happy, but the people of New Hampshire deserve a vigorous and spirited debate on the issues facing our state and our country. We owe it to them to make that debate possible.

Are you looking for a fight Mr. Sullivan? If not, you may want to tone down your rhetoric, your post seems a little bit on the nasty side towards to the state party & Jim Craig.
I'm not afraid of a fight. If someone wants to run for major office, they need to be prepared to stand up for their beliefs and defend their record. There's nothing "nasty" about an expectation of accountability.

Unfortunately, Jim's supporters sometimes seemto think that he is owed the nomination by some divine right. That's nuts. I've taken some lumps on my positions and Jim needs to expect the same thing.

Besides, if Jim has an issue with me pointing out some problems with his record, how can we expect him to be tough when Jeb Bradley lets loose on him?

After all, politics ain't beanbag.
I'm looking for a strong candidate to vote for in the hopes Bradley will be unseated in the fall. It's time for some leadership in NH that pays attention to the citizens rather than rubber stamping everything the White House wants. As you know, Iraq is an important issue for Democrats, but as yet, the page on your website regarding your views on the subject remains blank. What gives?

The Iraq page is now up and running. Thanks for your patience.
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