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September 10, 2008

Should Lowell (and Other Local) Dems Be Prepared to Caucus ASAP?

by at 1:07 pm.

Sco asks the question.

Now that Middlesex County Register of Probate John Buonomo has stepped down from office in the face of theft charges, it is worth spending a little time discussing what might happen if Buonomo wins the primary, but then withdraws his name from the General Election ballot.

Sco has experience with this, as something similar happened (a late withdrawal) in his district. Sco is Watertown Chair of the DTC (Dem Town Committee). Basically, the local Democratic party has the opportunity to meet to choose a candidate for an upcoming general election if they have no candidate due to late withdrawal. He tells us the following (with the caveat that he is not a lawyer and could stand to be corrected):

As the newspapers are reporting, it is too late for Buonomo to withdraw his name from the primary ballot. Since his is the only name that will appear and this race is so low-profile, it is not inconceivable that he will get more votes than any write-in challenger. WBUR this morning was reporting that should he win the primary, Buonomo would withdraw his name from the general election. Democrats throughout the county would then be able to fill the ballot line via a caucus, as provided for in Mass General Laws chapter 53, sections 49 and 14.

He goes on to tell us how he thinks this would work under party rules. (Worth the read, I won’t quote the whole thing.) Lowell would be alloted some 24 delegates (divvied up to its 11 wards). And this is all on a severely short timetable:

Keep in mind that all this must happen between the time Buonomo withdraws from the ballot — no sooner than the morning of September 17th, the day after the election — and September 25th at 5PM, the Secretary of State’s deadline to fill vacancies.

If this does go to a caucus under these rules, Lowell shouldn’t be left out (and neither should its neighbors). Due to the largely defunct Lowell Democratic City Committee (yes, defunct, as much as I personally like some of its members, there is, in effect, only an LDCC on paper, not in reality), we may well fail to be represented at any county-wide caucus…if things go as I bet they will.

Of course, as sco says, it is a low-profile position. “I’m wondering exactly how many people I’d be able to convince to show up on one or two days notice to pick delegates for a caucus that would decide such a low-profile position. My guess is very few… My hunch is that this will be true in communities throughout the county.”

Indeed. Given my above complaint about the nature of our local Committee it’s even less likely that Lowell will even send one delegate in such a case. A rather unfortunate situation if you ask me.

11 Responses to “Should Lowell (and Other Local) Dems Be Prepared to Caucus ASAP?”

  1. sco Says:

    Well, the LDCC is technically not necessary to the process. The Ward committees are the ones that are responsible for picking delegates.

    Not sure if that makes any difference, though, since I’m not sure how active your ward committees are up there in Lowell.

  2. Lynne Says:

    Heh. Heheheh. Um…

    I might be able to get on the horn with one or two and convince them to convene - how many they could get to show is another matter.

    I’m certain I could help activate my ward peeps, seeing as one is the coauthor of this blog, and another is a frequent reader. And the chair would be amenable. :)

  3. Lynne Says:

    Oh and no, I am not the chair. LOL. I just mean she’s a good sort of egg.

  4. Paul@01852 Says:

    … and I’m sure *I* cld get the chair involved too
    signed -A frequent reader-

  5. Lynne Says:

    LMAO, well at least Ward 10 would be out representin’!

  6. Mimi Says:

    Paul and Lynne:

    Maybe we should meet in the VFW Parking Lot; after all that is where we vote. :-)

    .

  7. Garland Says:

    I have been watching the whole incident with horror and disgust. A petty bureaucrat once again proving that many enter public service for their own gain. John has never been one of my favorite people, but this was beyond embarrassing to watch. I was at least comforted to know that no one really cares about the Register of Probate (nor what he or she does) so it would fall out of the press quickly.

    Imagine my surprise when I opened USAToday on Tuesday to discover that his resignation was THE story from Massachusetts in the 50 state round-up section. Maybe when he is finally off the ballot the story will truly die.

    Let me know when you’re meeting in the parking lot….I’ll bring cookies and hot chocolate.

  8. Lynne Says:

    LOL Garland you got it. :)

  9. patrick mccarthy Says:

    Lynne, why would a so called journalist like yourself lie about the Lowell city committee. It is vey active with people on it that serve in congress, manage the senator Kerrys Relection, work as dupty director of the dscc, hold citywide office and are active in both local state, and national politics. Please stop defaming the people that stand up as real democrats.

  10. Lynne Says:

    Let me correct you in several ways:

    1) I have NEVER claimed to be a journalist. Occasionally journalism does happen here, but I have not ever said “hi guys, I’m a journalist.” I don’t have the background for that, nor the temperament. Although sometimes we at LiL actually do more fact checking then our esteemed local paper of record, that’s just a reflection of them more than us. Perhaps we fall under the “citizen journalist” category but that is an entirely different animal. So you’re wrong about that.

    2) And what have I said that is untrue? No really. An active ward/town/city committee actually meets more than once a year to hold a caucus. They do voter outreach, have tables at local events, and even have block captains and people doing doorknocking during general elections. The LDCC does not do these things, or ask its members to do them.

    I have not seen the LDCC meetings posted anywhere? Are they happening without my knowledge (seeing as I just moved and would like to officially join my new ward committee, I am keenly interested in the next meeting)?

    3) Did you actually read what I wrote? Or are you just knee-jerk-reacting to something you THINK I said? Let me quote myself:

    Due to the largely defunct Lowell Democratic City Committee (yes, defunct, as much as I personally like some of its members, there is, in effect, only an LDCC on paper, not in reality)

    I specifically noted that though many admirable people are ostensibly on the committee, people whom I like, there has been nothing to show that the LDCC is actually active. So, where are the monthly meetings and where can I sign up, if I am so wrong?

    Lastly, would you like to come and tell me I am not a real Democrat to my face? I have worked my tail off for Democrats. Pat, really, you are better than this knee-jerk ranting.

  11. Lynne Says:

    By the way, I have been in contact with MY ward chair to make sure that MY ward is represented if indeed we go to a county-wide caucus to choose our candidate for the general election. Have you done the same? Or is your ranting actually a coverup for not doing your own due diligence?

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