Conventional Wisdom

“Democracy is messy” I was told when I complained about the said state of organization for the Connecticut State Democratic Convention, which opens tonight.

I’m used to an environment that would send out a memo listing all the convention attendees with vital details including, but not limited to: where to be, how to get there, where to park, when to arrive, when you can expect to leave, a schedule of events, suggestions on dress code, documentation you’re required to bring, a review of your obligations, and so on.

Apparently, the Democrats don’t think it’s necessary. Heck, State Central’s web site doesn’t even have the convention schedule posted. I learned more about the event from one of the candidate’s e-mails than from any other source.

I was selected as a convention alternate, to cast proxy votes should a convention delegate not be present when a vote is taken. Last night at the Democratic Town Committee’s District Leaders’ Meeting, I was asked to take a member’s full proxy for the entire weekend. After signing the official document, having it witnessed and exchanging blood rites, he then thought to ask me who I was leaning towards in the key races – US Senate and Governor. Happily, we were both leaning towards upstart Ned Lamont, who represents the state’s anger at Joe Lieberman’s positions and antics. On the other hand, I am leaning towards New Haven Mayor John DeStefano while he was committed to Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy. He said resignedly, “Well, I signed it over so vote how you feel.”

Later, he grabbed me and said he was being pressured to make sure I voted for Malloy and then the strong arm of a party leader showed up, intent on securing my vote. So, I’m somewhat in a bind, preferring to vote my mind but recognizing I am voting as his proxy and have to respect his wishes. Should be fun decided before tomorrow’s vote.

The Convention is spread over two days so today we focus on the Senate race while tomorrow is all about the state ticket. A late challenger for Secretary of State is rumored to be ready to ask for a roll call vote when her turn comes and I can imagine the boredom setting in as all 1607 names are called in order. I’m told there will be tons of campaign literature, hospitality rooms and much speechifying. Should be an interesting, eye-opening experience. Fortunately, I’ll be carpooling to and from Hartford both days with three others so I won’t be the only wide-eyed innocent in the melee.

At our DTC meeting last night, we took some more baby steps towards getting ourselves organized but the lack of a tight and focused agenda still let matters wander. We also had a special meeting anointing Tom Drew as our incumbent candidate for the 132nd State Representation’s seat. He had a great first term and is a terrific guy I will be happy to support and campaign for.

I was selected to be a full delegate to the 28th State Senatorial convention which the State set for Monday night, which of course conflicts with an RTM meeting. At the District Leaders’ Meeting, we were told there was no Democratic candidate and the convention was likely to be canceled. An hour later, the convention was back on so I presume a candidate emerged at the 11th hour. So, I played Pass it Along, and handed off my own proxy for Monday.

More after the convention ends.