Saturday, April 22, 2006

In Support of the DNC

So Dean is trying to build a 50 state Democratic infrastructure. I feel this is very farsighted. I've often felt that no one ever learns anything when things are going fairly smoothly. Education truly begins when "we've always done it that way" is demonstrated as a path to apathy.

During the late 80's and early 90's, here in Oklahoma, we had a Democrat and a Republican as U.S. Senators. I was working as an advertising executive for a widely circulated and well-received (circulation appx 50K) community newspaper in a strong Democratic area of OKC. This area of OKC, is geographically referred to as South OKC, since it is located on the southside of the Canadian river, and was deemed by many "Northsiders" or "Silkshirts" as we referred to them, as being negative for voting down many bond issues and such.

I met several local politicians and became fairly politically active myself. A city self-improvement project, called the Metropolitan Area Project, (MAPs) came up in '93. It was a grand plan that would require a huge investment by passing a countywide one cent sales tax for five years with a vote of the people. It would fail without the support of the southside. Our publication endorsed the project and published a special edition spelling out all the details.

I was relentless in obtaining advertising revenues for the support and distribution of this message. Face it, there is nothing free about the press. I was the top five revenue providers for that publication. At the watch party, I was next to Tom Keilhorn, a local political polling god when the results came in from the south. He was incredulous as he looked up at me from his chair and speechlessly shook my hand. Governor Ron Norick did the same.

It was not a blowout. Only about 52% in favor countywide, which was about the same as the southside. Soon after that, I had a career change, Senator Boren retired and Oklahoma fell firmly into the Red State column with Inhofe and Coburn for Senators.

If a solid infrastructure, like the one Dean is trying to put together now, was in place back then, perhaps I could have been urged by someone on the lookout to further aid the Democratic party. There can be no doubt that it is needed. Full-time paid political operatives constantly looking for new recruits. Isn't that what being a democrat is all about? Just wanting to help someone needing help?


Oilfieldguy said...

For clarification: "Success has a thousand fathers but failure is a bastard everytime." The push for MAPS was a HUGE effort by a lot of people. I helped by raising the money to deliver the benefits of the proposal to a crucial area of town. The first time a proposal like this was put before voters anywhere. Many have failed elsewhere. All the plans in the world are for naught if you don't get the votes. We delivered.

neurophius said...

Hi, Oilfieldguy. I just came over from firedoglake to read about the MAPs project. Interesting; i had not heard about it. Hope you find some good Democrats to organize.

Jacqueline said...


I am a volunteer for the party & now a very visible congressional campaign.

I'm hoping some day my passion will become a paid position, but if it doesn't come to light, well, I'll keep working it.

Take care!