The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at the DNC Meeting in Las Vegas

I told you I was going to the DNC meeting to Holler from the Hollers to the DNC about what’s happening in WV. Here’s the LONG, detailed report I’ve been promising.

The DNC has a problem. While the two main thrusts of the DNC messaging at its Las Vegas meeting last week emphasized unity and outreach, the problem is that not everyone in the DNC is on board.

In fact, some would like to bury those in rural red states: we’re unreachable, a lost cause. Hold a wake: WV is dead to them.

Yeah. There was good, there was bad, and there was ugly at the DNC Meeting in Las Vegas.

And here it is…

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly at the DNC Meeting in Las Vegas

The Good: The DNC Outreach Plan

There were several great resolutions to come out of the meeting, including a commitment to reject corporate cash that conflicts with our platform.

But by far the most encouraging thing at the DNC from my perspective was the meeting of the Rural Caucus. The meeting itself was packed with DNC members and guests wanting to fight for their rural areas, and acknowledging how Democrats have been missing the mark terribly.

Speakers at this caucus talked about outreach in essentially the same way I do. Throughout many states, folks see the same problems with rural outreach that we’re experiencing in WV. The individuals who spoke knew and loved their conservative neighbors the same way I know and love mine.

In the rural caucus, I heard no “they’re all deplorable” accusations. Not a single “They’re all racists.” I heard compassion for the plight of the working class, and a recognition that the Democratic party has done a terrible job of trying to help working class people in rural areas–as well as a commitment to change that. You can’t persuade people if you start by attacking them. That shouldn’t be hard to understand.

One of the things I also loved hearing in this meeting was how state representatives for very urban, very liberal California worked to address concerns in CA’s more rural areas because they recognize that addressing those problems is a part of good governance. They explained that convincing urban legislators to spend time on those issues was “challenging”… but so far, it is a challenge that state CA legislators take seriously. They are trying to represent all Californians, and kudos to them for that. (But a suggestion, California: don’t elect Bob Mulholland to the DNC again. You’ll see why, in “The Ugly,” below.)

“Every zip code counts!” That was the charge. And it wasn’t just for the Rural Caucus, either. This was something emphasized by DNC Chairman Tom Perez. That “we all matter” was the message from the Rural Caucus and from leadership, both.

But the question remains: how will this directive from leadership translate into action? What concrete actions will they take to help states like West Virginia, or is this outreach just words-words-words?

Because as I said, the DNC is not all unified on this issue of outreach.

I keep hinting… and I promise I’ll explain more, but next let’s talk about the BAD: what “unity” means to some in the DNC, and why that perspective is so problematic.

The Bad: DNC Unity

Let me first be clear about this: the push to see Donna Brazile off the rules committee was not,  that I am aware of, coming from any DNC members. As to the rumor about other individuals being “targeted” for removal, I had never heard of them before, and prior to the speeches at the convention, had not even heard the whisper that anyone other than Brazile should be removed.  That suggests to me that this take by Chris Reeves about where that rumor on Buzzfeed originated is likely correct. Either that, or someone made it up whole cloth, I suppose.

Either way, here’s what’s concerning to me: “It’s about relationships,” was the ringing refrain from many attempting to explain why the establishment wing lined up behind one candidate and not another, or why some DNC members got appointments and some didn’t, etc., referring to the so-called “progressive purge.”

Now, publicly, the spin was that the committee changes were made for the sake of “diversity” (a defense that is puzzling given the diversity of those removed from office). But on the convention floor, what I heard over and over was: “It’s about relationships.” That was the refrain they used to explain those politics. “Relationships” is good spin. It’s a positive word.

And, look. Of course “relationships” are important. But without exception, when DNC members spoke to me about how their “relationships” affected their decisions or their support for appointments, they were talking about the relationships they had with those in power.

Yeah: “Relationships” was the word they used to make the idea of the “good ole boy” network more palatable, more refined, more attractive.

For example, let’s consider why Donna Brazile was named to the Rules Committee given the fact that she’d broken the rules [petition].  When asked WHY Brazile should be named to the Rules Committee, the answer was manifold:

  • She’s been my friend for years
  • She didn’t ask for what she was thrust into with Russian spies and hacking
  • She received death threats and was terrified for her life, even stayed at my house when the stuff hit the fan
  • Etc.

And look—of course Brazile did not deserve to be terrified for her life or get death threats. And certainly no person, including Brazile, deserved to feel unsafe at home.  That must have been genuinely horrific. I have compassion for her, and for anyone who finds him- or herself in that position.

But none of that had anything to do with the appropriateness of her pending appointment to the rules committee.

Instead, “it’s about relationships,” is favoritism rebranded.

They’re talking about relationships among themselves, not relationships with the people they need to be helping, with the people whose confidence in their judgment they need to inspire, with the people to whom they need to reach out. The members were talking less about reciprocal relationships among equals, and more about STATUS.

What if, instead of “it’s all about the relationships,” they were simply saying “it’s about the good ole boy network”? Horrific, right?

Do we really think misplaced loyalty to an individual is more important than doing the right thing in the public arena… and where have I heard that before?

Look, Brazile made mistakes she regrets, as do we all. And they were bad, given what was happening at the time. Heck, in WV, Sanders and HRC delegates had all unanimously passed a resolution calling for the resignation of her predecessor Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and then Brazile is revealed to be on the “screw neutrality train” too, rsharing confidential information to just one of the primary candidates? Ugh.

There are those who think Brazile should be drummed out of the DNC, but I’m not among them. I understand the outrage, but I can get past it when I think of the lessons that must have been learned.

But putting her on the RULES committee? What madness is this? It sends the wrong message: it says “We have learned nothing.” Similarly, removing prominent, diverse progressives from important positions on that committee and others does nothing to communicate or foster unity.

The DNC would do well to look at their appointments from the perspective of other people, outside their inner circle. If their goal is unity and outreach, they could find a MUCH better move. Brazile broke the rules. So maybe put her on a different committee: Credentialing. Resolutions. But Rules… really?

Good communication is not just about conveying your perspective accurately, but also about understanding how someone with a different perspective might receive what you’re saying. It’s about understanding the impacts of your communication, the impacts of your actions.

The justifications given for appointing Brazile to the Rules Committee are just that: justifications. They have nothing to do with Brazile’s ethical qualifications, or with the impacts of her appointment, whether or not it would alienate people seeking evidence that the DNC has turned the page on favoritism.

This issue is illustrative of the DNC’s problem… but it’s not the worst thing to come out of the DNC meeting.

Not by far.

We’ve looked at the good and the bad. Now here’s the UGLY.

The Ugly: DNC member Mulholland thinks WV is a lost cause

You’ve probably never heard of Bob Mulholland. I never had, either. Let me tell you about him.

Bob Mulholland is a DNC-insider-member of the Rules Committee from California, reportedly with a long and questionable history of opposition to progressive movements in the Democratic party. (At this time, his Wikipedia page claims he intercepted Green Party registrations and asked those trying to register that way to instead register as Democrats.) He’s been in trouble for playing dirty before. He’s the political consultant who wants to “play not to lose.” He’s THIS guy. And he’s the guy that pushed this controversial resolution (soundly rejected, BTW).

And at this Las Vegas meeting, Mulholland suggested that outreach to rural, white voters in West Virginia is useless. “The majority of white people in America have not voted for us since 1964,” he said. “White people… are not interested in our program.”

He essentially believes WV is a lost cause because it’s mostly white.

“Southern states are the worst,” Mulholland propounded, explaining that there is “no future” for the Democratic Party there, and listing off West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi as examples. (Quick history lesson, Mulholland: WV was a Yankee state.)

Even now, even after having had more than a week to think about it, it’s hard for me to know how to respond to his nauseating statements.

But what I can do is tell you the words that were ringing through my mind when I heard him say those awful things. They’re the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., who recognized how many commonalities poor people had, no matter their race.

And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, “Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. You’re just as poor as Negroes.” And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because, through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people.”

In fact, the purpose of his Poor People’s Campaign was to “dramatize the plight of America’s poor of all races and make very clear that they are sick and tired of waiting for a better life.”

King was reaching out. But Mulholland thinks that the Democrats shouldn’t?

I said above that I didn’t want to see Brazile drummed out of the DNC. Mulholland deserves to be.

Brazile, wrong as she was, was at least just trying to give a leg up to a friend (“It’s about relationships!”). Wrong, yes, but it was misplaced assistance. But Mulholland is not misguidedly trying to assist someone. Instead, he’s trying to abandon entire regions, millions of people, desperate for help.

Mulholland’s hostility to WV and other states is especially tragic given the effort DNC leadership has made to drive home their outreach strategy: “Every zip code matters.”

After the General Meeting, for instance, I spotted Chairman Perez and called out, “Hey there! I’m in 26337!” Without missing a beat, the Chairman responded, “That’s West Virginia!” and he even gave me his card so I could contact him by email. That seemed genuine…

… yet this idea of rural outreach, of “every zip code matters,” seems to have escaped Bob Mulholland and those like him. Perhaps Mulholland is simply thinking about “relationships” in the DNC redefinition, because frankly no one here in WV can do Mulholland any favors. Poor people out here are not in the good ole boy network he’s a part of.

That’s just the truth. He doesn’t need West Virginia or West Virginians; we can’t provide him any status. All the Democratic candidates here in WV who are trying to make a difference, folks who have never run before… none of us can help him ascend the DNC hierarchy. So why should he invest in outreach that in his view gets him nothing? Why should the Democratic Party, so far as he’s concerned?

No one at the DNC is going to be justifying help for WV due to “relationships” with folks in my area. There will be none of this:

  • “I have friends in Wood County, so when I heard about the Ames fire, I pulled some strings and got the National Guard down there to get shelters set up, and people in threatened neighborhoods moved… “
  • “My friends in Doddridge County didn’t ask for what they were thrust into, with property rights violated, property values assaulted, water threatened, so I called in some favors and made sure they had legal protections…”
  • “When people we know in Ritchie County were threatened by an experimental frack dump in the peripheral zone of concern of the only public drinking water intake in the county—when folks were terrified for their communities, for their kids, and grandkids—we used our influence to make sure that dump would not go in…”
  • “When I heard about those people who had been without water for seven years, I contacted someone to donate funds to the municipality so they could extend city water there. We shouldn’t have communities without water in the United States!

No, we don’t have the important “relationships.”

What happened to being the voice of the little guy?

Opportunities squandered

Faced with this heartbreaking attitude, I had to wonder if the DNC’s strategy was just to publicly talk about outreach, or whether instead leadership actually intended to do something concrete to reach out to rural voters here in WV and states like ours. Would they really reach out to rural voters of every ethnicity?

Because we desperately need them to. And we need more than hopeful words. Ritchie County, my county, has nearly a 21% poverty rate, and a huge wage disparity where men make about $20K per year more than women. About a quarter of kids in WV are living in poverty. And we’re not even the WV county in the most dire straits.

And I must point out here that we know that the whiter a state’s population is, the likelier they were to vote for the more liberal of the candidates last year. Even Pew research has seen that “solid liberals” are majority white. What they have here in WV, actually, is a group of “disaffected Democrats” whom the more affluent “solid liberals” seem unwilling to reach.

Fewer of us in WV believe that hard work invariably leads to success, because we’ve worked hard all our lives only to find that the system is often rigged against us. It’s not that we don’t work hard; it’s that it doesn’t matter if we do because there are so few opportunities here. And while you may be scandalized to read that many “disaffected Democrats” believe we should offer less aid overseas and more here, it might be a bit easier to understand if you remember that many in WV, within a short drive of DC—myself included— don’t even have potable running water in the house.

Please don’t blame people who feel they’ve been forgotten because they have actually been forgotten. Don’t blame WV for having fewer college grads, when our college grads are fleeing to places where their educations can get them good jobs in their fields that will enable them to pay back student loans. We have the largest number of students in default for a reason. It’s because there is little here for the educated.

Stop with the victim blaming, and work on the outreach.

Understand, the reason the Democratic Party has been losing the rural, white working class vote is BECAUSE they haven’t been reaching out. And it’s also because members like Mulholland have attitudes that are not only poisonous to the party, but poisonous to our whole country. It’s not only defeatist, but it’s ignorant and divisive to claim that it’s not worth the effort to reach out in states like WV, that there’s no future for Democrats here, because we’re too white.

Worse, this isn’t new. This is the battle we’ve been fighting in WV for time out of mind, with both parties. The attitude that we’re dumb hillbillies helps rationalize the industrial aggression we face here, because if we’re seen as LESSER, then it’s easy for others to turn off compassion and conclude “They deserve what they get.”

When we’re fighting to keep our wells, creeks, and springs clean, those of you in more affluent areas might be well-served to help us. We’re a headwaters state. When you allow the legal burden for fighting a dangerous experimental frack dump to be placed chiefly on a county of 10,000 rural people with a high poverty rate, few legal resources, and a Department of Environmental Protection run by a coal crony, that’s dangerous not just for us—but for everyone downstream.

And by and large there’s no one in our corner.

Partisan Messaging in Rural America

Conservatives have proclaimed that “The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America… The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.”

This should be an opportunity, right? It would be easy to debunk with a little effort to show the false dichotomy we have in WV: that we don’t have to choose between good jobs and clean water and air. We can have both.

But in their messaging, conservatives do a good job of misdirecting blame at disabled workers, unemployed people, black people, gay people, immigrants, and damned liberal job-killers… and on and on. That’s easier (and more lucrative for those in power) than legislating to make sure that hard work really does pay off, that our money isn’t continually funneled to the already rich.

Yet it’s sadly common for prominent liberals ALSO to be proponents of attitudes that play into those misdirections, and suggest we should just give up and “Let [rural voters] reap the consequences for voting against their own interests… They’ll keep voting against their own interests until the industrial poisons left unregulated by their favored politicians finish them off altogether.”

Yeah, Mulholland isn’t the only jerk.

But since he’s a DNC member, the DNC needs to address that poison he’s pouring into our national discourse.

Opportunities Taken

As I mentioned, Chairman Perez gave me his card, so I wrote him about this concerning issue. In my opinion, having Mulholland on the Rules Committee is like having DeVos as Secretary of Education, Pruitt as Secretary of the EPA, or Carson as Secretary of HUD: you don’t want to put someone in power who is intent on destroying what they’re ostensibly there to fix. That seems self-evident.

So I was straightforward with outlining for the chairman what I thought should be done:

First, Mulholland should be removed from the Rules Committee if possible—because that committee will be responsible for approving the outreach suggestions of the Unity Reform Committee—and if it’s not possible to remove him due to rules or bylaws, a statement of condemnation should be issued.

Second, a progressive from WV should be appointed to help the DNC with rural outreach in Appalachia. I volunteer! WV’s current DNC members might be, by Pew’s taxonomy, “strong liberals.” But WV—and I would suspect that greater Appalachia—is filled with far more “disaffected Democrats.” (Some of our Superdelegates can hardly even be called Democrats.)

So I asked Chairman Perez to respond by the 30th so that I could include his response in a post I planned to publish on the 31st… but he did not respond.


I had copied William Hailer on the email, however. Mr. Hailer is an aide of Chairman Perez, whom I met at the recent meeting. Mr. Hailer responded to a different email I had sent him earlier. He didn’t mention Mulholland’s offenses or the other email, but instead put me in touch with staff people about how to grow an outreach program.

One has written back, and she wants a brainstorming call next week some time. I’m somewhat optimistic about it because, as I mentioned above, the rural caucus seems absolutely dedicated, and on the right path.

But, DNC leadership, to be clear: Not dismissing rural people based on their race isn’t some secret special sauce; it should be top on the list of things to do, even before “growing a program.”

My being permitted to participate in an upcoming call doesn’t address the DNC’s BIG problem. Turning a blind eye to members of important committees who spout these counter-productive and genuinely nauseating biases—biases which only exacerbate the problems the DNC wishes to address—is terrible. And a tepid half-response to what absolutely should outrage everyone doesn’t demonstrate that they mean it when they say “every zip code counts.”


West Virginia counts!

Real Representation for WV

Democrats actually outnumber Republicans here in WV, but we keep losing elections because our leadership is out of touch. High profile WV “Democrats” increase Democratic disaffection by echoing industry talking points about a “War on Coal,” and other nonsense. Voters here feel that their vote doesn’t matter… and it’s hard to argue when WV superdelegates felt free to cancel out the votes of so many, changing a landslide victory for one presidential candidate into a slim victory for the other—despite the fact that WV Democrats unanimously called for an end to superdelegates.

Disaffected WV Democrats want someone who’d fight to keep Stream Protection Rules in place, not stand over the signing of the repeal, grinning like a ghoul anticipating his next grisly meal, which will be the campaign donation payoffs received for sacrificing us.

We’re out here and we need basic services. We need potable running water. We need functioning sewer. We need our property rights protected. We need roads that we’re not paying a disproportionate amount for, because industry is getting hidden subsidies in exchange for campaign donations. We’re done being sacrificed. When will it be okay for West Virginians to demand clean water?

This is what the DNC needs to convince us they care about. We need folks working to help us, all of us, regardless of party or race. West Virginia is not too white to deserve attention. Anyone who says that is not only spouting genuinely reprehensible views, but is also contributing to political divisions we should be trying to address, without a clue about what’s happening on the ground, or why people aren’t voting for them.


As I hear more (if I hear more) from DNC staff or DNC leadership, I’ll update you. [Updates are now below in the comments.] But in the meantime, I’d like to hear from YOU.

What would you have said to someone who told you essentially that WV was just too white to waste time on? What would you tell the DNC leadership to do about DNC members who spout hateful view like that?

12 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at the DNC Meeting in Las Vegas

  1. Not too keen on Tom Perez. Need to get Mulholland, whom I’ve never heard of before, off the Rules Committee. We need YOU, an articulate WV progressive, on the rural outreach committee. You’re an independent thinker & the world needs more of those. Thank you for your service to us WVians. I knew nothing about much of this until this article. But, of course, not privy to DNC meeting so appreciate the information/commentary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I figure the “outreach plan” is only window dressing. The Blue Dogs who control the DNC figure progressives have nowhere else to go, and are mostly interested in doing the bidding of their Wall Street and corporate donors and in appealing to disaffected moderate Republicans. The purge of progressives from positions of influence in the DNC speaks volumes.

    As for rural, white voters (in WV or elsewhere), I would note that it was rural whites who fought the mine wars to gain worker rights and union rights 100 years ago in Southern West Virginia. It is not lost on today’s rural whites that in the last 25 years the Democrats helped sell out the unions, drive their wages down, promote trade agreements that sent their small-town factories off-shore, reduce their safety net benefits, and promote perpetual wars that killed or maimed their sons and daughters.

    It is easier to blame the defections of rural whites on racism, etc, than to acknowledge that rural whites have walked away from the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party has largely abandoned their interests in recent decades.


  3. I sort of hate to say this because I’d love to see you win your seat–but I wonder why someone as obviously well-informed as you are continues to waste time trying to reform the Democratic Party. I really don’t think it can be reformed–the people making the decisions DON’T CARE that their choices cause them to keep losing elections. What matters is the money flowing in from their sugar daddies–and to keep that flowing they just need to keep winning enough elections to be seen as a viable party, but also need to give the sugar daddies whatever they want, which is usually harmful to voters. Trump is not bad news for these people–he’s extreme enough to guarantee the Democrats lots of votes next time (or so they assume) because of the major harm done in so many way to so many people–but for the wealthy, they’re exempt. They won’t be harmed unless he starts a nuclear war which I suspect he can’t really do.


    1. Yeah, look. I hear you. Sometimes I wonder the same thing myself. 😉 But truthfully there are a lot of very good people in both major parties fighting to make the parties better and less beholden to corporate interests. In my mind this isn’t really Democrats vs. Republicans so much as it is The People vs. The Plutarchy, that has a sort of deathgrip on both. I’m a Democrat because I agree with our platform and our principles, not because I think it’s a good idea to mindlessly support people who put a D by their names, regardless of how awful they may be, or regardless of whether they stand for anything. I guess what really sort of surprises me is that there are so many Democrats who simply cannot understand why some Republicans aren’t speaking out about President Trump… and yet many of them supported Governor Justice when he had a “D,” and they did not speak out about the safety record, the failure to pay taxes and fines, etc etc. I don’t get it. If you’re a party of principle, then every individual should stand on principle, not on party. People are so sick of blind partisanship. If you stand for something, then stand for it, whether it’s politically convenient for you or not.Of course, that’s easy for me to say, because politics is NOT something I ever wanted to do, so my self-worth is not balanced on whether I win or not, like it is for some candidates. I’m running to HOLLER and to help other unheard people holler. If I win, my voice will be louder, and I’ll be in a better position to help set things right. But whether I win or not, I’ll continue to point out where our representatives (no matter their party) are getting paid to sell us out to donors, and hopefully we’ll get better people in office… even if it’s not me.


  4. Maybe make him aware that most WV residents felt they had no one to vote for. MOST conservatives I know don’t like Trump, and would’ve voted for Sanders. There were polls upon polls showing Sanders would’ve had a better chance of winning , but the DNC ignored that. Instead we got two controversial candidates. We get pimped for coal and have severe education, health, and drug problems, brushing us off as a lost cause will only exacerbate those problems. A lot of us are migrating to other states for work, so it becomes their problems, too.


    1. I know several conservatives that didn’t like their choices, too. Anecdotally, libertarian-leaners here seemed particularly unhappy. But that said, I’ve also talked to a number of Republicans who still have some optimism, and wish he’d just stop tweeting and start doing what he promised: fight for people here in WV. They regard him as their sort of tedious BS-er friend who despite the constant stream of bull, always seems to be able to pull-off plans and succeed despite his shenanigans. They’re anticipating that success, and when people attack the President for petty things (or based on his appearance), they believe he’s not succeeding because he’s being unfairly targeted, and they will stand up for the person they perceive to be the underdog. That’s why I’d encourage everyone to refrain from that stuff, if not because it’s the right thing to do, then because it’s counter-productive.
      Keep in mind that membership of the DNC is to an extent controlled by elections at the state level, and DNC leadership doesn’t have much control over that. Mulholland, for instance is an elected DNC member. I don’t believe Chairman Perez could remove him as a member if he wanted to; Californians will have to do that.
      In WV, we have five DNC members that include the Chair of the state party, the Vice-chair, the Chair of the WVFDW, etc. They have not been especially responsive to what WV Democrats want; they don’t have to be so long as no one here is paying attention, or so long as we regard the DNC as some distant, unassailable monolith we cannot affect. Here’s a good instructional video on how we can fix the WV Dems through the process, by getting involved. We could contribute five progressive, voting DNC members, and other states can make similar changes. Problem is that most people don’t know how to go about it, so I encourage anyone interested to watch the video.

      So the DNC is not a monolith of establishment types; there are ALSO some really great progressive DNC members. You may (?) have heard of Larry Cohen, Jane Kleeb, Nomi Konst, Jim Zogby. But I was also really impressed by Valdez Bravo, Vice-chair of Oregon Dems, and Winston Apple who really made a valiant attempt to fight the slate, and get the DNC to vote on a per person basis.

      Caucuses (like the rural caucus) elect leadership from among members of the caucus. Committees (depending on which) have some appointed members, and some are members by virtue of having been elected to some other office. There are also “at large” members appointed by leadership, and the Chair does have control over that part. Basically, it’s complicated, but there are a lot of people fighting hard for the right things. I don’t think they have a good idea of how to achieve them, sometimes, and they’re certainly thwarted by some members, and sometimes just led astray by some members. A lot of elected DNC members seem like they’re hardly paying attention, they’re just “doing unity” and voting like they’re told to vote for the party, or voting like they want to vote for a friend, without thinking about what we need for the country.

      And here is the terrible thing, to my mind: because we have so many DNC members are not paying attention—or like Mulholland, they’re accepting ugly stereotypes about huge parts of the country—it will take a lot of time to make changes if leadership is resisting the positive changes we need… or if they’re only paying lip service to the changes. And there are people here who don’t have the time to wait for things to get better. There are people here whose property will have been seized by the time we go through this laborious process, even if we’re able to do it all in one cycle (and I doubt that’s even possible). There are children who’ll be born with birth defects, cancers, or other challenges from MTR, PCB contamination, acid mine drainage, frack-related-bromides in our water. People will die in floods because of valley fill. Hollers will be filled with frack salts. Students will flee instead of staying here with their educations. Farms will be stolen for pipelines that studies show serve only to enrich corporations and place the costs on consumers. 38 miles of mountaintops in WV and VA will be removed for one of the pipelines. Mineral owners will lose their right to hold out for a better price. Property values will drop when a home goes from having birdsong and views of hill-and-holler… to having diesel engine and views of a 5 acre frack pad. People in my county, I have to point out, aren’t opposed to drilling. But they want it to be fair; they want it to be safe; and they think the folks here should benefit from our resources. They are outraged that a frack dump would be permitted within the peripheral zone of concern for the ONLY public drinking water intake in the county—outraged that the company responsible, Antero, claims they put it there because it would save them the most money.

      What about what best for the people who live here?

      So incremental changes to the DNC will take time that a lot of us just don’t have—and that a lot of people don’t have an idea about how to make. We should work on that; I’m trying to do my part. But I’m also trying to point out to DNC leadership that there are severe consequences to the incrementalism, consequences to real people.
      That’s why the DNC should voluntarily make a RADICAL change in the way it operates, and they have to do that NOW. They have to do it yesterday. That’s why Mulholland’s views disgust me so much. The DNC can’t be the force for good they think they are unless they’re actually a force for good. If they put the party first, they’re similar in many ways to all those Republicans they’re wishing would speak out against their own leadership. They love John McCain for putting the love of his country first, over his party? Then they should take a lesson.


  5. Just a quick update here, of a couple peripheral things: First, read this excerpt of Donna Brazile’s upcoming book on Politico. Very interesting. And second Ms. Brazile may (?) either be coming to WV at the invitation of progressives to see what’s happening here, or else there will be a conference call. I can’t quite tell, because 140 characters is far too few for me to make perfect sense of most of the time. (Have you noticed I’m wordy?) But read for yourself.


  6. Here’s another update this morning. Will Hailer just replied to my email to Chairman Perez, and confirmed that Mulholland is not an at-large DNC member; he’s an elected DNC member. That means Chairman Perez has no power to remove him. Members of CA’s State Democratic Party will have to do that (or vote him out at the next cycle, depending on how their by-laws work). Also, per Hailer, Mulholland is not an appointment of the chairman’s to the Rules Committee. The chair can appoint some members to the committee, but others like Mulholland are members by virtue of being elected to other positions within the DNC. So while I’m a bit disappointed that there is no removing Mulholland right now, I’m also RELIEVED that the Chairman is not behind getting folks like Mulholland on that committee.

    Hailer also explained, “The Chairman has been traveling across the country for political events since the DNC meeting and hasn’t had time to review the resolutions or senses passed. However, it is incredibly important to him that our strategy is ensuring Every Zip Code Counts – that includes all of West Virginia. Our political team and rural council looks forward to working with you on those issues.”


  7. Many of the crowding issues could be fixed in big cities if people would move into lower populated areas. We would have more people to vote, pay taxes, and revitalize the area. But we majorly need to fix our infrastructure and communications network to encourage growth.


    1. Yeah, it’s tough to move out to rural areas if there are no jobs in your field. Tough to move out, and very tough to stay. And for businesses, why come to rural areas when they know that the roads are bad, the I-net is iffy… and if they live here, their kids may not even have clean water. The companies who want to locate a business in Ritchie County, now are the people who plan to jeopardize our water, pocket money from that, and then skedaddle as soon as they can.


  8. Birmingham is looking at Doug Jones, and Atlanta has Fort – but yeah, the South is not worth their time….


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