By now you should have received notice that there will be a full Committee meeting on Saturday, July 21 at 11 a.m., Kingston City Hall, to determine whether or not to grant Vincent Bradley, Jr. a waiver to run in a primary against the Democratic endorsee, Jonathan Sennett, D-New Paltz. Though we know that this is an extremely inconvenient day and time, it is imperative that everyone on the Committee come out and vote.
This waiver, also known as a Wilson-Pakula, should be used to cross-endorse someone from another party when there is no suitable candidate available. Mr. Bradley had many opportunities to plead his case with the Democratic Committee that he would be the Democrat’s best candidate for District Attorney. On June 4, the Democratic Committee voted to endorse Jon. Since Mr. Bradley has been unable to accept the results of our vote, we are now faced with a possibility of a primary, which is a waste of valuable resources.
Those who support the primary insist that all of the enrolled Democrats should be offered the opportunity to vote for the candidate to run in the General Election. Like it or not, we do not live in a true or direct democracy – we have a representative democracy. As Committee members, we represent our Democratic constituents, which is why we have an unofficial convention with weighted votes. When a town holds a caucus, all enrolled voters are invited to nominate a candidate. This is possible because they don’t have 33,000+ voters. If we had a direct democracy, then we’d never have a convention, and all nominations would require the invitation of the 33,000+ Democratic enrollees to vote.
Subsequently, Mr. Bradley has accepted the endorsement of the Independence Party as well as the Conservative Party which is contrary to the Democratic Party’s tenets. If anyone truly wants to vote for Mr. Bradley, they will still have the opportunity to do so on one of those two lines.
Let us point out, as committee people, we represent a particular number of Democrats in our district; thus we have weighted votes. We don't all go to or to vote on a bill. When a bill is defeated, it doesn't go to a referendum because the minority whines that they lost.
The towns in County have caucuses - those are examples of direct democracy. All Democrats (or republicans) are invited to nominate and choose their candidate. Since we have 33,000+ Democrats in County, we can't have caucuses. That's the purpose of having the committee. Otherwise, instead of the convention, we'd be going to the voting booth every year to choose which candidate to endorse. By granting the waiver, we're saying that our vote was meaningless, let's ignore it, and spend the taxpayer's money.
Should the waiver be granted, Jon Sennett’s campaign for District Attorney will be spent on winning the primary, instead of focusing on issues and his Republican opponent. Resources would be better spent on Jon’s ability to lead the ticket and win the election of himself and other Democrats. If the divided committee is working for their candidate to win the primary, then it’s not working on the other candidates’ races. Allowing a primary will delay progress in getting everyone’s message out to the voters, thereby risking victory for many Democratic candidates.
Jon is a progressive and energetic candidate with fresh ideas for the District Attorney’s office; the Committee obviously agreed he was the best candidate to put forward when we voted on June 4. Please come out and vote, once more, to reinforce the fact that we still like how we voted on June 4. We need to achieve party unity now, not in September.