I have been reading the posts and I thought I would add my observations of the 69th AD caucus – especially since some of the Recent Yahoo Group Posts are not accurate from my viewpoint.
First and Foremost, I am a member of the Rules Committee for the California Democratic Party. I was asked by the Rules Committee to observe inasmuch as someone voiced concern about the cacus meeting. (I have no idea who) The CDP also made sure that Regional Director, Jim Moreno was also present.
The now past leaders of the 69th AD Caucus the Hull-Richters have no love of any kind for me and I really do not care. I did however want to be as neutral as possible so I limited any social activity as much as I could.
I really want to thank Hal and Carolyn for their gracious hospitality. They were not expecting as many people and were a little freaked out at the number of people who came. Everyone was polite and respectful.
When I arrived shortly before 2pm – Regional Director Moreno was there and another Party Activist showed up to observe. I happened to be speaking to this activist when we got a pretty scathing remark from Ms. Hull Richter commenting on how outsiders were showing up. I told her I was there from Rules Committee and heard her mumble something that sounded like Go F*** Yourself (but I may have misheard – she might have said “I am so glad your’re here!). What was interesting was that after candidates, 69th AD voters and 3 observers were told no one would be admitted until 2pm – It was probably a good idea. They were willing to let Jim in, but not me; until Jim told them I was coming in on behalf of CDP Rules Committee.
I will say this now and possibly throughout this post that Mark was a class act from beginning until the end and had a good sense of humor about the whole thing. Voters signed the appropriate forms and Mark handed them their ballots. I was a little suprised to note that although Mark had his laptop – the sign ins were not verified during the hour long credentialing period. It was a pretty consistant check in at the beginning and difficult to manage both handing out ballots and checking on the computer. Mark was following instructions to the letter.
Mark had also asked a good group of volunteers to watch, monitor and count the ballots – all of whom I know to be honest brokers – so Tom, Ed and Frank – JOB WELL DONE!!!
If I were to fault anything on the set up 1. having both ballot boxes out is potentially confusing, but Ed did a terrific job of assisting those who were unable to stay. 2. I wish they had used some poster board, butcher paper or white board to list candidates. Especially after the winners were announced.
Once everyone spoke, Ed, Frank & Tom retired to the counting area and processed under the direction of the Regional Director. Another volunteer came in a bit later and he was also placed in the room to observe. I sort of stationed myself by the entryway to be sure candidates or their supporters kept out and I had a view of the e-board ballot box as a caution. Mark was also nearby doing the same thing. Alex and Natasha videotaped (archaic term, I know) the entire process, ballot by ballot.
It takes time to count 61 ballots (61 were deemed eligible to participate) so things got tedious. Interestingly Ruth (one of the candidates) was in and out of the counting area presumably giving messages to Natasha (who did most of the camera work). At one point, I observed her looking over the shoulder of one of the volunteers doing the talley. I decided not to confront Ruth and cause a potential disturbance that whoud distract the counting of the ballots. At one point, another candidate (Claudio) followed Ruth into the room. When Ruth walked out, I pulled Claudio out.
Towards the end 1 hour or so later, other candidates were clustering around and Ruth and I told them to relax. (irony there).
FINALLY, the top 6 men and women were announced and we were on to eboard which went faster.
We were out around 5pm, I think – (the end of the Chargers-Patriots Game which was playing in another room). To Mark – you were a total class act. Overall, the people you picked to count the ballots were conscientious and thorough.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, some of the comments following the caucus on the various blogs and Yahoo groups are not in the best of spirit, so, lets move on. There is plenty of room for various opinions on the issues. There is no room for personal attacks (true and especially untrue).
Congratulations to ALL who participated. You are all a credit to the Democratic Party.