Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Return of the Smoke Filled Room

Earlier this evening, a group of self-appointed Democratic movers and shakers held a secret meeting at the Manchester law office of attorney John Kacavas. This meeting was supposed to be kept from the public, but sometimes, people have more friends than others suspect.

The convener of the meeting is Rob Werner, a lobbyist for the Lung Association, and an individual who clearly wants to be viewed as a major player in Democratic Party affairs. Evidently, Rob believes that the way to do this is to hold closed-door mettings to annoint chosen candidates without those pesky voters getting involved in the process.

If the last election taught us anything, it is that cronyism and cliqueishness makes for bad politics and bad policy. The Benson Administration's proclivity for engaging in governance-by-golfing partner wreaked havoc on our state. If we Democrats are willing to simply swap one group of backroom politicos for another, we will have ceded the moral high ground.

It is time for NH Democrats to become a party of reform, a party that is open to new faces, new ideas and new approaches to politics. Ours must be a party that embraces Deaniacs and DLCers, Teamsters and software developers. Not everyone will agree on every issue, and believe it or not, that's a good thing. Let's have a spirited debate on the issues.

The days of backroom bullying have passed. I challenge my colleagues in the Democratic Party to wake up to this reality and change their ways.