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There is a lot of misinformation pinballing around the Internet today about what happened at last night’s DPOC meeting, so I’ll here give my account of the actions that led to those rumors. I do so as an individual and not speaking on behalf of DPOC.
Normally I do not write about the goings on at the Democratic Party of Orange County Executive Board and Central Committee meetings (I am a member of both.) This is because, among other things, I am hopelessly conflicted — which I acknowledge up front — and because when discussion at those meetings (including my own statements) in intended as confidential, I try to keep it confidential. When I do write about them, I try to keep things factual, as I will do here.
We apparently have a lot of administrative work to complete between now and the California Democratic Party convention (in San Diego, Feb. 10-12.) We haven’t had an Executive Director in four months. Nick Anas, who has been President of the Orange County Young Democrats (and who by all accounts has done an absolutely excellent job there), will be working with us on a contract basis through the end of the month to complete these tasks.
We also have primary elections coming up the first week in June and we have a number of upcoming tasks (such as our endorsement process) related to them. We are watching our money carefully this year. The Executive Committee voted to recommend that Nick Anas become what I think is best described as our Interim or Acting Executive Director for three months, February through the end of April. This decision is now submitted to the Central Committee meeting on January 24. At that time, the Central Committee will vote on whether to hire him as a temporary full-time employee for that period.
One of the tasks that Nick will given is to use his professional fundraising skills to raise money to cover the costs of his own work with DPOC. Frankly, I think that having Nick working for DPOC is something worth fundraising over; my hope, and that of I think most others, is that he will be successful in this effort. If so, that will make it easier for us to consider an arrangement through Election Day.
We have not yet discussed hiring a new permanent Executive Director (and there is at least some sentiment that we really don’t need one all of the time, as well as some horror expressed at that sentiment.) Those are internal battles for other days. For now, we have someone in place to get us prepared for the convention (a decision that could not be deferred until the Central Committee meeting); we have submitted the name of someone to get us ready for the primaries; and we have not foreclosed other alternatives (including an eventual large-scale search for a permanent replacement — or, by contrast, moving to a less-expensive process of hiring people for discrete tasks.
This seems to me to be responsible behavior given an economically straitened budget. I hope that others agree.
Some of the discussion around of the “We’ve hired Nick to be Executive Director” is exuberance from people who have worked closely with him, primarily the OC Young Dems. I can understand that exuberance — Nick is truly a wonderful guy, well-liked, ambitious in the right way of wanting to prove himself and move up in the party through enormously hard work. But, what we didn’t do last night is to make a snap decision that he is our new permanent Executive Director. We couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, and didn’t. But what we did do is put ourselves in a better position to compete in elections from U.S. President and Senate to School Board and Water District later this year. That is the factual good news that actually can be reported today.
To editorialize: best of luck to Nick. He’s going to need it, but he’s also going to deserve it.
P.S. Art Pedroza’s puzzling new blog chose to characterize Nick primarily as having worked in Beth Krom’s unsuccessful campaign to unseat incumbent John Campbell in 2010. I’m sure that Beth and everyone else in the Democratic Party will joining me in confirming for Art that this result was, indeed, entirely Nick’s fault, and that if he had just stayed home Krom would have easily defeated Campbell by at least 500,000 votes. And then, if and when Art reports this as fact, we will all have a good laugh over it.