While it seems innocuous on the surface, I can’t help but feel there's something else going on here. Why else is this being rushed & hushed through the EC (Executive Committee) meeting without any public input? I may be wrong, there may be no ulterior motives here, but no one I’ve spoken with on the EC can articulate for me why this change is needed...Well, this isn't really being rushed or hushed, in fact, we (I'm on the Executive Committee) were set to vote on this matter at the last meeting but it was tabled due to time constraints and a rather lengthy discussion on another bylaws issue. The reason many outside the 440 loop haven't heard of it is probably because most people outside this loop don't know or care about the bylaws of the Tennessee Democratic Party to the point of taking an active interest, and those type of matters generally don't warrant a press release. Some members have chimed in on the matter, and I think there will likely be a spirited discussion at the EC meeting this weekend should the issue be brought up again. The arguments in favor are generally that some folks feel that a four year term will allow longer-term strategies to take effect in order to see better development of staff and leadership during the Chair's term.
...And isn’t this just a little ironic? For weeks, the TNDP has railed about a lack of transparency in the General Assembly. Yet here we are three days from a vote that would restructure our party and no one outside the I-440 loop has any clue what the hell is happening. Seriously, we expect this from the GOP, but not our own party.
For what its worth, here was my response in a recent email on the subject.
I'm not sold either way on this issue yet, and I think everyone so far has made good points, but the question before us is basically whether or not to change the status quo.Update: TTP responds to my response and I respond to his response to my response in his comments.
What I would be interested to hear, from Chip or a former Chair, is how a four year term would have improved their ability to do their job effectively?
If we are being honest here, I felt that the last Chair election allowed the Party to essentially give a vote of confidence for our current chair. We had undergone a significant loss for our party, and there were many voices calling for change. In that vein, we had an election, one of the most open and engaging that I think we'd ever had in the party, and the result was the re-election of Chip Forrester. In my mind, that two year election helped him, rather than hurt him, because it allowed for a vote of confidence in his leadership going forward.
Maybe others feel differently about the outcome of the last election, if so, I would very much appreciate hearing those dissenting view points. But at this point I would say I am inclined towards a process which improves our ability as a board to effect change and accountability, rather than one that strengthens incumbency.