The proposed motion to rescind the endorsement (which was duly noted in the "Call to Meeting") was put forward by State Representative John McCoy, a PCO who had not been present at the May 1st meeting. There was a disagreement between the Chair, Marian Harrison, and Curt Eidem, LD representative to the Snohomish County Executive Board (who is considering a run for LD Chair in January and who had actually placed the proposed Motion to Rescind into the Call to Meeting) over the validity of the motion with the reluctant decision of the Chair being that the motion could stand. As soon as there was a second I stood to "Object to the Consideration of the Motion". Again there was much discussion over this little used parliamentary procedure, followed by a very confusing voting period in which the majority of those present were unsure as to what result an aye or a nay vote would produce. The ayes and nays were called for, immediately followed by a call for "Division of the House." At this point, the true nature of the Motion to Rescind was revealed. When two LD members, Charlene Rawson and Michele Pin (Snohomish County Corresponding Secretary) did not fully understand the voting instruction (rising to vote "Aye" would sustain the objection), they were instructed by 38th LD PCO (and bi-annual meeting attendee) Dylan Malone, that "If you support Maria, you should sit down."; which they both did. As we were voting on a motion that applied exclusively to Mark Wilson, I felt this was a rather strange instruction. After a couple of false starts, the vote to sustain my objection failed and we went on to debate the original motion to rescind the endorsement of Mark Wilson.
John McCoy began his speech in favor of his motion by reminding everyone that he had not been at the original meeting in May but that he had heard the process was somehow flawed. Therefore, he was making the motion to rescind based upon a flawed process for which he could offer no proof or exact evidence other than "I heard..." (I hope he doesn't do it this way in Olympia). As an after thought, he said Maria Cantwell was still a good senator even with her "questionable votes". At this point I made a point of inquiry to ask the Secretary if all of the 38th LD Bylaw procedures of notification had been followed with notice being provided to all of the members of the LD. I was informed that indeed every LD member had been duly notified of the May meeting and that the Call to Meeting did contain the required language that endorsements might be considered. Next, LD member Harry Abbott stood to speak against the motion by saying that those who had taken the time to attend the May meeting and voted for the endorsement of Mark Wilson did so in good faith and with the understanding that the will of the majority would prevail. He went on to say that many people were unhappy with Senator Cantwell and that they believed the candidate who best represented them was Mark Wilson. He asked if there was something wrong with the LD honoring the vote of those members. Harry was followed by Dylan Malone (again, not present for the original vote) who reminded us of how wonderful Maria Cantwell is and how we should unite behind one candidate. After Dylan came PCO John Flowers who again stated the fact that everyone had had an opportunity to attend the meeting and vote and, just as there were people absent from tonight's meeting who would not be able to vote on this motion, there should be something honorable in accepting the vote of those who are present at the time of any vote and they should not be cast out because they do not follow the dictates of the party's pre-determined nominee. After John came our State Committeeman, Kelly Wright who also was not at the original vote but his was a much better excuse. He was working on the Coordinated Campaign on that night. As a matter of fact, Kelly told about how the campaign office erupted when they got word (and it did travel fast) of the 38th's vote to endorse Mark. According to Kelly, calls went out almost immediately to Snohomish County Chair, Mark Hintz to ask how this was allowed to happen. At this point, our Chair, Marian Harrison took a point of personal privledge to say the she was never contacted directly by anyone to ask about the process or procedure involved in granting this endorsement by her own LD. Kelly finished by making the obligatory remarks about Mark's previous party affiliations. Our final speaker in opposition to the motion was Ed Vaughn who spoke passionately about how he felt personally insulted by the assault on his vote to endorse Mark Wilson. Ed spoke about making the effort to come to the LD meetings and said that effort should be rewarded and not insulted just because the losing side can simply find some new votes for the next meeting and simply nullify your vote. The vote was taken and the Wilson side went down to resounding defeat.
In my remarks during "Good of the Order", I informed the body that they had indeed voted to rebuke, revoke, and invalidate the votes of some newly active fellow LD members who thought they were becoming involved in a democratic process where you come to the meetings and do the work and you get rewarded. Instead, what they were told tonight was that, if your are bold enough (or stupid enough) to mess with the machine, you will be burned and quickly put back in your place. The vote to rescind the endorsement set a precedent in this LD that has never created the language or a governing rule for rescinding an endorsement. In so doing, we have now established a guiding principle in this LD that says, "If we disagree, we will have a month to round up new bodies to defeat you." This vote was not about correcting a bad process. The process was followed to the letter according to the rules of our LD. It was hardly about Mark Wilson as a candidate. It was about the old school 38th flexing their muscle at the behest of the Cantwell Campaign. This was a direct insult to certain members of the LD, the LD Chair, and to the democratic process.
By the way, did I mention that all of the above occured AFTER Maria Cantwell had been recommended for and had received the endorsement of the 38th LD just minutes before?
Leaving Yakima, I had felt pretty good that the State Democrats had finally opened the tent, if only just a bit to allow alternative candidates to speak to the convention. Tonight, the 38th folded up the tent.
Chad (The Left) Shue