Earlier this week Chris Potter over at his Slag Heap blog wrote about some proposed changes to the Allegheny County Democratic Committee's bylaws (link on this page).
As Potter put it:
And the key question to be discussed is:As he notes, they already are required to do this but the bylaw revisions would now include punishment for those who do not march in lockstep.
Should Democratic committee people be required to support the party's endorsed candidates?
I'd also like to point out this proposed change in RULE IV Conduct:
e. Determine that said committee member is ineligible for endorsement at one (1) or more future endorsement meetings for which said committee member seeks office;If I read this correctly -- and from what I've heard about proposed changes from committee members over the last couple of years -- this means that if you are a committee member and you have the temerity to run for office against an ACDC endorsed candidate, you will be punished by being ineligible to even be considered for future endorsements. Many, if not most, candidates for local office are committee members or ward chairs.
To sum up:
1) If you are a committee person and you don't get ACDC's endorsement and you run anyway in an election (I don't see any exception even in the case of special elections when there is no primary or primary elections themselves) you may be blackballed from one or more future endorsements, and
2) If you are a committee person and you don't support the endorsed candidate in an election, there will be a trial and if found guilty, you will be punished (reprimanded verbally or in writing/or censored/deactivated/removed from office/be ineligible for future endorsements).
There is no indication as to what crime merits which punishment. (Written warning for a button, but deactivation for a yard sign?)
Under these proposed rules, City Councilman Bruce Kraus (for example) would have been punished by ACDC for running (and winning).
Why even bother to have primaries?
Hail Victory, ACDC!