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ADP Chair Mark Kennedy: "I need a team of folks who will fight with me."

by: countrycat

Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 16:48:00 PM CDT

ADP Chair Mark Kennedy spoke in Huntsville last night.  In this video segment, he lays out his plans to rebuild the party: training, candidate recruitment, a state party that gives help instead of just taking money, and finally... a warning to county committee and chairmen who "just meet every 2 years to collect qualifying checks."Left in Alabama donkey/elephant

They have a few months to clean up their act before the ADP finds people to replace them.

Those were strong words in a no-nonsense speech that blended practical politics with the more idealistic notions that "we're all in this together" and are people who believe in "the fundamental rights of all people."

The reaction from the crowd was favorable.  Judge Kennedy was swamped with folks before and after his speech and everyone I spoke with had a favorable - or even enthusiastic - reaction to our new ADP Chair.

On the flip is a partial transcript of his speech and the actual YouTube video.  It's a must-read and must-watch for the rank and file party folks who are out there every election putting up signs, knocking on doors, making calls, etc.  

If Judge Kennedy can pull it off, we'll finally have a state Democratic Party that's more a help to campaigning than a hindrance.  That's the best news I've heard all year!


countrycat :: ADP Chair Mark Kennedy: "I need a team of folks who will fight with me."

The video quality isn't great.  It was so dark there that even the camera light wasn't a big help.  I used the "video effects" option in Premiere to put a spotlight on him.

Here's the transcript:

I want to tell you that we are challenged in the Democratic Party as it relates to the way we do business.  But that challenge is a good thing because it requires us to do what we should have been doing all along.  That is having dedicated people working at the local level to recruit and work with qualified candidates who seek public office.

When I was a candidate myself and the Democratic Party called the campaign office, I always told my staff and volunteers: "Do not answer the phone."  Because I knew it would be one of two things: wanted me to do something I didn't think I should do or they wanted me to give them money.  And for so many people I've talked to who sought public office, they ask "what is different in what you're going to do than what's been done in the past 50 years?  I never saw the ADP folks when I was running."

The fact that I'm here tonight and our staffers are working all over the state means that we are serious about serving you.

We've had to get back to our core principle: building an organization of people marching hand in hand in the same direction. And that's what we're going to do.

We're going to institute a training program - our trainers are in Etowah County tonight.  We expect all county committees to join us in working.  It's not true in Madison County, but the days of a county chairman meeting once every 2 years to pick up qualifying checks are over! 

The election of 2012 started last week.  What we're going to have to do is go out and organize and the party will be standing right by your side.

The Democratic Party will no longer sell the voter list!  I've found out that it was a major bone of contention.  We'd give you information about how to identify voters but make you pay $5,000 for it!  It doesn't make sense.

We have a precinct training manual
that tells you everything from how to have a backyard BBQ - including how many gallons of lemonade to make - to how to identify precincts that you should be working & those you should let alone.  We'll give you contacts and telephone numbers.

When, as Howell Heflin said, "it gets time to call and haul" you'll know who to call and who to pick up.

We have the opportunity to build a grassroots organization and beat the Republicans.  I appreciate that you're willing to support a party that so many people have counted out and are willing to help us be successful.

When the trainers come to Madison County, I want you to be there.  I've sent word to those counties that aren't willing to comply with the new and improved Democratic Party.  I will give them 3-4 months of a chance to get it right.  After that, I'll go into their counties and place those party committees in receivership and find people in those counties who will do the work.

We have no more time and no more opportunities to sit back and say "what if."  Those are over.  We're charging ahead and I need a team of folks who will fight with me and aren't willing to sit back and take the crap that the Republican Party continues to dish out because we believe in respecting the rights of our fellow men.

You go, Judge Kennedy!


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Thank you (4.00 / 2)
Madame video producer, good stuff!

"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is about the whole system being against us." - an Occupy protester at Obama's Des Moines office.

Someone needs to explain facts of life to Kennedy (0.00 / 0)
Kennedy needs to enter the world of facts about person at the top of Kennedy's ticket. On Medicare, Mr. Obama has proposed: "The most significant attack, reportedly endorsed by Obama last Monday, would raise the age of eligibility [for Medicare] from 65 to 67, phased in between now and 2036." ... "The principal proposal on Social Security is to recalculate benefits using what is called a "chained CPI." "The effect of the altered CPI calculation compounds with the age of the recipient-the longer you receive benefits, the further behind you will be. For an 85-year-old, the benefit level would be cut $1,000 a year; by age 95, the cut would be $1,400 a year." See "Where Obama's axe will fall" http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jul2011/pers-j15.shtml This came from Thursday. On Friday it got even worse: "Obama began the Friday press conference with a statement appealing to Congress not to limit itself to raising the debt ceiling. "What is important is that even as we raise the debt ceiling, we also solve the problem of underlying debt and deficits," he said." "He went on to discuss the proposal being worked out by the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, which would allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his own, without accompanying budget cuts, and called this, "the fallback position, the third option and I think the least attractive option." See "Obama presses case for "something big" on social spending cuts " http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jul2011/budg-j16.shtml For years and years and years, Democrats have promised to protect Social Security and Medicare from Republicans. Just like Clinton pledged to protect Aid to Families with Dependent Children and gutted the program, Obama is doing the same to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Amtrak, Pell Grants, and so on down the line Does Kennedy really think he is going to get people off their rear ends to "to fight with him" to reelect someone who may yet succeed in finally rolling back the New Deal?

Sorry, but how do you format paragraphs on this site? (0.00 / 0)
Sorry about the no formatting in the above comment. I set the posting editor to no format and inserted hard returns between paragraphs to form paragraphs, and everything looked OK. Then all the paragraph formatting got lost when I posted it. Removing or treating as white space hard returns is "formatting." How do you get the posting editor to recognize hard returns to form intelligible paragraphs?

Don't use "no format" (0.00 / 0)
It is literally, no format.  Use WYSIWYG or auto format, then just insert returns where you want paragraphs.  And preview before posting is always recommended.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Paragraph (4.00 / 1)

Just hit "ENTER" twice.  Nothing fancy.  I do it all the time.


The presidential election is not at the top of the Alabama Democratic Party's ticket. Sure, the ADP will support the Democratic presidential nominee.  But the real work for the ADP is with the gubernatorial, legislative and judicial races.

Exactly, the bench is thin. (0.00 / 0)

We had people who had served in the legislature for decades and some of our constitutional office nominees had been in state government for a generation.

There was just no room at the state & legislative level for new people to come in, learn, bring fresh approaches, and get the governing experience that would qualify them for higher office.

One of the few good results from the November debacle might be that it encourages some of those "new" people - not new Democrats, but people interested in running who didn't want to challenge powerful incumbents - to get in the game.

But they'll only take the plunge if they know the state and local party structure will be there to help & support them.  Kennedy has it exactly right: we have to build from the bottom up.  It's the only way for long-term success.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Congrats to countrycat (4.00 / 1)

This post made Mike's blog round up at Crooks & Liars.

Left in Alabama: Rebuilding the Democratic Party, one precinct at a time.

Kudos to both Judge Kennedy for standing up and saying what needs to be said and countrycat for videoing and transcribing it. 

Work harder and work smarter!

awesome! (0.00 / 0)

Part 3 is going up tomorrow morning.  I'm busy transcribing now.

Hoped to have it up this weekend, but the weather is just too beautiful and there's too much garden work calling my name!

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]



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