Sunday, June 12, 2005

Conventions in our crazy Top Two world

The KC GOP has their conventions yesterday, and I don't know how, but it was in "defiance" of the Top Two primary, according to the Seattle Times.

It shouldn't be in defiance though, because the Top Two was never intended to be a way for the parties to nominate a candidate, just as a primary election before a general election. It is the parties that took the primaries and turned them into publicly funded nominating conventions.

Prior to the KC GOP convention, it looked like the GOPsters were going to have some party unity behind their only contested race, that the guy that didn't get it would kindly step aside. It doesn't look like that's going to work out:

In the weeks before the convention, both Hammond and Dunn said they intended to abide by its outcome. But after yesterday's vote, Dunn said he would file anyway, although he didn't know whether he would do so as a Republican.

"I can't abandon this campaign because of 24 votes in June," he said, referring to Hammond's victory margin (and getting his math slightly wrong).

This is going to be awesome. Either the son of Jennifer Dunn, Washington GOP god, and namesake of modern GOP god, will either run against a Republican as a libertarian or independent OR he'll stand up to his own party's asinine position that only they get to say who a Republican is.

Personally, I hope he does the later. Political parties shouldn't be private clubs were only the members (or short of some level of participation, the leaders) get to say who belongs. If a nomination actually mattered, if who the party supported actually mattered, they wouldn't care if I moved to King County and ran as a Republican. They would know that their resources, their money and volunteer base would be enough to a nominee. But they know that a big name like Reagan Dunn could pull in more money and get more volunteers than another lesser known candidate that just so happens to be the nominee of a party.

The solution
isn't to kick out the candidate that can out organize an entire county political party, but to actually build a better party, one that can raise money, raise volunteers and actually mean something to a nominee aside from a court-ordered "R" or "D" next to their name.

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