I wasn’t able to make it to the forum, but several did and there is some great stuff in the blogs. Most notably from OH02 (great roundup). The big news was that Eckart withdrew and is supporting Lieberman (but most wanted to see him get off the podium and allow those who were still in to get more time). Lieberman also gets a nod from Tubbs-Jones. Buckeye Senate had some good stuff as well (including breaking the Tubbs-Jones deal).

A most talked about subject is whether or not the position should be full time. Red-State talks with Redfern about it:

“Being party chair and being minority leader are jobs that have no set hours. When you go to bed in the evening, and when you wake up in the morning, you still face all of the responsibilities of your position,”

Russo thinks if Redfern wins he should forgo the salary. I’d sure like to get paid double for two jobs that “have no set hours”. The way I see it, the job is indeed a full-time job given the inability to effectively organize the party to this point. The ODP chair should wake up and focus on nothing but organize, organize, organize for like 14 hours a day minimum. I don’t want any distractions from this. And I certainly don’t want to see the same old party. This is a unique time with a window of opportunity to get something done in this state and reverse the much ballyhooed culture of corruption. I don’t want the Dems answer to the be a culture of distraction.

Now, on to who I support and endorse to GET the job. Lieberman. Not because I know any of those up for the job, but I did read the survey responses.

Right out of the gate, the front runner answers the first question (What are your top five priorities, if elected Chair?) in this way:

Our top priority will be electing Democrats in the statewide races and assisting with candidate recruitment in legislative and countywide races. To do this, our priorities will include implementing an aggressive fundraising program, employing an 88-county strategy for victory, reaching out to new and diverse constituencies and building a strong party infrastructure with an emphasis on technology.

Uh, Chris…they asked for five. [buzzer sound]…next.

Lieberman, same question:

1. Win Elections – The first priority of the Chair is to elect Democrats. To accomplish the above, one must have a vision and strategy for the Party. To win elections, we must also acquire first rate technology equal to or better than our Republican opponents. You simply cannot build a sound infrastructure without the right tools.

2. Raise Money – We have to raise money to support our candidates and build a viable infrastructure. I will assemble a team of fund raisers and tirelessly work to raise money for our Party.

3. Candidate Selection and Coordination – One of the first challenges of the next Chair is the process used to select our candidates. I believe there is a significant ?disconnect? between our Party and Democrats across the State. To help bridge the gap, I will establish a fair and open process for the selection of our candidates. The perception of our Party is that we select our candidates in smoke-filled rooms. Therefore, the candidate we select may have the support of insiders, but not broad public support. We do no favors to our candidates by selecting them in an exclusive process. Once the candidates are selected, I would hold weekly meetings with them or their representative to coordinate their activities.

4. Message Development – Our Party is perceived to be a Party without a message. The Republicans have defined us better than we have defined ourselves. We stand for so many good ideas, but we don?t market them well. A priority of our Party should be to develop a message and vision, and then market it. Our candidates as well as all Democrats in the State of Ohio must know our message and keep on message. Then we begin to define Republicans.

5. Unify our Party – When all constituents within our Party are unified, we win elections. We must remain focused on November. Now is not the time to punish fellow Democrats for disagreeing with you. Now is the time to unite all Democrats in a common effort to win elections in 2006. Everybody who is a Democrat should be welcome to join the process. Their ideas and input are welcome. Our Party must unite and work with our Chairs, labor, African Americans, political activists and other constituents to achieve one goal – victory in November.

uh, damn. Seems a bit more thoughtful no? Redfern surely has other great responses, is very qualified, and this one question isn’t a deal breaker – but it is what struck me. Lieberman spent some time and has a very thoughtful and, in my opinion, dead on approach to the job.

The really encouraging things that I’m hearing is that whoever gets the job will be focused on two things I feel are very important if the party is going to be successfeul: lower-end contributions and the use of technology. I have had discussions with my local party that relate to this. Why can’t I ask a database to find me everyone in precinct 1A who has volunteered before and what they volunteered for? If we could answer that question in less than 2 minutes, then we have in place the kind of organization and use of technology that will make the party successful.

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