The January 6 Hearings
I hope everyone watched the first televised hearings of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the United States Capitol. The first hearing aired on several networks (but not Fox) on Thursday, June 9. Five more televised hearings are scheduled this month. While there is nothing I could say that would adequately describe the first hearing last Thursday, it was powerful. I encourage everyone to watch as much of the hearings as possible. These hearings are showing very plainly the existential threat which donald trump poses to our American system of government. This is not just a question of history. J.D. Vance, the Republican running this year for the United States Senate from Ohio, has loudly proclaimed his complete allegiance to trump.
Every even numbered year, the Clermont County Democratic Party elects a new Central Committee during the Democratic primary election. Following that election, the Party is required by law to reorganize its leadership. We did so on Saturday, June 4, 2022, in a Zoom meeting. Ohio Democratic Party Secretary Bill DeMora presided.
The reorganization process is spelled out in the Clermont County Democratic Party’s Constitution and Bylaws. More about the Bylaws below. The first step in the reorganization process was for our 72 elected Central Committee members to elect Central Committee officers. This year, a completely new team of Central Committee officers were all elected unanimously. Benjamin Indino is now Central Committee Chair. Tracy Jo Small is Central Committee Vice Chair. Amanda Fox is Central Committee Secretary. Congratulations to Ben, Tracy Jo, and Amanda.
The next step in the reorganization process is for the Central Committee members in each township and city to elect one of their number as their Executive Committee representative. The Executive Committee then elects its officers. I am grateful to have been re-elected as Executive Committee Chair. Elaine Barnett was re-elected Executive Committee Vice Chair. Chris Barnett was elected Treasurer. Bonnie Carlier was re-elected Executive Committee Secretary. Congratulations to Elaine, Chris, and Bonnie. We have, I believe, a good team in place for the next two years.
CCDP’s Constitution and Bylaws
The Party’s Constitution and Bylaws is a public document. We commonly refer to this document as our “Bylaws.” The current version consists of eleven articles subdivided into 39 sections. The current Bylaws were adopted on February 27, 2014. I was not involved in writing the Bylaws.
The Bylaws, along with the Ohio Democratic Party Constitution and Bylaws and the Ohio Revised Code, set the rules which govern our Party’s operations. Our Bylaws cover several subjects. I want to focus on four of them here.
First, and perhaps the most important, is Article Seven, Section 3. This section states that, “All members of the Clermont County Democratic Party, all party officers, all Democratic Party officeholders, and all candidates for office nominated by the Democratic Party shall support the principles of the Democratic Party and work for the unity of the Democratic Party.”
A question which comes up frequently concerns our procedures for endorsing candidates. First, the Ohio Democratic Party takes the position that, if the State Party endorses a candidate, that is automatically also an endorsement by all 88 county Democratic Parties. When the State Party has not endorsed or affirmatively declined to endorse a candidate, the decision is left to us. We nominate our candidates for the general election through primary elections. When there is only one candidate running in the primary, there is no real point in making an endorsement. The issue for us is making an endorsement when there is more than one Democratic candidate running.
Our Bylaws address endorsements. Article Seven, Section 4 says, “There shall be no pre-primary endorsement of any candidate where the election is contested unless 66% of the Executive Committee votes to endorse. Before such endorsement is given all party candidates for that office shall be given an opportunity to attend an Executive Committee meeting, and speak, and answer questions.”
Another question which comes up is the respective roles of the Central Committee and the Executive Committee. Article Five, Section 1 states, in part, that, “The Central Committee shall confer upon the County Executive Committee all power and authority, except that which is prescribed in Law, of the Central Committee and the Executive Committee shall be authorized to act for the Central Committee in the management, operation, business and organization of the Clermont County Democratic Party.”
There are some powers which the Central Committee cannot confer on the Executive Committee. For example, Ohio Revised Code Sections 3513.31 (C) and (D) state that, when a candidate nominated for certain offices through a primary election withdraws, is disqualified, or dies before the general election, the Central Committee or a portion of the Committee has the authority to select a replacement candidate.
There may be provisions in our Bylaws with which you disagree. That raises the question of how we amend our Bylaws. Article Eleven, Section 1 states that, “This constitution may be amended by a 60% vote of the Clermont County Democratic Executive Committee at a meeting called for that purpose. Any amendment shall first be submitted in writing, via fax, email or United States mail, to every member of the Executive Committee at least 21 days prior to any meeting called to act on the amendment.” I hope this is useful information about the rules under which our Party operates.
August 2 Primary
Please do not forget that we have another primary election on August 2. There is a contested race for state central committee man between Ben Brady and Randy Basham. In House District 63, we need people to write-in Richard J. Perry, or Rich Perry, for state representative. District 63 includes the townships of Batavia, Franklin, Jackson, Monroe, Ohio, Pierce, Tate, Washington, Wayne, and Williamsburg and the villages of Batavia, Bethel, Chilo, Felicity, Moscow, Neville, New Richmond, and Williamsburg.
No, it is not too early to be thinking about 2023. Next year, we will be electing one township trustee and a fiscal officer in every township in the County along with city and village officers and school board members. These are non-partisan races in relatively compact geographic areas.
We need candidates. We especially need younger candidates who can build a record of success serving in these positions as the basis for seeking higher offices in a few years.