Dem cen­tral com­mit­tee over­stepped its bounds

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - Wil­liam John­son, Wal­dorf The writer is a former mem­ber Charles County Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee.

Re­gard­ing the Charles County Demo­cratic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee (CCDCC) vote to pen a let­ter to the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers stat­ing its op­po­si­tion to the wa­ter­shed con­ser­va­tion dis­trict (WCD): The CCDCC has ex­ceeded its lim­ited man­date.

Our county com­mis­sion­ers are gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials who won the county Demo­cratic Party pri­mary and then went on to win the gen­eral elec­tion. Elected CCDCC mem­bers are party of­fi­cials elected in the same Demo­cratic pri­mary to carry out a lim­ited set of tasks. They rep­re­sent the Mary­land Demo­cratic Party within the county and per­form cer­tain func­tions set forth in the law. Of note, CCDCC mem­bers are not the pub­lic’s elected om­buds­men or rep­re­sen­ta­tives to our own gov­ern­ment.

CCDCC has in­formed me in writ­ing that, “The WCD is a highly charged is­sue and the mem­bers agreed we should take a stand con­sis­tent with the will of the peo­ple.” CCDCC Chair­man Gil­bert Bowl­ing has in­formed me that there is “noth­ing wrong with peo­ple ex­press­ing their opin­ions to their elected of­fi­cials and us­ing the elected party lead­ers to voice their con­cerns.” Chair­man Bowl­ing and the com­mit­tee has no mech­a­nism to de­ter­mine “the will of the peo­ple.”

They did have a valu­able op­por­tu­nity to en­cour­age mem­bers of the pub­lic on both sides of the is­sue to con­tact their gov­ern­ment di­rectly, and they squan­dered it. If I want to talk to my gov­ern­ment, I can pen my own let­ter. No one elected CCDCC to speak for me.

CCDCC Chair­man Gil­bert Bowl­ing’s protes­ta­tion that he wasn’t at­tack­ing the com­mis­sion­ers is disin­gen­u­ous. The let­ter it­self is an at­tack on Demo­cratic com­mis­sion­ers, and Bowl­ing presided over CCDCC’s fun­da­men­tally flawed de­ci­sion to is­sue it. Bowl­ing’s motives for al­low­ing this to oc­cur un­der his watch may be rea­son­ably ques­tioned, es­pe­cially if he files his can­di­dacy to re­place one of the com­mis­sion­ers.

I en­cour­age Democrats to set aside funds they’d oth­er­wise spend on CCDCC’s up­com­ing Tru­man-Kennedy din­ner and in­stead do­nate them di­rectly to trusted lo­cal Demo­cratic pri­mary can­di­dates. The cen­tral com­mit­tee only as­sists those who have won the Demo­cratic pri­mary. Democrats’ dol­lars are best spent get­ting their pre­ferred can­di­dates nom­i­nated, es­pe­cially un­til the CCDCC stops at­tack­ing fel­low Democrats and gets back on task.

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