Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
As Dana Carvey's SNL character the Church Lady would say: "Isn't that special!" Arizona Democratic Party Chair Andrei Cherny, for whom the party had to bend its bylaws last year in order to make him chair of the party, announced that he is stepping down today after only one year into a two year commitment to do what, exactly? He doesn't disclose in his letter to Democrats.
Some quick points. First, this is an announcement Cherny should have made in person to state committee members in Tucson on January 21. Second, when the party bent its bylaws last year to make him chair we were told he was some kind of wunderkind of fundraising. He has not been. I am sure that I was not the only one shocked by ADP Treasurer Rick McGuire's treasurer's report at the state committee meeting in Tucson. The fact that Democrats are doing slightly better than the Arizona GOP is little consolation in the age of Citizens United. Finally, I have had enough of people who use the chair's position only as a stepping stone to seek political office.
This leaves the Arizona Democratic Party with an interim chair, Vice Chairwoman Harriet Young, until the Arizona Democratic Party elects a new chair to complete Cherny's term at its Spring State Committee Meeting in Phoenix on April 21 -- already expected to be a very long and possibly contentious meeting with the selection of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Cherny's sense of timing could not be worse.
And just who is going to step into the chair's position well into a presidential election year who has the capacity to raise a ton of money for campaigns on such short notice? No name immediately comes to mind.
Keep all of this in mind when you read Cherny's self-congratulatory resignation letter below the fold (things ain't as as rosy as he portrays them):
A year ago, I had the great honor of being elected to lead Arizona’s Democrats. At the urging of many of our state leaders, I agreed to serve for at least a year because a Democratic Party that was flat on its back after the disastrous 2010 elections needed to be rebuilt to be ready to fight against political extremism and for Arizona’s mainstream.
In recent weeks, many of those same leaders have urged me to take on a new and different task. It is a bittersweet moment, but I have decided to step down as chair of the Arizona Democratic Party.
I do so with the knowledge that we have strong leaders ready to step into my place and the confidence that I am leaving the leadership of a party that has – by all of us working together – been transformed over the past year.
A year ago, we knew we had to go on the offense against a Republican leadership in Arizona that was taking us in a radically wrong direction. Whether it was Russell Pearce’s attempt to rewrite birthright citizenship, Tom Horne’s conflicted investigation of the Fiesta Bowl scandal, or Jan Brewer’s push to impeach the chair of the Independent Redistricting Commission, we spoke out boldly, worked hard – and beat them back.
We knew we had to build a big tent Democratic Party that brought in new voices and gave independents and fed-up Republicans a home. We did that by:
- Creating our new Arizona Democratic Business Council .
- Founding our New Leaders group of young professionals.
- Actively organizing thousands of Arizonans in the redistricting process to push for more competition and less gerrymandering in our elections.
Most of all, we knew we had to build a new, bottom-up Democratic Party that tapped the idealism and efforts of grassroots activists around the state. We have done that too:
- A new e-PC program to spread our Democratic message and ideas online.
- A 61 percent increase in the number of small dollar donors over 2010.
- A 488 percent increase in the membership of our DEM-AZ monthly giving club.
- A 52 percent increase in the membership of the Arizona Democratic Council.
- A network of new Party Affairs Liaisons all across the state.
All our hard work has made a big difference. Our Democratic Party now has wind in its sails. We helped elect Democratic mayors in both Phoenix and Tucson for the first time in 20 years. And the work of many ordinary citizens ended Russell Pearce’s extremist reign of error.
For the first time in a long time, we are getting used to using those face muscles that make us smile. But we realize that the real fights are coming up ahead in 2012. With redistricting we have the opportunity to pick up seats in our state legislature. We can send new strong leaders to Congress and help take back the majority from the Tea Party. For the first time in 24 years, our nominee for the United States Senate will win in November and help change the face that Arizona shows to the world. And there is no doubt that Arizona will be at the forefront of the fight to send President Barack Obama back to the White House for four more years.
We all have much work to do in the year ahead. I hope you’ll continue to invest your time, financial contributions, and energy into our Arizona Democratic Party. There is so much at stake and so much to do. I have been humbled and grateful for your support and faith in our party. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the years ahead to forge a stronger Arizona and America.