Blog from April, 2017

Association of State Democratic Chairs TRAINING REPORT

State Parties – 

The 2017 T3 Training Program is well underway, and we're excited to announce that over 2,600 Democrats from all over the country have joined this year's program, and that number continues to increase by the day! Through two weeks, we've trained County Chairs, local candidates, and activists on framing our message, email organizing, and social media organizing. Next week, we'll begin our Grassroots Organizing series. Registration will remain open for several weeks, so please continue spreading the word in your state. The top 5 states by registration are:

1. Oklahoma
2. Iowa
3. Indiana
4. Minnesota
5. South Carolina

Rounding out the top 10: Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and Wisconsin

Recorded training sessions, along with corresponding PowerPoint presentations, from our first two weeks can be found below. 

Past T3 Training Sessions:
Introduction to T3: The Democratic Party ft. Rep. Keith Ellison - take this short quiz for credit.
Communications: Amplifying the Message ft. Former Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell - take this short quiz for credit.
Digital: Email Organizing - take this short quiz for credit.
Digital: Social Media Organizing - take this short quiz for credit.

Introduction to T3: The Democratic Party
Communications: Amplifying the Message
Digital: Email Organizing - Getting started on email organizing? Feel free to use this sample!
Digital: Social Media Organizing 

Thanks for reading!


Vanna Cure
Training Director
Association of State Democratic Chairs

Hi Adrianne,
A lot of things have been happening at the DNC since we voted for new leadership almost two months ago!  As you know, Chairman Perez and Deputy Chairman Ellison are currently travelling the country on the Democratic Turnaround Tour, and DNC staff and elected officials are working tirelessly to support Democratic candidates in special elections across the country. 
For the past 60 days, the Committee has been focused on staffing, and gearing, up for a new cycle.  There are fresh faces and perspectives joining us in our fight against Trump, and we are always on the hunt for talented new staff to add to the team.  If you know of someone that should be considered for a DNC position, please have them submit a resume at
While new talent has been finding its way to us, officers have simultaneously been undertaking the transition to new leadership.  Officer orientation occurred several weeks ago, and at that time roles were established for each Vice Chair.  My personal portfolio includes rebuilding the DNC’s surrogate program, serving as Congressional Liaison, performing outreach to women and the AAPI community, and fundraising.  Additionally, I am happy to be a liaison to the DNC’s Northeast Caucus, the AAPI Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus.  I’m thrilled to get started on each of these endeavors, and look forward to hearing from you ways in which I, and the DNC, can more effectively embrace each of these roles and responsibilities. 
Yesterday, I joined DNC Caucus and Council Chairs on a call with Chairman Perez in which he discussed the ongoing transition as well as other pressing matters that the Committee faces.    I will be continuing to meet with groups across the nation such as the Women’s Leadership Forum and Swing Left, and learning more about how all of us can work together to retake the Presidency, Congress, and state and local governments.  If you know of a group that you think I should be in contact with, please do not hesitate to let me know.  I’ll also continue to be involved in outreach efforts such as the DNC’s Democrats Live video series which I highly recommend viewing if you have not done so already:
Moving forward, I know that with your help the DNC will be stronger than it has ever been.  I look forward to playing my part, and to doing everything possible to help Democrats return to power so that we can help every American achieve his or her dreams.  One of my promises to you during my campaign for DNC Vice Chair was to communicate with you more often, and to let you know what is happening here in Washington, D.C.  Consider this the first of many updates that I will be sending your way.  These updates will begin to be distributed from my personal campaign account now that the Vice Chair race has concluded, and you will be able to unsubscribe from receiving these e-mails at any time by following the ‘unsubscribe’ link included at the bottom of every e-mail.  Please let me know what you think; I look forward to serving you and to hearing from you!
Thank you for your time and for your commitment to the Democratic Party.

Congresswoman Grace Meng is a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, DNC Vice Chair, and Assistant Whip for House Democrats,.

ASDC Clips 4/26/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


AL Democrats Set Qualifying Dates U.S. Senate Special Election

The Alabama Democratic Party will open qualifying for the Special Primary Election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 26. State Chairwoman Nancy Worley encourages interested Democrats to respond quickly.  All qualifying papers, along with the fee, must be received in the State Party Office by Wednesday, May 17, 2016, at 5:00 PM.  According to Worley, “Democrats in Alabama have an excellent opportunity to fill this Republican-held seat,” which was created by the resignation of former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions.  “The Alabama Democratic Party is excited to win back this seat and elect someone who will represent Alabama’s working families with integrity and accountability,” said Worley.  


Indiana governor signs abortion bill, plans to sign other contested measures

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Tuesday that he not only planned to sign legislation raising the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon but will also approve bills addressing prayer in schools and placing two troubled school districts in state hands. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody criticized the governor’s signing on the abortion bill. “Gov. Holcomb made clear his willingness to engage in divisive, social issues targeting Hoosier women’s rights. We’ve seen this mode of leadership before with Mike Pence, where scoring political points preempts bipartisan policy to move Indiana forward,” he said in a statement. "We’re still trying to convince millennials and young entrepreneurs Indiana doesn’t discriminate after RFRA. Now Holcomb signals his eagerness to fight to limit Hoosier women’s rights and potentially compromise their safety. It doesn’t have to be like this. The governor sets the tone. This is his choice. He said he won’t be distracted by social issues,” Zody said.


Amid Trump backlash, hundreds question US Rep. Barr

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has held regular "Coffee with your Congressman" events in local shops across his central Kentucky district for the few dozen people willing to hear an update from Washington. But that was before Donald Trump became president. On Monday night, hundreds of people packed a high school auditorium in Lexington to shout at their congressman, pelting him with questions about his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his support for President Donald Trump. Despite the large crowds, no Democrat has emerged to challenge Barr. Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman Daniel Lowry said "there is a lot of interest" in the seat and the party will field a strong candidate to challenge Barr. Until then, Barr says he will continue holding public events in Kentucky, even while other Republican officials are avoiding them. He says he is listening to the complaints, but they haven't changed his mind. "There is an intensity among progressives right now, but if you aggregate all of the inputs that I'm getting, it's still a district that voted 58 percent for Donald Trump," he said.


Missouri Senate votes to fully fund education

Ten members of the Republican super-majority joined all nine Democrats in the Missouri Senate to fully fund education for the first time a number of years Tuesday. The funding increase of roughly $48 million, if finalized by the legislature, will replenish a $45 million cut proposed by Republican Governor Eric Greitens.  The governor had fully funded classroom spending, but called for slicing school transportation. he Missouri Democratic Party praised the 19-14 vote.  Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh (D- Bellefontaine Neighbors) also applauded the move, while noting a cap on education spending allowed for less funding. “Even though the current formula falls short of the previous standard, there was still a very real threat that it would go underfunded again this year” said Walsh. Fortunately, a bipartisan coalition of Senators came together to put aside partisan politics and put the people of Missouri first. This is a very good day for Missouri children and their families.”

New Hampshire

House sidelines school choice bill

A controversial "school choice" bill is being held back this year. The House Education Committee voted overwhelmingly to retain the bill (SB 193), which proposed state funding grants for students attending a variety of schools, including private and religious schools. "Our New Hampshire Constitution is clear that private funds cannot be used for sectarian purposes," said Rep. Mary Heath, D-Manchester, in speaking against the bill Tuesday. "This bill undermines public education." New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, who said Sununu campaigned on the issue, panned the bill as "taxpayer-funded vouchers" for religious schools, private schools, and homeschool parents."

North Carolina

North Carolina governor follows veto with judge appointment

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper swooped in Monday to put his stamp on a state appeals court that’s become a new flashpoint with the Republican-dominated General Assembly, appointing a replacement judge 15 minutes after a Republican jurist resigned. Cooper’s office announced that Court of Appeals Judge Douglas McCullough resigned Monday morning and the governor would fill the vacancy with former appeals court judge John Arrowood. Former Gov. Mike Easley, a Democrat, appointed Arrowood to a seat on the Court of Appeals in 2007. Arrowood, who is openly gay, was backed by state Democratic Party officials when he ran unsuccessfully for election to the seat the following year. The state Democratic Party on Monday cheered the Arrowood pick.


U.S. Transportation Secretary Sees Crash-Avoidance Tech on Display in Ohio

The U.S. transportation secretary made a trip to Ohio to see how cars can avoid crashes. Elaine Chao watched on Monday as government researchers showed how vehicles could hit the brakes on their own to avoid collisions with simulated pedestrians. Chao's visit also was designed to call attention to the Trump administration's accomplishments since taking office in January. She noted the country's continued growth in employment and other positive indicators. Asked about Chao's visit, the Ohio Democratic Party questioned some of her statements with political overtones. "Photo ops like today's event with Secretary Chao don't create jobs, and they won't fix Ohio's struggling economy," said David Pepper, the party chairman, in a statement. "It's hard to see Trump's 'infrastructure plan' as anything other than one more broken promise to the people of Ohio, since his very own budget slashes the U.S. Transportation Department by $2.4 billion."

OH chairman: Democrats should unify around jobs to win governor’s race

Democrats in Trumbull County talked about the future of Ohio Tuesday evening, focusing on the 2018 race for governor. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper was in town and said the key issue for candidates is jobs. “We aren’t seeing that kind of job growth that other states are seeing, so our candidates for governor and our other offices will be the ones pushing a jobs message.” The party is set on winning the governor’s office. There are three candidates so far on the Democratic side — Valley lawmaker Joe Schiavoni, former lawmaker Connie Pillich, and former U.S. Representative Betty Sutton. To win the race, Pepper said the party needs to unify and get back to the core message of jobs. “I think the number one thing any governor candidate, frankly, on any side should be doing, especially ours, is what are they going to do with jobs? To bring in new jobs, stop jobs from leaving so many of our communities. I think the candidate that does that will do very well.”


Republican Governors Association on the attack early against Karl Dean

The national arm of Republican governors is on the attack early against Democrat Karl Dean in the race for Tennessee governor, accusing the former Nashville mayor on Tuesday of getting "caught misleading voters on taxes. "Mary Mancini, the Tennessee Democratic Party chair, also called the criticism of Dean dishonest and slammed Republicans who control states with some of the highest rates of uninsured Americans, high unemployment and low income. “Tennesseans should expect plenty more of these dishonest attacks because Republicans have no accomplishments to run on," Mancini said.


Enzi apologizes after receiving criticism for comments about LGBT community

Sen. Mike Enzi apologized Tuesday for comments he made to Greybull High School students last week after being asked about Wyoming’s gay and lesbian community. Responding to a question about improving the lives of the LGBT community in Wyoming, Enzi said people in Wyoming could be anything they wanted as long as they “don’t push it in somebody’s face,” according to an audio recording of the event. “I know a guy that wears a tutu and goes to the bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights,” Enzi told the students. “Well, he kind of asks for it a little bit. That’s the way he winds up with that kind of problem.” The statement was criticized by the Wyoming Democrats and LGBT rights advocates, who called on the Republican senator to apologize. Word of Enzi’s comments began to spread Tuesday morning, after the Wyoming Democratic Party posted an abbreviated version of them on its Facebook page. The post encouraged people to call Enzi’s office and tell the senator his statements were “hurtful and divisive.”

ASDC Clips 4/27/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Florida Democratic Party Hires Sally Boynton Brown as New 'President'

Sally Boynton Brown, the former executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party is packing her bags and heading to Florida to serve as the Florida Democratic Party’s new president. Boynton Brown, a newcomer to Florida politics, will replace executive director Scott Arceneaux, who stepped down after longtime Democratic fundraiser Stephen Bittel took over as party chair in January. With the new appointment comes a new title for Boynton Brown, “president,” replacing the term “executive director.” This will be Boynton Brown’s first foray into Florida politics, where the Democrats desperately need to gain ground and make up for a poor performance in last year’s election. She has spent the last five years as executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party. "Sally shares my optimistic, idealistic enthusiasm," said Stephen Bittel in a release. “Her national profile and experience as President of the Democratic State Party Directors are a testament to her impressive party and infrastructure building skills.”


Maine House rejects requiring voters to present photo IDs

The Maine House on Tuesday rejected a bill that would have required voters to present photo identification at their polling places in order to cast a ballot. Majority Democrats prevailed on a 76-67 vote that split mostly on party lines in rejecting L.D. 121, which sought to make voters provide proof of identity with a photo ID such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. Rep. Karl Ward, R-Holden, the bill’s primary sponsor, expressed frustration with Democrats via Facebook following the vote Tuesday. He wrote that the measure would have “prevented virtually all voter fraud in Maine,” and vowed to defeat Democrats at the polls in 2018. Maine civil rights advocates, however, hailed the vote Tuesday, saying it rejects discrimination and protects voters’ constitutional right to polling-place access. “While President Trump, Gov. LePage and other elected officials have made false statements about voter fraud, proponents of such laws have failed to show that voter fraud is an actual problem, either in Maine or nationwide,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine said in a statement.


Kathleen Matthews: Dems need to reach out to rural areas like Western Maryland

Democrats feel ignored in rural areas like Western Maryland, but that has to change because the party needs to go "after every vote" to succeed at the polls, the interim chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party said Wednesday night. Kathleen Matthews — a former television news anchor and an unsuccessful candidate for a U.S. House seat in Maryland's 8th Congressional District — was the keynote speaker at the Washington County Democratic Central Committee's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Hager Hall Conference and Event Center in Hagerstown. Matthews said it is also important to focus on what unites Democrats. Not only is that "understanding how bad the Trump agenda is for Maryland" but examining Gov. Larry Hogan's shortcomings, she said. Matthews said she is troubled by Hogan's failure to address issues such as ensuring protection for the Chesapeake Bay and fighting for health coverage for those affected by threats to Obamacare.

Cancer Patients, Researchers Oppose Trump’s Proposed NIH Spending Cut

Cancer patients and researchers delivered a message to President Donald Trump and Congresson Wednesday: The $5.8 billion proposed cut to the National Institutes of Health’s budget will compromise research into treatments and cures for cancer. Maryland Democratic Party Interim Chair Kathleen Matthews, who also attended, urged Gov. Larry Hogan to publicly oppose the cut. She said he was “missing in action” in speaking out on behalf of Marylanders who could be negatively affected by Trump’s budget. The president’s proposed budget also calls for large spending cuts at other Maryland-based agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring and the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Derwood. “I think the governor has been heroic in his own personal fight against cancer and he has reached out to cancer survivors around the state to share his own personal example,” Matthews said, in response to a question from a reporter. “I would expect him to stand up for the really important research that made his cure possible.”

North Carolina

Drivers who hit protesters blocking roads could be protected under NC House bill

Drivers who hit a protester who’s blocking the road couldn’t be sued for injuries if they “exercise due care,” under a bill that passed the N.C. House on Wednesday. “These people are nuts to run in front of cars like they do ... and say, ‘me and my buddy here are going to stop this two-and-a-half-ton vehicle,’” said Rep. Michael Speciale, a New Bern Republican and a supporter of the bill. “If somebody does bump somebody, why should they be held liable?” The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Justin Burr of Albemarle, said drivers wouldn’t be allowed to deliberately run over protesters. “This bill does not allow for the driver of a vehicle to target protesters intentionally,” he said. “It does protect individuals who are rightfully trying to drive down the road.” A final vote on the bill is scheduled for Thursday. After Wednesday’s vote, N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin called it a “shockingly horrible and dangerous piece of legislation.” “One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the right to peacefully assemble and demonstrate, but with this bill North Carolina Republicans are giving motorists a free pass to run over protestors without any fear of civil liability,” Goodwin said in a news release. “This legislation is antithetical to our values and risks causing bodily harm to peaceful protestors.”


Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift

Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) are both prime targets for their opponents, with each seen as a potential takedown for parties looking to expand their 2018 footprints in once-safe seats. Both lawmakers enjoyed easy campaigns in the last cycle, facing no opponent in November. But Sessions and Kind also have the dubious honor of being the only two incumbents who faced no opposition even as their parties’ presidential candidates lost their districts. But Democrats smell blood, knowing that Sessions is tied at the hip to an unpopular GOP House majority and to Trump himself. Making matters worse for Sessions, a president’s party typically loses House seats in the first midterm elections after a presidential race. “Pete Sessions is married to the Trump agenda, 100 percent. And we are going to wrap that agenda around his neck,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told The Hill.


Democratic Party of Wisconsin Statement On 5th Anniversary of $1 Trillion Student Loan Debt

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the total student loan debt in the United States surpassing $1 trillion. The following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning with regards to the anniversary: “Five years ago, the total student loan debt in our country reach $1 trillion, that figure now stands at more than $1.3 trillion. But the crisis isn’t just about numbers, it’s about real people, our friends, family, and neighbors struggling with debt each month. “Democrats understand that the first-generation college student from Beloit should be able to attend one of our universities or colleges without the fear that they’ll graduate with crushing amounts of debt. We want the recent graduate in Rice Lake to be able to start a business without fear of defaulting on their loans. And we want the couple in Oconomowoc to be able to make the next step and purchase a home without hesitation about their financial limits. Our students and graduates are trying their best to better themselves and their communities while taking on the responsibility of paying for their own education but are too often trapped in a system that treats them unfairly. One of the biggest things we can do to grow the middle class and help everyday Wisconsinites is to give borrowers more options to pay off their debts, and reduce their monthly burden, so they can contribute to our state’s economy.”

On Tuesday, Tom Perez and Bernie Sanders sat down with Kentuckians and had a conversation about what matters most to them. Dana shared why debt-free college would change the lives of millions like her. Watch the video on Facebook from the link:

ASDC Clips 4/24/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


Boynton Brown steps down at helm of Idaho Democratic party

Sally Boynton Brown is stepping down after five years as executive director of Idaho’s state Democratic Party. She announced the move on her Facebook page Friday. “When I started at the IDP, as field director, I said I would stay five to seven years and I am proud of all we have accomplished in that time,” Boynton Brown wrote. “We have come out of two very difficult election cycles — 2014 and 2016 — however the Party has responded by growing stronger and growing our membership.” She regularly put in more than 100 hours a week on party business as head of operations for the state Democratic organization. “This is my life. I don’t have work,” she told the Statesman in December. “I am here to save democracy.” In her post, Boynton Brown said the party’s former communications director, Dean Ferguson, would return to serve as interim executive director pending a search for a full-time replacement. She said she had not decided on her next steps but planned to stay in Boise with her husband and family and “continue the investment we have made this last decade in Idaho politics.”


'We're very much alive'

Ever since the end of the 2016 election, some national political pundits have sounded the death knell of the Democrat Party. Friday night in Connersville, however, the chair of the Indiana Democratic Party emphatically refuted those pundits, while rallying local Democrats in advance of an important election year in 2018. John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, was in Connersville Friday as the keynote speaker at the Fayette County Democrat Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner at the John H. Miller Community Center, the party’s biggest fundraiser of the year. “I would say those pundits are wrong. Nationally, obviously we had a tough election. We had a tough election here in the state, but we’re very much alive. Parties are evolving organizations, they change from time to time,” Zody said. “Our change is that we’ve got a lot of new people involved since the election. A lot of people have gotten energized and united with both being Indiana Democrats, and with what’s happening in Washington and the realization that this current administration that’s in Washington is already not keeping the promises they made. There’s a lot of energy everywhere, we’re happy to have that energy, and we’ve just got to make sure we’re giving people an opportunity to get involved with the party.”


Frankfort local named Kentucky Democratic Party’s new executive director

Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe co-owner, progressive and former Democratic National Convention delegate Mary Nishimuta plans to build a bridge between experienced party faithfuls and energized newcomers from the last presidential election as the next executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party. Staying issue-driven, Nishimuta plans to steer clear of the 24-hour news cycle partisan tit-for-tat noise and instead talk openly with Kentuckians in all 120 counties about the issues affecting them. “That proven history of bringing people to the table having open, honest dialogue about either how to fix problems or move forward or unite for a common purpose is the skillset that is critical for the Kentucky Democratic Party,” Nishimuta said. “Our goal in the Kentucky Democratic Party is always to fight for working families in Kentucky. What it means is I hope we break down a lot of that negative dialogue and actually make it real for people again.” KDP chair Rep. Sannie Overly said Nishimuta will be an asset to the party. “Mary has a deep background in grassroots organizing, as well as extensive management experience in the private sector,” Overly said. “She will be a tremendous asset to the party as we fight for better jobs, education and health in Kentucky.”


Watchdog group asks U.S. attorney to investigate Missouri Senate leader

A government watchdog group wants a U.S. attorney to determine whether Missouri's leading Republican state senator took money in exchange for legislation to aid a donor's legal battle. Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., announced Wednesday that it filed a complaint with Tom Larson, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, against Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin. Friday morning, Missouri Democratic Party chair Stephen Webber reached out to reporters to ask why Attorney General Josh Hawley had not launched an investigation of his own. The top law enforcement official in the state is missing in action, Webber said, adding that Hawley's inaction could erode Missourians' faith in their government. Humphreys and his family gave at least $3 million to Hawley's campaign, and Humphreys also signed on to a letter urging Hawley to run for U.S. Senate. Webber questioned whether Hawley was reluctant to investigate a fellow Republican and launch an investigation involving a patron who gave his campaign millions of dollars.


Dems hunt for a win in Montana special election

The special election spotlight shifted west this week after a hard-fought race in Georgia. Now all eyes are on Montana, where a popular local folk musician will square off against a wealthy businessman to fill the state’s lone congressional district. The recent special elections have become nationalized, but Quist’s campaign argued that Montana’s race is unique and will be decided by voters who are independent-minded. An aide said Quist has made inroads in more rural, GOP-leanings areas, which he’ll need to pull off an upset. Special elections usually generate lower turnout, with the election’s scheduling on the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend set to reduce turnout even further. Plus, the reliably Democratic students at two of the largest colleges in Montana will already be on summer vacation. “It’s going to be a base election,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, adding that the race comes down to “the party that turns out their base and grabs those independents.”

New Mexico

New Mexico Democrats Energized After County Party Elections

Over the past few weeks, thousands of New Mexico Democrats gathered to reorganize and elected 17 new county party chairs. This year’s changes in leadership reflect an energized group of New Mexico Democrats who are ready to organize and stand up for all New Mexicans no matter where they live or their background. “Democrats came out in force in 2016, and we’re excited to see that momentum fuel our county party reorganization,” said Debra Haaland, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “Several of our county party meetings saw record attendance, and the newly-elected county party chairs are hitting the ground running, and ready to prepare for the 2018 election.” After record breaking early voter turnout in the 2016 general election and an upswell of action against irresponsible Republican policies of the Trump and Martinez administrations, Democrats in New Mexico have continued to increase engagement across the state. At Democratic County Central Committee meetings, Democrats elected their leadership teams, and this year 17 of the 33 counties elected new county chairs. The state Democratic Party will elect a new leadership team on April 29.


Democrats say they’re energized for a run at governor’s race

Amid surging enthusiasm, the Ohio Democratic Party’s high hopes for 2018 were in evidenceSaturday night. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, along with three declared candidates for governor and two other statewide hopefuls, plied the crowd at a dinner celebrating the legacy of John Glenn, the fighter pilot, astronaut and Democratic senator from Ohio who died in December and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery earlier this month. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said he’s bullish on the party’s prospects next year. The Democratic Party suffered a bruising loss last November when Republican Donald Trump carried the state by almost 9 percentage points. But Pepper said history shows that Ohio Democrats have a history of rebounding from such losses. “Democrats seem to get energized when they lose,” he said.

South Carolina

Gov. McMaster’s ‘joke’ about women jumping into pool raises eyebrows

A “joke” by Gov. Henry McMaster at a recent gathering at the executive mansion about offering a woman money if she would jump in the swimming pool has landed the governor in political hot water. State Democratic Party chair Jaime Harrison called the comment “sexist,” saying it is similar to portraying women as sex objects in wet T-shirt contests. “Here’s a man who’s succeeding the first woman governor of South Carolina. It’s totally disrespectful, totally uncalled for. He needs to apologize to the mothers, daughters and grandmothers in this state,” Harrison said. “He’s the governor – not the coach of some basketball team.” McMaster’s spokesman, Brian Symmes, said Friday, “It’s no surprise in today’s climate that a lighthearted joke, taken out of context, is being used to score cheap political points. But to selfishly sully an event that the governor and First Lady hosted to thank our state law enforcement leaders for personal gain is absolutely offensive.”


Sanders brings Democratic unity tour to North Texas

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders helped rally Texas Democrats on Thursday as the party seeks to show a unified front against President Donald Trump. Texas Democrats are energized after the 2016 presidential election gave the state its closest race in two decades — Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, by 9 percentage points here. Three traditionally conservative congressional districts in Texas also went for Clinton, giving Democrats potential new pick-up opportunities in 2018. "Mark my words: 2018 will be the best midterm of our lives, but it won't be easy," said Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. "We cannot take on the Trump agenda divided. Too much is at stake."


Sen. Bernie Sanders brings ‘Come Together and Fight Back’ tour to SLC

Sen. Sanders appeared alongside newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman TomPerez as part of a nationwide "unity tour." They spoke to a crowd of about 3,000 Democrats and progressives in Salt Lake City on Friday. "This is not about Bernie Sanders. This is not about TomPerez. This is not about anybody else," Sanders told the crowd. "You know what this whole thing is about? It’s about you! And it’s about your children and it’s about your parents, and it’s about the environment." The Utah Democratic Party, one of the few to see gains in local elections last year, hoped to turn Sanders supporters into political activists. "We’ve been really trying to train all of these activists. We’ve got this huge surge of women, which is phenomenal," said Utah Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Littlfield. "We’ve been trying to train people. Train people to run for office, train people to run campaigns."


Sen. Duckworth to Headline Wisconsin Democratic Convention

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, will be the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention in June. The state party on Thursday announced Duckworth as the headliner for the first day of its meeting Friday, June 2. The annual gathering bringing together state office holders, party activists and others is in Middleton, just outside of Madison. The meeting comes as the Democratic Party prepares to defend the seat of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year and find a challenger for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Numerous Democrats have said they will not take him on, while others are still mulling whether to get in the race. State party chairwoman Martha Laning is also seeking re-election. That vote will occur at the convention.

ASDC Clips 4/25/17
Association of State Democratic Chairs Clips

Association of State Democratic Chairs


AR Dems 'House a Variety of Views' in spite of DNC Chairman's Pro-Choice Comments

Speaking out after Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said abortion rights were "not negotiable." the Democratic Party of Arkansas said it "houses a variety of views." On Monday, Rep. Michael John Gray, D-Augusta, and chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas said ideological purity leaves little room for compromise on the group's most important issues."The only litmus test we care to take is whether what we do is in the best interest of the people we serve. Ideological purity leaves little room for compromise on our most important issues. When it comes to the matter of reproductive rights, our nation’s highest court issued a ruling on this matter over forty years ago, providing a woman with the capacity to make the decisions that she believes are best for her overall health and wellness. These protections are afforded to women under the Fourteenth Amendment and, in turn, we believe it is our obligation to trust the ruling of the court and to trust women.”


Clinton County Democrats celebrate past, look to future

The Clinton County Democrats honored their past while also looking forward to the future during their annual Hall of Fame Dinner on Friday night. Derek Eadon, the new chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said Pardee “wrote the book” on what it means to be a party chair. Eadon worked on the early Barack Obama caucus campaign and told a story of how well Pardee ran events. While a lot of time was spent thanking Pardee for her work, Eadon described the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections and 2020 as “unique opportunities” for Democrats. “We haven’t lost our values and I think that needs to be our message,” Eadon said. “We need to get better at talking about our values,” Eadon said.


Nebraska DNC Chair Kleeb Says Perez Was Wrong, Party Can Include Pro-Lifers

Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez was wrong to say that Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello must support abortion rights, said Nebraska Democratic chair Jane Kleeb in an interview on Monday. Appearing on MSNBC, Kleeb was asked by host Steve Kornacki about the ongoing controversy after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) endorsed Mello's candidacy. Mello had previously supported anti-abortion legislation while in the legislature, and the endorsement drew the ire of pro-choice lobbying groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America. Mello told the Huffington Post that, as mayor, he would not block abortion rights. "I think there is a very clear bright line that the Democratic Party wants to make sure that a woman's right to reproductive rights is protected," Kleeb continued. "That means Roe v. Wade is the law of the land. I also think at the same time there's room for pro-life Democrats to come to the table with very concrete ideas to reduce the amount of abortions."

How Bernie Sanders Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Democratic Party

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) called on an arena full of Omaha Democrats to get behind the city’s mayoral candidate Heath Mello on Thursday night, passionately appealing for unity hours after national reproductive rights advocates criticized the Democratic Party for backing an anti-choice lawmaker.A key to understanding the kumbaya atmosphere in Omaha is Sanders’ close relationship with Nebraska Democratic Party chairwoman Jane Kleeb. Kleeb backed Sanders in the March 2016 Nebraska caucus, which Sanders won, and a few months later was elected chair of the state Democratic Party on the strength of the Sanders wave. She now sits on the board of Our Revolution, the successor organization to Sanders’ presidential campaign. But Kleeb’s considerable accomplishments as a party chair and grassroots organizer in the state were clearly what impressed Sanders most. He implied that not traveling to Omaha to speak on behalf of Mello would have been an insult to her hard work and success in a state that Donald Trump won by 25 percentage points. “She is great. She is exactly the kind of energy that we need for the Democratic Party,” Sanders said.

North Carolina

Local Democrats to hold inaugural gala

The Burke County Democratic Party invites the community to join it for its very first “Blue Gala” celebration. The party’s inaugural gala will take place this Saturday from 7-10 p.m. at CoMMA. The event will feature a live performance by the students of Morgan String Studios, a DJ, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, alcoholic refreshments and a silent auction. “Our local folks thought it would be a good idea to celebrate local democratic principles and the fellowship of all the hard work folks put in for the party,” said Mark Vitrone, the newly elected chair of the BCDP. “Stakeholders in the area will have a chance to mingle and talk.” The local party has invited two special guests from the North Carolina Democratic Party to speak at the gala, party chair and former state insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin , and second vice chair Matt Hughes.


Dennis Richardson unveils complex redistricting plans

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson on Monday revealed his draft for a new system of drawing legislative districts. But he quickly drew criticism for its complexity and its effect of giving the secretary of state new powers. Jeanne Atkins, who heads the Democratic Party of Oregon said in a statement that Richardson's plan is "a new kind of election gerrymandering" created without the input of Democrats. "This is not reform. It's a plan that imagines a problem where none exists and then proposes an impossibly complicated and unbalanced solution," said Atkins, who was secretary of state herself prior to Richardson.


Memphis Democrats Prepare To Reorganize

Shelby County Democrats hope to have the local party up and running by the Fourth of July. The Shelby County Democratic Party was disbanded by the Tennessee Democratic Party in August after two disastrous county election cycles for the Democratic slate and increasing dysfunction by the local party’s executive committee. In taking the action, Tennessee party chairwoman Mary Mancini wrote that she wanted the reformed local party to determine its own needs and “enact reforms that will bring in new people and build a strong grassroots organization.”


Comal County Democratic Party leader killed in crash

Democrats in Comal County are mourning the loss of their county chairwoman, Roberta 'Robbi' Boone, who was killed Friday evening in a traffic accident on Texas 46. A statement by Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said, in part, “All of us will miss Robbi’s determination and passion going forward. Our thoughts are with the entire Boone family during this difficult time.”


Lt. Gov. comes to Brattleboro with a message

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman suggested Windham County residents in the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont Progressive Party get more involved when he visited both groups in separate sessions Sunday. He encouraged citizens to educate their legislators on issues they know about. If all the participants in the Women's March in Montpelier picked up the phone 15 minutes a week to talk with lawmakers, he said, bills would be passing much faster. "I thought they wanted to help folks get to the middle class and they don't," Gill said. "We want to grow the middle class."

DNC Chair, Tom Perez, and DNC Deputy Chair, Keith Ellison launched a new series of live discussion with our elected Democratic leaders called Democrats Live!

All of the recordings are available for this link:

If you're in the right time zone you can watch the events live from this link: 

DNC Announces New Officer Roles and Responsibilities

The Democratic National Committee today announced roles and responsibilities for the incoming DNC officers. In addition, the DNC announced that Jaime Harrison of South Carolina will join the leadership team as Counselor and Associate Chair. Harrison brings with him a wealth of grassroots and state party building experience and is currently the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, the first African American to hold that position. 
“We are proud to usher in a new day at the DNC with a roster of extremely talented and diverse officers to lead our party’s turnaround,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “The DNC leadership team is moving full steam ahead, enacting a true 57-states and territories strategy that ensures we are fighting for votes and putting our values into action in every single zip code.”
Michael Blake, Vice Chair – New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake was born in the Bronx, New York to Jamaican Immigrants. He is in his second term, representing the 79th District. Blake began his political career in the 2006 "Yes We Can" training program. He then managed three winning state legislative races in Michigan, became President Obama's 2008 Iowa Caucus Constituency vote director, and served in eight additional states, including Michigan, where his team won all seven races as part of their Coordinated campaign. Blake later served as White House Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In, 2012 Blake was National Deputy Operation Vote Director for President Obama.
Blake’s portfolio will include base and constituency mobilization, local and municipal elected official outreach, millennial outreach, African American outreach, progressive outreach, vendor diversity, building the bench through candidate recruitment, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Youth Council.
Karen Carter Peterson, Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation – Karen is serving her second term as chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party -- the first woman to ever hold the post. She represents New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana State Senate where she serves as the Chair of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee. During her time in the Louisiana House her peers elected her to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore.
Carter Peterson’s portfolio will include voter participation and protection, cybersecurity, State Attorneys General, Secretaries of State, African American outreach, and fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Women’s Caucus.
Bill Derrough, Treasurer – Bill helps fix financially-challenged companies, non-profits, and governmental entities. Currently co-head of restructuring at Moelis, over the past 30 years he has helped restructure hundreds of entities across the U.S. representing over $600 billion. Bill's nonprofit board service has included the Boy Scouts of Greater New York, Lambda Legal (leading national LGBT legal rights organization), a San Francisco AIDS hospice, several educational entities and several Catholic charities.
Derrough’s portfolio will include budget development, long-term strategic planning, branding, cybersecurity, business outreach, tech outreach, LGBT outreach, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus and Small Business Council.
Maria Elena Durazo, Vice Chair – Maria Elena is Vice President for UNITE HERE International Union, which represents more than 270,000 hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. Under her leadership in 2016, UNITE HERE and its Las Vegas local, the Culinary Union, led an unprecedented citizenship drive, helping more than 2,000 residents apply for citizenship.
Durazo’s portfolio will include organized labor and Latino outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Labor Council.
Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair – Since 2007, Keith Ellison has represented Minnesota’s 5thCongressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota's 5th Congressional District has one of the highest rates of voter turnout in the nation. In 2015, Ellison unveiled the Voters First Campaign, which aimed to increase voter turnout through grassroots organizing, campaign coordination, and low-dollar fundraising.
As DNC Deputy Chair, Ellison will be charged with grassroots mobilization and fundraising, outreach to progressive and labor communities, coordination with the national campaign committees, and online voter engagement including Democrats Live. Ellison will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus, Ethnic Council, Midwestern Caucus, Native American Council, Black Caucus, and Labor Council.
Jaime Harrison, Counselor and Associate Chair – As South Carolina Democratic Party Chair since 2013, Harrison has overseen successful initiatives including the John Spratt Issues Conference, James E. Clyburn Political Fellowship, the First in the South Primary, and Democrats Care.
Harrison will be integral to building a 57-state and territory strategy and will lead DNC initiatives including the State Party Partnership, training programs, vendor diversity, and 2020 planning including the convention, debates, and nominating process. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus, Rural Council, Disability Council, and Native American Council.
Ken Martin, Vice Chair, ASDC President – Since 2011, Ken Martin has served as chair of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota and chairs the DNC’s Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC). ASDC’s mission is to help build strong state parties in order to elect Democrats from the State House to the White House.
Martin’s Vice Chair portfolio will include the 57-state and territory strategy, State Party Partnerships, DGA, rural outreach, fundraising, and building the bench through candidate recruitment. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, Rural Council, and Military/Veterans’ Council.

Rep. Grace Meng, Vice Chair – Grace was born and raised in New York City, attended public schools, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1997. After attending Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she served as a public interest lawyer before representing Queens in the New York State Assembly in 2009 and the U.S. House of Representatives beginning in 2013. As a DNC Vice Chair, Grace focused her efforts on representing diverse constituencies within the Democratic Party. 
Meng’s portfolio will include rebuilding the DNC’s surrogate program, Congressional Liaison, women and AAPI outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and Senior Council.
Henry R. Muñoz III, National Finance Committee Chair – Henry R. Muñoz III is a nationally respected voice in the discourse about the imprint of Latino culture and identity upon American Society in the 21st Century. A Designer, Social Activist, Opinion Leader and Philanthropist, Muñoz works across multiple platforms that converge at the intersection of politics and the built environment. As Chairman of the Board and CEO of Muñoz & Company, Mr. Muñoz leads one of the largest and oldest minority-owned design practices in the country. Under his leadership, Muñoz & Company has pioneered an approach to architecture and design that acknowledges the rapidly shifting demographics of the United States.
Munoz will be the primary lead in the DNC’s fundraising efforts and will lead Latino and LGBT engagement. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus and Small Business Council.
Jason Rae, Secretary – Jason Rae has been a lifelong Democrat, attending county party meetings in rural Barron County, Wisconsin on a bicycle before he could even drive. He was first elected to the DNC in 2004, when he was just 17 years old and has been re-elected three times. Since his election more than a decade ago, Jason has worked hard to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, to increase participation among young people and LGBT Americans, and to help build greater transparency of the party.
Rae’s portfolio will include DNC member communications, millennial and youth engagement, LGBT outreach, as well as fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, LGBT Caucus, and Youth Council.