Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beating the party drum for years...factually, no.

A letter to the editor appeared in today's Durango Herald, among other things it talks about my years of fidelity to the Democratic Party. To set the record straight, I first registered as an unaffiliated or indpendent voter in 2000. Yep, that's right 2000---just 10 years ago. I changed my affiliation to Democrat in 2004 and was immediately taken into the fold and christened as the "Young Democrat" on the La Plata County Democratic Executive Committee for a few months prior to becoming Party Chair that same year. It turned out to be a big election year for Democrats and I worked hard with my new-found passion for the democratic process---that's democratic with a small "d".

Interestingly enough, no one asked me how long I had been registered as a Democrat prior to offering me these leadership positions---in other words, there was no "waiting period"or "affiliation period" that I needed to comply with in order to serve the party as a young Democrat or party chair. It all happened quickly and enthusiastically for the most part.

The author comments: "Riddle is a former party chairwoman who beat the Democratic drum for years. Party chairpeople don't suddenly jump ship. At least no ones who hold dear the core values of their respective parties. Riddle jumped ship because she lost the support of her Democratic base, for whatever reason, and found herself floating toward an uncertain re-election campaign." 

Very untrue. 

I have made and continue to make decisions regardless of what it may or may not mean to my re-election campaign (I haven't even announced my candidacy).  I knew when I made the decision to disaffiliate that I was taking a huge step, if I was solely concerned with my re-election success I would have stayed with the party.  That's what most elected officials do.

After all, I had been reassured by a couple of members on the La Plata County Executive Committee that there would be no primary.  A clear message that in their mind it was better to keep the seat Democrat rather than risk the chance that they might loose it to a Repbulican.  Even with the sure odds of being an incumbent, supported by the party with the largest percentage of registered voters, I still chose and would choose this day to do what I did and become an independent.

The lawsuit is about me---and you, and our county, our state and our nation.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is paralyzed by a two-party system that doesn't want equal access to the ballot by candidates or voters.

So, in answer to the letter to the editor and the author's question:  "Is it really about the First Amendment and "fariness" as she puts it?"  She says yes! 

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