Letter: Democratic caucus disrespected the democratic process
To the Editor:
I am disheartened to note that our capital “D” Democrats aren’t quite committed to small “d” democracy. The current slate might be the best one I’ve seen from the DTC, capable and committed (a nice change from a fistful of “one and done” Democratic selectmen candidates). But insofar as the first selectman nominee is concerned, local Democrats are once again victims by the DTC’s chicanery and its disrespect for the democratic process.
When Chris Noe was nominated to be the candidate for first selectman, party insiders nominated town chairman David Bayne as a placeholder. Caucus
Chairman Frank Adelman explained that Bayne had “every intention of withdrawing” as the nominee and was accepting the nomination merely as a placeholder. Y’know, in case someone else shows up.
Adelman added that he and Bayne were talking to some potential candidates. I was reminded of how I feel every time President Trump begins a sentence with, “People tell me .....”
Or like the monkey told the buzzard, “Your story’s so touching but it sounds like a lie. Straighten up and fly right.”
Adelman said their (secret) candidates remain undecided. Local parties have been working on their nominees since March or April. First selectman is a pretty serious job not to be decisive about, if indeed anyone is out there decidin’.
The placeholder strategy allows the DTC to control the nomination after the withdrawal of the placeholder in lieu of the more democratic caucus process. We saw it here in Darien four years ago when the Democrats, once again faced with the inability to secure a candidate, nominated then-chairman Randy Klein to be a placeholder. Klein withdrew and no replacement was put forward.
A primary would cost the town to open polls all day for about 300 people.
I recognize who the DTC nominates for first selectman is no big deal. First Selectman Stevenson will easily win re-election. Jayme is a top-notch chief executive and, in my experience, responsive, dedicated and forward-thinking.
To me, these times call for vigilance and protection of democratic principles. The DTC has circumvented rules designed to give power to voters and hoarded it for itself. It’s un-democratic.
Rob Werner has been a DTC member, and endorsed candidate for state representative and an unaffiliated candidate for First Selectman.