By Dan Carol of Eugene, Oregon.
Editor's Note: Each of the four candidates for DPO Chair was invited to submit a guest column - and they're appearing in the order received. Later this week, we'll hear from Mac Prichard, Carol Voisin, and Meredith Wood Smith.
I am running for chair because I think I am the right person to help DPO win, lead, and innovate in a new era that demands a unique blend of high-touch and high-tech politics.
Having worked as the research director for both the 1992 Clinton campaign and the Packwood special election that put Gordon Smith on the defensive and Ron Wyden in the Senate, I understand what it takes to win. As chair, I would be an energetic force for coalescing early behind a great candidate and implementing a serious, grassroots-driven, winning strategy to mount this challenge. We need to engage and mobilize our Democratic base and attract Independents and Republicans of conscience.
If elected, I will make sure that the DPO stands at the center of this grassroots effort, to re-take the Senate seat, win the presidential and expand our gains in the Oregon legislature and key offices across the state. The State County partnership will serve as the cornerstone of this success.
As chair, I will make sure that DPO works closely with DNC Chairman Dean and his team, gets the attention it deserves from national organizations and funders, and strikes creative win-win partnerships with our traditional and emerging allies to ensure electoral success in 2008.
We can't deny, however, that the Democratic Party must continue to embrace change and be forward-thinking in how we structure its operations. The Party risks losing its long-term "customer base" if it doesn't re-double its efforts to deeply engage Oregonians at the local level, to offer new ways for citizens to connect to the Party through community service, and most of all, to respectfully challenge all of our candidates to give back to the Party which serves them.
The next chair inherits a solid foundation from which we as an organization must build and grow in order to win in '08. I look forward to working with you to make that happen.
I know I am unknown to many inside the DPO. Yet I think my experience working closely with Ron Brown at the DNC for 3 years, my winning track record in and outside of Oregon, my experience working with hundreds of campaigns, causes and candidates, my management and online entrepreneurial background, and my 11 years as a resident of Lane County makes me the best choice at this time to help lead the DPO.