Monday, March 3, 2008

More Thoughts on the Frank Church Weekend

Over at 43rd State Blues I made a comment about the cost of a ticket for the Frank Church banquet and the cost of an entire weekend in Boise for most college students. $75 for dinner, the cost of lodging, gas, and food is a large cost for most college students. Having said that, I should also say that my ticket was paid for by the lovely folks at dailyKos who sponsored a table of bloggers.

However, when I inquired about a ticket, I had every intention of purchasing my own. Yes, I'm a college student. Not starving, but then again I live rent free and if I were actually paying rent I would be a starving college student. For me the opportunity to both hear Markos and be in a room with people I admire greatly would have offset the cost of the ticket. I am a Democrat in Idaho and I'm willing to make a few sacrifices for that.

I've heard the conversations across the blogosphere about the party and this dinner in particular not catering to the younger Democrats and "rising stars" of the party. I would like to say emphatically that the party and this dinner shouldn't have to. There are plenty of opportunities for my age group to be involved. County functions, the Truman dinner, Drinking Liberally organizations, house parties, etc. I can't say first hand how the ISU College Democrats gained entry to the dinner because I am not affiliated with them, but I suspect that in addition to the funds they earn as a student organization at ISU for this event there may have been an exchange for them volunteering at the dinner (many of them helped with the silent auction items).

The party and the dinner are out there to raise money for the party (the very definition of a fundraiser) so we can get some of the "rising stars" elected.

And this should be an event to honor the service of the Democrats who came before us. Enough already about how all we do is talk about our past leaders and do little to encourage our future leaders. If we don't honor them now, then when? I for one can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn't be a Demcrat today if it weren't for the leadership of the greats: Frank and Bethine Church, Richard Stallings, John Evans, Cecil Andrus, and Larry LaRocco. The newbies in the audience and the youngsters in attendance need to appreciation the service of these trailblazers.

As for the state party itself, Keith Roark and John Foster have done incredible things in their short time at the helm. Foster can be credited for reaching out to dailyKos for Markos' speech and he can be credited for creating a bond between the bloggers and the party. Keith Roark will be the voice we need in meetings with Governor Dean and he will lead us where the party has needed to be led for some time now. They deserve our appreciation, not our criticism.

The Frank Church banquet, despite whatever is said, was a time to show exactly where the party is headed and it did just that.

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