BY BUDDY NEVINS
Local Democrats are having such problems that a party official has suggested a way to plan for next year’s election drink liberally.
The idea comes from Randy Fleischer, the Broward Democratic Party’s new area leader for Weston, Davie, Cooper City and SW Ranches. He has invited Democratic activists to a Happy Hour at Gatsby’s restaurant, University Dr just south of Interstate 595, 5-7pm on Monday March 28.
The meeting is supposed to be the first step in creating a GOTV (get out the vote) plan for Fleischer’s four cities.
According to Fleischer’s e-mail, it will also be a meeting “where we will be drinking liberally!
I don’t know if he was joking. He didn’t return an e-mail to his law office for comment.
After I posted this item, a reader pointing out that Drinking Liberally was a movement where progressives get together in clubs to socialize, talk politics and plan.
However, I am told that Fleischer stood up at the last Broward Democratic meeting and bragged that his meeting would include lots of alcohol.
The meeting is a good idea. So is Fleischer’s idea to start planning for next year’s election NOW. The turnout has been abominable lately and if Fleischer can energize Democrats to work he’ll be doing the party a service.
If meeting in a bar encourages heavy drinking, its not a good idea.
In my experience, drinking often brings on improper behavior, belligerence and fighting. It doesn’t seem appropriate for a serious meeting.
Then again, the Democrats don’t need drinks to be at each others throats.
The party is badly divided, with a very small faction always complaining about the organization. No surprise here, since these are Democrats!
Republicans have the same divisions with their Tea Party members.
In the local Democratic Party, a few members — this includes Fleischer — believe Mitch Ceasar’s party leadership hasn’t done enough in recent elections.
Democrats have suffered losses in Broward in recent years. Broward is key to statewide Democratic candidates’ fate , yet the local party has been unable to stem the Red Tide.
And some party officials are on the take from candidates, which is inexcusable.
Ron Mills, an area leader, worked for a Republican in the city elections in Oakland Park earlier this month. It was a violation of his party oath and I’m willing to bet someone will file a complaint against him with the Democratic organization.
Ruth Lynch, the First Vice Chair of the party, has been asking for thousands to introduce candidates to voters in the black community and work the polls. I thought it was the duty of party officials to work the polls for free as volunteers!
There are other examples.
Amid this mess, at least Fleischer is planning. I just don’t believe drinking and serious planning go together.
I’m no prude and I’ve been known to take a drink or two. I worked on newspapers with some of hard-drinking people you ever want to meet. I started in an era when a number of reporters and editors were clearly alcoholics and drank on the job.
One editor who came in at 4 a.m. drank triple vodkas for breakfast and went back to work. I even witnessed a drunken fight in the newsroom.in the middle of the day.
With that history, I believe his plan has more chance of success if the participants at the meeting are clear headed.
I wish Fleischer good luck.