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Arkansas Democratic Party Chair Shot (Updated)

Breaking News: State Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney has been shot. A gunman reportedly walked into the democratic headquarters and asked to speak with Gwatney then shot him. The suspect fled and was chased. The chase ended with gunshots being fired. It has been reported that the suspect was shot dead.

Update: Gwatney has died. No motive for the shooting has been found. I’m not sure that any motive will explain this terrible act. The shooter, Timothy Johnson, was shot by authorities.

My heart goes out to Gwatney’s family and friends.


From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

A gunman shot Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney three times at the State Democratic Party Headquarters in Little Rock on Wednesday, fleeing the scene in a pickup and leading police on a chase down Interstate 530 that ended in gunfire. Gwatney was transported to the hospital, where he is in critical condition.

The Little Rock police said about 2:30 p.m. that the suspect was dead after being shot by authorities near Sheridan. (more… )

By |2008-08-13T22:08:34-04:00August 13th, 2008|Domestic Issues|Comments Off on Arkansas Democratic Party Chair Shot (Updated)

MI Challenge

From EmptyWheel who is live blogging from the meeting:

As I said in this post, I was skeptical that Mark Brewer–the MDP Chair–would be able to make a strong case for the 69-59 split.

I was wrong.

The key to Mark Brewer’s success was in stating clearly that there was no way to measure the “fair reflection” of the intent of the voters who participated in the presidential selection process because, as he pointed out, there was no primary, convention, or caucus, that actually measured it.

And that’s the fundamental truth that made the Clusterf&ck the Clusterf&ck it was.

By starting from that premise, Mark managed to undercut the legal problem with the challenge–that the RBC doesn’t have the authority to arbitrarily impose a result. Because if the RBC seats a delegation based on the result of the January 15 Clusterf&ck, then it will be violating one of its key principles.

This was the first time I’ve heard anyone from the MDP state that the Clusterf&ck was not a measure of the will of the voters. I wish they had said so earlier. But I’m glad they’re making that point now.

For those wanting a primer on the fun ironies of those presenting MI’s case, btw, don’t miss this DHinMI post:

Opening the testimony will be Michigan Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer.


I know Mark loved the process we used in 1996 through 2004, which was called a caucus but essentially worked like a closed primary. I’m quite certain that if it had been his decision alone, that Michigan would not have jumped the queue and created the mess that’s ensued. As party chair, he has to take strong cues from the governor, and much of this mess goes to Governor Jennifer Granholm. And since Jennifer Granholm has been so strongly supporting Hillary Clinton, it’s impossible to think that the Michigan mess wasn’t partly attributable to the Clinton campaign.

After Brewer will be Democratic Senator Carl Levin. Levin has been pushing to break the duopoly of Iowa and New Hampshire for years. In the past, Michigan threatened to go early in the process, but it never did. This year, with support from Granholm and other players in the state (who were with Clinton), Michigan finally jumped the queue.

Then, after Levin, we’ll have the advocates for the two campaigns, and this is where the dynamics between the players gets fun. In 2002, After three terms of ruining the state, Republican governor John Engler was finally term-limited, and there was a three-way race in the Democratic primary to succeed him. The winner was Jennifer Granholm, who went on to win in November, and is now in her second term as governor.

The second place finisher was Democratic congressman, and recent number two Democrat in Congress, David Bonior. The third place finisher was James Blanchard, the former governor whose horrible, arrogant campaign for reelection in 1990 gave Engler the way in the governor’s mansion.

Update: At this point, James Blachard is throwing loads of flying horse sh*t. He claimed that no one was saying our primary would not count. He must have been on vacation for December and January, because I sure heard–over and over–that the vote would not count.

By |2008-05-31T19:22:26-04:00May 31st, 2008|Election 2008, Party Politics|Comments Off on MI Challenge
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