Feathered Bastard

Merry Christmas from State Democratic Chair Don Bivens, Have a Lump of Coal

Will the AZ Dems learn from defeat? God, I hope so.

This mass e-mail below from Arizona Democratic Party Chair Don Bivens announcing his intention to continue as State Chair "through the next election cycle," reminds me of a classic scene from Animal House: The one where Otter offers Flounder a little advice after the Deltas have totaled Flounder's brother's sweet ride.

"Flounder, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes!" Otter tells a weeping Flounder. "You fucked up - you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can
The Dems are in the same position as Flounder. They fucked up. They trusted Bivens and the state party's executive director Maria Weeg when the twosome told Dems the state Donkeys would take the legislature with all the money and new recruits that'd been garnered. Instead, party leadership wrecked the Dems' chances locally, bucking a trend of change that swept the nation with Barack Obama's Presidential win.

Now we're stuck with a GOP-dominated legislature, an incoming Republican Guv, and here in Maricopa County, a reelected Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas for another four years.

To quote W., our soon-to-be former Decider in Chief, "Fool me once, shame on you...If you fool me, we can't get fooled again!"

But I have a feeling the Dems will get fooled again. Bivens is not sufficiently contrite, and he's made no major moves to prove that things will be different in 2010, such as firing executive director Weeg, who is widely seen in the party as inadequate.

"We have shared some significant victories in 2008, and some significant challenges," Bivens observes at one point in the e-mail.

Bivens' royal "we" should rub dems the wrong way. Many running for office in '08 didn't get the help they needed from a state party intent on playing favorites -- in this case, Janet Napolitano's favorites. As for the few big victories Dems enjoyed, like those on the Corporation Commission, winning CorpCom Dem Sandra Kennedy has publicly stated that she received zero help from the party.

If the Dems want to remain losers in 2010, there's an easy way to do it -- reelect Bivens at the January reorganization meeting with no conditions regarding staff or future campaign strategies. Hell, if they're gonna do that, they might as well don elephant tusks and vote for Napolitano's Republican replacement Jan Brewer in 2010. The effect will likely be the same.

A Message from State Chair Don Bivens,

This is a time to celebrate our blessings, the new year, and a new era for our country.  As we do so, I am thankful for the people who make up the Arizona Democratic Party.  I thank you for your personal commitment to progressive change. I thank you for your investment of time and financial resources for a better Arizona.

You have built a political party -- now a million strong -- that is stable and well positioned for the future as we continue, with our western neighbors, to move our state from Red to Blue. We have shared some significant victories in 2008, and some significant challenges.  We will take what we have learned, and apply those lessons to 2010.

It is an honor serving as your State Chair, and it is my intention to continue in that role through the next election cycle, building on what we have accomplished and learned together.  Warmest personal wishes to you and your loved ones for the holiday season.  I look forward to seeing you on the other side of the new year, then rolling up our sleeves and beginning anew our common work.

Best regards,


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons