Last week I posted a piece about how I thought DPW Chair Martha Laning should resign. The feedback both here and on Facebook was predictable, and ran along lines we’ve heard previously.
It goes like this: the chair doesn’t really have much power, the systemic problems the party faces are beyond the chair’s control, if we want to really change the party we need to deal with both the systemic problems and the power brokers behind the scenes, etc. But here’s what we don’t know, and what we haven’t been able to find out over the last several years.
If the chair doesn’t really have much power, then exactly what does the chair actually do? How does the person in this position spend their day? And how do the 15 other staff currently listed on the DPW website spend their day? With 16, presumably, full time staff people on the job, we currently have 640 hours a week of staff time devoted to advancing the cause of electing democrats across the state.
And if the chair of the DPW and her staff don’t really have much power, then who does? Do they have names? Are they at the helm of organizations that run parallel to the DPW? If so, what organizations, and how do the people that staff these organizations spend their day?
I can almost guarantee you that the bulk of the 14,000 members of the DPW statewide couldn’t answer these questions, and neither can I, even though I’ve been asking them since well before Mike Tate left office.
It’s time for some answers. It’s probably time for a radical restructuring of the entire edifice of both the party and its allied entities, but we won’t know what’s needed until there’s some stark transparency about what’s going on now.