The race to see who will replace Frank Barbaro as the new Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) is down to two candidates – longtime activist Jeff LeTourneau and paid consultant Henry Vandermeir.
The DPOC is at a crossroads – Orange County is less red than ever. The Democrats picked up another legislative seat this November when Sharon Quirk-Silva won in the 65th Assembly District, with capable help from Vandermeir’s wife Lois, who is also a paid consultant.
There is nothing wrong with being a paid political consultant. I do some of that work too. But should paid consultants be heading up political party organizations? I don’t think so.
To make matters worse, Vandermeir works as the Executive Director of the Democratic Foundation of Orange County. As such he is competing for the same donor dollars that he will be expected to pursue as the Chairman of the DPOC. That is a major conflict of interest!
The last thing the DPOC wants to do is elect a new Chairman who will have the same conflicts that Scott Baugh, the Chairman of the OC GOP, has. Baugh is also a paid consultant and lobbyist. He shouldn’t be running his party either.
LeTourneau has paid his dues – time and again. He works tireslessly for progressive causes and he is a minority as an openly gay man who has been dealing with HIV for over twenty years. Electing him will be historic and it will send a message that at least one of the major political parties behind the Orange curtain is willing and able to work with all minorities and all the people of this great State of California.
LeTourneau has my support, for what its worth. As a Libertarian I don’t agree with him on every issue but I know he is a good man and he cares a lot for those of lesser means, which is very important to me as well. He has connections in Sacramento and DC and he is capably self-employed as a private investigator. He is a credit to his party and I hope that the members of the DPOC Central Committee will do the right thing, in January, and choose him to lead them in 2013 and beyond.