The organization certainly is not independent. It is controlled by a small self-perpetuating group that historically has been the alter ego of the Ward Chair of the 14th Ward Democratic Committee. As members of the Committee the Ward must support the party's slate. Often the majority of the 14th Ward Committee Members support candidates who do not get the party endorsement. The Ward Chair is almost always a Board member of the club and thus is able to circumvent the County Democratic Party rules by pushing the unendorsed candidates through the Club. Their endorsement election has become somewhat of a sham. A small number of people vote in their endorsement election, primarily the board members, relatives and friends of board members, supporters and workers of candidates who joined the organization to participate in the endorsement and a few misfits looking for free and often delicious food.
The Club is no longer operated in a democratic fashion. It does not promote equality or openness at all. The Club is controlled by recycled board members living in the past. All efforts to appeal to a broader base of 14th Ward residents have been quashed by the rigid thinking of the long time board members. The board members agree in advance as to candidates they want to push. They create their own rules based upon race, sex, sexual orientation and religious beliefs in deciding which candidates should get their endorsements. Then they run an Animal Farm like election to assure the endorsement for these candidates. An example of their initiatives was a letter sent by a number of former Presidents to select members asking them to vote for a particular candidate at the recent endorsement of the Club. They failed to send the letter to certain members who they believed supported another candidate.
Although the Club targets voters, they should seriously consider changing the name to include the word Doters. Read Merriam Webster's definition of the word "dote" and it fits this group perfectly:
- intransitive verb
- Inflected Form(s):
- dot·ed; dot·ing
- Middle English; akin to Middle Low German dotten to be foolish
- 13th century
This organization has become the Pittsburgh version of Swift Boaters. They are now a fringe group, using their finances to promote their candidates under the false pretenses of representing a larger independent group. The definition of the word "dote" certainly describes this group. The are "exhibiting as a group mental decline of or like that of old age". Rigid thinking by the "core" long time board members has sabotaged efforts to attract younger members and driven away any board members who were newer or younger (in this case between the ages of 30-50). Additionally they do "lavish attention, fondness and affection" on their pet candidates. They stack the deck at their endorsement election to assure that the Board's candidates win. Then they can print their mailing and send it to prospective voters, leading the voters, who don't throw out the mailing with other political junk mail, to think that their endorsement was some type of meaningful process. The total number of voters participating in their elections is a secret as closely guarded as the secret sauces in a Big Mac. Having counted votes at one of these elections, the total for certain offices is amazingly low i.e. less than 30 voters! When you consider that 19 of the voters are Board Members who solicit candidates, that leaves just a few other voters. Take away the relatives of the Board members and avid supporters of particular candidates who join and participate only to stuff the ballot for their candidate, and what are you left with? Also keep in mind that the candidates solicited by the Board make donations to the organization. So these people are certainly more doters than voters.