Sunday, January 18, 2015

Poor Dave Garretson.

Right about now, Dave Garretson should be wondering why he was so desperate to become Monroe County Democratic Committee chairman.
In the scant three months since he was elected to that post, Garretson has presided over disaster.
Certainly, it has not been his fault.
Garretson inherited the situation from Joe Morelle. Morelle, far more clever and slicker than Garretson, saw the handwriting on the wall and announced that he would not run for re-election.
That left Garretson holding a very large, empty paper bag.
The Republicans regained control over the New York State senate; Democratic sacred cow Lulubelle Slaughter narrowly defeated a Republican unknown; and a few days ago District Attorney Sandra Doorley announced that she was changing her registration to Republican.
To be sure, Garretson wanted to be Democratic chairman. He claimed that he would be a unifying force in the party, which is hopelessly divided here.
Garretson has been no such thing. He clearly doesn't understand the Realpolitik of Monroe County in general and Rochester in particular.
The Republicans control the county towns; the Democrats, the City of Rochester and the town of Brighton.
Garretson's Town of Greece is overwhelmingly Republican. During his tenure as leader of the Greece Democrats, Garretson was unable to win any elected office for himself, nor was he able to run any victorious campaigns for other Greece Democrats.
In LD 7, which is mostly in Greece with a tiny slice in Rochester, Garretson couldn't even find a candidate to challenge the appointed Republican incumbent, a snot-nosed kid still wet behind the ears.
It is hard to see how his lack of leadership skills in his own backyard would translate to effective leadership in the county committee, especially with the political pendulum swinging to the right.
Worse is Garretson's lack of understanding of the Democratic Party's situation in Rochester.
Rochester Democrats are divided into two factions: the white, elitist Morelle-Clifford wing and the black Gantt-Warren wing. Racism, real but covert, is a factor in both wings.
Since Republicans are dead in the water in Rochester, the two Democratic factions are trying to destroy each other.
Garretson mistakenly claimed that he could unify the party. At the same time, he claimed he was a better candidate than another contender because the mayor didn't hate him. He was appealing to faction.
Mayor Warren never openly came out in support of Garretson.
Three months ago, when Garretson was elected as chairman, Gantt's supporters promptly walked out in protest before the votes were tallied.
Gantt, behaving like a spoiled brat, realized that he can never be the power behind the whole Democratic Committee, had to have his little temper tantrum.
Never mind the fact that there were two suburban black candidates for chairman.
This action reflected the racial division within the city Democrats.
Garretson owed his election to the white elitist wing of the party.
This was not a good start.
What is clear is that while Garretson is a jolly, likeable oaf, he is out of his element as chairman.
That can only benefit the Republicans.

1 comment:

  1. To do Garretson justice, Molly Clifford's boy-toy Ken Warner would have been even more divisive in the role of MCDC chairman. Warner understood that, too, and came up with a namby-pamby excuse for withdrawing from the race.