Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reflections Series 001: Why Is A PC An Important Office?

This series is my attempt at both educating the public about how the lower levels of the party structure in our system of government work. It is also for those taking on the little-known and drastically underfilled position of Precinct Representative. This is an incredibly important position.

Many of the politicians you see at the Municipal, County, State, and Federal levels started here. The qualities of the people rising up from these ranks are a direct result of our national attitude toward "politics" as being "dirty." If only "dirty" people go into politics - which forms the government that regulate our lives - then our government will remain "dirty."

It is beyond time for a class of dedicated civil servants to enter through the ground floor of our government, and filter up through its ranks to form a decent, compassionate, and dedicated government.

It is up to us, the Citizens of these United States, to make "Civil Service" something worthy of admiration, respect, and honor. Indeed, it is our duty, even more so than military service. (No disrespect to my fellow military Veterans.)

It is the civilian government that makes the decisions that determine if there is peace or war. If there is war for profit, it is because the majority who have entered our government are primarily concerned with profit.

If the environment is ruined for profit, it is also because the majority who have entered our government are primarily concerned with profit.

The list of problems derived of corporatism and its exploitation of the personal profit motive is long, and dire. However, as a people, we have allowed a vacuum to exist in the lower echelons of our government that has allowed those who care more about money than honor and compassion to fill government.

This constitutes neglect of our civil duty as citizens. It is my firm belief that this neglect is far more a result of ignorance of the most basic levels of our government and how it functions than willful neglect. That ignorance, compounded  by an incorrect attitude of "dirtiness" on the part of those entering government at all levels - fostered by those who currently enjoy exploiting the resulting "honor vacuum" in government - continues this situation.

Instead of running away from our civilian government, people of honor and compassion must run to it. Our government is only as good as the people that constitute it.

I personally know several people worthy of great respect and honor, filled with compassion and determination, who serve thanklessly as Precinct Representatives. There is room for many more such people. Many precincts have no representative at all.

This situation leaves the Precinct Representative position open and vulnerable to those who see it as the first rung on a ladder to power and profit.

Rather than serve a long and dedicated term as a compassionate representative of the people living in their precinct, such persons run for higher and higher offices, until they are in a position to enrich their own lives at the expense of the vast majority of the people they are supposed to represent and serve.

The only way to stop this is for the best of us to fill up the bottom of the ladder, and to make sure that only the best of the best rise up from it.

Until this becomes the normal and honored long-term tradition of our society, we will suffer. For such a tradition to begin and continue, the "why and how" of it must, MUST, become widely-known public knowledge.

To that end, I write this series, dreaming and hoping and working for a better America and world.


The name for a Precinct Representative in Illinois, "Precinct Committeeman," is codified in Illinois State law that was passed in an era when few women served in government. In modern society, the title is antiquated and sexist by nature. However, it is the legal title for the office until the law is changed. I use that title on this blog simply because it is the correct legal title in Illinois as of this writing.


There are many rights, duties, and functions for a Precinct Committeeman in Illinois, regardless of the gender of the officer. There are many female Precinct Committeemen.

The rights of the office differ depending on whether a PC is elected or appointed.

There is also a different set of rules governing this office in Cook county - where the city of Chicago is located - than in the rest of the State.

Personally, I believe that the title, rights, and duties of the office should be made uniform throughout the State. However, I must inform my readers from the context of the currently-existing structure.

My personal experience as a PC for two terms took place in DuPage county. I am not well-versed on the structure in Cook county, and therefore cannot speak to it.

*This post will be further updated later today.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Working To Help Organize In California

California is missing a lot of the local organizational structure we have in Illinois, and it's set up a good bit differently out here.

I'm working on a project with several local Democrats & Progressives to use what worked in Illinois, and some new ideas to breathe life into the party at the local level her in Cali.

Wish us luck, because we're going to need it.

You can follow some of our progress at

Stay strong, Illinois!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Tough Love For Berners, Or A New Movement Rising?

What do you expect Bernie to do, wave a magic wand and negate the current primary results in the blink of an eye? Levitate while summoning Hillary in a pentagram made of organic tofu while pixie sprites tickle her into peeing herself on national TV? 

It is going to take long, hard, sustained work to break the control of massive corporations that own everything from news outlets to voting machines

Hell, there were still 1.3 million CA ballots left to count as of yesterday. We need to do the ground game work that has been left untouched for the past 40 years!! 

I was an elected Dem precinct rep in IL for two terms, and boy did I ever get an education. HALF the damn precincts had NO ONE to fill them because everyone was too busy forming a thousand little organizations that never did anything but hold meetings. 

A bunch of local offices went to Republicans unopposed because we couldn't find anyone to run for them, and the Republicans ALWAYS could. 

Our main job was to get petition signatures to get Dem candidates names on the ballot for the races where we actually could find candidates to run, because in IL, you can't pay to get on the ballot. You either have enough petition signatures, or you'd best change your name to Blank, because that's what would be on the ballot. 

The DEMOCRATIC voters would be acting like we were beggars asking for crumbs when we knocked on their doors looking for signatures. You'd think we were trying to sell them nuclear waste pills! 

Bernie is exactly effing right! If you want a government that works for you, get out there and BECOME THAT GOVERNMENT, and treat well those that make the effort to do so! 

#StillSanders, dammit!

In a self-governing nation, #YouGetTheGovernmentYouAre. It's long past due that Progressives dive whole-heartedly into #CivilService. (Notice that the first results that come up are in the UK, not the USA?)

Ok, so I'm down off my soap box. I love you Bernie Brigade people. You're my people. Really and truly. All of the above is historical now. I believe over 11,000 people around the country have responded to Bernie's call since last night's live-stream address.  I only wish it were a couple of million of us.

Finally we are getting to the local-level involvement in government that will shift the ground under the feet of the political establishment in an organized fashion.

We have a LOT of catching up to do. The Republicans have been at it for 30 years or more, maybe 40. This is why they have been able to drag the country so far to the right. 

The good news is that a lot of people agree with us. We can do this. We must do this.

Bern on,


Bernie Sanders calls for American Progressives to step up for Civil Service.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Peace, Love, And Bernie, The Poem...

Peace, Love, And Bernie...


There was a time when tye dye was psychedelic,
A Neptunian drug-dream wrapped in trappings,
A paper vision of peace and love and rocking roll,
One that fluttered from our fingers,
The moment Viet Nam was surrendered.

The vision was worthy,
But the Capitalists owned the sand it was built upon.

Still the wish percolated,
Bubbling at the bottom of millions of souls for decades,
A wispy current floating in the cosmic undermind,
A spice steeping throughout the waters of life.

Finally this el niƱo has surfaced,
Boiled to its essence,
Stirred in with Occupying sauce,
Baked in the years of capitalistic cynics,
Boiled down to a brick-hard resolve,
Thrown through the paper walls painted by corporate media.

The facade of Oz is ripped,
Tattered gilding in plain sight,
No longer regarded as anything but a weary trick.

A man came forth,
Poked his finger through the last vestiges of staged paper,
Said "let us use these bricks to rebuild.
Come warm yourselves by the fire of peaceful resolve.
Walk in love and kindness and the world will too.
Feel The Bern of a kinder and saner world."

The fire glows now,
A Djinn finally exploded free of the bottle.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 09/20/2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Peace, Love, And Bernie


It's become quite obvious to me that the Bernie Sanders movement - and yes, it clearly is - has become the inheritor of the 1960's Flower Children and the early 2000's Occupy movement converged.

The elements of civil rights, environmentalism, anti-establishment, and anti-war are all present. So is the notion of loving respect for fellow Berners. I've even seen very hippie-fied Bernie hair pics done up in tye-dye and green-Earth themes. It wouldn't shock me to see a fleet of Beetle busses driving around with Bernie hair on the paint job. All that's missing are the drugs, sex, and rock...well, actually there is a lot of music.

Yet that's the crucial difference here. This is a movement that has no time for a drug-induced dreamland, and sex will take care of itself after the world is saved. This movement has the loving heart of the Hippie movement combined with the grown-up pragmatism and technical prowess of Millennials and Boomers who created the technology that has all but rendered old-guard print and television media obsolete.

There are thousands of coders working online to help spread the word, and many tens of thousands of tireless social media users sharing Bernie news, with a feeling of hope for the future that is far deeper and more credible than centrist Barak Obama's vague and tepid "hope and change" ever were.
On top of the that, African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian segments of the US population are starting to catch fire and #FeelTheBern as well. By the time the actual primaries roll around, the corporate media should be in for quite a shock.

People in the majority in this country are not stupid, nor are they gullible. They simply haven't seen a good reason to believe that anyone on prior ballots for gives a rat's ass about them. The closest thing was the Obama elections of 2008. Obama's 2008 election drew young folk in to vote in numbers never before seen. However, older voters who were more jaded still hadn't seen a reason to engage. Obama's 2005 vote in favor of the bankruptcy bill as a Senator, among other actions by the soon-to-be POTUS, were clear signals of a moderate, corporatist Democratic candidate who didn't herald an era of Progressive change that would swing the world in a positive direction. Therefore the older population of eligible but unlikely voters stayed home.

I do not discredit the accomplishments of the Obama administration. Barak Obama did stop the global economy from going off a cliff. He did achieve some step forward on healthcare. He has taken steps on climate change and infrastructure investment. He gave us a modified version of the status-quo prior to the debacle brought on by the Bush-Chaney war machine. Wage stagnation wasn't addressed, but we still have an automotive industry. Health insurance coverage has improved, but the insurance companies are still for-profit, and the US still spends double the amount on healthcare that other "First-World" nations do, without achieving full-coverage of all US Citizens. The Republicans in Congress have stifled any deeper change in the structure of US society in economic and technical senses. Defense contractors, fossil fuel companies, insurance providers, big pharma, and not-least banksters are still doing phenomenally well. Joe and Jane Average are not.

Still, Bernie Sanders's clearly-Progressive agenda would go much farther and deeper towards bedrock changes in US civil society, the US economy, and US infrastructure. Voters are far more aware now of the need for a Congress that will work with such a President. It is known to many of his followers that Bernie Sanders would be a committed front man for the cause, and who would show Congress no mercy in speeches or statements. The greater majority of citizens of all races agree with the policy positions Bernie is putting forth. Most importantly, Bernie Sanders has a clear and consistent track record on every issue going back for decades. Voters no longer believe "they're all liars and cheats." Bernie Sanders clearly is not.

So when the voting lines are long for the Primary elections, don't be surprised by that. Certainly do not be surprised if you see flowers settled in hair both young and gray, and possibly a flowery microbus with Bernie hair and glasses on it's face or sides. Put some flowers in your own hair, and post, vote, and #FeelTheBern in good conscience. Take a spin around and be happy to share the love of $10, $20, or even $30 like many tens of thousands of other Berners. Swell the crowds at local Bernie rallies. The vibe is great, and the future smells better, with more than a hint of reality.

Revel in the marvel of Peace, Love, and Bernie.