June 29 2011 10:14 AM

Democratic Party leader threatens people for exercising free will

Jess Durfee

Jess Durfee is acting like a child who always gets picked last for the neighborhood football game. But instead of sulking, as some children do, he lashes out angrily at the other kids and blames them for his lack of skill.

According to a story posted Monday evening by voiceofsandiego.org's Liam Dillon, Durfee, chairperson of the San Diego County Democratic Party, sent a letter to local Democratic elected officials, threatening to withhold official party support from anyone who endorses a Republican for mayor of San Diego.

Dillon reported that Durfee's letter mentioned by name Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom and Solana Beach Councilmember Dave Roberts, who have endorsed San Diego County District attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican, in a race for San Diego mayor that also includes a high-profile Democrat, Congressmember Bob Filner.

“I will do everything in my power to see that any Democratic elected official or candidate in the county who endorses a Republican for mayor will not receive the endorsement or support of the Democratic Party in the future,” Durfee's letter said, according to Dillon.

We loved the responses from Roberts and Sessom; they essentially told Durfee to stick it. In a follow-up story, Sessom told Dillon that she knows Dumanis but doesn't know Durfee, and she challenged Durfee to bring it on. Good for her.

Partisan politics is what's wrong with this country and this state. Just last night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow laid out several instances where Republicans had once supported certain policy positions—on matters such as corporate subsidies and the debt ceiling—only to abandon those positions when Barack Obama, a Democratic president, proposed them.

That's consistent with the comment from U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last year, who said the Republicans' “single most important thing we want to achieve is for Barack Obama to be a one-term president.” Regardless of the policy, the Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated that job No. 1 is to make sure Obama has as few victories as possible on which to campaign in 2012.

The Republicans in Sacramento act the same way. Despite opinion polls saying Californians wanted a chance to vote on whether a series of cur rent tax rates are extended in order to stave off severe cuts to public services, Republicans en masse refused to allow the vote, presumably so they can make Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's job more difficult.

Elected officials in both parties are regularly pressured to serve the interests of the party rather than the interests of the residents they represent. It's widespread standard operating procedure, and it's ruining the country.

It's bad enough when it happens amid partisan elections. But Durfee has threatened people against endorsing candidates in a technically nonpartisan race.

To be fair, Durfee's Republican counterpart, Tony Krvaric, has the same policy: no support for Republicans who dare to endorse Democrats, whether or not the office is partisan. Durfee and Krvaric both are political hacks who'd fit in nicely as party operatives in some fascist foreign regime. They make things worse, not better. America should aspire to something loftier than these two knuckleheads.

We believe Americans want good ideas, no matter who proposes them. Men like like Durfee and Krvaric seem to want only two polar-opposite sets of ideas, with no cooperation or compromise. Democrats tend to be willing to cooperate more than Republicans, but it appears Durfee admires the way Republicans conduct themselves.

With his letter, Durfee is saying that no matter whom Roberts, Sessom or anyone else who dares to cross party lines might run against in the future, they won't get the support of their party—even if party officials believe their policy platforms are in the better interest of constituents.

We encourage San Diego County voters to follow a trend and change their party registration to decline-to-state. It would send a message that we're tired of this kind of partisan bullshit.

And we encourage Durfee to look inward and ask himself why Democrats are endorsing Republicans. Rather than work harder to convince voters that Democrats hold the keys to a better future for more people, he resorts to thuggery. Maybe the problem isn't people like Roberts and Sessom. Maybe it's Durfee himself.

What do you think? Write to editor@sdcitybeat.com.


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