The following was written by Joseph Monack:
Tonight I went to the McHenry County Democratic Party’s convention to see who they would nominate for their leadership positions in what’s shaking up to be a very good year for them.
Their Chairman, Michael Bisset, had declined to run again.
As someone with an interest in politics, I decided to check out their convention.
The Democratic convention was at MCC.
I have a friend who is a Democratic Precinct Committeeman, one of my former teachers is a Democratic Precinct Committeeman, and I have friends and family who regularly pull Democratic ballots, so it’s not as if these people are alien to me.
Besides for that, the Democrats’ website even said the event was open to the public.
When I arrived there, I told the person doing check-ins that I am not a committeeman but a member of the public. She told me to sit behind the first two rows, so I did.
Within two minutes, I was told to leave.
The reason they gave me was that I was not a committeeman.
I could understand if they had some rule about that, but the website explicitly said the meeting was open to the public.
To me, public means anyone.
Apparently, the Democratic Party of McHenry County uses some alternative definition of the word.
Some people know that I used to be a Republican Precinct Committeeman, but I resigned from that position during the fall of 2016.
Again, I could understand a political party not wanting officials from a rival party to go to their convention, but what really irritates me is that their website said it was open the public.
The Democrats lied to the public.
I explained to them that I just wanted to sit there quietly and see who they picked for their executive committee.
When they told me to leave again I asked them who was running for various positions; they would not tell me.
That was another thing that irked me.
Sure, nominations weren’t officially made, but in politics things are generally known in advance.
For instance, there was a pretty good idea of who was running on the Republican side, and this information was public.
I didn’t feel like standing around and telling them to get the cops to come (they aren’t worth it) so I left their convention begrudgingly.
As I was leaving through the main entrance, I saw someone I knew who was going into the convention and I explained what had just happened.
That Democrat listened, went into the lecture hall, came out, and told me he made a case for me but was overruled.
Maybe screaming, “You guys are real open minded” when I left killed any possibility of me being able to come back in, though I don’t suppose they would have anyway.
Open-mindedness is something people like to talk about.
Actually practicing it is another issue. (I am grateful that at least one person was willing to listen to me though.)
Interestingly, I attended the statewide Green Party convention as well as the statewide Constitution Party conventions last month.
I was allowed to stay even though they knew I was not a member. I wrote about both conventions on Springfield Daily.
After the Democratic debacle, I went to the Republican convention and was told they only allow people in who voted in the Republican primary (I’m not sure if this was stated somewhere, but that’s what I was told.)
Such a rule is reasonable and would be reasonable for Democrats.
Had the Democrats not specifically said the meeting was open to the public, I probably wouldn’t have gone.
Had they pointed out that I took a Republican ballot in the most recent primary and that disqualified me from being able to attend, I would have also thought that to be an acceptable rule.
The fact they said it was open to the public, then told me I couldn’t attend because I was not a Democratic Precinct Committeeman is dishonest.
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Here is what is on the Democrats’ web site:
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 07:00 PM · 69 rsvps
McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL
County Convention 2018
The Democratic Party of McHenry County will meet at 7:00 p.m., April 18 at McHenry County College in room A-240, Bersted Hall, on the upper level of the college. Please park in the A parking lot off Lucas Road.
This meeting serves as the biennial County Convention, at which officers are elected to lead the party for a two-year term. Only precinct committeemen elected at the March 20, 2018 primary are eligible to vote at this meeting, but anyone can attend [emphasis added]. In accordance with the party’s constitution, the positions to be elected at this meeting are: