Monday, July 30, 2007

CDA Convention Update

The College Democrats of Missouri faired will at the annual College Democrats of America Convention. Four CDMOers were elected to leadership positions within the national organization. CDMO had the fourth largest number of delegates at the convention, behind North Carolina, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. In fact, they brought more people the convention than they did last year when it was held in St. Louis. Here are the new CDA leaders from Missouri.

  • Sam Hodge, CDMO Vice President, CDA Political Affairs Director: We've been following Sam Hodge's campaign for a while now. Well, it had a happy ending for him, as he won with about 90% of the vote against Lee Drake, the Northwest Regional Director. While Hodge was a favorite, few would have expected the vote to turn out that lopsided. As far as I'm aware, this is the first time a Missourian has ever been on the CDA Executive Board.
  • Mark Buhrmester, Mizzou Chapter President, Chair of the CDA GLBT Caucus
  • Anna Koeppel of Mizzou, Vice-Chair of the CDA Women's Caucus
  • Trevor Turner of Mizzou, Vice-Chair of the CDA Disability Caucus

Barack Obama at CDA

Hillary at CDA

Sorry I couldn't embed the video of Hillary and the heckler during her speech at the CDA convention. I did, however, find a stillframe of it. Notice how she "dosen't" care. Click on the photo, or here, to view the video.

Monday, July 23, 2007

CDMO/YDMO Connections

I mentioned earlier that the College Democrats of Missouri and Young Democrats of Missouri are coordinating their efforts at least to some degree through their officers having roles in each organization. I said that I would try to sort through it all. I had grand aspirations of drawing a diagram, but you'll just have to settle for this instead.

Nate Kennedy - CDMO President, YDMO Nat'l Committeeman, Mizzou Dems Member
Rick Puig - CDMO Comm. Director, YDMO President, Mizzou Dems Treasurer
Mark Buhrmester - CDMO Pol. Director, YDMO Member, Mizzou Dems President
Stephen Griffard - CDMO Member, YDMO Secretary-Treasurer, Mizzou Dems Vice-President

Clearly, Mizzou is the nexus of power for the CDMO and YDMO, but expect to see the responsibilities start to move out to other chapters like Missouri State, Missouri Southern, SLU and WashU as they are strengthened and brought into the CDMO/YDMO organization.

2008: Bigger and badder

So, as you might have heard there's an election in 2008. A big one. One that will certainly bring young people to the polls in new record numbers.

This is will be even more true for young people in Missouri if a couple proposed initiatives make it onto the ballot. One of the initiatives lowers the drinking age to 18, while the other does away with affirmative action and similar programs.

These are two initiatives that drastically affect young people and will undoubtedly serve to increase turnout among young people. That's one more reason for the not-so-young Missouri politicos to pay attention to young people.

One interesting item to keep an eye on: Will these initiatives receive official endorsements from the College Republicans or College Democrats?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

CRNC Video... I couldn't resist

I've been covering youth political organizations without any sort of spin. I've been giving you just the facts, ma'am. So I think I've earned the right to post something that's entertaining, even if it's not unbiased. Take it for what it's worth: a progressive journalist having fun at the expense of the College Republicans. With that in mind, you can enjoy regardless of your political stripes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hodge Fundraiser Report

Sam Hodge's Thursday fundraiser in DC was , by all accounts, a success. There were about 45 people in attendance, including former CDMO President Aaron Keyak, CDA Communications Director Ethan Porter, candidate for CDA Development Director Kyle Schulberg, Russ Carnahan's campaign director Ben Murray, and President of My Rural America and former Vice-Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Barbara Leach.

I'm not sure how much was raised, but given the number of people in attendance, I would estimate about $500.

Congrats to Nate Kennedy

Nate Kennedy of Mizzou, the former President of the Mizzou College Democrats and current President of the College Democrats of Missouri, received the Young Democrat of the Year Award at the Boone County Democrats annual picnic last Sunday. Just wanted to give Nate a quick high-five.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hodge Campaign Update: Carnahan (kinda) out, Clay in

I posted earlier about Sam Hodge's run for CDA Political Affairs Director.

His DC fundraiser is tomorrow night. At last mention Russ Carnahan expressed his regrets but instead will be sending his Chief of Staff. On the other hand, Lacy Clay has confirmed his attendance. Tickets to the event are listed as $10 for interns, $25 for young professionals and $50 for professionals. I'll be sure to update about the success/failure of the event as soon as I get word.

YDMO in Dallas

The Young Democrats of Missouri arrived in Dallas today for the Young Democrats of America National Convention. There are no contested elections for national executive board positions that I'm aware of, and neither are there any Missourians running. Rick Puig, President of YDMO and an intern with the Nixon campaign, gathered an entourage of about ten Missourians to make the trek down to Dallas. This is a large improvement for YDMO after years of turmoil.

A side note: YDMO and CDMO are cooperating, as opposed to competing which they do in some states. Nate Kennedy, the President of CDMO, is the YDMO National Committeeman. There's actually quite a tangled web of CDMOers, YDMOers and individual chapter leaders (most notably from Mizzou) that I will attempt to unravel at some point.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

CRNC Update and Emily Brooker Addendum

CRNC Elections: The NewCRNC team swept the elections. Charlie Smith of Colorado was elected Chair with 145 votes in favor and 7 abstentions. Justin Smith of UMKC was elected Midwest Regional Chair.

A bit more info on the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill: In a previous post I mentioned the letters to the editor written by college students regarding the Intellectual Diversity Bill, but I could only find a link to one of the three letters I had in mind. Jeremy Hagen, Vice Chair of MOCR, emailed me copies of some additional letters. Just for fun, here's the letter that was published in the Columbia Daily Tribune as a response to the letter by Mizzou College Democrats President Mark Buhrmester:

In “Opposed groups agree diversity act a bad idea” Mizzou College Republican Chairman Nick Haynes recorded his opposition to HB 213.

Missouri College Republican (MOCR) chapters, such as Mizzou, are sovereign and thus free to take policy stances on particular issues. Accordingly, Chairman Haynes was free to take a position on HB 213, however misguided that position may be.

My purpose is to clarify and reinforce the fact that Missouri College Republican students overwhelmingly support HB 213 for the following reasons, despite what Mr. Haynes has said.

First, universities should be centers of learning, not indoctrination, yet many students are afraid to openly speak their minds when a professor politically or religiously proselytizes. A recent opinion poll of Missouri students found that 51% felt they had to agree with their professors’ political views to get a good grade.

Second, the deficiency of intellectual diversity damages the traditional mission of universities. Public universities receive taxpayer money for a specific purpose: to educate future leaders. Universities fail in their missions when professors create classroom environments that discourage open discussion.

Third, HB 213 requires universities to take action. Many of Missouri’s universities pay lip service to intellectual diversity, yet few follow through on those promises. Legislative action is needed to prevent further abuse by faculty who are otherwise largely immune from student and taxpayer criticisms.

This legislation is simple, but will prove effective in fostering intellectual diversity for all viewpoints. In the end, HB 213 is a step in the right direction for Missouri students.

Jeremy Hagen

Executive Director,

Missouri College Republicans

Missouri State University Student studying Political Science

Saturday, July 14, 2007

YDA and CDA Conventions coming up, too

I just wanted to make a quick post to mention that the Young Democrats of America Convention and the College Democrats of America Convention are both coming up as well. The YDA Convention is July 18-21 in Dallas and the CDA Convention is July 26-29 in Columbia, SC.

A bit of background: Many states are active in either YDA or CDA, but not both. Many other states are active in both, allowing YDA to focus on youth pre- and post-college, and having the college students be the niche of CDA. Traditionally, Missouri has only been active in CDA, but they've been shifting to the latter model ever since Rick Puig of Mizzou was elected President of YDMO in March.

Friday, July 13, 2007

CRNC Convention

The CRNC is in the midst of their biennial convention this weekend. Friday they heard speeches from important public officials such as former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and Sen. Sam Brownback. The keynote speaker was David Horowitz who, as you might recall, helped inspire the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill that was hotly debated in the Missouri State House. This bill also spurred a series of letters to the editor by student political leaders.

(There were more letters, but I couldn't find links to them. One was written by the President of the Mizzou College Republicans and another was written by someone in the leadership of the Missouri College Republicans.)

The New CRNC ticket (which is like a political party within the CRNC) has produced some jostling in the Missouri College Republicans, but is expected to do well, as they have several unopposed candidates including their candidate for Chairman, Charlie Smith. This consensus is in stark contrast to their last convention that was marred by conflict and scandal.

Justin Smith of the UMKC Law School, former MOCR Chair and a member for the New CRNC ticket, is running for Midwest Regional Vice-Chair and is favored to win.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Intrigue in MOCR

This story has some twists and turns and loops and curves, and at this point I do not have it all figured out. But something's better than nothing, and I plan on obtaining more information for you all shortly.

Here's the story.

In early April the Missouri College Republicans (MOCR) impeached their chair, Taylor Burks. A statement from MOCR reads:

He has unjustly fired and maligned the character of an active and valuable member of the state executive board, insulted the rest of the executive board by refusing to properly communicate and consult with them, and neglected duties assigned to him by the constitution. In light of these grave problems, the Board of Directors voted tonight after five hours of deliberation 18-6 for impeachment.

However, critics suggest that he was actually impeached because his favored candidates for the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) leadership were not the favored candidates of the majority of MOCR.

At any rate, this statement was released by Burks a couple days ago, strongly criticizing the NewCRNC team and its alleged smear tactics. It will be interesting to see how all of this drama plays out, as the CRNC convention is this weekend in Arlington, VA.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hodge Running for CDA Exec. Board

Sam Hodge, a Senior at Truman State University, is running for Political Affairs Director of the College Democrats of America (CDA) and seems to be the favorite at this point. He is currently Vice President of the College Democrats of Missouri (CDMO), and Co-Chair of the CDMO GLBT Caucus.

His only announced opponent is B. Lee Drake from the University of Wyoming who appears to have only nominal support. Hodge on the other hand has the support of the current Political Affairs Director as well as a number of other current Executive Board members.

It has been reported and confirmed that Hodge is having a fundraiser in Washington, DC with Frank Chi of Maine, a candidate for CDA Communications Director. The kicker, though, is that Rep. Russ Carnahan has confirmed his attendance at the event. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver and Rep. Lacy Clay are also said to be working with their schedules trying to make the time to attend.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

And we're off!

I've been wanting to contribute to Missouri's blogosphere for a while now, but a lot of the bases in Missouri politics were already covered. Except for one.

Blogs do a great job of covering items that the mainstream media won't. But there's one topic that both have done a poor job of covering, and that topic is the politics among the youth in our state. Both the College Republicans and the College Democrats have strong infrastructures in Missouri. They play VERY important roles in campaign season, while educating their campuses during the off-season.

It's time to let the world know what's going on within these organizations. And that's the role of YoungMOPolitico.