Andrei Cherny Announces Bid for Arizona Democratic Party Chair (w/UPDATE)

AndreiCherny1.jpg
Andrei Cherny, the next Arizona Democratic Party Chair, if the Dems are lucky

Note: The Democratic Party's legal opinion regarding issues raised by a Cherny candidacy is linked in the update below.

I'm on deadline at the moment, but I want to bring you this much anticipated news: erstwhile state Treasurer candidate Andrei Cherny just called me to tell me he formally putting two feet in the river, and making a bid for Don Bivens' post as Arizona State Democratic Party Chairman.

In a blog post yesterday, I reported that Cherny was still strongly considering the run, though was holding off for an official announcement. But it seems the pro-Cherny chorus is growing in Democratic ranks, and he can wait no longer.

"We need in this era a strong transition and a strong messenger," Cherny explained. "One who'll really be able to make the case to Arizonans why Democrats have the right ideas for the state's economy and all the other challenges that face us."

Cherny boasts formidable communication and fundraising skills, and friends in high places. Once an adviser to President Bill Clinton, the ex-President actually came to Phoenix to stump for Cherny at a fundraiser in April of last year.

A bone of contention among some is whether state statutes and the party's bylaws allow Cherny to run for the position of party chair. Cherny told me he's been appointed a precinct committeeman from LD14, and that he expects to be appointed to the state committee.

Cherny said that Democratic Party lawyers had researched the issue, and were confident that he would legally be able to seek the job.

I've asked the Democratic Party for the opinion and will share it when I get it.

Personally, I think Cherny is a no-brainer for the position, assuming he's not barred by some technicality. He's a former Assistant Arizona Attorney General. He's tough. He's Jim Carville-smart on politics. And he's Bill Clinton smart on messaging. Plus, he knows how to raise beaucoup cash.

Also, he's a progressive, and he knows how to lead. Add to that youth and vigor, and you've got yourself a winning combination.

I'm crossing my fingers. If Bivens can hand off the reins to Cherny on January 22, during the party's reorganization meeting, the Dems might finally be on the track to revivification at last.

UPDATE: The Dems got back to me with the legal opinion offered by the firm Perkins, Coie, Brown & Bain. You can read it in its entirety, here.

The gist, however, is in the first paragraph:

"You have asked for a legal opinion on the eligibility requirements to become an officer of the state committee. This analysis is based on the Arizona Democratic Party's Bylaws, as approved on June 14, 1980 and amended on November 21, 2009, as well as Arizona statutes and an Attorney General Opinion. Based on my review of the foregoing, I believe that an officer of the state committee must be a member of the state committee and must be an elected precinct committeeman (PC), unless that individual was appointed to the state committee to fill a vacancy that occurred following the county committee's organizational meeting, in which case that individual need not have been elected a PC."

And in the conclusion:

"The eligibility requirements to be an officer on the state committee are as follows:

Member of the county committee

Member of the state committee

Elected PC, unless appointed to the state committee following the county committee's organizational meeting because a vacancy on the state committee has occurred."

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18 comments
fulcontakpolitiks
fulcontakpolitiks

My correspondence with Andrei Cherney:To the Democratic Party and their attorneys,I have some problems with your statement: 1. ANDREI CHERNEY HAS NOT BEEN APPOINTED AS A PC… it may happen on January 12th at the County Supervisor meeting but as of now it is NOT true. 2. If Andrei is appointed it will be because the 2011-2012 Chair of Maricopa County (Ann Wallack) forwarded his name as is fair. He had to wait till she got elected because only once she was the 2011-2012 chair would she be authorized to do that.3. Don Bivens 2009-2010 chair of the state party is planning to appoint Andrei as a 2011-2012 State Committee person so that he can run. THIS IS NOT ALLOWED.4. Don Bivens does not have the authority to appoint a 2011-2012 state committee person because he is the 2009-2010 chair.5. Don Bivens authorized party money (OUR MONEY) to pay for a legal opinion confirming that he would be able to appoint his desired successor to the state committee so that he could run for chair.6. Once the false opinion was received Andrei announced he is running and Don stepped out of the race and said that he will endorse Andrei. This is a set-up pure and simple. We are Democrats and believe in Democracy… not coronations. A small group will endorse the Andrei because they want the status quo and benefit from a small group of people being in control. Remember, some would rather quarterback a losing NFL team them be a PART of a winning Super Bowl Team!! We are Team players!!7. This is not only unethical, inappropriate, and classless, BUT it is also not allowed. Don Bivens is demonstrating he has no regard for PC’s, elected state committee people, or the rules. Andrei has agreed to this plan and is running based on it. These are not the kind of people we want running our party. It is sad.

Dear Andrei,While it is nice that you had an attorney wrap it up with a pretty bow, you must realize that we have courts for that very reason; that two opposing attorneys can argue both sides of any issue with equal vigor. In much the same way as creationists find an answer in their book and then seek the evidence to make it truth, I believe that your attorney's argument is structured to validate your stand. While you state that you did not have time to go through the trouble of being elected to your county committee, Rodney did, and while his wife was having their first child. By the way the rules also state that the county chair, in your case Ann Wallach, can appoint someone only with the advice and consent of the precinct chair in a county of 500,000 or more. Did you at least follow that rule? I don't believe that you are qualified under the rules, I'm sorry, I like you Andrei but I cannot support you. This situation reminds me of Bush v Gore in 2000. Don Bivens is about to lose his control and thus his benefactors' access to Democratic Party money, and is doing an end run around the rules to ensure his future influence. Go through the trouble to become an elected PC and try again next time. Sincerely, John

Thanks John, I have come up through the ranks -- served as an elected PC and district chair before and volunteered on Dem campaigns since I was 12 years old. This year because of my race and some family issues I didn't have the time to get the signatures. I should have. Nevertheless, I wouldn't have entered the race if I didn't get a clear, definitive statement saying that I was eligible. The party's official lawyers looked at all the relevant precedent, bylaws, and statutes and came up with their opinion. I've attached it. The chair of the bylaws committee, Jo Kelleher, agreed. I wouldn't do this if it weren't 100% on the up and up. Thanks,Andrei

Dear Andrei,I don't believe that you are eligible under the rules of our party. Why should you be given special dispensation, and not required to come up through the ranks like everyone else? Don Bivens was forced down the throats of the party and when a protest was mounted he called in security to quell an uprising. I think that Bivens is trying to maintain the status quo, to keep in power the entrenched special interests that bleed the money out of our party and lead our candidates to defeat. This last election proved that, if nothing else, what we need is a complete break from the former power structure and a new beginning. It is much the same as a team with high priced players that comes in last place. Maybe we will need to rebuild from the ground up. I believe that you represent the past of the Arizona Democratic party, and are inextricably tied to the architects of our greatest failure. I am sorry but I must work for a brighter future for our party and state. Sincerely, John

Election Integrity
Election Integrity

There is an honest disagreement on the eligibility of Cherny to run. I would think the AZ Democratic Party would want to follow its bylaws and not try to work around them. Change them legitimately or don't do it. If 2/3rds of the state committee wishes to change the bylaws to allow this, it can be done if they bring enough copies but why pretend the meaning is other than what was intended? Maybe by now, the bylaws have been altered--after November 21 2009--although the legal opinion states it is for these bylaws. Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Guest
Guest

Obama and most demoncrats are an abomination to this country; embarrassingly inept and ill-equipped to run a country. I am ashamed to be associated with a place where Obama is in "charge". I can't believe superficial, materialistic, gossiping idiots like you all voted him into office.

Hind sight is everything, and Obama and his realized Marxist goals have awoken the American citizens. 2012 will be a historical political clean sweep.

fulcontakpolitiks
fulcontakpolitiks

There is serious disagreement with the legal opinion that this is within the rules of the party. State committee persons can only be appointed from among elected precint committee persons. PC cannot be appointed but must be elected in the previous election.

Coz
Coz

Remains to be seen if he has the balls to actually stand behind the party candidates with more than his mouth.

So far I haven't seen any support from the Democraps when they had very viable candidates running in the last several years.

Which is why the Republa-tards now have control and bound to fuck things up even more.

Not my vote
Not my vote

Much like Clinton, his wife is a Hillary-esqe shrew.

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

Contact Arizona Democratic party (602) 298-4200. Give them your address they can tell you which legislative district you are in, then attend meeting. It's as simple as that. Hope this helps.

Loosecannonsbluesband
Loosecannonsbluesband

Where do I sign up to be a Precient Committeeperson! I'll follow this man's lead.

Bill
Bill

John, as you may know Andrei had been an elected PC in the previous cycle and in fact was District 14 chair. So saying he "hasn't come up through the ranks" is silly. then at the same time you say we need "a complete break from the power structure." What power structure? As Will Rogers said many years ago, "I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrat." There's no power structure, there's just good people like you, me, Andrei, and Rodney trying to help the state. I believe Andrei is in the best position to actually accomplish something, with or without a power structure, which is why I support him for state chair.

Your Mother
Your Mother

Hey Guest who thinks "Obama and most demoncrats are an abomination to this country":

Fuck you and your 2012 Teabagger Bullshit. These are just talking points someone has drilled into you ever so willingly and now you are "empowered". Bullshit! Your anti-Obama stance is nothing but racist hatred. Your anit-Marxist view is void of what already DID take place, namely war-mongering Rethuglicans starting TWO wars in a time when there was no need except to put more money into the pockets of the wealthy. You are an idiot!

Steve
Steve

Define "serious disagreement." Perhaps from a "serious" candidate running in opposition to Cherny... like Master Rodney? Rodney might be an attorney, but he hardly has the depth of experience to match the legal opinion provided by Perkins, Coie, Brown & Bain.

solutions
solutions

His wife is an angel and as smart as Andrei- what a great combo!

Not a jerk
Not a jerk

You're an idiot. She is awesome.

Guest
Guest

I'm a racist ? And a Tea "bagger ? No "Mother" (my mother was a highly respected and righteous Lady, all the values you seem to lack, "mother".

I am an African America, an proud American citizen and military veteran. A registered Independent and college educated. My Marxist "viewpoint" is "void"? Have you read Obama's own word and plans for America in his three published books ? I have,

Name one of the dozens of campaign "promises" your deceitful mouthpiece temporary President has lived up to. Okay, I'll give you a hint, Don't ask, Don't tell. Not once single other campaign promise has been achieved, and he only has a few of the original "flock" still dubbed down enough to believe in him. Congrats "Mom", you have the intellect of driftwood.

FUGlassman
FUGlassman

Is Master Rodney related to Master Bates?

Guest
Guest

You, "guest", have an opinion of our President that is not accurate, nor informed with the facts. Please find an accurate representation of the accomplishments of President Obama and the 111th United States Congress here:

http://www.politifact.com/trut...

As you will note, President Obama has fulfilled over 130 of his campaign promises and he is working on 222 more. He compromised with the Republicans on 41 of them and 82 were stalled by the Republicants. Only 28 were broken. That's the facts, not the biased views you presented. It is truly sad to see a veteran of the military, as I am, presenting false information to the American people.

You are also mistaken about the "marxist" attributes of President Obama's intentions. You may want to review what the term marxist means, as you have obviously no idea.

Marxism is based upon a materialist interpretation of history. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction one against the other, the Marxist analysis leads to the conclusion that capitalism, the currently dominant form of economic management, leads to the oppression of the proletariat, who not only make up the majority of the world's populace but who also spend their lives working for the benefit of the bourgeoisie, or the wealthy ruling class in society.

To correct this inequality between the bourgeoisie, who are the wealthy minority, and the proletariat, who are the poorer majority, Marxism advocates, and believes in the historical inevitability of, a proletarian revolution, when the proletariat take control of government, and then implement reforms to benefit their class, namely the confiscation of private property which is then taken under state control and run for the benefit of the people rather than for the interests of private profit. Such a system is socialism, although Marxists believe that eventually a socialist society would develop into an entirely classless system, which is known as communism in Marxist thought.

You can read more about the subject at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

I don't seen marxism any fraction of President Obama's policies. In fact, I see an attempt to prevent proletariat revolution by utilizing the policies of our Republic to minimize the struggle between the different classes within society. This is clear in his tax policies and his attempts to undue the damage caused by President Bush and the 110th Congress.

I do see marsixt intent in the Republicans attempts to INCREASE the inequality between Rich and Poor however. Whether that is an attempt to encourage a proletariat revolution or just plain selfishness on their part (the Republicants get the majority of their campaign money from the Rich, Dems get there's primarily from middle class and the organizations that represent them) I'm not sure, but the outcome will be the same - a proletariat revolution.

Right now, there is the Wealthy Class of approximately 2-3 percent of the U.S. Citizenry that earn over $250,000.00 a year and up and the other 97 percent of the citizens of this country who earn less than that - with the vast majority earning less than $50,000.00 a year - barely enough to scrape by.

Given the Republicant's failed policies over the last 10 years, which caused the recession and which President Obama is trying to dig out of, eventually, there will be enough poverty and suffering amongst the poor lower middle class, and middle class to forment a revolution in this country. You can read more about the income inequality here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

An intelligent response without use of profanity or name calling. Nicely done. However, I don't expect Mother will reply. She is busy drying her tears...

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