HCDP Chair on Dusty Rhodes (Democrat in Name Only)

Letter from HCDP (Hamilton County Democratic Party) Chair Tim Burke:

Jeff,

I wanted you to see the email I sent to Chairman Howard Dean. I respect your position and I agree with your views on talk radio.

I disagree with Dusty on the value of talk radio, and he knows that.

But in spite of his conservative views he has been a valuable and helpful Democratic elected official.

Tim Burke

—–Original Message—–
From: Tim Burke

Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 7:33 AM
To:deanh@dnc.org
Subject: FW: Reply from Howard Dean

Chairman Dean

Jeff [xxxxx] took you up on your suggestion and passed on to me your email to him calling for the replacement of Dusty Rhodes. Unfortunately his email to you failed to adequately describe Dusty Rhodes.

Yes Dusty is conservative, among the most conservative members of our party. I frequently disagree with his opinions, as I disagree with his opinions on talk radio. The Hamilton County Democratic Party supported liberal talk radio hear in Cincinnati, particularly Jerry Springer, who annually is our biggest supporter not just in terms of his financial contributions but in helping out in many other ways as well.

But Dusty is a part of our Party and is our elected Hamilton County Auditor. He has been an excellent County Auditor and effectively shed light on republican mismanagement of the County when he was our only democratic voice. For years he was the only democrat to hold an elected county executive office in Hamilton County. We now hold four of the County wide executive offices including the first democratic majority on the County Commission in almost 50 years. Dusty’s efforts are part of the reason for those gains.

Dusty’s conservative views on many issues do drive us crazy from time to time, but he is a solid friend of organized labor. He has been unfailing in his willingness to help recruit, train and advise local democratic candidates and gives generously of his time to many democratic events. He has been particularly helpful with our suburban candidates where we need to grow the party.

I am aware of and very thankful for the support the DNC is providing to the Ohio Democratic Party. Your assistance helped begin to turn Ohio Blue last Fall and will help to deliver Hamilton County and all of Ohio to the Democratic Presidential candidate in 08. I expect that Dusty will be a part of our ticket then and the Hamilton County Democratic Party will support his reelection.

Thank you for all you are doing to help. I just wish that you had been provided with more complete information about Dusty and the situation in Hamilton County before offering your comments.

Tim Burke

Hamilton County Democratic Chair

225 West Court St.

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

513 721 5525

—–Original Message—–
From: jeff xxxxx

Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 12:44 AM
To: tburke
Subject: Reply from Howard Dean

Mr. Burke:

I am forwarding this message that I received from Howard Dean in response to my sharing with him my concerns about the letter that Dusty Rhodes wrote that was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer. I was very pleased to see that he agrees with me that the sentiment expressed by Mr. Rhodes in this letter was not at all helpful to the Democratic Party. His remarks reflect his lack of appreciation for the history of the party, and their effect is to disparage a large segment of this party’s supporters. It may come as a surprise to Mr. Rhodes, but there are those here in Hamilton County who number themselves as part of the Democratic Party who are able to recognize when someone is presenting them with talking points that have been crafted for decades by the Right in this country in an attempt to disparage just about every meaningful reform that this party has put into place since FDR.

Again, I suspect that I am not the only Democrat in Hamilton County who feels this way, and I do hope that our concerns are considered as we move forward to the next election cycle. It is important that those who represent this party show a better understanding of which talking points this party stands behind.

Jeff Xxxxx

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Howard Dean < deanh@dnc.org>
Date: Jul 13, 2007 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: Cincinnati Dem Concerned about Prominent Cincinnati Dem’s Letter to Enquirer
To: jeff

I agree, This is not only disappointing, but this gentleman appears to be in the wrong party. Progressive radio has it’s problems, but airing disagreements and attacking other Democrats is unhelpful. Feel free to share this with the county chair. We are investing large amounts of money in Ohio. Fortunately the Democratic leadership in general is far more constructive than this particular precinct captain, who should be replaced.

>>> “jeff” <jeff 07/13/07 12:42 AM >>>
Dear Howard:

I am writing to you because I feel you should be made aware of a recent
letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer from a Democratic Party precinct captain,
Dusty Rhodes. I hope you will take the time to read it because I think it
is emblematic of attitudes expressed by some in the Democratic Party that
are self-defeating and damaging to this party’s proud legacy.

Mr. Rhodes responded to a recent opinion piece by another Democratic Party
precinct captain who had written to express his support for giving
progressive radio a chance here in Cincinnati. Mr. Rhodes letter is rife
with right-wing talking points, and his points as to the reasons that this
format did not succeed in Cincinnati are way off the mark.

I have sent the following to Mr. Timothy Burke, who is the Chairman of the
Hamilton County Democratic Party, expressing my dismay as a fellow Democrat
that one of our own would express sentiments that more closely resemble
talking points one would hear on right-wing talk radio or the noise-machine
at Fox:

“Dear Mr. Burke:

I am writing to you as a fellow Democrat here in Hamilton county because I
felt compelled to express my dismay at the recent letter Dusty Rhodes sent
to The Cincinnati Enquirer in rebuttal to a letter supporting the need for
progressive talk radio here in Cincinnati. I think that you should know
that there are democrats here that were disgusted by Mr. Rhodes letter. It
is my sincere hope that leaders of this party here in this county might take
the time to express some of our concerns to Mr. Rhodes.

His letter is hardly factual, and I think that it doesn’t take an expert in
radio such as Dusty to know that he is spouting Right-Wing talking points
straight out of Hannity, Limbaugh and the rest of their ilk. His contention
that nobody listened is hyperbole of the first degree. I am a social worker
here in Hamilton County, and I can assure him that several of my coworkers
were very enthusiastic that finally there was a format that spoke to
progressives- a format I might add that in many ways was far more open to a
real discussion of ideas that matter rather than just hyperbole much like
the kind in Mr. Rhodes’ letter.

He is sorely mistaken in his contention that the so-called technical
problems experienced by listeners of this format on both stations were
typical of radio across the dial. I listened to the format on both WCKY and
WSAI, and there were instances of dead air and “cross feed” that I have
never heard or seen on any radio or TV format. I trust Ed Schultz when he
informed his listeners that the reason for this had more to do with the
attitude of the individuals entrusted to run and promote this format here
than anything else that Mr. Rhodes might like to attribute to its demise.
The manager or managers of this station had openly expressed hostility to
the format much like the hostility that Mr. Rhodes expresses toward its
listeners in his letter.

And that is the crux of my dismay, Mr. Burke. Does it bother you to see
someone, a Democratic Precinct Captain no less, write a letter that is so
openly full of the Right’s garbage-attacks on most of the things that the
Democratic party has stood for at least since the days of FDR? It should.
Mr. Rhodes is more than entitled to his opinions, but I think that it is
incumbent that if someone is making statements, some of which are simply not
true, that seem to support the opposition party’s talking points and
certainly are meant to denigrate a very real and growing segment of the
Democratic party itself, someone should be made aware that there are those
who have actively participated in canvassing and other events who are not
pleased (such as myself). If this makes Mr. Rhodes or others uncomfortable,
I guess I would have to conclude that this is a good thing because there are
those who are simply fed up with this kind of rhetoric from individuals who
so obviously haven’t taken the time to better inform themselves of the
diversity of our community (and certainly of this party). Or maybe they
just don’t care. Either way, it is letters such as his that get the hair up
on the back of those in this party who care about making it something more
than just some opportunistic alternative for someone to spout the same
rhetoric as the other party while pretending to care about Democrats.

I sincerely hope that you and others in this party have read this letter and
possibly share some of my concern that regardless of Mr. Rhodes’ opinions,
some of the things that he is saying are damaging to the Democratic party
and its proud legacy of liberal reforms.

Thank you for your time.”

Mr. Dean, I cannot tell you how disgusted this letter has made those
Democrats in this county who care about the proud legacy of liberalism that
many feel is the heart and soul of this party. At the very least, it is an
insult to the intelligence of those who care to dig a little deeper than Mr.
Rhodes appears to have done.

I’m attaching the articles for your information:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070707/EDIT02/707070328/1090/EDIT

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070711/EDIT01/707110312/1090/EDIT

I know you are very busy, but I do appreciate your taking the time to
consider my concerns. There are many like me who have given of at least
some of their time for the benefit of Democratic Party causes who read
things like this letter and begin to lose faith that this party truly is
representative of even the most basic ideals that can be seen in the history
of things such as those programs that FDR implemented. For those of us who
truly believe in that legacy, our work has only just begun. Apparently for
some others, it is nothing more than a platform where they feel they can say
whatever they want however damaging it might be to this party’s cause.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jeff Xxxxx

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Published in: on July 14, 2007 at 1:50 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t see Dusty’s continuous efforts in fighting the Democrats a halpful tool to the Democrats. He works opposite of the Democrats interests.

    I thought you were going to say, he was the only Democrat in Hamilton County for years, thanks to his efforts. I believe the volunteers, campaign workers and the candidates had more reason to do with winning Democratic seats.

    when Mr. Rhodes is attending Right Wing functions and derailing and bashing Democrats, I don’t find those strong credentials for a Democratic Party Precinct Captain.

  2. Burke needs to remember that it was Dean, not Dusty, who woke up enough local Democrats and liberals to actually start being activists again. Dusty wasn’t there when Springer came to town at the Mail Handlers and started talking to local Democrats about activism, and the Deaniacs were handing out flyers. Dusty didn’t start the meetups. And I missed Dusty when Obama came to town, just like I missed him when Clinton used to come to town.


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