Historic Move to First-in-Nation Primary Makes SCDP Delegates’ Votes Worth $600 Million – $1 Billion

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South Carolina Democratic Delegates have a Historic Opportunity to Change the Direction of the Party

In the past, being a delegate to the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention might have been seen as worthless, but now, with South Carolina’s Democratic Primary being moved to First-in-Nation, a delegate’s vote holds a whopping economic impact of $600M to $1Billion for the entire state. This is an opportunity to be seized, a chance to make a real difference in the party’s future. As a 2023 South Carolina Democratic Party Convention delegate, your voice matters, and your vote can be the catalyst for change. 

Factors that Affect Economic Impact 

This estimate may be generous and the actual economic impact could fluctuate by a few hundred million dollars either way. We arrived at this number by examining the potential economic impact of the shift in the Democratic primary calendar on our neighboring state of Georgia. We also considered the past economic impact on Iowa over the last two decades, adjusted for inflation and other current and potential future economic factors. We then evaluated various factors, such as:

  • the number of candidates and the number of campaign offices and staffers stationed in the state and the length of time they are operational in the state.
  • the number of supporters and volunteers who become active or move to the state to support a particular candidate or campaign. 
  • Out-of-state donations to political parties and other political organizations based in the state.
  • Media personnel that follow candidates throughout the state, media personnel that will be stationed in the state, and media spending in the state. 
  • Organizations that move to the state and their staff that moves into the state lobby the candidates.
  • Related spending they generate in the state; housing, Dinning, recreation, transportation, support staff, and new infrastructure for existing state-based businesses. will need to accommodate the influx of visitors and transplants from the campaign. 
  • Improvements to infrastructure funded by the state.

We made a conservative guess that five candidates will run for president in 2028. Based on our calculations, the direct and indirect economic impact from political parties and partisan and issues-based organizations that will likely be operating in the state, lobbying candidates, voters, and other state-based organizations will be between $600 million to $1 billion.

Regardless of the actual amount, the economic impact of South Carolina’s Democratic Primary being moved to the First-in-Nation Primary contest in 2028 is going to be massive. It will be more than enough to transform the state party if utilized effectively and equitably. But the question of who decides what’s equitable looms large. The question is, will it be the same people who have been running things for the last 20 years, or will the delegates stand up against the party elites and any puppet candidate they try to install to milk this opportunity for every dime and penny?

The fate of the economic windfall brought by the First-in-Nation Primary lies in the hands of the next Democratic chair. Will it be a bonanza for the same old cast of characters who’ve been fattening their wallets for years, or will it be a fair distribution of wealth that benefits every member of our party? Let’s not forget about the scrappy underdogs, the smaller firms and consultants who can do an excellent job if only they had the chance. It’s time to break free from the gatekeepers who have held us back for two decades and spread the wealth around!

Although Marianne Williamson announced last week that she plans to mount a primary challenge against President Biden in 2024, it is highly unlikely that enough candidates will come forward to run against a sitting President and cause a full primary process where candidates crisscross the country to campaign. Therefore, in 2024, it is unlikely that the economic impact will be of any consequence.

Even though there will be another election for chair before the 2028 Democratic Primary, the chair elected at the 2023 Convention will undoubtedly set the standard and lay the foundation for the party’s direction. It will take several years to prepare, and whoever is elected for this term will be responsible for setting in motion a process that will either take the party in a new direction or bend to the will of the party’s elite, who have been driving it into the ground for the last 20 years.

Be careful of Endorsements   

Believe me, shady dealings are happening as we speak. The same old cronies who have been dragging down the party for the past two decades are slithering out of their holes and trying to find a weak-willed chair they can manipulate from behind the scenes. They want to keep sucking the life out of the party and political campaigns like a Timmonsville Tick on a dog’s ass.

As a general rule, you should never vote for a candidate without talking to them first. I don’t care if they’re running for dog catcher or the highest office in the land. If they’re not willing to look you in the eye and talk to you like a human being, then they don’t deserve your vote.

A candidate needs to talk to you before you give them your vote. Look them in the eye and hear their conviction. Don’t fall for the old endorsement bull shit.

The endorsement of candidates has its roots in ancient Rome’s classism, where the rich nobleman believed they were better than everyone else. Sounds familiar, to the South Carolina Democratic Party, doesn’t it?

Endorsements are just a way for the party elites to put their finger on the scale. What they are saying is that “I’m smarter and more important than you, so vote for who I tell you to.” It’s this thinking and practice that has plagued the SCDP for decades.

The issue with endorsements is that the endorsed candidate works for the endorser, not the party members who voted for them. True leaders should have the courage to stand on their own two feet and not be beholden to anyone else.

It’s time to negotiate

If you’re an SC delegate to the 2023 SC Democratic Party Convention, your vote carries more weight than a US Senator or Congressman. Party elites need your support to control the windfall of cash that will come to the state because of South Carolina’s move to the First-in-the-Nation Democratic Primary. Don’t waste this chance, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Seize the power, and make sure your county gets its fair share. 

Here’s my advice: As an SC delegate, you should start reaching out to all the candidates for chair via phone, email, social media, and text to start negotiations on how the money will be spent and how party resources will be equitably distributed. Additionally, you should be ensuring that the candidates remain accountable to the party members who elected them, not the party elites. If you don’t like the answers you get, then it’s time to organize and run your own candidates.

Only about 1,000 out of the 1,300 eligible delegates voted at the 2020 Democratic Party State Convention. So it’s reasonable to expect a similar number of votes this time around. This means that in a 3-way race, a candidate could win with as few as 300-something votes. If you don’t agree with a candidate’s stance or if they refuse to put a plan in place that would distribute party resources equitably, then don’t give them your vote. You then, should organize and run your own candidate for chair, and make it a four-way race. This would make it easier for the economic gains from the First-in-the-Nation status to be distributed equally throughout the party. Remember, the more candidates that get in the race for chair, the greater the opportunity for equal economic gain throughout the party.

Electing a Chair Committed to Party’s Progress: Five Steps Delegates Can Take

Delegates from smaller counties should partner with other small counties and vote as a block, thereby increasing the power of their votes. This block, or a representative of this voting block, should meet with each candidate for party chair to discuss their plans for ensuring that smaller counties are treated fairly and not overlooked for larger counties. If you don’t agree with or like a candidate’s answer, or if they refuse to put a plan in place that would treat all counties equally. Then, you should organize and run your own candidate for chair

Delegates should ask all candidates for SCDP state Chair to agree to establish an AD HOC Committee composed of  7 County Chairs elected by their fellow chairs from their respective congressional districts to sit on a committee that would provide oversight on how and where party money and resources are spent. If you don’t agree with or like a candidate’s answer, or if they refuse to put a plan in place that would provide oversight of the party money and resources. Then, organize and run your own candidate for chair

Delegates should ask all candidates for SCDP state Chair to agree to establish an AD HOC Committee composed of  7 County Chairs elected by their fellow chairs from their respective congressional districts to sit on a committee that would evaluate chairs’ performance every term. Based on the recommendation a vote of confidence or no confidence. Only after a vote of confidence by the committee should the chair run for another term. If given a vote of no confidence the chair should agree not to run for another term as chair. If a candidate for chair refuses to do this, then organize and run your own candidate for chair.

Delegates should ask candidates to submit a plan in writing or verbal announcement of how they plan to distribute party resources equitably to improve party physical, digital, and human infrastructure across the state. If a candidate has no plan or presents a plan that you don’t agree with or if they refuse to submit a plan, then, organize and run your own candidate for chair

Delegates should ask all candidates for Chair to commit to raising $300,000 to win back Democratic house seats that were lost during the 2022 midterm elections and commit to a plan to gain additional house and senate seats in the state capitol. If a candidate refuses to make this commitment, then, organize and run your own candidate for chair.

These five tactics are proven strategies utilized by successful CEOs to turn around failing businesses, they have been adapted for use with a  partisan organization. What SC delegates have to realize, is that the power of change is now in our hands. We have the power to transform SCDP into a Party that is worthy of First-In-the-Nation status. Every voting delegate has a pen, and each one of us has the opportunity to write one sentence of our Party’s redemption story. The question is, will the words you write give birth to change or just another line in our party’s obituary? Your vote will ultimately decide. 

Michael Bailey, a trailblazer in the field of photojournalism and a profound political writer, possesses the exceptional ability to distill complex political issues into accessible narratives that resonate with readers of all backgrounds. As the vanguard of the editorial team, Michael not only serves as a new media correspondent but also showcases his distinct talent as a photojournalist. His portfolio is a testament to his expertise in crafting news stories and intimate profiles that vividly portray the cultural, social, economic, and political journeys of minorities, both in South Carolina and beyond. With a rich tapestry of experience spanning media, business, and politics, Michael has emerged as a highly regarded voice and a sought-after commentator, offering invaluable insights into the challenges faced by people of color.

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