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Monday, August 15, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: To caucus or not to caucus, that is the question...

Editor’s Notebook: To caucus or not to caucus, that is the question …

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The Arlington County Democratic Committee this week finds itself in something of a pickle (hence the photo at the top of today’s post).

Last week, the Arlington branch of the NAACP became the latest to come out swinging against the Democratic School Board caucus as currently configured.

(If other, lesser venues portrayed it as the NAACP calling on Democrats to eliminate the caucus, that’s wrong; there was enough wiggle room in the three-page broadside sent by the NAACP executive committee that would accept continuation of the process, with some changes. But I digress …)

Now, one has to believe that the Democratic leadership absolutely, positively does not want to change the status quo, since holding a caucus effectively ensures that its candidate emerges on top not only there, but in the subsequent general election.

(There have been some cases where the anointed-by-the-leadership Democrat has fallen short in the caucus; years back, Sally Baird bested Sharon Davis in a very close race, and when there is a large field of candidates, all bets are off as to who will emerge the winner. But in cases like 2021, when there was a clear Democratic-establishment favorite in Mary Kadera, the party poobahs and poo-bettes seem to pull out all the stops behind the scenes to get the desired result.)

My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that at Wednesday’s Democratic Committee meeting, the caucus will survive but there will be promises — maybe firm, maybe nebulous — of reforming the process … down the road. But my track record on prognostications is pretty iffy, as everyone knows.

Isn’t the big question: Why would anyone want to serve on a School Board anywhere at the moment? It’s the bottom of the political food chain with virtually no room for advancement; the pay is nominal at best and will not be rising anytime soon; and you are always under attack from all corners.

Which leads to the concern that anyone willing to run for School Board under those oppressive conditions these days must have an ulterior motive. And that’s not good for anybody, particularly for students — who these days often seem to be the last ones thought of by those leading public education.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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