I phoned Preston to get his side of this situation and was surprised once again. He actually took my call and agreed to meet with me. Considering how I vehemently pursued the Jim King case and Preston's past history working for King I wasn't sure he would.
The first thing I noticed was that Preston was quite open in his responses. The second thing I noted was that though we were polar opposites politically, he truly does care about the party and his beliefs in it. He appears to be a young man who truly does want to make a difference.
So why did he write the letter in question?
Preston stated he did that for a couple of reasons. First to assure the party and John Yarmuth that many were working to get him reelected. Secondly, to let other Democrats know just one way they could help assure a Yarmuth victory. His focus is solely on helping the party to that end.
Considering the content of the letter there was no real surprise with what he stated. The fact is that the tactics he outlined are commonly used and is no secret to anyone who follow Democratic politics. When I was a *cough* Democrat this tactic was frequently explained to many of us so I never felt it a big deal when Preston stated the obvious anyway.
Why resign now?
Preston felt he had no choice. Tim Longmeyer and others were making phone calls and demanding support to oust him immediately and the plan was to use the monthly meeting last night to do just that.
Preston told me he believes that at this crucial juncture during the election season the party did not need such a trivial distraction. He said he feels there were just so many more important things to focus on in helping the Democratic candidates get elected, or reelected, that to waste valuable time over this would harm the purpose.
Though he says the power play by Longmeyer and others is used quite frequently to oust anyone who doesn't do what they are told, he didn't feel that the time to play power politics within the party is now.
Quite honestly there have been many insiders calling me to complain about Longmeyer's strong armed attempts to run the party. Many have told me that Jim King is the one pulling the strings. They tell me that the only reason David James got the nod from the Dems for the 6th District is a political payback from King for James help in the Mayoral primary. Plus the fact that he cannot stand Ken Herndon. They also say many of the Dem faithful do not support James and Longmeyer is playing power politics because of King.
So who really runs the party anyway? Does the Chair run the party, Tim Longmeyer, or does a known criminal run it like Jim King. More importantly why would anyone give King that power. It isn't like he came close in the Mayoral election he lost HUGE, and trust me he will not come close when he tries to run again. I guarantee it.
Anyone who would be led blindly like this certainly does not represent we the people. They represent their own personal wants and desires and the power elite that is destroying us. Longmeyer needs to go. But that's another story on another day. Back to Bates.Preston says that even though he had plenty of support, and felt he would be victorious if he chose to fight, he decided to resign rather than let Longmeyer use this as a way to divide the party 70 days from election over something so insignificant.
Finally, I asked where that leaves him today and if he planned on leaving the Democratic Party because of these power politics.
Preston said though he disagrees with the party power game he plans to remain in the Democratic party and help get good Democrats elected to office. He maintains he is fully in support of John Yarmuth and is actively campaigning on his behalf.
He even tried to get me to support Yarmuth. I politely declined.
In the meantime I must say I came away impressed with Preston. He seems to be what would be considered a "good" Democrat who truly does not appreciate the way the party has been hijacked for the power elite instead of focusing on those they wish to serve. He seems intent on changing the party for the better.
I may disagree with his stances on many issues but I have to admit.
I kind of like his style.