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Constitution and Bylaws

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CANDIDATE SEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

STANDING RULES

Section 1: Membership

Eligibility

Members of This Committee must be:

  

  • Either a SCDCC Member (Member, Alternate, Ex-Officio Alternate), OR;

  • A Registered Democrat who meets the following requirements:

    • Is a member of a chartered Democratic Club, as verified through confirmation by club President to the Chair;

    • Agrees to abide by the SCDCC by-laws and the Standing Rules of This Committee;

    • Is recognized as a member of This Committee by the Chair, after attending three committee meetings over three consecutive months.

  • This Committee’s chair has discretion to recognize or withhold recognition to non-SCDCC Members seeking membership on this standing committee.

Removal

A member of This Committee may be considered for removal if they provide notice of resignation or are not in good standing.

A member is no longer in good standing once they have accumulated three unexcused absences within a 12-month period.  

An absence is considered unexcused when notice is not sent to the Chair of This Committee prior to a scheduled meeting.

Club members of this standing committee, who are not SCDCC Members, can be removed for either of two reasons:

  1. The President of the chartered club makes a written request to the Chair of this committee that recognition of a member be withdrawn.

  2. At the sole discretion of the Chair of this committee, through written notice to the member and their club President, advising of the member’s removal.

Voting Privileges

All recognized members of This Committee may vote regarding all regular committee business with the exceptions stated in section 3, under voting rights.

Section 2: Election Preparations

Information Collection and Utilization

This Committee shall, in coordination with the full Central Committee, make every reasonable to assure that for each position in targeted races, there shall be at least one Democratic candidate who wishes the Sonoma County Democratic Party’s endorsement.  This will occur through the following process.

1. Data on Elected Offices

This Committee will compile and maintain a list of non-partisan offices and current office holders, party affiliation, contact information, length of terms, and dates of next election; as well as position duties, stipends, and benefits where available. This list will be posted on the SCDCC Google Group no later than December 31 in each odd numbered year.

Note: This timeline recognizes identification as “off-election year” work of the committee leading to the election cycles in even numbered years.

2. Distribution of Resource Data

After collecting profile information on elected offices throughout the county, This Committee will request its posting on the SCDP website, as an outreach resource for both the SCDCC and Democratic Clubs.

This information would Only include names of the elected offices, their associated districts, duties, possible stipends and benefits.

3. Identification of Potential Candidates

This Committee, in concert with the SCDCC, shall conduct on-going outreach for Democrats to run for non-partisan elections in Sonoma County through various means; which may include, the dissemination of information through outreach with affiliated organizations and Democratic Clubs, as well as possible candidate workshops.  These activities will provide opportunities for establishing and maintaining contact with potential candidates. 

Any materials required for candidate outreach will be prepared in consultation with the Communications Committee, upon approval of action by the full SCDCC.

4. Implementation of Research

By January of each even numbered year, the Chair and members of This Committee will update information, schedule meetings and committee tasks, in order to recommend candidates to the SCDCC in a timely manner. This is further elaborated in section 3.

Section 3: Endorsement Recommendation Process

For each election cycle, This Committee will set up interview groups and schedule interviews with candidates for offices under consideration.

Ground Work & Preparation

This list of tasks should take place at the beginning of each year, or shortly after, depending on the specific circumstances.

This Committee will: Responsibility

Draft List of elected offices for possible endorsement later on in the year.

CS&D

Assign Interview Coordinators for each elected office included on the draft list.

Some coordinator positions may not be filled until after the primary election.

CS&D

Present this information to Excomm.

CS&D Chair

Present this information to the SCDCC at the meeting immediately following Excomm

CS&D Chair

Request interview interest from members of the SCDCC at the same meeting.

CS&D Chair

Finalize the interview committee dates based on the availability of each respective interview committee.

CS&D Chair & SCDCC

Request that the Chair of the Democratic Central Committee announce the Endorsement Deadlines publicly.

CS&D Chair

Send out weekly emails, reminding the SCDCC of upcoming interviews, and providing the contact information of assigned volunteer coordinators.

CS&D Chair

Determine a location for the finalized interview committees. If possible, look for a location that can contain multiple interview committees.

CS&D & SCDCC

Interview Invitation & Questionnaire

Democratic Candidates in a race being considered for endorsement by the SCDCC will be sent an endorsement invitation and questionnaire from the Chair of This Committee, once their candidacy becomes known.

The Chair of this committee or their designee will contact the RoV periodically during the filing period to identify those who have “pulled papers” and those who have “returned completed filing papers” to the RoV. A candidate may also be made known to This Committee through, either the disclosure of intent. Additional disclosure may take the following forms, public announcement, announcement to the SCDCC, or a direct request for the endorsement application.

When early endorsement is recommended by the SCDCC, CS&D will conduct early interviews.

This Committee will send each Democratic Candidate, preferably by email, an introduction letter, endorsement application, current CDP platform, and email address or postal mail address where they should be sent and return deadline. All of these materials will be posted to the current SCDCC Google Group in a timely basis upon receipt from the candidate

The deadline for an application’s return to This Committee will be the second day after the filing deadline for that specific race.

Interview Groups

Priority races will be determined in each election cycle by this committee in consultation with the SCDCC.

Interview questions and response summaries will be posted on the SCDCC Google Group after interviews for each office are concluded, all within in a timely manner prior to the SCDCC meeting scheduled for that endorsement.

Each Interview Group will adhere to the following standards.

1. Composition

An interview group shall consist of no fewer than three members of the SCDCC, either elected members or alternates. Interview groups shall be composed by supervisorial district, where possible, and will work accordingly:

  1. Each elected member of that district and each of their alternates participating in an interview group shall have one vote in the endorsement recommendation.

  2. Each chartered club that is active in that district may send one representative to the interview group and shall have one vote in the endorsement recommendation. The chosen representative must live in that district, and be in good standing in that club. No proxies are permitted.

  3. When composing interview groups for candidates for county supervisor, the SCDCC may add an additional member from each of their four districts.

    1. These four members, of the interview group, shall each have one vote in the endorsement recommendation.

    2. Each of them shall be elected by the other members and alternates within their district to serve on the interview group.

    3. If a district cannot come to a consensus, on their designated representative, all interested members will have their names placed in a hat. The chair of CS&D will select a name from that hat, thereby determining the district representative.

  4. In elections where the office at issue does not conform to supervisorial district boundaries (i.e., Santa Rosa City Council, Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees and certain school district boards) the SCDCC shall authorize This Committee to form interview groups, wherever possible, with members and alternates whose residency conforms to the boundaries of the office at issue. The same standard shall also apply to representatives of chartered clubs who participate on interview groups.

  5. In countywide elections (i.e., sheriff, district attorney, etc.) the SCDCC shall authorize This Committee to form interview groups that are representative of the entire county.

    1. These interview groups shall be composed of one member and one alternate from each supervisorial district. These representatives will be selected using the method prescribed in subsection C of this section.

    2. Each chartered club may send one representative to the interview group pursuant to the same guidelines prescribed in subsection B of this section.

  6. Neither ex-officio members of the SCDCC, nor their appointees, may participate on interview committees either through attendance or by voting.

2. Restrictions for Interview Group Participation

Interview Group members must be present at all interviews scheduled for candidates running for that office.  

Members of an interview group for a particular position shall not:

  1. Be a candidate for that same office.
  2. Have endorsed any candidate for that office during the current election cycle.
  3. Be employed by or be financially compensated by any candidate for that office during the current election cycle. For the purposes of this document, the current election cycle shall be defined as documented by the FPPC.
  4. Have volunteered for any candidate for that office during the current election cycle.
  5. Have a financial relationship or financial involvement with any candidate for that office during the current election cycle.
  6. Have contributed more than $99 to any candidate for that office during the current election cycle.
  7. Have run in any previous election against any candidate for that office.

During interview proceedings candidates may not use electronic devices. Candidates will be advised of this restriction prior to interview commencement. The interview group will retain interview questions.

3. Interview Group Recommendation Protocol

             All participants who served on an interview group may vote on the recommendation coming from that group.

It is the responsibility of the interview group participants to compile the interview notes immediately following the interview.

Each interview group shall create a report and recommendation to be brought forward to the SCDCC.

Note:  For a key non-partisan office that crosses county lines, This Committee may ask that the SCDCC Chair make a request to coordinate with the Central Committee Chair of the affected county, and with the approval of both Central Committees, ask the CDP to form a committee with the authority to endorse in both counties.

4. Interview Preparation

This Committee will establish a working time frame for the current elections cycle using the ROV’s website elections calendar.

An Interview Coordinator will be selected for each identified race and interview groups formed. Preparations for each interview group will take the following steps.

Interview Research

Each group will begin research on the candidate’s qualifications such as, history in elected office, voting record, campaign contributors, endorsers, and public statements, in preparation for the interview.

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Question Formulation

Interview Questions should include, but not be limited to, the following categories:

  • Personal Background
  • Experience & Ability
  • CDP Platform
  • Their Policy Positions Pertaining to the Office
  • Position on Local Issues

Questions will be formulated along in conjunction candidate research.

The SCDCC will be solicited for questions throughout this process via the weekly reminders sent out by the Chair of This Committee; and, should be directed to the appropriate interview coordinator.

Interview questions will be finalized based on input received, time limitations, and the personal judgment of the interview group members.

Procedure for Candidate Search and Development Recommendations

A simple majority vote of the interview committee will suffice to bring an endorsement-recommendation to the full Central Committee. A “no endorsement” recommendation for any office may be considered by the interview group.

This Committee may suggest a campaign contribution to the Executive Committee of the SCDCC, should it be requested.

Presentation of Recommendation to the SCDCC

The Chair of This Committee shall bring the final list of recommended candidate endorsement recommendations to the full meeting of the SCDCC for a vote on the date and time established by the SCDCC. The Chair of This Committee will notify the SCDCC Chair to place the Candidate Endorsement Vote on the agenda at a regularly scheduled meeting of the full Central Committee; or if necessary, at a special endorsement meeting no less than 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting where a vote will take place. All efforts will be made to complete endorsements prior to mailing of absentee ballots. (Absentee ballots are sent out 29 days before the election.)

If This Committee cannot provide a recommendation in accordance with direction from the SCDCC, the Chair of This Committee will notify the Chair of the SCDCC promptly, so that a special meeting of the SCDCC can be scheduled in order to accomplish endorsements at the earliest possible date.

This Committee will provide a report of its recommendation to assist the SCDCC in making an informed decision. Actual endorsement procedures are included in the SCDP Bylaws. Nothing in these Standing Rules shall modify any portion of the Bylaws.

Endorsement Notification

The Chair of the SCDCC will notify each candidate that they have been endorsed or not endorsed within 24 hours of action being taken by the SCDCC. The Chair will provide contact information for the Chair of the Communications Standing Committee and advise that this Committee Chair will coordinate a Press Release with the candidate’s campaign and also provide the Logo for use by the Candidate’s campaign.