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Chair Hernandez asks DPI staff to stay on board

Friday, Aug 5, 2022

* I could easily understand if top staff chooses not to stick around, but there are also field staff on the DPI payroll, so it’s good to see that they won’t be trampled in the wake of the big fight. Politico

State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, just elected chair of the Illinois Democratic Party, has asked the current staff to stay on board as she tries to ramp up operations before the General Election in November.

The lingering question is whether the 10 staffers who worked under her predecessor, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, will choose to stay.

“I want to move forward in a unified fashion. It’s all about really building that ticket up and down. We have to make sure that Illinois remains blue, so that’s the ultimate goal. We’ve got to do well in November,” Hernandez told Playbook in her first interview since the contentious race for party leader was resolved last week.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments »
  1. - Arsenal - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 9:29 am:

    Based on what I know- which is, of course, not much- the staff was strong. It wasn’t their fault Kelly was legally handicapped from raising money.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    I think - Arsenal - is on it.

    It’s not the fault of the Staff/Crew that *they* were handcuffed with a Chair unable to do anything but be a figurehead. They should stick around and do their business with a Chair that can help.


  3. - Amalia - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    we’ve seen more action from the DPI to other than State Reps. in years. that is almost completely because of the staff. Please stay if you want to.


  4. - Not my usual - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 9:55 am:

    It’s my understanding that the staff was trying to make Kelly look bad by not slating candidates in every race. Why wouldn’t they stay?


  5. - Arsenal - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:05 am:

    ==It’s my understanding that the staff was trying to make Kelly look bad by not slating candidates in every race.==

    Uh?

    It’s not in the staff’s interest to make Kelly look bad, nor does DPI control candidate slating.


  6. - Not my usual - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    ==t’s not in the staff’s interest to make Kelly look bad==

    I guess that’s not their interpretation

    ==nor does DPI control candidate slating==

    I guess they never talk to other people that do control slating /s


  7. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    Continuity is always good. DPI needs a professional staff dedicated to the mission of electing Dems.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    === the staff was trying to make Kelly look bad===

    Man, y’all are just full of conspiracy theories. Get over it.


  9. - McGuppin - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    Asking the staff to stay through the Nov election makes sense politically and practically. But if anyone thinks JB won’t be inserting “his” people into these roles in the long term simply doesn’t understand JB.


  10. - Arsenal - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:28 am:

    ==I guess that’s not their interpretation==

    Or maybe “your understanding” was wrong. It happens.

    ==I guess they never talk to other people that do control slating==

    How, exactly, would they convince a county party to not slate a candidate? I don’t even understand how Kelly could pull that off given she didn’t have any money to hold over their heads, but especially staffers going rogue?

    The whole idea just doesn’t make any sense, and if it were true that Kelly hired a bunch of staffers that were sandbagging her, well, that’s another reason that it’s good she’s not Party Chair anymore.


  11. - Arsenal - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:29 am:

    ==if anyone thinks JB won’t be inserting “his” people into these roles in the long term simply doesn’t understand JB==

    Sure, but these are also jobs with a high rate of turnover, anyway.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:30 am:

    Let’s be crystal clear;

    Kelly looked bad when she and her allies said she could do the job then conceded she (Kelly) couldn’t do the job, almost “celebrating” a “win” that Kelly could be a figurehead. It was quite sad.

    The reality is too, be it Kelly, had it been Danny Davis or Jan Jan Schakowsky, the same *real* problem remained.

    It wasn’t personal, it was process, and the only personal thing going was Pritzker versus Durbin.

    It’s good the folks are staying on, with a functioning leadership in place.


  13. - /s - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:30 am:

    I think ==McGuppin== nailed it. Besides, how many of these positions weren’t already cycle-based (i.e. with contracts past November)? There’s no upside to upending things now, especially since most of the top people are already staffing other races.


  14. - vern - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    Reading that full Politico interview, I’m kind of curious about this quote: “Along with keeping the current staff in place, at least through November, Hernandez wants to hire a finance director, voter registration director, voter protection director and government director.”

    What would a “government director” at DPI do? I don’t believe I’ve heard that title used in a state party context before.


  15. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    ** It’s my understanding that the staff was trying to make Kelly look bad by not slating candidates in every race.**

    This has to be the most absurd and cluess DPI take of all the DPI takes.


  16. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    ===What would a “government director” at DPI do?===

    She was told the party is hiring a GOTV director and apparently was confused.

    GOTV, for those of you who don’t know, stands for Get Out The Vote.


  17. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 10:52 am:

    *clueless


  18. - 13th - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:02 am:

    How many of those staff was already on board already before Kelley?


  19. - vern - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:02 am:

    ===She was told the party is hiring a GOTV director===

    Oh for Pete’s sake. There’s at least a half-dozen underemployed Illinois political/statehouse journalists who’d be great at that job. We deserve a better class of playbook.


  20. - SAP - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    Pragmatically, it makes sense to retain staff with only 3 months until the election. Beyond that, Arsenal’s comments at the top sum it up perfectly.


  21. - ChicagoBars - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    Well now there’s a couple experienced potential campaign managers for the 2023 Chicago elections coming available before Thanksgiving.


  22. - John Lopez - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:38 am:

    To be clear, DPI Executive Director Abby Witt and her team were asked to stay through November 8.

    Given POLITICO published Witt was recently engaged, there is the likely reason for her to leave DPI after November 8, or the official cover story.

    McGuppin’s right, assuming Pritzker wins reelection the party house-cleaning begins November 9, and first to exit will be Witt.


  23. - Correcting - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 11:40 am:

    Is there any indication that they might leave or is this just journalists conjuring up rumors based on nothing for the sake of creating drama and clicks?


  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===was recently engaged, there is the likely reason for her to leave DPI after November 8===

    If a man gets engaged, is he likely to leave a job too?

    Hmm.


  25. - NotAskedToStay - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    FYI, DPI staff have not actually been asked to stay - they were just given “assurances” that “no major staff changes anytime soon” will happen.

    DPI staff learned of this “asking” from politico this morning.


  26. - Galway Bay - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 2:37 pm:

    If I’m staff the question isn’t whether I can stay through the election. It’s too late in the cycle to make wholesale changes. If I’m staff and I sincerely want to stay the question is do I have a job post election or is she going to clean house then.


  27. - clarification - Saturday, Aug 6, 22 @ 3:38 pm:

    == - NotAskedToStay - Friday, Aug 5, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    FYI, DPI staff have not actually been asked to stay - they were just given “assurances” that “no major staff changes anytime soon” will happen.

    DPI staff learned of this “asking” from politico this morning. ==

    Not true. Chair Hernandez met with the full staff on Monday and told them all their jobs were secure. If they choose to leave it is their decision.


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