Sunday, November 01, 2009

Progress & O/B May Merge...

over Wooten's dead body!

In what will surely be a developing story, the Progress Party' workhorse has shared shocking takes with He claims that 'all is lost,' coming to grips with his belief that [Dave] Schneider has 'sold out' and is all but certain to lead the way for a merger.

Wooten believes, as do I, that Progress has gone much further than any student government party has in a long, long while - and - to merge with O&B would be a step back politically. Let me clarify MY point.

I believe now, as always, that O&B are the The Officials; I believe Progress are the The Progs; I believe both are 140% Independent, even if it can be argued only one is GDI. However, I believe only Progress has taken the initiative in taking a student political party to the next level in 1960's style & beyond.

I have a TON of faith in Dave Schneider -- so let's start this month out right and let's address the issue of Dave 'selling out', let's hit on Justin's concerns about Alan Yanuck allegedly, royally screwing Arab/Muslim student groups insofar as allocations and the fiscal budget goes, and let's also talk about what benefits could come from the Officials and the Progs working together again.

Let me also put this out there: I have a TON of faith in Joe Trimboli & Frank Bracco - even if these are not the current leaders (now or ever). I believe O/B does have a lot to offer as well, but I know they won't go the places Progress has outside of SG - I also know (to their credit), they won't warm up to The Machine like Progress has.

Also... address what's been gained by Progress warming up to Unite and more. Before I even dignify the notion of a comeback... let's see if the 'ole comment section can still light up like idk ... 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 :)

Oh wait... and last, but not least... Wooten says he would never break away and form a new party from under Progress... but I've been around the game myself and I know that if a merger did take place -- hardliners opposing it (from both sides) would probably not find much love in the new outfit. So... my question is... if the hardliners are in fact left out in the cold - do they disappear from the scene or WHAT?

When the war was over - they told John Rambo to go back to being an ordinary citizen.. anyone that's seen First Blood knows... that didn't work out according to plan.


Anonymous said...

Why did this blog come back? right when there is a chance for a merger and Progress & O&B are coming back together, the radikal comes back to wave the flames of anger. This post seems innocent at first, but considering the fact that the Radikal was pivotal in the O&b and Progress split, I am sad to see you blogging again.

Anonymous said...

Where is Armando Grundy in all of this?

Ken said...

2008 - pre-Progress - saw an unusually successful year for Independents at UF. That's partly why the split occurred - people not only sought out the presidential nomination, but actually thought it was worth having.

2009 proved that once divided, the Independent house could not stand against the FBK machine. Not only did they not come anywhere close to winning, their own division cost them winnable Senate seats.

You could argue the labels of pragmatist vs. ideologues, you could argue about FBK-accomodators vs. true opposition. From what I saw, Progress is like Obama - sounded promising on the campaign trail, but failed to deliver and ended up accepting much of what they campaigned against.

The two sides have to merge for the Independent movement to get back on track.

That doesn't mean they have to abandon the graduate student constituency Progress thought it had. That doesn't mean they have to abandon other leftist or College Democrat constituencies, either.

But they have to stop fighting each other. Outside of an Obama-inspired turnout surge, there simply is not enough non-Greeks voting in SG to pull out a win unless they stick together and out-organize FBK.

I certainly hope the Independents learned their lesson and can accept that the Executive slate will not have a 50/50 chance of winning as much as the Senate candidates might. Use the Exec slate to build a coalition - not as an ego boost (that goes for my O&B friends, too).

As for your question about the hardliners, they need to accept a truth about UF. Ideological and constituent holy grails have rarely panned out (even when FBK uses student athletes to boost their popularity). Expecting "this year to be different" because of promises of support months before the election is both naive and ignorant of even last year's experience.

An independent hardliner and their supporters have to be pragmatic at UF. No opposition campaign of any kind has had a sweeping win (they usually lose the Senate). Nor has any independent ever won the Presidency (the victories in 1992 and 2004 were by rebel Keys, after all).

You may have the best campaign plan, or the most coherent idea of what you'd do as Student Body President, but the truth is that the actual GDIs at UF have lost every campaign for the last twenty years. And 2010 is not likely to be any different.

Merging Progress and O&B is a necessary precondition to even thinking about winning next Spring. And even then, you have to reach out beyond both camps to pull in other supporters.

To think otherwise would be to ignore one's own experiences, much less all modern history at UF.

francisco said...

You do realize that I (and Sam, Liz, and Tommy) are no longer students, correct? Furthermore, Joe is set to graduate in December. McShera is rarely involved and Cavataro did not run. So this idea that the O&B of today is "The Officials" is just plain silly. The crowd that ran as O&B relatively new, most of them even newer to SG than Progress's folks.

Second, I have no idea what this story is about Alan, but I highly doubt it is true. Alan does things by the books; if the numbers did not add up or the procedure wasn't followed, he raised a point (as all good indies should). Beyond that, I think the rest of any claims against Alan are in Wooten's head.

Finally, I will answer your question in a round-a-bout way. Ken Kerns made a post a couple weeks ago about the merger and one of the responses was Progress will not even negotiate if the new party's name is not Progress. Don't know if it is true or not, but if you are willing to be as inflexible on something as superficial as a name, then you are likely aren't really there to negotiate. Merger=new party=new name=more votes than old party names. To directly quote myself in response to this idea:

"Since I am no longer a student, I figure I will now pontificate on what the terms of agreement shall be (hereby known as The Bracco Compromise to):

Progress Party name can be kept if Progress members make 500 non-minor updates to Gatorpedia ;-). Sounds like a good deal to me."

Anonymous said...

If you care about the Indie Movement at all, stay dead.

Anonymous said...

Where is Armando Grundy in all of this?

Anonymous said...

jesus christ, just let it go and let the kids work it out without interjecting bullshit into it.

Anonymous said...

I love how someone will throw Alan on the chopping block for being racist when he was trying to be fiscally responsible. A 5700 dollar Allocations request for a brand new student group is a little extreme. An important fact that is missing is Progress's inability to even come together as a cohesive force in Senate. Progress Campaign Manager Nick Mildebrath spent weeks putting together a resolution in support of LGBTQ march in Gainesville and the students who participated which almost passed unanimously in Senate, the only dissenting vote being that of Progress Graduate Senator Rajeev Mohata. Someone ought to start doing a little more research before he begins to libel individuals.