Her Actions Don’t Reflect Her Rhetoric

I’ve been a member of the Georgia state Democratic Committee for about three years now and I’ve always been a firm believer in Article II, Section 1 of the Charter of the Democratic Party of Georgia; that the “State Committee shall be the highest authority of the State Party” and “shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the State Party.”

Over the past week, I’ve become more and more annoyed with the new incumbent protection policy instituted by the Democratic Party of Georgia for several reasons; the main one being that this new policy was put in place without seeking the counsel of the “highest authority” of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Even after every major Democratic blogger (many of whom are, like me, members of the state Democratic Committee) in this state expressed their displeasure at the new policy that prohibits access to the voter file for Democratic challengers of Democratic incumbents, the Democratic Party of Georgia has remained noticeably silent on the issue.

It’s a shame really; especially considering the words offered by Georgia Democratic Party Chair Jane Kidd in this morning’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution”

“In Georgia, we’re making grass-roots voter contact our top priority in 2008, and I’m convinced that Sen. Obama shares our dedication to neighbor-to-neighbor contact,” Kidd said.

[Source: 3/6/2008 AJC article “Obama gains 7th Ga. superdelegate”]

I’m really curious about something here; how can one say that “grass-roots voter contact is our top priority in 2008” when the current policy of the Democratic Party of Georgia hampers the ability for Democratic challengers of Democratic incumbents to make the aforementioned “grass-roots voter contact?”

The policy that’s on the books right now is a policy that was not approved by the “highest authority of the State Party” and a policy that does not reflect “our dedication to neighbor-to-neighbor contact.”

14 comments

  1. drjay says:

    its not my fight or anything–but i am surprised a party chair would endorse before the race is official–i think the gop chair is obliged to vote for the winner of the state primary–i suppose she could sell her endorsement that way–if its a contraversy–i’m not sure how the gop deals w/ primary challenges to her incumbents–but it sounds like this is a change of course for the dems…

  2. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Refresh my memory Andre, did Bobby Khan ever institute this? At first glance, it sounds like something heavy-handed out of his playbook.

    But on second thought, I’ve heard stories from Dem legislator’s who claimed that he (or usually Governer’s staff) threatened them with primary challengers if they didn’t support Barnes legislation.

    Obviously both stratagies have their flaws, but I prefer to see primary challenges in both parties.

  3. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I summon the ghost of Democratic party past…….

    Are you out there Bobby? We seek your wisdom……

  4. I worked at the party and handled voterfile affairs from 2004-2007 (the Kahn era). We did not have this policy. If anything, it was too easy for candidates (whether incumbents or challengers) to get access to the file back then.

    In fact, I know that some incumbents pushed for a similar policy but it was never instituted.

  5. CHelf says:

    While I leave the party squabbling to the Dems themselves there are plenty of vendors who offer the same thing at reasonable rates. Many of them will have enhancements no different than the parties offer. If the parties don’t wish to help all involved in building up the grassroots, it’s only to their own detriment. I’ve seen firsthand how email lists are treated the same way.

  6. juliobarrios says:

    I’m a Republican, but think it’s a good policy for the Dem Party not to help challengers.

    They’ve got limited resources the way it is and all of them should be utilized to unseat Republicans – not getting caught up in Primary challenges.

    If you’re a Party Chairman your ultimate, objective success should be measured on how many General Elections you won. Why get caught up in things that take you backwards?

  7. the kremlin would love this policy.

    julio, when Chris was at the dpg, he and “mr personality-where was he then, where is he now Will” had such narrow focus on who they supported in state elections that they killed the spirit of some excellent newcomers, who were otherwise extremely loyal democrats.

    their policy inspired me to found the demican party, aka the buck stops with everyone involved in government party.

  8. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Well Andre, if you had any idea what a party does…you would not have questions like this.

    It is the Party’s job to win elections…not support causes. Even when democrats go rogue, as long as they are democrats…it is good for the party. Extreme exceptions (Zell Miller) aside.

    Incumbents are worth much more money to the party and “to the cause” than challengers. More often than not, seniority and political power are worth much much more than issue advocacy.

    Also, if bloggers actually did anything important for the party…there would be a bit of a difference. The few dollars you guys pull into campaigns, and the 40 people you talk to all the time does not even make a marginal difference.

    Jane Kidd is finally waking up and realizing that the Party is a business…not a charity.

  9. Goldwater Conservative says:

    On top of that…the JJ Dinner was the worst one yet. Even if every presidential candidate were to show up…it was still awful. This “all inclusive, we don’t turn anybody away” mentality has to change. Is it elitist? Yes, yes it is. But there is a reason why a $10,000 contributor to the party is favored over the $25 contributor. There was a time when the JJ was respectable. The JJ is a fundraiser…not a rally.

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