In recent days, Erick has taken a lot of heat for suggesting that the Georgia Republican Party needs a new chairman. It has generated an interesting discussion among GOP activists and it gives some good insights into the inner-workings of the state’s majority party.
Today, I want to initiate a similar discussion by elaborating on the state of the Georgia Democratic Party.
Nearly two years ago, Georgia Democrats rallied behind a “new day” and new leadership. Democratic activists were promised a lot, from a 159 county strategy to local, bottom up development of our parties to supporting Democrats at every level, in every corner of the state. We were even told to “judge me on the Senate race,” and that the new leadership would stabilize the party, give us a vision and move us forward.
Almost two years later, it is time. There is some urgency around this issue as well. Georgia Democrats are not in a good place politically in this state. The rebranding has failed. The money is gone. The activists are hungry, but the leadership is lacking. There is nothing personal in this constructive criticism, rather an urgency to move Georgia forward, and with no time to spare. As we head into the most important state elections for the Democratic Party’s future, we face almost impossible odds thanks to Kidd’s administration. Our districts will be redrawn, our statewide leadership will be decided and the direction of Georgia for the next decade is at stake. The time is now, because we have no time left.
I’m not saying that Jane Kidd is a bad person, but her approach to running the Democratic Party of Georgia has badly failed. To paraphrase a line from then-Senator Al Gore’s speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, it is time for Kidd to go.
This year, the Democratic Party of Georgia violated the principle of local control over local issues when they inserted themselves into the district 4, Dougherty County School Board election.
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the chairs of the local Democratic and Republican parties, Republican state Representative Ed Rynders and Democratic state Representative Winfred Dukes (who is also a member of the state Democratic Executive Committee) came together to demand an investigation by the Dougherty County Elections Board into whether the state Democratic Party violated its own rules as well as state law when they unilaterally placed Richard Anson on the ballot after the withdrawal of Judith Corbett from the district 4 school board race.
The end result is that while Barack Obama, Jim Martin and every other Democrat on the ballot carried Dougherty County, Richard Anson, the hand-picked candidate of the Georgia Democratic Party for the Dougherty County School Board, lost.
It is time for Kidd to go.
For all the criticisms of Bobby Kahn and the way he ran the state Democratic Party, the one thing that was never heard were criticisms concerning the Georgia Democratic Party’s finances.
I’ve done the research.
I’ve looked at every financial disclosure between 2003 and 2006 when Bobby Kahn was the Democratic Party Chair and at no time did the Democratic Party of Georgia have $142,000 worth of debt.
In March of last year, state Democratic Party chair Jane Kidd was quoted as saying, “We made payroll this week but we can’t do it again” [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Democrats’ New Leader Hits The Road”, March 9, 2007]. Here’s a newsflash, the Georgia Democratic Party can’t make payroll now. They have $142,000 worth of debt.
It is time for Kidd to go.
During the December 1st rally for Jim Martin on the steps of the State Capitol, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D – Dublin) had the temerity to brag about the Democrats picking up four seats in the state House. It’s a shame that Porter failed to mention that under his leadership, the Democratic caucus lost two seats and also failed to field candidates in eighty-one races.
This year, the Georgia GOP made their own case for why they shouldn’t be in any position of power. The bickering. The name-calling. The abject failure of the 2008 legislative session was enough for the Georgia Democratic Party to beat the Republicans all upside the head throughout the campaign season, but the Democrats didn’t put enough players out on the field resulting in the GOP being victorious by default.
It is time for Kidd and Porter to go.
Finally, in an interview with Atlanta Journal Constitution political reporter Jim Galloway, Jane Kidd asked to be judged by the Democratic Party’s performance in this year’s U.S. Senate race against Republican Saxby Chambliss.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, here is the verdict.
With millions and millions of dollars spent on his behalf, Jim Martin got 42.6% of the vote in his United States Senate campaign. That is only 0.3% more than what Jim Martin got two years ago when he ran for Lt. Governor. To make matters worse, Saxby Chambliss gathered almost 40% of the vote in Fulton County during the December 2nd run-off. That is an increase of about seven percentage points from the 33% Chambliss received in Fulton County during the November general election.
Jim Martin lost. Jim Powell lost. There were insignificant gains for the Democrats in the state House. There were no gains for the Democrats in the state Senate. And the state Democratic Party is six figures in debt.
What time is it?
It is time for Kidd to go.