69 comments

  1. Andre says:

    The rest of the story is that the highest authority of the state Democratic Party, the state committee, did not approve the expenditure or the mail piece.

    There are several state Democratic committee members unhappy with what appears to be a unilateral decision by Party leader Jane Kidd to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan election.

  2. griftdrift says:

    “There are several state Democratic committee members unhappy with what appears to be a unilateral decision by Party leader Jane Kidd to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan election.”

    So is it several or is it two? Just want to make sure we understand the context in case you get quoted again.

    • Andre says:

      Considering that I am a state Democratic committee member as well, I would say that three members of the Georgia Democratic Party’s highest authority have publicly expressed displeasure with the Norwood mail piece.

      Sid Cottingham, the state Democratic committee member from Coffee County, is questioning the move by Jane Kidd also.

      Writes Cottingham:

      “. . .the state Democratic party jumping into this race . . .I just don’t get it, and I don’t think it advances our cause.

      In the unlikely event the implication of the caption of this post is not clear, ‘he’ and ‘the enemy’ and ‘us’ are not Mary Norwood, but rather the state Democratic party.”

      There’s state committee member number four.

      Dictionary.com defines “several” as “being more than two but fewer than many in number or kind.” So I feel comfortable with my previous statement that “several state Democratic committee members are unhappy with what appears to be a unilateral decision by Party leader Jane Kidd to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan election.

      • griftdrift says:

        Just want to be clear, Andre. Given the last time you made a statement along the lines of “several state committee members” it involved an false story about pressure from the DPG to retract an endorsement.

        To be clear, your several committee members is yourself and three opinions expressed publicly on blogs.

        • Andre says:

          Here are my last thoughts on this particular line of discussion:

          I’d suggest to you that the vast majority of state Democratic committee members would wary of publicly criticizing the chairman of the Party. However, if they were assured that their words would never be made public, I’d suggest that their true feelings might be revealed.

          What Jane Kidd has done, on her own I might add, is take the focus off the anemic candidate recruitment prior to the all important 2010 midterm elections. Instead, she has managed to create ill-will with an individual who may be the next mayor of Georgia’s capital city.

          The state Democratic committee is, according to our Party’s governing documents, the highest authority of the Democratic Party of Georgia. The state Democratic committee last met on Saturday, October 3rd and we did not authorize nor did we approve the expenditure of state Democratic Party funds for campaign literature opposing the candidacy of any person appearing on the 2009 Atlanta municipal election ballot.

          • griftdrift says:

            So once again, you suppose quite a bit based on your opinion but the statement “several state Democratic committee members” is based solely on the already publicly stated opinions of Bernita Smith, Melanie Goux and Sid Cottingham.

          • Mad Dog says:

            Okay … let me just jump into the fire.

            Did the highest authority of the DPG discuss campaign literature on October 3rd in any way? Norwood, was she discussed? Can I have the minutes of these meetings? Did you speak up at this meeting against printing this flier?

            You can quote me.

  3. JasonW says:

    Mary should have hit back harder, IMHO. Now, If I were running her campaign, I wouldn’t say that, but personally, I think she needs to take Borders to task for her GOP connections as well. And then take Jane Kidd to task. Publicly. With TV Commercials and Fliers.

  4. Andre says:

    @griftdrift,

    I am on the state Democratic committee.

    You are not.

    I was at the October 3rd state Democratic committee meeting.

    You were not.

    I am one of the few people who can talk with some level of authority about what the Georgia Democratic Party’s governing body did and did not do.

    If you are in doubt, I challenge you to inspect the official record of the state Democratic committee’s October 3rd meeting. Our meetings are always open to the public and our official record of proceedings are always kept on file at state Democratic headquarters.

    And with that, I yield the floor.

    • griftdrift says:

      Well thank you for the floor. Will you yield to a question? Is it not true that your statement “There are several state Democratic committee members unhappy with what appears to be a unilateral decision by Party leader Jane Kidd to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan election.” is based solely on the already public statements of Bernita Smith, Melanie Goux and Sid Cottingham?

      • Andre says:

        GOPGeorgia,

        I know your comment is in jest but yes, you would be welcome at meetings of the Georgia state Democratic committee.

        Allow me to cite Article I., Section 1., paragraph one of the Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Georgia:

        “Unless the body votes to go into executive session, all meetings of each body of the State Party shall be open to the public.”

        To my knowledge, the state Democratic committee has never voted to go into executive session, so come on down.

  5. ChuckEaton says:

    I was a little troubled by this quote:

    “Jane Kidd told the newspaper’s Jim Galloway: “As far as we’re concerned, Mary Norwood’s a Republican. She’s been trying to dodge the issue of her partisan allegiance. We’re concerned that she’s not being truthful about her party affiliation. We think that she should be called out on that.”

    If the race is non-partisan then why should she be discussing party affiliation? It’s obvious the candidates the DPG is backing are losing on issues that are acutally relevant to Mayor like the budget and public safety, so it’s time to go with irrelevant issues to Mayor like party affiliation. I’ve saw a hilariously ironic ad for Borders that basically said, “we need new leadership in Atlanta and we need a Democrat.”

    Democrat = Good, Republican = Bad. Add this mailer to the long list of reasons why the City has a bad relationship with the Legislature.

    Although, I think it’s was funny that the Democrat’s own voter identification system ranks Norwood as a 2/3rds Democrat. Perhaps they are looking for a 5/6ths Democrat.

    In another sense I don’t blame the DPG for inserting itself into this local, non-partisan race. The DPG has benefited from the last few mayors dilligently working for the Democrats. Assuming that Barnes is not elected Governor, the loss of Mayor unwilling to act in a partisan manner would be a blow to the party. Of course there are risks to the Democrats for inserting partisanship into the race.

      • benevolus says:

        Well where are the candidates supposed to come from? Norwood and Borders are currently in “non-partisan” positions, but Reed is a Democratic state senator. He can’t hide from being a Democrat. Is he ineligible to run? Shirley Franklin was a co-chair of the DNC convention. Is that a violation of some “non-partisan” unwritten rule?

  6. SpaceyG says:

    Those DPG people are rather icky and uncouth. First time I ever met a particularly socially inept one she blurted out my entire voting record to the room. And that’s just one run-in I’ve had with ’em I care to recount here.

    I wouldn’t trust SOME of ’em to walk my dog to the curb.

  7. SpaceyG says:

    FYI, WAGA/Fox5 Atlanta, did this Norwood-Is-A-Repug-According-To-the-DPG story last night. As the Fox5 website is a trainwreck, I can’t find the package online. If anyone CAN find the link to the 10-29 package, please put it here. Enquiring minds want to Tweet it too.

  8. B Balz says:

    Thankfully, Ms. G. once again graces us with another viewpoint.

    I think that is GR8T and hope to see more commentary, relevant to GA and without eff bombs, from her. Missed ya!

    Wecome Back, SpaceyG

  9. benevolus says:

    Has the DPG leadership EVER asked the body about specific expenditures during a campaign? Is there ANY procedure or precedent that would indicate they are supposed to?

    And what does it being a “non-partisan” race have to do with anything? Are all the candidates supposed to pretend to be “independent”?

    I think that perhaps some people who consider themselves Democrats have chosen to support candidates other than Kasim Reed and are now feeling a little uncomfortable, and that is what is causing the drama. I just don’t think it’s a big deal. If Mary Norwood can be happy being a 66% Democrat, then Norwood supporters who are normally solid Democrats should be content with being 99% Democrats.

    • ChuckEaton says:

      I don’t think anybody has to pretend to be independent. If a candidate chooses to be independent, then I don’t think she should be forced into identifying a party for a non-partisan position. All of these accusations of voting for one President or another are completely irrelevant to how the next Mayor is going to deal with an out-of-control pension plan and public safety.

      • benevolus says:

        If a candidate chooses to run as an independent, I don’t think they should expect much support from a political party, and I don’t think we should be surprised if a political party supports the one candidate who does claim the Party.

        It is not necessarily a “non-partisan position”. It’s only a non-partisan ballot. Whatever illusion that people have created for themselves that because we eliminated party affiliation from the ballot that therefore party politics wouldn’t be a factor is just that, an illusion. Shirley Franklin is a Democrat and she’ll tell you that.
        I happen to think that party affiliation is helpful. We can’t possibly predict all the issues an elected official will face, and a party affiliation at least gives us a general idea of the philosophical direction of a candidate. Obviously, there are exceptions (ahem Zell Miller ahem), but it’s as good a guide as we are likely to get.

  10. SpaceyG says:

    B Balz, you are trippin’ on psyche drugs if you think I’m hanging around this here rancho for long. Just passing through on my way to, uh, Chateau Marmont. (Don’t worry. None of the other rubes and rednecks here will know what that is either.)

  11. Angry Taxpayer says:

    If the City does not get it’s finances right and stop raising the taxes and water and sewer bills – we will have no employers in the City.

    Norwood has committed absolutely to no tax increases and we will hold her to it. No other candidate will do that because they are pandering to the City’s employees.

    VOTE NORWOOD!!!

    • firestrike99 says:

      As I recall, Mary was on the Council for the last eight years. If she wanted to get the city’s finances right, she had two terms to do it. Instead, she waited until her 7th year to complain about problems after everyone else started to notice problems, too. Leadership is getting ahead of a problem, not grandstanding when you’re trying to move up the political ladder.

  12. Lawton Sack says:

    The GA GOP is involved in the District 141 (Baldwin County/Putnam County/Milledgeville) House Race. They have been recruiting people via Facebook and Twitter to make calls. I contacted the GA GOP and they stated that the calls to be made were for the race in Clayton County and on behalf of Angela (“Angie”) Gheesling-McCommon in the District 141 race. She is not the only Republican in the race, though. As reported earlier on Peach Pundit, 22-year-old Casey Tucker is also running as Republican.

    Not exactly sure on who made this decision or why.

  13. Rick Day says:

    As usual you people miss the point.

    Look at that little line next to the Union Bug™

    the fine print… after “paid for by the Democratic Party of GA”. It lists three candidates that the typesetter urged “vote for…”

    This isn’t about a party. It is about race. This is a racial hit piece, and I bet its distribution is limited to primarily black stronghold precincts. No doubt they want to keep The Community™ in line. We got a Black Machine™ to minister .

    And that the ‘worse and nastiest’ thing one can come up with to generally say about a white person is “They are Republicans”…

    Well, it sure says a lot about the image of the Republican party of GA.

    Y’all need to work on that image thingie, yo?

    • benevolus says:

      Bullsh*t.
      You have absolutely nothing to support your contention.
      Ignore race for a moment, and here is the scenario: A Party sends a mailer attacking the front runner who is ahead of the party’s candidate, so the candidate doesn’t have to get his hands dirty doing it himself.
      It is among the most common tactics there are. No need to invoke any special conditions.

      Despite all evidence to the contrary.

  14. Andre says:

    @Mad Dog,

    On October 3rd, the state Democratic committee –the highest authority of Georgia’s Democratic Party– did not discuss in any way the 2009 Atlanta mayoral election.

    The agenda for the aforementioned meeting included three items:

    1.) Vote on Party Bylaws Revision;
    2.) Vote on Party Platform Revision; and
    3.) Election of Secretary to replace Steve Leeds.

    The adoption of amendments to the state Democratic Party’s governing documents could not take place because the requisite number of state Democratic committee members were not present.

    The platform was adopted on a voice vote.

    And Laverne Gaskins of Valdosta-Lowndes County was elected Secretary with eighty-two votes.

    At no time did the highest authority of Georgia’s Democratic Party discuss, approve or authorize the mail pieces being sent to Atlanta voters.

    The minutes of the October 3rd meeting will reflect that as will the email sent out by state Democratic Party chair Jane Kidd on October 6th.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Andre’

      So the Executive Committee can’t act without approval of the State Committee?

      Nor can Jane?

      And to borrow from GOPG, ain’t the individuals who vote for the state members more of the authority in the party?

      MD

      • Andre says:

        Mad Dog,

        The state Democratic executive committee acts on behalf of of the state Democratic committee between state Democratic committee meetings [Article VI, Section one, paragraph 1, Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Georgia].

        The state Democratic committee is the highest authority of the Democratic Party of Georgia [Article II, Section one, Charter of the Democratic Party of Georgia]. Essentially what that means is that any action of the state Democratic executive committee can be overturned by the full state Democratic committee.

        As it pertains to the state Democratic Party chairman, the Charter is clear:

        The Chair shall carry out the programs and policies of the State Committee, preside over the meetings of the State Committee and Executive Committee, provide general administrative direction to the Executive Director, and serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the State Party.

        Article IV, Section two, paragraph 1, Charter of the Democratic Party of Georgia

        The governing documents of Georgia’s Democratic Party say the state Democratic Party chair “shall carry out the programs and policies of the State Committee.

        Again, it was never a program or policy of the state Democratic committee to advocate for or against any candidate in the 2009 Atlanta municipal election.

        If, under the guise of acting on behalf of the state Democratic committee, the state Democratic executive committee had approved the anti-Norwood mail pieces, then that would have been kosher.

        However, that did not happen.

        State Democratic Party chairman Jane Kidd did not seek approval from the state Democratic committee, and apparently the state Democratic executive committee was not consulted either.

        Jane Kidd acted on her own, when she should have at least gained approval from the state Democratic executive committee.

        In other words, the state Democratic Party chair cannot act without approval of either the full state Democratic committee or the state Democratic executive committee.

        The state Democratic executive committee can act on the full state Democratic committee’s behalf, but the state Democratic committee has the final word.

        • Mad Dog says:

          Andre’,

          Is Jane Kidd required to check with anyone before spending money for payroll, rent, or utilities?

          Naw, let’s not go there. Let’s talk about de factor and de jure.

          In fact what are the traditions and practices of the Party versus your dependence upon the recorded rules?

          In fact, the Chair acts without kissing anybody’s butt. The Committee can’t get a quorum. The last Chair election was decided by less than a third of all committee members. Maybe you can speak with authority to that. How many votes did it take for Jane Kidd to win the chair? 120?

          Your entire line of reasoning is based on the Obama not having a birth certificate argument, or it ain’t it spelled out literally in the Constitution …

          Take a long look in the mirror. Maybe you’re a Birther. Or a Republican.

          🙂

          • Andre says:

            Mad Dog,

            Allow me to cite Article I, Section six, paragraph 4 of the Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Georgia:

            The Executive Director shall propose such staff positions as necessary to carry out the functions of the State Party, along with salaries to be paid. Such proposals shall be forwarded to the State Chair for inclusion or modification in the proposed annual budget. Except for temporary office help involving total expenditure of $2500 or less, all unbudgeted positions or changes in salaries of budgeted positions must be approved by the State Chair and the Executive Committee.

            In essence, what this section of the state Democratic Party’s Bylaws means is that all salaries must be approved by the state Democratic executive committee.

            The governing documents of Georgia’s Democratic Party clearly defines the role and responsibility of the state Democratic Party chairman. And those same governing documents provide checks and balances so that Georgia Democrats do not have an activist party leader that embarks on policies and programs that is detrimental to the over-all health of the state Democratic Party.

          • Mad Dog says:

            No Andre’s, you’re not allowed to cite something unrelated to the discussion.

            And you shouldn’t be allowed to cite anything. You simply don’t know enough. What you’ve ‘cited’ doesn’t prevent Kidd or the ‘chair’ from spending money without the pre-approval of the ‘state committee.’

            Except placing a limit of $2,500 on salaries… and requiring POST APPROVAL of salaries annually by the ‘chair’ and ‘executive committee.’

            I will allow you one more chance to CITE something that proves the state committee has to approve all party spending in advance, including the purpose, amount, and vendor.

            MD

          • Mad Dog says:

            B,

            Beyond cutting and pasting from other sources, Andre’ isn’t an authority on the traditions or conventions of the Party. Or it’s policies and programs.

            Doesn’t his mother still provide him with rent?

            MD

  15. Mad Dog says:

    Spacey,

    Luvin’ ya babe. I could be 100% a Democratic Donkey and a complete ass at the same time. That might reflect well on asses and Donkeys. I dunno. It might just tickle some Elephants. But I doubt it as Elephants don’t have a sense of humor. They’re too busy proclaiming themselves patriots and non-racist.

    But I’m going to back up Jane Kidd. I didn’t support Jane in her run for Chair. I was in Carol Jackson’s corner all the way.

    If this is a partisanship issue, then Jane should speak out against anyone claiming to be a Democrat in a non-partisan race who hasn’t been smeared blue.

    Might be wrong. Might be right. But Jane makes the final decision on who can claim to be a Democratic candidate.

    MD

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      MD,

      I think you are a little wrong on this one. There are two higher authorities than a state chair of a political party regarding party affiliation: the candidate and the voters.

      It’s a non-partisan race. I’d rather see the DPG spend money on a non-partisan race than a partisan one, but that’s just me.

      • Mad Dog says:

        GOPG,

        I’m usually a little wrong all the time. The ‘party’ can block a candidate from being on the Democratic ticket under a set of conditions.

        That pretty much trumps your assertion that voters and candidates control party affiliation.

        Just ask Andre’ the expert to list the set of conditions. Hint: It can include a trip into a courtroom. So then you’d be right. A jury or a judge could trump Jane/Party.

        Kudos for looking past internal party control to outside powers, tho.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          MD,

          First, this is a non-partisan race so the party couldn’t do squat to block someone from running.

          Second, if they show up with money in hand and claim to be a member of the party, the party can’t do squat from keeping them from running, other than make them sign a fealty oath.

          If they do, they are in clear direct violation on the law. O.C.G.A. § 21-2-153, b, 4

          • Mad Dog says:

            GOP,

            Better to ask forgiveness than permission on the issue of turning away a false candidate. That put the burden of proof on the candidate in a court of law subject to discovery.

            You retorted, “This is a non-partisan race so the party couldn’t do squat to block someone from running.”

            I said, “The ‘party’ can block a candidate from being on the DEMOCRATIC TICKET under a set of conditions.”

            And I was being responsive to your comment “regarding party affiliation.”

            The Party can block false candidates from filing as Democrats, subject to a variety of conditions. Including courtroom proceedings.

            I doubt there is a judge that wouldn’t back rejecting a candidate based on the rulings even of SOS Handel.

            “In her order, Secretary Cox addressed the distinction between the filing of papers and fees and the formal conclusion of the qualifying process: ‘It defies logic, law and practice to conclude that the mere filing of papers and appropriate fees concludes the ‘qualification’ by a candidate…There simply are no qualified candidates, in theory or in practice, until the political parties submit a certification of qualified candidates within three days after the qualifying period closes, O.C.G.A. 21-2-154, and to conclude otherwise would wreak havoc on the elections system.'”

            MD

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            MD,

            I’d love to see the Dem party turn away a candidate. Let me know when that happens.

            In that ruling, I think Cathy Cox was referring to the timing of a political party turning in candidates after three days of qualifying. IMO, That does not imply that a party has a right to refuse, it has a duty to perform. I’d need to see the case to consider otherwise.

          • Mad Dog says:

            There were many issues as Ms. Cox mentioned in the press release.

            “Ms. Cox noted that the Sauder challenge was a complex one involving differing interpretations of state election law and procedure. ”

            Or maybe you’d like to have another candidate run as a Republican and a Democrat at the same time?

          • Mad Dog says:

            Did you ignore …

            (b) Unless otherwise provided by law, all candidates for party nomination in a state or county primary shall qualify as such candidates in accordance with the procedural rules of their party; provided, however, that no person shall be prohibited from qualifying for such office if he or she:

            (1) Meets the requirements of such procedural rules;

            Your section, § 21-2-153, b, 4, only refers to parties being able to require a loyalty oath.

  16. firestrike99 says:

    Atlanta is the largest Democratic stronghold in the south, I think the state party has a pretty clear role in making sure a Democrat continues to run it.

  17. Goldwater Conservative says:

    The only thing I disapprove is that these mailers came out too late.

    These things, along with television ads, should have been hitting starting in Week1 of October.

    Too bad Jane Kidd is an ineffective chair of an ineffective state party. I don’t really know if the problem is that they are weak or just not interested in winning elections.

    • benevolus says:

      The Party has been run from the Governors office for 130 years. It takes a little time to build a different infrastructure. Not only that, some of the old guard don’t necessarily recognize the new landscape yet.

      • Mad Dog says:

        benevolus,

        Good points.

        One of those official oaths for gov’ment employees includes protecting our country from its enemies, both foreign and domestic.

        Sort of a problem in politics, too. Sometimes the ‘party’ needs protection from internal enemies. Eh?

  18. benevolus says:

    Not enemies. More like inertia.
    There are a lot of people in the Party- both at the state and county levels- who have been there a long time, and many of them have done a lot of great work, even heroes for the cause if you will. But while some things that worked 30 years ago may still work now, there are also a lot of new tools and ideas that should get tried. And we (Democrats) don’t have the same resources we once did either. For example, labor is not as reliable a source of volunteers as it once was, at least in Georgia.

    But there are a limited number of voting positions in the Party, and who wants to run against someone who has devoted 50 years of effort let alone vote against them? I have sometimes thought that I wish their were “emeritus” positions for former voting members so that if they lose their regular position, they don’t just get pushed out. The experience and institutional memory is invaluable, but if the organization is dominated by that, then new energy and new ideas are what gets pushed out. There is also the issue of status. Many people consider their position in the Party a very important part of their life. I would think we want to encourage that.

    In the end, change takes time. The institution is set up that way on purpose I suppose, so that we don’t constantly shift with whatever fad or faction happens to have a charismatic advocate at the moment. It’s just a double-edged sword, and balance is the key.

  19. Mad Dog says:

    Nods and nods and nods.

    Have to agree with the essence. The Party is set up like the US Constitution. It can be changed but only slowly.

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