UPDATED: Letter from DPG Chairman Mike Berlon added below the original story.
…And by “Real Georgians”, I mean living paycheck to paycheck while enjoying celebrated infighting within the family.
Ed posted the initial charges here as reported by Jim Galloway of the AJC.
We’ve now been forwarded the following rebuttal that appears to have been sent to Democratic State Committee Members from Russell Edwards, reading:
It is important for me to respond to information published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that does not accurately reflect the reality of the current situation at the Democratic Party of Georgia.
First, it is false that Chair Berlon and I have not communicated in 14 months. The Chair and I, in fact, have traded many emails, communicated by phone, and have also communicated at official meetings where many of you all have seen us seated at the same table.
With regards to the current state of the DPG’s finances, it is true that the DPG currently spends more than it raises. This unsustainable situation should raise red flags since the DPG’s current cash on hand is $37,230.15, not counting the Senate and House Caucus accounts.
The DPG must meet semi-monthly payroll this Friday of approximately $28,000.00.
The due date of the DPG Visa credit card is tomorrow in the amount of $2,110.00.
The due date of the DPG United Healthcare expense is Wednesday in the amount of $1,414.22.
The DPG also has a bill due to Polical CFO’s this Wednesday of roughly $3,750.00.
Next week, the DPG has a rent payment due for its headquarters of approximately $5,500.00.
The above expenses amount to $40,774.22.
All of this information has been verified by our accounting firm, Political CFO’s.
My forthcoming semi-annual treasurer’s report will shed more light. At last week’s Executive Committee meeting, I pointed out the situation with balance sheets produced by the DPG’s accounting software that I thereafter collected from the attendees considering the sensitive nature of the situation. I have daily access to this system and have been accessing it regularly throughout my tenure as treasurer.
That being said, it’s not as if the present situation cannot change. We have an upcoming Jefferson Jackson dinner for which we have received pledges.
It is important for us, now more than ever, to resist the temptation to engage in public tit for tats and remain focused on the goal of providing strong, admirable leadership for Georgia- the future of our great State depends on it. It is my hope that we can work through this situation and rise stronger than ever.
For my Democratic friends I will at least say this. Do not worry. We Republicans fought for decades over things that were far more trivial and somehow still managed to attain super-majority status. So….well, good luck I guess.
Update: Charman Berlon’s letter to Democrats:
Dear State Committee and Executive Board,
As you already know, our Executive Director Page Gleason resigned her position this weekend. She has been a valuable Democrat for many years and we wish her well in her future endeavors.
There has been no decision on her replacement. We will set up a Search Committee to find our next Executive Director next week, and my goal is to have the position filled sometime after our Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in late April.
In addition, I have made some difficult but necessary choices. I take my responsibility to our Party very seriously. In order to improve our cash flow and streamline our business, I have made several staff changes. Some responsibilities were re-assigned while a few staff members have been let go of their responsibilities to the DPG.
On the financial front, I have cut almost $160k in overhead and salaries without affecting our ability to provide services.
We are moving forward, boldly. I am convinced that we have enough pledged JJ Dinner sponsorships, ticket sales and other income to take us forward for the next several months.
These are no easy tasks. I remain committed to the Democratic Party of Georgia and made some tough decisions today. When I was elected, this is what I promised to do; make the business-minded choices to strengthen our Party again.
I appreciate your support. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Democratic Party of Georgia