Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
How far would a political party go to maintain power within its ranks? More importantly, how true is this political party being to its supposed cause and the people it claims to represent? The Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) has been involved in some questionable practices that serve its leadership at the expense of the party itself, along with the people that it is supposed to serve.
Today, April 30, 2022, the state committee of the DPG will meet at Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia to change their bylaws. The purpose of this bylaw change meeting is to allow party leadership to endorse candidates before the party primaries. This would serve the interests of the party leadership and not the party itself. After speaking with an anonymous DPG insider, I realized the questionable tactics by DPG leadership was worse than expected.
A DPG insider by the name of “Paul” stated the reason for the meeting is to ensure that DPG leadership can control who gets to run for office in Georgia and gets party backing. Additionally, Paul stated that because many prominent Democrats have already come out in support of certain candidates, which is against the bylaws as they stand, they have to change the bylaws in order to protect themselves from public scrutiny.
Paul provided me with an excerpt from an email from the DPG secretary Justin Holsomback, dated on March 31, 2022, which stated:
“As most will remember, a major Agenda item at our last State Committee meeting on 8-28-21 was a large revamp and update of the DPG Charter and bylaws, with major elements of that revamp being changes to BL Article 1 Sec 7, Endorsements, and BL Article IV Sec 1, Duties of State Officers. During the August 2021 meeting, DPG Charter and Bylaws Committee Chair REDACTED stated that work would continue via the C&B Committee to further refine and clarify guidance language in those sections.
“Over the last several months, the C&B Committee has worked on a few key
clarifications/changes and have submitted the document attached to this email for review ahead of the called State Committee meeting on 4/30/22 to be considered and voted upon by the assembled body.”
Paul noted that one candidate whose current party endorsements violate the current charter is Bee Nguyen. Nguyen is running for the Secretary of State of Georgia and is also the current Vice Chairman of the Constituency Group. The chairman of her campaign is Adrienne White, the Vice Chairman of Candidate Recruitment for the DPG.
Paul stated that White being the chairman of Nguyen’s campaign violated the charter, but the Chairman of the DPG, Congresswoman Nikema Williams, defended White by stating that leadership could individually endorse candidates, and their position within the DPG did not matter. Ultimately, this shows that the DPG’s Chairman did not consider this to be a conflict of interest.
Furthermore, Paul asserted that Nguyen has raised over $1 Million during the Covid-19 pandemic, no questions asked, in spite of the economic hardship citizens experienced. “We all know that Bee did not raise that money from the Georgia voters, and we absolutely know that she didn’t do it without the help of the DPG apparatus,” Paul stated.
Ironically, a black man named Manswell Peterson was under investigation by the Georgia ethics commission for raising over $300,000 during this same period for his bid for Secretary of State this year. Journalist Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal Constitution labeled Peterson as “a long-shot candidate for the job,” in spite of Peterson’s qualifications.
Peterson ended up withdrawing from the race, but why was his campaign contributions under scrutiny when Bee Nguyen raised over two times his amount during the same period?
In addition to the Nguyen endorsements, Stacy Abrams, presumed party nominee for Governor and ex-officio leader of the DPG, has already endorsed a slate of mostly incumbent candidates this month. This is also in conflict with the bylaws. However, as current DPG Chairman Nikema Williams has stated, Abrams endorsed these candidates as an “individual” and not a party leader which is a legal loophole to work around the bylaws.
Notably, Abrams is the only candidate that is fully endorsed by the DPG at a state level. Paul says, “Abrams calls the shots for the DPG and the amount of power she has amassed has gotten out of control. Fair Fight offered specific county Democrats thousands of dollars to run their board of election appointments within the last few months. For what? I signed up to be a part of the solution, not the problem, and the problem is that these people who hold positions within the party should not be allowed to use that power and influence to run for office or to hold political office. We all know what’s happening, but no one cares to speak up because of fear of being blackballed or alienated from the party.”
In understanding the facts around this election cycle and the current state of the DPG, Paul is right.
As of today, 73% of the DPG’s base are black Americans. Within this year’s election cycle, 20 black Americans are running for constitutional offices. Sixteen of those candidates are black men and four are black women including Stacey Abrams. Based on the information gathered from the DPG insider Paul, it seems that the DPG leadership is not supporting any black male candidates within the constitutional office races in spite of their qualifications surpassing their non-black opponents.
Although political races should never be about race, or supporting one race in particular, the DPG has been a staunch advocate for voting rights and other legislation that exclusively targets black voters. Therefore, how can the DPG peddle narratives about voter suppression to the core of their base but push a non-black candidate for Secretary of State? Whose demographic represents only 3% of the voters in Georgia?
Not to mention, the other Democratic candidates who are being pushed aside for the sake of DPG leadership interests. Black voters continue to be used as cannon fodder to promote the agendas of politicians.
The façade of empathy and compassion for issues that concern black voters is done only for optics and nothing more. Black voters must recognize the wolves in sheep’s clothing and understand they’ve been nothing more than steppingstones for Democratic politicians; and it has not been more apparent than within the Democratic Party of Georgia.
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