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17 September 2008

Investigating the Dougherty County Democrats' Debacle

...Yes, I, as a member of the state Democratic committee, am upset with what has gone down in Dougherty County because the leadership of the state Democratic Party acted in the name of the highest authority of the Democratic Party of Georgia [Source: Charter of the Democratic Party of Georgia, Article II, Section 1], undermined a county Democratic chair and a county Democratic Party, and selected a Democratic candidate for the Dougherty County School Board who voted in the Republican primary. [Source: Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "The State Democratic Party Disrespected Dougherty County Democrats...", September 16, 2008]

After getting a good night's sleep, I find myself still upset over what has gone on in Dougherty County. I'm upset because, as I wrote yesterday, the state Democratic Party just doesn't go and install a candidate for a local race without consulting the county Democratic Party first. But that appears to be what happened when the state Democratic Party selected Richard Anson as the Democratic nominee for the district one Dougherty County School Board seat.

For those of you who don't fully understand why I'm upset, this is about local control over local issues.

If the state Democratic Party can go down to Dougherty County and place a candidate on the ballot in a local race without first consulting the county Democratic Party, then what is to stop them going to my county of Fulton or Gwinnett or Lowndes or Richmond and doing the exact same thing.

So I, in my official capacity as a duly-elected state Democratic committee member, am asking questions. I want to know who was present at the Executive Committee meeting when Richard Anson was selected as the Democratic nominee. I want to know which Executive Committee members voted in favor of selecting Richard Anson as the Democratic nominee. And I want to know why the county Democratic Party was not consulted on this decision.

Late yesterday evening, I sent an email to each and every member of the Georgia Democratic Party's Executive Committee. In that email were sixteen specific questions concerning the selection of Richard Anson as the Democratic nominee for the district one Dougherty County School Board seat.

Already, two members of the state Democratic Executive Committee have informed me that this is the first that they've heard of any situation in Dougherty County regarding a vacancy on the Democratic ticket for the district one Dougherty County School Board seat.

That's fine. That further confirms to me the factualness of the August 8, 2008 Albany Herald article that initially reported Richard Anson's placement on the Democratic ticket.

However, in the words of Britney Spears, "I just want more."

I want specific answers to those sixteen specific questions.

Below is the text of that email and hopefully I can get some answers to those sixteen questions:

In light of the allegations that the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia selected a Democratic candidate to fill the vacancy left on the Democratic ticket by the withdrawal of Judith Corbett from the first district Dougherty County School Board election without the consultation and/or input of the Dougherty County Democratic Party [Source: Albany Herald, "Anson to vie for BOE", August 8, 2008], I, Andre Walker, in my official capacity as a duly elected member of the state Democratic committee representing Fulton County, do hereby request the following information:

1. When was the Democratic Party of Georgia, its officers, staff, Executive Committee members, and/or State Committee members first notified of a vacancy on the Democratic ticket for the first district Dougherty County School Board sea?

2. How was the notification given? Please provide the document(s).

3. When did Jane Kidd, in her official capacity as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, give notice to the Executive Committee of the need to meet for the purposes of filling the vacancy left of the Democratic ticket by the withdrawal of Judith Corbett from the first district Dougherty County School Board election?

4. How was the notice given? If by mail or electronically, please provide a copy of the notice given to the Executive Committee.

5. What was the scheduled date, time, and location of the Executive Committee meeting called for the purpose of filling the vacancy left on the Democratic ticket by the withdrawal of Judith Corbett from the first district Dougherty County School Board election?

6. In what manner did the Executive Committee meet? If in person, please provide the official minutes from the meeting. If conducted electronically, please provide any and all documents detailing the official proceedings of the Executive Committee meeting. If conducted by telephone, please provide the transcripts of the telephone conversations and/or conference calls.

7. Please name and identify the Executive Committee members who were in attendance, in person or otherwise, at meeting called for the purpose of filling the vacancy left on the Democratic ticket by the withdrawal of Judith Corbett from the first district Dougherty County School Board election?

8. Was there a quorum present?

9. Please name and identify the person or persons who, in their official capacity as an officer and/or member of the Dougherty County Democratic Party, were consulted and/or involved in any way with the selection of Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board seat.

10. Please name and identify the person or persons who, in their official capacity as an officer, Executive Committee member, and/or State Committee member of the Democratic Party of Georgia, were consulted and/or involved in any way with the selection of Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board seat.

11. Please describe in detail the methods and criteria used in the selection of Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board seat.

12. Please name and identify the Executive Committee member who made the motion to name Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board election.

13. Please name and identify the Executive Committee member who seconded the motion to name Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board election.

14. Please indicate if there was any discussion and/or debate on the motion.

15. Please name and identify the Executive Committee member(s) who cast a vote in favor of the motion to name Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board election.

16. Please name and identify the Executive Committee member(s) who cast a vote against the motion to name Richard Anson as the Democratic candidate for the first district Dougherty County School Board election.

I look forward to your prompt response to this request.

Sincerely,


Andre Walker
State Democratic Committee Member