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11 January 2013

#GaDems Vice-Chair: There is a Move Afoot to Have Me Removed for Calling for a Special Meeting.

Yesterday, I reported that Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon was not happy with Party Vice-Chair R.J. Hadley for calling a special meeting of the state Democratic executive committee. Berlon boycotted, and the meeting was presided over by R.J.

Word on the street is after the 22 February 2012 special executive committee meeting, a purge, not seen since Stalin ruled the Soviet Union, was initiated within the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Jane Bradshaw, a former Young Democrats of Georgia President, was removed from the state Democratic Party executive committee. Russell Edwards abruptly resigned, giving no reasons for quitting. 5th Congressional District Chair Catherine Smith stepped down, citing a "quiet attack that included accusations of racism, intolerance, and conspiracy." And 13th Congressional District Chair Mellissa Prescott-Crawford was told to resign or get the sack by Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon (There's your teaser, BTW). The one thing all these people have in common is they attended the 22 February 2012 special executive committee meeting.

Back to R.J. Hadley though, R.J. penned an email to Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) officers in which he spoke of a "move afoot to have me removed for signing along with 12 others in calling for a special meeting."

Below is the email:

RJ Hadley [rj@georgiademocrat.org]
to Home, Nikema, miguel, Pedro, Russell, Laverne, Michael, Page, bcc: me

Mr. Chairman,

When we last spoke on Tuesday, you stated a number of times that there was a move afoot to have me removed for signing along with 12 others in calling for a special meeting. Very well. Then I will give them something else to use for my removal hearing. To the requests you have made of me below.

NO!

I will not produce one single report for you Mr. Chairman, until you explain to all of us WHY:

1) WHY our grassroots fundraising account has been driven from over $100k to nearly $2k in 14 mos.

2) WHY we can't find the fundraising amount related to Chairman call time to our donors.

3) WHY one of our Exec. members is receiving consultant payments. I never would have voted for that.

4) WHY is our Executive Director not given control of hiring and staffing decisions as the bylaws state.

5) WHY is our dedicated DPG staff working in a hostile work environment. (This needs to stop TODAY!)

Until your loyal supporters have me removed, I will continue to support our excellent District Chairs, deliver on the Delegate Selection plan, and support our county parties.

You want accountability. Then I look forward to the next Officers meeting where you can lead by example by answering these questions and others. I apologize now to the Executive Committee but I can no longer remain silent and I beg you all to stop turning a blind eye. rj

--
RJ Hadley
Vice-Chair of Congressional Districts and County Parties
Democratic Party of Georgia

This response from the Democratic Party of Georgia Congressional District/County Liaison Vice-Chair to Mike Berlon came as a result of an email in which Berlon said:

"I plan to make changes based on lack of participation or non-involvement before the end of March. In this regard we will be releasing a list of attendance for everyone on the SC and EC for all of last year. It's hard to justify having someone on the SC that didn't make it to a SC meeting."

A review of the Charter & Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Georgia shows that there is no attendance policy to serve on the state Democratic committee. There is a process to remove any member of the state committee or the executive committee for cause, but none of those causes include poor attendance or non-involvement.

The email, which is shown below, also requested each DPG officer to "prepare a summary of the work that you have done over the last 14 months in detail in the performance of your duties."

On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM, Home [mikeberlon@~~~.com] wrote:

Hi Everyone,

Next EC Meeting-date to be determined by number of available members

As you know I am working on scheduling an Executive Committee Meeting as soon as possible. The two target dates are March 10th and March 31st. I will be sending out another email today asking all of our Executive Committee Members which date works the best. I will go with the date that has the highest rate of attendance. There are several significant items that need to be discussed and I want every single Exec Member possible in that room.

Last Night's Emergency Meeting and Communication

I am aware that a meeting was held last evening on an emergency basis. I am also aware that many of you did not participate. I understand that the meeting was conducted by RJ Hadley and that minutes were taken by Catherine Smith. I emailed RJ, Catherine and Nikema last evening to make sure that we received those minutes as soon as possible. They need to be circulated to all of you and everyone on the Executive Committee. They should be sent to our Secretary, Laverne Gaskins, with a copy to me.

One of the issues that was apparently raised was a lack of communication between us. I was also told that some of you allege that you have repeatedly emailed or called me asking for meetings. I'm very concerned about his. Since I was not present at the meeting because of Ash Wednesday services, I intend to examine this issue in detail at the next meeting. I do keep and log every single email that I receive as Chair and none are deleted [except spam]. If you have any emails or other correspondence that were sent to me concerning these requests please send them to me before the next officers meeting. I'm not questioning anyone's veracity. If I overlooked some of these requests I need to figure out where the system went off track. I will need those before the next meeting. RJ-I believe you referenced that you emailed me on January 11th and had no response. I am also pretty zealous about returning calls. If you left me a voicemail and I didn't get back to you let me know as well. All of those are archived.

You should also know that if you ever have any questions and can't reach me that the dissemination of information is a large part of the role of the Executive Director who is in the office on a full time basis. In fact, you should be keeping her informed of the things that you are doing so that we know. In fact, I believe that some of you have spoken with Page about our proposed Annual report for 2011. We need to know what you are doing just as much as you need to know about the party.
Information for next Officers and EC Meeting

In the past year, we have had more State Committee and Executive Committee Meetings than the prior administration had in three or four years. This year is even more ambitious. When I ran for Chair one of the issues was accountability. The idea that everyone would be responsible to do their job to move the party forward and also actively participate. In this regard, I would like each of you to prepare a summary of the work that you have done over the last 14 months in detail in the performance of your duties. I plan to give an overall report about the accomplishments of the last 14 months in my position as Chair.

These are just examples:

Nikema

As First VC you sit on all of our Committee and are responsible for the Finance Committee and fundraising.
What's going on in the Committees? Which are performing and which are not?
What's the status of the Finance Committee? What are the goals and what are the results?
How are you doing with call time?

RJ

How many new county parties have been created under your watch?
How many of our County parties are in Compliance for the next election cycle.
What's the plan to be in Compliance before qualifying at the end of May?
What's the communication plan with the CC's?

Miguel

What's going on in the area of candidate recruiting?
How is the coordination with the House and Senate?
What areas do we need to work in to try to get candidates in every race?

Pedro

What's up with Affiliate Committees?
Who is effective and who is not?
What can we do in the future to make them more effective?
How does the program look for voter registration in 2012.

Russell

What have you been doing in your role as Treasurer?
Have all of our reports been properly filed?
How often do you speak with Paul about these issues?
When is the last time you prepared and presented a Treasurer's Report?
How are you doing with call time?

Laverne's position is pretty straight forward. I think we all agree. Just keep up the good work on those minutes [and the role of Deputy Counsel]

Attendance and Participation Review

I am in the process of reviewing all of my SC appointments to see if those appointed have been an asset to the party. I plan to make changes based on lack of participation or non-involvement before the end of March. In this regard we will be releasing a list of attendance for everyone on the SC and EC for all of last year. It's hard to justify having someone on the SC that didn't make it to a SC meeting (there were actually a few, believe it or not).

Once I receive these summaries from each of you, as well as the minutes from last
nights meeting, I would like to call a meeting of the Officers prior to the Exec Meeting. In each of your cases, with maybe the exception of Laverne, I'd like you to be physically present if at all possible. Please let me know which date works best for you for the EC meeting. My preference is earlier than later.
If there are any questions, comments or suggestions, please email or call me.

Thanks,

Mike

PS-I have copied both Page and Mike Jablonski on this email as well.