The October 12 meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee lasted an excruciating 4+ hours as the cornered state party leadership fought desperately to retain control. Now, we find out it was all for nothing. The DNC has had enough.
In a letter dated October 19, DNC Chair Tom Perez clearly stated the DNC’s position:
- The October 5 meeting called by a majority of the committee was a “valid meeting” and the DNC recognizes the new bylaws passed at that meeting.
- The by-laws passed at the chaotic October 12 meeting had not been pre-cleared by the Rules & Bylaws Committee of the DNC, “as required by the DNC’s order dated February 17, 2019.”
- The SDEC should not have filled vacancies at the October 12 meeting, and “the votes of such members should not be recognized or counted.”
Perez closes by “strongly” urging Worley to “encourage all members of the SDEC to participate in the legally called meeting on November 2.”
Full text of the letter is below.
A Tale of Two Meetings
Worley has declared that the October 5 meeting was not an “official” meeting. Or did she?
At the October 12 meeting, Worley went into full gaslight mode, first denying that the previous week’s meeting was an “official” meeting because she didn’t call it and “didn’t get notification” of it, implying that she had no knowledge of the purpose of the meeting or the business conducted. That would be a real concern – if it were actually true. Remember, she gave numerous media interviews about the meeting, said she had no plans to attend, and encouraged other SDEC members to stay away as well. Obviously, she knew about it.
Later, the SDEC voted to change the date of the next meeting from November 2 to the 16th. However, the next meeting date (November 2) had been set at an”unofficial” (according to Worley) meeting, the one where any decisions made weren’t binding. Except that, apparently, at least one of them was – the next meeting date. Worley allowed a motion to change the date from November 2 to November 16. When quizzed about how it was possible to pick and choose which actions from the October 5 meeting were “valid” and which were not, Worley just went back to denying that she knew anything about the meeting.
Turns out, the only “unofficial” meeting was the one Worley herself chaired. It’s a delicious bit of irony.
What This Means for Senator Doug Jones
The date change for new SDEC elections is no small detail. It’s extremely important to have this resolved before qualifying closes on November 8. The party chair is responsible for notifying the Secretary of State which candidates have qualified to be on the primary ballot. The DNC has already invalidated Worley’s election, and it’s possible the SOS John Merrill (himself a candidate for US Senate) could refuse to certify any statewide Democratic candidates – including Senator Doug Jones. Merrill could point to the DNC’s requirement for new elections and say that the candidates weren’t properly certified because the chair didn’t have authority to certify. Whether that would fly legally is debatable, but it would be an unnecessary distraction.
The ADP’s intransigence is jeopardizing the re-election of Alabama’s only statewide Democratic office holder, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Both ADC Chair Joe Reed and ADP Chair Nancy Worley have demonstrated time and again that their top priority is staying in office.
Kudos to the reformers who have worked tirelessly to make the party more inclusive and effective. It’s taken a long, long time, but finally the DNC appears ready to step up, step in, and help rebuild the Alabama Democratic Party.
Here’s the letter: