Priorities are important.  They say a lot about people, they say a lot about organizations.

On January 11, Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey made statements that were picked up by tons of national media.

That same day, I received an e-mail from the Young Democrats of Georgia, “Gingrey Must Resign.”  It linked to a petition calling for Congressman Gingrey to resign.

On January 13, I received another e-mail from the Young Democrats of Georgia, jumping onto an already scheduled OFA protest of Congressman Gingrey’s office.  Originally a fiscal issues rally, it would obviously also take on the rape comments as well.

But YDG is a relatively small organization, no paid staff, so on and so forth — nowhere near the mailing list size of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Did the DPG advertise the protest?  No.

Did the DPG send out a scathing press release attacking Gingrey’s words?  No.

Did the DPG do the simplest thing and send out a fundraising e-mail drawing attention to the comments?  No.

Why not?

Maybe they were too busy preparing for the start of the Georgia General Assembly?

No, just checked — not a single e-mail from the DPG about any legislation or the General Assembly.  But what’s this?  Oh, an e-mail from the Young Democrats of Georgia outlining several legislative priorities for the session.

It’s pathetic that an organization with no paid staff has managed to send out a detailed legislative update, two e-mails about Congressman Gingrey, start a petition calling for his resignation and actively participate in a protest while an organization with several paid staff is still sitting on their hands.

Priorities matter.  I can tell what YDG’s priorities are, what are the DPG’s?


22 Responses to Priorities

  1. The DPG needs to have a ‘Come to Jesus meeting” about priorities and messaging.
    The point is well made about the Gingrey petition and action. If the DPG isn’t going to lead, we need to get behind those who will. Right now that is the YDG.

  2. Jules says:

    @Brian lots of great Democrats in GA… seek them out. Have a few drinks. You’ll find out this is what goes on here. Has since at least 2003 when all the Paces Mill patronage dried up.

    Yes it is sad.

  3. Brian says:

    This is my first time reading this blog and/or posting a comment. Sad to say it may also be my last. Seems to me that democrats should be fighting together, not fighting each other if we ever want to see a blue Georgia again. I just don’t get it…..

  4. Gray says:

    @Lester, when people get things incorrect, I try to set the record straight. If that’s a “martyr tirade”, so be it.

    • Lester Fredericks says:

      Eric, your response to this entire thread is confusing. I’m not sure if you’re defending the DPG or as they say “covering your own ass”.

      So are you saying that you did your job by having off-record conversations with reporters and subliminally promoted the YDG event but once again the failed leadership did not give you approval to let you distribute the message using the DPG email list?

      No need to reply with an answer because we know that you are all about staying employed regardless of the failed and misguided leadership , so just nod your head twice and we will understand.

  5. Lester Fredericks says:

    I look forward to the day when you start acting like a Communications Director instead of an immature teenager who tripped forward into a job. Why is it so hard for you to take criticism and reply “thanks for pointing that out. I apologize for our oversight. Next time we will do better”.

    And please give up your martyr tirades. You talk to reporters, you get paid a salary, so if you want/need more praise for your job duties then you need to take that up with the DPG’s HR division. As long as Democrats pay your salary they have a right to call you out if your work is unsatisfactory. If you don’t want to be criticized then go work for yourself.

  6. Gray says:

    @ire, just trying to be helpful. As always, you can call me anytime to discuss offline.

  7. ire says:

    A whole lot of unnecessary butt-hurt on display… A sign of misplaced priorities…

  8. Gray says:

    @Anita The House & Senate have traditionally had their own press folks. They are paid staffers that work during the session. You’ll have to ask them why this arrangement exists. To my knowledge, this arrangement existed prior to my employment and has continued since.

  9. Gray says:

    @Anita, the DPG facebook & twitter has posted about the Gingrey issue three times. Once when it happened, again when the video was released by Jim Galloway on YouTube, and again when Gingrey shut down his twitter feed. It’s still available on both if you want to search the past few days.

  10. Gray says:

    Tim, it wasn’t a mass email. We have multiple lists- the Gingrey stuff went to our press list.

  11. Anita Moorecock says:

    Gray-golf clap for you.

    However for many people the DPG website/FB page is where they would look to see a response to the endless GOP gift that is Gingrey. I’m not young, so I’d likely never see the YD’s email. I am however on the DPG mail list.

    As far as House & Senate, how come these are separate lists? Wouldn’t it be easier to get coordinated messages? It’s as simple as cut and paste.

  12. Gray says:

    The Senate and House have legislative priorities. They send them out through their own Communications staff. You should ask to be included on the media list.

    The DPG sent out several press releases/advisories to media outlets about Gingrey. You’re apparently not on the DPG list either. The YD protest was covered by several news outlets, two of which may have been due to our involvement (I spoke with reporters about it prior to them covering it)… I know the YD’s were working it hard as well, so it might have been covered without our involvement.

    I ALSO CLARIFIED WITH THE AJC that the petition/protest was a YD thing, insuring that the YD’s got their well-deserved credit and a mention in the paper.

    Finally, I have a list of press hits directly tied to several issues over the past week, but they don’t have “THE DPG HELPED US WITH THIS STORY” in it. We have upcoming spots on CNN and the AJC regarding the Inauguration (supposed to be live Friday, Jan. 18). Shall I forward you these links when they happen?

    Why does it need to be autographed by the DPG? Gingrey had a disastrous week, and you’re angry that we didn’t let you know ahead of time that I spent hours speaking with reporters about it? How dare we speak with CNN or Politico without letting you know first!

    So silly.

    • Tim says:

      Eric, I’m on the list and didn’t get the email either although I did get the one about Rashad’s program. You may want to check the vendor or list used if it went to the wide list.

    • The Wombat says:

      If I may summarize my issues, Mr. Gray by way of an illustration.

      I am subscribed to many other states’ Democratic Party mailing lists, to see what is going on with our Party across the country. Virginia, for example, sends me nearly daily e-mails, some of which are solicitations for cash I do not have, but most of which have some underlying policy or political implications behind them.

      The DPG, however, does not do this. For a list containing hundreds of thousands of people, the DPG has the ability to really communicate with many people at once. I don’t know how many people YDG sends emails to, but I assume it would pale in comparison. Further, I am baffled that you would think that Facebook and Twitter are equitable means of communication to e-mail. Just on a numbers basis, the DPG has about 10,000 members. Again, your email list is probably in the hundreds of thousands.

      The issue here, Eric, is that you found it to be a priority to promote the new radio program of a staff member through a mass email, but not so much to go after a Republican Georgia Congressman who made medically false and incredibly offensive comments defending “legitimate rape.”

      I am glad that you feel that YDG has done a good job. I think so, too. But I don’t think that YDG would be angry if the DPG helped take down a stupid Republican. No one organization or individual has propriety over that. Though YDG organized the petition, there is nothing to say that you could not have sent it out yourself!

      The issue here is not, and was not, the fact that you may or may not have spent time speaking with reporters. Though I am certain that YDG and their press folks did as well, that is not the point. The point was that you did not use a key resource– the DPG email list– to perpetuate the issue.

      • Gray says:

        True, we did not use the mass email list to promote it. Instead, the issue was perpetuated through a number of different avenues, ones that ultimately proved successful.

        • The Wombat says:

          And you know they proved successful– how, exactly?

          • Gray says:

            Well, that’s the rub. Can I prove our efforts to make sure the media wrote about Gingrey’s comments were successful? I guess I can’t. That’s a squishy subject when it comes to communications, especially off-the-record contacts with the media- you put in the effort, and you see an outcome… sometimes they write about the topic, sometimes they don’t.

            • The Wombat says:

              I just…I don’t even know what to say at this point. This wasn’t even the point that the original author was trying to make, nor was it what I was trying to say. I’ve read a ton of articles on the issue, and the DCCC and YDG have been mentioned but not the DPG, so to be perfectly frank it just sounds like you’re playing defense after being called out.

              And, again, I think the main point was that you completely blew an opportunity to rile up and rally your members against a crappy Congressman who made a truly stupid remark. You had the chance to publicly partner with an an organizational affiliate of yours in the process, which seemingly has not happened. Apparently, all you have done on the issue is post a few news articles on Facebook and apparently called a few news sources.

              So, whatever. It honestly seems to me like you are in defense mode, and for whatever reason you have found it necessary to defend yourself at every turn, which is completely unnecessary. As Lester said below, there’s no shame in admitting when you missed the boat.

  13. JMPrince says:

    Qui audet adipiscitur

  14. The Wombat says:

    They did, however, have the chance to advertise the Rashad Richie Radio Program.