Meeting Will Focus On Electing New Officers, Fighting for All Americans

ATLANTA – Next week, DNC members from across the country will gather at the DNC’s Winter Meeting in Atlanta, where the party will elect new officers and focus on ensuring all Americans have access to a good job with good pay, affordable health care, a secure retirement, and a quality education for their children.

The DNC Winter meeting will begin on Thursday, February 23 and will conclude on Saturday, February 25. Over the course of three days, DNC members will participate in caucus, council, and committee meetings as well as training sessions. There will be two general sessions: one on Friday, February 24 at 10 a.m. to discuss party business, and another on Saturday, February 25 beginning at 10 a.m. to elect new DNC officers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to accommodate increased public demand, Saturday’s session has been moved from the Westin Peachtree Hotel to a ballroom at the AmericasMart facility close by. There will be a press file with tables and electrical power and a step-and-repeat for interviews, and a riser with a mult box and power. Wifi will be provided; Ethernet will not.

The DNC Winter Meeting general sessions, including the election of officers, will be open to the press and the public and will be livestreamed on Democrats.org and on social media for maximum audience participation.

Members of the public wishing to RSVP to the DNC Winter Meeting can visit this page: http://my.democrats.org/page/s/dnc-winter-meeting-guest-rsvp?source=release

In the lead up to the Winter Meeting, the DNC has held the most open and transparent officer election in party history. The DNC held four regional forums for DNC members and the public to hear from candidates for officer positions of Chair, Vice Chair At-Large, Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation, Secretary, Treasurer, and National Finance Chair. About half of the 447 DNC members attended one of our regional forums in person. All of these forums were open to the public and livestreamed on social media, and have since been posted in full on the DNC’s website.

In order for a candidate to qualify for the ballot, they must submit 20 DNC member signatures to the DNC Secretary by 8pm on Tuesday, February 21. The DNC will then release the names of the candidates that have qualified for the ballot on Wednesday morning.
Additional details, including a detailed schedule of events, will be made public in subsequent media advisories.

WHAT: DNC Winter Meeting
WHERE: Thursday and Friday: Westin Peachtree, 210 Peachtree St in Atlanta, Georgia
Saturday: AmericasMart, 240 Peachtree St NE, 4th Floor
WHEN: February 23-25

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Auntie Batgurl has had enough of all you junior political consultants on TwitterBook and there’s not enough coffee in the fever swamps aka recent political meetings to keep repeating myself.

I’m going to do my best to address all your questions and concerns in this handy FAQ about the “possible” special Jungle election in the Georgia 6th Congressional District, and it’s fallout down ballot.

Follow along, there will be a quiz later.

Q: Whats with the GunsNRoses theme?

A: This election is a “Jungle” election, all the candidates, dogs and cats together, on the same ballot on the same day. No primary! Chaos! Yay!

Welcome to the jungle we’ve got fun and games!

Q:When will the election be?

A: Election, what election? Right now it’s only a rumor till Rep. Tom Price is confirmed by the Senate, and y’all keep calling to tell them not to confirm him so yeah, I dunno.

Q: What?

A: Lets pretend he’s confirmed or indicted, anyway he’s vacating his seat, as soon as that as happens, and he’s sworn in, no more Congressman. Because hey you can’t ride two horses at the same time. Although the seat is vacant, don’t worry the Republicans will get by without Prices vote. Staff still reports to work, because in theory they have the peoples work to do.

Fun Fact: if he’s not confirmed, there won’t be a election. It’s not like he gets thrown through the moon door.

Q: But when Auntie Batgurl, when?

A.In the event there is a opening in the 6th, the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal has 10 days to ponder the schedule. I’m sure he’s taking all your concerns into account as he does this. No, who are you kidding. He’s totally going to schedule the election based on all the moving parts of whomever he wants to replace Rep Price, and any open seats it might create in the district. Plus a run off is expected especially in a crowded race.

Q: Come on, really… you don’t know? 

A. Nope I don’t.

Q: But laws about elections and ballots and soliders overseas!

A: Heres the math problem:  If Tom Price is confirmed on x date +  Gov can take 10 or less days to set the schedule +  qualifying + nine weeks (because it’s a Federal election) + round up to the nearest prime numbered date on a full moon, ok I made the last part up. You get the picture. It’s entirely up to the Governor to decide. This is the minimum number of days. He could decide to lengthen the schedule to give more time to the candidates, and let them gin up support.

I can’t read his mind!

Q: You’re very snotty. If you don’t know, why are there all these people at every meeting telling me they are running for office?

A: Good question. I guess some of them really really really want to call all their friends for money all day and spend their evenings at meetings full of sweaty activists wearing pussy hats and shake a ton of peoples hands?  I don’t get it, but hey at least ten of them do.

Q: Just how many candidates can you print on a ballot?

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A while ago I made an offer to publish “new voices” on this here blog thingy. I recently got this in my inbox, and frankly I think it has merit.

I corrected a few items after a spirited exchange with the original author. I won’t say which parts, blame me for all of it or anonymous, or both of us.

Like I care.

If you are offended, I’m not sure I’ll be able to help you. I’m not even sure you should read the whole thing,in one siting.  Maybe just take it in parts. There won’t be any formal Q & A.

XXXXX writes,

Social Media is full of excellent and responsible ways to be politically involved, but it’s also the very worst accelerator of ludicrous and stupid opinions.  Some of you new and special snowflakes are shockingly poor at navigating in our political and activist fever swamps.

When I hear/see you, a perfect stranger, begin a comment with ” The Democrats”  I immediately think, how special – you think this is someone else’s job/role/responsibility to deal with and you are taking zero ownership of it. Fantastic Welcome, not really.

XXXXX is here to try and help nip your stupid privileged dumbassery in the bud. Oh, dear are you offended? Poor snowflake. I’m going to spell this out so I don’t have to type it again and again in a billion TwitterFaceInstaSnapGram comment threads or repeat it at the next 200 meetings. Those of us who’ve been politically active since BTI -“Before The Internet” expect you to be better informed than you  currently are and we are judging  you – endlessly.

Chances are, while you are yapping through your pie hole, I’ve tuned you out.  Its 100% likely I’m silently working on a grocery list while you blather on. Yours truly has shit to do, and I don’t have enough time left on this planet to listen to hours and hours of you endlessly taking up space with your ‘ish.

I’mma just say this once.  Stop with “The Democrats need to dooooooo something”. Please everyone stop. Stop it right now. You just sound ignorant af.

FACT: There is no one place or person called “The Democrats”.  The “party” such as it is, is made up of millions and millions of people  No group, entity or person speaks for all of them. Especially not the DNC Chair. I know, shocker!

Most of you can’t even name the current DNC Chair, what state they’re from, how they got the thankless and horrible unpaid volunteer gig, or literally anything about them. Ditto your State Party Chair, it’s ED, or the highest ranking Democratic official in your state. Hint, in Georgia it’s not the Mayor of Atlanta, think older and wiser.

The mind boggles over all the groups you’ve lumped into one miasma. Fun fact- most of us don’t claim many of these people either.

Take a seat, take several in fact for my entirely petty and prejudiced opinion of the 2017 Democratic organizational landscape.

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On Sunday, I received the sad news that General David Poythress had passed away. I had the honor of working with General Poythress, his wife Elizabeth, and several other wonderful people on his 2010 primary campaign for Governor of Georgia. I can say of General Poythress the highest praise I know to give a man, and that is to say that he was a good and honest man. I know his wife Elizabeth and his family will miss him dearly.

I first met David Poythress on a winter morning in 2008 at the Silver Skillet. By that point, he had served as Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner of Revenue, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Labor and as the Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard. In 1998, he had run for Governor in the Democratic primary and lost to Roy Barnes. On that morning in the winter of 2008, Gen. Poythress, having recently finished his time as Adjutant General, was looking to take one more shot at Governor in 2010. His career had already been accomplished — yet, here he was at the Silver Skillet, asking a younger version of me, having just finished my time as Communications Director for Georgia Students for Barack Obama and various other smaller political roles prior to that, for advice on how campaigns had changed in the previous decade. He truly understood leadership, making tough decisions and knowing the burden of doing so — but yet, he always sought advice and counsel because he knew that true leadership involved making the most informed decision possible.

I worked for David Poythress for nearly the next two years, until the 2010 campaign fell short in the primary, again to Roy Barnes. That election cycle was a meaningful one for me… I got married, I bought my first house and I lost my dad among many other things. David and Elizabeth were there, they were kind and understanding. I will always value and appreciate my time with the General, as I know anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him will.

He was a good and honest man and he is already missed.

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Nope, I’m not talking about PEOTUS and how he got elected. I’m talking about the ludicrous number of  Democrats seeking election in the Georgia 6th Congressional District.

I simply can’t find one historical fact based data point to encourage a Democrat to run in this special election. The 6th is a R+ 14 district on a good day. What Democrat looks at the landscape of the 6th and says, oh yeah baby I got this? Let alone five four people*? I want what you’re smoking. Fourteen points, three counties, GOP controlled, isn’t even a hail Mary pass, it would take a miracle.

Please don’t apply Nov 2016 data to this race, it insults my intelligence, bigly.

Ok sure, I suppose I could look at it like “hey, the 6th has a bunch of Democrats willing to step up” but as we all know, I’m not that charitable. If all these motivated folks have been walking among us, why don’t I  know anything about them? Why am I digging 10 pages into a Google search to come up with one current factoid thats not a Instagram or LinkedIn account. Why haven’t any of them been visibly present at anything I’ve attended in the the last 6 cycles, seriously 12 years!  I reached out to every active progressive political group in metro Atlanta, Cobb and a handful in Dekalb, and apart from individuals who have met them, I can’t find any political community or organizational connection in the entirety of the 6th.

Now, before you all come at me with the “she’s effective, he’s experienced, he’s smart, he’s smart too, he’s well connected“, don’t. Seriously don’t. I’m sure they are all the wonderful things they claim to be on their websites and CV’s. Kind to children and animals, well educated, well intentioned,well connected- how loverly. I could find five four people who’d say the same about me, well maybe.

I’m not judging the humanity of these candidates, I’m questioning the reasoning and motivation to run. If they are running to raise some kind of specific issue in the 6th, thats terrific, but who the heck is going to hear it when 5 4 other people might be saying the same thing? A couple people I spoke with called it the “Trump Effect”, I don’t know what that is, but its unlikely to help you raise two million dollars and pick up 14 points. One or two Democrats running, of course this makes sense and creates the illusion that we’re competitive and willing to take the race and the issues of the 6th seriously, I’d have no problem with that.

At each one of these announcements, the media fails to point out that no Democratic Party of Georgia entity chartered by the DNC is allowed to endorse or visibly support one candidate over another. In other words, there is no smokey back room to chose the party candidate. The state party can’t do it nor can a county party. Individuals holding elected or appointed roles at the DPG may individually  support candidates with checks and lend their name to fundraisers but this should not be deemed a Party  “endorsement”. Anyone using their party role to support one Democrat over another, is running a big risk of losing said leadership role. Some of these people might look like the Democratic “leadership” but I’d check very closely. This is a fine line to walk, and given the number of candidates, it might cause some confusion.

We’ve had several recent examples of exactly what happens in a  special election, low turnout, poor media coverage, lack luster fundraising, shoddy campaigning and thats just the state “specials”. This is a Federal Election, with the myriad of Federal Election rules. Every progressive state PAC will have to tell them something along the lines of ” yeah, you seem nice but we can’t help you”.  Do I think a Federal PAC or interest group will put any serious muscle into helping these folks, no I do not. A fundraiser here and there, a epic ton of email, a well intentioned “endorsement”, a check, sure of course, that’s to be expected. But shoulder to grindstone commitment, nope.

Special Elections are not by definition anything like a regular election.  This special will have no partisan qualifying date, a no partisan primary, a slew of candidates on both sides. If you think regular elections have become WWE events, a special is more like mud wrestling a pig. Currently the election date is unknown making things even more chaotic. Half the conversations I’ve had with folks are just explaining the rules of a special election. Three minutes in I can already see them rolling their eyes checking out their own ass.

I will however make the offer to any of the candidates who might want to engage with my cranky crusty self, to email me at the Tip Line and I will endeavor to post updates, events, meet & greet here and at the various FB pages I have access to.

UPDATE: *One of the candidates has stepped back from the race. Bravo, I already like you more than everyone else.

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