By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY — On Monday, June 9, the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC), the Black Political Caucus of Alabama, in a written statement accused former Justice Mark Kennedy of “misleading people across the state and nation in an effort to fatten his own political pockets.”
Reed made his comments about the former chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, the former chair of the Democratic Majority and the current chair of Empower Alabama, Mark Kennedy, because Kennedy has issued a call nationwide for individuals to send him $10 to help Mr. Willie Mims of Brewton, Alabama. Mr. Mims, a 93 year-old Black man, allegedly was denied the right to vote because he did not have a photo I.D. on Tuesday, June 3 during the Primary.
Reed said, “Mr. Kennedy’s call for a $10 nationwide contribution in my opinion, is a fraud, a fake, and a front. The money is not intended to help Mr. Mims. Kennedy is trying to raise money for an organization which is on its deathbed and will die as soon as certain groups stop funding it. When Mr. Kennedy was Chair of these other groups, he did nothing to fight the Pac-to-Pac Transfer Law or the racist gerrymandering in the Alabama Legislature. When he resigned as Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, he left it in financial ruin. He promised Alabamians that he would, through his so called Democratic Majority, elect Democrats; that too has failed. He has abandoned that and now claims he wants to help Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. In my opinion, he only wants to help himself.”
Reed continued, “The Democratic Majority he founded has now folded. I call on everyone who reads this announcement to refrain and refuse to donate one copper penny in response to Mark Kennedy’s call. We will not stand on the sidelines and allow Mark Kennedy to use this elderly Black man as a pawn to raise money for Mark Kennedy’s political pockets. He has not said one time what he is going to do with the money. He successfully fooled some Alabama Democrats for about a year, now he is trying to fool Democrats nationwide. I strongly urge everyone to just say NO to this Kennedy plot.”
Reed emphasized that he has been against the Photo Voter I.D. Law from its inception. Reed said, “I am against it today, tomorrow and forever. It serves no useful purpose. There is no voter fraud in Alabama and we all must do everything we can to change the Photo I.D. law.”
Mark Kennedy resigned his Chairmanship of the Alabama Democratic Party due in large part to a rift between himself and powerful Democratic Party powerbrokers, especially Joe Reed. Reed has had a long career in Alabama Politics. He served in the state legislature and shared the leadership of the Alabama Education Association (AEA) with former AEA Executive Secretary Paul Hubbert. Some have criticized Reed for having too much power within the party.
The Alabama Democratic Conference, formerly known as the Black Political Caucus of Alabama, was established in 1960. It was founded to encourage all voters, but especially other African Americans, to vote for the Democratic candidate, who at the time was John F. Kennedy with vice president Lyndon B. Johnson.
The founders of this influential group include Arthur Shores, Rufus Lewis, Dr. C.G. Gomillion, Q. D. Adams, Isom Clemon, and Beulah Johnson. The Alabama Democratic Conference now promotes the Democratic Party throughout the entire state thanks to having many chapters and other affiliated organizations. The stated mission of the Alabama Democratic Conference is to “organize” and to “unify” the vote of the African American population and also to make the African American vote and opinion appreciated and respected.