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Opinion | Another pathetic display from the Alabama Democratic Party


You know this isn’t right, Alabama Dems.

It’s OK to like Nancy Worley and Joe Reed. I certainly have nothing against either of them, and I believe that on roughly 90 percent of social and political issues, we likely agree.

But we all know that what’s happening to the Alabama Democratic Party isn’t right.

And last Friday’s antics at the State Democratic Executive Committee meeting in Montgomery has to be the final straw. Because this is getting absurd.

What took place at that meeting — the uncomfortable chaos of it all — was like a window into the problems that have plagued the ADP for years now.

All of the incompetence and arrogance laid bare.

At this meeting, the Democratic Executive Committee was planning to elect new at-large minority members. Except, because the national DNC had found issues with ADP’s bylaws — specifically in the area of inclusiveness of minorities other than black people — it sent a letter instructing Worley and her vice-chairman to not hold the elections.

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The DNC has already ordered that the previous elections, in which Worley was re-elected chairwoman, would be redone because of the bylaws issue and other problems with the way the elections were conducted.

And the DNC did not mince words in its recent letter.

“(member elections) and any like it is not approved and should not be conducted at this time,” the letter stated, in regards to the delegate elections.

The DNC wanted ADP to fix its bylaws first, then hold the nominations and elections for minority members. Which, you know, seems reasonable.

Guess what ADP did?

Despite the DNC letter explicitly stating that the appointing of any new members prior to addressing the bylaws could result in future elections being invalidated, ADP elected one new minority member anyway.

But it’s more bizarre than just that.

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Because at this meeting, a good portion of the members in attendance attempted to stop this all from happening. And they cited the DNC’s letter as the prime reason why.

Except, when they brought it up, Worley pretended that she had never received the DNC’s letter, which was addressed to her and sent a week earlier. Then a few minutes later, she said maybe she had seen a letter from the DNC but she “didn’t read it very closely.”

In the meantime, her counterpart from the Alabama Democratic Conference, Joe Reed, was putting the DNC in its place.

Reed informed the room that ADP’s bylaws dictated that they nominate new, at-large minority members, and that’s exactly what they should do, because “our bylaws have not been suspended.”

Except, well, they sort of were. The DNC found a multitude of issues with ADP’s bylaws, and it explicitly told the party what to do and when to do it.

Of course, the meeting broke down into people talking over one another, shouts, a few barbs back and forth and lots and lots of grandstanding.

And it was all so … pathetic.

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These people clinging to power on a ship that’s already slipped below the surface. Arguing over deck chairs and window treatments, and fighting with the groups trying to save them.

The Alabama Democratic Party could not possibly be less relevant right now. And Friday’s meeting was a strong reminder of why.

It is a party stuck in the past, still fighting personal battles and worrying about inconsequential things. A party that isn’t willing to put in the work and the effort to turn out good candidates and then to make sure they have a decent shot.

This cannot continue on. And Republican or Democrat, you should hope it doesn’t. A one-party government in any state or nation is a bad way to do things, leading to corruption and complacency. Our government was built on balance, and we can’t live without it.

It’s time for the ADP to make the changes necessary and get itself back in the game.

Otherwise, it’s going to forever be what it was Friday: 30 people in a hotel banquet room, arguing and complaining, while no one outside of that room takes them seriously.


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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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