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DNC rejects new Alabama Democratic Party bylaws

The Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws committee today rejected proposed changes to the Alabama Democratic Party’s bylaws, increasing the likelihood that the DNC will impose sweeping changes on the Alabama chapter. 

Tuesday’s rejection came after a tense few months between the ADP and various DNC officials, during which time the ADP missed several deadlines and ignored party directives. The rejection of the new bylaws also makes it nearly impossible for ADP officials to rework and resubmit a suitable plan, and all but ensure that the DNC will approve another plan written by national officials. 

The conflict between the DNC and ADP arose after complaints were filed following the re-election of ADP chairwoman Nancy Worley last August. The DNC credentials committee invalidated those elections, citing major issues with the ADP’s bylaws that allowed vice-chairman Joe Reed to essentially handpick more than 30 at-large executive committee members. Those at-large members were able to push Worley to victory. 

But the credentials committee determined that the ADP bylaws wrongly defined “minority” members as only black. It ordered ADP to rewrite the bylaws to be more inclusive, to define and require outreach programs and to ensure that the state’s executive committee better resemble the voting demographics of the state. 

After ADP officials failed to meet several deadlines to have the reworked bylaws submitted, DNC officials reworked the bylaws for them. Those proposed bylaws, which were not addressed on Tuesday, included a new diversity caucus for the party that would include LGBTQ individuals, young people, Asians, Hispanics and other ethnicities. It also would require that the State Executive Committee members vote on proposed at-large members. 

That plan would effectively even out the selection of at-large members, lessening the likelihood that Reed, or any one person, could handpick dozens of voting members in the hours before a leadership vote. 

The new bylaws are to be in place prior to the ADP’s new elections, which the DNC set for Aug. 17.

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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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