Georgia Democrats’ golden opportunity | Opinion | Creative Loafing Atlanta

5
Jun

Georgia Democrats’ golden opportunity | Opinion | Creative Loafing Atlanta

My first thought was that the Democratic Party should hire the writer as their next “Minister of Propaganda,” but then I remembered that would require them to pay him. Better to keep him on the payroll of Creative Loafing, then. Max Blau’s editorial is worth reading in its entirety if you’re a Georgia political consultant, party activist, or leader on either side of the aisle.

At first glance, the Democratic Party of Georgia appears to be in dire straits.

It’s not clear yet who will replacement Berlon. There’s a lengthy list of possible candidates, but for now the DPG is a headless political organization in relative disrepair. The group’s nearly broke, reporting a mere $30,734 in the bank according to its most recent filings. And there’s an internal debate, sparked by Reed, over whether a Democrat should even challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in next year’s gubernatorial election.

But the DPG — and the millions of Georgians pining for a progressive to hold at least one statewide elected office — shouldn’t lose hope. How its members rebound in the coming weeks will define the party’s future, particularly as its movers and shakers gear up for key U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in 2014. Despite the party’s bleak outlook, demographic changes and under-the-radar efforts to build a political machine actually allow the party a chance to start anew and regain the kind of political momentum it’s been missing for years.

First, party officials need to waste no time and revamp their statewide political strategy. That starts with finding the perfect party chairperson from a slate that’s rumored to include: Dan Halpern, Reed’s campaign chairman; another former Reed campaign chairman and President Barack Obama campaign strategist Tharon Johnson; former state Rep. DuBose Porter of Dublin; former state Sen. Doug Stoner of Smyrna; one-time DPG chair and state Rep. Calvin Smyre of Columbus; and current vice chair Nikema Williams, a Planned Parenthood Southeast vice president.

Whoever gets the nod, Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie says that the next chair must have a flawless reputation and be both “a manager and a rainmaker” — areas in which Berlon struggled.

via Georgia Democrats’ golden opportunity | Opinion | Creative Loafing Atlanta.

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