Democrats VS Democrats
Published May 9th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - A dispute between members of the same party democrats versus democrats, Is heating up once more. The Alachua County Democratic party still wants the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus charter revoked. However caucus members are fighting to change their mind.
Tonight the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee met downtown and in their agenda as new business they were to address their request to the state party to revoke the Black Caucus charter. However due to time restraints many democrats in that meeting were left not only without the opportunity to speak but with unanswered questions as well.
This is how tonight's Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee began. Respectful and quiet. However that wasn't the case for long. Members became loud and disruptive about one issue, the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus.
Robert Prather the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee Chair said, "They have been in clear violation of the rules and the rules of the state black caucus and as the county chair of the democratic party, the responsibility to hold ourselves and our organization to the rules clearly falls to me."
The leadership of the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee seem not to be backing down from their request to the state party to have the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus revoked.
Donna Lee a member of the Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee said, "We need to act like democrats which means we support democratic candidates, that's our job."
The reason behind it? The black caucus public support of republican Ed Braddy during the Gainesville mayoral race.
Linda Taylor, Alachua County Democrat said, "As a democrat, i feel betrayed."
The DEC provided the last 5 minutes of the meeting to address the issue. In those five minutes the president of the Democratic Black Caucus asked the DEC members that initiated the letter to retract it and apologize.
Ermon Owens President of the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus said, "Because of that letter the integrity of our organization has been impaired. We will not be off course for supporting the citizens of this county and working towards the good for all the citizens of this county."
A plea that went unanswered and that ray washington, the attorney for the black caucus says the DEC never really intended to discuss during the meeting.
Ray Washington attorney for the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus, "And the question was really simple, will you withdraw an irregularly voted upon condemnation of the black caucus... It was never answered."
During the meeting members became uncomfortable as to how the the DEC is handling the situation. Maria Parsons an Alachua County Democrat said, "Microphones are turned off, the lights are turned off, meetings adjourned before it's time simply because they don't want to hear the voice, the democratic voice."
Marna Weston member of the DEC says regardless of the dispute the bottom line for organizations like the DEC and the democratic black caucus is to help get democrats into office. Weston said, "We are a partisan organization, our job is to elect democrats. When leaders in our party are supporting another party, it just doesn't seem to make sense."
Charles Goston with the Black Caucus said this shouldn't be the case as the mayoral race was non-partisan, "African americans and other people be treated with equality in this party, they do not be taken for granted and they do not be disrespected by one group, because we do not agree with their ideology on certain things."
The Black Caucus has provided additional information for the Florida Democrats to review. In the meantime the DEC tells me the state party postponed the judicial hearing set in may. Possibly to a later date.
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