A year ago this February, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Political Insider Jim Galloway reported, "The state Democratic party has problems."
Galloway told the world that Page Gleason, then-Executive Director of the Georgia Democratic Party, quit. Galloway also brought news of a special called meeting of the state Democratic executive committee, where the finances of the Democratic Party organization were discussed.
Georgia Politics Unfiltered has learned, through an email sent from Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon to state Democratic executive committee members, that Berlon was highly critical of the special meeting held 22 February 2012 and even urged the meeting's cancellation.
Georgia Democratic Party rules say the state Democratic committee is the "highest authority" of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Party rules also say the state Democratic executive committee acts on behalf of the state committee between state committee meetings; and that special meetings of the executive committee may be called "by at least 1/4 of the membership of the Executive Committee upon receipt by all members of written notice 2 days prior to such meeting."
In his email to the executive committee, Berlon acknowledged receiving notice of a special called meeting from R.J. Hadley, a party vice-chair.
"This morning I received an email from Vice Chair RJ Hadley calling a special meeting of the Executive Committee this Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM," Berlon wrote to the executive committee. "In support of this demand, he indicated that he had concerns about (1) setting regular meetings of the Executive Committee, (2) planned on presenting a budget and (3) indicated that had the support of 14 members of the Executive Committee."
Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon then went on to suggest, in several lengthy paragraphs, that Hadley had usurped the authority of the chairman; announced he would not attend the meeting; and urged Hadley to cancel the meeting.
"In my opinion, as well as that of General Counsel, this request or demand by Mr. Hadley is completely out of order," Berlon wrote. "This is primarily a volunteer organization. Not everyone can drop everything to attend a meeting on short notice. According to General Counsel, the provision for a called meeting was designed to be used in an emergency. There is no emergency.
"I encourage Mr. Hadley to cancel that meeting and at least pick up the phone and call me with his concerns," the Berlon email read.
According to Jim Galloway's report, the special state Democratic executive committee meeting was held as scheduled, despite Berlon's protestations; and it was revealed that Georgia's Democratic Party faced financial insolvency.
The minutes from the meeting state it was "generally agreed that the current financial approach" of the Democratic Party of Georgia was "unsustainable."
Below is the full email from Georgia Democratic Party chairman Mike Berlon to state Democratic executive committee members: