Atlantic County Dems Reorg

In this special breaking news episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather is joined on the phone by Helen Duda and Gail Biel to discuss last night’s Atlantic County Democrat Party reorganization meeting. To call the reorganization meeting confusing would be an understatement. Many committee members from the towns of Atlantic City and Pleasantville assumed they were not allowed to vote for their chair since their elections had not been certified yet. Possibly as many as 60 members of a 180 member voting poll were not present to vote for their choice of chair person. A location change made the meeting less accessible to Atlantic City residents. This presents a troubling picture of disenfranchisement.

Helen and Gail

This story is still breaking and there is a lot we still don’t know, but Helen and Gail present what they saw at the meeting last night. To them this was not a democratic process. As usual we see certain candidates being given all the perks and others being obstructed at every turn. Gail was a candidate for chair. Both women attended last night’s meeting and were disturbed by the process. A clerk verified the results were not certified. I invited Michael Sullieman to come on the show to explain his side. He did not answer my email.

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5 comments on “Excluding People of Color Atlantic County Dems Preserve The Establishment

  1. Creed Pogue says:

    Ms. Biel’s initial problem is that she is brand-new to everything so she is blissfully unaware that nobody has been asked for their certificate of election in any previous year because we already had a full list of the people who had been elected. Unfortunately, it sounds like she got snookered by the Calloway faction which had most of the people elected in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. If they didn’t come, it was because they knew that Ms. Biel was not going to win so they wouldn’t waste their time going.

    There was NO option of holding off the vote.

    Ms. Biel only had two other people on her “slate.” Mr. Delgado was ineligible for vice-chair because the vice-chair has to be the opposite gender of the chair. Nobody else tried to be nominated for anything until Sergeant-at-arms where we did elect three instead of two.

    There are only eight positions from Pleasantville and 42 from Atlantic City and a number of them attended. We had sign-ins for everyone TWICE. There are only 302 total positions available (not all of them were filled) and 189 attended.

  2. Creed Pogue says:…/this-is-not-how-democracy-work…/

    It is problematic when those who constantly oppose the “establishment” (mostly because THEY want to be the “establishment”) use fact-free arguments to attempt to make their case. I guess difficulties of perception is one of the reasons why eyewitness testimony is considered less reliable than previously thought.

    Helen Duda has her own biases having gotten her “start” in the opposition group in Buena Vista Township. Last year, she ran against a female incumbent (who happened to be from Buena Vista) for State Democratic Committeewoman on a platform of “female empowerment” without any knowledge of what the position actually is. Realizing that it is an office that can only be held by females shows how out of touch she is.
    Unfortunately, some people are who are ignorant of reality are also impervious to facts either because they lack the ability to understand facts or are simply unable to accept reality outside of their paradigm.

    The church where we have held a number of County Committee meetings was too small for a group over 200. The union hall that we have also used suffered from the same problem.

    Ms. Duda criticizes the Atlantic County Democratic Committee for obeying State law without recognizing the irony. Only elected County Committee members are able to vote. Only elected County Committee members voted.

    We had a list of those who were elected (regardless of Board of Elections certification) so everyone who won was able to vote. Neither Ms. Duda nor Ms. Biel have named a specific person who won but was denied the right to vote by the Atlantic County Democratic Committee. Perhaps they should speak with Mr. Aponte who would have been appointed as the attorney for County Committee if Ms. Biel had been elected since Mr. Aponte also serves on the County Board of Elections. No one was “disenfranchised” anywhere and that includes Atlantic City and Pleasantville. Members from Atlantic City and Pleasantville attended the meeting and voted!

    Working with vote by mail ballots meant that a list of those elected wasn’t available until Tuesday the 12th which was the date of the reorganization meeting. Ms. Biel requested a list from the County Chair but State law provides that a list is available from the County CLERK. Getting that does require a basic understanding of how things work which unfortunately Ms. Biel and Ms. Duda have made abundantly clear that they do not possess but they desperately want to be in charge.

    The nominators for each candidate for County Chair was given two minutes and each candidate was given three minutes for their speeches (Not “very briefly”). Each County Committee member was given the opportunity to cast a secret ballot using dividers for further privacy. Unfortunately, truth is not important to Ms. Duda or Ms. Biel.

    It is again ironic that Ms. Duda is unhappy that there was not a vote on all the offices at once but is also unhappy the other elections for each office (done individually) were unopposed. Contrary to Ms. Duda’s insinuations, nobody was denied the opportunity to be nominated for anything.

    Ms. Duda’s biggest gripe, but she does not want to admit it, was that after a campaign full of misinformation her preferred candidate could only get 26 votes and lost by a margin more than 6-1.

    I would hope that instead we would try to work together to elect the better candidates of the ones who are actually on the ballot. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is how we wound up where we currently are.

    I was “banned” from Blue Jersey because I am willing to speak the truth as best I understand it so I put a fact-based rebuttal here.

  3. Creed S Pogue says:

    I wanted to wait a decent interval in case Gail or Helen actually were willing to give any names to back up their various accusations. But, the truth is that seven elected members from Pleasantville attended and voted at the Reorganization Meeting. Another would have been there but his grandchild just died.

    Also, just to show how exclusive the meeting was, one of those Pleasantville members was elected to the Executive Board.

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