The PoliBlog

The Collective
Friday, August 25, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

The race for Alabama House seat District 54 (in the Birmingham area–see this map) has turned ugly.

The race made headlines in July, because it appeared that the winner of the Democratic run-off, Patricia Todd, would be the first openly gay member of the state legislature (there is no Republican candidate running for the seat).

However, yesterday, via the AP we find that: Dems use ignored rule to oust gay candidate with the kicker being that it was (as reported by the NYT):

a rule that, by party officials’ own admission, has not been enforced in nearly 20 years.

The rule has to do with the filing of financial disclosure forms (again via the NYT):

The accusations against Ms. Todd are that she failed to file campaign finance reports with the party chairman in a timely fashion. But candidates no longer submit such reports to the party, instead they send them to the secretary of state. Ms. Todd did miss the deadline for filing her final report, however, which Ms. Hendricks said was an effort to conceal a $25,000 contribution from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports gay candidates. The report also showed that Ms. Todd made payments for consulting services totaling $10,750 to two primary opponents who later supported her in the runoff.

Ms. Todd’s opponent also failed to comply with the rule (and the challenge was filed by the opponent’s Mother-in-law). But because the complaint was filed against Todd, her opponent, Ms. Hendricks, could be named to replace her, even though she also violated the rule.

This entire situation stinks: it reeks of petty racial politics (Ms. Hendricks in black and the district is majority black), the worst of power-broker politics (Democratic Vice-Chairman and powerbroker Joe L. Reed is at the heart of much of this) and anti-gay prejudice. If that’s not a trifecta of shame for the Democratic Party of Alabama, I don’t know what one would look like. And, above all else, the ruling violates the democratic rights of the district, as Todd has received the most votes in both the first and second rounds.

Birmingham Blues has some photos from yesterday’s hearing.

Alablawg looks at the actual law and then comments on the results of the hearing.

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    1. Thanks for the link. This mess really is sad for the state of Alabama and the Democratic Party. I hold out hope that the State Executive Committee will reverse the subcommittee’s decision tomorrow and restore Patricia’s win. We’ll see.

      Comment by Kathy — Friday, August 25, 2024 @ 8:52 pm

    2. […] Kudos to Jeff for doing the research and reporting on this issue–although Wheeler at Alablawg isn’t sure if this matters or not. My previous post on this topic is here. Filed under: US Politics | |Send TrackBack […]

      Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Rule Used by Dems to Disqualify District 54 Candidates was Never Approved — Friday, August 25, 2024 @ 9:02 pm

    3. Both Todd and Hendricks would be eligible to be named the nominee by the State Democratic Executive Party. I am hearing that Hendricks is unlikely to emerge as the eventual nominee.

      Comment by Danny — Saturday, August 26, 2024 @ 12:06 am

    4. Have you heard the latest twist? Apparently the rule that has not been enforced in 18 years was also never approved by the Department of Justice and is therefore likely void.

      Comment by KipEsquire — Saturday, August 26, 2024 @ 6:17 am

    5. […] **UPDATE: Steven Taylor at Poliblog is on this story too. Posted Alabama Politics on Friday, August 25th, 2024. […]

      Pingback by The World Around You » Blog Archive » You knew they would find a way… — Tuesday, September 5, 2024 @ 6:39 pm

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