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Black lawmaker upset with selection of white party strategist

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Ga. State Sen. Vincent Fort

An African American state senator is protesting the appointment of a well-regarded operative as the new executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia, citing a lack of racial diversity in the organization’s all-white senior leadership.

Senate Minority Whip Vincent Fort says the selection of Rebecca DeHart, who is white, as the state party’s top strategist failed to “reflect the rich diversity of Georgia Democrats.

“When you have a chairman who is white and an executive director who is white,” Fort, the senate’s second-most senior member, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “that rich diversity is not reflected.”

Gross mismanagement and weak fundraising had crippled the state Democratic party in recent years, leaving it orphaned from the national power structure and with little hope for revival.

But the statewide candidacies of Michelle Nunn and state Sen. Jason Carter, as well as the recent state party chairmanship contest won by former state Rep. DuBose Porter, had breathed new life into the struggling organization.

DeHart had been serving as the party’s acting executive director since Porter’s ascension to the chairmanship last summer, but a Tuesday evening conference call of the state executive committee fully ratified her selection.

Fort told the paper that he considered DeHart a friend, but chaffed at the “good ol’ boy approach” that resulted in her appointment.

Never mind that DeHart is a woman, and a tremendously accomplished one at that: she won four Pollie awards from the American Association of Political Consultants for work in the 2012 election and was previously a finalist for Campaigns & Elections Reed Awards, a prestigious industry nod.

Fort’s opposition to DeHart’s selection mirrors in many ways the clamoring among the state’s Democratic congressional delegation over the nomination of four judicial nominees to the federal bench.

In December, Reps. John Lewis, Hank Johnson and David Scott demanded that President Barack Obama withdraw consideration of four would-be judges for vacancies in Georgia.

(Only one of the nominees is an African American, and is reportedly a Republican, though conservative bloggers have questioned the claim. Other nominees include a Republican-appointed state judge; a former state legislator who once voted to preserve Georgia’s former Confederate-themed flag; and the lead defense attorney, on behalf of a Democratic attorney general, in legal challenges to the state’s 2005 voter identification law.)

Scott escalated the conflict Tuesday, when he asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify against the slate when the panel considers their nominations.

Fort said the state party deserves the same scrutiny as the president.

“We’re all supportive of the president,” he told the AJC. “But if we can challenge his federal judicial nominees, the Georgia Democratic Party shouldn’t be above the same scrutiny.”

- James Richardson


  1. johnfembup

    So Mr. Fort, you still think you’re in the right party? Looks like you’re not.

    Others are figuring it out. Don’t be slow.

  2. ptsargent

    Three words describe this man: racist, racist, racist. Nowhere does he mention qualifications for the job, it’s all about race. Stuff it , pal. I’ve had it with you racists.

  3. Dan Haveman

    Typical of the Ds in my state. See how far we’ve come?

  4. submandave

    I strongly support the Democrat efforts to structure their leadership according to demographics and diversity. They also need to up their number of illegal resident and non-English speaking in their leadership ranks. Plus, I don’t see how they can possibly represent the intellectually disadvantaged without appointing sufficient members from the left side of the bell curve. (although judging by policies and statements they may have inadvertently already accomplished the last item)

    • romanmoronie

      On the contrary. I am convinced that the Democrat leadership has many people on the left side of the Bell Curve in its ranks,….cough…..cough…. Hank Johnson….cough….Guam tipping over.

    • gwbnyc

      “I strongly support the Democrat efforts to structure their leadership according to demographics and diversity”

      *weak w/laughter*


  5. anilpetra

    I’m all for diversity over competence in the Democratic electoral apparatus!

  6. bobofromtexas

    I’m all for rich diversity in the Democrat Party.

    Replace the white woman with Cynthia McKinney.


  7. georgedixon1

    When the lawmaker and his comrades move to integrate the markedly Un-Diverse NBA… get back to me.

  8. MrJest

    Is the guy in the photo at the top the supposed “African American state senator” in question? Because he looks awfully “white” to me…

    • 0bamasnought

      He must be one of those ‘White Hispanics’ the media was talking about.

    • romanmoronie

      He’s wearing a white shirt……..Hmmmmm…… could be racist.

  9. Strelnikov

    As in every other case, “diversity” is merely a euphemism for “more blacks”. If the GA Dem leadership was all black, this clown would be hailing it as a great step forward in “diversity”.

  10. 0bamasnought

    Mr. Fort, it is only because they know what is best for your kind?
    Don’t be starting any trouble, they’ll accuse you of being off the plantation.

  11. Sammy

    He looks half-African-American to me. Lots of whitey in there, I suspect. I eagerly await a genetic screening to determine his African percentage. Anybody have a link to old South African apartheid rules? I think we’re gonna need it.

  12. Hmmmm, I wonder if the Democrats are just using an often used, intellectual diversity plan.

  13. Old and Tired

    Screw diversity of ideas or management styles, or other real differences between people. Only skin color matters. What’s funny is that we’ve known for quite some time that a black man is no longer judged by the color of his skin. Conservative blacks aren’t considered true blacks. I just tire of this dance.

  14. Scotty Starnes

    The racists are embolden. Democrats call everyone a racist because they project their own racism upon others to silence them. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are upset and telling Obama the same thing. Appoint someone based on skin color instead of knowledge/experience. Affirmative action gone wild.

    Imagine if a White Republican made the same claim. He would be on national tv for a 24 hour news cycle. According to this idiot we should only elects whites since whites make up 70% of American population. Never mind, Democrats have always been racist. Their party was founded on it.

  15. ss26mar

    I guess he does not believe in:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. MLK Jr.

  16. ss26mar

    The Jim Crow part = democrats seems ready to rebel

  17. Bandit Keena

    Racial grievance mongering – it never gets old

  18. gunny

    Her qualifications don’t make any difference to the sen.If she was black and couldn’t read or write that would be ok with him.
    He is Racist,Racist,Racist….

  19. GRL

    What’s more pathetic, Fort’s wearing ‘race colored glasses’ in viewing a white woman (who’s fighting the war on women?) or choosing a relative of Jimmy Carter and another community organizer (ok, she runs a non-profit and isn’t a great leader, based on the view of someone who worked with her) to run?

  20. gwbnyc

    He looks Italian to me, what’s up with this dude, man?

  21. Mr. Szeliga

    Black people are always discriminated against and are always unrepresented, imam right my bruthas ?
    NO !
    Sure white people are overrepresented but so are black people
    Black people make up 20% of the media, but only 12% of the nation
    they make up 17% of the government
    and we have a black president
    hardly discrimination
    This moron rejected northern Atlanta from making its own county separate to southern Atlanta
    He claimed it was segregation and that it was racist
    Because northern Atlanta is 67% white and the southern part is 35% white ( as in the primary county)
    the real reason they wanted to succeed was because the primary county was way too big and the north had its money sucked dry towards the south which is more populous and poorer

  1. […] As the Democratic Party of Georgia considers candidates for a new executive director, one state senator is protesting a well-experienced candidate “citing a lack of racial diversity in the organization’s all-white senior leadership,” Georgia Tipsheet reports. […]

  2. By Sunday Wrap-Up | Countenance Blog on January 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    […] *  “The rich diversity of Georgia’s Democrats.” […]

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