By KIM CHANDLER Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The chairman of the Democratic National Committee said Monday that the Alabama Democratic Party is failing to meet basic obligations and national party officials have withheld funds because of the chronic problems.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez delivered the rebuke in a letter outlining the status of challenges filed against the state party. He said Alabama is the only state where monthly party development funds have been withheld because of problems.
“Alabama has fallen far short of meeting its basic obligations to develop an effective strategic plan and build the necessary infrastructure for success,” Perez wrote in a letter. “The ADP has chronically underperformed in virtually every aspect of operation.”
The harsh assessment was the latest sign of frustration by national party officials with the leadership of the Alabama party. Perez wrote the letter to Jefferson County Democratic Party Chair Richard Mauk who had inquired about the status of two challenges against state party leadership.
The DNC last month stripped Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley and Vice Chair Randy Kelley of their seats on the DNC because of missed deadlines to hold new leadership elections and bring party bylaws into compliance.
The DNC in February ordered the Alabama party to hold new elections for state party chair and vice-chair after finding multiple irregularities with Worley’s and Kelley’s election last year. Party officials also ordered the state party to develop an affirmative action plan and revise bylaws to provide representation of other minorities, not just African Americans.
Perez wrote that since September 2018 the DNC has withheld a monthly payment of at least $10,000 from the Alabama party because of the problems
“We have not had to take this serious action with any other state party,” he wrote.
Worley did not return a text message seeking comment.
The letter also indicated the state’s participation in Democrats’ presidential nominating convention next year could be in jeopardy.
A DNC panel had said it won’t approve the state’s delegate selection plan until the state party holds new leadership elections under properly approved bylaws.
Perez told Mauk that they are willing to help.
“Democrats can win and are winning in Alabama,” Perez wrote. “But we need a functional state party.”