Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If Andre' or the AJC had bothered to ask

This is what they would've learned about DPG finances:

Dear Leaders, 

Most of you probably saw an article last week in the Political Insider that referred to a $40,000 payment the DPG made to the Smithsonian for inauguration activities.  This same article reported that the DPG is $140,000 in debt.  Our staff is currently working on a comprehensive 2008 Annual Report that should be complete and ready for your review prior to the beginning of the session, however I wanted to take this opportunity to correct this misinformation in the Political Insider. 

The financial disclosure report referenced in the article is a State report and included only state monies. It did not included Federal funds. The State report is being amended.  The report was filed the day of the runoff election and inaccurately stated the party's debt as $140,000.  In fact the only debt that the party is carrying is a House Caucus loan of around $119,000.  As you know, the party is legally responsible for both caucuses finances, therefore we report any debt owed by either caucus on our disclosure reports.  The additional $20,000 debt reported was paid several months ago and was inaccurately left on the report.  The report is currently being amended to accurately reflect that the only debt carried by the party is the House Caucus loan.  In contrast, the state party had tens of thousands of dollars of debt when I became Chair in early 2007. 

The $40,000 payment made by the DPG to the Smithsonian is a deposit on a location for the Georgia Inaugural Ball.  The Georgia State Society, based in DC and chaired by Rep. Sanford Bishop and made up of many other Georgians, is hosting the Georgia Inaugural Ball.  The Georgia State Society is just beginning to raise money for the Ball and had not yet raised the money to pay the deposit on the location at the Smithsonian.  The Society asked the DPG to make the deposit to reserve the space by the deadline with the agreement that the entire amount would be restored to the party before the end of the year.  We agreed in order to assure that Georgia would be positioned appropriately during this historic inauguration. 

I hope that this clears up any concerns you may have had related to the Political Insider article.  More than $7.5 million moved through the DPG in 2008 to help our federal and state candidates.  We built and managed the largest field program in state history, employing hundreds of field organizers.  We registered over 200,000 new voters and the party is ending the year without debt.  We will be presenting the full DPG 2008 Annual Report to you in early January. 

I look forward to continuing to build the relationship between the state party and our caucuses during the 2009 session.  Please let me know if there is anything else we can do to be helpful and please feel free to forward to Caucus members.

Best regards, 
Jane

2 comments:

Lucid Idiocy said...

I'm having trouble understanding why Galloway gets the blame, when the DPG says it made the mistake.

Amy Morton said...

The DPG made a 20K mistake, not a 140K mistake. It's hard for me imagine you seeing the disclosure and writing the piece without calling the DPG for comment, and it is my understanding that did not happen in this instance. Had it happened, then the reporting would have been more accurate because he would have learned that the bulk of that debt would have been correctly attributed to the caucus. That debt, while the responsibility of the party, has been hanging around, gradually being reduced since Terry Coleman was Speaker and can hardly be placed at the feet of the current leadership. Plus, to fully understand the financial picture of the party, you have to look at both the state and federal disclosures. He would also have learned that the 40k for the inaugural space was essentially a loan that was to be repaid in full. I think that paints a very different picture than
the DPG is 140K in debt and still spent 40K for space in DC for the inaugural.