An interesting story from Mississippi

May 30, 2020

      Whilst going through forums regarding how to increase voter participation, I came across an article by Mississippi Today. In an interview with 6 prominent Mississippi Democrats, these reporters have  learned that the party office does not have the resources or the staff to offer  adequate  support to its candidates. There is neither an executive director nor a finance director.

      The de-facto leader is Bobby Moak, who used to be a state representative and now determines party strategy and does fundraising. Moak is not a full-time member, and balances his work at the party with his law practice. The few office staffers, some of whom are volunteers, are not supervised, nor work in coordination with one another. Moak’s work  on his pet data collection system has not been conducive to the grassroots volunteers during the 2019 governor’s race in Mississippi. The result is a lack of direction that many state party members find counterproductive to the party goals. 

      This story emphasizes the importance of effective leadership and the disastrous consequences of lack thereof. The Mississippi GOP not only has a supermajority in almost all MS political offices, it has top-down leadership which has given it impressive efficiency in maintaining its control over state politics. The state Democratic Party has many volunteers who strongly desire to help elect Democrats into state office. However, this immense grassroots effort will be dispersed and discouraged if the void of leadership continues.There is a balance to top-down vs. bottom up leadership, and if an organization claims to cherish grassroots organizing, then there must be strong leadership at the top, even if it is just to facilitate volunteer efforts.

The relevant article:


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