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Black leaders critical of Democratic chairman Betras

Published: Tue, September 24, 2013 @ 6:21 p.m.

Black leaders critical of Democratic chairman Betras


Local black leaders are strongly criticizing Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras for what they call “attacks and threats” against certain African-Americans.

“The Community Mobilization Coalition” is organizing a news conference for 5 p.m. Friday in front of the county board of elections “to express the African-American community’s outrage to the public embarrassment of our leaders and bully tactics used by [Betras] to force support and endorsement of the party candidate” for Youngstown mayor, according to a news release from the organization.

Because former Councilman Artis Gillam Sr., his wife, Youngstown Councilwoman Annie Gillam, D-1st, and Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd, are supporting DeMaine Kitchen, an independent candidate for mayor, instead of John McNally IV, the winner of the Democratic primary, Betras removed them from the party’s executive committee. Betras removed Artis Gillam Sr. as the city’s 1st Ward district leader.

Betras said the decisions had nothing to do with race — all are black — and entirely because they are Democratic executive committee members who are openly supporting a challenger to the party’s candidate.

For the complete story, read Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


1AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

There once was a party chairman named David,
Who felt that non-Dems were morally tainted.
For refusing a demand that his behind be kissed
You from the committee soon are dismissed.
Yes, bro, with "freedom of speech" David ain't much acquainted

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2gdog4766(1469 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

It seems harsh, but if you want to feed from that trough you need to be loyal to the ones that fill it. Mahoning county politics is rife with disloyal people. Traficant, Ungaro, McKelvey, rosemary Durkin and others took our money and support and then strayed from party lines. Don't claim to agree with one line of ideals and then back those that don't. It's like claiming to be a Browns fan and then wearing a Steelers jersey.,

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32fer1(22 comments)posted 11 months, 1 week ago

Does any one remember Don Hanni? He ruled the Dem party with an iron fist. You're all in and in line OR you are out!
Chairman rules! Don't assume because it is the Democratic Party that it is a democracy.
Oh, and I am no great fan of Atty. Betras. But it just seems some people do not understand rules and why they have to abide by them.

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