UPDATE: More controversy in the Richmond County Democratic Party


COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON BEGINS WITH CONTROVERSY IN THE RICHMOND COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY.BACK IN MARCH, THE PARTY HAD FORMER SECRETARY JOE TRAINA ARRESTED FOR ATTENDING A MONTHLY MEETING. MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SAY HE WAS BEING “DISRUPTIVE.” RENETTA: NEWSCHANNEL 6’S SAMANTHA WILLIAMS WAS AT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S APPRECIATION BREAKFAST THIS MORNING. SHE JOINS US LIVE WITH MORE, SAMANTHA– SAMANTHA: BACK IN FEBRUARY, CHAIRMAN MTESA COTTEMOOD SENT TRAINA A LETTER SAYING THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SUSPEND HIS MEMBERSHIP INDEFINITELY– BUT ONE OF THOSE EXECUTIVE MEMBERS SAYS — THERE WAS NO VOTE. TRAINA HOLDS AN ELECTED SEAT… AND BELIEVES THIS FIGHT ISN’T FAIR. JOE TRAINA/ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “YOU’RE SENDING A MESSAGE TO FOLKS THAT IF YOU JOIN A POLITICAL PARTY, YOU HAVE TO LOSE YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT ESSENTIALLY.” SAMANTHA: JOE TRAINA TELLS ME HE HAS BEEN A PART OF THE RICHMOND COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY SINCE 2007– HE SERVED AS SECRETARY IN 20-12 AND THIS YEAR HOLDS THE DISTRICT 1, POST 7 COMMITTEE SEAT. HE SAYS THE TENSION THROUGHOUT THE LOCAL PARTY STARTED AFTER THE 20-18 ELECTION, WHEN HE AND SOME OTHER MEMBERS HELD THE BOARD ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR BY-LAWS. JOE TRAINA/ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “UNFORTUNATELY THEY WERE NOT CONDUCTED PROPERLY. AT THE NEXT MEETING WE WANTED TO GET THOSE RESULTS AND ASK THEM ABOUT THE INCONSISTENCIES OF THE ELECTION.” SAMANTHA: HE QUESTIONED THE BOARD IN FEBRUARY– FOLLOWING CHAIRPERSON MTESA WRIGHT SENDING TRAINA A LETTER, TELLING HIM HIS MEMBERSHIP WAS SUSPENDED AND THAT HE SHOULD SEEK “MULTIPLE FORMS OF PSYCHOLOGICLA, MENTAL, SOCIAL AND FORENSIC EVALUATIONS.” TRAINA SAYS HE DID GO TO THE NEXT MONTH’S MEETING– TO ASK ABOUT THE LETTER. THAT IS WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED. JOE TRAINA/ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “UNFORTUNATELY LEADERSHIP OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS IS HAVING TROUBLE PASSING THE BATON TO NEW FOLKS. THIS ISN’T REALLY EVEN IDEALOGICAL. WE AGREE ON 90% OF THE PLATFORM.” SAMANTHA: AFTER HIS ARREST IN MARCH, TRAINA HAS STAYED QUIET– THAT BRINGS US TO SATURDAY. HE IS THE CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR TRENT NESMITH WHO IS RUNNING TO REPLACE RICK ALLEN AS THE DISTRICT 12 CONGRESSMAN, SO HE BOUGHT A TICKET TO THE WALT WILLIAM BREAKFAST IN HOPES TO REPRESENT NESMITH. JOE TRAINA/ DEMOCRATIC PARTY: “YOU HAVE A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST ME?” SAMANTHA: TRAINA WAS THEN ESCORTED OUT OF THE PARTY’S FUNCTION BECAUSE A MEMBER FILED A RESTRAING ORDER AGAINST HIM. TRENT NESMITH/ 12TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN CANDIDATE: “WE HAVE GOT THIS DIVIDE IN RICHMOND COUNTY THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.” FRANCYS JOHNSON/ 12TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN CANDIDATE: “THIS IS A DEMOCRACY, AND I THINK ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN IT. THAT IS ONE OF OUR MOST CHERISHED VALUES SHRINED IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT.” SAMANTHA: I REACHED OUT TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DISTRICT’S PARTY, THE VICE CHAIR AND THE PARTY MEMBER WHO TOOK OUT THE RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST TRAINA– BUT I HAVE YET TO GET A RESPONSE. DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE RESTRAINING ORDER, BOTH HE AND THE PARTY MEMBER WILL HAVE A COURT HEARING.

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