February 18th, 2008
11:38 AM ET

NAACP battle

Earlier this week, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond told CNN's Carol Costello that he didn't think there would be much fallout from the 64-member board over his letter to DNC Chairman Howard Dean urging him to find a way to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

The NAACP board met today in New York and it was hot!

My board sources said board members came armed to take down Bond, and they almost succeeded.


Roland S. Martin is a nationally syndicated columnist, Chicago-based radio host, and frequent contributor to the AC360° Blog.

Sources said Bond was "running scared trying to assess the votes but board members are avoiding them."

The meeting was described as "super intense" and forces for and against Bond were "lobbying hard."

"The room is packed!" I was told. "I have never seen this many people in attendance."

One of the reasons Bond wanted to stay on was because next year marks the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, and he has always wanted to be chairman during this centennial celebration. Bond told me last year that after his two-year term concluded after the centennial in 2010, he would retire from the board.

Eventually, California NAACP President Alice Huffman ran against Bond for the chairman's position.

Bond has taken a lot of heat for his letter to Dean, not only because it put the NAACP in the middle of a Democratic Party battle, but also because he didn't run the idea by the board, nor its executive committee.

"I'm the chairman of the board, I'm empowered to speak for the NAACP between meetings of the board of directors," he told CNN's Costello. "We'll have a board meeting in New York this weekend, and we'll see whether or not there's any fallout from this. I doubt there is. I think most people support it."

My sources said NAACP big wigs in Michigan and Florida were not at all in favor of the letter, and were outraged that Bond decided to move on his own.

So after all of the speeches, angry back and forth between folks on both sides, the board voted by secret ballot, and Bond – a civil rights icon who some have said saved the NAACP in recent years by virtue of his leadership, while others say his micromanaging was responsible for the departure after a year of president and CEO Bruce Gordon – beat Huffman 31-20.

Also re-elected was board vice chair Rosalind Brock, who was targeted by some board members for removal.

The NAACP still has a problem in that they don't have a president and CEO, which has been held down by Dennis Hayes.

I've been told that the NAACP has a hand full of candidates who they are looking at to fill the job.

– Roland S. Martin, 360° Contributor

Filed under: Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
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