The Faison Pitch

Two contextualizing facts to keep in mind when thinking about Faison's campaign for NCDP Party Chair:

The Pitch: "He knows how to win"

The Catch: Voter registration in Bill Faison's State House District is 59% Democrat.

The Pitch: "He's a great fundraiser"

The Catch: Removing PAC's, party money and loans to himself, Faison has reported just $55,000 from individual donors over the last six years, an average of less than $10,000 a year.


That's it, just for the record

I didn't want to drop those into his live blog out of respect for the format-- and I didn't want to editorialize on them too much out of respect for the intelligence of the readers here!


Bill Faison and context

Bill Faison is an extremely smart and dynamic leader. He entered this race knowing that many within his party are not happy with his tendency to speak his mind directly, without consideration for what old school pros might tell him is the safer, smarter path to political success in NC. But speaking his mind directly without regard for the advice of his elders has always been his way, and it seems to me that it will always *be* his way, for better or worse.

I've watched Faison for a few years and have always been impressed by his independence. A little more of that spirit may be what we need in the party these days.

Old school ain't working.

The Road Less Traveled

The Pitch: "Bill entered this race knowing that many within his party are not happy with his tendency to speak his mind directly, without consideration for what old school pros might tell him is the safer, smarter path to political success in NC."

The Catch: Being a wealthy trial lawyer is actually the safest, smartest path to political success in just about any state. It does in fact allow you the independence to speak your mind without regard for the advice of pretty much everybody. It does not however produce the best collaborative leadership skills...

Collaborative Leadership Skills

I don't disagree with you there Frank. We'll see whether he's a quick learner.

Short Response

On the district question.

When they polled Bill's race, if undecideds had broken in his race like they did across the state Bill would have won with about 3%. He won by 13.

If you look at Civitas' quick glance partisan index as a good baseline and then compare results lets see what we find.

Bill's district is considered a D+6. He won by 13.
Dewey Hill's district is considered a D+8. He won by 7.
Joe Tolson is D+5. He won by 7.
Alice Bordsen is D+8. She won by 9.
Maggie Jeffus is D+9. She won by 5.

On the fundraising question.

Bill has raised money for a lot more causes than his own campaign. Most importantly he understands how fundraising is done, and is excited by putting in the time and effort required.

Now, I don't think its necessary to tear down our opponent, but I would encourage folks to ask around about the amount of money David Parker has raised for candidates. Frank you have claimed on here that David has raised millions for Democratic candidates. To put that in context, our good friend James, along with his wife, has raised $500,000 since and including 1996. I have talked to a number of candidates and professional fundraisers and they all come back with the same question "What has he raised?". Because they don't see actual money.

I was hoping to avoid a standard primary war, but I guess that was a pipe dream.

"Keep the Faith"

Frank Eaton is dead right

Make no mistake: Bill Faison's election results are certainly not evidence of any ability on his part to win elections. Faison lives in intensely blue Orange County. Equally important - Frank Eaton is dead right to raise the issues about Faison's fundraising. From the facts currently under discussion on BlueNC, I am not overly impressed with Faison's fundraising - under $10,000 per year as Frank Eaton documented above. Neither should we ignore Faison's lack of experience in the Democratic Party. But, the most worrying problems are about Faison's candidacy for Chair are the legal and the ethical concerns that prohibit a sitting member of the GA from raising funds for the Party during sessions of the GA. That is why Faison is hastily organizing a fundraiser for next Tuesday - to comply with state law before the GA comes back into session. That ploy is literally a farce. Look, Bill Faison has a lot of positives, but why on earth would anybody want the Party to have to fight legal and ethical battles in the News & Observer over his fundraising activities while he concurrently serves in two important positions? Does anybody recall the recent ethical and legal trials and tribulations of former Governor Mike Easley? Faison is a fine man, but his candidacy for NCDP Chair does not make any legal, ethical or political sense. If Faison becomes the Chair of the NCDP, it will be a political windfall for the Republicans who will keep him in ethical and legal hot water for the next two years. Bottom line: Faison should withdraw - asap.

Curious Blue


You point quite effectively to my ongoing concern about Bill being the Chair. We need his ideas and his help in the Legislature, but is this the time to have to fight real or imagined ethics battles? We need to focus ALL our enegies on defeating Republicans and their "Take NC backward" agenda.