Enough. After a stormy year as state Democratic Party chair, Randy Voller should step down for the sake of his party's candidates and North Carolina. I say this knowing that he won't, because Voller sees himself as a visionary leader—but he can't see that he's hurting Democratic prospects for 2014.
I was invited to go to the meeting, but declined to participate. I have no stomach for crap like this, which also explains my short-lived career in politics. But I do have the benefit of three separate and detailed accounts of what happened. I have reached the exact same conclusion as Bob: Randy should step down, but he won't.
Several folks have asked me to weigh in to mediate the messy discussions about the NC Democratic Party, the executive director, Chairman Voller, and such. I decline. From out here on the sidelines, it looks like a classic blood feud with strongly committed people representing strongly held beliefs on all sides of the issue. Many of the comments involve actions in meetings that happened in private, which then spilled over to these pages.
I'm sympathetic to all sides of the issue, and wish only that a productive path forward can be found. Given the obvious deep divides, that seems unlikely.
Submitted by WakeVerifiedVoting on Sun, 02/23/2014 - 12:21pm
I've sat patiently while watching events go by, largely talking to my friends and refraining from commenting in public other than to refute the usual Voller-haters (who were also Parker-haters two years ago). But I do feel I must make a few comments on the whole ED firing/Dr. Ben Chavis matter.
Previous Chairs largely made the selection of ED, with their selection validated by the Executive Council. Certainly some ED candidates were trotted around to various constituency groups - including elected officials - but the Chairs largely made the choices on their own. The job of the ED is not to be a celebrity - it's to be a competent administrator of the Party for the officers, delegates, electeds/candidates and donors. A good ED should follow the directives set by the Chair and the SEC and Executive Council at the state level, and the CEC and the elected county-level officers (the "board") at the county level. Their job should be to properly administer the Party so that the officers and delegates can decide what the party stands for and elect candidates who can turn that party platform into public policy.
'With a Sex-Harassment Suit Hanging Over His Head, Some Are Wondering Whether Nation of Islam Minister Benjamin Muhammad Is Fit to Lead the Million Family March'
By Peter Noel Tuesday, Sept 5 2000
Party Chairman Randy Voller is still in denial about the baggage Dr. Ben Chavis would bring as an employee of the NC Democratic Party. A simple Google search pulls up dozens of articles that document Chavis' simply awful track record.
This is one of the best from the time of his controversial tenure as leader of a Nation of Islam mosque in Harlem in NY City. I hope all the members of the State Party's Executive Council will read it.
Submitted by Stephanie Goslen on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 9:08am
I am fighting mad. The party I came to know and love is being attacked. I am not referring to the attacks on the Chairman of the party, but, that is implied, I am not referring to the attacks on the grassroots but, that can be implied as well. I am referring to the view I have of the party and how I am angry that good people get pulled down in order for the “corporate democrats” to hold on to power. As a child growing up in my family, my mom did all she could to raise us to be good strong democrats. We helped her to campaign nationally and locally, we helped with precinct meetings, and we were encouraged to be involved, we even were pages. Mom would often talk around the kitchen table of her friend, the state party chair Barbara Allen. And I did not fully understand all that was being done in the name of the party at the time, but, what I gleaned from these conversations and activities was generally warm and peaceful.
Submitted by Martha Brock on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:02pm
The Executive Council of the NC Democratic Party met via teleconference call. The reason appears to be a requirement under the rules that a meeting must be held withing 48 hours after a vacancy in the Executive Director's position.
Nonetheless, there was inadequate notice, which is also a requirement under Party rules. According to the person counting votes 28 votes constituted a majority. I don't know exactly how many Council members were on the phone. According to info on the Wake County Party site, there are 51 members. It was said at some point on the call there were over 150 participants including non-voting folks like me.
I only learned how to call in as the meeting was being convened at 9:00 pm, not the 8:00 pm I had been told earlier. What a mess.
Of course I won't complain too much. If a vote on hiring Ben Chavis had happened, it could have been a lot more detrimental to the Party.
Submitted by Martha Brock on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:04am
NC Democratic Party Chairman called and we spoke for several minutes about reports that Ben Chavis will be named as new Executive Director of the Party. Voller feels he is not getting fair treatment from some media outlets, especially the Raleigh News and Observer.
He appeared to be listening attentively to my questions about the firing of Dempsey and the hiring of Chavis. He did not want to get into details of Dempsey personnel matters, nor did I ask him to. However, he stated for the record that he "considered the situation like that of a coach who has to pull a player in the middle of a game. It is not easy, but sometimes it has to be done."
I have sent emails to Casey Mann and to Micah Beasley at Democratic Headquarters, but no response received yet. My questions are about the question raised by N&O story and quote from member of the party's state Council questioning Voller's authority to fire the Executive Director without vote by Council.
I'm a year or two away from the end of an amazing career in business. Thirty two years of entrepreneurial feast and famine, with partnership playing a critical role in whatever successes we've enjoyed. Without three great partners early on, my life and career would have turned out very differently. Together, we were good enough often enough to come out ahead.
That's what I'm looking for from the North Carolina Democratic Party now that the August SEC meeting is behind us. Here's my advice to the partners who form our leadership team: Robert Dempsey, Patsy Keever, and Randy Voller.
Should be a big day in the Gate City, when the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party convenes to do whatever it does. What might that be, you ask? Well, the agenda is here, which provides some insight into the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of the party apparatus. Perhaps more important, here's a list of prepared resolutions that will be considered today, covering everything you can imagine, and then some. And finally, there are three "inside baseball" proposals, one of which would reduce the number of SEC members by half. Good luck with that.
If all goes according to plan, BlueNC's Steve Harrison will be on hand at the meeting to report on interesting developments and behind-the-scenes sentiment. If you have questions you'd like Steve to look into, just drop them into the comments below.
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