The business of the NCDP

At issue here with the State Democratic Party is no longer a matter of personality clashes or competing party ideologies. The core problem of the struggling NCDP is a lack of leadership. I am convinced that Chairman Voller is a nice guy. I have talked with him one on one and have listened to him speak. I am convinced that he genuinely cares for the party and the people in it. If all it took to be in charge was a winning personality Jimmy Carter would have won a second term and John Kerry would be a former President instead of current Secretary of State.

Plain and simple, what we have here is a crisis in leadership. If the Executive council and the SEC (State Executive Committee) were truly acting in the best interest of the shareholders (party members and elected Democrats) they represent, they would have found a way to let Chairman Voller go several scandals and missteps ago. Instead we as Democrats in our good-hearted and “let’s not rock the boat” mentality have failed the membership by not standing up and demanding a change in the State Chairmanship.

There is no credible company or organization that would allow continuous sluggish quarterly profit reports (fundraising totals in this case) to occur without some sort of accountability. And there is almost no corporate board that would not take action against a CEO that continued to be the news instead of make the news. In fact if anyone can tell me with all sincerity that McDonald’s, Apple or Chrysler would sit by while their clients left for the competition and do nothing while their profits lagged, I will back off my premise and eat crow.

The fact is, until the NCDP starts acting like a business and manages it’s departments, staff, campaigns and PR like a business, we will continue to be dragged through the ringer of public relations disasters and media controversy. We are not a charity, but a political party in the business of getting Democrats elected regardless of one’s personal ego or ideology concerning that politician.

Much has been said about the nay-Sayers causing division and speaking out when they should remain silent. I must admit as one of those vocal in the movement for more accountability and leadership responsibility, I take offense as being labeled a “bad Democrat” because, I desire to see my party run a tight ship from the top down instead of being the Titanic about to hit an ice burg.

In the business world there are good guys who get let go every day. It is not a personal matter. It is not a conspiracy. It is not the media out to get them. It is not a secret coup attempting to take over. It is not the fault of the old guard, the new guard or the consultants etc. Eventually it must be the fault of the man or woman in charge. In this case it is the Chairman of the state party who must take on the responsibility of the PR disasters, poor image, staffing blunders, lack of fundraising and scandals.

I do not know what the answer is in correcting the wayward ship we call the NCDP, but I do know that we cannot present a united front and be competitive when our state party leader is so weakened that he cannot keep the trust of high-level elected Democrats who refuse to donate or solicit the help of the state party for their campaign. Something would be gravely wrong in the business world if a large printing company had major players within their own company using Kinkos or Office Depot instead of their own product. In the business world that is the kiss of death.

In short there are many mini crises occurring within the state Democratic Party. There is a crisis in confidence. There is a financial crisis with dwindling funds in the treasury. There is a media crisis with a PR and image that has been so tarnished that the brand has been badly damaged. There is a staffing crisis with a revolving door that leads mostly out than in. I could go on, but the biggest crisis which needs to be addressed is the leadership crisis. When things continually go wrong at Ford or IBM, they don’t fire the workers on the ground doing the day to day operations, they get rid of the CEO who has failed to live up to their contractual obligations.

I realize as a Political Party we are a bit more forgiving and less rigid than the corporate world, but until we become a bit more structured like a business and demand more from our leadership we will continue to hobble along. I don’t know about you, but as a proud Democrat and SEC member I want to run the race and cross the finish line instead of being disqualified before the race even begins. True leadership can bridge the factions, unite ideologies and steer clear of dangerous ice burgs in the frigid waters. Rand Voller, Chairman of the NCDP may be a good guy, but he is not a good leader. It is time our Party acted in its own best interest and hold him accountable.



This has gotten beyond embarrassing. There's more than enough blame to go around, but it's time to stop slinging it. Voller needs to be the bigger man and resign and go back to turning Pittsboro into West Cary.

I must admit that I'm thoroughly confused about who is responsible for what between the national party, the state party, the county parties, the legislative and congressional campaign arms, the independent groups, etc.

However, it is glaringly obvious that all of the grownups in those various spheres need to get on the same page immediately. I'm no fan of Third Way Kay, but she is obviously the leader of the NC blue team this season, and needs to embrace that role. We have to make some inroads in the General Assembly.

We must stop fighting amongst ourselves.

This should be a great comeback year for us. Having Tillis as the likely GOP Sen. nominee means we can easily run against every crappy thing the GA, McCrory, Duke Power, ALEC, etc. have done to our state and our people.

State level issues are fair game in a federal race because of Tillis' record.

Sen. Hagan -- you need to get going on your end.

Run some freaking positive ads reintroducing yourself to the state, Senator, before the bad guys burn you beyond recognition. Be proud of standing up for patients and nurses and teachers. Be for common sense regulation that keeps our air and water clean. Be for fair taxation and against corporate loopholes (if you can, Ma'am -- sometimes I think you're on the other team on economic issues).

Everybody else, it's time to row in the same direction. This is the path back to power eventually. It's the whole point, remember? Quit the nasty infighting or get out.

This is about Randy and the state party, not Kay Hagan

Robert, you captured our problems perfectly and I couldn't agree more with your points. Indeed, Randy's missteps have become the media's focus instead of the state party's efforts and that makes Randy polarizing and the central problem.

Ideally, the best we can hope for in terms of the smallest proverbial sucking chest wound is that Randy steps down to take on a new opportunity (i.e. job) or to "spend more time with the family. That sort of clean break would permit a fresh face to step up and take control of the party's direction. The most important and gerrymander-proofed statewide race is Kay Hagan's Senate re-election and it is our state party's duty to help her win. We can't do much if we don't raise support for Hagan in terms of a unified front and funds!

The North Carolina Democratic Party is in deep trouble and that has never been more obvious than it is right now given the abysmal fundraising in Voller's first year as well as the Hagan senate campaign's partnership with a county party over the state party. The NCDP is figuratively and literally "broke" -- according to the media reports yesterday.

I suggest we face the problems head on, find a suitable replacement who can bring democrats together for the sake of the state party's very survival and raise the funds that we desperately need to get democrats elected. Now that the tax-check off's $1 million plus funds are no more, fundraising is the number one solution to our state party's continued existence.

A proven fundraiser with a broad network of supportive contributors is needed. Nina Sloszberg Landis fits that bill (via Lillian's List and wider still, Emily's List for starters) plus she already won the SEC's approval having been elected NCDP first vice chair by a wide margin at the same SEC meeting where Randy won.

Another option might be a highly respected, former public official: Joe Hackney.

The problem remains, would either Nina or Joe be willing to take the risk to save our state party and NC from the neanderthal Rethuglicanism that's taken over the NC legislature? Without the promise of unity (petition?) and signed by all SEC members, no one would willingly step up and that means we get the leadership we deserve.

Apparently, we have. And that's the saddest fact of all.

The Hagan race is NOT the most important statewide race

The statewide races for NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are far more important than giving Hagan another 6 years in DC.

Anyone operating under the assumption below is doing a disservice to public policy in NC:

The most important and gerrymander-proofed statewide race is Kay Hagan's Senate re-election and it is our state party's duty to help her win.


Kay Hagan is key to educating the base on judges

The difference being more voters know who Kay Hagan is whereas candidates for judge tend to go below the public radar. Kay Hagan's campaign is by far the most prominent and that gives us the opportunity to educate her supporters on voting for the democratic judge candidates in these non-partisan races.

It works better to work the broadest list of pro-Kay Hagan dems and unaffiliated voters/supporters than the other way around. Here's a good article in the N&O that bridges our differences but gets us to the best outcome...electing Democrats.

Latest from PPP

Overall it continues to look like the Republican primary contest is headed for a runoff unless someone really breaks away in the final eight weeks before the primary.

She now has a small 2 point lead against most of her GOP opponents compared to this:

A month ago she trailed in head to heads with all of the Republicans except Kryn.

The issues are starting to set up a little bit better for Hagan as well. There is overwhelming support for the proposed minimum wage hike to $10 an hour that the leading Republicans oppose, 59/33. The GOP candidates have said they think the state should have the right to ban birth control but only 12% of North Carolinians agree with them, compared to 75% who disagree. And even the numbers when it comes to Obamacare are getting a little bit better

As important as judicial races are, they rarely get the attention they deserve, and without a driving force bringing out more progressive voters (which likely won't be a well-regulated statewide party operation), then the judges are going to be very much at the whims of big conservative ad buys.