Randy Voller Can Only Take Responsibility As Leader—Not Ownership of Failed Campaigns.

When the North Carolina Democratic Chair said he would not seek reelection as leader of the NCDP he took responsibility for the 2014 election cycle and said it was time for new leadership.

But, what exactly did he mean?

What my ears heard was that he was saying, “the buck stops here.”  As the leader of the NCDP, he feels that new leadership, with new energy and vigor, could possibly galvanize the Democratic faithful in a new way—and maybe win more elections.

What I did not hear Voller say is that he took responsibility for Hagan’s campaign or her votes (rather a lack of votes).   

It would be impossible for him to do that—to take that level of responsibility—he had no control over that candidate, her team, her strategy or the outcome of Hagan’s collective failings.

Moreover, Voller can’t take responsibility for any congressional campaign that lost.   Those CD candidates were antonymous to the NCDP—and the only thing they had in common was that they were running as Democrats.

He also can’t take responsibility for counties that refused to use the Blue Ballot strategy.  It was made available to all counties, the only thing the Party asked is that they wouldn’t sell it to others.  A pretty simple request if you ask me.

Make no mistake about it: Voller’s responsibility can’t be misconstrued—responsibility (and falling on your sword) is one thing, ownership is something else.

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NCDP: Will The SEC Vote For A Problem Solver or A Cheerleader? The Chair is Too Important to Be A “Good ‘ol Boy” Post—It Should Be Like A Job Interview.

A recent post by Matt Hughes in Blue NC smacks to the heart of the NCDP issue.  Will the SEC vote for a cheerleader or a problem solver as their next Chair.

Frankly, I think we’ve seen too many cheerleaders, both within the NCDP and as candidates running for office.  I’d be more inclined to accept a Democratic leader who, not only understands the issues we face in North Carolina, but also has a plan to fix problems.

At this point in the game, I don’t need someone to tell me we need to band together as Democrats, much in the same way as I don’t need a candidate telling me we need to fix the economy.

How should we come together and why?   In the same way that if you’re a candidate, how will you try to fix the economy?

Electing more Democrats isn’t the answer—as painful as that may seem to some.  Electing good Democrats with the right message and the right plan is the answer.

If you’re running (or thinking about running) for NCDP Chair, what are the issues you think are more important and why?

You want us to band together and be one driving force, then why and how?  How to you plan on raising money? Who will you use to do it?  Just saying we need to elect more Democrats isn’t going to get donors to cut a check.

How well can you work with others and do you have a track record of working with others?  If so, who and when?

If you want to be inclusive and believe all fractions of the Party should have a voice, then how to you plan to carry that out?  Who will you use to get it done and what groups do you intend to bring to the table?

Another issue I’d like raised is what do you not have?  One single person can’t be everything the NCDP needs to fix all our problems.  Tell me what you’re not good at doing (I can handle the truth—I’m a big boy) and how and who you will use to minimize those weaknesses.

In other words, don’t just tell me we need to work together to win the ballgame—show me how you plan to win the ballgame.

The same can be said for candidates thinking about running in 2016: show me what you want to do.  Give specifics and show me a plan—not just a cheerleading script.

Below is a response to Matt Hughes’ post that I think speaks to the issue in more detail.  The Chair shouldn’t be a beauty contest—it should be about the real issues that face NC.

———————————————

Matt: Thank you for your laying out some thoughts on this issue – though I find it mostly filled with platitudes and things we have talked about for quite some time. You did not find the Philosophers Stone, useful as some things you cited may be. It is time for very sober reflection and not rah-rah and shallow platitudes.

The Democratic Party in NC cannot effectively win comprehensively and widely until it can cause redistricting in 2021-2! Do you concede that? Hope so, these are irrefutable facts. There are three things NCDP can do: (1) engage in a process to bring about an independent commission for redistricting in 2021-2 and (2) educate the party widely in an effort to make it much more effective including rural areas, and (3) adopt Vollers ten points, at minimum, asap – with a paid and experienced MANAGER as Chair! The duties of chair are not (1) fund raising personally, but managing those who do, and (2) running campaigns, but rather supplying the support the candidates need. Voller was accused of not doing those too things by people with highly parochial and spiteful motives. He instead focused on what little success we were allowed IN SPITE of a dissident and vindictive movement.

One thing needs to be settled going foward: Gov. Jim Hunt and his faction, in an attempt to control the party, did real injury to NCDP when he (1) announced publicly big donors should not to give to NCDP, implying he did not trust or like Randy, and (2) give money directly to the candidates (of course through him and a few others in PACs and other devices) in attempt to starve the party of money – it was said that was because Voller could not be trusted. That is plain old BS covering for his want to control the party. Well, we now have clean audits which put lie to the insinuations of Beth Wood of “problems” last earlier this year when she demanded her money back because she did not trust Voller. OBTW, this provided the cover needed for Hagan to take her campaign to Wake County instead of NCDP – and it also helped block fund raising from NCDP. So, Voller did a great job in spite of people dedicated to his personal, professional and political assassination and destruction with no regard to the damage to the party.

Matt, I never heard you flinch in the least when Voller was under attack and money was being denied to NCDP!! Did you, and please cite where? Instead, you seemed to work with Governor Hunt to inflict damage on the party these past two years. Is it possible you could convince him to make a public apology to the member of the NCDP, all million or so? Would be a nice thing to do, just as having Senator Hagan attend the SEC meeting on Saturday to thank the representatives of all the “little Democrats” for their hard work and money on her behalf.

So, while you are painting a fantastical picture going forward, there is unfinished business in the body politic. And yes, we need a unified Democratic Party, but: will it be the Blue Dog Triangulation of Hillary Clinton (and Kay Hagan) or the open party of Elizabeth Warren? Do we want it where we have surrendered totally to the Wall St crowd (apparently) or we want our own autonomy? The argument that any and all elections require money, so we have to chase it first, foremost and always, and that it becomes our total wrongful focus. That lack of foresight has driven the people who tried to kill Voller, money, money, money and to hell with any and all principles. So, Matt, what are your principles – win at any cost, money, money, money. All the nice points you make are just that, they have to be turned, along with many, many, many other considerations into things operational and effective by people with principles, real principles.

Will Governor Hunt, and his people, understand and admit they should not have cut off the NCDP in an effort to defenestrate Randy Voller starting in February, 2013, thereby truncating the ability of the Party to properly support the many candidates? Will you undertake to do this heavy lifting, or are you just fine that some folks can decide to fundamentally damage NCDP abritrarily? And, the rot goes back some ways, to include the Council of State’s attack on and neutering of David Parker in 2012 – with some of the same players who went immediately after Voller. The biggest issue is the inability of our erstwhile political leaders to build and maintain a viable bench of candidates – back into the 1990s, and refusing to look at change which was coming and could be seen. That is why I am not for accepting some pleasing fantasies when I see many years of blood, sweat and tears and brutal honesty ahead, which will require real leadership and not just cheer leading.

So Matt, lay it all out, including the wrong and bad things which influenced outcomes and cost us elections, directly through denial of funds to the Party. Take responsibility for your roles in that if any, mostly as cheerleader. Ask your mentor to step up and perhaps think he may have been wrong.

I offer this a very close and acute observer and 45 years of successfully managing organizations small and large with a variety of missions, often under great stress and even fire. The way will be hard and harder, and we do need no Summer Soldiers who ride in victory parades and vanish when the Winter Soldiers step up to the tasks before them.

At risk may well be extinction as the Republicans continue and accelerate environmentally disastrous laws and policies. Much at stake, and not something to blithely treat as if it affected just some cross section of political hyper-actives in North Carolina. Above all, we need Public Virtue – look it up because we do not have much now – comes from the Roman Republic. It means do the right things for the right reasons and do not shirk or lie. Easy to say, hard to do.

wafranklin

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NCDP: Will The SEC Vote For A Problem Solver or A Cheerleader? The Chair is Too Important to Be A “Good ‘ol Boy” Post—It Should Be Like A Job Interview.

A recent post by Matt Hughes in Blue NC smacks to the heart of the NCDP issue.  Will the SEC vote for a cheerleader or a problem solver as their next Chair.

Frankly, I think we’ve seen too many cheerleaders, both within the NCDP and as candidates running for office.  I’d be more inclined to accept a Democratic leader who, not only understands the issues we face in North Carolina, but also has a plan to fix problems.

At this point in the game, I don’t need someone to tell me we need to band together as Democrats and I don’t need a candidate telling me we need to fix the economy.

How should we come together and why?  If you’re a candidate, how will you try to fix the economy?

Electing more Democrats isn’t the answer—as painful as that may seem to some.  Electing good Democrats with the right message and the right plan is the answer.

If you’re running (or thinking about running) for NCDP Chair, what are the issues you think are more important and why?

You want us to band together and be one driving force, then why and how?  How to you plan on raising money? Who will you use to do it?  Just saying we need to elect more Democrats isn’t going to get them to cut a check. 

How well can you work with others and do you have a track record of working with others?  If so, who and when?

If you want to be inclusive and believe all fractions of the Party should have a voice, then how to you plan to implement that?  Who will you use to get it done and what groups do you intend to bring to the table?

Another issue I’d like raised is what do you not have?  One single person can’t be everything the NCDP needs to fix all our problems.  Tell me what you’re not good at doing (I can handle the truth—I’m a big boy) and how and who you will use to minimize those weaknesses.

In other words, don’t just tell me we need to work together to win the ballgame—show me how you plan to win the ballgame.

The same can be said for candidates thinking about running in 2016: show me what you want to do.  Give specifics and show me a plan—not just a cheerleading script.

Below is a response to Matt Hughes’ post that I think speaks to the issue in more detail.  The Chair shouldn’t be a beauty contest—it should be about the real issues that face NC.

———————————————

Matt: Thank you for your laying out some thoughts on this issue – though I find it mostly filled with platitudes and things we have talked about for quite some time. You did not find the Philosophers Stone, useful as some things you cited may be. It is time for very sober reflection and not rah-rah and shallow platitudes.

The Democratic Party in NC cannot effectively win comprehensively and widely until it can cause redistricting in 2021-2! Do you concede that? Hope so, these are irrefutable facts. There are three things NCDP can do: (1) engage in a process to bring about an independent commission for redistricting in 2021-2 and (2) educate the party widely in an effort to make it much more effective including rural areas, and (3) adopt Vollers ten points, at minimum, asap – with a paid and experienced MANAGER as Chair! The duties of chair are not (1) fund raising personally, but managing those who do, and (2) running campaigns, but rather supplying the support the candidates need. Voller was accused of not doing those too things by people with highly parochial and spiteful motives. He instead focused on what little success we were allowed IN SPITE of a dissident and vindictive movement.

One thing needs to be settled going foward: Gov. Jim Hunt and his faction, in an attempt to control the party, did real injury to NCDP when he (1) announced publicly big donors should not to give to NCDP, implying he did not trust or like Randy, and (2) give money directly to the candidates (of course through him and a few others in PACs and other devices) in attempt to starve the party of money – it was said that was because Voller could not be trusted. That is plain old BS covering for his want to control the party. Well, we now have clean audits which put lie to the insinuations of Beth Wood of “problems” last earlier this year when she demanded her money back because she did not trust Voller. OBTW, this provided the cover needed for Hagan to take her campaign to Wake County instead of NCDP – and it also helped block fund raising from NCDP. So, Voller did a great job in spite of people dedicated to his personal, professional and political assassination and destruction with no regard to the damage to the party.

Matt, I never heard you flinch in the least when Voller was under attack and money was being denied to NCDP!! Did you, and please cite where? Instead, you seemed to work with Governor Hunt to inflict damage on the party these past two years. Is it possible you could convince him to make a public apology to the member of the NCDP, all million or so? Would be a nice thing to do, just as having Senator Hagan attend the SEC meeting on Saturday to thank the representatives of all the “little Democrats” for their hard work and money on her behalf.

So, while you are painting a fantastical picture going forward, there is unfinished business in the body politic. And yes, we need a unified Democratic Party, but: will it be the Blue Dog Triangulation of Hillary Clinton (and Kay Hagan) or the open party of Elizabeth Warren? Do we want it where we have surrendered totally to the Wall St crowd (apparently) or we want our own autonomy? The argument that any and all elections require money, so we have to chase it first, foremost and always, and that it becomes our total wrongful focus. That lack of foresight has driven the people who tried to kill Voller, money, money, money and to hell with any and all principles. So, Matt, what are your principles – win at any cost, money, money, money. All the nice points you make are just that, they have to be turned, along with many, many, many other considerations into things operational and effective by people with principles, real principles.

Will Governor Hunt, and his people, understand and admit they should not have cut off the NCDP in an effort to defenestrate Randy Voller starting in February, 2013, thereby truncating the ability of the Party to properly support the many candidates? Will you undertake to do this heavy lifting, or are you just fine that some folks can decide to fundamentally damage NCDP abritrarily? And, the rot goes back some ways, to include the Council of State’s attack on and neutering of David Parker in 2012 – with some of the same players who went immediately after Voller. The biggest issue is the inability of our erstwhile political leaders to build and maintain a viable bench of candidates – back into the 1990s, and refusing to look at change which was coming and could be seen. That is why I am not for accepting some pleasing fantasies when I see many years of blood, sweat and tears and brutal honesty ahead, which will require real leadership and not just cheer leading.

So Matt, lay it all out, including the wrong and bad things which influenced outcomes and cost us elections, directly through denial of funds to the Party. Take responsibility for your roles in that if any, mostly as cheerleader. Ask your mentor to step up and perhaps think he may have been wrong.

I offer this a very close and acute observer and 45 years of successfully managing organizations small and large with a variety of missions, often under great stress and even fire. The way will be hard and harder, and we do need no Summer Soldiers who ride in victory parades and vanish when the Winter Soldiers step up to the tasks before them.

At risk may well be extinction as the Republicans continue and accelerate environmentally disastrous laws and policies. Much at stake, and not something to blithely treat as if it affected just some cross section of political hyper-actives in North Carolina. Above all, we need Public Virtue – look it up because we do not have much now – comes from the Roman Republic. It means do the right things for the right reasons and do not shirk or lie. Easy to say, hard to do.

wafranklin

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Patsy Keever: Things That Need To Be Corrected

In my original piece on the candidacy of Patsy Keever, who is seeking election by the SEC as Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party,  I cited an Asheville Citizen Times article where she says she would not endorse President Barack Obama.

screenshot:

15

One of Keever’s supporters and my Facebook friend–,Douglas Earl Berger– brought to my attention another article by Mountain Xpress in where Keever says she, in fact, did support and endorse President Obama in his 2012 election bid.

Screenshot:

16

Keever is quoted as saying,  “For the record, of course I endorse our President….”

Keever and I talked after the SEC meeting on Saturday where she personally told me she considered herself on of Obama’s biggest supporters in her area.  But, it wasn’t until this morning that I was reminded of this particular article.

Thanks Doug for the information. 

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When Randy Voller Steps Down as Chair—The Copy & Paste Media Will Have to Write Original Articles about NCDP

When Randy Voller, Chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, finally steps down as Chair, the media will have to start writing original articles.

I did a cloud search on news stories referencing Randy Voller and over 286 news items cited him as “embattled.”  Comparing articles side by side, you can see a definite bias fueled by naysayers sending text messages, emails and whatnot to the media elite.

Reporters mirror stories all the time—whether they admit it or not.  But, a blatant paragraph copy and paste is apparently the standard now—at least when it comes to Voller.

I’m not even sure that the 286 count on the word “embattled” is even accurate because it’s probably higher.  I stopped at 286, giving up out of frustration and just saying, “to hell with it.”

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North Carolina – Now Is The Time For A Black Democratic Party Chair Of North Carolina

North Carolina – Now Is The Time For A Black Democratic Party Chair Of North Carolina.  A perspective from eastern North Carolina–www.thepoliticalagitator.com

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NCDP Chair Randy Voller 10 Point Plan

On Saturday at the SEC, Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Randy Voller announced he would not seek reelection to that post.

During his announcement, he gave a 10 point plan that he thinks should be considered as the Democratic Party moves forward into the next election cycle. 

Voller 10 Points:

Due to our efforts with the Blue Ballot statewide we won three supreme court seats, two appellate court seats, and if we could have had more time to pull our folks together on the third race we would have won that appellate court seat, too.

Given the structure of House Bill 589 and the elimination of tax check-off funding there is a lot of retooling/reorganizing that we will need to do to win the battle of ideas and elections.

The following are ten ideas that I believe we should strongly consider:

Number one should be the reorganization of the NCDP and the caucus operations into one unit. The public and many of our supporters have no idea that there is a difference between a “coordinated campaign” and/or the house and senate caucus. We can run more efficiently and smoothly if one person ran the operations and that person reported to the Executive Director.
In addition we could amend the plan of organization to add a representative of the caucuses to the Executive Council as specific assignments and/or as “officers” of the party. I could even see a change that added a representative from the Council of State/Governor’s office, too. (One representative for the Democratic leaders.)

Number two should be changes to the sustaining fund and how it operates so that a) the NCDP collects the funds every year and b) the agreement is formalized as a dues/subscription arrangement that would allow the NCDP to work with its affiliate members such as the county operations to mail.

Number three should be the full endorsement of the victory fund to replace the lost tax-check off revenue. Without tax-check off revenue the party is losing over one million dollars each year and in some years as much as one and a half million dollars.

Number four should be the full endorsement of the “Red, White and Blue” cooperative effort with the NCGOP that will fund the building fund of each party. These funds are non-political, they are identified in HB 589 as to how they can used and the program will allow the parties to solicit funding jointly to support their HQ. (See the attached letter.)

Number five should be the joint legislative endorsement of “voting centers” in every county that are open during early voting and election day. This would allow for the elimination of “precinct” voting and replace it with better staffed sites that stay open during the entire election season. In addition this would eliminate voter confusion and the problems that arise on election day with “out of precinct” voting.  (The executive directors association for county BOE operations has a proposal to implement this idea and we should support some of our counties to be “beta tests” for the plan.)
Number six should be a joint legislative push to restore same day registration, which will fix the issue of voters moving from one county to the next and through the bureaucratic operation of law losing their right to vote. (Please see the attached story from this past election.)

Number seven should be the compensation of the chair, which has been done by other states and the NCGOP in our state with Tom Fetzer and probably Claude Pope, too.

Number eight should be a a review of all contractors and consultants for “best management practices.” If we can pull together a method to supply a link on our website to the best vendors in each region and the state we will be doing a service to our candidates and local parties.

Number nine should be the completion of a reformed Plan of Organization that incorporates some of the aforesaid in items # 1 through #8 as well as the other issues they have been discussing.

Number ten should be a ongoing commitment by elected officials, those running for office and other stakeholders to help start a building fund in each county; get a HQ up and operational full time in each county; unify and centralize our compliance/paperwork so that county treasurers have help and are not overwhelmed by the job; and funding at the local level to continuously compete every year for elections including, but not limited to:  municipal, school board, county, legislative,  statewide and federal.

 

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