Again—Patsy Keever, 1VC of the NCDP Needs to Step Down and Not Run for Chair. Going from Shamegate to Mailgate.

Issues are swirling now over unlawful activity pertaining to the mailers sent out by the NCDP commonly known as Shamegate.

NCDP has nonprofit bulk mail rates that the Forward NC coordinated campaign did not have—meaning mail cost FNC more money.

I’m told that, although NCDP can send out basically what they want, they can’t be told by an outside group what to send out and when to send it: that’s where the line is crossed. 

Secondly, if that outside group (in this case Forward NC) pays specifically for the mailer and the postage associated with it: another line has been crossed.

So, now—what is the issue: The issue is did FNC (through the Hagan campaign) specifically use NCDP and the NCDP nonprofit bulk mail rate to send out the Shamegate letters so they would not have to pay higher rates?

Two weeks ago, I was told that a complaint had been filed with the NC BOE to address this and other issues relating to the intimidation letters.

This week, I was emailed by other people, saying it is deeper than just the BOE and, more than likely, heading up to the FEC and USPS Inspector General Fraud Investigation Units.

Before I knew all of this, I called for her to resign over the letter.  She’s admitted it was the worst thing she’s ever done.  But, as it relates to accountability—she needs to step aside.

For the past two years, there has been a tug-of-war within the NCDP that has brought national media attention to various issues facing this State.

Frankly, I’m tired of seeing the word “embattled” associated with articles about the NCDP. 

Some people say I’m stirring the pot by bringing attention to her and her candidacy over these issues.  But, in reality—if it was not me it would be someone else with a voice as loud or louder. 

I’m not the only one who thinks Patsy Keever should step down from the North Carolina Democratic Party leadership.

Posted in Connections with George Fisher | Leave a comment

Bladenboro NC Newspaper Editorial Shows Racism Exists and Why the FBI Should Investigate

This editorial reads like 1960s Alabama.  But, it’s not—it’s 2014 and it shows why racism is alive and well in this and other small towns throughout the south.

I’m posting the entire piece here—incase the newspaper decides to take it down in an effort to hide their true sentiment.

Background: in August, a 17 year old Black child was found hanging from a swing set in a white mobile home park. 

At the time he was taken down by authorities, he was covered in fire ants.  The shoes he was wearing were 2 sizes to small and the belt that was used as a noose was not his own.

A private autopsy report draws into question that because the height of the swing-set beam and the child’s weight—it would have been nearly impossible for him to have hung himself (or acted alone).

Local authorities, instead of digging a little deeper, ruled it a suicide.

The NC NAACP, headed by the Rev. Dr. William Barber, took issue after the incident was brought to his attention and after attempts to ask for further investigation landed on deaf ears and cold hearts.

So, the NAACP did the only thing they could do: they marched to draw attention to the to the death and the need to find the truth—no matter what that truth might be.

Below is the editorial—

 

March merely serves NAACP’s own cause

Last updated: December 12. 2014 12:02AM – 7279 Views

 

The town of Bladenboro hosted its annual Christmas parade last Saturday, but it will host a “parade” of another kind this Saturday — one far more serious and far more polarizing.

Tomorrow, the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, led by the Rev. William Barber, will lead family, friends, supporters and wayward zealots in a march to draw further attention to the tragic death of 17-year-old Lennon Lacy on Aug. 29.

We are hoping the event, which you can read more about in W. Curt Vincent’s story on Page 1A today, will be nothing but peaceful. But we also know how little a spark it would take to put little Bladenboro on the national map in a negative way.

Like most in this county, we have nothing but the most heartfelt and sincere sadness for the Lacy family. The loss of a child under any circumstances is a tragic and devastating thing. We honestly wish the youngster had not left his home at such an unreasonable hour that night — or any night, for that matter.

And now, a handful of law enforcement agencies have spent thousands of man-hours over several weeks trying to piece together the puzzle that was left behind when the West Bladen junior was found hanging from a swing set.

To date, none of those agencies have uncovered or been given any solid evidence that the incident was anything by a suicide. Yet the case has not been closed and the investigation continues.

Of course, the NAACP has hired its own pathologist and, as expected with any hired investigator, the findings of the independent autopsy serve only to give those who suspect a less-than-honest conclusion by law enforcement to add more fuel to their concerns.

This is the classic modus operandi of the NAACP — create doubt without answering any of its own questions and providing no additional evidence to support anything.

But while the NAACP has done nothing to assist the local or state investigation into Lacy’s death, instead spending its time refuting anything they are told simply because they can, there is the issue of race that is paramount to any event the NAACP is part of.

While Barber has claimed “this is not a race thing, it’s a death thing,” he has also on more than one occasion asked the question, “If a white man’s body was found hanging in a black neighborhood, would there have been a rush to judgment?”

Barber and his minions can twist things all they like, but the fact is that there has been no rush to judgment. The case is not closed. Second, if “this is not a race thing,” then why pose a question like that?

And we will turn Barber’s words back on him: If a white man’s body was found hanging in a black neighborhood, would the NAACP even bother to be here?

To want answers and push for a thorough investigation is good. But when that has already been done, and especially when the evidence points to a conclusion with relative certainty, to keep asking for more investigations in the hopes of getting the answers you want is frivolous. Some things we just may never know the answer to.

Tomorrow’s show of intimidation cloaked under the guise of honoring the family and memory of Lacy will go on as planned, and we again hope it goes off without a negative hitch. But we wonder when this country will finally move past the existence of such a divisive group that openly stirs the very racism it claims to be trying to stop.

And finally, we hope young Lennon Lacy will be allowed to rest in peace soon.

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Smithsonian Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People Includes Sarah Palin

A lot of people are mad that Sarah Palin made the list—she’s among the ranks of Washington, Ali and Lincoln.   I’d admit that most reasonable people wouldn’t necessarily think of her in terms of being one of the greatest figures of all time—however, there is something to be said for why she’s on the list based purely on the way the algorithm was presented.

“Skiena and Ward rank people according to their historical significance, which they define as “the result of social and cultural forces acting on the mass of an individual’s achievement.” Their rankings account not only for what individuals have done, but also for how well others remember and value them for it.”
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonianmag/meet-100-most-significant-americans-all-time-180953341/#zrmaqHkZSzvb4UVV.99

Based on this criteria, there is no doubt that Palin has a social and cultural significance that most others do not.

Albeit, I would consider it a negative significance and I think overall, Palin has damaged the political landscape with her shallow thinking and rhetoric.  Not to mention how close she came to being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

In the end, Palin is a warning.  She’s an anomaly that when given a microphone and some talking points—she can reek havoc on the emotions of a reasoned populous. 

Palin is dangerous—not in the usual way.  Her voice leads people to act against their better judgment and against their own self-interest.

Should Palin be on this list is more a matter of opinion, but to me she deserves to be there—if for no other reason as a reminder of how close she came to her prize and why we must remember her so we do not repeat this history.

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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

Posted in NCDP | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in newspapers, North Carolilna Politics, North Carolina, North Carolina Democratic Party | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment