UPDATE: At 2:22PM I reloaded the page and took the picture off because the page was not loading properly from www.whothehellisgoerge.wordpress.com –However, the page did seem to load from www.whothehellisgeorge.com
In any event, I’ve added to the post and have not taken away.
I would encourage you to follow the sequence of these posts—there is much more to come.
Last Friday night, on Hardball with Chris Matthews, his team of pundits spent a lot of time building up Kay Hagan’s campaign. He said, “… he [Harry Reid] built a firewall around her [Kay Hagan] in the state.” He even went on to say, “Hagan has done everything right… everything. She’s ahead in every major poll….”
Chris Matthews knows something about North Carolina. Hell, he used to live in Chapel Hill. So it was a little shocking to me that he would say that, considering he still has NC contacts and should know the lay-of-the-land.
Hagan’s team didn’t do everything right. In fact, they did very little right. I can say this not in hindsight, but on Monday, I posted—on this very blog—that she would lose. And, moreover, I told NCDP Chair, Randy Voller, in a room full of people—in July after a press conference, that Hagan would lose this election. It was that crystal clear. And, I also told him he would be blamed for it—that has also come true.
The short answer is that candidates, campaign staff and consultants—who work within the framework of the “Country-Club Dems”—think they’re smarter than voters. After two dismal election cycles, you’d think they’d have learned something. Well, they haven’t. The Democratic Machine knows more than you do—don’t believe me, just ask them.
When’s the last time you’ve talked to a candidate and had them ask you a real question? Really, think about it. If you go to a town hall or any other gathering —they tell you what the issues are; they tell you how bad things are in the legislature. When’s the last time a real candidate wanted to know about you, your job, your kids, what are your issues? Not what a survey thinks you should be concerned about. ‘That’s what made politicians real, back in the day—that’s what campaigning use to be about. It was personal.
Today, politicians and candidates hire consultants to run polls and survey to find out the very things they need to be asking you directly. So, yes—they think they’re smarter than you because they already know more about you than you do. That is where we fail.
As long as they continue to think that way, they will underestimate the voters, alienate the base—and continue to lose cycle after cycle.
The NC GOP (bless their heart) doesn’t need a winning campaign strategy—all they have to do is sit back and let us do our thing. It’s like watching a running back get confused and run the wrong way down the field; if he looks back, he sees opponents running (every so slowly) to catch him. Meanwhile, he’s oblivious to his teammates yelling STOP, STOP!
But, wait—there’s more.
If it were just Hagan, it would be one thing. Or, if it were just a few bad candidates that shouldn’t have gotten this high on the political food chain, I could understand it.
But, it goes much deeper.
Back in 2012, when Randy Voller was campaigning for the Chair, I noticed he went all over NC and listened to people. He posted it on Facebook ad nauseam. Notice, I didn’t say he “talked to them.” I mean it when I say “HE LISTENED TO THEM.”
And, he learned something; he learned that there are enough people who will vote to get Democrats elected in NC, but you have to listen to what they need and you have to understand the issues that concern them.
In a nutshell, there’s a new way of attracting voters to the candidate and to the polls: it’s called grassroots. It’s worked before and if you paid attention, you saw it work in this cycle.
Justice Robin Hudson is a good example. The NCDP grassroots push took $30,000 and helped orchestrate an effective strategy during the primary in spite of tons of cash brought in by Republicans to buy that seat. Then they coordinated with the judges to push the effort during the General Election and it worked.
The Blue Ballot (another grassroots effort) drove voters to the polls with better results that those who turned it down or refused to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the NCDP that precludes a county from selling the data to a third party or allowing a third party access to the DNC’s modeling data without proper approval, thus consultants cannot float around and be essentially “egg sucking” hounds without paying for the DNC’s investment.
Lee County did well with the Blue Ballot; Buncombe County also—both troubled areas before the grassroots push as well as other counties.
Areas that had an organized African-American Caucus (AAC) also did better than those who did not.
Five state wide judges were elected to the NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in large part because of the Blue Ballot—thanks to Randy Voller and Executive Director, Casey Mann. And a sixth could have been elected if there had been enough time to get everyone on board behind one candidate. As it was the Democrats got the silver and the bronze.
Meanwhile, for the most part Hagan’s staff and the Democratic elite—shied away from the Blue Ballot and grassroots efforts and funding and had very little to do with getting the judges elected. (Sorry, but it’s true)
But to be fair, the Hagan team in many areas did carry the “Blue Ballots” during their canvassing efforts and from what I understand this was a big help in counties with joint operations and cooperative efforts.
Watauga County is a good example. Mayor Andy Ball, who has been a Voller hater since the beginning, worked with a number of allies to undermine the chair and to my understanding was even a member of a working committee in 2013 whose only purpose was to make Voller a failure and seize control for themselves in 2015—I hope you didn’t believe the bad press in 2013 was solely the result of Voller. (You can read my 4 part series on that from earlier this year.) But I digress, from what I can tell Watauga didn’t embrace the Blue Ballot and Mayor Ball’s county came in with a dismal 37% turnout, which was at least six percentage points under the expected turnout for Watauga. They actually came in well below the state average and couldn’t carry the vote for Hagan.
Now comes the blame game. After a failed attempt by Hagan’s kindergarten antisocial staff and broken promises by the caucus to pay young campaign managers for local candidates (who took a weekend campaign management class) the Democratic elite already had in mind to blame Chairman Randy Voller for the disaster.
But, Voller didn’t put this iceberg in front of our Democratic ship. You can thank the people who jockey to take his job. (I wouldn’t actually call it a job—the Chair doesn’t get a salary, just a headache)
Now comes the good part—you get to see actual emails. This is but one area of the blame game, there are many others. (I pressed the Chairman very hard about this issue and he relented and sent me the emails. Keep in mind that the “Hagan Campaign” means the Coordinated Campaign, which is how the NCDP coordinates the efforts of other campaigns as well as the House and Senate Caucus as well. )
Let’s start with Watauga County and Mayor Andy Ball. There seems to be a hot bed of activity in that small western county.
Mayor Ball decides not only to spew misinformation, but he does it in such a way as to get ire from Chairman Voller, because the officers are not authorized by the Plan of Organization to speak on behalf of the NCDP and the Plan of Organization actually requires their jobs to be assigned by the Chairman and approved by the State Executive Council.
Keep in mind as you read this, that Andy Ball has been a Voller hater from the beginning and Patsy is jockeying for Voller’s job. That’s why you see a lot of Dem elites rally against Voller and for Keever. If Keever wins they’ll get jobs—if Voller keeps the Chair, they won’t.
A copy of the email goes like this: I omitted email addresses——
From: Randolph Voller
Date: Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: Post-Election discussions and Social Pressure Mailers
To: Casey Mann
Cc: Patsy Keever Patsy Keever Zack Hawkins Zack Hawkins Andy Ball Andy Ball Melvin Williams
Dear Mayor Ball and officer team,
While I appreciate your willingness to step up and engage concerned citizens via email, phone and letters, I must remind you that it is not your job to directly respond on behalf of the NC Democratic Party nor do you have the authority to do so.
In addition please review the facts below and the attachments so that you are better informed on the matter.
RE: “SOCIAL PRESSURE” MAILERS
- Casey Mann and the staff were against the mailers and did not like their tone.
- They were foisted upon the NCDP by the Hagan campaign and their consultants at the last minute the night before the Western Gala.
- A lot of pressure was put forth by the Hagan campaign and the consultants to send the letter through our coordinated campaign, which the NCDP did to be team players even though John Wallace, Casey Mann, the staff nor I liked their tone and approach.
- I rewrote one of the letters, but after they butchered my version, I declined to authorize it to be mailed under my name.
- The Hagan Campaign subsequently pressed and we were backed into a corner. Since the 1VC was communicating with the Hagan campaign she was discussed as a potential signatory of the letter. (Again, I refused to sign it.)
- Justin Myers, the deputy director, called the 1VC and she agreed to sign the letter.
- Casey Mann sent the letter over to the 1VC via email and she offered some minor grammatical changes and approved it.
- Casey Mann advised the 1VC that we had problems with the letter and its tone. The Hagan Campaign was insistent that they really wanted to mail it to boost turnout and elect Sen. Hagan. The 1VC though about it, was a team player, and said essentially: I trust the Hagan Campaign. We cooperated (NCDP and Patsy) as a compromise to send mailers that they pushed. If you and others have a beef, it is with the strategy and execution of the Hagan campaign, who would rather spend money on mailers then fund local operations for GOTV efforts.
- From what I understand, the universe of voters who received the mailers were contacted more than once. Again, not our choice.
- I have attached a copy of the texts from Casey Mann to 1VC Patsy Keever as well as the emails demonstrating this.
- In addition my wife and I were in the care driving to Asheville when this was being discussed and we were with Casey Mann at dinner when it was discussed and we both will attest to the aforementioned facts.
Now that you have been informed of the facts regarding this matter please refrain from making and/or writing statements that are either factually deficient and/or misleading.
Hon. Randolph S. Voller, Chair
North Carolina Democratic Party
220 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
Telephone – (919) 821-2777 ext 106
Now, just in case you’re saying there’s no real documentation that Patsy wanted to send the Gestapo mailer—think again. I’ve got documentation of her saying “go ahead…I trust Hagan.” Much more than the “…okay on this one….” email.
And if I need to pull that up here, I will.
Next are the actual emails formatting the language of the Gestapo mailer. (Just in case you thought they didn’t exist)
Again, keep in mind that this is the “Coordinated Campaign”, which the party has traditionally done to work with campaigns.
From: Patsy Keever [
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2014 12:41 PM
To: Casey Mann
Subject: Re: Social Pressure Letter 1 – For Approval
okay on this one….
On Oct 18, 2014, at 12:37 PM, Casey Mann
> Begin forwarded message:
> Date: October 18, 2014 at 12:21:37 PM EDT
> Cc: Adnaan Muslim
.> Subject: Social Pressure Letter 1 – For Approval
> Dear [FIRST NAME]:
> Our records indicate that you are registered to vote in [NAME OF COUNTY] County.
> Your vote is confidential; however public records will tell the community at-large whether you vote or not. As a service our organization monitors turnout in your community and it would be an understatement to say that we are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors. Our country was built on democratic engagement and your community needs you to vote.
> Here is some information you may need to vote:
> * Early voting starts Thursday, October 23rd and ends Saturday,
> November 1st * You can vote in person at any early voting site in your
> county. A photo ID is NOT required this year * To find your early
> voting location, visit http://www.ncsbe.gov/webapps/os_sites
> After the election is over we will be reviewing the [NAME OF COUNTY] County official voting records to determine whether you supported your neighbors and community in 2014 by voting. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why you let your community down by failing to vote.
> Patsy Keever
> Election Day Coordinator
So, at the end of the day, not only did Voller not approve the mailer—he tried to stop it.
And from what I understand he apparently told the Executive Director that she would be terminated if she signed a letter without his approval. In the end it appears that Patsy Keever was a “team player” for the “Coordinated Campaign”, because she trusted them.
Now, I’m going to stop here. But, I’ve got documentation that goes back to the beginning of 2013 with what I call the “Sinister Seven”. Whose only goal it seems is to get paid for political jobs and who have a mediocre track record and essentially stand for nothing, which is completely out of step with the hundreds of volunteers who give their time and money to ostensibly elect candidates who stand for something.
And folks, that is crux is of matter.
But, that’s another story.
Also, if you have time, flip back to my last post—from Monday, November 3rd. Despite the Democratic elite turning their back on Dr. Ben Chavis, he was gracious enough to robocall—thanks to an effort pushed by Chairman Randy Voller. Between President Obama and Dr. Chavis, over 257,000 targeted voted were contacted. three times and on Nov 1st alone 30,000 additional voters went to the polls—in battleground areas—thanks to their efforts and the push Chairman Voller took to get it done.
If Voller hadn’t have done that, the NC defeat would have been much worse.
Finally, because Voller has a relationship with Dr. Chavis, who is now the President and CEO of the NNPA, also known as the “black press” with over 200 newspapers nationwide, the NNPA pushed the importance of voting on the front page of their papers and Dr. Chavis graciously agreed to be interviewed live to discuss the importance of voting.