We Need To Get To The Bottom Of What Ails The NCDP

Over the past several days, my email has been flooded with talk of the NCDP.  It’s gotten so bad that I had to set up another email folder just to organize the mail and keep it separate.

A few people tell me I should stop posting, but the overwhelming majority tell me to keep publishing and let the chips fall where they may: we need to get to the truth and we need to get to the bottom of the stories once and for all.

The fact is that even if everyone wanted me to stop posting I wouldn’t stop as long as the information kept coming—because these issues need to be made public and we need to get them behind us. 

The problem is that for a long time too much has been behind closed doors at the NCDP—going back to way before the current chair took the job.

That’s problematic because you really never find out the whole story, only bits and pieces.  But, on the outside looking in, this is the way I see things:

If you take  Kay Hagan off by herself, and let her run her own campaign, I’d vote for her ever day to the week and twice on Sunday.  Yep, she’s that good.

I’ve never, in my life, met a better woman who cares more about the issues and problems facing North Carolina.  Kay is a kindhearted soul (that, by itself, probably means she’s too good for politics).

Unfortunately, however, when you get that high up on the political food chain—your campaign reduces you to talking points, stump after stump, after stump.  You have to get the message out and you have to look genuine—it’s all about the delivery. 

As the campaign takes on a life of its own, you wake up one day and find that you’re not running the campaign, but the campaign is running you.   As, unfortunate as it may be,  it has to be that way: candidates that micromanage will most likely lose.

Don’t think it’s just Democrats, it’s not; the Tillis campaign ran him as well. 

So, when I say “Hagan did this—or Hagan did that” I’m not actually talking about her—I’m talking about her campaign. 

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What amazes me about the NCDP is how often they get blamed for things that are out of their control.  Caucuses do things and make decisions on behalf of their candidates—what voters don’t understand is that just because it’s in the spirit of getting Democrats elected, that doesn’t mean the actual Democratic Party had anything to do with it.  Same for the Hagan campaign—except in the Patsy Keever incident, she actually put her name to it—and mailed it through the NCDP.

There’s a 10 point plan of reorganization floating around that addresses the need to roll the caucuses into the actual NCDP and create a “czar” to be the go-between.   I doubt it would ever happen, because of the power struggle, but it’s a good idea.  Especially if they duplicate some services anyway—it would be cost effective.

Another good idea is to pay the Chair a salary like the Republicans have done for some years.  What may have worked back in the day is certainly not working now—and frankly, that job needs to be compensated.

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While we’re cleansing out Democratic souls, let’s get some other issues out of the way.

I have a vested interest because I try to get candidates elected in North Carolina.  The speculation over incidents just makes it harder to win elections, even with good candidates.

Two of the finest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (and working indirectly with) are Whit Whitley and Carr Ipok—both from eastern North Carolina.  There was no reason for them to have lost by that much of a difference.

Most people don’t know this but Whit had a tracker on him most of the campaign.  The guy is paid, at least in part, by Carolina Rising, the Dallas Woodhouse organization that formed to suppress Moral Monday. 

Betsy Jordan, New Hanover, shouldn’t have lost by that much of a margin.  Republican wave or not, the Democrats have deeper issues because some of these spreads are just too far apart.

From where I sit, one of the biggest issues—at least in eastern North Carolina—is the effectiveness of the Third Congressional District Chair, Chris Hardee. 

Like it or not, we keep losing elections down here and many have told me that they just don’t get the support they need.  Is all of that his fault?  Probably not. 

But, one thing is clear, I’ve yet to go to a county where at least one person didn’t come up and tell me Chris Hardee didn’t live in the Third Congressional District. 

It makes a difference, because of the top 10 worst underperforming counties in North Carolina, 30% of them come out of the Third Congressional District.  That, to me, tells the big story.

Secondly, there’s an active complaint that the NCDP has yet to address over Chris Hardee’s residency issue.  This matter needs to be brought to the front burner and handled once and for all.  We keep losing elections and this isn’t going away.  Like him or not, I’m tired of losing elections—that, if for no other reason, is why we need new blood in that seat.

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For the most part, I can work with anyone, but I’m tired of all the “dark clouds” swirling over our Democratic (demoncratic) heads.

I’m sick and tired of all the people telling me that when Nina left as first vice chair, she told donors to not donate to the party.  I’m still sick that Gwen Wilkins was not re-elected and Nina was specifically brought in to raise money—when the simple fact of the matter is, I have never seen any part of the 1VC job description having anything to do with raising money.

These may seem like petty infighting issues, but they all add up to one big cluster.  We need to address all off this and find a way to reorganize so we can win 2016 races together and not separately. 

If we don’t do something, we’ll continue to lose races.  Period.  So, do you want to get it together now or keep floundering until 2020 (or after).  Personally, I’d like to go ahead, take a bath, and get clean. 

And, part of getting clean is for Patsy Keever to resign because she put her name to voter intimidation tactics.  She needs to do it for herself, do it for the party, the voters and the ideals we believe.

She can come back in two years and run for Chair and she’ll look like a team player and Democratic hero.  Or, she can stay and be a demoncrat. 

 

 

 

 

 

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About George Fisher

George is a freelance writer, an author and a Democratic political consultant. He has worked as Deputy Communications Director for a Senatorial campaign and Campaign Manager for several NC House races and one congressional race. He previously worked as a news producer for a local television station.
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