NCDP Chair Patsy Keever Dismantles The State Democratic Party in Nixonian Fashion—Some Are Calling For Her Removal

Patsy Keever, Chair of the North Carolina Democratic PartyChairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Patsy Keever, terminated John Brooks—the Chair of the Council of Review (the adjudicating body within the NCDP) who’s term doesn’t end until May, 2016.  

In a nutshell:

Keever terminates the Chair of the Council of Review and appoints her crony Ryan Butler (President of the LGBT Caucus) to take Mr. Brooks’ place—without the authority to do it. 

At least one Officer within the North Carolina Democratic Party has threatened to resign—others are furious that Keever is makingJohn Brooks, Chair of NCDP Council of Review decisions beyond her authority and leaving them out of the loop.

The past few days have been a mess at Goodwin House—the official headquarters of the North Carolina Democratic Party.

Patsy Keever was elected Chair of the NCDP back in February beating out second place Marshall Adame—a former Marine and United States diplomatic appointee.

Keever’s problems stem from her lack of understanding of the Plan of Organization (POO)—the official bylaws of the Party as voted on by state Democrats during their conventions. 

But, some high level North Carolina Democrats don’t think it’s a matter of understanding—some think Patsy Keever knows full well what the Democratic bylaws say—she just refuses to acknowledge them and does things the way she wants.

What has Keever done to cause such ire?

She hired Doug Wilson and Tiffany Reynolds and  dismissed the skeleton staff left by the former Chair Randy Voller.  The former Executive Director gave her 30 day resignation on the Saturday Keever was elected.  But, Keever didn’t wait that long—she called Casey Mann into her office the following Thursday and told her she could pack her bags.

She fired the former Communications Director in a letter the following day saying her services were no longer needed and her contract was terminated.

Progressives and rural Democrats who didn’t support Keever were appalled saying that there should have been a transition periodMann is a well respected Democrat in the African American Caucuses around the State.  But, they at least understood Tiffany Reynolds hiring considering her closeness with Elaine Marshall (NC Secretary of State).

The problem is that the Chair of the Party can’t hire anyone.  According to Democrats who know the POO—the Chair can only recommend an Executive Director, who then has to be voted on by the Executive Council of the NCDP.

That withstanding—Keever has done other things recently to go beyond her bounds of authority.

She terminated the Chair of the Council of Review—John Brooks over what some say is a vendetta against him over rulings he made concerning evidence in a matter of vacating the seat of the third congressional district chair—Chris Hardee.

Chairwoman Keever and Chris Hardee, as it turns out, have a long political association.  Last year, while Keever was 1st Vice Chair—she kept the petition to remove him from going forward. 

When she ran for Chair of the Party—she distanced herself from the controversy over Mr. Hardee’s residency issues and then the petition went forward to the Council of Review—the committee in which Mr. John Brooks is Chair.

Chris Hardee was represented by council in that internal Democratic fight—Wake County Commissioner John Burns.  Burns, who I’ve written about before, not only intimidated me (as I was an original petitioner to remove Mr. Hardee) but, he also intimidated Mr. Brooks after the members of the Council of Review removed Mr. Hardee.  Burns has repeatedly said that he would “not sleep until John Brooks was removed as Chair.” 

. . .

I was forwarded an email yesterday.  The email was a copy of a letter sent from former Chairman Randy Voller to the current Chair, Patsy Keever giving his opinion on her removing Mr. John Brooks as Chair of the Council of Review.

In that email, Voller cites Section 10 of the P.O.O. saying that for a CoR Chair to be removed it must go before the Executive Council and secondly, the Chair (if he/she is removed) has to be appointed from someone already a member of the CoR.

. . .

Randy Voller, former Chair of NCDP But, Voller’s opinion on this matter is only one of several.  Some Democrats are calling for a petition to remove Patsy Keever as Chair of the NCDP.

It’s no secret that I’ve been critical of Keever in the past.  Currently, I’m not part of the vultures circling her wagon.  But, I don’t see any alternative than to remove her as Chair because of her Nixonian like approach in how she administers her duties at Goodwin House.   [I emailed Keever about the John Brooks issue and asked her why she removed Mr. Brooks and “appointed” Mr. Ryan Butler.  She has not responded to my email.]

I admonished Keever last year over the Shamegate letters that were sent to North Carolina Democratic voters.  I asked her to resign then as 1st Vice Chair. 

Democrats have a lot at stake in this election cycle.  Eastern North Carolina needs a congressional chair who actually lives in the district.  Mr. Hardee does not.

Keever, as Chair of the State’s Democrats, should not be allowed to change the rules to suit her Young Democrats (and former Young Democrat) friends.

Unfortunately, yes—there is a “Young Democrat” connection to all of this.  Mr. Hardee, John Burns, Ryan Butler et. al. are all molded from that “club.”  And, Keever is using that “club” and those connections to wield unlimited power, trying to create a fiefdom at Goodwin House.


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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