After the Dust Settles—Democrats will elect a new Chair

adame 2Although North Carolina is technically still in primary season—congressional races are slated for June 7th—it’s not too early to start thinking about how the North Carolina Democratic Party can rebuild and with whom.

For the first time since the Republicans took over the governor’s mansion and swept a super majority into the state House and Senate, political pundits are saying that Democrats have a very good chance to take back at least some of those Republican gains.

The SEC is tasked with electing a new Chair of the Party in February of 2017.

Some Democrats at the State Executive Council (SEC) level are happy with the way things are—and they don’t want to rock the boat.    But, there are other Democrats who feel the opposite—and they are just as passionate in wanting the Party to move forward–in their case,  it is to move the Party left of center and rebuild.

Many Democrats, especially progressives, want to restructure the Party from the precinct level up because they feel the Party has grown ineffective by the hands of the “Democratic elite.”   This comes on the heels of Bernie Sanders’ campaign in North Carolina—a campaign that some are saying spearheaded a revolution.

If there is a way to keep the NCDP from spitting—or stop it from morphing into two totally separate ideologies that can’t function together—then who can carry the mantle of hope?

A good candidate could very well be the man who came in second in the last election: Marshall Adame. 

7.jpgAdame won 179 SEC votes and took a large part of rural North Carolina.  And, he did well in large counties like Mecklenburg and Wake.  Considering the fact that Marshall Adame started his campaign less than two months before the election—that’s no small amount of success.  Imagine what he could do if he started sooner.

Since that election, Adame has become a powerhouse as Chair of the Hispanic caucus.   North Carolina has such a high population of Hispanic voters and Donald Trump has been so negative and insulting to the Latinos—that some NC Republicans have begun tracking Adame and his social media.

Take that, and the fact that Adame has reached out to Hispanic organizations nationwide, it becomes advantageous for Democratic candidates to seek Marshall Adame’s support and advice.  Republicans and Democrats both agree (whether they like him or not) that being the Chair of the Hispanic caucus carries a lot of weight in this political cycle.

I can’t say whether Adame has actually considered running for Chair again.  Maybe he’s happy doing what he’s doing and doesn’t want the headache of herding Democratic cats. 

But, if Adame doesn’t run—then the Party would do well to pick someone like him.  Albeit hard to find someone who not only has served the Marine Corp but the United States Diplomatic Corp, as well.   Those skillsets are particularly valuable in this political climate.

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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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3 Responses to After the Dust Settles—Democrats will elect a new Chair

  1. William A. Franklin says:

    Before anyone rebuilds this hulk, this derelict, someone needs to sit and do a proper analysis is what is really wrong and how it got that way. In six measured years, NCDP lost all legislative power, all lawmaking ability, all ability to kill bad legislation, the judiciary and finally, 65 percent or better of a county offices are in Republican hands. Who is going to stand up and take the responsibility for this disaster? Of course the reactionaries, the Tories, will blame Voller — only problem is they assaulted him from first day viciously, professionally, personally and politically, driving off a promising Democratic leader who had already won mayor times in a basically Republican district and town. That is how we treat potential leaders while we pander to party functionaries and sycophants seeking now to replace these losers with yet more clerks and desk–jockies with no experience is managing crap. This follows the brutal dismissal of John Brooks, an elder statesman and legal scholar with a flight by night with zero knowledge of Parliamentary Procedures and no sense of wrong and right. Disgusting. And what of the fine dead hand of the past which rests on the tiller of the NC Democratic Party, Jim Hunt and his flunkies and lackeys who are largely responsible for not seeing this debacle coming — despite warnings and warnings. These Tories worked to totally unfund the NCDP so as to keep money out of the hands of Randy Voller, based on the personal animus of Hunt, some of his less intelligent flunkies and some members of the COS, among others. Send the money to the candidates was the cry — starve the bastards in the Goodwin House. Result, most candidates lost, the party was defunded actively with no ability to restart donations in the absence of transactional donations – and the damned drug of Voter Tax Payer funds was crippled immediately — to the amazement of these brilliant people. We need a sweeping and generational change with no quarter for the perpetrators of this farce, including caucus leaders and their crews. They are lost as hell and will not recognize the extent of our losses, contending that we can take back the NC House in 2016, forgetting the ongoing gerrymandering until 2020 or 2022. And they are not making plans for REDMAP 2020 — ask me about that. Talked to a prominent legislator recently, he did not know the word REDMAP, which is the GOP program which helped cost us NC. There is no planning, forward looking discussion — nothing but a vacuum, only broken slightly and intermittently by bleating from the Goodwin House. Think Butler will save you? Nah, his prop is the questionable LGBT Caucus. And now we have the likes of Matt Hughes hiked onto the Council via the idiotic Chairs Caucus. And Zack, with all his amazing feats is questing to the Chairmanship. Another clueless cipher. Pretty hard language, but look at the damage and who was on watch the entire time. Or, as the children’s crusade wants, are all the sisters virtuous and all the brothers good looking — never mind their losses. Just how much will you tolerate Democrats? Seems like a lot. Now comes Hillary and the imposition of another OFA onto the county parties, the fourth time, breaking local bonds and loyalties. But the people who sit in Goodwin House will have some money, not much, and clueless consultants clustered at their feet for feeding — so we can again miss the down ballot opportunities and lose more offices yet. The carnage is not complete, nor is the stupidity. How long will Democrats suffer the inability of their party to win shit or drive anything? That is right, keep on sending your money to this crowd and hoping. Oh, how is that hope thing doing in lieu of competent management and honest dealing? See you in 2020 when we might have a chance yet again.

    • My remarks are in asterisks **…**

      Before anyone rebuilds this hulk, this derelict, someone needs to sit and do a proper analysis is what is really wrong and how it got that way.

      **I agree that we should spend at least some time in an effort to do a proper analysis over what went wrong with the NC Democratic Party. But, to what extent and how long? How much time, effort and money do you want to spend and who do you want to hold responsible. If there is someone to hold responsible then to what extent—you can’t just throw them out of the Party, can you? **

      In six measured years, NCDP lost all legislative power, all lawmaking ability, all ability to kill bad legislation, the judiciary and finally, 65 percent or better of a county offices are in Republican hands.

      **I’ve talked to former Chairs and smart people inside and outside of the NCDP. The failings of the Party—at least to some—started back in the 80s. And, then it still took time for the GOP to gain the majority.**

      Who is going to stand up and take the responsibility for this disaster? Of course the reactionaries, the Tories, will blame Voller — only problem is they assaulted him from first day viciously, professionally, personally and politically, driving off a promising Democratic leader who had already won mayor times in a basically Republican district and town.

      **The first chair I blogged about on a regular basis was Randy Voller. He intrigued me because of his ideas and those ideas were in fact what I felt were in line with the Party I had come to respect. Well, I was wrong. The Party I came to respect, as it turned out didn’t and doesn’t exist. The Party has a habit of elitism. I can give examples if you’re interested.
      As far as Voller is concerned, he was met the very first day with obstructionism. Files were literally being shredded when he and the new ED walked into Goodwin House. Complaints were filed against him that if litigated would have been thrown out for lack of evidence. There was a collection of YDs, who had moved up the ranks, and gay agenda activists who were themselves YDs who fault Voller in every initiative he put forth; including the Blue Ballot.
      To illustrate my point: this is a copy of an email Sagar Sane sent to Randy Voller and Mr. Sane also put this on his Facebook page. This speaks to the vitriol these YDs had for the Chair.

      Sane’s Letter to Voller:
      “You, sir, have helped cement the demise of the NCDP. You have squandered precious time and resources these past two cycles and because of your incompetence, we stand very little chance of making the big gains we need to stop the radical agenda coming out of the General Assembly.
      You have no vision for bringing our party back on track and even if you did, you’ve shown that you lack the drive to actually make it happen. You don’t raise money, you don’t recruit candidates and you don’t help those of us who are working hard on the ground to actually access the tools we need to win.
      The national party knows that you cannot be trusted to spend their resources wisely and that is why they have circumvented you and the party for back-to-back cycles. I, for one, hold you personally accountable for the gross financial mismanagement at Goodwin House.
      It’s clear you don’t understand basic arithmetic, because if you did, your budgets wouldn’t be so unbalanced. You have also foolishly fired a number of staffers without justification, which has had a destabilizing effect and has worsened our ability to coordinate internally to get Democrats elected.
      You have tried to replace those staffers with individuals who are plagued by problems of their own and who have neither the experience nor the perspective to lead. And when it comes to the press, you are a textbook example of what not to do.
      You, sir, are a reporter’s best friend — wherever you go, a trail of slime and shit and scandal is sure to follow. But what really bothers me is the fact that you are a gigantic asshole.
      Your arrogance and desire to promote yourself knows no bounds. To protect yourself from criticism, you’ve shamelessly exploited geographic, demographic and attitudinal divisions within the party.
      Whenever your authority, wisdom, or decision-making is questioned, you unleash your minions to go on the offensive, all while you try to inoculate yourself by citing minor positive accomplishments as a justification for your continued leadership.
      For the sake of the party and the citizens of this great state, I sincerely hope you do not get involved in partisan or electoral politics for the remainder of your years on this earth.
      But if and when you do, please know that I and a great many others, will be ready to do whatever it takes to stop you.
      Democratically yours, Sagar P.S. – Don’t think for a second that no one will notice your attempts to move the next SEC meeting away from Raleigh. The Sanity Caucus intends to show up in full force, regardless of the location.”

      **Sadly, this letter was written to Mr. Voller after he had announced he would not be running for Chair again. It was also after the 2014 election where the Blue Ballot helped win election for 5 of the 6 judges running.

      Much of the criticism toward Mr. Voller could also be turned around and the same could be said of the current Chair—Patsy Keever. To date, she hasn’t raised any significant money for the NCDP and she has not gone out of her way to recruit winnable candidates for the upcoming election. Taken that this is a presidential year, you would think she would have an easier time of things.

      On another note—and something I think is significant—Ms. Keever fired, with no warning or much explanation, a long time Democrat and former Sec. of the NC Department of Labor, John Brooks, who was the Chair of the NCDP Council of Review.

      The then appointed (the person you mention in your reply) Mr. Ryan Butler. To date, not one issue has been heard by the COR and it is left virtually ineffective. Had Randy Voller done this, I think they would have removed him as Chair of the NCDP. **

      That is how we treat potential leaders while we pander to party functionaries and sycophants seeking now to replace these losers with yet more clerks and desk–jockies with no experience is managing crap.
      This follows the brutal dismissal of John Brooks, an elder statesman and legal scholar with a flight by night with zero knowledge of Parliamentary Procedures and no sense of wrong and right.
      Disgusting. And what of the fine dead hand of the past which rests on the tiller of the NC Democratic Party, Jim Hunt and his flunkies and lackeys who are largely responsible for not seeing this debacle coming — despite warnings and warnings.

      **I agree that the Party needs to move past the Huntism if we are to move forward with new ideas and agendas to reach not only Democratic voters, but the independents and unaffiliated. Some members of the Party—particularly by those who seek Hunt’s money, clout and endorsements have gone out of their way to rewrite history.
      For example—as HB2, the bathroom discriminatory bill passed by the NCGA and signed by Gov. McCrory is gaining international attention from the mainstream news media—Hunt was sued by the same Department of Justice that is suing Pat McCrory. In DoJ v. Jim Hunt (in his formal capacity as governor of the State of North Carolina) Hunt failed repeatedly to desegregate schools in the timeline(s) established by the DoJ. It should be noted that when Hunt went to NC State, it was a segregated school.
      Hunt also refused to pardon the Wilmington Ten during his last tenure. Many prominent North Carolinians, including Dean Smith—former head coach of the Tarheels—sent Hunt a letter asking him to pardon those individuals and Smith articulately gave good reasons why Hunt should. Hunt refused. Memorandums gathered from archives indicate Hunt’s reasoning had little to do with the innocence of the Wilmington Ten, but the political capital and possible fallout of Hunt doing so.
      And finally, there is ScannerGate. It strikes me as odd than when you Google that term, it takes pains and effort to find anything on ScannerGate. Had it not been for Ray Livesay—the former owner of On the Map, Inc. and the proprietor of WNCR-TV, I would have never seen the four boxes of documentation he kept over the incident. Livesay not only saved audio but also the documents relating to the FBI investigation that followed. Many good people (people I will not name here out of respect) lost their careers, their law licenses and their good name all in an effort to keep ScannerGate from sticking to Hunt.**

      These Tories worked to totally unfund the NCDP so as to keep money out of the hands of Randy Voller, based on the personal animus of Hunt, some of his less intelligent flunkies and some members of the COS, among others.
      Send the money to the candidates was the cry — starve the bastards in the Goodwin House. Result, most candidates lost, the party was defunded actively with no ability to restart donations in the absence of transactional donations – and the damned drug of Voter Tax Payer funds was crippled immediately — to the amazement of these brilliant people.

      **I would agree that absent public finance of the $3 tax check off—both Parties have suffered. As it relates to the NCDP, first good candidates have to be willing to run for office. Unfortunately, the ones who do run have an unwillingness to get on the phone and make fundraising calls.**

      We need a sweeping and generational change with no quarter for the perpetrators of this farce, including caucus leaders and their crews. They are lost as hell and will not recognize the extent of our losses, contending that we can take back the NC House in 2016, forgetting the ongoing gerrymandering until 2020 or 2022. And they are not making plans for REDMAP 2020 — ask me about that.

      **REDMAP has been around since 2012 or earlier. The very fact that the NCDP doesn’t know what plans the Republicans have and the fact that the NCDP has no plan is why we need new leadership in Goodwin House. **

      Talked to a prominent legislator recently, he did not know the word REDMAP, which is the GOP program which helped cost us NC. There is no planning, forward looking discussion — nothing but a vacuum, only broken slightly and intermittently by bleating from the Goodwin House.
      Think Butler will save you? Nah, his prop is the questionable LGBT Caucus. And now we have the likes of Matt Hughes hiked onto the Council via the idiotic Chairs Caucus.

      **My thoughts on Butler are mixed. I’ve always held the belief that the Democrats should hold themselves to a higher standard because we perceive ourselves as an inclusive big tent. However, Butler should have refused the appointment as chair of the CoR out of respect for John Brooks and his many years of accomplishments. It could have been handled differently considering Butler wasn’t even on the CoR until he was suddenly made Chair. Secondly, it seems odd that less than a week after Butler was appointed as Chair, his boss donated $5,000 to the NCDP. For those of us on the outside looking in—it reeks of ‘pay to play’ politics; an ideal we have long criticized the Republicans of doing.**

      And Zack, with all his amazing feats is questing to the Chairmanship. Another clueless cipher. Pretty hard language, but look at the damage and who was on watch the entire time. Or, as the children’s crusade wants, are all the sisters virtuous and all the brothers good looking — never mind their losses.
      Just how much will you tolerate Democrats? Seems like a lot. Now comes Hillary and the imposition of another OFA onto the county parties, the fourth time, breaking local bonds and loyalties. But the people who sit in Goodwin House will have some money, not much, and clueless consultants clustered at their feet for feeding — so we can again miss the down ballot opportunities and lose more offices yet.

      **Again, the very thing Voller was criticized over is the very thing this current chair can be accused of: how many of the candidates running were recruited by the current Chair? From those I’ve spoken with it seems none.
      It also strikes me as odd that the current chairwoman would take part in organizing a fundraiser for Ms. Clinton and Deborah Ross before the NC primary. It was my understanding Officers of the Party were supposed to remain neutral until after the primary.**

      The carnage is not complete, nor is the stupidity. How long will Democrats suffer the inability of their party to win shit or drive anything? That is right, keep on sending your money to this crowd and hoping. Oh, how is that hope thing doing in lieu of competent management and honest dealing? See you in 2020 when we might have a chance yet again.

      **Transactional donors go where they are best served. And, right now the NCDP doesn’t have shit to sell. Neither will they have anything to sell in the next election cycle.
      The best we can hope for is to elect a Chair that can reach out beyond North Carolina and can interest donors from outside the State. Someone new. Someone completely outside of the Democratic elite. **

  2. Norman Smith says:

    If you think Marshall Adams is the one…PLEASE contact your therapist cause you fail to take your medicine. You have purposely overlooked the fact that Adame has not contributed one thing to the NC 100 Counties, he has allowed his own Hispanic community suffer for the last 10 years or more. How many rallies or protest has he attended to represent them,….how many petitions has he filed for their benefit….NOT ONE……

    SO WHO WANT THE SAME THING WRAPPED IN A NEW BOX…..COME ON NC YOU GOT BETTER CANDIDATES THAN A MARSHALL ADAME…….An individual who has nothing to bring to the table and not having participated in or caused change in the community…..for the better…he has been a go along to get along for his own benefit…..ASK THE BLACK WATER FRIENDS HE SKIPPED OUT ON…. IN THEIR TIME OF NEED FOR HONESTY AND TRUTHFULNESS..

    Blacvotescount.com

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