North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Voller: Unleashed

On February 17, Chairman of the NC Democratic Party joined host Bram Sarkowski on his online blog show (63:27), “The Social Spitball,” and went on what amounts to a tirade against some of his party members.

As the conversation began, Voller talks of his time spent “advocating pardon for the Wilmington Ten,” which were convicted of arson and conspiracy and spent nearly a decade in jail. While they were convicted initially, their sentences were overturned in 1980 and, the then governor, Bev Purdue pardoned them in 2012.

As the interview continues, Voller begins to lash out at several party members. He goes into deep detail about the firing of Tammy Bruenner NCDP Executive Director, who Voller first fired when he became chair. He claims that there were “abuses of party resources, such as using LexisNexis and other forms of research against people in our own party,” he claimed, “including me.” He continued, “I kept quiet about this but seeing as what happened last week, I wanted shine the sunlight on this stuff.”

After the firing of the Executive Director, turmoil ensued. “We had to have a conference call of 600 people,” Voller stated. Citing key figures that were meeting and the “mess” that ensued, Voller claimed, “It was the reason for several of the resignations that occurred, including Micah’s.” Micah Beasley was the Communications Director, until his resignation. “When this happened,” Voller said, “ IT and communications were locked down.”

Sarkwoski then asks him about State Auditor Beth Woods, who sent an email to Voller saying she lacks confidence that her money will be spent wisely, and wants her $500 back. Voller states that, “she has every right to want her money back. It’s fine if she wakes up one day and wants her money back, but in that email to say that she lacks confidence in me is wrong.”

In the next breath, without an ounce of irony, Voller states, “I am almost done with the 2012 audit.” He also goes on to claim the NCDP, “isn’t making any money,” and is “not paying their bills. The $9,000 to Chavis was well overdue.” Maybe Wood has a point?  He goes on to blame the debt on Russ Swindell’s, former congressman Bob Etheridge’s Chief of Staff, campaign and redistricting laws. He also blames the lack of funds on weak donors. “When we lost in 2012,” he says, “We lost transactional donors and big money donors”. He claims that the mess Perdue and Easley left him with have caused donors to keep their pocketbooks closed.

The extent of the interview however, is Voller defending Chavis from attacks from his own party. “You see people like Tiffany Richardson,” former NCDP Finance Director, who resigned the same day as Beasley, “resigning and nobody’s giving Elaine Marshall grief over her resigning.” He continued to go after Elaine Marshall, the current Secretary of State, saying that they are “trying to throw punches… trying to see what sticks.” Voller continues that there is “latent racism, which causes a fear of Chavis, in the State Executive Committee (SEC).” It looks like the NCDP has found its historical roots. “We are afraid to try something unconventional,” he surmises. Yes, because nothing says unconventional, and go NC Dems., about hiring a charged domestic terrorist (Wilmington Ten), who while at the NAACP, had to resign due to sexual misconduct and the NAACP had to bay $332,400 to an employee, and be second in command to the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam under Farrakhan. To make matters worse, the co-host uses the word lynch to describe what happened to Chavis.

Despite his tirade against the entirety of the SEC, Voller sees hope in the future. “I hope that we can move past this in Greensboro. I hope we can each stand up and say, “hey this is what I did wrong.”” I guess that the irony of unity is lost upon Chairman Voller, especially after this interview. 

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