North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Voller: Unleashed

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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. 

NC Dems Look to Solve Financial Woes with… Alchemy?

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As reported by WRAL today, the North Carolina Democratic Party is in extreme trouble financially as their executive board, still reeling from the sex scandal under previous Chair David Parker, is still infighting. Today, fist vice-chairwoman Nina Szlosberg-Landis resigned from office citing personal differences and alleged bullying from the new state Chairman Randy Voller.

The vice-chair wrote very critically of the chair saying that many of the top donors felt uncomfortable working with Voller because of “some of the actions he has taken.” Voller was more kind in his statement, however, calling Szlosberg-Landis resignation “saddening,” and saying that she “served with distinction.” He also said that the party would welcome in any capacity.

Several Voller supporters were happy with the vice-chairwoman’s departure, Dr. John Hammond, a well-known party member cited an email which Szlosberg-Landis, whose jobs it is to fundraise for the party, solicited funds for House and Senate Caucuses instead of giving directly to the party. This infuriated him and several other activists, because the email stated it was “the best mechanism” for getting Democrats elected.

Voller critics, however, were quick to point out the contentions that were in the party. Many of Voller’s critics claim that despite the email, Szlosberg-Landis worked hard to raise thousands of dollars for the party. One critic, Frank Eaton even called outright for a vote of no confidence on Voller. Eaton stated in a video, “The first five months of his term have been contentious, and we find ourselves in the worst financial condition of our history. For the second time in two years, the Goodwin House is involved in an embarrassing scandal.”

But don’t worry NC Dems. Your prayers have been answered! According to the same WRAL report, despite budget woes, and staff reductions, two consultants have managed to keep their jobs. One consultant is Jim Neal who ran against Elizabeth Dole in 2007, and is a pro-gay activist. The other is Michael Carmichael, who is the answer to the Democrats prayer. Just who is this amazing consultant? According to his own website, Carmichael is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte, and currently lives in England. He moved there to study psychoactive drugs and alchemy: yes, you heard that right alchemy.

According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the explanation of alchemy is described as, “Pseudoscience focused on the attempt to change base metals into gold. Ancient alchemists believed that, under the correct astrological conditions, lead could be “perfected” into gold. They tried to hasten this transformation by heating and refining the metal in a variety of chemical processes, most of which were kept secret.”

The NC Dems should be excited! They now have a source of unlimited funds that will never run out! Carmichael can supply their campaign for years to come by simply turning metal into precious gold! He might want to be careful though. He does not want to turn the metal rocks, in whomever’s head hired him, into to gold…

Mulligan!

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The Daily Tar Heel is reporting that the Board of Elections may consider “re-doing” the Student Body President race because of some problems with the voting software. There are several things to consider here. The first is the Student Code. In Title I, Chapter 9, Section 902 (10), under the heading of “Responsibilities,” it states, “The BOE shall have the ability to call for a re-election if a violation occurred that might have affected the outcome or compromised the integrity of the election.”

Now, the key word in this passage is “violation”. Does a technological failure that prevented students from voting constitute a violation? It is quite clear that whatever happened “affected the outcome” of the election, as the margin of victory was a mere four votes and the number of affected voters seems to be quite high (with several students apparently being unable to send in a ballot via email because the BOE’s inbox was full of provisional ballots).

However, the Code never actually defines what a violation is in Title I. However, in Title VI, Chapter 7, Section 701 E (4), there is a category of “Technology” violations. According to the Code, “This category shall include but not be limited to campaigning online in illegal ways.” Seeing as the definition here is very broad and there is little other guidance in the Code for a situation like this, one could plausibly interpret the present situation as being a technological violation in Title VI, which would necessitate a re-vote via Title I because of its affect on the outcome of the election.

So, at least in my humble opinion, I believe that a re-election is, in fact, necessary and the proper procedure to follow per the Code. We should not allow technological glitches that prevent students from voting from having a disproportionate impact on the outcome of our elections. While the Code isn’t exactly crystal clear, there is a plausible case to be made for a mulligan.

Victory is Sweet

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I woke up this morning, and for some reason the air seemed fresher, the grass greener, the color of the falling leaves more vivid. Lenoir was even serving meatball subs today. And I asked myself, what could possibly make this day even better? And then I remembered the historic victories secured by the Republicans last night, and my day got that much better. It seems that the stock market had the same reaction I did, with both the NASDAQ and DJIA notching two-year highs. And who can blame them? With the complete and utter failure of the Democrats’ agenda over the past two years, it’s nice to know that we’ll finally be getting some new blood come January.

2010 House Results

Beautiful

Surpassing even the 1994 Revolution, last night’s 60+ seat conversion in the House and 6+ conversion in the Senate is a loud and clear message from the American people that the Obama Agenda is not what this country needs nor wants and a return to sanity and clear-thinking is what is desired.

A special shout-out goes to the North Carolina General Assembly, where the GOP picked up not one, but two chambers. With 31 seats in the state senate (a veto-proof majority) and 66+ seats in the state House (depending on the returns in 4 still-outstanding races, also a possible veto-proof majority), conservatism will finally make itself heard in the halls of North Carolina state government, after wandering in the wilderness for over 100 years. That is change I can believe in.

I’ll also give a special shout-out to Bob Etheridge who, when he’s not wandering the streets mugging unsuspecting college students, apparently thinks it’s still Halloween and is pretending to be Al Gore. You sir, do your state, district, and party proud.

Justice is Blind, Just Not Colorblind

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Eric Holder’s Justice Department has issued an edict from on high blocking the establishment of non-partisan local elections in the town of Kinston. In a referendum, the voters of Kinston voted by a 2-1 margin to establish non-partisan elections in mayoral and council races. However, the Justice Department, invoking the Civil Rights Act, has decided that such a move would violate black voters’ right to elect the candidates they want. This is problematic on several levels.

First, Kinston’s population is over 2/3 black. In addition, black voters make up over 9000 of Kinston’s 15,000 registered voters. So the idea that the black voters in Kinston cannot elect the “candidates they want” is patently absurd on its face. Loretta King, who issued the Department’s ruling said,

Removing the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office… the limited remaining support from white voters for a black Democratic candidate will diminish even more.

In other words, unless the candidate has a little “D” next to his name, the Department of Justice implies that the black population will be too stupid to elect him, despite overwhelming electoral majorities.

This is insulting and reveals a certain prejudice. It assumes that only the Democratic candidates will be black. It also assumes that under a non-partisan system, the voters of Kinston may accidentally vote for Republicans, which would deny the black voters their constitutional right of electing Democrats.

This situation also represents an unwarranted intervention of the federal government into local politics. The fact that the Justice Department can overrule a mandate approved by 65% of the voters is a little concerning. Of course, this sort of behavior is not unprecedented for the Obama administration. What good are local (or even state) elections and referendums if Obama and his cronies are just going to come in and overrule them? Despite lacking the constitutional authority to do so, the administration is showing an ever-growing taste for imposing its will over and above the will of the people. All racial politics aside, this intrusion of the federal government is a cause for grave concern.