Emptying the clown car

by | May 25, 2013 | Democrats, Editor's Blog, NC Politics | 66 comments

Okay. So Randy Voller has succeeded in making an ass of himself and embarrassing the North Carolina Democratic Party. He should probably step down for the good of the party but he won’t and with the current party rules, there’s no viable way to remove him. Besides, nobody is waiting in the wings to take the helm and we really don’t want another debacle like the attempt to remove the previous buffoon.

So maybe what we need to do is help Voller fix the party. To do that, Voller needs to take specific actions to show that he is sincere in his desire to get back on track. For the rest of us, once he makes concrete steps toward reversing course, we need to quit shooting at him.

For his part, Voller needs to empty the clown car. He’s accumulated a group of misfits who have virtually no real political experience but have somehow convinced themselves, and Randy, that they do. Then, he needs to quietly blend into the background and do the job that the chair is supposed to do.

He’s got a new executive director coming to town who has real experience working in campaigns and political organizations. Randy should demand the resignation of everybody at Party headquarters and have them reapply for their jobs. It’s pretty standard operating procedure when party leadership turns over.

The new ED doesn’t need to be subjected to the infighting we’ve seen in recent months. He needs the space to put together a professional leadership team that includes a finance director, political director and communications coordinator. Once those operations are functional again, we can begin rebuilding trust with donors and credibility with the press and the public.

If Voller wants to salvage his reputation, he needs disappear long enough for people to forget the past month. He needs to quietly help the new ED succeed in rebuilding a professional party operation. He needs to work with elected party leaders to reform the governing process of the party to wrest control from the conspiracy theorists and wing-nuts who wield too much power. And he needs to focus on the re-election Kay Hagan and picking up a few seats in the General Assembly because that will do more for his rehabilitation than anything he can possibly do today.

The role of the Democratic Party is to elect Democrats and support those who are already in office. It’s not a vehicle to promote the aspirations of the Party Chair. It needs to get back to it’s core mission.


  1. Kevin Jochems

    This is my first read and comment on this site. First- this blog seems like a nice addition to help cover politics in NC. I no longer reside in the state (I am in CO to go back to school to get my MSW) but my mother and both my sisters live in NC and much of my heart remains there too, so I try to follow what is happening in my home state and look forward to coming back to this blog.

    I was steeped in Democratic politics growing up in NC and watched my mother and her peers take on the good ole’ boy network back in the 70’s and 80’s as reformers, to open up the party. Before I left for Virginia in 2000- I worked in every campaign for Democrats that I believed in and some who were just not Republican. 🙂

    Reading these comments has had a disheartening effect on me. I can only imagine what glee Republicans must be feeling. If WE can’t get our act together when facing such obstacles as the party does right now- it is inconceivable that progress will be made in the short term and I hate that for NC. I love the passion that both sides are exhibiting here but really when it comes down to “they started it,” well no one wins and the party and state will continue to lose. After reading this- I am really worried for Kay Hagan- not to mention picking up a state senate seat or two.

    NC is a big, diverse state and there are many segments of North Carolina that don’t always have the same interests. Regionalism- east vs west, rural vs urban, old industries (tobacco, textiles, furniture) vs new (banking, tech and drug), not to mention rich vs poor or educated vs not are all part of the competing interests we must appeal to. I grew up in Concord (Cabarrus) yet spent my last 13 years in NC in Durham. Two very different experiences!! My point here is that as a party- the onus is on US to create a framework of ideas that best represents our ideals and to cultivate leadership that is capable of conveying that to the whole state. We will not always agree with each other and sometimes that conflict depending on how it manifests itself may take years to heal. In my mind- this is going to be a tough decade but the Legislature is giving us a lot to work with. WE just need to all get on the same page.

    • nancy g. rorie

      I still miss THE Congressman. Love your Mom.

      • Kevin Jochems

        Awe, thanks for that Nancy! She’s still kickin’ but misses the good ole’ days! When I think about all the close elections and how conservative the 8th was all those years ago only THE Congressman could have held that seat!!

  2. Elizabeth M.T. O'Nan

    I for one see no reason to keep doing the same old things and expecting a new result. I would like to see Randy Voller do his best and I have found him inspiring. I can’t wait for a change for good.

  3. wafranklin


    Thanks for giving some of us a great venue to explain what you, Pearce and some of the consultant/pundit mafia could not see or apparently understand. I will not address Wrenn because he is so far beyond the pale Nothing stops you from picking up the phone and calling Randy Voller and asking direct, pointed questions, which it my experience that he would answer clearly and honestly, and tell you if he not know. He would not show you some confabulated fanciful unicorn video made by a teenager. It would help if you took with you an open mind. As for the greatness of this community in which I include you, I notice it has lost far more than it won in the past 10 years. Do you want to help or continue or continue to damage the Party? And, I also hope Bob Etheridge gets with the program and does not continue tilting at windmills trying to construct an alternate C4 party, from which he can pontificate. Call or write (wafranklin@earthlink.net) at any time.

  4. Thomas Mills

    Okay. I apologize. I shouldn’t have said what I did about getting help and typing while drinking.

  5. Thomas Mills

    Okay, Chris and Watt. That’s enough. I don’t want to block people because I want to encourage discussion, but you aren’t discussing. You’re both ranting, talking in circles and listening only to people who agree with you–each other. Your dominating a comment stream discourages discussion instead of encouraging it. Neither of you makes much of a coherent argument and both look remarkably silly. Take a breather. Go back and look at your own comments. I was hoping that it was instance of typing while drinking on Saturday night. Apparently not. If you can’t see how ridiculous you look to people from the outside looking in, I would seriously consider getting help.

    • W Jones

      And Thomas, what exactly do you mean by “ranting” and “talking in circles”? At your suggestion I have gone back over the comments posted here thus far. Mostly, I have seen answering questions, responding to false implications, and more important, asking questions in rebuttal. Isnt that encouraging discussion? How “silly” does it look with posts from those who may be speculating, instead of basing their arguments on fact? Thank you, but I didnt drink last night. Its your show, you can certainly do as you please with this forum. If you want to go online and “rant”, then at least have the common courtesy and sense to expect some rebuttal. I spent almost 20 years in law enforcement investigating crimes of all kinds. I dont “rant” based on rumors and speculation. My comments are based on facts, whether anyone likes it or not.. As far as my reputation and if im looking foolish.. Dont care!!

    • Chris Telesca

      Thomas – not quite sure what you mean. I saw your original posting and I took issue with it. You never responded to my comments. I saw others respond to your post and heap on the pile, or respond to my postings, and I addressed those issues. I can’t speak for Watt, but I am not ranting. I am trying to address issues. And it seems that some folks who side with you don’t want to address an actual question – just pile on the rumors and innuendo. When I ask someone if they can provide any information which supports their position, they cannot do so. How is pointing that out a bad thing?

      Now I have asked specific questions of the people – including you – who have heaped on Randy Voller. None of you are willing to specifically answer those questions. All you have done is introduce Betsy to Nancy, or something like that.

      I have looked at my own comments. I have no problem with them. I raised and answered the issues brought up in one newspaper article about Frank Eaton’s charge. Do you have any specific problem with any of the answers I provided to those questions – or the questions that I raised about Frank Eaton and those who filed the petition or those who tried to hijack the 4/28 Executive Council meeting?

      Apparently you cannot deal with these issues directly, so you insinuate that I was typing while drinking, and that I need help. I do not feel I look ridiculous at all. I’ve been getting tons of comments on FB encouraging me to stick to my “guns” in this battle for the Democratic Party.

      Randy Voller did not violate the NCDP POO, RRO, or any state or federal laws. All he is trying to do is clean up and reform the Democratic Party – a platform he ran and won on. Something which many people feel has been necessary for quite a long time.

      Apparently some folks with lots of political experience are bothered or frightened by that. Given what I have seen at Goodwin House and with our political operation over the years, I can understand why. Standards have fallen way down, There is little if any oversight or supervision. That is one of many things that need to change. People who have lots of political experience can’t treat the Democratic Party like a petty cash box with no lock on it that “insiders” can raid whenever they feel like it.

      if you have any specific issues you would like to debate – something other than smearing me about drinking and needing help – I’d be happy to debate you. And I will bring proof of the things I allege.

      The ball is in your court. Debate me if you can, block me if you can’t or don’t want to. But I won’t back down in helping Randy Voller and other grassroots Democrats from reforming this Party and taking it back from the folks with all the political experience who have gotten us to where we are now.

  6. Nancy G. Rorie

    Well, this has all been very interesting. But it leaves me wondering, am I to believe that all the people who have left NCDP headquarters since our new chairman took office are liars, thieves and slackers? It has been my experience since 1969 that the staff at headquarters, including all who have left recently, as well as the ones who remain, have been especially helpful to those of us who live 3 hours and more from Raleigh and can’t drop by headquarters, volunteer there, recognize the staff on sight, or have our county office in the same building — and therefore have no inside information on what’s going on with the staff as do Telesca, Franklin and Jones.

    Because of the way Chairman Voller handled a local matter, in which he had no business being involved to the extent he involved himself, I have been very unhappy with him; however, after reading what Thomas wrote — “So maybe what we need to do is help Voller fix the party … we need to quit shooting at him”, I am willing to give Voller a second chance.

    • Betsy Muse

      You are a good person, Nancy, and I’m proud to call you my friend.

      I just want to know if the NCDP is going to pick up the tab (or part of it) every time Voller goes out with friends and asks them to donate to the party. I wonder how much his basketball buddies gave to the party? I also wonder why he had to go to Vegas to hit them up for donations.

      • W Jones

        Betsy, Randy has been going to the basketball tournaments with his college friends for the past ten years. Its nothing new! Simply because he is the Chair, that means he should not go? So what if he asked his friends to donate, big deal.. I continue to be extremely puzzled, if he paid the bill out of his own pocket, why its any big deal! Whats wrong with Vegas? Because they have casinos? Dont say its prostitution! Thats illegal in Vegas and Clark County!

        • Betsy Muse

          I don’t care how many years he has gone. I care that this time he chose to use an NCDP credit card to help pick up the tab.

          • W Jones

            Betsy, And when will you finally come to the realization ( after many postings stating such) that IT WAS NOT A NCDP CREDIT CARD. It was a PERSONAL CREDIT CARD, Backed up by Personal Credit. No NCDP Money was spent!

          • Betsy Muse

            You are the first to mention that it was a personal credit card on this thread. So let’s make sure the facts are straight…. Randy Voller went on his 10th annual trip to Vegas with friends and used an

            1. American Express Card backed by someone else’s credit to pay for all or part of the trip.
            2. American Express Card on an account that had been used to pay NCDP business expenses by the then and soon to be fired interim executive director.

            So…you’re PERSONAL credit card argument hinges on a technicality. Even Voller said he “later decided to pay off the card with personal funds.” (emphasis on the word “later”) So it leaves us all wondering what his intent was when he initially used an American Express Gold Card that was previously used to pay NCDP business expenses to pay for his mostly personal trip to Vegas.

            Voller said he didn’t know the charge card was backed by Tammy Brunner’s credit. He had to know it wasn’t backed by his credit. Whose credit did he think was backing it?

            Anyway…good night y’all. It’s been fun playing.

          • nancy g. rorie

            ‘Nite. Didn’t we have fun?!

          • W Jones

            Betsy, the PERSONAL Credit card was mentioned elsewhere in this thread. Again, It was not a NCDP Credit Card. He paid it off out of his own pocket.,and No NCDP funds were expended so it shouldnt matter what he thought or not. You did mention a name, of which I will not. What you SHOULD be asking is this….Since the account was in “someone elses” name why was that card being used for NCDP expenses anyway? Exactly what were those expenses on and how much was spent? Why was a personal business card being paid off by someone else with NCDP funds? Those are the questions you should be asking. You are speculating based on what you read in the papers. You, and well as anyone,should know thats not a good or reliable way to investigate.

      • Nancy G. Rorie

        Thanks, Betsy. And I’m proud to call you my friend because I’ve learned so much from you and I know that I can call on you any time for counsel. Our Party knows we can rely on you to come to our aid when we need it. Keep asking the questions and pointing out the flies in the ointment even if elicits the rants we’ve seen here today. Maybe we did them a favor by giving them something to vent about because it’s unhealthy to keep things bottled up.

        • Chris Telesca

          Flies in what ointment? What aid does the Party need? This is all much ado about nothing – but it’s attacking and defaming Randy Voller for doing nothing but trying to reform the Party and clean up the stench that others (including staffers) have left down there over the years.

          • Nancy G. Rorie

            What? Oh–after reading it again, I get it. You misunderstood what I meant. I was speaking of Betsy offering aid, advice, hard work, assistance, expertise to MY LOCAL COUNTY PARTY!

            And I’m sure Voller’s intentions are the best in the world, but–

          • Betsy Muse

            Randy Voller is a public figure. Public figure or not, this isn’t defamation. offering our opinion on his shortcomings – and there apparently are many – isn’t defamation. Trying to bully us into being quiet about our thoughts on Voller is going to backfire. Trust me.

          • W Jones

            No need to Bully at all! When you get the memo and find out your wrong, then it will backfire on you!

          • Nancy G. Rorie

            Amen Betsy!

          • Nancy G. Rorie

            And I was saying Amen to Betsy, not Jones!

          • Chris Telesca

            Betsy: You can have all the thoughts you want to about Randy Voller or anyone else. But when you express those thoughts in speech, print or video and they are not the truth and you ruin someone’s reputation, that is defamation pure and simple.

            While Randy Voller is a public figure, some of the folks who claim he has shortcomings are defaming him. Just because someone is a public figure doesn’t mean that someone can call him a thief or make up stories about hookers, cocaine and gambling if it did not happen. Free speech is not absolute – you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater or start a riot.

            I’ve been called a thief by some jerk on Twitter who I called out. I asked them to post any proof they had of my being a thief, otherwise they should retract the statement in 24 hours. They not only retracted the statement, but they pulled down the whole Twitter account. That still does not undo the damage they have done.

            And any group has the right to protect itself from disgruntled members who seek merely to cause a disturbance (throw a tantrum over nothing) in the hope that the adults in the room will give up and let them continue to do what they please.

            So let’s look at some of the allegations – you call them his “shortcomings”:

            Did Randy Voller stack the deck of the State Executive Council by appointing more members than allowed to by the POO? No he did not.

            Derailing investigations into his own behavior and actions? I still don’t know how he allegedly did this. Randy followed the NCDP POO by Chairing the Executive Council meeting where he didn’t allow a few party members to disrupt and hijack the Executive Council meeting. He also followed Roberts Rules of Order.

            Bullying NC Democratic Party employees? Not hardly. I have personally seen NCDP employees do and say things that are so unprofessional that they would have been immediately fired in any normal employment situation. Some have done so repeatedly. Most have not had any oversight or supervision that exist in most normal jobs. They’ve been allowed to get away with this crap because some claim they are so professional we have to allow them to misbehave – and they can’t be disciplined until AFTER the next election. Why should they act professionally if there is no oversight or supervision – and if someone tries to discipline them, they cry about being bullied?

            Naming himself ED of the NCDP? Nope – he named himself Interim Director of the NCDP because they needed someone to work as ED in between Tammy Brunner’s departure and the hiring of the new ED while the search process was still ongoing. The search took a month longer than the committee originally planned.

            another question – If the interim ED was not doing the job to the Chair’s liking – is the Chair obligated to keep them on board? Nope!

            yet another question – have we ever had another Chair who also worked as the Executive Director? Yes we have – two, and David Price was one of them.

            Improper firing and hiring practices? Nope. The ED serves at the pleasure of the Chair. And NC is an employment at-will state. Why should staffers be able to work for NCDP if they are not working up to the standards set by the Chair, and not be subject to any oversight, supervision or discipline? Or are you not in favor of high standards?

            Misuse of Party funds including hiring un-needed political consultants and using the NCDP Credit Card for a personal trip to Las Vegas. Nope and nope. First off, Frank Eaton is hardly in a position to judge which political consultants are un-needed when he himself was part of a bid for consulting work. And the Las Vegas trip was not paid for by the NCDP. So exactly what shortcomings are you talking about?

            And yes – Betsy – many things hinge on technicalities. If you are going to hang someone, you had better be sure that the thing you are charging them with is something they are technically guilty of doing. If Randy told Tammy he was going on a trip to Vegas to see about raising money and she gave him that card to use – please tell me why you are blaming him for using that card?

            And yes – you both might have had your personal fun, but did you do anything but muddy the water and further spread false rumors that had no business being raised in the first place? Remember – freedom of speech isn’t absolute.

          • Betsy Muse

            Chris, but I didn’t say any of those things that you claim defame Randy Voller. I said he is inept based on my personal experience with his lack of leadership. I think he is incompetent. I said nothing about the other things you reference. So, lumping me in with those who you think have defamed Voller doesn’t strengthen your argument.

            I will repeat what I’ve said multiple times on this thread. Trying to bully people into silence is not going to help your cause.

      • wafranklin

        Betsy, how much have you brought in in 2013, into NCDP? Voller seems to be closely affiliated with bringing in a number around $200K since he was elected (important to realize he was elected-some don’t) , so perhaps he has not been wasting time and we certainly know he has not been spending YOUR money, has he?

        So your gratuitous and ungracious, no, mean spirited dig at Voller probably means you need to go back to Sunday school. Something about the mote in one eye and the beam in another. Reason Voller is fishing in out of state waters is: ta da, Democrats are not in charge of much of anything and corporations and the rich country clubbers are not giving, at all – and that predates Voller, if you had not noticed, by about two years.

        • Nancy G. Rorie

          Not taking anything away from the credit Voller should get for raising money he has raised, but keep in mind, Voller said that amount included the J-J, which isn’t exactly new money. The major portion of the donors listed on the back of the program are ones who give year after year after year, no matter who the chairman is. I don’t know how much profit J-J usually shows because I’m not in the loop. I’m just a ticket buyer.

        • Interested Observer

          you’re a joke.

          Most of that was JJ. Jamie brought that in.

      • Chris Telesca

        Betsy: I do remember that the NCDP paid $10K to the Perdue campaign in 2010 for the following:

        1). Bev’s husband’s business-class airline tickets to China to accompany his wife on a junket (this guy is a millionaire who wouldn’t pick up the tab for a flight the taxpayers didn’t have to pay for)

        2). Bev’s upgrade to business class from coach on the same trip (the taxpayers would pay only for the coach seat) that her millionaire husband wouldn’t spring for

        3). property taxes and other costs related to campaign use of a Perdue family vehicle.

        I remember this came up at the January 2010 SEC meeting after the Easely BOE hearings. SEC members asked then ED Andrew Whalen why the NCDP was paying for these things that clearly didn’t aid the NCDP one little bit, and Andrew told us we had to pay for them. This didn’t raise one dime for the NCDP or help us out in any way shape or form.

        Compare and contrast that with Randy Voller’s Vegas trip. If he went out there to discuss business dealings with his friends (as people sometimes do with their friends), he could write off the portion of his trip (including food and beverages and other entertainment) that were spent doing business. Discussing business – including the raising of investment capital – in a social situation is perfectly legal and appropriate. Could he do it in Charlotte or Raleigh as easily as in Vegas? Probably not – there would be no logical reason for his friends to all come to Raleigh or Charlotte. If you want to raise money – you go where the money is. And Randy was trying to raise money from his big-wheel friends where they would go on their own – Las Vegas.

        Do you not feel that the NCDP should ever try to raise money in a social situation where it has to pay for food and beverages up front? Try renting a ballroom at the Civic Center without advancing some money up front no matter how much money is raised in the end.

    • Chris Telesca

      Nancy – what local matter do you claim that Randy Voller handled in a way that he had no business being involved in to the extent that he involved himself in? Was it by any chance the Wilmington 10 matter? If not – what was it?

      • Nancy G. Rorie

        No, Wilmington is not my locality. And I choose not to explain it in this public way, which will only serve to add fuel to the fire. I said I was willing to give him a second chance, and I am. If you want to know the details badly enough, ask him.

  7. W Jones

    Well, Well! I most certainly agree with Mr Telesca and Mr Franklin! Yeah, no doubt huh? No Doubts because the comments expressed are factual and not even bordering on defamation, libel, or slander which some love to toss around lately. Yet, some folks love to sit on the other side of the state, and elsewhere, with name calling instead of doing something productive at the moment to help the Party. Sure, ive been threatened with lawyers comin a knock knock knockin on my door with defamation suits out the yazoo. Problem is, “truth” is the best defense to defamation. Im willing to bet that many of those wanting to judge, really have no clue what “wrongs” really have gone on in Goodwin House. Well, Randy Voller ” aint” one of them! The “clowns” should have been gone along time ago. Ill betcha before its all said and done, there will be some “sad singin and flower bringin” and it aint gonna be on the Voller side.

  8. Concerned Democrat

    So…all this in house fighting we keep hearing about is trickling down to this very thread.

    Here is an idea!!!!
    How about we can it with the insulting of each other and get back to getting Mr. Pat and Mr. Dan out of office!?!
    And fill those spots with Democrats!

    How about we focus on the 2014 reelection of Kay Hagan!?!?!?!?!

    This is getting old, really quickly.
    We are democrats. We are smarter than this. We are BETTER than all of this.

    • wafranklin

      I agree with getting on with working killiing off Republicans, using some realistic expectations to do it, for it will take us another 8-10 years in NC. Perhaps Thomas can leave off his attacks on Voller, for example. That would be a real start. Then he could convince Pearce and others to cease and desist. This stuff got old on February 4, 2013.

    • Chris Telesca

      I would be very happy if we stopped insulting each other. But please tell me who I have insulted? I have talked and written about specific things that have happened – and where there is proof (either photos, written evidence, or corroborating witnesses) of unprofessional conduct.

      This whole insult thing started with folks calling Randy Voller and his supporters all these names on FB, on Twitter, and on other blogs. We’ve been defamed in a video!

      I will however defend myself and others when we are defamed by other Democrats on line. I will stop doing it when those people who defame me remove those statements and apologize for making them. If you don’t defend yourself, some folks start thinking that the attacks have some truth to them.

      This gauntlet was thrown down first by the anti-Randy people. By rights, they should pick it up first and stop this nonsense and apologize. Because if they don’t – some folks will wonder if the things they wrote about and talked about were actually true.

  9. wafranklin

    I second everything Chris Telesca says here. Neither I nor Chris have been paid one single cent by NCDP as we worked to help with operations at Goodwin House, even while paid staff were stiff arming Chair Voller-yes he did fire some, for incompetence, not doing their jobs and other things which needed remedy. Randy Voller has been under attack from February 2, when he was elected, by a broad range of malcontents, pundits, would be consultants, etc., including some fellow officers – why – well Mansfield was supposed to win and someone would “handle him” while the “pros” ran the shop – the consultants that David Parker let go, the ones who had their claws into everything in the upper echelons of the Party for a long time–and for which Parker was The situation which has developed is bad and the thanks Voller gets for correcting many ills is slander, abuse, libel and hate, simple direct hate. One wonders when the “pros from Dover” will get over their self-importance and contempt for working and voting Democrats, whom they consider trash? BTW, I am not a “misfit” and I bring over 40 years of successful careers as military officer and upper level business manager to the mix, to help with some types of necessary operations. The last time I saw such juvenile and really stupid behaviour on the part of people like those attacking Voller, I was watching “Mean Girls”.

  10. Chris Telesca

    Let’s talk about your labeling of certain people to be “misfits”. Why are they – in your opinion – “misfits”? Define what real political experience is?

    Would someone with real political experience steal 100K of OFA’s e-mail addresses (worth from $10 to $12K) from the NCDP computers? Someone with real political experience did that while working in Goodwin House.

    Would someone with real political experience be a consultant come into Goodwin House and ask a contract employee to LexisNexis search Jeff Starkweather, Randy Voller, and Gwen Wilkins in January 2013, then pass that information onto other consultants working for Eric Mansfield? A consultant who many feel has real political experience did just that.

    Would someone with real political experience do the same sort of search on Linda Coleman and then pass it onto folks in the Mansfield campaign during the 2012 primary for Lt Governor? A consultant who many feel has real political experience did just that.

    Would someone with real political experience start what looked and sounded like a bar-fight on the 2nd floor of Goodwin House while volunteers were meeting downstairs? A consultant who many feel has real political experience did just that.

    Would someone with real political experience drunk-dial and drunk-text volunteers on behalf of another friend who just had pulled a hissy-fit at a Wake County Dems Board meeting? A consultant who many feel has real political experience did just that – and there are many witnesses (and a stored voice mail message and saved screen shots from FB) to prove that this happened.

    Would someone with real political experience fail to show up for work the day before the J-J and also fail to bring with them the 10 volunteers they promised to produce that day? I had to show up and bring 3 other volunteers to do the work when this person with real political experience failed to deliver.

    Would someone with real political experience get hired to produce a video, but then pitch a hissy-fit (along with his friends) when NCDP Chair Randy Voller asked for substantial edits because this was not the video he thought would be made? I am a freelance photographer with over 30 years experience, and even I wouldn’t have the balls to tell a client they had to pay me to do whatever I wanted to do and use the product no matter what their concerns were. A video-producer who many feel has real political experience did just that.

    Would someone with real political experience bid on a consulting job, then call for an investigation of hiring practices when they failed to get hired as a consultant? An individual who many feel has real political experience did just that.

    If people with real political experience don’t realize that they work for the Democratic Party and that the Democratic Party doesn’t work for them – then we are better off with misfits running things. Some of those same folks were called “misfits” back in 2007 – and we beat a sitting county Chair by a 3-2 margin, And went on to organize enough precincts and turn out enough voters to win Wake County by enough of a margin to turn NC “blue” which is what no less a source than PPP claimed we’d do in September 2008.

    • Chris Telesca

      Would someone with real political experience produce a mailer for the Wake Dems labeled “Board of Elections” for a “Board of Education” race in 2009 – at a cost of somewhere near $30K?

      • Interested Observer

        would someone with real political experience obsessively comment on every story on the internet, dozens of times, showing no ability to either self edit?

        • Chris Telesca

          Yes – if it was to counter lies and false/misleading information? Because if you don’t counter the lies with truth – people believe the lies. Which is the whole purpose of telling the lies in the first place.

          Why do you hide behind a fake name – sort of like the Vladimir Voller and other “sock puppet” names that folks have used to attack Randy Voller and other grassroots Dems?

          • W Jones

            It must be Frank! Or..Or..Or.. lol

        • Chris Telesca

          Nancy: if you raise an issue but then refuse to explain it when asked but still claim it’s an issue – you make some people (like me) wonder if the issue you raise is real. Neither Randy Voller nor I are under any obligation to read your mind and figure out what’s bothering you. I asked you a question which you clearly don’t want to answer. So why did you bring it up in the first place other than to “hint” at something – and pile on more rumor and innuendo and hope that the sheer weight of all the BS brings the man down?

          • W Jones

            Could it have something to do with the those arrests at the Democratic Party Convention or the Union County Commissioners in a jam over Prayer at meetings? hmmm…

          • W Jones

            Nancy, Congrats on your receiving the Long Leaf Award..

          • Nancy G. Rorie

            I told you it was a local issue that I don’t care to discuss in public. But I’m sure Chairman Voller will fill you in if you ask him. I was trying to make a point that there are valid reasons some people are not happy with Voller. I know absolutely nothing about any of the allegations you have laid out that you say are not true. That is something the Executive Council will work out in due time. And piling on rumor and innuendo — you, sir, are the master at that.

            Now, I have better use of my time than to go back and forth with you. Although it has been interesting, it is not productive. I’m finished with this.

          • Nancy G. Rorie

            I said I was through with Telesca and I am — except for this — I hope Voller succeeds. I said in my first post that I was willing to give him a second chance and I am committed to working with him. The new executive director sounds like a keeper!

            Now, I want to reply to W. Jones and there is no reply button so I’m using this — there were no arrests at the Democratic Party convention, and all the commissioners are Republicans and I hope they all wind up in Federal Court–and no, as far as I know, Voller is not involved with that.

            And thank you for your kind remark re the Long Leaf Pine. I’m told it was probably the very last one Governor Perdue signed.

            Now, I am really through. I have some Democratic Party business to take care of before going to my daughter and son-in-law’s for dinner–slow-cooked Boston butt and crayfish (and my famous mac/cheese) — some combination, huh?

          • W Jones

            Wish I was going to your house for dinner…Enjoy! I,to, am done with this conversation..

  11. Concerned Democrat

    Okay…as you sit there, in safety, behind your computer screen, throwing slanderous comments by referring to the operatives in that house as clowns, you fail to realize that there are some really talented men and women in the party and they are, unfortunately, over shadowed by the mistakes of a few.
    So…I’m offended you would refer to hard working people as clowns. Are there bad seeds in all operations? (political, non political, democrats, republicans) Yes, but calling for an “emptying of the clown car” is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Thomas Mills

      Maybe I should have referred to the leadership, or lack thereof. Given the events of the last few weeks, there is obviously not a functioning press operation or anyone with experience in crisis communication, a basic job duty. This guy is offering strategic advice. I’ll let you read what he says about himself and let you decide. There is no finance director and while I consider Jim Neal a friend, he’s not a fundraising consultant. Even if he were, paying him $7,000 a month is absurd. Finally, right now, the State Party is among the most dysfunctional political operations I’ve ever seen–and that’s saying something. It’s not going to get fixed by tweaking around the edges. It needs a whole new start.

      • Nancy G. Rorie

        Okay, I clicked “this guy” and read it. Now, what is it exactly he is supposed to be doing for NCDP?

        • Interested Observer

          Making $3000 a month for “consulting” services. That’s what. And appearing in comment threads and slandering Voller’s opponents.

          • Chris Telesca

            Slandering Voller’s opponents? You do realize that the slander started first on the side of Voller’s opponents? You do realize that they accused him and others (me included) of stealing from the NCDP and other vile things? Did they offer any proof? When are you going to call the attacks on Voller the defamation of character that they are – and call for them to stop FIRST since they started it first? When are you going to call for them to apologize for the defamation along with the retractions?

      • Betsy Muse

        Jim Neal is a very nice guy but one campaign for Senate doesn’t qualify him to financially right this sinking ship. As I recall his fundraising prowess was greatly exaggerated in his Senate campaign. He is very nice and I think means well….but paying him that much to do something he hasn’t proven to be very good at is absurd.

      • Betsy Muse

        Thomas, Clown Car fits perfectly. In fact, it may be too kind. My experience with Voller left me wondering how this party elected such an inept person as chair. I finally unsubscribed from the email list. It was too painful to read the drivel.

        So, the powers that be were smart enough to hire an experienced executive director, but are they smart enough to let him do his job?

        • wafranklin

          Yes Betsy, Chair Voller is hiring an Executive Director, and NO Betsy, the new
          ED, a really nice and competent guy will NOT run the Party – sorry, he works for the Chair who you so mightily despise–worse, at the pleasure of the Chair! Too bad you are turned off. Wonder what you have done to help and not damage the Party. OBTW, I did not notice that these fancy political consultants have helped very much in the past six years – what good work got done by grass roots folks, while some of these really smart people like Mills have done us no good, and are working to further destroy the Party while claiming an elected Chair is illegitimate. Hmmmm…. something is wrong with this picture. Oh yes, it the consultants and pundits who are deprived of money and influence – right Thomas?

          • Betsy Muse

            wafranklin….I see your reading skills have NOT improved over the years. I asked if the powers that be would let the new ED do his job, not whether they would let him run the party.

            Also, I don’t despise Voller. I think he’s incompetent. Two very different things.

            I’m not a political consultant. I’m a lowly precinct vice chair who has direct experience with Voller’s ineptitude.

            What do I do to help? I take people to the polls to vote during early voting and on election day (unless I’m volunteering at the polls). I stand polls all day long during early voting and on election day to make sure voters aren’t intimidated. I recruit volunteers to be legal poll watchers. I work phone banks. I donate time and money to Democratic candidates. I don’t work against Democrats who mirror their districts even when they are far more conservative than I because I know the alternative is a Republican. I don’t go along just to get along when I discover my fellow Democrats have chosen as chair someone who is, in my opinion, completely incompetent. I don’t let other Democrats bully me into silence….AND THAT is what I have done to help our party.

          • wafranklin


            I am so honored to be remembered by you, you cannot believe how it warms the cockles of my heart to be noticed by such a venerable sage and local democrat. The implication of your assertions led to the conclusion that the new ED would make all things right and Voller would vanish, which drift I was trying to make clear was wrong. And, as to your conviction that Voller is “ineptitude”, I have see no evidence of that. As for your experiences as the “Mother Teresa” of local Democratic Politics, I applaud you, for I have done all those thing, perhaps more. So, bless you for everything save a closed mind.

          • Betsy Muse

            wafranklin – since I can’t reply under your comment I will reply here. My words were very clear. Only someone intent on misunderstanding them could do so.

            You wondered openly what I had done to help the Democratic Party. I replied with a few of the things I have done. I think the response you were looking for is, “Sorry, Betsy. I was wrong. I see that you have done things locally to help Democrats.”

        • Thomas Mills

          Hey, Betsy. Thanks for the words and thanks for reading. I hope to see you around here.

          • Betsy Muse

            Hi Thomas…site looks good! I’m happy to read and ruffle feathers. 🙂

      • Chris Telesca

        You talk about needing to clean house and fire everyone then let them reapply for their jobs. When Randy was running into staffers who refused to do what he instructed them to do (such as produce consulting contracts and other records), and then he told them they needed to deliver what he asked for – they either quit or were fired. Or don’t you think that “people with political experience” need to follow the rules in a job that the rest of us have to follow?

    • Leake Little

      so this is where I may differ – I’m not afraid to use my real name, for one, because my comments are not personal, they are practical. Secondly, a professional summary of steps to put the org back on track is not personal, it’s practical. No one gets a job, stays in a job, or gets elected “out of the goodness of their hearts” – that’s an area where personal and practical just do not meet. Maybe we should exhume the remains of Bert Bennett for relics and talismans as well?

      • Nancy G. Rorie

        Exhume Bert Bennett? I’ll bet Bert will get a laugh out of that when somebody calls it to his attention. I’m sure he’ll say, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

        • Thomas Mills

          Leake, meet Nancy. Nancy, meet Leake. Nancy, Leake is Bobby Little’s son. Leake, Nancy worked as a court reporter for Dad and is from Monroe.

    • Thomas A

      Imagine that, a Concerned Democrat that’s “offended” by something. Is there anything that doesn’t offend the democrats? Being offended is who they are, what they do, and who cares!

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