At issue here with the State Democratic Party is no longer a matter of personality clashes or competing party ideologies. The core problem of the struggling NCDP is a lack of leadership. I am convinced that Chairman Voller is a nice guy. I have talked with him one on one and have listened to him speak. I am convinced that he genuinely cares for the party and the people in it. If all it took to be in charge was a winning personality Jimmy Carter would have won a second term and John Kerry would be a former President instead of current Secretary of State.
Plain and simple, what we have here is a crisis in leadership. If the Executive council and the SEC (State Executive Committee) were truly acting in the best interest of the shareholders (party members and elected Democrats) they represent, they would have found a way to let Chairman Voller go several scandals and missteps ago. Instead we as Democrats in our good-hearted and “let’s not rock the boat” mentality have failed the membership by not standing up and demanding a change in the State Chairmanship.
There is no credible company or organization that would allow continuous sluggish quarterly profit reports (fundraising totals in this case) to occur without some sort of accountability. And there is almost no corporate board that would not take action against a CEO that continued to be the news instead of make the news. In fact if anyone can tell me with all sincerity that McDonald’s, Apple or Chrysler would sit by while their clients left for the competition and do nothing while their profits lagged, I will back off my premise and eat crow.
The fact is, until the NCDP starts acting like a business and manages it’s departments, staff, campaigns and PR like a business, we will continue to be dragged through the ringer of public relations disasters and media controversy. We are not a charity, but a political party in the business of getting Democrats elected regardless of one’s personal ego or ideology concerning that politician.
Much has been said about the nay-Sayers causing division and speaking out when they should remain silent. I must admit as one of those vocal in the movement for more accountability and leadership responsibility, I take offense as being labeled a “bad Democrat” because, I desire to see my party run a tight ship from the top down instead of being the Titanic about to hit an ice burg.
In the business world there are good guys who get let go every day. It is not a personal matter. It is not a conspiracy. It is not the media out to get them. It is not a secret coup attempting to take over. It is not the fault of the old guard, the new guard or the consultants etc. Eventually it must be the fault of the man or woman in charge. In this case it is the Chairman of the state party who must take on the responsibility of the PR disasters, poor image, staffing blunders, lack of fundraising and scandals.
I do not know what the answer is in correcting the wayward ship we call the NCDP, but I do know that we cannot present a united front and be competitive when our state party leader is so weakened that he cannot keep the trust of high-level elected Democrats who refuse to donate or solicit the help of the state party for their campaign. Something would be gravely wrong in the business world if a large printing company had major players within their own company using Kinkos or Office Depot instead of their own product. In the business world that is the kiss of death.
In short there are many mini crises occurring within the state Democratic Party. There is a crisis in confidence. There is a financial crisis with dwindling funds in the treasury. There is a media crisis with a PR and image that has been so tarnished that the brand has been badly damaged. There is a staffing crisis with a revolving door that leads mostly out than in. I could go on, but the biggest crisis which needs to be addressed is the leadership crisis. When things continually go wrong at Ford or IBM, they don’t fire the workers on the ground doing the day to day operations, they get rid of the CEO who has failed to live up to their contractual obligations.
I realize as a Political Party we are a bit more forgiving and less rigid than the corporate world, but until we become a bit more structured like a business and demand more from our leadership we will continue to hobble along. I don’t know about you, but as a proud Democrat and SEC member I want to run the race and cross the finish line instead of being disqualified before the race even begins. True leadership can bridge the factions, unite ideologies and steer clear of dangerous ice burgs in the frigid waters. Rand Voller, Chairman of the NCDP may be a good guy, but he is not a good leader. It is time our Party acted in its own best interest and hold him accountable.