NCDP SEC meeting next Saturday

Not a lot of time for some very important decisions:

The State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party will meet on Saturday May 12, 2012 at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons Joseph S. Koury Convention Center located at 3121 High Point Road, Greensboro, North Carolina 27407.

This will be pursuant to Section 4.02 of the Plan of Organization for the election of officers to fill one or more vacancies. We will also be electing members to the Democratic National Committee as in pursuant to section 7.02 of the Plan of Organization.

No doubt since the recent controversy much behind-the-scenes planning has been going on. And even with David Parker's postponement, there hasn't been a hell of a lot of time for contemplation and exploratory measures. But that doesn't mean public debate can be dispensed with. That should be very evident after this weekend's ALEC battle of wills. So, by Wednesday night, anybody else running for NCDP Chair needs to be online, preferably here, making and defending their case.


Rushing this with no time for vetting is courting disaster.

I'd like to hear more of the good things and more explanation of the things that are questionable like the stand your ground law.

Other Candidates?

I am concerned that the name Mary Ann Baldwin keeps getting floated (but she will not formally enter the race so delegates can scrutinize her the way they're doing to Vaughan.) Does she have any background as a precinct organizer? Was she ever in the YDs? Has she experience within the party outside of her own election campaigns? Most importantly - I've heard the Raleigh insider crowd has anointed her - but does she have an understanding of the Democratic Party as it exists outside of Wake County?

I'd love to see what additional candidates have to say, but think it's ridiculous that we not get a chance to vet them the way Vaughan is being vetted. Let's get anyone else interested to announce ASAP so their records of activism and organizational memberships can be likewise investigated.

I agree

The reason I asked for Wednesday night is so everybody could focus on the Primary before getting into this. Which is the same reason Parker wanted to wait. But frankly, it's not enough time.

In my opinion, the SEC meeting should be postponed for (at least) two more weeks, so candidates have time for a discussion.

But you know what? I'm not an SEC member, and I'm not active in my local county/precinct, except for some occasional polling place work.

Just got Baldwin's e-mail - scary stuff!

This is what I saw:

We need new blood in our Democratic Party leadership.

Have you ever organized a Precinct, attended a precinct meeting, served as a delegate from your precinct? Served on a county or district Party officer - other than an ex-officio Executive Committee member?

We’d like to see a woman lead us.

How does your gender make a difference? Barbara Allen is a woman, and we had plenty of problems with the Party during her terms of office. She could have cared less about the Resolutions and Platform!

We want someone who can raise money and deliver our message.

"Our message"? Is that the message of the Democratic Party platform, or the message of the big money donors and PACs?

We need someone who can energize our party and still speak to swing voters – particularly women and independents.

The Party doesn't need energizing so much as rebuilding. The party-building that Jerry Meek did was stopped in June 2008 by OFA. Will you be a female Jerry Meek (before he went corporate) or will you do something else? What will you do to bring more women and minorities into the Party - to help organize precincts? What will you do to stem the flow of voters leaving the Democratic Party to register as Unaffiliated?

We need someone with management experience who understands collaboration, responsiveness, and how important it is to listen.

That's what we hire an Executive Director for. We've had a CEO be our Chair before, and she totally ignored the grassroots. I think the grassroots wants someone with Party experience!

Listening is over-rated. I see all these candidates and "electeds" go on their "listening tours", but listening isn't the same as factoring what you hear into what you do.

We need a full-time chair during this important election season.

We need a full-time Chair all the time to build up our Party not just for elections but to make sure that the Democrats we elect to public office work to turn out party platform into public policy.

Mary Ann Baldwin was elected to serve on the Raleigh City Council where she will serve until her current term expires in 2013. How will she be a FT NCDP Chair if she is also a sitting City Councilmember?

Sorry - it's really looking to me like Mary Ann Baldwin will be nothing more than a female David Young, picked by consultants like Perry Woods to make sure that half the taxpayer check-off money goes where the "electeds", candidates, and consultants want it to go.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Baldwin to resign her Raleigh City Council seat?

As Chris notes, Baldwin says that we need a full time Chair. She says that she is "willing and able to devote my full-time attention and energies to this job." Chris rightly asks the following question which begs for a response from the candidate "Mary Ann Baldwin was elected to serve on the Raleigh City Council where she will serve until her current term expires in 2013. How will she be a FT NCDP Chair if she is also a sitting City Councilmember?"

I wonder how the people of Raleigh feel being thrown over for a bigger gig. I think the people have a right to know if she plans on resigning from her current position. If she isn't, it's an empty promise.

Red herring

I think you will find that most if not all members of the Raleigh City Council who are not retired have a full time job in addition to their duties on City Council.

Bonner Gaylord is the Property Manager for one of Raleigh's largest shopping centers and mixed-used developments.
Mayor McFarlane is CEO of a Pharmacy company
Russ Stephenson is an architect
Thomas Crowder is also an architect
John Odom runs three Meineke Car Care Centers
Randy Stagner is retired military
Eugene Weeks is retired military / teacher

Former Mayor Meeker was a practicing attorney

Mary-Ann runs her own marketing consulting company.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

So in addition to her Raleigh CC official duties....

and her own marketing and consulting company you want to add her being a FT NCDP Chair?

I don't think that's possible. That's the big reason why many people didn't want Faison to be NCDP Chair. Because in addition to being a legislator he is also a practicing trial attorney. Maybe doing two of those things is possible, but doing all three is not. Unless you are merely going to be a figurehead.

Here in Wake County, we had a former County Party Chair who was also a practicing attorney. Then he decided to run for public office. Because he had no other Dem running against him, he didn't think he should resign from office. He honestly thought he could do all those jobs. So how did he fare?

Let's go back to 2009. Doris Weaver was a grassroots Chair and she left her successor with $80K in the bank. The new guy gets elected by acclimation. After having to hold three CEC meetings to replace elected public officials, there was no real GOTV plan except for pissing away lots of money on "Board of Election" mailers (for the October Board of Education races) that got sent out so late that some folks got them the day of and the day after the election.

By the end of the year, the county party had less money in their checkbook then I had in mine! ;-) Meeting after board meeting, Treasurer Chris Lizak told us that we weren't going to have enough money to make it to November 2010 AND do a bare-bones GOTV program unless we had an influx of cash.

We were thinking we'd get some money from Valentine's Day fundraiser, but that wasn't enough. We hoped we'd get a ton of money to do a $120K Cadillac GOTV program, but instead we got barely enough money to do a slightly grander version of what we had done in 2008 (Plan B). But because our Chair was AWOL, we were more or less forced into the statewide coordinated campaign plan and had to surrender a lot of the county sovereignty that we promised we'd keep after being poached so brutally by OFA in 2008. And we all know how well the 2010 elections went all across the state.

So forgive me for daring to question how someone who already has one professional job and serves in one elected public office is going to be a full-time NCDP Chair. I guess she's going to work some sort of "magic".

Wait - I know - she'll use Hermione Grainger's Time-Turner to be in two places at once!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Walk and chew gum

David Parker, an attorney with a day-job, whom you have defended, was whining about only being a volunteer but you want his successor to be full time, unpaid, except that you want someone who is not independently wealthy, but who has worked their way up the Democratic totem pole, stroking every ego along the way?

She seems to have managed a career and public office (and taking care of her mother) pretty well. There are people who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Then before she shoots for NCDP Chair...

...why not try for a lesser office in the Party?

Sorry - I just don't feel that someone who has ZERO history of grassroots activism in the NCDP at any level is someone I can support for NCDP Chair in this election year under these circumstances.

David Parker has a day job - being an attorney. One day job, and he is not an elected public official ANYWHERE.

And if you know David, you know he doesn't "stroke" people. There are many people who have told me that David comes across as arrogant. Hardly the sort of thing a successful "stroker" would be.

And should we even be talking about "stroking" right after a sexual harassment scandal? Shame on you!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

I assume

that as a consultant, she can adjust her own work schedule. Her husband has a job as well.

Good lord you people are negative. I'm very happy that the vast majority of the SEC does not have time to sit on BlueNC and carp. They'll be fair-minded and hear people out.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire


If by some miracle, a person of substantial wealth came along who could work 75 hours a week at an unpaid volunteer position without consequence to her own well-being, I am certain you would deride her as a wealthy country club plant of the GOP elite.

One can never win against professional complainers. The rest of you, please consider a vote for Mary-Ann Baldwin. Take her up on her offer to speak with you personally and give her a call, leave a message. Identify yourself as an SEC member and you will likely get a call back and a full and frank discussion with Mary-Ann. She's nothing if not open to discussion.

Good luck to the party. Please reject this kind of negative me-first buried in the weeds of our own self-importance crap. The Wake County Party and the State party are worse off for these kind of tactics. In my experience approximately 10% of the volunteers of any volunteer organization believe it is their right to disrupt the organization, especially when they see someone else leading it forward. It's time for that to stop.

Now, let the flow of singlespaced capital letters commence. I won't be responding any further, because this isn't about Chris Telesca or John Burns, it's about our party. Let's hope we can win again soon.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Strange Definition of Full Time

Mary-Ann Baldwin made the pledge (twice in fact) that she would "devote my full-time attention and energies to this job". Those were her own words. Is she back tracking?

There is a big difference in having a day job and serving on a City Council-- compared to being on the Raleigh City Council AND running the NCDP with only six months to a major election (and possibly keeping her day job). Even if you can't see that her statement is disingenuous others will.

The SEC meeting can't be postponed two weeks...

...hell not even another day!

That's because the new Chair has to convene the taxpayer checkoff money committee and appoint 13 new members so they can cancel out the 13 District Chairs - that way ALL the money can stay with the NCDP and the candidates and "electeds" can play inside politics and get the money for themselves and their favorite consultants! ;-)

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Mary Ann Baldwin admits that she takes a lot of money from PACs

On the YouTube video linked below, Mary Ann Baldwin is the only candidate who admits that she takes a lot of money from pacs, including Wachovia, the realtors and developers. Do we want a corporate apparatchik to preside over the NCDP? Or not?

Baldwin got $200 from just one PAC

Actually if you listen to the video she says that the ONLY PAC contribution she had received at that time was from Wachovia. According to public records it was $200.

I have never heard of Mary Ann Baldwin.

Who is she, and what are her credentials for running the party?

Mary Ann Baldwin, At-Large Councilor, Raleigh City Council

Here is the link to her questionnaire from last fall's municipal election posted at the Independent Weekly site.

I don't know a lot about her myself, but I am not particularly impressed by what i do know. Seems like a business conservative from her past positions on city issues.

Martha Brock

Baldwin is late to "the party"

Running the NCDP is a big job. I agree that if Baldwin was a serious candidate she should have announced by now. She should be vetted too. This is an election not a coronation.

The only candidate willing to put himself out there is Vaughn He responded to criticism and acted.. It's his record that matters to me. He voted to support NCAE. They have consistently endorsed him. He voted for the racial justice act. He voted against Fracking and giving "big cable" a monopoly on municipal broadband. Just to name a few. Definately progressive stands.

I think if you compair the two he has a deeper resume. He knows the whole state not just his own city. He is approachable and responsible.

Representative Harrison Endorse Don Vaughan

Good video endorsement for Don Vaughn

Thanks for sharing. I am not an SEC member, but it's nice to learn more about his candidacy.

Martha Brock

For goodness sake!

First off, we are in midriver. Second there is a lot of work to do in two major categories, electing Democrats and rebuilding a real party, not some Potempkin village ruled totally from Raleigh and Charlotte. I said the other day, and I say again, reaffirm David Parker. Stop the pecksniffian hypocrisy and prudish affectation. David offends certain people who lean on any straw to go after him. I cite Shirley Sharrod as an example of mob justice. One phoney video and poof, fired.

No one I know of on the COS or the Governor have explained their condemnation of David rationally, if at all. The only excuse bandied about by those "elites" and their consultants and courtesans is: "David will never be able to raise money thenceforth with this terrible stain", so he must defenestrate himself no matter guilt or innocence". Or, we cannot expose an old Chicago Pol to the shame of Parker. What? "We have spoken" they say, and expect the serfs to obey.

Perhaps it is escaped their august understanding the Democratic Party is supine since 2010 and folks aint bringing offerings to the hoity toity and their friends - we are not in power, and perhaps abused it when we had it.

Get over it, Parker was taking care of business as advised by the Party outside lawyer. With Parker out of th way, the checkoff money goes to Elaine and the girls and boys in Raleigh. What are they going to do, reappoint Barbara Allen - probably someone like that. We took care of that problem once or twice, perhaps again? Keep Parker by affirmation and let the country club crowd go to heck.

And, will the decision be left to Walter the Dalton, a true conservative and blue dog if ever?
Horrors, if he is Gov, we will truly need a defender like David.

Vaughn is not a good choice. He will carry water for the elites and no one else. His relationship with ALEC and the Koch Machine condemn him beyond redemption. Why does he not go for reelection instead of a sinecure in Raleigh. Certainly not for the serfs
Doug Berger notwithstanding.

Reaffirm David Parker, a really capable and competent, and honorable man who was needlessly and carelessly attacked, an honorable man.

In fact, the attack on Parker bring into question of the competence and morals of the members of the COS and their lackies. Ya think? No comment on Bugout Bev.



Baldwin - Not Qualified to be Chair

Wow - This is some hubris, folks. Mary Ann Baldwin seems to be a strong member of city council, but it's clear she does not have any actual Democratic Party experience. I'm also not impressed by her "marketing and PR" background. This would be a disastrous choice for chair.

I'd be surprised if she could pull many votes outside of Wake County.

I am not impressed with either ALEC Vaughan

or "no mention of party experience" Baldwin. At this point I would support Parker to continue as chair, but am not sure if that is an option.

Mary-Ann Baldwin

As a resident of Raleigh and fairly politically active member of the Wake County Democratic Party, I intend to support Mary-Ann Baldwin as Chairperson of the NC Democratic Party. I will be posting my own article here with more details, but I couldn't let Chris's attack pass unchallenged.

I hope that over my time here I have at least acquired a reputation on BlueNC as a true progressive who fights for the best interests of the party and works to defeat Republicans whenever and wherever we can. But I am also a pragmatist in party operations, and I know that the goal of electing Democrats is not always consistent with the personal goals of every member of the NCDP. Simply put, we need the best person for the job, and more importantly for the demands of the job as it currently stands. I think Mary-Ann is that person today for the job of Chairperson.

I know Mary-Ann and I think she brings a skill set to this job that has been sorely lacking in the last two people to hold that position. First, Mary-Ann has run in and won in heavily contested races in large districts. She has twice been elected as an at-large City Councilor for Raleigh. This means she has been elected by the entire city, not one district. Her territory is vast and varied. As an at-large councilor she represents all parts of Raleigh, from predominantly African-American Southeast, to wealthy progressive Five Points, to the multicultural and socioeconomically diverse areas just outside the Beltline to the North and West. She knows what it takes to win elections, because she has done it.

Second, Mary-Ann is trained and adept at PR. Let me see if I can put this as indelicately as possible. She would never in a million years have put herself in the position that Chairman Parker put all of us in with that ridiculous and cringe-inducing press conference. If Mary-Ann is our Chairperson, we will not find ourselves the butt of Jon Stewart's jokes. Crisis management is something she is trained in, and she will handle it well.

Third, I think she can raise money. And this is where the pragmatist in me comes out. Yes, Mary-Ann has connections in the business community. This is not a bad thing, in the real world. She is heavily involved in efforts to promote the growth of an entrepreneur-based knowledge economy in downtown Raleigh. Her heavy involvement with the tech industry and groups such as Governor Hunt's Emerging Issues Forum leaves her with the connections necessary to make the phone calls a Chairperson needs to make. The Chairperson of the NCDP MUST be able to raise money. Quickly. Mary-Ann has all the skills and energy required to do that.

Fourth, Mary-Ann is in Raleigh. I have had enough of absentee chairmen and an empty office. Jerry Meek was an effective chair in part because he saw it as his job, and he was at his desk doing that job (and taking care of an active legal practice). Mary-Ann would be similar.

Fifth, and somewhat controversially I suppose, I think Mary-Ann's gender is a plus. Regardless of whether you think what happened was a poorly handled sexual harassment allegation that was allowed to balloon into a PR nightmare or, as hilariously set forth above, some dark attempt by Elaine Marshall (that well known tool of the Washington consultant elite . . . ) to obtain the check off money for "the electeds" (whatever the heck that means), the FACT is we have a metastasizing PR problem. The media and the voters believe there to have been a mishandled sex scandal inside the NCDP. A full and complete change of the channel is needed, and someone with a credible claim to being completely removed from that situation and the possibility of any further such situation is needed. I think being a woman greatly increases Mary-Ann's credibility on that test.

Finally, as far as I know, Mary-Ann has always been a Democrat. She has always run as a Democrat and voted as a Democrat. Importantly, she has won elections as a Democrat, in good and bad years for Democrats.

That's enough for now. I will introduce you to my friend Mary-Ann in more detail in a little while. But I wanted you to know what I thought, and why I am supporting her.

Incidentally, I am also supporting Zack Hawkins for 2d Vice Chair. I think with his stellar record of involvement in the grassroots of the YDNCs and the local party in Durham, he and Mary-Ann would bring a wonderful mix of skills and experience and a fresh approach to the Goodwin House. They aren't running as a ticket, as far as I know, but they will both be getting this vote from the Wake County delegation.

Let me know if you have any questions.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Thanks, Frank

I was hoping someone would step up and give us some "why you should" information as opposed to why we shouldn't.

I'm John

DrFrankLives is an old and grizzled pseudonym I took as a tribute to Frank Porter Graham in the days when writing scathing critiques of George W. Bush on The Daily Kos could get you fired.

I do have significant party experience, and I have been impressed by Mary-Ann's commitment to other candidates and campaigns. She works.

-John Burns

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Please don't tell me

you've already told me that before. I just had a flash of déjà vu, but I also stood up too quickly, so it could have just been a headrush. ;)

Hey, you gotta be careful with headrushes these days

I am sure the Tarheel Taliban will put something out of Leviticus or Deuterotomy that justifies making headrushes illegal.

I know, right?

Speaking in tongues and handling vipers is okay, but you get a little dizzy and you must be possessed.

As long as they don't throw me in the water. For some reason, I'm very buoyant... ;)

mea culpa

she's been elected three times. Not twice. I'm getting old.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Good for her!

Has she ever attended a precinct meeting or been elected as a delegate?

Has she ever tried to organize a precinct - her own, or another nearby one that she has "adopted"?

Has she ever attended a convention (county, district, state?) as anything other than an "elected official" who gets to stand up and make a speech or ask for support?

Is she a member of the SEC or ever held a proxy?

How can anyone who has been so uninvolved in the NCDP at any level OTHER than running for elected public office expect to run for the top party office in the NCDP?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Baldwin shows up

At the same time as David Parker was doing his very best Monty Python impersonation for the press at the Goodwin House, Mary-Ann Baldwin was down in front of the Board of Elections working the polls for early voting. In the last 5 years I'd say I've seen her at every other Democratic Party event I've been to. She had a fundraiser for the Wake Democratic Party in her home last November. Her name is often found as a sponsor for other fundraisers. When she first ran for office I was personally skeptical but she has since proven to be a competent official and a loyal Democrat.

I can verify that she worked very hard on the Against campaign

She was at early voting often, shaking hands and asking folks to oppose the amendment.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Working the polls for a politician... building name recognition for when you run for office again.

It is not the same as organizing a precinct, showing up to precinct meetings, getting elected as a precinct officer, delegate, etc.

What you are describing are two totally different things. Showing up outside an Early Voting site is something you expect a politician to do when running for office.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Fish or cut bait

Every time you describe the ideal State Chairman, you seem to describe yourself. If you're "all that" why don't you run instead of tearing down someone else? Grassroots is the boundary between the bottom layers of the party and the people who might want to join. They're not interested in inside baseball. It's a huge turn-off. Great way to get elected inside the existing party structure, not a great way to build the party, unless the object is to reconstruct the entity that failed massively in 2010.

If you're a Democrat who is not going to support a politician, who are you going to support?

You want me to run for party office?

I am sure Perry Woods will have something positive to say about that! :-)

I told you what I want for someone who will run for NCDP Chair. I told you why I don't see that in either Don Vaughn or Mary-Ann Baldwin. Not tearing them down - merely stating that they don't have what I want in a Chair. That's sort of like what Perry did to me at the CEC meeting.

At least I am not telling lies about someone I don't like or disagree with.

The NCDP that failed miserably in 2010 did so because we did not get back to the grassroots practices that we excelled at from 205 through at least June 2008 with Jerry Meek. The entity failed due to many reasons, but pretending we don't have problems or that they don't exist is no way to fix the problems.

I want to reconstruct the entity that kicked butt from 2005 through 2008. We didn't do that with the Gov's choice from 2009 through 2011 or having to deal with OFA - 2010 was proof of that.

David Parker was the choice of the grassroots activists in the party by more than double the margin Jerry Meek had over Ed Turlington in 2005. He was actively working on dealing with many of the problems that even Jerry Meek didn't solve - some of which led to the very problems with HR practices and the settlement issue. Some of those very problems go back as far as Barbara Allen.

I still feel that the garbage that was brought up by the consultants and the Gov and the COS were pretext for the taxpayer checkoff money grab.

I am very successful in my precinct working the polls, canvassing, passing resolutions and meeting and exceeding sustaining fund goals with people who don't give a damn about the inside baseball stuff. They elect me to worry about that stuff. Which is why I am doing what I am doing here.

If you don't like what I am doing and how I do it - move to precinct 01-42 and take me on next year. Give it your best shot!

I am a grassroots Democratic activist who will support another grassroots Democratic activist on Saturday. I have real issues with anyone affiliated with ALEC.

Both Vaughn and Baldwin claim that they will listen - but will they answer questions? If so - here are mine:

1) What will you do to build up the Democratic Party to make us a force to be reckoned with - not only to win back a majority at the state level, but in local government?

2) What will you do to build the Democratic Party to reverse the exodus of voters who change their registration from Democratic to UNA? Reaching Democratic voters is a lot easier and cheaper than UNA voters.

3) How will you hold our elected Democratic public leaders accountable for turning our party platform into public policy?

4) How will you work to improve precinct organization all across North Carolina?

5) How would you have handled the NCDP personnel and settlement matters differently and stayed within the law

6) Will you sign a pledge not to pack the taxpayer checkoff committee to cancel out the District Chairs?

7) Will you sign a pledge to follow the NCDP Plan of Organization as more than just "guidelines"? People are tired of seeing our Party officials break the rules time and time again just for expediency. If you don't like the POO, change it, but don't break the rules.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Take the plank out of your own eye

What Perry did to you at the CEC meeting was to call you out publicly for making more than one phone call to the employer of a person who disagreed with your candidacy for a party position. You want to talk about personnel matters? Take the enormous plank out of your own eye first. If you want to be respected as a Democrat, respect a person's livelihood before your own political ambition.

That is not what Perry said in public and wrote in the N&O

What Perry said in that meeting and wrote in comments to an N&O article were not true.

Here's what he wrote in the N&O - basically what he said at the CEC meeting:

I apologise for not talking to you before the meeting, but I stand by what I said. You actions to attempt to get a someone who spoke up against you fired are unacceptable.

That was simply not true. Perry knows what he said and also admitted that he should have contacted me to verify what he was told but he did not do so.

He also admitted in writing in the N&O that he wanted to smear me because I might actually win:
Oh, and one more thing. It is a testiment to your organizational skills and concern that you might actually win that I felt the responsibilty to do what I did. I know you will not likely buy this, but the truth is you should take it as a complement that I felt the need to take the public stance that I did.

You just made a similar untrue statement about me. Since I did not call anyone's employer to get them fired - when will you apologize for making the same dumb and inaccurate statement that Perry made?

Or is it OK for you and Perry to make untrue statements about me that you never bothered to verify? Or for your friend to run around and pound on doors and wake people up to claim I tried to get her fired from her job, then go around and tell others that losing her job was never an issue? Why don't you tell them the REST of the story? Or do you feel that would weaken your position?

You see - you make my point about what Perry and Brad have done quite well. If you can't say what you would do differently in a similar situation, you go negative. You smear a good man like David Parker for your own personal gain, or because you think you have to smear him for the "good of the Party". Just like Perry did with me - and he was dumb enough to admit it in writing!

You should be proud of yourself. It's people like you and Brad and Perry that are part of the reason why so many Democratic voters are changing their registration to UNA, and why so few people want to engage in public life. And why it's so expensive to campaign for public office. Thanks for all you do!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Against my better judgment

Against my better judgment Chris (it's late), I am going to respond. I apologized for not speaking to you before hand, but I have never made an untrue statement about you. You have not denied you contacted her employer. Doing so would be delusional at the least.

However, I do respect you dogged determination, organizational skills, reserch, and passion and yes spoke out against you because I respected your skills. Unfortunately I am not alone in questioning your judgement.

Despite your exagerations, I only went on TV one day calling for David to resign, and turned down three interviews. After his completely surreal press conference, I said David had done the right thing.

It saddens me the continued delusion about what would be in the best intererst of the Democratic party when it comes to this unfortunate situation. David is a good man, but the Party is bigger than David. Keeping David now would destroy the Democratic Brand. Our Gov nominee has said he has no confidence in David's leadership, and he just got approximately 500,000 votes. Why would David, you or anyone else on the SEC think it best to put their judgment above those voters.

What is even sadder is the effort by some to tarnish two proven dedicated women to the Democratic Party in Sallie Leslie and Elaine Marshall in an effort to save David. How is that part of our Democratic Values?

If David had followed his first instinct we would not be here. I'm confident he did everything legal, but the poltical malpractice is mind bogling, and it continues. For his sake and the Party's he should resign Friday, have a nice letter read outloud Saturday, and allow for an orderly transition. Then perhaps the Party can move forward and get back the the business at hand, winning in November.

Feel free to trash me now.

Perry - you said something that was untrue at the CEC meeting...

...and repeated it again in print.

You actions to attempt to get a someone who spoke up against you fired are unacceptable.

I did no such thing. And as I told Chris Hagarty at the CEC meeting - I did not do what you said I did. What evidence do you have that I did that? None.

You admitted that you should have contacted me first, but you didn't do that. You made a rush to judgement - sort of like you and others have done about David. You've never stated how or if you would have done anything different than David did.

Questioning others is "democratic" - something we can all do. I am not alone in questioning your judgement in producing a "Board of Elections" mailer that got sent out late in 2009.

You not only went on TV, but you were quoted in the newspapers in articles that got picked up by the wire services, you posted on your FB page, tweeted, and you even went on the radio saying the same thing. So please do not claim that your efforts were limited.

Yes the Party is bigger than David. It's also bigger than you, and Brad, the Gov and the COS.

Who died and made you one of a very small number of people who can tell us what is in the best interest of the Democratic Party? You are not even a member of the SEC anymore - you resigned your membership and your right to have determine who gets to be an NCDP officer. Why not use your choice to remain silent?

Why not let the SEC members who didn't quit when the going get rough determine what the best interests are for the Democratic Party? Remember, Bev and Walter and Elaine and the other COS members each have no more votes at the SEC than I had - or than you had.

Those 500K voters voted for Walter Dalton - but they have no say in who gets to be the NCDP Chair. Nor is there anything in the POO which gives the Gov, Lt. Gov, COS, or any nominee the right to appoint a Chair or any other officer in the NCDP.

You claim that there is an effort to tarnish two women who are dedicated to the Democratic Party - Elaine Marshall and Sallie Leslie. Elaine took actions without really knowing what she and the others were talking about - that certainly wasn't very Democratic. And as you say - no one person is bigger than the Democratic Party, especially someone who worked as an employee of the Party. While the work they did is important, no one elected them to that position. So who runs the Party and has the ultimate responsibility - the officers or the staff?

You and others seem to forget that David has responsibilities both political and legal. He cannot violate the law to follow the POO.

If David had followed his first instinct and refused to settle, Adraidn would have gone to the State Executive Council and opened up a whole can of worms and exposed all those members to legal liability according to White v. Trew, NO. COA11-337, COURT OF APPEALS OF NORTH CAROLINA, 720 S.E.2d
713; 2011 N.C. App. LEXIS 2596, September 13, 2011, Heard in the Court of Appeals, December 20, 2011, Filed.

This came down during December, 2011. Any good lawyer like David would have known this meant he could not talk to anyone about the matter. The case essentially says that anyone not in the direct supervisory chain can be sued for libel in the event something false is circulated - for
example, that the ED is a predator or is sexually harassing an employee. This is a bad court decision but it is the law in NC.

Had David not done this, folks like you would be claiming he embarrassed the Party by exposing us to both scandal and legal liability for the Board and Executive Council members.

The political malpractice does not continue - please show us how it does? There are no stories about the scandal at the NCDP - they were replaced by the scandal with Tillis' two staffers. Next week it will be something different. Maybe one day the press will cover a story about how political consultants involved in this mess lobbied the former Speaker to dump Same-Day Registration at Early Voting because it would cut into their printing and direct mail business? I got two witnesses to that conversation boyo - including a friend of yours!

From talking with Democratic Party activists across the state, David Parker still enjoys a lot of support from people who feel that this whole harassment and settlement scandal is pretext for getting rid of Parker because he helped the District Chairs in 2009 and 2010, and because he won't pack the Taxpayer checkoff committee with enough appointees to cancel out the District Chairs. Many people feel that's the prime motive for pushing for a Mother's Day weekend meeting a month before the June meeting - because waiting till June would be too late to raid the taxpayer checkoff fund.

If you want to remove the suspicion in our minds, have the other candidates sign a pledge promising not to pack the committee. Or wait till June. Why the hurry when no one is talking about this.

Like a busted clock is right twice a day, Gene Messick calls it correctly every once in a blue moon. And he got it right - it's the SEC who votes for NCDP Chair. And we can ask for his resignation, or refuse to accept it if and when he offers it. You got no say, because you gave up your right to vote on the SEC. Unless you get a proxy, but you'll look pretty foolish giving up the right to vote then asking for it back on a temporary basis.

Even if you do get a proxy, I don't think they'll allow you to have a minute to trash David to other SEC members. You got off easy when your resolution was withdrawn to spare you the embarrassment of having your resolution fail.

Unlike the Wake Dems, the SEC will have a Parliamentarian. And if you think that you got a chilly reception at the County Convention with that harshly worded resolution against David, I doubt the SEC will treat you as warmly. It's your fault we have to go to this meeting.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Chris, answer one question.

Chris, answer one question. Did you or did you not call Joanne Casey's employer prior to the April 14 CEC meeting? Stop evading the question with comments like "what proof do you have?" and playing semantics over wording like "I did not do what you said I did."

Either you called her employer or you didn't. Which is it?

Not sure who you are

But that's not what Perry said I did. Perry made a specific charge:

You actions to attempt to get a someone who spoke up against you fired are unacceptable.

He admitted that he did not call me first to verify what he told people I did at the meeting and what he later wrote in comments to an N&O article:

I apologise for not talking to you before the meeting, but I stand by what I said.

It's you who are playing semantics over wording. Perry is a big boy and he can either stand behind what he says exactly the way he said it, or he can say he was wrong. I've asked Perry a few questions myself - like what proof did he have. He's evaded the issue, and relied upon surrogates to fight his battles for him.

Perhaps Perry can go on a diet, get some sun and some better fitting clothes. He might need to make a better impression 11 months from now.


Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Chris Telesca won't answer the question!

Chris Telesca, re-read the question I posted. This is not about what Perry Wods said you did. I am asking you if you called Joanne Casey's employer before the April 14th county convention. Yes or No. Which is it? If you refuse to answer the question, then it's pretty obvious you did call her boss. Otherwise you'd say so. Gave you an opportunity to take some responsibility but your evasive responses are making Perry's case for him.

Why is Concerned hiding behind a non-verified ID?

First off, I don't know who you are or why you are asking that question.

But I can tell you that many people who don't hide behind an anonymous ID have contacted me over the past couple of weeks, and expressed a great deal of regret for what Perry to me at the Wake CEC meeting not only because it was way out of line in that situation but especially because of what he did to David Parker and Jay Parmley later on that day.

Perry himself knows he was out of line, which is why he wrote what he wrote. And frankly, it was not surprising that his comments were stricken from the N&O. Why? Because Perry admitted to defamation of character (mine), and I gather the paper didn't want to be involved. Well, the comments were "saved" for use another day.

Perhaps you might tell readers of this thread why you think it's so important to know the answer to your question. This whole issue of what Perry did to me and David Parker at that meeting was a rush to judgement. You have to know Perry's motives for doing what he did. And it's not always what someone says it is.

One day very soon, we'll see that what was behind Perry's motive in attacking me and also in attacking David Parker was his own bottom line. Chris Telesca as a 1st Vice Chair would not allow consultants and special interests to take over the Democratic Party in Wake County as long as he has a vote on the Executive Council. There is a proper role for consultants and special interests, and it is up to our Party members and officers to decide what it is. That's why the POO requires bringing GOTV and Precinct Organization Plans to the CEC for approval.

Lately, we've had Chairs that think they know everything and Board members who act merely as rubber stamps. We lost elections we should have won because we have some folks who think that the Party belongs to the Chair, who gets to decide everything. That's not correct. But for some consultants, it's much easier to get in tight with a Chair and then have the Chair set things into motion that are hard to undue - such as pissing away lots of money on "Board of Election" mailers for a Board of Education race that got sent out late in the 2009 election cycle. And for some, it's easier for them if we forget their mistakes even if they cost us dearly. But for some of us who take our responsibilities seriously, we don't forget. Not so much to fix the blame, but to fix the problem.

Those who do not remember their history will be doomed to repeat it. With me as 1st Vice Chair, I wouldn't vote to give consultants such a blank check with our money. And that's one of the big reasons why Perry objected to my candidacy - I'd be in a position to have some oversight over his dealings with the Wake County Democratic Party. Not to rule out dealing with him - but to hold him to high standards. The same high standards that I hold myself to.

Because what possible reason could anyone have for someone who can organize precincts and go GOTV as well as I have done? I've had my precinct organized every since 2003, able to cast our fully-weighted vote, with a fully-staffed precinct polling place on Election Day. As one of the originators of the House District Coordination plan that covered 100% of all precincts, I had 21 out of 24 precincts organized in HD34. The guy the country-club set replaced me with let that drop to 12 out of 24 - with his own precinct unorganized. In 2011, 20 out of the 26 precincts in Kevin Hill's BoEd district were not organized. Perhaps that's the reason why we couldn't pull 51 extra votes out to win without a runoff election?

Organized precincts can also educate voters in addition to getting them out to vote for less money than only doing the things that consultants get paid to do. Together - they can reach more voters. Could a lack of Party organization at the precinct level been one of the reasons why we lost our majority in 2010, and why we didn't get more votes against Amendment One this week?

You have to wonder why a consultant would object so strenuously to someone who was a better organizer. And you have to wonder why so many would defend such irresponsible acts when the author himself admitted he was irresponsible - and hide in anonymity?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Gene Messick called. He wants his argument back


From talking with Democratic Party activists across the state, David Parker still enjoys a lot of support from people who feel that this whole harassment and settlement scandal is pretext for getting rid of Parker because he helped the District Chairs in 2009 and 2010, and because he won't pack the Taxpayer checkoff committee with enough appointees to cancel out the District Chairs. Many people feel that's the prime motive for pushing for a Mother's Day weekend meeting a month before the June meeting - because waiting till June would be too late to raid the taxpayer checkoff fund.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Perry, you're not telling the truth


You said you only went on TV "one day" but that's not true. You were on tv on two different days (April 16th and 19th) plus in the newspaper several times calling on David Parker to resign.
- April 15
- April 16
- April 19 on Triangle News 14

There was nothing surreal about Parker's press conference. It was straightforward and detailed.

There's is absolutely no credibility to your statement "Keeping David now would destroy the Democratic Brand." You were very vocal on several forms of media calling for his removal. No one else was so dogged or avid in calling for his resignation except you based on the number of times you brought it up in the news. If anything, your comments are embarrassing the democratic "brand."

What a weird leap you make in your next comment. "Our Gov nominee has said he has no confidence in David's leadership, and he just got approximately 500,000 votes. Why would David, you or anyone else on the SEC think it best to put their judgment above those voters."

The voters didn't go to the polls to pass judgment by ballots on Parker, they chose to vote among primary candidates (all of which jumped on the dump-Parker expediency bandwagon. These 500,000 votes have nothing to do with Parker staying or going. The party's bylaws tell the SEC members who decides on party officers and it ain't the primary nominees, it's the SEC members. Perry, you are purposely trying to mislead by mixing facts with your opinions.

You seem to be the only person concerned with defending Sallie Leslie who freaking leaked the story of a non-disclosure article to the news! You continue to try to make her out as a saint because she's done you a big favor in blowing the story skyhigh with her accusatory comments. Her written statement and home contact info (which is unlisted fyi) was in the envelopes sent to individual reporters! Truth ain't tarnishing Sallie Leslie, Sallie Leslie is tarnishing Sallie Leslie.

Elaine Marshall's grinding her axe over Parker supporting Cal Cunningham for US Senate instead of backing her. Political grudges ain't beanbag.

YOUR actions aren't exactly condoned by our "Democratic Values" either. Seems to me you're beating a dead horse to death over and over again. There's no such thing as "political malpractice"- a term you invented to give your argument the illusion of credibility. You're just aiming at Parker because it benefits you as a consultant. We all know Parker has not done a thing wrong, illegal or unethical. But that hasn't stopped you from attacking someone for following the law and then spinning it into a so-called scandal. But that's your job, Perry. Manipulating the media for your candidates.

Mary Ann Baldwin won't become the new party chair. Neither will "don't-hate-me-because-I'm-an-ALEC-member" Don Vaughan. Wait and see.

I will not accept your premise

You seem to be taking the position that having been a precinct officer, and gone to precinct meetings is a prerequisite for a Statewide Party Chair.

Is it something that I would count in a candidates favor? Absolutely. But there's no way it should be deemed necessary or a person is kicked out.

Come on. You have a talented, aggressive, obviously progressive and active woman who would like to lead the party. She has many many things in her favor. You may have hit on one thing she did not do prior to seeking office. And you want to disqualify her, even though her talents and interests align particularly well with the job of a Party Chair in a state of 9 million people with 5 media markets and a diverse and changing electorate.

Nah, I don't look gift horses in the mouth. If a person with as much going for her as Mary-Ann Baldwin wants to lead my party, I'll take everything into account and compare her to other candidates and gladly cast my vote for her on Saturday.

Because, as Greg says below, your requirements for this office would just have us look for the most effective sign-wrangler, no matter how many people that person has alienated. I'm looking for the person that can do the best job repositioning the Democratic Party as a force in NC Politics again, in a world where precinct organization and machine politics, while still necessary because precincts are how we organize ourselves, are less and less effective at winning elections and getting the message out, but online activism, public presentation and media savvy are ever more crucial.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Monty Python - very funny!

Parker was getting hammered by paid political consultants to "come clean on what happened at NCDP". So when he did that - you make fun of him? Damned if you do - damned if you don't, I guess.

As far as showing up to Wake Dems events - you know we have a table for them to sign in at - so we can call out their names and they can stand up and be recognized. That's what elected public officials are expected to do.

Many are also expected to sponsor events for the Party and for other candidates - especially if they can afford to do so. When you cut someone a check, and you get your name in the program and get your picture taken at an event shaking hands with the Governor, it makes you look good. It's a good PR. However it's not grassroots party building.

Some politicians do get involved in party building and precinct organization at the grassroots level. As well as doing the whole PR fundraising thing. Many do not. I just find it odd - very odd - that someone would run for an office of a group they had never expressed any interest in being a part of.

The NCDP is not the same thing as the Raleigh City Council.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Paid consultant

You've made a lot of posts talking about paid political consultants without revealing that you're effectively in the same boat, being a paid consultant and, that you sued your Democratic client last year right before the general election for maximum effect. According to public records you received various payment from the Wake DEC in 2009. You seem to blur the boundaries between non-partisan, paid and unpaid advocate.

I see you've been talking to a former female SEC member... nicknamed "chicken little". Since you are parroting her frantic claims from mid April, perhaps you can tell me how she is doing?

There is a big difference between being doing that one time and doing it year after year after year, and lobbying against Same Day Registration at Early Voting because it will cut into their consulting income.

First off, let's set the record straight abut 2009. With my mother going to chemo every single day from August to September, I was asked to do the sign shop/slate card/poll greeter operations for the October and November elections as a volunteer. And asked at the last minute I might add. I did not seek out the work.

I told Jack Nichols that with my family obligations that I couldn't do the work for free AND do my professional photography for a living. You know - you can do two things but not three things at the same time. If they wanted me to do that work, I'd have to be paid to do it. Jack said there was no budget to pay me, since they were paying for printing and Perry's professional services that year. Since they waited too freaking long to get around to this vital job, they had to cough up $1000 a month to basically cover my bare minimum living expenses. At 60 hours a week, that works out to be $3.87 per hour. I think there's a big difference between what I charge and what Brad Crone and Perry Woods charge. Oh - I should also mention that I stayed at my post working for the County Party for the November election while Jack Nichols was jetting back and forth to China with Bev Perdue. My mom was admitted to the hospital the day before the October election, and she died shortly after the November election. I was at my post the entire time. Do you think that was worth a whole $3.87 per hour with no benefits?

As for my work in 2011, I certainly didn't seek out that work either. I was recommended to Jun Lee by one consultant in April, but I turned that down due to his being very "green" and also because of some family obligations.

In mid August, I was having a beer with a friend when a different consultant TMed me around midnight about working for Jun Lee again. Again - not a job I sought out. I was told that Jun wanted to hire me to do the same sort of GOTV work I had done for the Party for his campaign. I was told time and time again to watch out for working both for the consultant and for Jun, but not given specific reasons to avoid them. So I signed a contract to work for Jun's campaign as a GOTV consultant. I passed up getting an offer to do the sign shop and slate cards for the Wake Dems in 2011 - a job that several board members wanted to offer to me. I referred it to someone who volunteered for me in the past - and he did a good job.

Without giving away too much of my legal strategy (I go to small claims court at the end of May), I did sue Jun Lee for breaking our contract. Do you think that politicians can break their word and get a free pass just because they are running for office? And you did read the other stories about that same candidate having campaign finance and absentee ballot problems - some of which I actually witnessed? Ask your fund-raising friend to google them for you if you can't find them yourself!

And not sure what you mean by blurring boundaries. I got hired to do GOTV for one Democratic candidate in three precincts. Sort of the same work I did both as a volunteer and as a barely paid GOTV worker for ALL candidates on the Wake Dems ballot. There is a big difference being paid less than minimum wage and no health insurance and no mileage for the Wake Dems, and getting a contract broken by a candidate in violation of the terms of the contract with Jun Lee, and the $5K a month plus health insurance that our coordinated campaign director got paid in 2011.

So if you want to bring all that up to cloud the issue because you have a friend too cowardly to come on line herself, you go right ahead and do that if it makes you feel like a "white knight"!

I've had a couple of experiences being paid to do the 50-80 hours per week of volunteer work I did in 2008. However I've never gone to anyone and lobbied them to pass a law or not pass a law that would put a dime into my pocket. So not quite sure what you are trying to do other than cloud the issue.

But if it makes you feel better and more important to do so - you go right ahead!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Wrong Sherlock

I'm perfectly capable of making my own observations and doing my own research. You talk a lot about party building. What I see is a bully, scaring people away.

You're merely parroting what others have said and done before

Perhaps in this Internet Age, we are too used to googling things and assuming that they have been fact-checked carefully. Perry admitted he was wrong to not check with me first.

And I work to build the Party. In one night Blaise Strenn, Jesse Goslen and I worked to organize 9 previously unorganized precincts at an OFA meetup in January 2008. The Wake Progressives participated in an "Adopt a Precinct" program that organized another 10 precincts. That's 20 precincts I had a direct or indirect hand in helping to organize. How many have you helped to organize - directly or indirectly?

I am not a bully - I am a fighter for what I believe in. If that bothers you - so be it.

Perry always claimed I was too much of a fighter. He always used to say "keep it positive". If I would have listened to Perry and followed his advice in 2005, we'd have touchscreen voting machines for Early Voting. Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in.

Of course Perry telling people to always keep it positive is meant for everyone but him. He was hardly positive in dealing with me or with David Parker. But he is on to something - perhaps he could be in charge of fundraising at the next Wake Democratic Party meeting. He could sell spoiled vegetables to be thrown at Democrats we don't like, and turn over the proceeds to the Party?

And I've seen the Wake Dems go from 145 organized precincts strong with plenty of volunteer activity to dropping as low as 94 precincts even after we supposedly got our "mojo" back.

When I was HD34 coordinator, I had 21 out of my 24 precincts organized and active. And when I was doing the sign shop/slate card and poll greeters in 2008, I had signs at 100% of the precincts and poll greeters at 99%. How do you think we did at Early Voting and on Primary Election Day this year?

I am a plain speaker and a bit of a pit bull. It's funny how Deaniacs who are party-builders admire pit bulls, but today's crowd of so-called "active" Dems are scared by passionate advocacy.

So whatever you and others think my faults are - I can organize precincts and build the Party. The person who succeeded me couldn't even organize his own precinct, and he let the district drop to 12 out of 24 precincts organized. So perhaps a pit bull is what HD34 needed to keep it organized - not someone who held great meet-ups.

Because all your "inside the Beltline, country-club" mentality is causing us to fall behind in organized precincts. Perhaps there is a reason for that. Back in 2007, a real grassroots activist named Doris Weaver beat an incumbent County Party Chair favored by the inside the Beltline crowd by 3 to 2 of the weighted votes. The winning votes for Doris came from OUTSIDE the Beltline in parts of Wake County that have felt a little ignored by the folks who live inside the Beltline. Doris didn't ignore those outside the Beltline voters. And we worked together to turn Wake County "blue" by a wide margin in 2008 with greater % and # of voter turned out than Mecklenburg County - a county with more registered voters I might add.

I expect that those folks who live in the nice expensive houses inside the Beltline were a bit shocked to find out they didn't run the show anymore. They got their control back in 2009, and have kept it ever since. And what a bang-up job they've done since then - lost the majority on the school board in 2009, lost the majority in the county commissioners in 2010. And we have fewer Democrats in office in Raleigh in 2011, because no matter how nice they are and how well they "play" with us, UNAs aren't the same as Dems. Instead of working to try and reverse the exodus of voters from the Democratic Party, we are trying to find more (expensive) ways to win their votes in elections, but forget about bringing them (back) into the Party.

Part of me believes that the "inside the Beltway" crowd would rather not have so many precincts organized in the first place - that's just too many people they have to pretend to listen to. If they could get away with it, I imagine they'd like to just have as small a number of organized precincts as possible to conduct business - to be able to elect a full slate of officers and run the Executive Committees to elect suitable replacements. Any more organized precincts than that just means you have more people who expect you to listen to them, hear what they say and accommodate their wants and needs. You can only go on so long pretending to listen to them and ignoring them when they've had their say but for so long. Eventually they will start wanting you to act - what happens when they realize you have no intention of giving them what they ask for?

That's why it's better not to organize precincts but to get people to volunteer for special interest groups run by the inside the Beltline crowd. If none of them are elected to any office, but are just told what to do, when and where to do it - they don't get "uppity" and do anything if you fail to deliver on your promises. Very effective but hardly "democratic" - kudos to you!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting


you;ve made this thread about you.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

No - you and Greg made it about me.

Right back at you!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

I know Don Vaughan, You Should Too

I am a Guilford County Democrat and I know Don Vaughan. We are both lifelong Democrats and friends. I met him as a Young Dem. He served as President and then General Council. He has been:
Vice Chair of the GCPD
Treasurer of the GCPD
Precinct chair
Precinct organizer
6th Congressional Treasurer
He is a member of the SEC
He financially supports local and statewide Democratic candidates and issue.
I see him at every GCDP event.
He works polls.
He is a regular sponsor of our Unity Dinner.
He is always available to speak on the issues.
He mentors our young.
He understands the importance of grassroots activism.
He voted against putting amendment one on the ballot and fought against it.
He is endorsed by the Replacements PAC regularly.
He is supported by the NCAE.
He voted for the racial justice act and had the first successful case before the innocence commission.
He voted against Fracking and "big cable".
He sponsored the first successfiul animal cruelty bill "Sisie's Law".
He is the NC Senate Deputy Minority Leader.
He sponsored the Municial Sunshine Act to make government more transparent.
He sponsored the Solar Jobs Bill.
He won the environmental Green Tie Award.
He won the Sunshine Award for excellence in campaign finance reporting.

If you want reasons to vote for Don that was just a brief summary. The reasons are too many to list. It is clear that his record overshadows any one group membership. He is his own man and he is what the NCDP needs.

I know Don Vaughan and he is the right person for this position.

What Chris left out of his quotes from the email

Here's Mary-Ann's full email, without commentary, for those who would like to see it. Thanks!

Fellow Democrats,
I would like to serve as your State Democratic Party Chair. These are my reasons for running, I hope to hear your thoughts on what this party needs.

Over the past several days, I have begun to make calls to members of the State Executive Committee. I hope to talk to you soon, as well.

This is what I have heard:

We need new blood in our Democratic Party leadership.
We’d like to see a woman lead us.
We want someone who can raise money and deliver our message.
We need someone who can energize our party and still speak to swing voters – particularly women and independents.
We need someone with management experience who understands collaboration, responsiveness, and how important it is to listen.
We need a full-time chair during this important election season.

I’m a former journalist and marketing communications consultant with 25+ years’ experience. I help organizations brand themselves, develop messaging and create strategies to get out their message. I’m also an elected official who has successfully run for office three times (most recently as the top vote-getting Democrat citywide), raised money, and served 400,000 people as Raleigh City Councilor at Large, and as Mayor Pro Temp. I’m someone who has led organizations of diverse people in the private and non-profit sectors. And, I am willing and able to devote my full-time attention and energies to this job.

For all these reasons, I am seeking your support for State Party Chair. I have served for four years as the City of Raleigh’s liaison to the General Assembly. I’m angry about what the Republicans have done during the past year to set our state backwards. We must reverse their reckless and divisive agenda.

This is what I hope to accomplish with your help, support, and cooperation:

Raise awareness of the Democratic Party’s message and be aggressive in supporting education, job creation, and support for our most vulnerable citizens. Communication and advocacy are my areas of expertise.
Raise funds to help support candidates and strong local party organizations throughout the state. Because of my experience raising funds to support my campaign and non-profits, and my business development experience in the private sector, I am totally comfortable in this role. I don’t have any trouble asking people for money.
Raise a little bit of hell! We cannot afford to let Republicans off the hook. We have to hold them accountable, point out hypocrisy and do it in a way that does not alienate citizens.
Raise our efforts to make sure every active Democrat in North Carolina who wants to witness history “gets to go” and be a part of our President accepting the Democratic Nomination in our great state

Ninety percent of leadership is listening. Over the next week, I encourage you to call me at 919-632-1099 or email me at I am also going to be reaching out to you. Ask me any question, tell me what’s on your mind, let me know how you think we can be successful together.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday in Greensboro. I will work hard on behalf of you and our party, but we’ll also have some fun along the way.

Best regards,

Mary-Ann Baldwin

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

What MaryAnn Baldwin (and Don Vaughn) left out of their e-mail

1) Party-building

2) precinct organization

3) how they would have handled the personnel matters differently and stayed within the law

4) a pledge not to pack the taxpayer checkoff committee to cancel out the District Chairs

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Baldwin weak on domestic partnership benefits

In a 2009 campaign questionnaire the following was asked:

Two years ago, the Indy asked every council candidate if s/he would support extending to same-sex partners the same benefits (e.g., health insurance) on the same basis that they are now offered to the spouses of city employees. Virtually everyone said yes, but to date nothing's been done. Is it time?

Answer: If constituents feel it is time, then it is time.

"If the constituents feel it is time" Where is the leadership? That is reactive response not proactive. We need leadership, especially now. In 2009 the cities of Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Carrboro were already offering domestic partnership benefits. Since then Asheville has added domestic partnership benefits. Raleigh is still waiting.

Ninety percent of leadership is listening.

Quote, unquote. See above

Action is a requirement

Listening is important, but it must be followed by action. I'm not sure I want a "leader" who is only 10% action. Facilitate, listen and then act. Don't wait for decisions to fall into your lap.

Wow - what "depth"!

Dear John - my comments were not an attack. And shame on you for claiming that they were. But then again, I'm used to people who represent a certain country-club "inside the Beltline" point of view say untrue things about me. I guess when you have no real substance, you have to smear the other side. There seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

My goals are not just to elect Democrats. What good does it do to elect someone who calls themselves a Democrat if they don't hold with our Party platform, or work to turn it into public policy? Electing Dems is important, but it should not be our only goal - unless of course you profit from their election. Not saying that you do personally profit, but some folks do make money directly from electing Dems.

I don't think that Party leaders and elected public officials necessarily require the same skill set. I don't think that merely winning elections as a elected public leader qualifies anyone to lead a political Party at any level. David Young was not only a County Commissioner, but also the head of the NC Association of County Commissioners. Some folks say he was a great fundraiser, but we were about 5-8 people short staffing Goodwin House during his term, and of course we lost a 112-year home field advantage in 2010.

A little closer to home, Jack Nichols was a former county commissioner in Wake County. How good of a job did he do leading the Wake Dems to victory, or fundraising, or even party building?

It's good that Mary-Ann is trained and adept at PR. We need someone working as the Communication Director of the NCDP who is adept at PR - a great talking head. But that has nothing to do with whether or not David Parker did the right thing. He had all those Council of State and other candidates clamoring for his resignation at the behest of the paid consultants like Brad Crone and Perry Woods who were on TV every day talking trash about David Parker.

You are a lawyer - right John? Can you tell me what you would have done differently than David Parker did in handling the legal side of the allegation of sexual harassment in a way that complies with State and Federal law? What exactly would you have done differently?

And you do realize that no matter what David did, or even whatever Mary-Ann would have, John Stewart would have talked about it on his show. That's his job - it's what he does. It's entertainment - fake news. Any argument you make that is based on people not making jokes about it is lame and not worthy of consideration.

And now to the subject of the metastasizing PR problem. Basically what you are saying is that even if people lie through their teeth about something, if they blow it up all out of proportion, we need to get rid of elected party officers to make you happy? If it's a PR problem, let's treat it as such. Perhaps we should have hired a PR firm (Mary-Ann's?) to handle it. But we are Democrats and we aren't supposed to hang people out to dry over rumor and innuendo. All the media cares about is a hot story.

This is not a metastasizing problem because the media is not covering it anymore. The only people who seem to be covering this are Gary Pearce and Bob Geary in their blogs. There are no more stories on WRAL, or in the N&O. So there is no metastasis. In fact, the more time goes by and the more people find out about the details, the less they like being told by folks like you that they have to push David Parker to the curb. That's why people across the state - including Don Vaughn - wish that David Parker could stay in office. The more they find out about this set-up, the more they want Parker to stay. I realize that doesn't fit well with your agenda, but that's what I am hearing all across NC.

Remember, David beat Bill Faison, who was the choice of the Gov and many COS members and the Legislature. Exactly why is it that they would support a candidate for NCDP Chair who had exactly the same level of experience in the Party that the previous Chair David Young had? Do you wonder why that is?

After a Party neophyte like Young, the rank and file wanted a person for Chair with a long Party history. And it just so happened to be David Parker - the person who helped the District Chairs keep their half of the taxpayer checkoff money when the "electeds" wanted all of it.

Remember when Jerry Meek barely beat the Governor's candidate Ed Turlington in 2005 by barely 30 votes? David Parker beat Bill Faison - the candidate of the Governor, the Legislature and other "electeds" by 355 out of 632 votes - 78 votes more than Faison - by an even bigger margin than Meek beat Turlington by!

David promised he'd not pack the taxpayer checkoff committee to cancel-out the District Chairs, so he has to go. And he has to go sooner rather than later. Why else are we in such an all-fired up hurry to meet over Mother's Day weekend and college graduation weekend to elect a new Chair in a jury-rigged election forced over trumped-up charges? There is no other reason than the taxpayer checkoff committee and the money they can give the candidates.

Wanna prove me wrong? Have Mary-Ann and any other candidate for the office pledge not to pack the committee!

And while I do know that Zack Hawkins has been involved in the Party, I just haven't seen Mary-Ann be involved in the Party in any way that justifies endorsing her for NCDP Chair. Has she every been a delegate to the County Convention, District Convention, State Convention? Has she ever been on the State Executive Committee. I find it very odd that someone would want to run for an office in a body in which she has never attended a meeting or been a very active member. Remember, Easley won a whole bunch of elected offices, but he couldn't be bothered being active in the Democratic Party.

I honestly have to wonder why anyone who has never really been involved in the Democratic Party would want to run for an office in the Party, and why any elected public official who runs under the Party banner would want someone with so little Party experience to lead them.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

I've never joined a country club

or found one that would have me. I have been to some weddings and played golf at a few country clubs. Badly. I'm the child of divorced public school teachers, and I think it's hysterical that you think I am bringing an "Inside The Beltline" Country Club approach. Thanks for that chuckle.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

You are a corporate lawyer, right?

I think that no matter what your own individual background was coming up as a child, you might in fact exhibit an "inside the Beltline, country-club mentality" having never played a round of golf in your life by career choice, people you socialize with, political connections, etc.

For that matter, I live in a country-club neighborhood outside the 440 beltline, so I see this type of attitude all the time.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

With respect to David Young

The results of his tenure speak for themselves. But the profiles of his County Commission seat in Buncombe County and an at large city council seat in the state's diverse and sprawling capital city are very different. I venture to say in three terms as a city councilor in Raleigh, she's dealt with a broader cross-section of the party.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

David Young was picked for NCDP job...

...because he ran for statewide office and people had some exposure to him through the primary process. Also because of who he had do some consulting work for him....

...come to think of it, I am sure that Mary-Ann has had some consulting work done by the same firm that represented David. I know this for a fact, because I had to talk with the consultant over the phone when doing the sign shop in 2009. And I have some e-mail for him.

So could it be said that the same consultant behind David Young's "selection" as NCDP Chair in 2009 is also involved in Mary-Ann running for NCDP Chair now?

Do we really want the consultants running NCDP?

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Mary-Ann's limited Democratic Party experience

Seems to be entirely within Wake County. Wake County is an important part of the state and an important part of the Democratic coalition but only one out of 100. We need a party chair who understands the whole state. Frank Eaton, Don Vaughan, Eric Mansfield - whatever else you might say about them, it's clear that they've been active statewide in politics and that's what we'll need.

Is Frank Eaton running for NCDP Chair?

I can understand Don Vaughn running since he's been in the Legislature and at least has some Party experience.

Mansfield has run in one statewide race, but other than that he has had one term in the GA. Not sure what his local Party activist experience was before that.

But I do feel that anyone who really wants to be NCDP Chair has to have that solid experience with the NCDP at all levels: serving as a Party leader or officer or committee member at the precinct, county, district or state level.

Perhaps because I have worked in advertising for decades, I am more or less immune to the whole "dog and pony" show in general. And after working as a volunteer in two Edwards campaigns - once in the 1998 primary (and not getting credit for the "Gucci Gulch" solution)and again for a few days leading up to 12/30/06 when I recognized the former Lisa Druck from my NYC days - candidates and campaigns hold no magic for me anymore. I believe in the Party and the activists and the platform - and anyone or anything that can't deliver on turning the platform into public policy - or holding our Democratic politicians accountable - is a waste of my time.

We need to build up the Democratic Party into the biggest and baddest special interest group in the history of the world. With a grassroots base so large and diverse that it creates a Party platform that works for the 99% so that anyone who isn't already a Democrat will see the light and change Party affiliation. A base so large that we'll be able to kick in a little money every month so we are self-supporting and don't need to suck up to big money donors who have strings attached to their money.

I just don't think that we can get that sort of an NCDP Chair from anywhere other than the grassroots.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Yes Frank is running for NCDP Chair

Now we have:

Don Vaughn
Mary-Ann Baldwin
Frank Eaton
and possibly Eric Mansfield (from what I hear, the YDs are talking Mansfield).

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Now this is some good news!!

Frank has been doing good work in the trenches for years. From what I can see now, he is the person to lead NC Dems through this critical election year. I will gladly support him this Saturday.

Mansfield? A

Mansfield? A johnny-come-lately to politics whose only involvement was buying a State Senate seat for one term? No party involvement before he ran, giving money to Republicans before he ever got involved, really? Someone who looks down his nose at labor, AFL-CIO, SEANC, etc, and who didn't get endorsed by those labor groups? Couldn't even break 45% statewide against a relatively unknown opponent in a one-on-one matchup? A guy that the GOP is clamoring to join their party because he acts like a Republican? The YDs might want to think this one through if they are recommending him....

I regret the tone of this thread

It seems to be more about attacking good people than talking about their strengths. I support Mary-Ann Baldwin because I know her, and I've worked with and alongside her in several campaigns and I am impressed by her abilities. I like Don Vaughn. I think Eric Mansfield is an absolute godsend of a political talent who we should encourage to seek office again. He's impressive as hell and I think he's got a great future in NC. And I think the world of Frank Eaton and his obvious media abilities and dedication to progressive causes.

Can we not celebrate that at least three of these four remarkably accomplished people want to lead our party without attacking them? Do we need so badly to defend our own turf that we'll even go after dedicated Democrats like Sally Leslie and Elaine Marshall? Someone supports a different candidate so you call into question whether they are truly a progressive Democrat or some corporate lawyer GOP plant?

I think we can do better than that, much better.

What you are seeing on this thread is exactly why people laugh when you ask them if they'd want this job. Reject this crap, consider the candidates on their strengths, and then vote for the one you feel will best lead the party out of the undeniable mess it is in right now. The Democratic Party has one purpose. Electing Democrats to public office. Period. It can't do that if it's crippled by infighting and unstable leadership. We have a remarkable opportunity this year with the Convention coming to Charlotte. Money and talent will be flowing into this state. The President and Vice President and their wives will be repeatedly campaigning here. They want to win this state, and if they do, we ALL WIN BIG. So can we get our heads out of our butts, stop contemplating the politics of an 800-person room and start looking to the state and nation and winning in November?

end rant

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Well stated, John. Tone of discussion does matter.

I support strong and even aggressive posting, but perpetual negativity and character attacks are not helpful to me or other readers.

I want to hear pros and cons on candidates and issues, but tone does matter. Let's keep this informative and not with a tone like talk radio.

If we want to be heard by others segments of the party, we need to be respectful of opinions we disagree with.

Martha Brock

Agree on all counts.

Agree on all counts.

Not endorsing him...

...just reporting what I have heard from some friends who are YDs. The subject came up when they were asking me to make a contribution for some event they are having in June in Raleigh, but I told them it had to be "earmarked" only for good beer - not that corporate dishwater they bought with my donation in 2009!

But some people act on what "sounds" or "feels" right, no matter what the long-term consequences are.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

Broad Based Support for Don Vaughan

Vaughan scores some big endorsements. These folks know him, work with him and know his record.

I am sure ALEC would endorse him as well, but he

knows that wouldn't play well this Sat. Endorsements do not impress me. Turlington had them versus Meek in 2005(?) and Young had them in 2009.

Looking for information not attitude

I tried wading through this entire string of posts from beginning to end to get information on the candidates for Party Chair and was so disappointed by the angry side-bars that by the time I got to the end I couldn't remember whether I had learned anything or not. Thanks to those who have pointed out that tone does matter.

Comes with the territory

I thought about starting another diary as sort of a "part 2" thing, but it usually doesn't work.

Maybe a poll will draw their attention...


David Parker is the best choice - by far.
We are too late into this campaign to change State Chairs. We have an excellent Chair.
Let's re-elect him!


Smartest Option

David Parker has no reason to resign. This is a stupid situation inflamed by people within the party using this opportunity to install one of their cronies. Parker is the state party chair and should remain so.

Before people speculate as to what the YDs are doing ...

Ya'all should probably just ask their President. I hear he's pretty open and accessible ;-)

For the record, we haven't endorsed anyone for the board positions, though I know myself and many in our organization very strongly support Zack Hawkins for 2VC. There is a diversity of opinion in the Chair race, though the vast majority of YDs I've spoken to all agree that we need to move forward and unite as Democrats behind a new chair.

For the DNC seats, our executive committee unanimously voted to endorse the re-election of Phillip Gilfus and John Verdejo - but that doesn't bind any YD to vote one way or another. I'll be voting for both of them.

Finally, I'm not running for Chair, 2VC, Secretary, or DNC At-Large. I like my job.

Don't start with endorsements!

The SEC members are quite capable of deciding who they want to elect or keep as their state party chair without the YDs trying to influence the votes. Stop working your agenda and start working together as a party to reunite democrats regardless of age and other demographics. Knock off the grandstanding and pay attention to the candidates instead of trying to run the show.

Thanks for your thoughts, Sam

They are much appreciated by most around here. Sorry about the negativity from some.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Thanks ya'all

I'm always around if you have a question about YD.

For the record, I think Frank, Don, and Mary Ann all have the capacity to be great if we're all willing to work with them to build our Party. I am hopeful and I'm ready to win.

After we hold the White House & Governor's mansion, we can look forward to really making progress at the party level in January & May of 2013.

You Will Be Over 36 Soon, Sam Spencer!

Soon you will be over age 36, Sam Spencer! You will soon be in your 40s. All of us get older every day, even you.
Instead of trying to make age the criteria for holding offices in the Democratic Party, you would be wiser to try to get Young Democrats to cooperate with Democrats of all ages to build our Party.
It is reported that you are going around trying grab all the proxies you can get to become the dictator of Saturday's SEC meeting in Greensboro.
Sam, your EXTREME emphasis on age has proven to be highly divisive issue.
You will soon be in your 40s. When you reach that age, do you want to be discriminated against because of your age?
You need to quit being so tyrannical and start working with Democrats of all ages!



People of all ages are invited to YDNC events. We work with Democrats of all ages to elect Democrats. When YDs in Mecklenburg hit over 10,000 doors last fall to elect Democrats, none of the candidates on our Democratic Slate Cards were under 36. When we became the first group to endorse a vote against Amendment One, it wasn't to protect just people under 36 - it was to protect everyone in NC. If you're going to publish an acerbic comment that makes me into a strawman, please at least have your facts straight.

Of course, the specific mission of our organization - as it always has been - is to empower Young Democrats and help them have a voice in party affairs. We want to see highly qualified YDs take leadership roles in the party because they deserve a seat at the table just as much as anyone else. Young voters made up over 30% of the electorate that won NC for President Obama in 2008, and we need those voters to vote for Walter Dalton and Democrats all the way down the ballot. I envision a party where Democrats of every age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, et al. are welcome and want to come back. When I'm 40 I expect to be just as supportive of Young Dem inclusion as I am of College and Teen Dem inclusion right now, though I am a college graduate and by no means a teen

However, it's about even more than that. Social and political scientists have been writing for years about the decline of civic organizations, including political parties. Our party needs a future, and we won't get there by having a party that keeps people out.

I don't want to be the "dictator" of the SEC meeting (if that were the case I'd be running for something), but we are actively connecting YDs to people who want to give proxies so that we can have more than a razor-thin quorum at this meeting tomorrow and leave with a new chair and hope for our party. And I'm pretty sure that I'm casting my first vote for chair for someone who is not a YD.

I'm 41

Sam Spencer is a kickass Democrat.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Want to empower Young Dems?

They can organize a precinct! It's a great way to be a leader in the Party and you don't have to go begging for a seat at the table.

Here in Wake County, we have 105 precincts that have officers and delegates, and another 17 with officers only. That means we have 78 precincts that ANY DEMOCRAT can be a leader in.

All you need to do is write a letter or e-mail (not a tweet) to the County Party Chair and ask to be appointed Acting Precinct Chair. Then hold a meeting of 4 or more fellow Democrats within 30 days to elect officers (no more precinct delegates can be elected this year) and you are a LEADER!

You get to vote at whatever County Executive Committee meetings we hold before next year's precinct meetings and County Conventions! You can even help fill vacancies for most elected public offices.

What I have always wondered about is why there are not many more young Precinct Chairs and officers in the Democratic Party? I don't see the YDs recommending their members organize precincts or run for Party offices other than those that are sort of set-aside for them in the County, District and State Party.

This Party is not keeping anyone out. There are plenty of ground-floor opportunities for young Democrats to develop their leadership potential in the grassroots of the Party. No one is trying to keep you out. In fact many of us old farts are wondering why there are so few of you as precinct and other party officers OTHER THAN in traditional YD offices?

But you do have to understand this - no one is just going to advance you over the heads of many people with more experience just because you are young and a crucial demographic. Have you ever been in the military? Let's use this as an example. You can enlist in the military, and depending on many factors, you may come in as buck private. You may come in as a Warrant Officer (somewhere between Sgt and the lowest level commissioned officer), or you may go to Officer Candidate School and come in as the lowest level commissioned officer. But there is no way in Hell that you are going to come in with no military experience and be a Sergeant, Colonel or General no matter who your Daddy is, how much money you have, or how much you beg for the position. People's lives are at stake, and you need training and experience.

But in the Democratic Party, you can come in and organize a previously unorganized precinct and get elected Chair. I did it at age 44 with no previous experience other than working in the Edwards primary campaign in 1998.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting

"Not a tweet" is unnecessarily condescending

Chris - "Not a tweet" is unnecessarily condescending, as is much of the rest of your post. We're all trying to get Democrats elected - that's the goal. As I said above, "we want to see highly qualified YDs take leadership roles in the party." I'm not asking anyone to elect a token YD and I resent that sentiment because it's patently false.

As for precinct organizing, we actively encourage YDs to participate at the precinct level and as delegates to their county, district, state, and national conventions. YDNC was the only Democratic Party organization - including NCDP - that put together an online resource to help Democrats of all ages get in touch with their county & precinct leaders in advance of this year's precinct meetings (you can access the archive of that resource here).