February 6, 2015 Vol. VIII, No. 2 9:13 am CORRECTION – NC Sheriffs: I stated incorrectly in the last report that Republicans had a majority of the Sheriffs in North Carolina. In fact, 52 of our Sheriffs are Democrats; 48 are Republicans. In 2014, the party affiliation of newly elected Sheriffs switched in 10
February 6, 2015 Vol. VIII, No. 2 9:13 am
CORRECTION – NC Sheriffs: I stated incorrectly in the last report that Republicans had a majority of the Sheriffs in North Carolina. In fact, 52 of our Sheriffs are Democrats; 48 are Republicans. In 2014, the party affiliation of newly elected Sheriffs switched in 10 counties. Democrats picked up two offices held by Republicans; Republicans picked up eight held by Democrats.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Wednesday’s report will handicap the 2016 race between Republican Governor Pat McCrory and presumptive Democratic nominee Attorney General Roy Cooper. That report will be followed by an assessment of U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s likelihood of winning in 2016.
What’s most important to political recovery?
On Saturday, February 7, 2015, the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party will meet in Pittsboro. Their challenge is to decide how to restructure, reorganize and create a new vision needed to recover their political standing in North Carolina. There is no decision more critical to that end than the selection of a State Party Chair who can raise money.
A political party without money is one that cannot get its message out; cannot mobilize its base voters. More importantly, a political party without money is one that lacks the resources to restructure, reorganize and create a new vision for the political challenges of the 21st Century.
The challenges facing North Carolina Democrats are too great for ideological bickering. Just since 2010, Democrats have lost majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lost the Governor’s office, lost both U.S. Senate seats, and failed to carry the state for Obama in 2012.
They are not alone. Throughout the South, Democrats are facing the same long and arduous trek back to the state halls of political power.
- 11 of the 13 Southern states have Republican governors (Democrats in KY and VA)
- Republican majorities in 25 of 26 Southern legislative chambers (KY House is Dem)
- Both U.S. Senators are Republican in all Southern states except FL and VA
- There are 111 Republican U.S. House members from the South; 38 Democrats
Because the challenges facing North Carolina Democrats are of epic proportions, the choice of State Party Chair is critical. And 21st Century politics requires a chair who can raise money.
$899 million reasons why Democrats need a fundraiser
If you doubt the importance of money in politics, consider the fact that the Koch brothers plan to invest $889 million through independent organizations focused on the campaigns of 2016. The Koch brothers do not trust political parties to adequately invest in technology, so they invest in technology themselves. They do not trust political parties to mount an effective ground game, so they organize their own ground game.
The Koch brothers hire their own consultants; the best in the business. They conduct their own opposition research and produce their own ads.
So how much is $889 million in the scheme of things? It’s about $250 million more than the combined total spent in 2012 by the Republican National Committee, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee … combined.
Like it or not, we live in the Citizens United Supreme Court era in which money is indisputably the most important political commodity.
Who will major Democratic donors give the big checks to?
Assuming that there are a number of wealthy Democrats around the state who are ready and willing to write the big checks to help the state party get the party back on its feet, who do they give the big checks to? That’s the critical problem that must be solved on Saturday in Pittsboro.
They did not trust David Parker, NCDP Chair from January 2011 to February 2013. They did not trust Randy Voller, the current State Party Chair who struggled to keep the lights on. They certainly will not trust a 600+ member State Executive Committee spitting at each other over whether the ideological goals of the party are more important than winning campaigns.
The North Carolina Democratic Party needs a State Executive Committee of 60, not 600. The first vote of that 60-member State Executive Committee should be the selection of a 6-member management team tasked with authority to raise seed money and oversee the development of a long-range plan for restructuring and reorganizing the North Carolina Democratic Party into a political fighting force.
On Saturday, February 7, 2015, the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party will meet in Pittsboro. There is no decision more critical to their political recovery than the selection of a State Party Chair who can raise money.
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