Democrat Roy Cooper’s Gubernatorial Campaign Under Siege by African Americans and Cops Who Feel Betrayed Over Shootings

by johndavis, September 29, 2016

Democrat Roy Cooper’s Gubernatorial Campaign Under Siege by African Americans and Cops Who Feel Betrayed Over Shootings   Cooper was Already on Thin Ice with Black Voters   If African American turnout in Mecklenburg Country is down substantially this fall due to anger with Democratic leaders over the handling of the police killings in Charlotte,
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Democrat Roy Cooper's Gubernatorial Campaign Under Siege by African Americans and Cops Who Feel Betrayed Over Shootings

 

Cooper was Already on Thin Ice with Black Voters

 

If African American turnout in Mecklenburg Country is down substantially this fall due to anger with Democratic leaders over the handling of the police killings in Charlotte, all Democrats running in competitive statewide races in North Carolina this fall, especially Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Cooper, will be in big trouble. Here’s why:

  • There are 227,720 black voters in Mecklenburg County (33% of all county voters)
  • Black voters are 74% of all Democrats (308,052) in Mecklenburg County
  • More black voters in Mecklenburg County than all Democrats in 38 counties

Many Mecklenburg County black voters were already angry with Roy Cooper over his decision last August not to retry the Charlotte police officer who shot unarmed 24-year old Jonathan Ferrell 10 times on September 14, 2013.

Ferrell, a former Florida A&M football player, had been in a car accident and was attempting to get help when a confused resident called 911 and reported an attempted break-in. Three officers arrived. Ferrell moved towards them in a way that one officer, Randall Kerrick, felt was threatening. Kerrick fired the fatal 10 shots.

Officer Kerrick was not indicted by the first grand jury that heard the case. Attorney General Roy Cooper decided to present the case to a second grand jury. That’s why cops are mad at Cooper. The panel indicted Kerrick on charges of voluntary manslaughter in January, 2014.

The trial began last July. On August 21, 2015, a mistrial was declared by the judge when the jury deadlocked 8-4 after four days of deliberation. The judge’s decision to declare a mistrial was followed by protests in Charlotte that included rocks thrown at officers.

One week later, on August 28, 2015, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that he would not retry the voluntary manslaughter case against the officer. Cooper said that he was persuaded that a second trial would also end with a deadlocked jury.

Jonathan Ferrell’s family wanted the state to retry the police officer, as did local political leaders like U.S. Rep. Alma Adams and Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte NAACP.

Rev. Dwayne Walker, pastor of Little Rock AME Zion Church, echoed the sentiments of many black Charlotteans when he told the Charlotte Observer, “I just don’t understand how an officer can get away with shooting an unarmed man 10 times.

Most Democrats in Charlotte agreed.

According to a poll conducted last year immediately after the mistrial, August 26-27, 2015, by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, 6-of-10 Democrats (59%) said the officer in the Jonathan Ferrell case should be retried.

The NAACP, convinced that Roy Cooper had given up on the pursuit of justice, continued to call for a new trial throughout the state.

On September 10, 2015, The Wilmington Journal carried a statement by the NAACP titled, NC NAACP responds to Attorney General Roy Cooper’s refusal to retry officer Randall Kerrick for the wrongful death of Jonathan Ferrell.

Here are highlights (abridged):

  • Randall Kerrick, a white officer in Charlotte NC, shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed black male college student. Ferrell was shot ten times.
  • While he claims he was under duress, he never used any other form of reasonable force such as pepper spray, his baton or a Taser
  • Attorney General Roy Cooper has refused to retry the case stating that, “his prosecutors believe unanimously that a retrial will not yield a different result.”

This year, throughout the state, local news sources have continued to report commentary critical of Attorney General Roy Cooper’s handling of racially sensitive cases. Example: February 24, 2016, Triad City Beat: “Cooper’s track record as attorney general has left many African-American leaders across North Carolina less than enthusiastic about his candidacy.”

Police Walk Out on Cooper over Kerrick Case; Endorse McCrory

 

For Roy Cooper, the Jonathan Ferrell case has become a lose-lose political dilemma. Not only did African Americans around the state feel betrayed by Cooper for not retrying the case against Randall Kerrick for killing the unarmed Ferrell, but law enforcement officers around the state also felt betrayed by Cooper for seeking an indictment against Kerrick in the first place.

As Jim Morrill noted in his August 16, 2016 story Lingering anger over Kerrick case boils up in N.C. governor’s race, about a third of the officers attending the state convention of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) walked out on Attorney General Roy Cooper as he was attempting to justify his decision to prosecute Kerrick for shooting and killing Ferrell.

According to Randy Hagler, state president of the FOP, the Kerrick case was a significant factor in why the organization, with over 6,000 members statewide, voted to endorse North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory this year. (FOP endorsed Democrat Walter Dalton in 2012.)

“We don’t defend bad officers … we try to represent the officers who are on the line making split-second decisions, and that’s the heart and soul of this entire organization,” said one of the delegates to Cooper during the Q&A session.

Then, September 23, 2016. The killing of Keith Scott, another African American male, by a Charlotte police officer. A killing followed by rioting, looting, objects thrown at officers and a protester shot dead. A state of emergency. Police camera footage withheld from the public.

Black voters in Mecklenburg County are furious with Democratic Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the Democratic majority (9-2) Charlotte City Council over the way they managed the crisis. They expressed their fury Monday night at a chaotic city council meeting, calling for the resignation of Roberts and shouting such incendiary phrases as, “Hands down - Shoot back.”

If black voter turnout in Mecklenburg County is down substantially this fall due to anger with local and state Democratic officials, all Democrats running in competitive statewide races this fall, especially Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Cooper, will be in big trouble.

- END -

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Rule #5: There is Gold to be Mined among Professional Women for the Next Generation of Candidates and Campaign Leaders

by johndavis, August 2, 2013

Since 2000, there have been 40 statewide General Election races in North Carolina that came down to a male candidate vs a female candidate. Women won 31 of those 40 races, or 77.5%.

More significant, 24 of those 31 female winners were Democratic women. Only 7 were Republicans. Democratic women have defeated Republican men in 80% of statewide matchups since 2000.

Top 10 Keys for NC Democratic Political Recovery

 

Rule #5: There is Gold to be Mined among Professional Women for the Next Generation of Candidates and Campaign Leaders


July 30, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 15            10:13 am

Democratic Women Defeated GOP Men in 80% of Statewide Matchups

 

With the extinction of the once-powerful base of rural “Yellow Dog Democrats,” and the emergence of politically dominant urban voters, the state Democratic Party must shift its political gold mining operations to metropolitan regions for the next generation of candidates and campaign leaders.

Within these friendly geographical areas, Democrats must focus their political leadership gold mining operations on those constituencies where they are most likely to be successful.

This is where professional women come in.  If I were advising Democrats in North Carolina on how to recover politically, I would tell them that their best hope is women.  Specifically, professional women.

Democrats need strong candidates.  Professional women.  Democrats need campaign money.  Professional women.  Democrats need business leaders.  Professional women.  Democrats need political balance.  Professional women.  Democrats need strength of resolve.  Professional women.

Here in North Carolina, women are registered in greater numbers than men.  Women turn out to vote in higher percentages than men.  Women favor Democrats over Republicans more often than not.  The public policy priorities of women are more likely supported by Democrats.  And, Democratic women have a well-established record of success for winning political campaigns against Republican men.

Since 2000, there have been 40 statewide General Election races in North Carolina that came down to a male candidate vs a female candidate.  Women won 31 of those 40 races, or 77.5%.

More significant, 24 of those 31 female winners were Democratic women.  Only 7 were Republicans.  Democratic women have defeated Republican men in 80% of statewide matchups since 2000.

This report is the fifth in a 10-part series on the keys to political recovery for North Carolina Democrats.  As with the previous series on the keys to Republican political longevity, no state legislator or legislative staff member was interviewed.  All interviews were conducted with the promise of anonymity.  The rules thus far are:

  • Rule #1: If You want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, You have to Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate.
  • Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task.
  • Rule #3 Moral Mondays - A Therapeutic Dose of Political Energy Restoring Rhythm to the Heart of the Democratic Party.
  • Rule #4:  Investors will Return to the Party of Bold, Visionary Leaders and Ideas when it has Bold, Visionary Leaders and Ideas.

Today I am adding Rule #5:  There is Gold to be Mined among Professional Women for the Next Generation of Candidates and Campaign Leaders.

Women Nearing Parity in the Professions

 

With the enactment of Title IX in 1972, a law prohibiting gender discrimination in federally supported education programs and activities, female students have gone from having 17% fewer university degrees than men to having 25% more university degrees.  According to the US Census Bureau:

  • In 1960, 65.8% of all university degrees were awarded to men
  • In 2009, only 41.3% of all university degrees were awarded to men.
  • In 2009, 916,000 bachelor’s degrees were earned by women; 685,000 earned by men

Often referred to as the Emancipation Proclamation for women, Title IX has also had a great influence on the number of women with professional degrees from American universities.  Consider these facts:

Thanks to the dramatic growth of women in the professions, women now make up about 1/3 of all doctors and lawyers in America, a number that will continue to grow as women make up half of the law school and medical school student bodies in American universities.

Female doctors rarely run for public office in North Carolina.  However, they are financially capable of helping fund political committees.  Female attorneys are the superstars of Democratic campaigners.

Female attorneys regularly run for statewide offices, including the Council of State races, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is an attorney.  So is US Senator Kay Hagan.  Four of the seven members of the Supreme Court of North Carolina are female attorneys, including the Chief Justice (three of the four are Democrats), and six of the fifteen members of the North Carolina Court of Appeals are female attorneys (four of the six are Democrats).

All were elected in statewide campaigns.

Professional Women are Angry with Republicans in Raleigh

 

Today’s news is dominated by stories of professional women who are up in arms over legislative action taken by Republicans in Raleigh during the 2013 session.  It is apparent in news stories about thousands of teachers among the largest crowd to attend Moral Monday protests or news about pro-choice activists holding vigil in front of the governor’s mansion, that a lot of women are mad at Republicans.

Why are so many professional women incensed by Republican legislative action in the 2013 session?  Think about professions other than doctors and lawyers whose budgets got axed by Republicans.

The American Enterprise Institute published a report in September of 2012 showing doctoral and master’s degrees awarded in 2011 by fields of study and gender.  Here are the key findings:

  • 71.3% of Health Sciences doctoral degrees went to women
  • 68.8% of Education doctoral degrees went to women
  • 62.6% of Social, Behavioral Sciences doctoral degrees went to women
  • 60% of Public Administration doctoral degrees went to women

Here are the master’s degrees awarded in 2011 by field of study and gender:

  • 81.3% of Health Sciences master’s degrees went to women
  • 76.8% of Education master’s degrees went to women
  • 76.5% of Public Administration master’s degrees went to women
  • 62.7% of Social, Behavioral Sciences master’s degrees went to women

Education.  Healthcare.  Public services.  Women play key leadership roles in these professions.  Women depend on these professions for their livelihood.

Whose budgets got axed?

Odds are pretty good that many professional women whose programs have lost funding due to budget cuts will be motivated to run in 2014 for the General Assembly.  Others will be motivated to help candidates raise money or contribute to an independent expenditure campaign fund to help Democrats.

Ann Goodnight, long-time education advocate and wife of SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, writes in today’s News & Observer, “I am left stunned by the glaring lack of support for public education.”  The Goodnights are among the wealthiest people in the world.  She could fund a Super PAC at any level.

But what can be accomplished by Democrats in 2014 when Republicans have all of the advantages?

2014 Goals: Protect Hagan, Seize the Courts, Stop the Super Majority

 

The biggest prize for Democrats in 2014 is the U.S. Senate seat featuring incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan from Greensboro.  Hagan is a strong candidate, well-liked by the U.S. Senate establishment.  This translates into national financial resources which can be used for ground game operations like voter registration and turnout.

The second biggest prize for Democrats in 2014 is the state Supreme Court, where four of seven seats are up for grabs including that of the Chief Justice.  There are many seasoned court candidates among Democratic women, and many more female attorneys biding their time for such an opportunity.

Finally, a third prize for Democrats in 2014 would be taking away the super majority status from either the state House or the Senate.  You may not be able to advance the Democratic Party’s agenda without a majority in the state Senate and House, but you can thwart some of the Republican Party's agenda if you take away the veto-proof super majority.

The House is more vulnerable, in part because Speaker Thom Tillis, one of the best political warfare generals around, is abandoning the legislative battlefield for his US Senate race against Kay Hagan.  House seats are also more vulnerable to an underdog challenger because they are less expensive.

North Carolina Senate races would not be a good bet for cash-strapped Democrats in 2014.  Competitive state Senate races are now $1 million campaigns and as sophisticated as congressional races.

The big break for the North Carolina Democratic Party could come as early as 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president.  Clinton’s candidacy would likely result in record high volunteerism and turnout of women in America just like Barack Obama's presidential nomination fueled record high volunteerism and turnout of African Americans in 2008 and 2012.

In my mind, 2016 could be the first opportunity for Democrats to win the majority in the North Carolina House and make headway towards taking back the North Carolina Senate four years later in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party must work towards the ideological balance needed to appeal to persuadable independent voters.  Moral Monday protesters are important voices for the state Democratic Party, a life-restoring spark of political passion and energy.  However, political recovery will require leaders who can raise money and appeal to moderate voters and business people.

Democrats need strong candidates.  Professional women.  Democrats need campaign money.  Professional women.  Democrats need business leaders.  Professional women.  Democrats need political balance.  Professional women.  Democrats need strength of resolve.  Professional women.

Rule #5: There is Gold to be Mined among Professional Women for the Next Generation of Candidates and Campaign Leaders.

- END –

 Note: I wish to thank Madison McLawhorn, a Senior Communications major at North Carolina State University, for the excellent work she is doing as my student intern.  Madison, from Winterville, is responsible for much of the research for this report, including interviews with professional women and the numbers on women in the professions.

Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report! JND SignatureJohn N. Davis, Editor

 

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Rule #2: It’s All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task

by johndavis, June 19, 2013

The state Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts scattered around the state. You know them. They are the ones who are the most respected in the community. The ones who are the backbone of the civic groups and religious institutions. The ones who have something extra that draws people to them.

They are the ones we all RSVP “yes” to if they invite us to an event.

Top 10 Keys for NC Democratic Political Recovery

 

Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task

 

June 19, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 12            4:13 pm

There is not a single challenge facing the North Carolina Democratic Party that cannot be overcome successfully if the right person asks the right person to do the right task.

Illustration:  If Warren Buffett invited you to join a small group for a private dinner, would you go?  Does anything matter other than the fact that he is one of the most respected people in the world?

All of us are drawn to the most respected people of our time.  If they invite us to a private event, we go.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, told CNN last November that he hopes Hillary Clinton will become the first female president of the United States in 2016.  What if Warren Buffett invited you to join a small group for dinner at the Cardinal Club in Raleigh to discuss your $1 million commitment to a North Carolina Hillary Clinton for President Super PAC?

Ummmmmmmm.  Right task.  Right person doing the asking.  Maybe the wrong person to ask?

The North Carolina Democratic Party needs money.  Who are the right people for the task?  The right people for each level of donors?  The right people for online fundraising?

The party needs organizational restructuring to meet the needs of modern-day, high-tech political warfare.  Is there a new generation of younger Democrats better suited for the task?

The party needs the best opposition research operation, the best recruiting, the best voter registration and turnout operation, the best data-mining … the best of everything a party provides.

Are the right people asking the right people to do the right task?

This is the second of a 10-part series on the keys to political recovery for North Carolina Democrats.  As with the previous series on Republican political longevity, no state legislator or legislative staff member was interviewed.  All interviews were conducted with the promise of anonymity.  The rules highlighted thus far, including today’s new rule, are:

  • Rule #1: If You want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, You have to Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate.
  • Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the right person to ask the right person to do the right task.

Worst Situation in a Century

Is Randy Voller, the embattled chairman of the state Democratic Party, the right person to be the voice of state Democrats?  The right person to ask major donors for a major commitment to the party’s political recovery?  The right person to hire the right staff and consultants?

Rob Christensen, veteran political reporter and author of The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, wrote a story in the June 19, 2013 N&O about Randy Voller and his leadership challenges.

Here are some words from the Christensen story that show just how deep a hole the party has dug itself into: “infighting;” “unusual settlement agreement with several of his critics,” “critics … calling for a vote of confidence on his leadership,” “squabbling;” “worst situation in a century;” “plagued by discontent;” “civil war;” “factionalism;” “complaints about him naming himself interim executive director;” “trip to Las Vegas with friends in March to watch a basketball game in which he used a Democratic Party American Express Card to charge $3,327;” “substantial consulting contracts awarded to friends;” “$7,000-per-month contract … in a party that is facing financially tight times.”

The Christensen story also notes that last week Nina Szlosberg-Landis, the first vice chair of the state party and one of its most successful fundraisers, resigned “citing the difficulty in working with Voller.”

Is Randy Voller the right person to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party to political recovery?

Spiritual Gifts Analogy

 Like most Christian church goers, I have slept through my share of sermons.  But there is one sermon I have never forgotten, a sermon that woke me up to a great organizational concept that is as valuable today as it was 2000 years ago when Paul the Apostle wrote about it in his Letter to the Romans.

The sermon was about how each of us is given a different gift, a personal strength.  How, according to our faith, God gives us different gifts because unique personal strengths are required to meet the many unique needs of the greater church.  Gifts like mercy or service, of giving, leadership or teaching.

Now here is the organizational value of that concept:  When asked to do a task for the greater good, you should say “no” to any task that does not fit your unique strengths.  Critical thought: If you say “yes,” you are depriving the organization of getting the right person to do the right task.

Have you ever accepted responsibility for a task that you were not suited for?  Was it a miserable experience?  Have you seen the quality of work suffer because the wrong people were in charge?

Getting the right people to ask the right people to do the right task is essential for political recovery for the North Carolina Democratic Party.

The NC Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts

The state Democratic Party has lots of Warren Buffetts scattered around the state.  You know them.  They are the ones who are the most respected in the community.  The ones who are the backbone of the civic groups and religious institutions.  The ones who have something extra that draws people to them.

They are the ones we all RSVP “yes” to if they invite us to an event.

They are the ones who would never take a trip to Las Vegas with friends to watch a basketball game and use the state Democratic Party American Express Card to charge $3,327 in expenses.

Granted, political recovery is about strategic planning; it’s about careful targeting and perfect timing.  Political recovery is about flawless execution of tactical maneuvers.  It’s about raising money.

However, even with the perfect plan you will not succeed if you don’t have the right people asking the right people to do the right task.

Rule #2: It's All About Who Does the Asking; Get the Right Person to Ask the Right Person to do the Right Task.

- END -

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Rule #1: If You want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, You have to Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate

by johndavis, June 6, 2013

Rule #1: If You Want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate   June 6, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 11            3:13 pm  North Carolina was the last Southern state east of the Mississippi River to give Republicans exclusive power over state government and may be the first to give power back
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Rule #1: If You Want to Lead a Purple, Business-Friendly State, Recruit a Purple, Business-Friendly Slate

 

June 6, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 11            3:13 pm 

North Carolina was the last Southern state east of the Mississippi River to give Republicans exclusive power over state government and may be the first to give power back to the Democrats … both for the same reason: we are a swing state dominated by urban voters and greatly influenced by education-oriented business leaders who run global corporations. 

In North Carolina, neither party has an inherent partisan advantage.  Ideologically, we are precariously balanced.  Not a predictably Republican “red” state.  Not a predictably Democratic “blue” state.  We are a purple state; a purple state with an urban hue. 

Demographic trends driven by population growth argue that Democrats have a bright future in North Carolina, and sooner than later at that if Republicans distance themselves too far to the ideological right on social and economic policy.  Too far to the right for most urban voters, too far for most globally oriented business leaders, most women, and most of our emerging generation of young voters. 

North Carolina, the 10th largest state in the nation, has grown at twice the national average for 20 years.  Voter registrations have soared from 3.4 million in 1993 to 6.4 million voters today.  In 2012, only about half of all voters were native North Carolinians. 

Migration studies have consistently shown that most of North Carolina’s newcomers are not from the South.  They are from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and New Jersey.  Polls show that newcomers are far less likely than natives to be conservative. 

Urban newcomers in North Carolina favor Democrats over Republicans.  They are more moderate than conservative, more tolerant than intolerant, more independent than partisan and more pro-government than anti-government.  They are more likely to see a direct and positive relationship between public investment and private sector competitiveness, between public investment and quality of life. 

Twenty-one of the 28 members of the North Carolina Metro Mayors Association are Democrats.  Half of the state’s voters are in only 13 of 100 counties.  In the 2012 General Elections, when Republicans won majorities in the state House, the state Senate and won the Governor’s Mansion, those 13 urban counties gave President Obama 1,266,602 votes to Romney’s 976,703 votes. 

Urban voters are the Democrats best hope for political recovery. 

The 10-Part Series on Democratic Political Recovery 

This report is the first in a 10-part series on the keys to political recovery for North Carolina Democrats.  As with the previous series on Republican political longevity, no state legislator or legislative staff member was interviewed.  All interviews were conducted with the promise of anonymity. 

During the months of June, July and August, these questions will be explored:

  • How can Democrats raise a competitive war chest without power?
  • What is the profile of the next generation of Democratic leaders?
  • How can Democrats rebuild the trust of the state’s business community?
  • Where are the targeted opportunities for 2014?
  • Will private sector women provide Democrats their best hope for recovery?
  • Will research park business leaders be repelled by GOP hardliners?
  • What are the political recovery issues for Democrats?
  • Can you harvest a crop with your hands cuffed?
  • What are the most important opposition research opportunities for Democrats?
  • How do you begin a new generation of Democratic leaders with the under-40 voters?
  • What technological advantages are Democrats better capable of exploiting?
  • When are Democrats likely to achieve political recovery in North Carolina? 

Today I am beginning the 10-part series with Rule #1: If you want to lead a purple, business-friendly state, you have to recruit a purple, business-friendly slate. 

Business didn’t leave the Democrats, the Democrats left Business 

If archconservative Republican caucus members in the state legislature continue to pull the GOP to the bright red side of the social and economic political spectrum, they will get Republicans into trouble with urban voters, with women, with young voters, and with the all-important moderate independent voter. 

They will also get Republicans into hot water with the state’s globally oriented research park corporate community and many other progressive private sector business leaders around the state. 

That’s what happened to Democrats.  They were so powerful that they no longer saw the value in maintaining ideologically-balanced state Senate and House caucuses.  Business-friendly caucuses. 

Democrats forgot the 100-year-old public/private partnership between education oriented business leaders and business oriented education leaders that set the state apart from the rest of the Old South; that created the best state in America to do business long before Republicans gained the upper hand. 

A new breed of Democrats emerged who no longer found value in their relationship with business leaders.  That is, other than their role as fundraisers.  Great governors like Jim Hunt, who personally sold the CEO community on education reforms for three decades, were followed by weak governors like Beverly Perdue who had to be sued so that the constitutionally authorized Superintendent of Pubic Instruction could run the public school system.  Governor Mike Easley, Perdue’s predecessor, neglected the long-respected Governor’s Business Committee on Education.  He disdained meeting with CEOs. 

While Democrats were electing governors who alienated the state’s CEO community with either their indifference or their incompetence, Democratic leaders in the state Senate and House were equally indifferent to maintaining balanced, business oriented caucuses. 

The 2011 business ratings of North Carolina Senators and House members conducted by the business-sponsored North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation showed:

  • Only 2 of 19 Senate Democrats had business ratings above 70% (highest business category)
  • Only 6 of 52 House Democrats had business ratings above 70% 

When it was time to elect caucus leaders, which ideological group do you think prevailed?  Now you know why business and agricultural interests lost confidence in Senate and House Democrats. 

Abandon the middle at your own peril 

Democrats not only abandoned the state’s business and agricultural leaders, they abandoned the majority of voters clustered near the middle of the ideological spectrum.  Democrats created a political vacuum that Republicans were more than happy to fill. 

That’s what Republicans risk doing today: abandoning the middle.  Creating a political vacuum that offers Democrats renewed hope for political recovery. 

In order to ready themselves for the opportunity for political recovery, Democrats must do two things. 

First, they have to get over their loss of power.  Get over the anger and the denial and the blame game.   

Two Democrats come to mind who set the example for how to lose: former “Speaker for Life” Liston Ramsey and former governor Jim Hunt. 

Liston Ramsey, a Madison County Democrat who served 19 consecutive terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives, was elected speaker in 1981.  He became the first legislator in North Carolina history to hold the speaker's office for four terms.  He was frequently referred to as "Speaker for Life."   

On the opening day of the 1989 session of the General Assembly, a political coup organized in secret by a small group of disgruntled Democrats along with House Republicans led to Ramsey’s defeat.   

Liston Ramsey accepted his new role as merely another House member and served with distinction and integrity for another 10 years.  He never once played the blame game or showed any anger or exhibited any form of sour grapes.  He simply went back to work. 

Governor Jim Hunt did the same thing in 1985 after losing the epic battle with Jesse Helms to serve in the U.S. Senate.  I asked one of Governor Hunt’s closest friends how long it took Hunt to recover from that devastating defeat.  “It took him six to nine months to come to terms personally with the loss,” his friend told me, “but then he went right back to work, beginning with the creation of the Emmerging Issues Forum in 1985.”   

Since that time, Hunt has achieved an extraordinary and unprecedented list of accomplishments … serving two more terms as governor, helping grow NC State University into a flagship university, with national and international standing equal to UNC - Chapel Hill.  Anyone who doubts that claim has yet to see the Centennial Campus … or visit the Hunt Library. 

That's the way to lose.  Go back to work.  It's not about you, it's about what you believe. 

The second thing Democrats must do in order to be prepared for the opportunity to recover their political standing in state government is to rebuild their relationship with the state’s business community. 

You accomplish that by recruiting Democrats from the world of business to serve at all levels of government.  You build a farm team of new business Democrats from the ground up.  Every leadership position.  City, county and state.  You seek the advice of business people in all that you do. 

Demographic trends driven by population growth argue that Democrats have a bright future in North Carolina, and sooner than later if Republicans distance themselves too far to the ideological right on social and economic policy.  But Democrats must be ready for the next opportunity to lead. 

If you want to lead a purple, business-friendly state, you have to recruit a purple, business friendly slate. 

- END - 

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Click here for the Premium Annual Subscription at the reduced rate of $199, or, mail your check for $199 to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622 

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Rule #10: No Matter How Often You Read it, the Tortoise Wins and the Hare Loses. Slow and steady is the final key to longevity.

by johndavis, May 8, 2013

The fact is, the Democratic dynasty was already near collapse in 2010 and 2012. The Democratic structural and organizational underpinnings were rotted with corruption, infighting, neglect and diminishing political battlefield competence, making them a very vulnerable political enemy.

Rule #10: No Matter How Often You Read it, the Tortoise Wins and the Hare Loses.  Slow and steady is the final key to longevity.

This report is the final in a series highlighting key rules for How the North Carolina Republican Party Can Maintain Political Power for 114 Years (like their predecessors the Democrats). The rules highlighted thus far are:

  • Rule #1: Always remember that you are vulnerable
  • Rule #2: Criminal indictments scare off contributors
  • Rule #3: Keep your voters close, and your metropolitan voters closer
  • Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism
  • Rule #5: Lose the courts, lose the war
  • Rule #6: Men do not equal a majority
  • Rule #7: Welcome young voters with “Come as you are” Open Conservatism
  • Rule #8: Obey the Golden Rule of Politics -“Those with the most gold rule”
  • Rule #9: If it’s tied, it’s Turnout. If it’s Turnout, it’s Technology

Today, I am adding Rule #10: No Matter How Often You Read it, the Tortoise Wins and the Hare Loses.  Slow and steady is the final key to longevity.

May 8, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 10            3:13 pm

This 10-part series on the keys to Republican political longevity began on January 11, 2013, with the caution: don’t create political opportunities for the Democrats by making yourself vulnerable, and the best way to make yourself vulnerable is to think you are not vulnerable.

The greatest source of a sense of invulnerability is pride, the deadliest of the seven deadly sins.

For instance, pride would have Republicans believe that it was their superior might, savvy and ability as political combatants that vanquished the unbeatable foe, the North Carolina Democrats, in 2010 and 2012.  If that was the whole story, why did it take the GOP 114 years to defeat them?

The fact is, the Democratic dynasty was already near collapse in 2010 and 2012.  The Democratic structural and organizational underpinnings were rotted with corruption, infighting, neglect and diminishing political battlefield competence, making them a very vulnerable political enemy.

Compounding the political instability of North Carolina Democrats was President Obama, who weakened Democrats to the breaking point of defeat all over the United States by racing ahead of the wishes of voters with his own public policy agenda.  During his first term, Obama was like the hare in The Tortoise and the Hare, ignoring the value of plodding along patiently with respect for the priorities of most Americans: jobs and the economy.

North Carolina Democrats never seemed to realize that they were creating major breakthrough political opportunities for Republicans by making themselves vulnerable with:

  • A 10-year rash of embarrassing criminal indictments that scared off loyal contributors;
  • Legislative caucuses that drifted so far left of center that they threatened business leaders;
  • Leaders who hogged the glory and ignored the need for a new generation of strong state leaders;
  • Standing with President Obama and his personal agenda against the voters and their agenda;
  • Buying elections year after year with obligatory loyalty from resentful contributors.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It makes you think you are not vulnerable.

Today, Republicans are the ones with the absolute power in North Carolina.  They, like the hare in The Tortoise and the Hare, risk becoming vulnerable by racing so fast to the public policy finish line that they lose sight of the need to bring the voters along with them.  Without the support of North Carolina voters, Republican leaders, like Obama, will cause their party a world of hurt.

So, how do you avoid the corrupting influence of absolute power?  First, you move at a slow and steady pace that allows for an exchange of information, concerns and ideas with voters locally around the state.

One of the best examples of effective management of sensitive public policy matters by bringing voters along with you is how Senate and House Republican leaders managed reapportionment of legislative and congressional districts.  They presented their plans to the public, allowing voters to express their concerns at open forums like local public libraries and community colleges.

Take a look at the list of public hearings and the locations held by the Joint House and Senate Redistricting Committees.  Over 100 opportunities for public input were scheduled during the months of April, May, June and July, 2011, for the convenience of North Carolina voters.

The second means of avoiding the corrupting influence of absolute power is to keep yourself humble by surrounding yourself with mementos of past mistakes.

I learned that transformative political lesson in 1979 from a banker in Mississippi.

His name was Bob Hearin.  He was the wealthiest man in the state.  President and majority stockholder of First National Bank in Jackson.

He was also the most reclusive man in the state.

Despite his great wealth, Bob worked in a drab office cluttered with odd, out-of-place items like rusty machine parts on dusty bookshelves with a small stack of old bricks piled loosely on the floor.  A weathered wooden sign leaned against a dingy wall.

It would take weeks for me to finally get up the nerve to ask, “Mr. Hearin, what is all of this junk scattered around your office?”

Unlike most bank presidents, Bob Hearin was so intensely private that no one my age knew what he looked like.  We had only seen a picture on the front page of the state’s largest newspaper, The Clarion-Ledger, in the annual article about the “Ten Wealthiest Mississippians.”

Each morning, except Thursdays, Mr. Hearin drove to his downtown Jackson office at First National Bank, the second largest bank in the state, where he would spend the day managing his varied business interests.  Each afternoon he left the bank promptly at 3 o’clock and drove out to his farm where he fed his cows from the back of his pickup truck.

In addition to banking, he was a principal stockholder in Amerada Hess, an oil exploration and production company listed on the NYSE and headquartered in New York City, and, at one time, part-owner of the New York Jets.

On Thursdays he flew to New York City in his private jet to meet with his business partner Leon Hess, founder of Amerada Hess and owner of the New York Jets.  He always made it back to Jackson in time to feed the cows.

It was because he was so reclusive, that the state’s business and political establishment was shocked when he agreed to serve in the high-profile role as finance chair of Lt. Gov. Evelyn Gandy’s campaign for governor of the Magnolia State.  He was returning a favor.

The reason that I know all of this is because I was Evelyn Gandy’s Campaign Manager.  I had the unique privilege of meeting with Mr. Hearin daily to discuss campaign finances.

The first day I met with Bob Hearin I was nervous.  His personal secretary, Dixie, greeted me with businesslike hospitality at the elevator of the dimly lit and noticeably quiet executive suite.  She led me to Mr. Hearin’s office.  He immediately came to the door and welcomed me with a warm smile and sincere handshake.

I was surprised by Mr. Hearin’s friendliness; perhaps I expected an old curmudgeon.  I was also surprised at his threadbare dark blue suit and his overall disheveled appearance.

The office décor was sparse, more like what you would see in a bus station waiting room rather than in the inner sanctum of the wealthiest man in the state.  And then, there were those odd items all around the office.  “What were they all about,” I thought curiously.

Over the next several weeks I became increasingly comfortable with Mr. Hearin during our daily meetings.  Eventually, we began to talk about things other than the campaign.  That was when I learned about his cows and his other business interests and his Thursdays in New York City.

The day finally came when I had the courage to ask him about the odd items in his office.  “Mr. Hearin,” I began cautiously, “What is all of this junk scattered around your office?”

His eyes darted from object to object, finally resting on the small stack of bricks.  “Those are mementos,” he began pensively, “of every bad loan I have ever made.”

I was stunned.

“See those bricks,” he continued, “I lost over $250,000 on a loan to the company that made those bricks.”  He then nodded towards the rusty machine parts, “See those machine parts on the shelf?  I lost $100,000 on that bad loan.”

One after another Mr. Hearin pointed out mementos of loans gone bad.  Treasured mementos of mistakes.  Always in sight.  Never to be forgotten.  Never to be repeated.

This transformative lesson is particularly valuable in North Carolina politics, the newest of the presidential swing states.  The perfectly level political battlefield where there are no permanent partisan advantages.  Where nothing can be taken for granted.

In North Carolina politics, you can go from invincible to vulnerable overnight.  And no political leader or group is more vulnerable than those who think they are not vulnerable.

Rule #10: No Matter How Often You Read it, the Tortoise Wins and the Hare Loses.  Slow and steady is the final key to longevity.

- END -

Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report!

JND Signature

John N. Davis, Editor

PS:  A new 10-part series highlighting key rules for How North Carolina Democrats Can Recover Political Power will begin the first week in June.  Send me your ideas: www.johndavisconsulting.com

SPRING SPECIAL $199:  If you are not a subscriber, please consider subscribing.  The Premium Annual Subscription only $199 during our Spring Special promotion.  Mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622, or subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe  JND

P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Inquire about availability here  JND

Rule #8: Obey the Golden Rule of Politics – “Those with the most gold rule.”

by johndavis, March 27, 2013

If President Obama can legally raise “unlimited amounts of money” for an organization that is a functioning arm of his presidency, North Carolina Republican leaders can do the same. And should.

Remember, it’s a means of keeping your political organization fine-tuned while operating as an IRS approved “social welfare” (wink, wink) organization.

There is a lesson here for North Carolina Republicans; a lesson taught well over the years by Democrats. That lesson is Rule #8: Obey the Golden Rule of Politics – Those with the most gold rule.

“It turns out there is an even higher tier of donors who are granted entree to the board of directors if they raise $1 million for two consecutive years, according to a memo that describes the organization’s “finance leadership levels.”

 NY Times, 3/26/2013, regarding Pres. Obama’s new Organizing for Action “Social Welfare” organization

 

March 27, 2013        Vol. VI, No. 8            11:13 pm

It’s time we put principle aside and do what’s right!

On June 19, 2008, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama created a firestorm among liberal campaign finance reformers by breaking his pledge to limit his campaign spending to public funds.  Obama chose to put the practical value of a campaign spending advantage over personal principle.  He knew that in order to win, he had to Obey the Golden Rule of Politics: Those with the most gold rule.

Obama’s decision to put principal aside freed him to raise an unlimited amount of money.  Republican nominee John McCain opted to shackle himself to public financing.  When the final campaign spending totals were tallied, the FEC reported that Obama had raised $745 million to McCain's $368 million.

There is a lesson here for North Carolina Republicans.

David Plouffe, campaign manager for President Obama's 2008 victory, in writing about the decision to opt out of public financing in his book The Audacity to Win, said, "Sacrificing this added cash would mean we either had to pare our list of target battlegrounds or run less rigorous campaigns in each.”

One of those target battlegrounds was North Carolina.  If Obama had put principle over money and opted out of public financing in 2008, he would not have carried North Carolina and Beverly Purdue would not have been governor.

North Carolina was Obama’s closest win (14,177 votes out of 4.3 million cast).  Perdue’s win was the closest governors race in the U.S., despite her 2-to-1 spending advantage over McCrory ($14.9 million to his $6.7 million) and despite a historic Democratic turnout thanks to Obama’s state organization.

“Staying in the federal system would seriously impede our ability to mount that kind of campaign that left no stone unturned,” wrote Plouffe, “I thought if we opted out of the system, we would also enjoy a significant financial advantage over McCain.”  He was right.

In 2008, the Obama campaign raised $782 million (McCain $368 million), employed 6,000 staffers who managed 13 million volunteers.  In September alone, Obama raised $100 million online.  "There were times when we were raising $250,000, $300,000, even $500,000 an hour,” said Plouffe.

When it comes to principle versus money in politics, ignore the protests of the press and the outrage of the campaign finance reformers; put principle aside and do what’s right: raise money.

This report is the continuation of a series highlighting key rules for How the North Carolina Republican Party Can Maintain Political Power for 114 Years (like their predecessors the Democrats). The rules highlighted thus far are:

  • Rule #1: Always remember that you are vulnerable
  • Rule #2: Criminal indictments scare off contributors
  • Rule #3: Keep your voters close, and your metropolitan voters closer
  • Rule #4: Caring must be at the core of conservatism
  • Rule #5: Lose the courts, lose the war
  • Rule #6: Men do not equal a majority
  • Rule #7: Welcome young voters with “Come as you are” Open Conservatism.

Today, I am adding Rule #8: Obey the Golden Rule of Politics -“Those with the most gold rule.”

NC Republicans are only half-way to financial dominance; President Obama points the way to the other half

Thanks to excellent research and analysis of 2012 campaign finances by the North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation, we can now say for certain that North Carolina Republicans have learned well from Democrats and are following their precedent in valuing political financial dominance.

  • Republican Senate candidates raised about $11.3 million to only $3.7 million for Democratic Senate candidates, a 3-to-1 GOP advantage in 2012 that led to a 33 to 17 Senate majority.
  • Republican House candidates raised $12.9 million to $5.3 million for the Democrats, a 2-to-1 GOP advantage in 2012 that led to a 77 to 43 House majority.
  • Republican Gov. Pat McCrory raised $11.2 million to $4.3 million for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton, a 2012 advantage that led to a 55% to 43% victory.

Granted, reports like these make it clear that North Carolina Republicans are well on their way to establishing political financial dominance.  However, they are only halfway there.  The other half of political financial dominance is the establishment of 501 (c) (4) “social welfare” nonprofit groups that may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advance their legislative agenda.

Once again, Republicans have an excellent model thanks to President Obama.

Obama’s campaign organization, Organizing for America, has morphed into a new advocacy machine called Organizing for Action.  OFA is run by former campaign operatives, like Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, and pledges to “support the legislative agenda we voted on, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our communities.”

Sound like something of political value to North Carolina Republicans?  Keeping your political organization fine-tuned as an IRS approved “social welfare” organization?  Training the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders?  Unlimited shadow funding?

Raise $2 million and you can be on Obama’s board

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, The New York Times carried a story about Organizing for Action stating, “In addition to the previously reported “board of trustees” whose members are expected to raise at least $500,000, it turns out there is an even higher tier of donors who are granted entree to the board of directors if they raise $1 million for two consecutive years, according to a memo that describes the organization’s “finance leadership levels.”

What are they going to do with all of that money?

According to Organizing for Action’s statement of purpose, they are established to:

  • “Support President Obama in achieving enactment of his national agenda.”
  • Form grassroots level chapters that will also work for “progressive change on a range of issues at the state and local level.”
  • All while operating as a "social welfare" organization” under IRS Code 501(c)(4).

Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21 and a leading national voice for campaign finance reform, described the OFA as “an unprecedented entity that allows individual donors and bundlers to provide unlimited amounts of money to an organization functioning as an arm of the Obama presidency.”

If President Obama can legally raise “unlimited amounts of money” for an organization that is a functioning arm of his presidency, North Carolina Republican leaders can do the same.  And should.

Remember, it’s a means of keeping your political organization fine-tuned while operating as an IRS approved “social welfare” (wink, wink) organization.

There is a lesson here for North Carolina Republicans; a lesson taught well over the years by Democrats.  That lesson is Rule #8: Obey the Golden Rule of Politics - Those with the most gold rule.

- END -

 Thank You for Reading the John Davis Political Report!

 JND SignatureJohn N. Davis, Editor

If you are not a subscriber, please consider subscribing.  The Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622, or subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe  JND

P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Inquire about availability here  JND

 

North Carolina House Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections

by johndavis, September 26, 2012

North Carolina House Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections “Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the House for many elections
[More…]

North Carolina House Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections

“Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the House for many elections to come."  John N. Davis, Editor, John Davis Political Report

 Wednesday, September 26, 2012       Vol. V, No. 31      11:13 am

Click Here for John Davis Political Report 2012 NC House Forecasts

 In 2012, Republicans will win the House majority because they have seized the decided advantage jealously guarded by Democrats since the 19th Century.  Click here to see the complete list of NC House races with forecasts of the likely winners and favored candidates.

Key Conclusions:  First, the state GOP is united behind savvy political warfare leaders at a time when the Democratic Party is divided by scandal and weak leadership.  Second, Republicans have the favorable district maps and fundraising advantages historically reserved for Democrats.

These political advantages ... money, maps, unity and savvy leaders ... have allowed Democrats to maintain their iron-fisted grip on the state budget for a hundred years.  Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the House for many elections to come.

  • Winner: Has no further opposition.  Democrats 22; Republicans 25.
  • Likely Winner: Has a decided advantage (highly partisan district and major financial edge).  Democrats 16; Republicans 45.
  • Favored: Has an advantage but also has a competitive opponent and/or district.  Democrats 7; Republicans 5.
  • Toss Up: Competitive district with two equally competitive contenders.  Democrats 0; Republicans 0.

 - END -

Thank you for reading the John Davis Political Report

John N. Davis, Editor


 

Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe, or mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622.  P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Let me know if you need a speaker or a moderator for a political panel.  Audiences are particularly interested in politics this year due to the nation’s economic crisis and the many other uncertainties.  Inquire about availability here.  JND


North Carolina Senate Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections

by johndavis, September 25, 2012

North Carolina Senate Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections “Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the Senate for many elections
[More…]

North Carolina Senate Forecasts Show Veto Proof Republican Majority after November 6 Elections

“Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the Senate for many elections to come."  John N. Davis, Editor, John Davis Political Report

 Tuesday, September 25, 2012       Vol. V, No. 30      11:13 am

Click Here for John Davis Political Report 2012 NC Senate Forecasts

In 2012, Republicans will win the Senate majority because they have seized the decided advantage jealously guarded by Democrats since the 19th Century.  Click here to see the complete list of NC Senate races with forecasts of the likely winners and favored candidates.

Key Conclusions:  First, the state GOP is united behind savvy political warfare leaders at a time when the Democratic Party is divided by scandal and weak leadership.  Second, Republicans have the favorable district maps and fundraising advantages historically reserved for Democrats.

These political advantages ... money, maps, unity and savvy leaders ... have allowed Democrats to maintain their iron-fisted grip on the state budget for a hundred years.  Now, with great deference to the fundamentals for winning campaigns and the standards for political fairness established by the North Carolina Democratic Party, the GOP is setting itself on a sure course for a Republican majority in the Senate for many elections to come.

  • Winner: Has no further opposition.  Democrats 7; Republicans 11.
  • Likely Winner: Has a decided advantage (highly partisan district and major financial edge).  Democrats 9; Republicans 18.
  • Favored: Has an advantage but also has a competitive opponent and/or district.  Democrats 2; Republicans 2.
  • Toss Up: Competitive district with two equally competitive contenders.  Democrats 1; Republicans 1.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 26, the John Davis Political Report will publish a forecast of all 120 NC House races.

 - END -

Thank you for reading the John Davis Political Report

John N. Davis, Editor


 

Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe, or mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622.  P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Let me know if you need a speaker or a moderator for a political panel.  Audiences are particularly interested in politics this year due to the nation’s economic crisis and the many other uncertainties.  Inquire about availability here.  JND


Is the NC Democratic Party Better Off than Four Years Ago? That’s why Obama can’t carry the state in 2012.

by johndavis, September 5, 2012

Is the NC Democratic Party Better Off than Four Years Ago? That’s why Obama can’t carry the state in 2012. The North Carolina Democratic Party, the storied, national-model political war machine of 2008, is too deficient structurally to win 2012 battles.  Tuesday, September 4, 2012       Vol. V, No. 27      5:13 pm First Generation of Leaders
[More…]

Is the NC Democratic Party Better Off than Four Years Ago? That’s why Obama can’t carry the state in 2012.

The North Carolina Democratic Party, the storied, national-model political war machine of 2008, is too deficient structurally to win 2012 battles.

 Tuesday, September 4, 2012       Vol. V, No. 27      5:13 pm

First Generation of Leaders to Lose Legislature to Republicans Since 1898

 The North Carolina Democratic Party, a storied national model political war machine with a 112-year winning streak in political dominance; a party that distinguishes itself, along with Oregon and Washington, as one of only three states with no Republican governor in 20 years, finds its political war machine unable to fend off an insurgent state GOP in 2012.

Collapsed.  No power.  No money.  No momentum.  No maps.  Lost it all in 2010.  Lost the state Senate.  Lost the state House of Representatives.  First time since 1898.

No political warfare generals.  The collapse of the strong leadership infrastructure and financial advantage of the state Democratic Party since 2008, and the concurrent building of a strong leadership infrastructure and financial advantage by the state Republican Party, argue for a difficult year for Democrats in North Carolina in 2012.  Including President Obama.

Governor Beverly Perdue, a lame duck whose disapproval rating per Public Policy Polling was “the worst any Governor in the country has in our most recent polling,” chose wisely not to seek a second term.  Dramatic shift in political fortunes since 2008.  Governor Perdue had eleven (11) vetoes overridden by the first GOP General Assembly since 1898.  A lame duck.

In 2008, Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue barely won the closest governor’s race in America despite outspending her GOP opponent, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, by 2-to1: $14.9 million to $6.7 million.

And, she barely won during a terrible turnout year for Republicans and an Obama-driven historic turnout year for Democrats.  McCrory would have won in 2008 but for Barack Obama’s investment in North Carolina and a structurally deficient North Carolina GOP.

In July, 2012, Pat McCrory, the GOP nominee for governor, reported $4.4 million cash on hand.  Walter Dalton, the Democratic nominee for governor, reported $714,000 cash on hand.  McCrory has already reserved over $6 million in TV time for the fall.  Dalton: $2.6 million.

The Republican Governor’s Association has committed an additional $5.2 million.

September 4, 2012 Real Clear Politics Polling Average: McCrory 46.6%; Dalton 39%.

The North Carolina Democratic Party is not better off than it was four years ago when Barack Obama won by 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast.

That’s why President Obama cannot carry the state in 2012.

 Structural Deficiencies Since 2008 Seen in Mid-Year Fundraising Reports

 There is no greater indicator of structural deficiencies than fundraising results.  According to The Associated Press, “The North Carolina Democratic Party, which has staggered through months of infighting in the wake of sexual harassment allegations at party headquarters, is well behind in the race for money with Republicans heading into the fall election.”

The AP story on the mid-year reports filed with the State Board of Election included:

NC Democratic Party has raised “a little less than $185,000” during the second quarter of 2012, and had “$188,000 in cash on hand.”

  • NC Republican Party has raised “nearly $772,000” during the second quarter of 2012, and had “$965,500 in cash.”
  • When it comes to individual contributors, “The reports show Republicans raked in $212,000, while Democrats brought in a meager $2,700, the reports said.”

 Sen. Basnight reported $1,086,815 cash in 2008; Sen. Nesbitt reported $45,000 cash in 2012

 Four years ago, when the July report was filed with the State Board of Elections, then-Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare, reported $1,086,815 cash on hand.  This July, NC Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, reported $45,000 cash on hand.

Money flows to those with power.  Democrats no longer have power.  No power, no money.  No money, no resources to do political battle.  That’s a game changing structural deficiency.

Conversely, NC Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, reported $770,000 cash on hand in the July campaign finance reports.  Four years ago, then-Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger reported only $92,404 cash on hand.

NC House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, reported raising $945,942 this election cycle, with $491,877 cash on hand after a $200,000 contribution to the state party.  Four years ago, then-GOP House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, reported a meager $43,312 cash on hand.

 North Carolina No Longer a Presidential Swing State; Obama Likely to Pull Out

 Forecast: North Carolina will soon be taken off most “Swing States” lists and relabeled “Leaning Romney.” Obama will redirect NC resources to greener pastures.

 The big mistake the Obama camp made this year in investing in North Carolina was in thinking that Obama carried the state in 2008 because he was a Democrat or because he was progressive or because he was charismatic.  Fact:  Obama was the only other option on the ballot at a time when voters had lost trust in the Republican leaders and their ideas.

Obama won by 14,179 votes out of 4,310,623 cast in 2008.

  • Obama won because President Bush had a job approval of 25%.
  • Obama won because McCain was feared as a third Bush term.
  • Obama won because the GOP took the state for granted.
  • Obama won because he had the surprise factor (no one saw it coming).
  • Obama won because he beat the GOP with registration and early voting turnout.

Public opinion research released this week shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama in North Carolina 47% to 43% in a new Elon University/News & Observer poll, and 46% to 43% in a new High Point University/Fox 8 poll.

September 4, 2012 Real Clear Politics Polling Average: Romney 47.3%; Obama 45.3%.

 Greatest Structural Deficiency: Waning Democratic Enthusiasm; 38 Point Shift

According to a Gallup poll released July 25, only 39% of Democrats are “more enthusiastic about voting than usual,” compared to 51% of Republicans.  That’s a 12-point advantage for the Republicans.  There’s more.

At the same time in the summer of 2008, 61% of Democrats were “more enthusiastic about voting than usual,” compared to only 35% for Republicans.  That’s a 26-point advantage for the Democrats.

For emphasis: Democrats have not only lost their 26-point advantage, Republicans have gained a 12-point advantage, for a net gain of 38 points for Republicans since the summer of 2008.

Least enthusiastic: young unemployed/underemployed voters.  Obama volunteers.

The North Carolina Democratic Party was already in freefall without the help of President Obama.  With the help of Obama in 2010, Democrats suffered the greatest losses since 1896.

Is the North Carolina Democratic Party better off than it was four years ago?

That’s why President Obama cannot carry the state in 2012.

 - END -

Thank you for reading the John Davis Political Report

John N. Davis, Editor


 

Premium Annual Subscription is $245.  Subscribe online at www.johndavisconsulting.com/subscribe, or mail your check to John Davis Political Report, P.O. Box 30714, Raleigh, NC, 27622.  P.S.:  Need a speaker?  Let me know if you need a speaker or a moderator for a political panel.  Audiences are particularly interested in politics this year due to the nation’s economic crisis and the many other uncertainties.  Inquire about availability here.  JND


Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor

by johndavis, February 24, 2012

Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor The Hypocrisy of Congressman David Price’s Moral Outrage Post: Friday, February 24, 2012       Vol. V, No. 7      11:13 am Joe Democrat and Joe Republican Get $1 Million Imagine 1,000 high-dollar contributors writing a check for $1000 each
[More…]

Super PACs a Super PROBLEM for NC Politicians: 1,000 high-dollar contributors wiped out by 1 Super PAC contributor

The Hypocrisy of Congressman David Price’s Moral Outrage

Post: Friday, February 24, 2012       Vol. V, No. 7      11:13 am

Joe Democrat and Joe Republican Get $1 Million

Imagine 1,000 high-dollar contributors writing a check for $1000 each and giving them to Joe Democrat, all breathing a collective sigh of relief knowing that once again they have secured their power in North Carolina with a million-dollar financial advantage.  Now, imagine 1 contributor writing a check for $1,000,000 and giving it to Joe Republican’s Super PAC.  That’s the new political reality of funding campaigns in North Carolina.

Allowing Super PACs to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money independently may be a bad rule for our Democracy, but in 2012 it is the rule.  Ignoring Super PACs is unilateral disarmament.  President Obama came to that conclusion last week.  He came to a similar conclusion four years ago when he changed his mind about limiting his campaign spending to public funding.

Obama’s decision to abandon public funding in 2008 allowed him to spend $760 million to John McCain’s $358 million.  It’s why he won.  He is not giving away that advantage.

David Price’s Moral Outrage Rings Hollow

North Carolina Congressman David Price, D-Orange wrote an opinion piece in this week's US News and World Report, Super PACs Strike at the Heart of Democracy, in which he says that Super PACs are “a culmination of a decades-long campaign by conservative groups and corporate interests” to gain undue influence in politics.

Where was David Price's moral outrage over the century-long undue influence by liberal groups and corporate interests when it was being used by Democrats to keep their majorities in the legislature, on the courts and in the executive branch here in North Carolina?

Where was David Price's moral outrage over undue influence of outside money in North Carolina politics when $5,032,908 was being spent by unions in 2008 on North Carolina candidates, $4,532,540 of which was spent by public employee unions and their affiliated unions?  Here are the facts:[1]

 

  • SEANC is Local #2008, affiliated with SEIU (Service Employees Int’l Union)
  • SEIU invested $1,810,566 in NC candidates in 2008
  • Democrats enjoyed $1,760,556 of SEIU’s money, or 97%; Republicans 3%
  • SEIU gave the North Carolina Democratic Party over $1 million
  • SEANC (State Employees Assn. of NC) contributed $243,706 to NC candidates
  • Democratic candidates received $218,956 of SEANC money, or 90%
  • Republican candidates received $24,750 of SEANC money, or 10%
  • NCAE (NC Association of Educators) contributed $265,330 to 200 NC candidates
  • Democratic candidates received $245,980 of NCAE money, or 93%
  • NEA (National Education Association) invested $2,212,936 in NC candidates
  • 100% of NEA’s $2,212,936 went to help Democrats; Republicans 0%
  • NEA ran a $1.7 million independent expenditure campaign for Bev Perdue

Where was David Price's moral outrage over the undue influence of money in politics when North Carolina Democrats received 97% of the outside public employee union money and 100% of the National Education Association’s $2.2 million in 2008?

  • United Auto Workers union gave the North Carolina Democratic Party over $100,000
  • DRIVE, the Teamsters union, contributed $361,617 to NC Democrats
  • IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) gave $36,500 to Democrats
  • UFCE (United Food and Commercial Workers) contributed over $100,000 to the Democratic Party of North Carolina

If Congressman David Price would go to the website, www.opensecrets.org, and do a search on the largest political independent expenditure groups, he would discover that SEIU was #1 on the list of the Top 100 all-time biggest spenders in 2008.[2] In 2008, SEIU spent $85 million to influence the outcome of elections, and was rewarded by President Obama with support for the Employee Free Choice Act legislation and top White House jobs including political director, and positions on the NLRB and the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.[3]

In 2006, SEIU spent $635,000 in North Carolina elections on TV and radio ads, mailings, opinion polls, and Get-Out-The-Vote phone banks – more than ANY BUSINESS PAC in NC.  In 2004, SEIU spent $650,000 just on NC legislative races.

SEIU also contributed more than 10% of the total budget of FairJudges.net to run ads statewide for NC Supreme Court candidates in 2006; 3 of 4 were Democrats.  FairJudges.net was one of the most unfair stunts pulled by Democrats in modern history.  Step 1: Create public funding laws for Supreme Court candidates.  Step 2: After the candidates have accepted public funding spending limits, create an independent expenditure committee that allows five times the number of ads to be run on behalf of your candidates.  Where was Congressman David Price's moral outrage then?

NEA and the NCAE invested $1,846,219 to help Beverly Perdue win the governor’s race in 2008. Where was Congressman David Price's moral outrage then?

In addition to decrying the outside special interest liberal groups’ undue influence over the politics of this state, those “corporate interests” that he is linking to conservative groups have always given a disproportionate share of their money to Democrats, who along with other liberal groups, have helped Democrats defeat Republicans for decades.

During my 25 years of tracking campaign money in North Carolina, I can safely say that if it had not been for “corporate interests,” Republicans would have had a majority in the General Assembly well before 2010, and would have had at least half of the 10-member Council of State.

Finally, Price writes that “outside groups shouldn’t be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to hijack the marketplace of ideas and drown out other voices, including those of candidates themselves.”   No group can surpass the Democrats in North Carolina when it comes to hijacking the marketplace of ideas and drowning out other voices to gain undue influence.

Price concludes by writing that the “first steps in restoring integrity in our democracy” are a different balance on the U.S. Supreme Court and/or a constitutional amendment.

If Congressman David Price wants to restore integrity in our democracy he needs to begin by looking in the mirror.

- END -

Thank you for reading the John Davis Political Report

John N. Davis, Editor


[1] Union contributions and independent expenditures database provided by Civitas Institute

[2] http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/indexp.php

[3] The Wall Street Journal, SEIU Campaign Spending Pays Political Dividends, May 16, 2009

 

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