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Dems seek truce with deal

Posted June 17, 2013

— Some North Carolina Democrats are working toward a truce with embattled party Chairman Randy Voller.

Several Democratic activists filed a petition May 8 seeking Voller's removal as interim executive director.

Their complaint accused Voller of breaking party rules by firing the executive director and appointing himself interim director, "stacking" the voting Executive Council with 12 appointed friends and paying large sums of money for contracts with consultants Jim Neal and Michael Carmichael without the approval or oversight of the Executive Council. 

Voller and the petitioners – John Burns, Greg Flynn, Treva Johnson and Montica Talmadge – signed off on a formal, mediated agreement Monday that resolves the petition and may lessen calls within the party for Voller's resignation.

The petitioners agree that Voller is the "duly elected chairman" and say they will support him. "All Democrats should focus their attention and efforts not on internecine disputes within the party structure but rather on re-electing Senator Kay Hagan and electing Democrats across the board to elected offices." 

Voller agrees to terminate the party's contracts with Neal and Carmichael by the end of the month and to limit his voting appointees to the Executive Council to no more than three. One of his council appointees, William Franklin, will step down.

Voller also agrees to call an emergency Executive Council meeting if there's another vacancy in the executive director position and agrees to seek "advice and input from a broad cross-section" of the party. 

The agreement still has to be approved by the party's Council of Review chair, but that's largely a formality. 

Burns said he and the other petitioners consider the outcome a success.

"This settlement should put to rest the thought that the petitioners were out to get Randy Voller personally," he said. "We were out to correct errors in leadership and followed the party's procedures, as we said we would." 

The deal does not affect the status of the employment complaint filed against Voller by former party finance director Ellen Stankiewicz.

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  • stewarth699 Jun 18, 2013

    This is indeed a success born of much intense thought and work. Chairman Voller did nothing to violate the rules of the Party, and the Procedures will be clarified going forward to prevent further disagreements.

    This will promote the true focus of all Democrats, to address the GOP. Going forward, the people come first as they always have to true Democrats. Protecting Women's Health Care, Education and our Clean Environment, and Jobs are the goal of the NCDP.

    This means assuring the people of NC that electing Democrats in 2013 and 2014 are the only way to protect these things from the ALEC controlled GOP legislature, and the Art Pope budget.

  • wlbbjb Jun 18, 2013

    Thank goodness I'm registered Independent. The Democrats should have gotten rid of Voller when they had the chance. Now he'll continue to create havoc. One loses respect for the entire party when they see this kind of stuff going on.

  • Krimson Jun 17, 2013

    Come on, guys! Get your act together!

  • johnburnsnc Jun 17, 2013

    As one of the petitioners quoted in the story, I believe this petition was a success. We challenged two decisions by Randy Voller: his appointment of himself as Interim Executive Director and his appointment of 12 sustaining fund co-chairs to stack the Executive Council and avoid review of the first decision. Mr. Voller has agreed that, going forward, no Chairperson should be able to do either of those things. He has also agreed to terminate controversial contracts, make changes to the EC and focus the party's efforts on re-electing Kay Hagan and electing Democrats, rather than using the party structure to attack critics.

    As petitioners, we do not address other controversies. This settlement doesn't either. This petition was aimed at two specific actions, and both have been effectively reversed.

    I never questioned the legitimacy of Randy's election. I support any legal and ethical action Randy will take in furtherance of the goal of electing Democrats and always have.

    John Burns