Doors could close at historic NC Dem HQ

Posted March 9, 2014
Updated March 10, 2014

— State Democratic Party leaders attending a meeting in Greensboro on Sunday were told the party might move out of its iconic Raleigh headquarters, the Goodwin House, due to anemic fundraising.

An Executive Council member who attended the meeting said embattled party Chairman Randy Voller told members the party is "broke," with only $60,000 in the bank.

According to the attendee, Voller told party members he may have to let some staffers go, and is even evaluating whether the party should continue to operate out of the Goodwin House, a historic house from 1903 on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh.

Party communications director Marjorie Fields Harris confirmed the $60,000 figure but said Voller neither predicted layoffs nor used the term "broke," instead saying only that the party funding is "below budgeted staffing levels."

Harris also confirmed that Voller had discussed whether the party should keep or sell the Goodwin House.

"The party is always evaluating its options. The Goodwin House is a tremendous asset for the Democratic Party," Voller said in a statement via Harris. "However, it may not be the optimal building from which to organize and win campaigns. Even the Wake County Democratic Party is evaluating options, because during an election season, you must have resources such as good parking and work space from which volunteers may operate."

Party insiders say it's not the first time leaders have considered selling the historic house. But so far, that's been avoided.  

"Thanks to the financial support of many fine people, we paid off the mortgage on the Goodwin House when I was state chair, eliminating all debt," former Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek said in a statement. "So, if the building is sold, it's not because the party can't pay the mortgage."

Voller also pledged $5,000 to the party's operating fund, despite owing more than $225,000 to the federal government for several years of unpaid taxes.

Harris said the two aren't at odds. 

"This pledge excited the party, and people stepped up to the challenge," Harris said. "The chairman has paid off his debt to the State of North Carolina and is continuing to pay off his federal tax debt in a prompt manner. All of his other taxes are paid. He takes these matters seriously and intends to pay them off."

The party has been in dire financial straits since Voller's election as chairman. In spring 2013, Jamie Kirk Hahn, a vital Democratic fundraiser, was killed, and Voller fired the party's other major fundraiser, Ellen Stankiewicz.

Stankiewicz's replacement, fundraiser Tiffany Reynolds-Richardson, resigned the day after Voller fired former Executive DIrector Robert Dempsey in February. 


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  • Thomas Williams Mar 11, 2014
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    Aw, I think we all should pitch in a little more, and help the Good Ole' Boy party out with some contributions so they can keep their HQ downtown. We can't have the guys and gals having to move somewhere that isn't within walking distance of the legislative and capitol buildings. After all, the Dems have been good to us working class over the years, they have raised our taxes, kept their hands in our pockets, and in our business, and pilfered us since the 1870's, why shouldn't we want to come to the rescue, and do our part?

  • Chris Davis Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    Some people want them running the country. Nuf said

  • ncouterbanks69 Mar 11, 2014

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    What....give away their free money? Doubtful. Is it not funny that they whine about "morals" yet somehow they "forget" to pay their taxes? Typical and anyone paying attention should not be the least bit surprised.

  • Todd Jenkins Mar 11, 2014
    user avatar

    In a pivot state for the next Presidential election….I'm glad the state of the Democratic union is still in decline…Music to mine ears.

  • A person Mar 11, 2014

    But don't the Democrats encourage paying your taxes so we can pay their bills, but they don't pay their own taxes. That seems somewhat hypocritical.

  • A person Mar 11, 2014

    But they put together some very amusing protests, with the moral Mondays and all. One would think these people could reach into their pockets to help out the party

  • William Franklin Mar 10, 2014
    user avatar

    Ask Bev Perdue, Elaine Marshall, Jim Hunt, Beth Wood and Nina Szlosberg where the donations went to - they have been telling donors not to give to NCDP but to candidates and to their C4s. We don't need no stinking party." is what they say in essence. That would be news to the thousands of NC Democrats who support NCDP. This is an inside job by the DINOs and malcontents who have hounded Voller relentless (with help of Laura Leslie and Binker). And always with help of consultants who got cut off from the money spigot at NCDP for poor performance and devious methods. And now this lovely bunch is collaborating with Wake County Democrats (the illustrious Dan Blue lll who never won a public election) to take over NCDP and all party functions as far as Hagan campaign is concerned. This means some money attaches to Wake County Party and the consulting parasites who have affixed their teeth to Wake Party for their part of the vigorish (calling Tony Soprano). Only no one asked Dems

  • LetsBeFair Mar 10, 2014

    ... crickets from the moral Monday crowd

  • ncouterbanks69 Mar 10, 2014

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    They shouldn't but remember many many many voters are voting that way for their free ride.

  • glarg Mar 10, 2014

    A lot of pearl clutching at the Snooze and Unobservant over this.

    The Graf Hagenberg has come unmoored and plowed into the ground with fire and devastation. Apparently Socialist s for Hagen wants nothing to do with the NC Democrats.
    "Voller pushed back against the Hagan move, saying in an interview, “it’s not a done deal."'Not a done deal'? How is that supposed to work? As State Auditor Beth Wood said she isnt confident that any money sent to the NC Democrats will be spent on winning races. Why would K.Hag want to get her money skimmed off by Voller's operation?

    On the other hand how is K.Hag going to win a statewide race with only help from the Wake County Democrats?

    This may explain why Hagen voted for extremist Debo Adegbile. She is writing off North Carolina and keeping currying favor with leftists of the national Dem party.