State party turmoil could hurt Democratic fundraising

Posted April 20, 2012

— A sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the North Carolina Democratic Party for more than a week could hurt the party's fundraising efforts in the final days before the state primary and in the months leading up to the November general election.

A junior staffer filed the complaint late last year against the party's executive director, alleging that Jay Parmley engaged in unwanted touching, made suggestive comments and showed him a lewd photo.

Parmley resigned his post Sunday after news of the complaint became public, but he has denied wrongdoing.

Party Chairman David Parker, who agreed to a secret settlement to end the complaint, resisted calls to step down from Gov. Beverly Perdue and other state officials, saying he believes he handled the situation appropriately and was determined to stay on through the May 8 primary.

N.C. Democratic Party headquarters Dems fear scandal will scare off donors

On Thursday, Parker called for party elections to be moved up to next month from June and said he wouldn't run for re-election.

Party operatives said Friday that they're concerned about the lingering effects of the scandal. Donors could support individual candidates instead of contributing to the state party, or they could put away their checkbooks altogether.

"The candidates are finding it very difficult, as opposed to four years ago, to raise money," William Peace University political science professor David McLennan said. "If they're struggling to raise money, the party's in turmoil and there's less money coming in, the candidates are going, 'Wow, you're putting us behind the eight ball here.'"

One Democratic strategist told WRAL News that, as long as the turmoil remains a story, it's a distraction for candidates and donors.

Democrats said they aren't yet concerned about any impact on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. He will return to North Carolina for the fifth time in a year next Tuesday to discuss student loan debt in a speech at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Still, the state party plays a key role in campaign coordination and getting out the vote, and funding effects that.


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  • simplemind2 Apr 20, 2012

    Donate to pay for hush money? No way Jose!

  • Crumps Br0ther Apr 20, 2012

    If I made a donation to a political party and my donation was used towards paying off victims of immoral conduct by the party, I would be upset also!!!

    This is why I wouldn't join a union, they take the money you pay them to "protect" your job, a rich person created for you, and give it to democratic campaigns. I do not want my money going to someone I woundn't support

  • mikeyj Apr 20, 2012

    Obama could "hurt" Democratic "fundraising"!

  • Nancy Apr 20, 2012

    Really, 11% still approve of John Edwards - PT Barnum had it right! And he wasn't talking about lollipops ;)

  • North Carolina Home Apr 20, 2012

    The Democrats were going to have problems with fundraising with or without the "scandal".

  • mep Apr 20, 2012

    The entire Democratic party, both State and national, has some serious problem.... it will effect fundraising to an extent. But a fool and his money are soon parted.... regardless of how blatantly immoral and hypocritical the Democrats may be. You cant fix stupid.

  • Just the facts mam Apr 20, 2012

    If I made a donation to a political party and my donation was used towards paying off victims of immoral conduct by the party, I would be upset also!!!