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Dem party chair apologizes for 'rape' comment

Posted May 3, 2013

North Carolina Democrats were buzzing Friday about a controversial comment made by party chairman Randy Voller. 

Voller spoke to the Democratic Women of Guilford County Thursday night at their annual President's Spring Banquet.

Someone from the Guilford County Democratic Party was live-tweeting the event.

One tweet quoted Voller as saying,"The GOP that’s leading us – we don’t know where they’re taking us, but they’re raping us along the way.”

The tweet was quickly deleted.

Attendees at the event say the quote is correct. Some were reportedly offended by the comment. 

In an interview with WRAL Friday, Voller said he could neither confirm nor deny it because he wasn't speaking from prepared remarks.  

"I think it’s a complete misquote, or a redaction," he said, then added, "I did use the term contextually." 

Randy Voller Dem party chair: Rape comment a metaphor

Voller said "raping" has more than one meaning, and his use of it was strictly metaphorical.

"I was discussing what had just happened on the Nightmare on Jones Street," he said. "It’s as if barbarians are pillaging and plundering. I'm talking about the destruction that's going on."

"It’s no different than saying that fracking is raping the land," he said.

Still, Voller said he understands his word choice might have given offense.

"I was not intending to offend anyone," he said. "I’m sorry if they took it that way. That’s not what the metaphor means."

"I will refrain from using the term in the future because it’s so charged," he added. 

Voller said he didn't ask for the tweet to be deleted, and he has "no clue" who might have done so.

"In the Twitterverse, it certainly gives an opening that didn’t exist when I grew up," he said. "That’s something I’m still – I think all of us are struggling with, because technology allows us to go much further with the platforms that are available to us." 

The Guilford County Democratic Party did not immediately respond to a request for information about who sent the tweet and why it was deleted. 

In an emailed statement, the state Republican party called the comment "shameful, divisive, and offensive" and called on the Democratic party to issue an apology.

"[We] hope that Chairman Voller will step down to allow voters the opportunity to engage in a respectful and dignified discussion, regardless of gender or political affiliation," said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes. "This is the type of shameful and disgusting political attack language that North Carolinians are tired of hearing.”

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  • kleigh444 May 6, 6:12 p.m.

    I whole heartedly agree with Chairman Voller. Any way he choses to broadcast the truth, what is important is to tell the General Assembly of the outrage we feel at their violation of trust in harming us, stripping our education system, and removing regulatory oversight.

    This General Assembly has inflicted pain by refusing to expand Medicare funded by the Feds, costing NC the healthcare for half a million people, whose care will be transferred to emergency rooms, at taxpayer expense.

    The General Assembly has denied the NC economy the infusion of unemployment insurance. It has stripped our state of protections to our environment by defunding DENR, and by fast tracking fracking.

    Stam and Tillis have taken oil money contributions and propose to end thousands of jobs in the renewable energy industry booming in NC now.

    One can only feel outrage and powerlessness in response to much of the legislation that has been approved by the General Assembly during the current session.

  • barbrobertson70 May 6, 4:00 p.m.

    IF he was talking about a metaphor that had nothing to do with a sexual rape, then please tell me why in the world he would frame this comment with "they are leading us, we dont know where they are taking us, ... but they are ______ing us along the way"

    Tell me how in the heck this is comparable to fracking.

  • peterpepper May 6, 12:50 p.m.

    No apology needed Mr. Voller, we know where the frack you were coming from, lol

  • cruzinlong May 6, 12:35 p.m.

    what is an onion country ?

    In any event , I think screwing would've been a better choice of words and he sure would've been right on about that .

    I honestly don't see where it's such a big deal, we all know what he meant, really.

    ""It’s no different than saying that fracking is raping the land," he said." Right on !

  • UNCRules123 May 6, 10:43 a.m.

    "Rape" means something completed different in Onion Countries . . .

  • UNCRules123 May 6, 10:42 a.m.

    It's really pretty clear this is a "contextual" issue. He probably meant "Rape" in the good sense . . . .

  • Grand Union May 6, 10:32 a.m.

    This was a correct use of the word and did not in anyway make light of the hienous crime of rape.

    The GOP are indeed planning on raping North Carolina. Not content with pushing through Fracking with little or no safeguards, McCrory is now pushing for oil rigs off our coast. They will take what they want and leave the mess for us to clean up.

  • Trevor May 6, 10:12 a.m.

    As a Chatham resident I have witnessed Voller being a devisive, arrogant person more than once. Please take him, he is an embarrasment to Chatham County. Oh,what about your tax bill Randy?

  • goldenosprey May 6, 10:00 a.m.

    Just because you feign offense, doesn't make the remarks any less apt.

  • rasengineers May 6, 9:29 a.m.

    Why should he apologize for telling the truth?

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