Under the Dome

Robert Dempsey to take helm at N.C. Democratic Party

State Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller on Friday announced his selection of Robert Dempsey as the party's new executive director.

Dempsey comes with experience as the Vermont Democratic Party's executive director and previously worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Voller will present his pick to the state party's executive council Tuesday, he said in an email to party leaders Friday evening.
"Mr. Dempsey will come to North Carolina with a depth of experience that we need to start winning again," Voller wrote. "He is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work for North Carolina Democrats."

With the announcement, Voller said he is relinquishing his role as interim executive director. He acknowledged his rocky turmoil in his first 100 days with questions plauging his spending after a trip to Las Vegas and the firing of party staffers. "During the first 100 days we have made great strides, but there have been challenges and misunderstandings, too.  I ran on the ideals of reform and accountability, but I realize we haven’t fully achieved these goals yet," he wrote. "There have been some errors and missteps.  We continue to take measures to correct these mistakes.  But, ultimately I am the Chair and I take full responsibility."

Voller said among the setbacks, "we are also making great progress." He touted the $200,000 raised since he became chairman in February, though Democrats will need to raise significant funds to keep operations robust, let alone challenge Republicans in 2014.

Dempsey, a Buffalo, N.Y. native, was selected by a search committee that included Vice Chairwoman Nina Szlosberg-Landis, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Sen. Floyd McKissick and others. Dempsey also worked as a political director for a congresswoman and the Senate Democratic Caucus.

"Robert needs our support and I intend to do everything in my power to make him the great success I know he will be for our party," Voller wrote. "The road ahead of us is not an easy one. But if we come together and recognize that the working families of this state need a strong, cohesive Democratic Party on their side. When we accomplish that, we will unite under a banner that holds Republicans’ extremism accountable. This includes our continued efforts to present a sensible alternative for the voters of this state."


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Scott Mooneyham had a nice column about Chairman Voller

Scott Mooneyham had a nice column about Chairman Voller in the Greenville Daily Reflector this morning.

My mistake: Chairman Voller Can Legally Record Phone Calls

I made a mistake. I forgot that North Carolina is a "one party" consent state when it comes to recording phone conversations. As long as Chairman Voller consents to his own recording of phone conversations in which he is a party, he does not have a legal obligation to inform the party to whom he is speaking that he is recording the call. It was not, therefore, a violation of North Carolina state law for Randy Voller to record a phone conversation with me. Obviously, he should consult with his attorney regarding this practice, but it appears that he has no legal liability in continuing to record telephone conversations in which he is a party.

Chairman Voller Recording Phone Conversations?

On the Chatham County On-Line blog, "Kleigh" posted a comment to my earlier post on this blog. Her comments raised some interesting questions about illegal phone recordings, as well as using references to my struggle with major depressive disorder as a way of intimidating me from making comments about Chairman Voller. I post her comment, and my response:

Kleigh's comment on Chatham County On-Line:

Irishgirl77, I found your post about St. Francis somewhat confusing myself.

If you care to continue this, you should know I wrote Mayor Voller about your efforts.

His answer was truly empathetic, and very complete. He told me about a 3 hour conversation he had with you (which he still has the recording of) when you told him about your mommy issues, or maybe it was daddy issues, since it was your father's death you threatened to copy.

remember, he spent 3 hours on the phone, talking you out of it. That takes a very kind and empathetic kind of man. A very kind man. A gentle man.

Also, about the car ride home from Florida, with your husband, when he could not pull over, and you made it difficult for him to drive.

His friend told about the day in court when you wore the chair. Heavy, much?

He understands you have problems, and truly empathizes. But you should know he has sent letters of defamation to those people you choose to defend here, and, as a lawyer, you know how it could be a problem for you. Just saying.

Then there was that time you went into the school of the children of your ex-husband's new wife, and questioned her kids.

tisk, tisk.

My reply:


If Randy Voller ever recorded a phone conversation I had with him, it would be a violation of North Carolina law. I would think that you would not want to publicize the fact that Chairman Voller has a history of recording telephone conversations, as it would not serve him well in his current position. Just a word of advice from a retired attorney.

If Randy has told you that I suffer from major depressive disorder, he is absolutely correct. I have not tried to hide my illness. It is nothing of which to be ashamed. The tone of your comments seems to imply that you are disapproving (tisk, tisk) of my illness and its manifestation through suicidal thoughts and ideations. Is that the position of the Democratic Party now---to use a person's struggle with mental illness as a way of shaming them or frightening them into not expressing thoughts (even nice ones) about Chairman Voller?

Your veiled reference to my father is sad. My father, who was the only town doctor in my home town for his entire career, also suffered from major depressive order. He eventually committed suicide, but not before he spent 30 plus years making house calls, tending to neighbors' wounds on our kitchen table, making hospital rounds every night, making rounds at the local jail, and being the only doctor around who would tend to the black residents during the bitter times of segregation in the South. He asked for vegetables from the gardens of people who he knew were unable to pay him money, as he felt that it would help them retain their pride to be able to exchange something, even just a few tomatoes, for his medical services. God Bless my dad, I am happy that he is now at peace. He was a good, but troubled man.

With regard to everything else you mentioned, there are many untruths and inaccuracies. I have already said that I went through a very bitter and contentious divorce. That was many years ago, and I have been able to move forward. That is why I wanted to say something nice about Randy on this Chatham County on-line site: Randy truly does have a good heart and is well-intentioned, but sometimes his behavior falls short of the mark, as happens with the rest of us. The question is whether we learn from our mistakes, and apply lessons learned to the tasks ahead.

By the way, I never went to visit my husband's girlfriend's child at her school. The child stated that I was there, accompanied by my attorney. My lawyer and I were both able to show that we were at other places at that time---my attorney was actually on an airplane en route at that point in time, even though the child identified her and swore under oath that she was present in the classroom at that time. The relief requested by my husband's girlfriend, Tera George, was not granted by the court. Check the court records in Chatham County. The complete record of my divorce is located in Wake County under Richard Ellis Bullock, Jr. v. Judith Robb Bullock. I don't have the case number handy, but I will look it up and get it for you if you need it.

Someone has already commented that the vicious nature of your language and comments is not doing Chairman Voller any good. I tend to agree with that assessment.

When you have lived as long as I have, and have undergone suffering as I have (and so have others), you learn not to be intimidated by people who use your kind of tactics.

Please pray for my father, since you felt the need to bring him up in this conversation. I would be grateful if you would.


Judith Robb Bullock, a/k/a Irishgirl77

Shame on voller posters

I am inclined to give him a chance, more time. Your postings don't help him. They hurt him. You are trying too hard.

Chatham county is not nc statewide

According to the local chatham press things are not good in PBO
You are hurting him. When i read your stuff i am definitely inclined to doubt. Other posters, with details, offer a possibility. You. You kill all chances

Who are you

Who are you? Provide background, references and campaigns please.


We elected an unvetted person. And he was the only one running! "He owes nothing to the old guard, the inside-the beltway, country club familiar faces" that means he wants money from his "buddies" not the traditional givers because he is not high brow enough to hang with them. He raised 200k by himself? Yes? How has he spent?

The only media battle seems to be the one you are waging without a name in a comment section. is that effective? Is it helping him?

Where is the plan to win seats in the legislature?

"He has already made an impressive start raising money, better than his First Vice Chair, Nina Szlosberg-Landis has done, and she ran on the promise of fundraising." He has? How? That's right she is too high brow for him. She has class. She cannot raise money. Because her high brow friends think your writings are pathetic and without class. Who would give with this defense? You are in a fog.

County Empowerment. How long has he lived here? That was tried. History

"He will drain the cesspool of the historic consultant leeches and media 'specialists' of recent memory in the NCDP, and build a NCDP for the communities, with transparent, fair and equal treatment opportunity for all NC citizens."

You are pretty bad at this. A community with no money class or chance of winning.


Believe you

We should ot believe facebook but we should believe a nameless faceless person who claims legal access. How is it possible you have "legal" access but no name? Why should we not believe facebook but believe a nameless person on a comment section?

Facebook is not a good source

Do not believe everything you read on Facebook, NCmom5.

The card was Tammy Brunner's card, based on her credit, not the NCDP, and attached to Voller's social security number. His banker signed and notarized proof of his payment from his personal funds, and that that was the account used.

The records posted on the Facebook of someone (who had no legal access to the records) posted premature receipts, before payment was made, in order to mislead. Do not be mislead by slick 'media shysters'. He meant to sew distrust and misapprehension.

Small business cards can have anything embossed on them, it does not make it the official NCDP card.

k leigh


I really appreciate your comments.

Not so fast

Not sure who K. Leigh is but your repeating of a distortion of the truth does no one any good. My understanding is the card did have his name and the party name, but NOT under his social and the card came in to the party be paid and yes he used is own money to pay it after being asked multiple times. In fact, Chairman Voller has already stated as much - if you believe what's on facebook.

Can we please stop ranting on - stop distorting the truth. There are enough problems to deal with and the constant repeating of lies is not going to fix anything. There is an election coming - can we please focus on our candidates and let the COR handle this matter?

My personal advise to Mr. Dempsey

Mr. Dempsey...
The Democratic Party in NC is screaming out for Leadership, Purpose, Vision and Organization. My own 3rd Congressional District Democratic orgaization is in shambles.

Many of our counties are not even organized.
Half of our counties didt not bother to show up for the District Convention Last Month. That also goes to the root of the empty coffers at Democratic HQ in Raleigh.

The Democratic Party in NC has never been big on supporting it's candidates, particularly those running for Congress. In 2008 I spoke to six of the Democratic Party Candidates for Congress in NC. None had ever been contacted by the State Democratic Party Hq.

I was a primary candidate myself that year. I lobbied the State Democratic Hq for support. Not necessarally monetary support, but any support at all. Consequently Jerry Meeks did attend a few of the rallies where I was speaking. It was a great help. Jerry's presence made a difference.
Organize Our Party sir.....and support your candiates every way you can.

Emphasize Organization, Organization, Organization. Support your candidates and organize those counties who are dorment.. You have to have to have real people standing with you, if you ever want to have real candidates and real money to support them with.

We are counting on you and Mr. Voller. Don't dissappoint us. Democrats can take NC back. We just have to determine to do it.

Shame On...

The SEC members that allow the Party to continue to be corrupt.

Shame on Randy Voller for stealing party funds for his own personal use.

Shame on those who make the Democratic tent smaller in the name of "ideological purity".

Chairman Voller and St. Francis of Assisi

I am just a retired woman who votes according to my conscience, not along party lines. I am not active in the Democratic Party. In fact, I am unaffiliated. My political philosophy is best described as a progressive liberal. I do have many friends who are registered and passionate Democrats and are also perplexed by Chairman Voller's behavior. They are also not involved in the inner workings and power struggles of the Democratic Party. This idea that if you question Chairman Voller's behavior you are somehow part of an internal sinister plot to overthrow him seems somewhat paranoid. I happen to think, along with my "average joe" Democratic friends, that Chairman Voller is a talented individual with many fine attributes, but recent events should encourage him to consider what I like to call the St. Francis of Assisi approach to persuasion: Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

Judith Robb Bullock a/k/a Irishgirl77

Dempsey and Vollers are cleaning up the Party

For most of those 140+ years, the Democratic Party Chair was selected by the Democrats elected to state-wide office. Now that the NCDP has lost the Governor's Mansion and both seats of the General Assembly, a new day has dawned in the NCDP. We have elected a truly independent man to be Chair, Randy Voller. He owes nothing to the old guard, the inside-the beltway, country club familiar faces who used to rule the NCDP and ran it into the ground.

These same people are now waging a media battle of lies and distorted truth against Voller. Now that Mr. Dempsey will be able to handle the staff and direct the action day-to-day, Mr. Voller will be able to lead the county parties, all 100 of them, to local race victories, including the ones for seats in the General Assembly.

He has already made an impressive start raising money, better than his First Vice Chair, Nina Szlosberg-Landis has done, and she ran on the promise of fundraising.

He has a plan, County Empowerment, which will go out to every county, to achieve this, from the county offices upward. We will elect legislators who remember they work for the people, not tell them to be quiet while they look after their friends' businesses.

He will drain the cesspool of the historic consultant leeches and media 'specialists' of recent memory in the NCDP, and build a NCDP for the communities, with transparent, fair and equal treatment opportunity for all NC citizens.

This will drive the GOP legislators, who protect their own businesses with tax breaks and monopolies, from power. The current mess of denying insurance to 500,000 children by refusing Federal Medicaid Money, and the good jobs lost from that cut, and the attack on sustainable power industry, which employs thousands of Tarheels, must end. We need jobs, not a state religion.

We need good teachers and schools. The GOP must go, a strong NCDP is the answer, and Randy Voller is a reformer, and the man to do the job. Dempsey knows this, and will be at his side for the battle.

k leigh

Does the new Dem ED KNOW ... ???

does this guy realize what a cesspool of criminality exists in NC from 140+ years of democrat oppression against our once great state?

Dempsey is not taking the helm

He has been hired to be the NCDP Executive Director, and will serve at the pleasure of NCDP Chair Randy Voller, per the NCDP Plan of Organization.

Now let's hope that Dempsey and Voller and other concerned Democrats can institute the reforms that are so desperately needed to bring the NCDP back to fighting shape!

So let's hope that other Dems who have (or had) a vested interest in perpetuating the corruption of the past take their heads out of the sand and follow Randy and the rest of us - or get out of the way. Because we don't want you "status quo" Democrats (protecting the 1%) to lead us. That's why Randy was elected Chair in the first place!

Chris Telesca

Robert Dempsey to take helm at N.C. Democratic Party

REK1942: Hopefully, Mr. Dempsey can begin to pull the NC Democratic Party out of the muck that previous democratic leadership have drug them into. NC needs a strong opposition party that can generate some credible ethics with which to fight the ALEC takeover of the NC Republican Party.

Randy Voller is a reformer, leader of real Democrats

Randy Voller is the very first Chairman elected by the Party who ran an entirely grass roots campaign. He was not appointed or nominated by a Democratic Governor, as historically, past party chairmen were.

We do not have a Democrat as governor right now. that should be a clue as to why we need someone from outside the 'old order' of Democratic power circles to lead us.

It also tells me why the old order, inside-the-beltway Democratic power mongers are fighting so hard to dismiss him, they don't control him. He works for the people of North Carolina, not the old school Party Elders.

He has for years worked for the poor, the powerless, and the people of NC. He believes in community and fairness. He knows how to win elections, as the success he had in his home county and his own success in winning the chair proves.

He is the reform leader the NCDP needs right now. He is cleaning up the mess left over from generations of old school Democrats, and will finish cleaning house. Just watch him.

k leigh

It was his card, not the Party Card

The credit card in question had the 'NCDP' embossed on it, but it is a standard small business card, in his name, based on Voller's social security number. When the bill came, he paid it with his own money, the Party never was billed for it.

The primary credit holder is former interim ED Tammy Brunner, and he used it with her knowledge, knowing he would pay it himself, when the bill came. This is what he did. He did not leave it on Brunner's credit, and it was never billed to the Party, it was never connected to the Party, just the individual, former ED Tammy Brunner. This tempest in a teapot is based on distortions and misunderstanding of how small business credit cards work.

The taxes owed to the IRS go back to the economic crash of 2008. Voller paid his creditors, and planned to borrow against his property to pay his taxes. Banks quit extending credit at that time, still don't. So the taxes have been paid on a schedule of payments set up by the IRS, which Voller has met, and will be paid by year's end. This is normal, if he filed, which he did, legally, and on time. Meanwhile, he had a NCDP fundraising job to do, which he also did. The two situations do not overlap.

He used his own credit card to organize a fundraising trip, which was highly successful for the NCDP. He introduced several large donors to the NCDP, and the nationally recognized political fundraiser he met with out west. Vagas is a city of conventions centrally located for national business conventions. Sheesh.

k leigh

Chairman Voller....

...already has explained the matter. There was no "Democratic Party" credit card involved in any way shape or form. The card was an AMEX CHARGE CARD different from a credit card.

The card was not an NCDP card. It was a personal card for the former interim Executive Director that had her name on it and below that was printed "NC Democratic Party" that she used for party business. When she provided receipts for these expenses, the NCDP cut a check to pay AMEX. But it was her card. She got Randy a card on the same account - it had his name on it and then NC Democratic Party below it. A bad business practice to be sure - the party has their own bank accounts so they should have their own charge cards. Randy has fixed that problem.

And regarding Las Vegas. President Obama held a big fundraiser at the Bellagio in October 2012. Most certainly OFA and DNC staffers had to visit the Las Vegas to select the location and do advance work. Are you seriously saying that the President shouldn't have held a fundraiser in Las Vegas, or that ALL the expenses related to the event (including the advance work) shouldn't have been allowed BECAUSE it's Las Vegas? Grow up!

There was quite a mess in the NCDP at Goodwin House over the years. Randy ran on a platform to clean up and reform the Party, but it's damned near impossible to do anything over there without tripping over something left behind from former staffers or officers. A total lack of oversight and supervision of staff and contract employees from top to bottom for years caused many problems that have festered into the mess that Randy inherited. That is undoubtedly what Randy meant by mistakes.

Many good Democrats have been disgusted at the lack of supervision and oversight - that's why Randy was elected. I have personally witnessed stuff that the staff has done that would not be tolerated in ANY normal business - but no one was willing to discipline the staff because we had to win the next election. And after the election was over with - the staffers who pulled those stunts stayed on until they left for greener pastures.

So now that Randy is trying to clean up Goodwin House, some of the staffers are upset that he's being a big mean bully! Let me see if I get this straight. They work on staff or as a contractor for the NCDP. Randy Voller is the Chair and the boss of the interim ED and through him or her the boss over everyone else. For those of you who have or have had jobs in the real world, if your your boss tells you to clean up your act or make other improvements in your job and you call him a big mean bully for doing so - how long do you think you would stay there?

And many good Democrats are sickened and disgusted at the efforts of those inside the beltway country-club Democrats who sought to defeat Randy by their scamp-ish escapades, tricks, hissy fits and tantrums since Randy got elected - because Randy is shutting down the "frat-house" and "kid in the candy store" atmosphere.

Chris Telesca

Randy Voller is a Reformer

According to the reports in the local press and media, Randy Voller is a reformer. Chairman Voller represents the grassroots, the poor, the minorities, the LGBTs, the women whom he helped get elected in Chatham County. From what I read the other day in the N&O, Randy paid all expenses to Vegas from his own private funds - so where is the beef? It is no secret that Randy Voller pledged financial reform and accountability, so that is making some former employees nervous. The Republicans are "raping" North Carolina and Randy Voller is leading the charge against them - so good for him.

Regular Folks??

You are not regular folks, you are just another one of the assassins who do not like Chairman Voller. His taxes are well under control, are yours - not if you are as irresponsible as you are meddlesome and malicious. And as for you thinking Chair Voller is "a highly talented individual with a strong commitment to the Democratic cause", that is never to be. Your fellows in that ratpack you run in hate Voller. You are just part of the attack group which has destabilized the Party for the last three months, and intends to continue. Get over it now!!

Give it a break - your lies are tiresome

Must be another someone wanting to destroy the Democratic Party, lord we got a bunch of them. Sort of like piranha - don't fall into their pool. Don't you have something constructive to do, like play in the traffic?

Chairman Voller has already provided credible explanations!

Voller has provided more than enough explanations. There is a disgruntled group of young democrats, consultants and various other country club types who intend to hound Chairman Voller, no matter what he says, forever. They have publicly posted defamatory and disgusting lies about him and his work for the NCDP. One cannot find out their purpose except to reverse the February 2 election which brought him to the Chairmanship. Any embarrassment and disgust that Irish something or another feels is her own, not in general circulation. So, she is part of the ongoing internal cabal to destabilize the Democratic Party, deliberately and should be cast out of the party. Must be just another YD out looking for a job, being subsidized by some older folks who do not have the decency or maturity to make their claims in public.

Do not listen to this or any malicious malcontent. Things are getting along well and the Party has picked up some real money despite the sabotage conducted against it and Chairman Voller. Lets get rid of Republicans! Not bicker and whine. Get over it!!

Shame on the media

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas ! ! !

The media should never have reported this story. Just a bunch of guys taking off to Vegas. The Gold Card was there and that's what Gold Cards are for.

I fear the media will suffer for violating the maxim of "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Give the man a pass. Who wouldn't like a trip to Vegas on the company Gold Card.

Chairman Voller must provide credible explanation

Chairman Voller must provide a credible explanation as to why he spent thousands of dollars on a Democratic Party credit card for what was, by his own admission, a personal trip to Las Vegas. He must also explain why he was able to justify such an unnecessary expenditure in his personal budget at a time when he owes nearly $300,000 in back taxes. Until this happens, regular folks are going to question his motives in any action he takes as Party Chair. His behavior is perplexing, even for those of us who believe that he is a highly talented individual with a strong commitment to the Democratic cause. If Chairman Voller believes that this situation can be rectified simply by a general reference to "errors and missteps" that are in the process of being corrected, he is sadly underestimating the level of disgust and embarrassment that his behavior has generated among the party rank and file.

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