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Four members of the state Democratic Party are trying to remove Randy Vollmer as interim executive director, saying he violated procedure when he named himself to that post.
The members have filed a formal petition with the party’s Council of Review. It asks the council to reverse the actions Voller took on April 28, when he appointed himself without the approval of the executive committee. The petitioners say that was beyond the scope of his authority.
Republicans are saying that Democratic Chairman Randy Voller did not go far enough in apologizing for his rape comment.
”I'm not sure what's worse – Chairman Voller's statement or his non-apology after the fact,” said Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of Dunn. “The chairman does not have to agree with our policies, but to try to compare policy differences to violent sexual assaults is beyond the pale. Certainly he should have enough respect for women – Democratic and Republican – to know better than to use that kind of inflammatory and offensive language.''
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AT LEGISLATURE: Clergy and students will participate in an act of civil disobedience Monday at the Legislative Building "in response to the collective acts of the legislature," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP. The action, from 5 p.m.- 6 p.m., will be a "form of a pray-in," Barber said. The House convenes at 4 p.m., the Senate at 7 p.m. The NAACP has opposed the legislative actions reducing unemployment benefits, state House approval of photo voter ID, and other legislative measures.
FOXX TO TAKE OBAMA POST: President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Mayor Anthony Foxx to be secretary of transportation, a White House official said Sunday on the condition of anonymity. The nomination of Foxx, whose city hosted last year’s Democratic National Convention, would make him the only African-American selected for a Cabinet opening in Obama’s second term. (More below.)
***Good morning. Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- a full roundup of North Carolina political news and analysis below. ***
The North Carolina Democratic Party is advertising for a new executive director.
State Democratic chairman Randy Voller said the party has received about 30 applications from around the country to fill the post held by Tammy Brunner, who was not asked to stay. Monday was the last day for applications.
Brunner was brought on as interim party executive director last June when Jay Parmley resigned amid allegations from a fellow staffer that he had engaged in sexual harassment – allegations that he denied.
Voller said a party committee – made up of leading Democratic figures - has been selected to choose a new party executive director. Voller said he is working as interim executive director $1 until a permanent executive director can be found.
State Democratic chair Randy Voller Monday criticized Republican Gov. Pat McCrory for recommending in his budget that his office of Latino outreach be abolished.
Voller called it “a brazen effort to slam the door shut on some 800,000 North Carolina residents. The Latino outreach office provided not only a voice, but important resources for the fastest growing population in the state.''
He said McCrory's action is contrary to his party's national efforts to court Latino voters.
The state Democratic chairman Randy Voller said the Republicans efforts to pass a voter ID photo ID law was trying to fix a problem that does not exist.
“You are more likely to be struck by lightening or win the lottery than to have real voter fraud occur,” Voller said at a news conference at state Democratic headquarters Monday.
“This falls disproportionately on old people who are going to have a tough time proving who they are,” Voller said. “Most of those people are going to be over a certain age and disproportionately they are going to be minorities, people of color.''
During the past 12 years, there have been 1,032 cases of voter fraud that have been referred by the State Board of Elections to local district attorney's office for possible prosecution. But only one case involved impersonation of another voter – the type of fraud that a photo ID is designed to stop.
Other major types of fraud included convicted felons voting(377) non-citizens voting or registering(435) absentee voting fraud (72) and double voting (91.)
More than 21 million ballots were cast in North Carolina during that period.
The House Elections Committee has scheduled a hearing on the issue Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Democratic strategist Gary Pearce says N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller needs to resign after the disclosure Wednesday that he owes back taxes. On his blog Talking Politics, Pearce offers Voller some advice: "The best thing you can do for your party, state and country is resign, go back to work and pay off your taxes."
From AP: Court records show the new head of the North Carolina Democratic Party owes nearly $290,000 in back taxes and penalties.
Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller was elected party chair this month following the stinging defeats for Democrats in the November election.
Records show the North Carolina Department of Revenue in filed a 2010 lien against Voller and his wife with a remaining balance of nearly $99,000. The following year, the Internal Revenue Service filed a second lien with a remaining balance of nearly $190,000.
Voller said Wednesday his real estate development business was a casualty of the national economic downturn, which triggered a credit freeze in his industry. Voller said he is making monthly payments to the state and is negotiating with the IRS to settle his debt by year's end.
Before the State of the State address, Democrats sought to link Gov. Pat McCrory, the de facto head of the state Republican Party, to the legislation the GOP is quickly moving through the legislature, such as measures to block health insurance coverage, curtail jobless benefits and eliminate a tax credit for low-income payers.
“This is a war on the poor and a war on the hardworking taxpayers of this state,” said Randy Voller, the chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party.
Voller put the pressure on McCrory to govern from a moderate stance amid Republican legislative proposals to universally fire Democratic members of state boards and revamp the tax code and make it more regressive. “The question becomes at what point does Gov. McCrory stand up to this radical reactionary legislature,” Voller said.