Deeply disturbing

To me there are a number of things that I would like to see in our next Party Chair. A commitment to grassroots politics, an ability to fundraise, and a continued commitment to competing in all 100 counties are all essentials for most people. But what is even more core, and is in fact so essential that it never seems to be mentioned is Democratic values.

There have been and will always be arguments over what it means to be a Democrat, and what sort of values our party has. But at its very core, the Democratic Party is about putting people first. It is about standing up for the voiceless at all times. And right now I am not convinced that David Young will do that. Right now David Young seems to be the consensus pick. He has the support of the Governor and Jerry Meek and a long list of very important and influential people, many of whom I have a great amount of respect for. But there are some very serious problems. In 2004, at a County Commission meeting Young said the following:

Keever commented: "Certainly we would like to keep businesses here. But if we err, I would hope we would err on the side of those who are most needy." Young shot back, "I would hope we would err on the side of business." Those are certainly not words that I want to see come out of any Democrat, let alone a Democrat running for Party Chair. But then just a few weeks after the May primary, he very forcefully said that there was no benefit to reversing the law on collective bargaining in this state. At the base of his argument is that collective bargaining in the private sector is a useful counterbalance to a company’s push for profits (and other things). In his opinion, because county government jobs are more stable than private company jobs there is no need for collective bargaining. Because apparently so long as the government keeps someone employed minor things like good pay and respect in the workplace don’t really matter. Ignoring the misguided assumption that collective bargaining is only about pay, the bigger problem here is the idea that governments have little to no responsibility to their employees. In Mr. Young’s opinion, because the state outlawed smoking at work there is no other concern that employees could possibly have, and certainly no concern that would justify granting employees a right to speak as a group if they so wished. In both these articles there is something deeply disturbing. I would call on Mr. Young to unequivocally repudiate his past statements that business should come before people and that government employees in North Carolina don’t deserve the right to collectively bargain. Further, I call on Mr. Young to support Collective Bargaining for state employees, and to promise that if elected Chair he will do everything in his power to make sure that our party and our state will always put people first.


Thanks for this, Blue

Don't hold your breath. The Democratic Party in North Carolina, for the most part, is the party of big business. Mr. Young appears to be right in the mainstream.  I hope I'm wrong, but that exchange with Keever is pretty damning. 

I admire and appreciate all the hard work progressive Democrats do, both here in North Carolina and throughout the country. But frankly, I am tired of being taken for granted.  That's why I reregistered as unaffiliated, as Independent. Unless and until Democratic elected officials suffer consequences when they fail to represent progressive wing of the party, corporatists will continue to dominate the party and its leadership.

Why its so important

That is part of why I think this is so important.  This isnt an elected official, who we expect to disagree on issues.  I don't want even all Democrats to agree on everything.  But he is seeking to represent a "district" made up entirely of Democratic volunteers and activists, and if he disagrees he should at a minimum pledge to represent their values.

Our party is the people's party, and I don't want our next chair to be even a little confused on that point.

"Keep the Faith"

Have you questioned him about it?

He has invited questions by e-mail.

If you do ask him about it, I'd be interested to see how he responds.  I agree that it's important for him to represent Democrats and Democratic values, and tilting toward business is not the best way to do that.  If we Democrats don't look out for the poor and powerless, who will?


I just sent him an email, and will let you know what he says.

"Keep the Faith"

Thank you!

It's nice to know I was missed!  I love you guys, but I have to practice self-control not to spend ALL my time here!

Even Kos agrees with me

Ultimately, pushing back against corporatist and right-leaning pressure will make it easier for Obama to do the right thing more of the time. He and his advisors have to see political risk in moving too far to the Right, and the only way they'll see that is if we aren't afraid to buck the president that 10 percent of the time when truly warranted.

Substitute "NC Democratic Party" for "Obama" and the message is the slmost same.  The main difference is that instead of 10% of the time, we're probably talking 50% or more.

Why I am running and a reply to Blue South's concerns

Through the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the inauguration of President Barack Obama, we have heard frequent mention of the “great urgency of now.” As a party, our great urgency of now is to build on the progress and momentum established through our hard work and the unapologetic return of common sense Democratic values.
We are the party that says, “If we have the capacity to act, then we have the responsibility to act.” With this attitude, Democratic leaders saw our country through its greatest challenges, always persevering as a stronger nation because we lift up the whole, not selective parts. We are the party of the New Deal and the Great Society. We are the party of Social Security and Medicare, civil rights and equal opportunity, and the GI Bill. It was a Democrat that America turned to for guidance through a World War and a Great Depression.
Our state and our nation are once again bearing the weight of adversity hoping to persevere and come out stronger on the other side one more time.
Can we create jobs, guarantee higher education for every child, provide affordable health insurance for every family, sustain a quality environment, rid ourselves of our addiction to oil, and care for our rural towns as well as our big cities?
You know the answer… Yes, we can…and as always, Democrats will heed the call and lead.
As State Party Chair, it will be my job to preserve these ideals and ensure the promise of a better tomorrow by doing all that I can to elect Democrats who will promote a progressive public policy that will help our workers and our businesses, and that will help our state grow and prosper. The responsibility falls on us to continue to move North Carolina forward for all our citizens. Together, we will be accountable.
Several specific issues have been raised that I want to directly address:
Workers Comp
My goal relative to workers comp – and I believe our shared goal –  is to make North Carolina as competitive as possible with other states and having as a top priority net job creation, good salaries, strong benefits, and quality working conditions.  I believe in a very pragmatic approach that tries to balance the needs of business and workers.
Many of you may be aware of a quote by me whereby I indicated (on a non-binding issue before the Buncombe County Commission relating to workers’ comp) that we ought to “err on the side of business”.
The quote was taken out of context.  The correct context is this:  major businesses in Western North Carolina were threatening to leave our community if they could not get relief.  While the County Commission has no jurisdiction over the issue, I did indicate in a debate on a resolution regarding legislative issues before the General Assembly that if the choice was between trying to give these businesses some help or losing good paying jobs altogether, we should try to encourage assistance for these businesses so that good jobs could be protected.
Collective Bargaining
I appreciate very much the need for public employees to have a clear avenue to address issues such as pay, benefits, and working conditions.  I am not prepared (and I do not believe North Carolina citizens are prepared) to support full collective bargaining for public employees.  However, I fully support a structured process to regularly meet and confer with public employees and that promotes meaningful communication and participation.
As for collective bargaining in the private sector, I believe that it is one of the many factors that help create balance among employers and employees.  These factors also include competition and profitability.  When companies do well, collective bargaining helps employees share in these benefits through bonuses and stock options or pay and benefit increases.  But when private sector firms struggle, employees often see their pay and benefits reduced, and many times jobs are eliminated.
We owe so many of our country’s historical advancements, not only in business and industry, to organized labor.  Unions provide workers with a necessary voice on wages, benefits, working conditions, and so much more.  Additionally, as ardent supporters of the larger civil rights movement in America, labor organizations have been integral in working to right our nation’s most grievous wrongs.
It is important that elected officials, business, workers and their representatives work together to build a better quality of life for all North Carolinians.
As president of the NC Association of County Commissioners, I advocated for the position of that organization.  As chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, I will advocate for the positions of the party.

Who are these people of which you speak?

I am not prepared (and I do not believe North Carolina citizens are prepared) to support full collective bargaining for public employees.  However, I fully support a structured process to regularly meet and confer with public employees and that promotes meaningful communication and participation.

I haven't met any normal North Carolinian that can name a good reason for not having collective bargaining for public employees. As for "a structured process to regularly meet and confer", well that and $2 will buy a state employee a cup of coffee.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Good point.

It's that Old North State tradition / myth acting up again.  "North Carolina citizens" cuts a pretty wide swath.  Maybe it doesn't include you and me, Robert!

Discussion on collective bargaining for public employees

Robert P., I know that this might very well get a negative response from you.  You're in favor of public employees being unionized and I'm not.  I have just a few arguments against that.  I have read the best of the best on Google searches explaining why what I'm saying is not true and providing what they consider as legitimate arguments to it.  Regardless, I believe that most folks believe as I do. 

My first and biggest problem with public employees being unionized is that if they do have the ability to "strike", they could and (in my opinion) would hold the public trust we give them hostage to get their demands.  Police personnel and fire protection personnel and essential services like water management and waste management and in some areas garbage collection etc. can be withheld under a strike clause to force their demands be met.  That's not in the public interest.  Now, I'm not against unions or collective bargaining in the private sector.  I don't think it's appropriate in the public-jobs sector.  Currently, public employees without union representation (for the most part...and don't cite some abscure example against this please) enjoy wages equilivant and in many instances above what similar jobs in the private sector receive.  Public employees without unions, for the most part, receive better retirement benefits and better health care than equilivant employees in the private sector...or at the minimum, equilivant.  Again...sure, there are exceptions...but we know those aren't commonplace.  So, a need for union representation really isn't there in most cases in the public sector jobs.  In addition, most "government jobs" are secure with very few examples of lay offs or reduced hours etc.  And, these jobs are paid by taxpayers even the people that receive unemployment benefits and still have to pay "payroll" taxes...which is really something of a ludicrous nature, isn't it?  

If there was a real need for public/government employees to be represented by unionization,  I'd be supporting it.  In my mind, that just isn't the case.

Like I said...I know there are arguments to how I feel. 

Fire away.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

A few points

Unions have a much bigger purpose than simple pay.  There are a lot of other workplace concerns that make a union necessary.

As for strikes, there are seperate laws governing collective bargaining and striking.  In fact, the bill that was supported by the AFL-CIO during the 07-08 legislative session would have maintained the ban on strikes while making it legal for employees to engage in collective bargaining for public employees.  And yes, I think that is a valid concern you have in that case, as does much of the coalition behind dropping the collective bargaining ban.

"Keep the Faith"

This put a TOTALLY different light on it...thanks

This is interesting.  I learned something here and for that, I thank you.  I am absolutely NOT against collective bargaining for public employees if the ability for them to hold the public hostage through a strike clause is not present.

Thanks for that.  In my experience with unions, a strike clause is one of the most important part for the union with regard to representation.  It's their power, so to speak.  I wouldn't be against unionization/representation of public employees under this condition.

Again, Thanks.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Man, Smitty.

I really respect that answer.  I don't care what they say about you, you're okay.

Wait a minute.....

What do they say about me ???

HAHAHA...yeah, I know what you're saying. 

Look, sometimes even old dogs can learn a thing or two.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

Thanks for posting this, David.

Glad to see your explanation.  You seem to be a pragmatist, which is usually a good thing.

I look forward to the discussion that others will bring, though I'm personally going to watch from the sidelines.  I don't have a dog in this hunt at all.  But let me leave you with this thought:  Anything you can do to make the North Carolina Democratic Party a stronger force for progressive values would be welcome.  It's kind of despressing not having a party I'm willing to claim membership in.

A few things, David

Worker's compensation is not just a "punishment" for employers, it's a proven vehicle for improvements in workplace safety. The losses involved when a worker is not able to produce, yet is still compensated, forces the employer (and their carrier) to evaluate factors that led to the injury, and take steps to reduce the likelihood of future injuries of the same nature. In the absence of this economic "driver" of change, bringing about these improvements would require a much more complex and government-intrusive system of laws, regulations and fines, which would likely end up punishing businesses who operate very safely. Unlike some other static operating costs, worker's comp is one of those costs that a business can actually reduce through its behavior.

As far as collective bargaining for public employees, I think there's an undercurrent of fear that giving them a union would automatically produce a disruption in services here and there due to strikes. But striking is actually a rare occurrence if you look at union/management relations overall. Here's the thing: even if the "meeting with employees" thing actually did address the concerns of that individual, it's not a given that those concerns are shared by a majority of workers. Indeed, if you act on the concerns of the one, you may be adversely affecting the many. Now, you may say that the person hearing the complaint would use discretion to make sure that doesn't happen, but wouldn't it be easier for employees to collectively decide what they want before it's presented to management? This is the crux of the matter. The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but the wagon still might topple over because of all the potholes. That's...a stupid analogy, but I think you get my drift. Collective bargaining is not just about wielding power in numbers, it's also about prioritization and progress. 

Well stated

Thats really well stated.  Thanks.

"Keep the Faith"

Worker's Comp

Worker's compensation is not just a "punishment" for employers, it's a proven vehicle for improvements in workplace safety...

Perhaps it is not direct "punishment, but it sure feels that way sometimes. Almost any business will inevitably get a claim on their insurance. The frustrating thing is that the insurers pretty much have to pay out on anything. They just can't/don't fight it. Fault also has pretty no much relevance in a claim. The worker could intentionally do something really stupid, but it doesn't matter- it happened at work.

I have an employee who was diagnosed with heel spurs. As their job requires them to stand up most of the day, the doctor said standing "may" have contributed to the condition. People without standing jobs get heel spurs too. Overweight people are more prone to them because there is more weight on the feet. This employee is perhaps 80 pounds overweight. Is their weight not also a potential contributing factor? We also provide excellent padding for workers to stand on, so we were "behaving" as well as possible to protect workers from their feet hurting from standing.

So what happened? The doctor's "may have contributed" led to the claim getting paid on our insurance, which affected our rating. We don't really know the cause of the heel spurs. We don't know the contribution the extra eighty pounds may have had on the condition. Standing is a normal human activity any way. Nobody got sucked into a machine or fell off a roof. A person stood at work and also got heel spurs. Worker's comp paid the claim. We pay more for insurance. We got "punished" for something probably not a workplace "injury" in the first place.

I like the idea of erring on the side of business/insurers to a certain degree. Certainly in the case from above, I would have liked more proof than "may have contributed" coupled with some reasonable accounting for employee culpability in the "accident."

Not a perfect system.

Unfortunately, the erring on the side of hte employee is probably based on the centuries of employers allowing workers to have their arms and legs chopped off without giving them a dime. I remember seeing a documentary about the chicken processing plants in NC that hire undocumented workers and then when they get fingers cut off in the machinery they fine them for missing work or fire them.

I think someone getting workers comp for being overweight and gettin heal spurs is ridiculous, while at the same time understanding how painful and empathizing with the worker's plight.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Do you provide health insurance to your employees?

I thought you had said earlier that you didn't. Perhaps if this employee had health insurance (I'm assuming she didn't), she wouldn't have been 80 pounds overweight, and the heel spurs might have been covered that way.

I know that health insurance is very expensive -- trust me; we're having to look for our own insurance. But I also know that FirstCarolinaCare has an excellent program for companies with low income workers. 

Yes we have health insurance

and it is another staggering cost of doing business.

The employee would certainly have had the heel spurs covered under the health insurance but:
-They could have had deductibles and copays
-Worker's comp covers time missed from work due to the "injury."

Thus, because there was a tenuous possible connection to work, it was in the employee's best interest to try a worker's comp claim first. It paid off (for them) and I don't blame them.

Screwed up system, IMHO.

That is messed up, SPLib.

Workmen's comp is an important thing to have, but it really sounds like this situation was tenuous, at best.

And another thing

On average, we have to change carriers every two or three years because they keep pulling out of providing worker's comp insurance in NC. It is really fun when a worker is trying to deal with a claim covered by a company two insurers ago.

I had a couple of those myself,

but most of the claims I've come in contact with are legitimate. As a matter of fact, fraudulent worker's comp claims only represent something like 2% of claims made, but the push for stricter measures to combat a crisis (that didn't exist) has cost employees a lot more money than bad claims have cost employers and their insurers: 

Today, many observers believe that prosecutions and workplace practices have left some workers scared to file legitimate claims. Many of those who do file get less than they once would have: Benefits in some cases have shrunken, eroded either by inflation or direct cutbacks. Some injuries are no longer covered at all.

Most thoughtful people who do a lot of research in workers’ comp would come to the conclusion that there is not a lot of fraud in the system,” said Rand Corp. economist Robert Reville. “By making a claim that there was a lot of fraud, I think they [insurance carriers] were benefiting at workers’ expense [and] discouraging workers from filing claims.”

Since the Alliance of American Insurers announced that it was making workers’ compensation insurance fraud a legislative priority in 1989, more than two-thirds of the states, including California, enacted laws that made insurance fraud a felony. California and many other states also launched formal anti-fraud enforcement efforts. Very little fraud–involving far less than 1% of all cases–has been proven.


But only half of those with workplace injuries that required doctor or even hospital care filed workers’ compensation claims. Even among those who reported missing more than seven days of work, fewer than half said they filed claims.



Response to David Young

I will be sending the following to David in a minute, but wanted to post it here. Thanks David for the prompt response. It is certainly heartening to see you respond quickly and publicly. However, your answer still leaves some questions. The NCDP platform says the following:

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: We reassert our fundamental belief in the collective bargaining process as a means of serving the interests of both public and private employees and employers. Those interests include better productivity, fair and adequate employee compensation and benefits, and safe, harmonious, and healthy working conditions.

The platform further lists a number of issues which state the party's support for employers as a basic right. These statements are made without regard to a business' profit lines, because the party believes them to be essential. However, you said:

I am not prepared... to support full collective bargaining for public employees.

You followed this up by stating:

" When companies do well, collective bargaining helps employees share in these benefits through bonuses and stock options or pay and benefit increases. But when private sector firms struggle, employees often see their pay and benefits reduced, and many times jobs are eliminated."

Now, maybe I am reading this wrong, but are you saying that collective bargaining is only important in making sure that employees have a fairer share of profits? I hope it isn't, because collective bargaining is about so much more than a pay raise during good times. It is about the very issues listed in the NCDP platform, such as a workplace that is free of discrimination, and ensures that every worker is treated with the respect they deserve.

And that is why I am so supportive of collective bargaining for our state employees. Because this is about much more than pay.

My question for you though, is that you have stated that as President of the County Commissioners you represented their views. However, you have also given us your personal view, and they are the same. So I can't imagine it would have been that difficult to support their views. But, the Democratic Party has taken a position that is the opposite of your own personal view. We do not need a party chair who follows the party platform because he has to. We need and deserve a party chair who will lead the party.

Simply stated, if elected Chair, will you take the lead in pushing for and gaining consensus support amongst elected officials for Collective Bargaining for State Employees?

"Keep the Faith"

I just don't see the difference.

In many rural counties, county government is the largest employer.  If you eliminate the possiblity of collective bargaining for those employees, you take the majority of employees in that county out of the process.  I don't think that's right. I don't believe that government is necessarly a "good" entity. Government employees should have the same protections as other workers.

I'm a registered Democrat in NC, and I believe that most Dems in NC agree with my position - not yours. Please reconsider.

Answer to Blue South

I am committed to a real and continual dialogue on this and all issues.  I believe in open dialogue.  It energizes me to know that if elected, I will not want for a good discussion on important issues!  I am a Democrat who has individual views that may from time to time not be totally aligned with other Democrats.  That’s the beauty of our party.  We should acknowledge that we may have individual differences. However, the ideals that pull us together vastly outweigh those that pull us apart and our differences pail in comparison to the breach we have with Republican extremism.
If elected, I will be honored to serve as Chair of the NCDP and I will promote the party platform as it is decided upon by all Democrats.

Open Dialogue Should Include Honest Dialogue

I am responding to David Young's explanation of his support of a resolution that the Buncombe County Commissioners passed by a vote of 3 to 2.  As many of you know I served 10 years as a judge hearing workers' compensation cases at the North Carolina Industrial Commission.  Upon my election to the State Senate, I entered the private practice of law and currently represent injured workers as a plaintiff's attorney. 
 In 2005, there was an effort to pass SB 984.  This piece of legislation would have seriously rolled back the rights of injured workers in this State.  A broad based coalition; that included thousands of workers across the state successfully lobbied to ultimately defeat SB 984. 
 The main groups that backed SB 984 sought to build support for the legislation by getting local governments, including the Buncombe County Commissioners to vote for a resolution in support of the legislative agenda contained in SB 984.  At that County Commissioner's meeting where Mr. Young made his statement in controversy, Mr. Young cast the deciding vote that passed a resolution supporting the principles behind SB 984.   Mr. Young begs the question concerning his assertion that a quote attributed to him was taken out of context.  The question is why he cast the deciding vote for a draconian roll back of laws protecting the vast majority of workers in North Carolina.  I believe Buncombe County was the only County Commission in North Carolina supporting this agenda. 
Readers should keep in mind no one in the General Assembly ever voted for the legislative agenda that Mr. Young supported because it was viewed as too extreme.

Senator Doug Berger

Thanks Senator

Thank you Senator for the context.  I appreciate you taking part in the conversation.

I found the following quote from the NC Justice Center about SB 984

A step back to add some perspective, however, reveals that something bigger is afoot – namely, the latest in a series of efforts by the state’s business community to maximize profits at the expense of the living standards of people of modest means.

"Keep the Faith"

your stance on Verified Voting and Open Meetings?

Mr. Young, if you had your way in early 2006, the governor would have called for a special session to delay and therefore gut the Public Confidence in Elections Law. This is the law many of us gave up alot of sweat blood and tears for, and you would put it up to being gutted.

Buncombe County Commissioners sign letter asking Governor Easly to hold a special session to delay implementation of S 223.  Signed by Commissioners Bill Stanley, Nathan Ramsey, David Gantt, Carol Peterson and David Young.

In Jan 2006, you were among 3 Buncombe Commissioners who were going to meet with the NC Association of County Commissioner's lobbyist via phone conference, without inviting the public. The discussion was with the NCACC about the voting machine issue, you and the NCACC wanted to see a special session to change the Public Confidence in Elections Law (to its detriment):

Back-room discussions

You wanted to open up our paper ballot/voting vendor standards law to the risk of gutting, because you wanted "more competition". 

But the vendors had a chance to compete, and fell short because they didnt want to meet the strict requirements for vendors (and risk civil and criminal penalties). Three vendors were certified by the NC State Board of Elections, but 2 chose not to sign that affadavit or work to meet the standards.

As someone who went to court to stop Diebold from weakening our laws so that it would be "easier" for them to "compete", your efforts against our Public Confidence in Elections Law are not taken lightly.

last thing Diebold would have to do (but didn't) before they bowed out of bidding on our business was this - have their CEO sign a sworn affadavit that they would follow the voting laws upon risk of civil and criminal penalty. On their way out the door, Diebold did offer to help re-write our election integrity laws to make it easier for them to bid.  

Slight edits made to clarify r/e secret meetings.

An interesting and important discussion

Thank you Blue South for bringing up this important topic.

As a union organizer here in North Carolina, every day I see the benefits workers enjoy when they are able to join together to speak with a strong voice at the workplace. As stated here earlier and quite eloquently, collective bargaining is about so much more than just dollars and cents. It is about the basic worker right (I would contend HUMAN right) to free association granted to us by the highest laws of the land. Sure, state employees have the right to form an association to represent themselves, but without the ability to bargain on behalf of their membership, such organizations are left without the central source of power and responsibility that comes from union representation.

The right to free association, including collective bargaining is available to almost every other worker in the county. It is a travesty that our public employees are not granted the same basic rights as private sector workers in North Carolina, in the United States and across the globe. Why should nurses, police oficers, firefighters and sanitation workers not have the same rights as a UPS driver? GS 95-98, which prohibits government workers from bargaining is so outmoded and illegitimate that in 2007, the United Nations actually issued a statement demanding that North Carolina repeal the law on the grounds that it violated internationally agreed-upon standards of basic worker rights.

Obviously, I'm biased on this matter. But as evidenced by Smitty and Blue South's exchange, I've found that once you calmly and rationally go through the specifics of this issue most people support restoring public employees basic rights. The prohibition on collective bargaining is, in my opinion, is a shameful remnant of our state's plantation democracy. North Carolina and Virginia are the only two states in the country with laws denying public workers their basic rights and I think it's high time we join the rest of the country and the world in repealing that draconian statute and I certainly hope Mr. Young reconsiders his position on this matter.

Now - putting on my democratic activist hat – with all of that said, I appreciate Mr. Young's willingness to come here and engage in this dialogue, Though I strongly disagree with his position on this particular issue, I don't believe that collective bargaining falls under the purview of the state party chair and furthermore I don't feel like his opposition to collective bargaining should disqualify him from serving as Chairman.

While I am disappointed with Mr. Young's position on this issue, I am also interested to hear more about his vision for the future of our party. And that goes for the other candidates as well. I hope that BlueNC can host more discussions like this about the future of our party and our state. I'd also welcome the opportunity to discuss collective bargaining, worker rights and the union movement in general on these pages.

Thanks again to Blue South and others for standing up for North Carolina's workers and thank you David Young for engaging us in this dialogue. It's good to know that, despite our disagreement on this issue, you are willing to hear us out and that as Chairman you won't let your ideological differences get in the way of the Democratic Party platform which clearly states North Carolina Democrat's support for collective bargaining rights for all workers.

 I certinaly think that you

 I certinaly think that you can err on the side of the needy and business at the same time as long as those businesses can create work for the needy.


The following appears on Gary Pearce's blog:

How did David Young suddenly emerge as the leading candidate for Democratic Party chair? Here’s the story from one party insider:


Governor Perdue was supporting David Parker, a long-time party activist who has wanted to be chair for years. But Chairman Jerry Meek didn’t like being told what to do. He reminded the Governor that he beat then-Governor Easley’s pick for chair four years ago.


Perdue made a strategic retreat. She and Meek agreed to back Young. Perdue called Parker, and he agreed to step aside.


The Governor didn’t need that fight now. That’s another smart move in what has been a remarkably successful launch for her administration.


David Parker has represented many injured workers who have been mistreated and understands that North Carolina is progressive when it comes to the issue of the rights of injured workers.  Jerry Meek rose to power with support from progressive Democrats.  I certainly hope he didn't use his political clout derived from progressives to press the Governor to move away from David Parker and to David Young.          

Senator Doug Berger

Doesn't sound like Jerry.

Maybe he'll show up and comment on the story.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


I am convinced that Gary Pearce correctly identifies Jerry Meek a principal in promoting David Young as a candidate for State Chair.  

 I hold tremendous respect for Jerry and appreciate his strong Democratic leadership on a range of issues that have confronted citizens in my Senate District. Jerry will attest to the fact that I fought with him in the General Assembly,  in a confrontation with Governor Easley, to preserve the power of the State Chair to appoint members to the State Board of Elections.   

 Jerry’s support of David Young to serve as our Party Chair is deeply disappointing.  It is evident from Young’s actions over a course of time that he does not support the rights of millions of working citizens across this State. In the case of workers injured at work, including hundreds of thousands who lack access to any health insurance, he actively supports rolling back the protection workers have enjoyed in North Carolina since 1929.

 Holding positions so diametrically opposed to policies at the heart of the Democratic Party justify his rejection as Party Chair.  If Young had written an essay in the past year in opposition to reproductive rights, he would be unacceptable to serve as the leader of our Party.  The rights of hard working North Carolinians should be no less expendable. 

 It is important that progressive Democrats do not fall into a "good old boy" trap in supporting the compromise candidate agreed to by Jerry Meek.  Advocates for labor need to press Jerry Meek to reach a different compromise candidate.      

Senator Doug Berger

Whoa here, so does this mean that Parker

is out of the running? I do not recall seeing anything from him indicatng that he has withdrawn. This is some unholy crap if it is true. The rank and file members of the SEC should decide who the next Chair will be, not a couple of people in Raleigh. I had thought we were past that nonsense and were about keeping the democracy in the Democratic Party.
Mr. Parker, please stay in the race.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Handpicking the party chair

The N&O confirmed that Mr. Parker dropped out of the race upon hearing that Mr. Young had wrapped up the Governor's endorsement. See here:

Update: Statesville attorney David Parker said he is no longer running for chair after having a "long, pleasant conversation with the governor" and learning of Young's candidacy.

And yes, Jerry Meek did endorse Mr. Young along with many other powerful and influential democrats. Young's late entry and laundry-list of endorsers is an all-but appointment of the party chair by Governor Perdue and the Raleigh powerful.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that. This is how politics is played and these guys are pros. But the way this went down seems to be a far cry from Chairman Meek's previous statements on the matter. From the N&O a few months back:

Meek said the state Democratic Executive Committee would meet on January 31st to choose a new party chief. Typically, the party chair is chosen by the governor, in this case Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, Rob Christensen reports.

But Meek, who was elected without the support of Gov. Mike Easley, said he thought it was likely that party leaders would want to choose their own leader.

"They feel more empowered than in the past," Meek said. "Even though Governor Perdue is well liked among the party leadership, I doubt we will ever return to where one person handpicks the party chair."