Greensboro, N.C. — State Democratic Party leaders attending a meeting in Greensboro on Sunday were told the party might have to move out of its iconic Raleigh headquarters, the Goodwin House, due to anemic fundraising.
An Executive Council member who attended the meeting said embattled party Chairman Randy Voller told members the party is "broke," with only $60,000 in the bank.
According to the attendee, Voller told party members he would have to let some staffers go, and he is even evaluating whether the party can afford to keep the Goodwin House, a historic house from 1903 on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh.
Party communications director Marjorie Fields Harris confirmed the $60,000 figure but said Voller neither predicted layoffs nor used the term "broke," instead saying only that the party funding is "below budgeted staffing levels."
Harris also confirmed that Voller had discussed whether the party should keep the Goodwin House.
"The party is always evaluating its options. The Goodwin House is a tremendous asset for the Democratic Party," Voller said in a statement via Harris. "However, it may not be the optimal building from which to organize and win campaigns. Even the Wake County Democratic Party is evaluating options, because during an election season, you must have resources such as good parking and work space from which volunteers may operate."
"Thanks to the financial support of many fine people, we paid off the mortgage on the Goodwin House when I was state chair, eliminating all debt," former Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek said in a statement. "So, if the building is sold, it's not because the party can't pay the mortgage."
Voller also pledged $5,000 to the party's operating fund, despite owing more than $225,000 to the federal government for several years of unpaid taxes.
Harris said the two aren't at odds.
"This pledge excited the party, and people stepped up to the challenge," Harris said. "The chairman has paid off his debt to the State of North Carolina and is continuing to pay off his federal tax debt in a prompt manner. All of his other taxes are paid. He takes these matters seriously and intends to pay them off."
The party has been in dire financial straits since Voller's election as chairman. In spring 2013, Jamie Kirk Hahn, a vital Democratic fundraiser, was killed, and Voller fired the party's other major fundraiser, Ellen Stankiewicz.
Stankiewicz's replacement, fundraiser Tiffany Reynolds-Richardson, resigned the day after Voller fired former Executive DIrector Robert Dempsey in February.
NC will soon be represented by 2 GOP Senators. One of my favorites Sen Richard Burr, and soon Sen Thom Tillis http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/02/01/4656685/tillis-senate-bid-walks-tightrope.html#.Ux1zcoV3fmo
NC rats are having some problems http://www.wncn.com/story/24676694/exec-director-of-nc-democratic-party-firedhttp://www.wncn.com/story/24687166/nc-democratic-spokesman-resigns-amid-party-turmoil