by Bob Geary
At his first press conference since being elected state Democratic Party chair, Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller called on Democrats to take a stand against the Republican-led "radical, reactionary legislature" by joining in the 7th annual HK on J march and rally Saturday in Raleigh.
Voller was elected Saturday by the party's state executive committee. He said he'll have weekly press conferences in an effort to hold the Republican legislature and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory's administration accountable. His role, he said, will be "messaging" and waging a campaign of ideas on behalf of his party. He'll draw on other Democratic officials and activists to help him flesh it out, he added.
He started this morning by recalling the old "Where's the beef?" commercial. "Where's the jobs?" Voller asked. The Republicans are busy dismantling the political and governmental system that built the North Carolina economy over the last half-century, but so far — Voller said — they haven't offered anything to replace it or create new jobs in the state.
"It's easy to be against things. It's harder to build things," Voller said.
Democrats in North Carolina are living in a "bizarre universe," Voller went on, in which the nation is celebrating President Obama's election victory and gains by Democrats in Congress while in North Carolina the election resulted in total Republican control, including by veto-proof majorities in both legislative chambers.
In this atmosphere, Voller said, the Democratic party itself must challenge what the Republicans are doing while also presenting a different, positive agenda. Doing both will allow Democrats to reinvent themselves and bounce back. "It's time to reset, it's time to rebuild, and it's time to recommit with our party leaders, activists and enthusiasts to move this party forward," he said.
The Voller press conference lasted just under half an hour. You can watch it on WRAL.com.