In his first press conference since taking the helm of the state Democratic Party, Chairman Randy Voller took aim at Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP legislature, saying they are not fulfilling their campaign promise to focus on the economy.
All I hear up here is cut, cut, cut, and I dont see a lot of things that are creating jobs, he said at party headquarters in Raleigh. North Carolinians need to have jobs. They need to have jobs that pay. They need to have health insurance. They need to have livable wages.
Voller said the radical, reactionary legislature should stop monkeying around with removing people from commissions and other things that are not focused on creating opportunities in our communities.
Voller takes control of the Democratic Party despite nearly losing the race to former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, who wasnt actively campaigning for the job. Voller, the Pittsboro mayor, declared that Democrats will lead again and promised to run the most transparent political operation in state party history.
The N.C. Democratic Party is still trying to recover from a sexual harassment scandal that led to the firing of the executive director and nearly the ouster of former Chairman David Parker.
Asked what he is doing to move past the scandal, which is still mired in a civil lawsuit, Voller demurred, saying staff is handling the matter. He did not outline any steps the party is taking to avoid such a situation going forward.
Peck picked for media office
Russell Peck, Gov. Pat McCrorys campaign manager, is opening a new Raleigh office for Mercury Public Affairs.
The firm, which has offices in New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Florida, focuses on media strategy, lobbying, polling and other political work.
Peck is the former executive director at the N.C. Republican Party and a former operative for the American Natural Gas Association, and works on various other Republican campaigns. He said he is not going to lobby in his new job.
Russell Peck is one of the best and most-accomplished political operatives in America, Mercury partner Mike DuHaime said in a company announcement. Russells addition allows us to bring Mercurys top-flight public affairs capabilities to North Carolina, while adding to our considerable and growing national strength.
Peck is the latest McCrory campaign alum looking to use his connections to influence state government. Former spokesman Brian Nick now works at Moore & Van Allen, a firm with a lobbying shop in Raleigh, and campaign strategist Jack Hawke is operating a new political nonprofit designed to further McCrorys agenda.
Hold that dress code
The state Department of Health and Human Services first departmentwide dress code which went out Monday to the agencys 17,000 or so employees, and was published in Dome online Tuesday and in print Wednesday actually hadnt been cleared with the boss yet.
The policy is on hold while new DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos gets a chance to review it. The head of human resources, who sent out the Monday memo, had to send another memo Wednesday morning apologizing for not clearing it with Wos first.
The planned dress code spells out in detail just why it is that everyone looks the same in downtown Raleigh at lunchtime on weekdays.
And, frankly, is pretty similar to The News & Observers dress code.
Staff writers John Frank and Craig Jarvis
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