Dannie Montgomery, Candidate for NCDP Chair


This week Scrutiny Hooligans is highlighting the North Carolina Democratic Party Chair race between Bill Faison, David Parker, and Dannie Montgomery. The same questions were asked of each of the candidates, and their responses are republished here without changes. They are posted in the order they were received.

1) What are the primary duties of a State Party Chair?

• Provide strong leadership for the Democratic Party
• Be a spokesperson for the NCDP
• Collaborate with SEC and Executive Council; create, implement, and execute a strategic plan outlining the NCDP political goals for the state.
• Lead in raising funds to meet Party goals for State, County, and Districts.
• Appoint members to committees as needed and required. Such as Committee for Distribution of State Campaign Fund as provided by Plan of Organization Sec. 8.03.
• Establish positive communications to all stakeholders and organization relating to party activities and policy positions.
• Encourage and make possible the establishment and continuity of state auxiliary organizations.
• Serves as liaison with Democratic elected officials and Democratic National Committee
• Disseminate the Policy and Political action Agenda of the state Democratic Party to the news media and to inform and advocate for this Agenda to NC state and national level Democratic leaders.

2) What distinguishes you from the other candidates in this race

Heart! Just two years ago the NCDP was alive, strong, and vital. You could walk into any room and feel the excitement that something was happening and the NC Democrats were on the move. The Young Dems were everywhere … on buses, on streets, college campuses, conducting workshops, and inspirational in all their endeavors. The Senior Dems were busy cementing the Democratic base all over the state. The Women Dems was outrageous! We, the NCDP, were getting things done and we were doing it as a team. Everyone was supporting everyone’s effort. I was a part of that excitement and we can get it back. We can be strong and vital again. We don’t need to look at the last two years blaming anyone … just stay focus on the next two years and creating a stronger vision for the next generation. In my heart of hearts, I believe this election is for the Heart and Soul of the Democratic Party.

We have approximately 625 days to create Mission Focused Organizing as the DNC once called it; 624 days to create the POWER to win the 2012 elections; and 625 days to rebuild through fundraising, recruitment, and training. We must build a Party that’s on the roll year-round, holding Republicans accountable, organizing, and promoting the Democratic Party.

A well organized, and vital Party will help us to recruit the best candidates because they know we will back them from start to finish.

I understand the role of the NCDP Chair, the role of the District Chair, the role of the County Chair, the role of the Activist, and the role of the Democratic citizen. I know and understand what we can do with the right leadership.

3) Yes – They are all important, but please rank the following in order of priority:
Field operations
Training local party organizations
Coordination with OFA
Improving data collection and distribution
Candidate recruitment

• Messaging
• Training Local Party Organizations
• Coordination with OFA
• Fundraising
• Field Operations
• Improving data collection and distribution
• Candidate Recruitment

4) Strategically, do you believe we ought to carefully choose our battles or that we ought to have a 100-County effort?

100 counties. Every vote counts and every voter is important. A well-developed GOTV plan implemented across NC will yield a resounding message to NC citizens that NCDP is the people’s party. Additionally, the results will be so strong and impressive. Folks will join the Democratic Party because we care about getting thing done whether electing a Democrat, defeating a Republican, or advancing an issue.

5) What are your fundraising goals, and how do you plan to achieve them? Numerical estimates are appreciated.

1) Establish a Fundraising Committee; Review the budget; Set a Fundraiser Goal; Establish deadlines of set amounts; Start the process. Reviewing incoming funds from all sources, we will establish what funds will actually need to be raised through personal contacts. I don’t have any hang-ups about asking for money for a worthy cause. Whether $1,000,000.00 or $5, 000,000.00, we will raise the monies and I will lead.

2) Double the state’s small donor base so that small contributions will provide 50% of the party’s projected operating budget.

3) Aggressively tap into all cultures and races to increase fundraising efforts and greater involvement from respective groups

4) Establish a new “sustaining” program, which authorizes the party to withdraw a small amount from participating donors accounts each month.

5) Schedule and carry out a series of special events around the state to attract small-to-moderate donors who do not respond to mail or telephone appeals and to raise the party’s local profile.

6) Hire/Maintain a Finance Officer

7) Utilize Donor list from past campaigns and member list from auxiliary groups

8 ) Utilize new voter list and the INTERNET

9) Make sure all donors are formally thanked and receive recognition; include donors on regular party mailings to stay in touch. The NCDP team will be aggressive in Fundraising efforts.

6) What qualities would you like to see in a new NCDP Executive Director?
• Loyalty: Allegiance to the Democratic Party
• Responsible: Fulfill your obligations.
• Respect: Treat people as they should be treated.
• Selfless-Service: Put the welfare of the NCDP your co-workers before your own.
• Honor: Support and live up to all the Democratic values.
• Integrity: Do what’s right, legally and morally.
• Team builder: Respond and assist all persons contacting or visiting NCDP

7) How exactly will you improve cooperation between the Party and OFA? Why should local candidates and campaigns believe that OFA will help them and vice versa?

OFA is a partnership organization born of the success of President Obama’s Presidential Campaign. They have a proven track record of how to win. As an OFA member and an Activist, I understand their goal to elect Democratic candidates in every state. They believe in a 50-state strategy and I believe in a 100 county strategy. We are on the same page. They currently operate two offices in NC and I will make every effort to partner with them. There are approximately 625 days to the next election and they have a game plan that we can learn from. The DNC is established to serve the local party just as the State Party serves the Districts and Counties. When they understand how serious the NCDP is about winning in 2012, I believe they will be excited to work with us. Under my leadership, we will have a viable relationship with OFA.

8 ) SEC and state convention meetings see our elected officials most often when they are running for election. It suggests a disconnect in the party between the grassroots and elected officials. This impression is reinforced when resolutions debated, voted on and re-voted on at the county, district and state levels disappear down the memory hole once passed.

What responsibility do you believe elected Democrats have (when not running for office) for championing the concerns of grassroots party members, and

What would you do as chair to help ensure that our Council of State and legislative delegation work better with the party to reflect those concerns?

As First Vice Chair and a grassroots Activists, I have a working relationship with most of the Council of State. My communication with them has always been honest and open and I expect no less in future dealings. They know they can count on me to work in the best interest of the NCDP and I feel I can count on them for the same. I will, personally, make the extra effort to build a better working relationship with the Council of State and legislative delegation. Once they understand the Activism and energy of the “rebuilt” NCDP, they will be excited to work with us. For sure, we will be getting the positive messages of their legislation and policies out to the public.

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