Candidate for Dem Party chair has a lot of nerve

In case you missed today’s “Follies” edition of the Fitzsimon File, be sure to check it out — especially the part about State Senator Donald Vaughan’s candidacy for chair of the state Democratic Party. As Chris notes, Vaughan is:

“a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national right-wing organization that brings big money interests and conservative state legislators together to develop and promote model bills in state legislatures.

ALEC recently announced it was ending its work on non-economic issues after several major corporations resigned in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida and the controversy about the Stand Your Ground law passed there at the urging of ALEC members.

Common Cause has filed a complaint with the IRS asking that ALEC’s tax-exempt status be revoked because it is a lobbying group.

ALEC has become one of the most visible national symbols of the right-wing policy machine.”

Also, Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies has more details in a special report on Vaughan that you can read by clicking here.



  1. Frank Burns

    May 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    OMG, maybe ALEC is not such a bad thing as you all make it out to be! The next big thing will be the Democratic Chairman being best buddies with Art Pope. Gasp.

  2. Doug

    May 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Don Vaughan voted against putting a constitutonal amendment to ban gay marriage on the ballot.
    Don Vaughan voted against weakening of the Racial Justice Act.
    Don Vaughan voted against the voter identification bill and voted to sustain the Governor’s Veto.
    Don Vaughan voted for against permitting terminal groins.
    Don Vaughan voted against the fracking bill and voted to sustain the Governor’s veto.

    Yes Don Vaughan has alot of nerve and that is why I am supporting him to be the state party chairman and you should too.

    Senator Doug Berger

  3. John Graham

    May 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Don Vaughan is one heck of a good Democrat! Tip of the hat to Doug Berger for noting it.

  4. Steve Harrison

    May 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Senator Berger, the education of North Carolina’s children is one of the biggest responsibilities a Legislator has, and making sure the less fortunate children in our state are not overlooked is an added responsibility on the shoulders of our Democratic leaders. If left to the free market mentality of Republicans, critical resources will dry up or be reallocated, via poorly thought-out schemes like the “Parent Trigger”, a signature ALEC policy initiative.

    If Senator Vaughan was the man “of nerve” you’d like us to believe, he would have walked away from ALEC a long time ago. A man of nerve does not need corporate lobbysts or astroturf think-tankers advising him on public policy needs. He has the public for that.

  5. Doug

    May 5, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Don Vaughan has resigned from ALEC as he should

    Don Vaughan’s whole record should be evaluated on the issue of public education.

    Don Vaughan voted against the state budget that cut approximately 1 billion dollars from publc education.

    Don Vaughan voted against legislation that prevents teachers from being able to have their dues to the NCAE deducted from their paycheck and voted to sustain a Gubernatorial veto of this legislation. This legislation was aimed at punishing teachers for criticizing cuts in public education.

    If we do not come together this election and win the presidency, the governorship and take back control of the legislature, we will be out of power for over a decade. If we engage in intercenine warfare over this chairmanship, we will seriously imperil our abilty to win the elections this year. Distorting Don Vaughan’s record to suggest he isn’t a solid Democrat is not only patently unfair, it is politically unwise for the health of the party and the relationship between its members. Don Vaughan’s whole record should be evaluated before a judgement is made about his abilty to lead our Party during this crisis.

  6. david esmay

    May 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Frank, ALEC is funded by the Koch bros., and that is a bad thing. Doug, you’ve made some great points, with the recent upheaval within the NC Democratic party and up coming elections, stable leadership within the party is of paramount importance. We need someone who can capitalize on the dismal performance of the NC GOTP and make them run against their record, their inability to govern, and poor approval ratings. I absolutely agree with you.

  7. Protest ALEC @ their spring summit in Charlotte:


  8. Frank Burns

    May 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    David, industry and jobs are good things, which is what Koch supports.

  9. anon

    May 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    @Doug Don is a likable guy who is married to a republican. This doesn’t matter, but now this Alec association has tainted him. How can he bring the party together when just a year ago he was meeting with Alec? He wasn’t a passive member but someone who introduce legislative educational models just two years ago.
    With the POTUS winning NC four years ago Alec and the koche brothers are going to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again and we are going to have a NC chair who use to be a member? I think I will pass.
    I may question some things the Chair does, but I should NEVER have to question where his heart REALLY lays.

  10. Ronnie Lake

    May 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Of all the people who commented here Doug Berger knows Vaughan best. They served together for four years. He knows Vaughan’s voting record. I don’t think that there is any question that Vaughan is a loyal democrat. Vaughan is a fighter. He’ll fight for the party’s success.

  11. Jeffery Israel

    May 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    The last thing we Democrats need is more controversy at the NCDP. If for no other reason than that, Vaughan should no longer be in contention for our parties leadership. Secondly, the bad policy positions of ALEC have been known for quite some time. Either Vaughan is woefully uninformed , or was in tacit agreement with some of those policies. Either, once again shows that he does not possess the judgement we require in a party leader . We need to put an end to this train wreck, get it behind us and choose a party leader who is competent and scandal free and can lead us to victory in the fall.

  12. […] Party chair explains resignation from ALEC Post on May 6, 2012 by Rob Schofield No Comments As we and others reported on Friday, a candidate for state Democratic Party Chair, Donald Vaughan, was revealed in recent days to have […]

  13. William A. Franklin

    May 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

    It might come as a complete surprise but NC Democratic politicans do not know about or understand ALEC. ALEC was integral to the national Republican strategy of taking the state govenorships and assemblies, a plan which has been cooking for a long, long time. They have undermined Democratic and centrist Republican officeholders, candidates and governments totally – look at NC. Now, much as I like Doug, this catastophe happened on his and Vaughn’s watch. So, clearly this is an issue of (1) competence, of which I see little or (2) ignorance, of which I see very much. But remaining willfully ignorant of the Republican strategies in 2009-10 is unredeemable. We do not have a Tom Fetzger, ex may of Raleigh and chair of the NC Republicans, who engineered a goodly piece of the Republican assault in 2010, paid for by Pope Art, Eschelman and others. We do have a whole bunch of wannabes.

    Why not reach back into the closet and draft someone like Barbara Allen, a true loyalist to the Governor and the high rollers. Oh, wait, thought we got rid of her and Turlington in 2005. When will the estensible leaders of the NC Democrats get the message, we need to build (sorry now it is rebuild) the Party. David Parker understands this – the ones trying to crucify him do not. The attacks on Parker are a sham and are also shameful. Remember Shirley Sharrod, Dpt of Ag, who got fired in a day over a phony video – I do. The attack on Parker was a settling of scores in many ways. As it was said, by their enemies you may know them – well Parker is far and away a better person than anyone on the COS or in the Governors office, or the clutching leaches of consultants which swarm around her.

  14. david esmay

    May 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Frank are you serious? The Koch’s are trying establish a permanent oligarchy from which they can control democracy and destroy the environment. Have you ever researched anything not using ALEC, AFP, the Heritage Foundation as your source. Given your statements and responses on this forum, the answer is no. They dumped toxic waste in everyplace their company operates, through their hard of thinking tanks they have tried to disprove climate change, (didn’t work), and operate the largest propoganda machine in this country. The Koch’s are sociopathic billionaires.

  15. Frank Burns

    May 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Yes I’m serious and you should get serious and quit trying to be a comedian. We need jobs in this country not more nattering nabobs of negativity like yourself. The Koch’s are interested in the getting the economy going and putting people back to work. Something that should concern every American. If you want a sociopathic billionaire, I suggest you read up on the destructive sneakiness of George Soros, the former Nazi collaborator.

    The NC Democratic party is a mess. I recommend you through all the bums (sexual harrassment, aids infecting, bad check writing, etc) out and start over. I think the public needs to know whether or not any public funds were used to settle that sexual harrassment lawsuit.

  16. david esmay

    May 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Nattering nabobs of negativity? Frank, you set the bar on negativity. The Koch’s are interested in polluting, killing people with their pollution, bribing politicians, increasing their wealth and influence and flouting laws, in fact they believe they’re above the law. They are nothing more than domestic corporate terrorists, who’s family funded the John Birch Society and who’s family fortune started with Stalin. Your portrayal of Soros as a Nazi collaborator doesn’t jive with historical fact. As a child he was given the task of delivering deportation papers by the Jewish Council of Budapest, he was instructed by his father to tell the people on the list not to report. Get your facts straight and stop supporting American Nazis like the Kochs. Bad check writing? Are you referring to Newt “moonbeam” Gingrich bouncing checks in Utah? As far as comedy goes, you’re misinformed conservative rants provide more hilarity than anything I could write, they are dull and repetitious.

  17. Frank Burns

    May 8, 2012 at 10:03 am

    David, You are full of hot air and envy. You hate when people achieve success like the Koch Brothers. Your envy and hate are not the Koch Brother’s problem. Can you site any instance where any of their industries has broken the law?

    Oh I’m very clear and my facts are dead on with regards to George Soros. I saw the 60 minutes program and I heard for myself how he answered the interviewer’s questions. He is an unrepentant Nazi collaborator.

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