Cartoon controversy?

11-17-14 NCPW cartoonNC Policy Watch cartoonist John Cole — who , by the way, is always expressing his own opinions and voice in his work — drew the cartoon at left describing the impending change in the leadership of the state Democratic Party this week. This provoked some critical emails from defenders of the outgoing chief, Randy Voller.

Although NC Policy Watch is a proudly nonpartisan organization that criticizes politicians of all parties, we recognize that Voller’s occasionally tumultuous tenure at the the Democratic Party has provoked a lot of strong feelings — both pro and con — amongst our readers. So, in the interest of letting everyone who wants to to have their say, we’re re-running the cartoon here on The Pulse this morning (our main site is not set up for public comments).

Fire away. We know that both John Cole (one of the nation’s best cartoonists, who writes for multiple publications) and Randy Voller (who’s weathered many a political storm) can take it.


  1. John Clark

    November 20, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Probably a good decision for both Voller, personally, and the Democratic Party (strategically). Voller should be thanked for his service, but it’s a good time to hopefully make some good choices with the organization as Roy Cooper and others help mount the critical comeback this state needs.

  2. Michael Carmichael

    November 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    While John Cole is a very talented cartoonist whose work has been acclaimed, in this instance, I think he has been somewhat misguided by the unfair media coverage of Randy Voller. For instance, the election results in NC for statewide and down ballot races were a victory for the NCDP, which Voller heads. Democrats won the majority of their races. While it is true that Kay Hagan lost, let us not forget that her campaign was entirely autonomous of the NCDP. Hagan’s campaign was totally independent and run by her and her staff and was certainly not a part of NCDP operations in 2014. When five out of six judges elected to the appellate courts are Democrats, and when Democrats made their first gains in the legislature since 2008 that is very good news, indeed. Democrats dominated in down-ballot races as well with strong results in local races all across the state.

  3. George Fisher

    November 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I enjoy humor, so I can see some wit in this cartoon, relevant to the political environment that has encapsulated the Chair for the past two years. But, Voller has not broken the Party on any level and I would argue that the Party is poised for the 2016 cycle.
    Despite what some may say, the Blue Ballot worked. 5 out of 6 statewide (Judicial) races aren’t bad—Democrats are in a position to take the NC Supreme Court in 2016, by many estimates.
    Keep in mind Democratic performance has increased 4% since 2010; in this environment that’s impressive.
    Taking a closer look, the Blue Ballot won at over 57%, beating the statewide average of 54%–while non-Blue Ballot came in at 52%.
    Lee, Chatham, Orange Wake and Durham all saw gains on the local level (commissioners) and Democrats took three legislative seats.
    So, although the cartoon might be funny—it’s not accurate when you look at the total picture of where the NCDP sits.

  4. Gene Hoglan

    November 20, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Voller’s not really the issue here. What’s happening is a generational shift from the traditional Eastern NC base of the party to the Piedmont, and with it a change in focus on issues. The old timers who still run things understandably aren’t happy and refuse to play ball with the new crowd. Whoever takes Voller’s gig will face the same hurdles if they’re not already in good with the old guard.

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