Questionnaire | Q #1 | Q #2 | Q #3 | Q #4 | Q #5 | Q #6

Six questions for the 2009 candidates for NC GOP Chairman & Vice-Chairman


Date of questions: Saturday, May 30, 2009
Answers were accepted May 30 thru June 9, 2009.
(Click here for all questions & answers on one big page, or here for printing.)

Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2009:  All six candidates have responded to the questionnaire. Chad, Marcus, Bill, Tim & David submitted written answers, which are reported here complete and without editing. Tom gave his answers verbally, in a phone conversation, which I've paraphrased as closely as I could, from my notes & memory.
This is the questionnaire they received:

Dear Chad, Tom, Marcus, Bill, Tim & David,

Thank you for your willingness to serve the North Carolina Republican Party as Chairman or Vice-Chairman!

I run an unofficial email list ("[ncgop-exec]") for discussion of NC GOP business; i.e., business which is likely to come up in State Executive Committee meetings or at the State Convention. I've added each of you to that list.

To help me decide who I should support, I composed a set of four questions to ask the candidates for chairman. Discussion on and off of the [ncgop-exec] list has led to two additional questions.

I would be grateful for your answers to these six questions. Your answers will help me decide who to support, and I will also send your answers to the [ncgop-exec] email list, to help other delegates make their decisions. I hope I can send your answers to the [ncgop-exec] email list by Wednesday morning (or sooner, if I get all six candidates' answers sooner). If that doesn't give you enough time, please let me know.

(Note to Tim & David, candidates for Vice-Chairman: These questions are written for Chairman candidates, but, since Vice-Chairmen often eventually become Chairmen, I ask that you please answer the questions as if you expect to become chairman.)

The first four questions are from me; questions 5 & 6 result from discussions originating on the [ncgop-exec] email list and continued off-line:


Question #1:  Please comment on "Project Houdini," and how we, as a State Party, should respond to it.

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


Question #2:  The NC GOP is supposed to be the Party of "traditional values," one of which is simple honesty. However, a former NC GOP Chairman is in prison, and the NC Republican Party currently hires professional fundraisers to raise money from our Party's members by lying. Like many of you, I personally received a fundraising phone call for the NC GOP in which I was told that my membership in the NC Republican Party was up for annual renewal, and that the renewal would cost me $65. That is all blatant lies: NC GOP membership does not expire, and does not cost money.

Democrats lie incessantly. We are supposed to be different!

It is my strongly held opinion that no need, no matter how dire, is worth compromising our integrity. Consequently, I ask you to pledge that, for as long as you are chairman, it will be the unalterable policy of the North Carolina Republican Party that the Party shall never make, nor allow to be made in its good name, any letter, call, press release, or other statement, whether for fundraising or other purpose, which is intentionally or knowingly untrue, or deliberately misleading. For example, no fundraising letter or call shall misrepresent a plea for a donations as being a fee for membership in the North Carolina Republican Party, nor misrepresent the past contribution history of a potential donor.

Will you make that pledge?

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


Question #3:  The Republican Party is America's "conservative" party. We are the Party of limited government, the Party of robust capitalism, the Party of strict & honest Constitutional interpretation, the Party of individual liberty, and the Party of strong national defense.

But, most of all, we are the party of traditional ethical and moral values. In fact, the Republican Party was founded as a "social issue" party, created by Christian "radicals" in a moral crusade, to fight the gravest social injustice of that age: slavery. (The Democratic Party is the ancestral home of Jim Crow and the KKK.)

The 1828 Webster's defined "politics" as "...that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals..." Likewise, Lord Acton famously wrote, "Liberty is not the freedom to do what you wish; it is the freedom to do what you ought."

Today, the NC GOP is still the Party of social justice, with a platform that calls on our political leaders to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, and which strongly proclaims our belief in equality under the law for all Americans.

However, some factions of our Party want to tone down the Party's stand for traditional ethics and morality. For instance, the RLC takes no stand on abortion, and the Log Cabin Republicans & Richard Morgan factions want to make the Party "more progressive."

Do you support the NC GOP Platform's current strong stand for traditional ethics and morality, or do you think such issues should be deemphasized?

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


Question #4:  The NC GOP Executive Committee, though officially in charge of the Party, is terribly dysfunctional. Some of the reasons are intractable; e.g., its huge size (nearly 600 members), and the great distance that some of its members must travel to meetings. Also, it meets only 2-4 times per year, and the meetings too often are curtailed by lack or loss of quorum, or (twice in recent memory) because the meeting room was reserved for insufficient time.

But one of the reasons for the State Executive Committee's dysfunctionality can be easily remedied. The problem is that Executive Committee members currently have no way to communicate among one another, outside of the infrequent meetings. The State Party maintains a list of Executive Committee members' contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers, but does not permit members of the Executive Committee to see or use those email addresses or phone numbers.

The members' phone numbers used to be listed on the web site, but were removed in early 2005. The members' postal mailing addresses are still available, but doing a 500-600 piece mailing is so burdensome that I know of only one person (me!) who has ever done such a mailing about "regular" executive committee business (i.e., when not campaigning for a position).

The easy remedy to the communication problem is for the State Party to set up a "closed" (private) email listserver for State Executive Committee members to use for discussion of State Party business (i.e., for discussion of matters which would be taken up in an official capacity at our thrice-annual State Executive Committee meetings). I will happily offer technical assistance, and more detailed suggestions. (Note: this email listserver would replace the unofficial [ncgop-exec] list that I run, which currently has less than half of the Executive Committee members subscribed.)

Will you commit to create such an email listserver, if you are elected chairman? Will you also commit to restore the Executive Committee members' access to the list of other members' phone numbers?

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


Question #5:  (This is related to Question #4.) There is a widespread feeling of irrelevance among State Executive Committee members. That's one of the reasons we have trouble meeting a 25% quorum requirement. The Executive Committee is supposed to be in charge of making policy for the Party (within the confines of the Plan of Organization and Platform), but almost never does.

This is a comment that I received from a longtime Executive Committee member:

"Here is something that bothers me about our exec. comm. meetings. They are so structured and so dull and take up so much time with the 5 star report, etc. that I often feel I leave that place with nothing of importance being discussed. ... I know in the past that the leadership really did not want to hear much from the members. Discussion was discouraged at meetings. Debate and new ideas were stifled. It is a little bit like the Democrats in the legislature... I don't ever feel like I have been involved in the actual running of the party as an Executive Committee member."

So the question is, are you satisfied with the current functioning of the NC GOP State Executive Committee, and, if not, what do you think should be done to improve it? Some ideas I've heard (in addition to the email listserver of Question #4) are:

Do any of these ideas seem good to you? Are you satisfied with how the State Executive Committee currently works? What else could be done to improve it?

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


Question #6:  A frequently heard complaint within the GOP is that it is hard to tell the difference between many of our Republican candidates and officeholders and the Democrats. To put it bluntly, we have a "RINO problem."

The question is, what, if anything, can the State Party and Chairman do about it? Picking our nominees is the job of primary voters, not Party leaders (except when a nominee quits or dies before the general election). The party leadership should stay neutral in primaries except in the most extraordinary circumstances (e.g., a David Duke nutcase, or a Richard Morgan traitor to the Party).

When the primary is over there needs to be a neutral broker of Party resources who can pull the opposing sides back together, to go on to defeat the Democrats. That's the job of the Party Chairman, but it is only possible if he has been uninvolved in the primary.

So what can be done about our RINO problem? One delegate had an idea. He wrote (this is paraphrased), "The question I would like to ask the candidates for Chairman concerns our primary process. In NC, unaffiliated voters can vote in the Republican primary! Why? Our arms are open, so join our Party if you want to vote in our primaries. Unaffiliated voters should have no right to vote in our primaries. Would you support restricting our primaries to registered Republicans?"

I'm not sure what to think of this idea. What do you think of it?

For the six candidates' answers, click here.


I would be grateful for your answers to these questions before Wednesday morning. If that doesn't give you enough time, please let me know.


Gratefully yours,

Dave Burton
Cary, NC
H: 1-919-481-0098
M: 1-919-244-3316



P.S. - I found another questionnaire that was sent to the four candidates for chairman by someone else. I had nothing to do with it, but I think it is interesting, so I linked to it on my web site, here: