After months of silence on the sexual-harassment charges in the North Carolina Democratic Party’s headquarters, Governor Bev Perdue suddenly demanded the resignation of the party chair over the issue. Just as suddenly, Perdue reversed herself, supporting David Parker’s intention to stay to the end of his term:
National and North Carolina Democrats have flipped and flopped across the board to praise North Carolina Democratic Party chairman David Parker’s choice to remain in his position.
Parker said yet again during a Thursday afternoon press conference that he would try to hang on to his job. The state party has become embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that has already claimed the job of executive director Jay Parmley.
Parker has now agreed, following political pressure from within his own party, to hold an election for his job in early May instead of in June. He has also announced, after initially leaving the door open, that he won’t run in that election. Still, by remaining on the job Parker is defying the demands of many Democrats.
Why the sudden change of heart? Parker would have been out by June anyway. However, his resignation would have meant that control of the party would pass to first vice-chair Gwen Wilkins — and as Politico’s Jonathan Martin discovered, that would have been, er, problematic:
The DNC is now working with North Carolina Democrats on finding a suitable replacement for Parker, somebody who won’t be a distraction when Obama and the party convene in Charlotte this summer. That person won’t be the first vice-chair Gwen Wilkins, who has reportedly been hit with misdemeanor charges for bouncing checks. Part of the reason Parker didn’t resign immediately as of today is that Wilkins would’ve automatically ascended to the chairmanship.
So the push from Perdue, as well as several other Democratic officeholders in North Carolina, to get Parker to resign over his supposed mishandling of a harassment complaint would have produced a chair that has bounced-check charges outstanding. Apparently, this is something else that North Carolina Democrats didn’t know about the leadership of their own party.
We just can’t wait to see who North Carolina Democrats nominate next for the job. I understand this man is available, if they can afford the hair-styling bills.