Rewriting history? Here's the key passage from late in the letter:
"...Prior to the public hearing on the referendum, I spoke with state legislators who assured me counties would not be forced to shoulder the burden of balancing the state budget -Governor Perdue's attempted budget manipulation would not prevail. With this understanding, I entered the public hearing convinced a tax referendum would no longer be necessary. Many of those attending the public hearing were concerned about county funding for education. In light of changing events in Raleigh, I feel the Commission will be able to both balance the budget and protect education without a sales tax increase...."
1. "I entered the public hearing convinced a tax referendum would no longer be necessary." That may be true, but it is not true that Commissioner Gable expressed that opinion either at the public hearing nor afterward, when the public had mainly left the room and only a few of us remained to hear their amazing reversal of course on the tax referendum. What had most certainly happened since the March 1st meeting when Mr. Gable and the other two Republican commissioners voted to hold the referendum was (a) a personal cussing out on the Tea Party email list and (b) a somewhat flailing attempt by the local GOP leadership to come to the defense of the sales tax hike in a Watauga Democrat editorial, a piece of writing that evidently caused something of a split among local Republicans.
2. "Governor Perdue's attempted budget manipulation would not prevail." This is what is known as a red herring. The Guv's suggested budget is pure wishful thinking, since everyone knows the Republican General Assembly will never pass it. As it was, The Guv suggested deep cuts in some areas but strove to protect public education. Meanwhile, the Republican leaders in the Gen'l Assembly have shown no particular concern for protecting the schools. Republicans in the Gen'l Assembly have said that they intend to eliminate between 5 and 10 percent of teaching positions and increase class sizes, on their way to cutting $1 billion from education. "Public schools are going to be squeezed hard," boasted Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.
3. "I spoke with state legislators who assured me counties would not be forced to shoulder the burden of balancing the state budget." Believing that Dan Soucek and Jonathan Jordan are going to save public education in Watauga County ... we seem to have flown suddenly to Fantasy Island. Soucek and Jordan are freshmen in Raleigh; they do as they'll told. Period.
4. "I feel the Commission will be able to both balance the budget and protect education without a sales tax increase." The weather has turned lovely here on Fantasy Island! Why the hell have we been worried? (It would have been salutary, of course, if such a rosy scenario had been verbally expressed at some point before, during, or after Mr. Gable revealed his visible anger at county school teachers for coming out to a public hearing, begging that any sales tax increase be devoted to saving their jobs and the future education of children in the county.)
5. In the middle Mr. Gable's letter on the Republican blog site is this sentence: "The Commission passed a resolution to consider a sales tax referendum and held a public hearing on the issue." That's a prevaricating word choice: "...passed a resolution to consider...." No, they passed a resolution to hold a tax referendum. The consideration all came in the long argument they had with Commissioner Futrelle, trying to convince him to vote with them. The public hearing was not required because the decision was already made. The public hearing was a pure courtesy, clearly unnecessary since, as Mr. Gable tells us, he already had his mind made up before walking into the courtroom.