Holden was a Republican who called out the militia to put down Ku Klux Klan thuggery. He was impeached by a Democratic General Assembly as a n****er-lover, the first governor ever removed from office in the United States.
The act this year to pardon him, albeit symbolically, would have been a line-drive hit for the new Republican majority in the General Assembly, finally doing the right thing for one of their own party who was unfairly and maliciously driven from office by backward, racist Democrats.
Then the unsigned letter appeared on Senate members desks quoting an un-reconstructed pro-slavery UNC history professor, from almost a century ago, who accused Gov. Holden of "corruption." Spooked, the Republican leadership in the Senate immediately suspended action on the bill.
NC Senate rules forbid unsigned pieces of paper that advocate for or against legislative action. Mysteriously, the several thousand cameras in the Senate chamber weren't working the morning the letters were distributed. No one in the Senate claimed responsibility.
Apparently, it was WRAL's Laura Leslie that got the scoop, tweeting yesterday afternoon that the culprit was a 27-year-old legislative assistant to NC House member Jonathan Jordan, one Carlton Huffman, who is now unemployed at the General Assembly. Rep. Jordan, for his part, is playing Sergeant Schultz: "I know nuth-think!"
The Progressive Pulse's Sarah Ovaska got hold of Mr. Huffman and interviewed him. According to Huffman, his only concern was "corruption." White racial superiority? Never crossed his mind.
During 2009 Carlton Huffman had a blog page on ConservativeNC, where he paraded his hard-right cred for that particular crowd (sample: "This is no time to listen to Colin Powell and the voices of moderation in our party"). He's been featured as a guest blogger on Katy's Conservative Corner, where Katy offered this bio of him:
Originally from Granite Falls, North Carolina, Carlton Huffman is a conservative activist who recently relocated to Raleigh from the Northern Virginia area. He’s happy be back in the land of Jesse Helms. He graduated from Campbell University where he studied Government and History.
He's also a former assistant to Pat Buchanan. He wrote on a slavery revisionism site for Confederate History Month that the Old South (Massa on the plantation, blacks in their subservient place) was the closest to a "second Eden" that Americans had ever come.
While Jonathan Jordan was not saying why Huffman was no longer in his employ, he did volunteer that Huffman was "an excellent legislative assistant." Right! It's not every employee on the House side of the General Assembly who'll take the initiative to cross over to the Senate side to pass out anonymously materials meant to slime a 19th-century opponent of the Ku Klux Klan.