Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Watauga Voting Rights: In the Hands of People "Without a Moral Compass"

From right: Aceto, Eggers, Hodges, and Campbell
The real news from yesterday's Watauga County Board of Elections meeting was the small window opened on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the Republican Chair of the Board, Luke Eggers.

According to Democratic member Kathleen Campbell, who based her statement on information received from elections Director Jane Anne Hodges, Chair Eggers was willing to allow the staff to place a transfer voting station at Legends on the Appalachian State University campus so long as fellow Republican member of the board Bill Aceto didn't find out.

Director Hodges has long been the decider on where transfer stations go on election day, because she knows best where there are likely to be voters "out of precinct." And there has been a transfer station on the ASU campus for years, until this year, when The Brothers Grim, Eggers and Aceto, took control of that option and forbade Hodges from putting a transfer station at ASU.

Transfer voting: allows a duly registered and qualified voter to cast a regular ballot out of precinct ... because they're confused about where to go, because they're lost, because they go to a precinct polling place they're familiar with even after they've moved their residence within the city. Without transfer voting, a confused voter is required to cast what's called a "provisional" ballot, which takes much longer because of niggling paperwork and takes much longer to process and count after the election is over.

Disallowing a transfer station on the ASU campus is just another species of college student voter suppression. Just because it's more subtle and considerably below the radar screen of the public doesn't make it smell any sweeter.

Now then. It's major news that Eggers was prepared to allow the transfer station behind Aceto's back. Why? (Why indeed.) Eggers has also never said a word in response to the charges against his administration of the Board brought by former Chair of the Board Stella Anderson, charges that the State Board of Elections continues to sit on. Aceto made a public response, inadequate as that document proved to be. But Eggers has said nothing.

Andrew Cox, The Appalachian
It's also worth noting the tiresome fact that Eggers' willingness to allow Hodges to place a transfer voting station at the Legends polling place was quickly rescinded. Two possible explanations for that: (1) Bill Aceto found out; (2) Luke's big brother and the Puppet Master of the Board, "Four" Eggers found out. Either way, the putative Chair of the Watauga Board of Elections is a weak reed and not the person who should be in charge of protecting the voting rights of Watauga County citizens.

All of this provoked Board member Kathleen Campbell to say at yesterday's meeting, sitting not three feet away from Luke Eggers, "I would tell you that you should be ashamed, but I know now from working with you over the last few months that you have no shame."

What did Luke Eggers say back to her, what did Luke Eggers do after that verbal dressing-down? Did his face turn purple with rage? Did he forcibly deny Campbell's charges of facilitating voter suppression? Did he in any way demonstrate to the public that was listening that he does indeed possess "a moral compass," equipment that Campbell said he lacks?

No. Luke Eggers sat there impassively, like a coleus plant wilted by a freeze, and said nothing, except "Is there a second to Ms. Campbell's motion."

I call that tacit acknowledgement and acceptance that what Campbell said about him was true. He lacks a moral compass.

NOTE: Good coverage of the meeting by Jesse Wood in the High Country Press, including documents he obtained by public records request (especially the letter from State Board general counsel Don Wright agreeing with Hodges that there should be a transfer voting station at Legends).

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Governors, But Only One Moral Man

John Kasich, Republican Governor of Ohio, defied his Republican legislature, and especially its Tea Party rump, and found a way to expand Medicaid coverage to 275,000 poor Ohioans.

Pat McCrory, Republican Governor of North Carolina, refused yesterday to reconsider his Republican General Assembly's decision not to expand Medicaid coverage to a half-million poor North Carolinians.

One of those decisions was the moral thing to do, to help people who can't help themselves. The other was an indefensible choice that can only be explained away if you really do believe that more money in the pockets of rich people is a greater good than medical insurance for poor people.

Kasich in Ohio defended his decision: “I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor. That if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy. You know what? The very people who complain ought to ask their grandparents if they worked at the W.P.A.”

McCrory of North Carolina changed the subject, evoking the boogieman: “I will not sacrifice quality care for the people truly in need, nor risk further budget overruns by expanding an already broken system. Calling a special session to further expand Obamacare in North Carolina is out of the question.”

Meanwhile, rural hospitals are on the verge of closing because of lower Medicaid reimbursements, and half a million uninsured people in North Carolina are finding out they're too poor to qualify for federal subsidies for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Failure to expand Medicaid will certainly lead to more suffering for many and to premature death for some.

They talk about God incessantly, those Republican in Raleigh, but given a choice of following the example of Jesus Christ, they decide that is simply "out of the question."

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pope Center Wants To Sandblast the Color Out of NC Higher Education

A North Carolina right-wing "think tank" (if "thinking" means "maintaining ideological purity"), connected to You Know Who, has issued a report on the University of North Carolina that strongly suggests that a retreat from all this confusing multiculturalism will save the country, or at least save rich white privilege.

Evidently, "western civilization" is the only civilization, and the only literature/history/political thought that should count is Anglo-Saxon in origin.

Just more racial politics. Maybe they should get Don Yelton as Dean of General Education. I hear he might be available.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Too Much Honesty Can Get Your Ass Fired

Soon after Don Yelton's hair-raising appearance on The Daily Show (see video down-column), Doug Clark in the Greensboro News & Record praised him (in a back-handed sort of way) as "the most honest Republican in North Carolina."

Why? Because Mr. Yelton, until yesterday a member of the Buncombe County Republican Executive Committee, told the truth about the real motives behind the new voter suppression law passed this summer by the new Republican majority in the NC General Assembly. Said Mr. Yelton, North Carolina's new voter ID law "is going to kick the Democrats in the butt."

Both the Buncombe County Republican Party and the NC Republican Party fell all over themselves calling for Mr. Yelton's prompt resignation as a Buncombe precinct chair. He had pulled the white sheet a little too far back to reveal the contemporary Republican Party in the modern South, and though a majority of Republicans agree with Mr. Yelton's opinions, his blabber-mouthing their strategy all over Comedy Central was a definite no-no.

Sort of like Watauga Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates blabbing to the Watauga Democrat newspaper about how the local Board of Elections was planning to play hardball over the college student vote. So far, Yates still has her job. That's the big difference.

The refreshingly honest Mr. Yelton doubled-down in an interview with Jake Frankel in the Mountain XPress:
"The comments that were made, that I said, I stand behind them. I believe them." 
The short interview clips were edited together from a much longer two-hour sit-down, says Yelton. But he says he was pleased overall with the parts that were included. In fact, he notes that some of the comments he made that weren't included might've even been more controversial. "To tell you the truth, there were a lot of things I said that they could've made sound worse than what they put up." He adds, "I would've loved to been able to do it live. … But that wasn't offered."
Emphasis added. The man's proud of himself.

Don Yelton live. Boggles the mind.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Resistance Is Futile

Anna Oakes gets on the money trail of Team Templeton in the Watauga Democrat, and Jeff Templeton is forthcoming on why his family has felt it necessary to bludgeon and then buy Boone's town government: They're doing it all to save Watauga County!

"We warned the town council that the over-reaching regulations could have the unintended consequence of encouraging large-scale apartment development outside the town's planning jurisdiction, and now we see that prediction coming true with The Cottages [of Boone]," sez Jeff.

Got that logic? Because Boone now regulates high-density development on steep slopes within its limits, all the obnoxious, destructive, and dangerous development moves out into the county (and Watauga County allows virtually anything). Therefore, O my Brethren, the Town of Boone is totally responsible for that hair-raising development on the ridge known as The Cottages of Boone. And for everything else you see in Watauga County that you don't like.

High Country Press photo

With logic like that, Team Templeton is going to make marvelous overlords! And with the money they've got they're clearly intent on doing whatever it takes to win. Just this week, we've heard of three different violations of the law committed by Team Templeton:

1. Stuffing their flyers into people's mailboxes -- a Federal offense

2. Putting out a flyer with a "Paid for" line listing a local business, which is also illegal under North Carolina law.

3. We are told that Mark Templeton was doing a robocall to cell phone numbers, which is another Federal offense.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

McCrory Does Standup Comedy in DeeCee

"I'm an Eisenhower Republican," McCrory told a crowd at open-mike night in a Washington comedy club, and the line killed. Several people spilled their top-shelf drinks guffawing.

Well, okay, it wasn't a comedy club, but it might as well have been. It was the Jim DeMint(ed) Heritage Foundation, still all puffed up with self-importance for having pushed Congressional Republicans into shutting down the government over the threat that somewhere a poor person was about to get health insurance.

The Heritage Foundation would string up Eisenhower these days, but apparently they let Governor Squishy get away with that bland fabrication. For some reason, the demented Heritagers want to embrace McCrory as much as he wants to embrace them, since he allowed the most right-wing state legislature in the country to romp all over the progressive history of the state, with his blessing, while he baked cookies and grinned like an idiot.

McCrory's Washington comedy gig does clarify just exactly where he wants to stand, waaay over to the Right, and for that (as Tosh would say), we thank him.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Team Templeton, On the Comedy Circuit

Much laughter in some quarters over the Republican Party campaign mailer, "Elect the Sunshine Ticket" (pictured on the Watauga Conservative blog site).

Team Templeton, the folks who gave us a fradulent and ghost-written Board of Elections, is going to bring the sunshine back to Boone?

Burning question: why did they throw candidate James Milner off the bus, or under it?

We thank Anne Marie Templeton Yates for giving us inspiration for this Sunday morning music video:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Petitioners Request Subpoenas of Four Eggers, Anne Marie Yates

Article in this morning's Winston-Salem Journal follows the latest development in the legal petition to remove Luke Eggers and Bill Aceto from the Watauga County Board of Elections for “official misconduct, participation in intentional irregularities, unethical actions, and incapacity and incompetency to discharge the duties of their offices.”

Thanks to the Winston-Salem Journal, all documents in this case are now available in one place, including the original petition with supporting documents, Aceto's sworn response, and now the petitioners rejoinder to Aceto, which rather seriously ups the ante in this legal struggle. (PDFs of all documents are listed and are available on the W-S Journal page linked above, in the left-hand column.)

Petitioners brush aside Bill Aceto's request for summary judgment, pointing out that "there is no statutory procedure for summary dismissal of voter complaints," since the original petition to remove Eggers and Aceto alleged no criminal activity. However, the newest document points out, Aceto's sworn affidavit may indeed involve perjury, so petitioners request referral of this matter to the Attorney General. Further, the petitioners request a public hearing of the charges and ask for certain individuals with information be subpoenaed so that testimony can be taken under oath, including County Attorney Stacy C. Eggers IV ("Four") and Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates.

Andrew Cox, The Appalachian
Petitioners say that Four Eggers "must be questioned as to his role in getting his brother Luke sworn in; his actions to effectively run the Board of Elections through his brother Luke; and his authorship of the resolutions, minutes and other official documents as well as his presentation of these documents as if they were prepared by his brother Luke and/or Mr. Aceto. "

Republican Party Chair Anne Marie Yates "must testify under oath and be subject to questioning in a hearing as to exactly how she acquired advance knowledge of the specifics of the matters the Board was to vote on at the August 12 meeting."

Petitioners say that they "suspect that Mr. Aceto’s response was prepared by County Attorney Stacy C. Eggers, IV," which of course everyone following this case in Watauga County had assumed. We further assume that Four Eggers prepared that response for both Aceto and brother Luke Eggers to sign. The fact that only Aceto signed it raises all sorts of red flags: why has Luke Eggers gone completely silent on the matter? Why would he not sign the response to the original complaint against him? How can Aceto speak for Luke Eggers?

Petitioners' entire answer to Aceto makes for very interesting reading.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Foxx: “My Pearls Before Swine!”

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx released a press statement last night after voting to keep the government shutdown going and to let the United States default on its debt:

What She Said
North Carolinians expect real solutions, not problem dodging, from their elected leaders.

What She Meant
If you get sick, you can go to the emergency room. That’s what they’re for, idiots!


What She Said
Now families are learning that their health care costs will be skyrocketing next year. They are unable to afford Obamacare, much less log in to the government’s broken health care website.

What She Meant
You effing people have exactly three seconds to get off my effing lawn!


What She Said
We attempted to work with the President and Senate Democrats to delay Obamacare’s unprecedented individual mandate tax and at least guarantee fairness in the broken law’s implementation. They refused.

What She Meant
I have an effing gun and I’m not afraid to effing use it. I have a 200% NRA rating!


What She Said
While I am glad to see the federal government shutdown end and have temporary assurance that America’s bills will be paid...

What She Meant
If you could shrink all the poor people in this country down to the size of a pencil eraser, I’d wear them on a pinky ring.

How Did She Vote?

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx voted against the continuing resolution. In other words, she voted to keep the government shutdown going and to let the nation default.

Whatta gal.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rand Paul Endorsed ... Who?

Greg Brannon
Kentucky Senator and self-certified eye doctor Rand Paul has entered North Carolina politics and endorsed Republican Senate candidate and self-described savior of lady-parts, Dr. Greg Brannon.

Brannon is an OBY-Gemnologist, or an ORYX-Gynocopterist, or ... well, he eats scrap metal for breakfast and he'll destroy government faster than the The Preacher can find Revelations 6:2 in his King James Version and certainly faster than that slickster Thom Tillis. It's the law now: all Republicans everywhere stand for destroying government at all levels. The candidate that can promise to do it faster is the candidate they want. Or at least that's what eye doctor Rand Paul wants.

So now, O my brethren, North Carolina Republicans will be dancing to Paul Rand's tootling right through next May's Senate primary. And can I get an "Amen!"?

What's the Real Reason?

Charlotte Republican Ruth Samuelson, a leading contender to replace Thom Tillis as Speaker of the NC House, announced abruptly yesterday that she would not be running for reelection.

Thunderstruck. That's not too strong a word for the reaction the announcement produced across the state among politicos. Many thought she'd rise to be the first female Speaker of the House.

Samuelson told the Charlotte Observer that "she decided that a continued political career would take too much time from other passions, 'philanthropy, faith and family.' She also plans to pursue business opportunities."

“We realized that my current trajectory in the House ruled out a lot of other things that are more important to us,” she told the Observer. “We’ve got a lot of awesome opportunities. We wanted to be more intentional.”

That statement has enough protruding improbabilities and curious turns of phrase to keep the exegesis going for months.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Andrew Cox, in The Appalachian, yesterday.

Kevin Siers, yesterday, in the Charlotte Observer.

McCrory Administration Seizes Another Opportunity To Starve the Poor

Aldona Wos
North Carolina is abruptly shutting down Work First, which supplies temporary aid to families (especially families with children). Last month, more than 20,700 people were served by the program statewide, including 13,761 children.

The money comes from the Federal government, so naturally, with the Republican shutdown of the government, the money ain't there. But ... but the federal Office for Family Assistance, which administers the program, promised the state offices that if they could keep the program going temporarily, until the U.S. House Republicans decide to let the government function again, states would be reimbursed as soon as the government reopens.

But, no-o-o-o, that ain't good enough for NC's Department of Health and Human Services under Duchess Aldona Wos, who has never passed up an opportunity to punish the poor. Last week, it was the WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) that Wos's department decided to stop, though that decision was abruptly reversed last Thursday evening following media inquiries about it. (Laura Leslie, WRAL)

North Carolina was the only state to halt WIC. Now North Carolina is the only state to suspend Work First and its Temporary Aid to Needy Families safety net, despite assurances that the Federal government will reimburse any money spent out of the state's "rainy day fund."

The world the Republicans in Raleigh have wrought for us. When it rains, it rains especially hard on the poor.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brace Yourself, Boone

Citizens for Change, the notorious political action committee of 2007, is returning, with Jeff Templeton at its head. (See the Certification to Return to Active Status for political action committee, "Citizens For Change," below.)

A little history from 2007: Citizens for Change formed primarily to fight the new Steep Slope Development ordinance and to rout the progressives in Boone. The PAC endorsed a slate of four candidates that year, one mayoral candidate and three town council candidates, one of them a multiple-term incumbent. Out of those four PAC candidates, only one of them won, but in the process their multiple-term incumbent (and most experienced public official) lost. (The Watauga Democrat did an eve-of-election run-down on all the candidates and the issues at that time. And please note that in 2007, Boone's municipal election was on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in October.)

The coverage of the Chamber of Commerce candidate forum that year in the Watauga Democrat makes interesting reading too, especially the report that developer Phil Templeton, Jeff Templeton's father and a prime mover in Citizens for Change, heckled incumbent candidate Lynne Mason from the audience.

We note that the Certification to Return to Active Status (pictured below) was dated October 3, which means that the PAC will not under current law have to report any contributions or expenditures until well after the election is over, in January 2014. We note that because the timing seems intentional, as though someone were willing to hide out until after the planned damage has been done.

For the record, in 2007 Citizens for Change raised $45,426.12 and spent most of it. That total in cash does not count what Phil Templeton individually spent on multiple newspaper ads (many of them full-page), though he was also a big donor to Citizens for Change.

Also for the record, and in case anyone has forgotten the full extent of current Templeton family power: Phil's daughter (and Jeff's sister) Anne Marie Yates is chair of the Watauga County Republican Party and is named in one of the charges currently pending against the Republican majority on the Watauga County Board of Elections. Anne Marie Yates is married to Perry Yates, a new Watauga County Commissioner, and she is sister of Mark Templeton, a candidate for Boone Town Council in the November elections. Mark Templeton made a Citizens for Change-style endorsement of Matt Long and James Milner at the candidate forum last Tuesday, and presumably it is this "Team Templeton" that will be the object of affection for the reactivated Citizens for Change.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Lesson of Pete Gilbert

Pete Gilbert, standing. Montravius King,
2nd from right
Pete Gilbert is the chairman of the Pasquotank County Republican Party. Pete Gilbert successfully induced the Republican majority on the Pasquotank County Board of Elections to kick Montravius King off the Elizabeth City municipal ballot. Pete Gilbert hated the idea of college students voting in local elections, let along running for local office. Pete Gilbert got scolded for that at the State Board of Elections hearing which ended up reinstating Montravius King to the ballot. On Tuesday of this week, Montravius King won a seat on the Elizabeth City town council, becoming the youngest elected official in the entire state of North Carolina.

We can't resist wondering how Pete Gilbert feels today. He had bragged, back when he was successfully suppressing Montravius King, that he was going to take his crusade against college students across the state, and Civitas Action was clearly gearing up to help him. Susan Myrick of Civitas, who sat next to Gilbert when he got Montravius kicked off the ballot, was subsequently seen conferring with Republican Party officials in Watauga County.

Mark Templeton
Anne Marie Yates, Chair of the Watauga County Republican Party, could not contain her glee about secret plans to hobble the voting of Appalachian State University students. She and other Republicans had a plan that was going to get her brother Mark Templeton elected to the Boone Town Council. Mr. Templeton made it clear at Tuesday night's candidate forum in Boone that he was the leader of a handpicked team of the other Republicans candidates, Matt Long and James Milner.

Anne Marie Yates burbled about her plans to get that team into office to a Watauga Democrat reporter, and that interview has since become an exhibit in the petition to remove the Republican members of the Watauga County Board of Elections for malfeasance.

One of those two Republican members of the Watauga BOE, Bill Aceto, also could not contain his glee at what was about to happen to Watauga County voters (more specifically, ASU voters) at the notorious August 12th meeting of the Watauga BOE. According to the petition referenced above, Aceto told a Democratic candidate in the upcoming election that he and Luke Eggers were about to take the gloves off.

Pete Gilbert might have words of wisdom for these folks, if Pete Gilbert has learned anything in the meantime.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Asheville Will Be on The Daily Show

Don Yelton
We're told that the segment filmed recently in Asheville by "The Daily Show" regular Aasif Mandvi and focusing on voter suppression in North Carolina will be broadcast Oct. 23rd or Oct. 24th, and it will feature an interview with Buncombe County conservative Don Yelton. Yelton is already suspicious that he will be made to look "racist."

One wonders why he would think that. He knows what he said. If he's ever watched The Daily Show, he should know that if he said anything outrageous or stupid or "racist," it'll get major play.

The Buncombe GOP is even more factionalized and poisonous than the Watauga GOP. Yelton is part of the Tea Party wing, and he was kicked out of the regular Buncombe Republican Party last year. He's been some sort of local talk show host and enjoys describing himself as the "Rush Limbaugh of Western North Carolina."

You wouldn't expect the Rush Limbaugh of Western North Carolina to say something "racist," now would you?

Yelton has run repeatedly and unsuccessfully for public office. Apparently, he can't resist a TV camera or any opportunity to be in the spotlight.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

FourEggeritis Spreading in State Government

We know about sanitizing official meeting minutes in Watauga County, in order to present to history a version of frictionless voter suppression.

Now we learn about a higher-stakes game of rewriting official government documents in order to deny poor people access to relief under the Affordable Care Act and to build a bogus case for privatizing Medicaid in North Carolina.

Whizzes at creating fantasy realities, these Republican overlords.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Web He's Woven

Reproduced below is a letter from Stacy C. Eggers ("Four"), responding to a public records request filed by Kellen Short on behalf of the Watauga Democrat newspaper. It reveals, among other things, certain problems inherent in running the Watauga County Board of Elections behind the scenes (as revealed by the Winston-Salem Journal here and here, and while we're at it, this editorial too) while also providing privileged lawyer-client advice to that same board.

So here we are now, or at least were on September 27th, with the man who's been proven to be the author of everything presented and voted on at Watauga BOE meetings, including rewritten (sanitized) minutes (and while we're at it, this editorial also), and the man who sat down at his office computer while his little brother was conducting the August 12th meeting of the Board of Elections and wrote a letter to the State BOE while identifying himself as Luke Eggers ... here is Four Eggers now saying he is advising his little brother and the other Republican member of the BOE on what must be divulged and what doesn't have to be divulged.

There's a certain amount of gall involved in piously telling reporter Kellen Short that he's offered to advise odd-woman-out on the BOE, Kathleen Campbell, on what emails she needs to surrender, when word is that he would not answer earlier written questions from her about proper procedure, or help her in drafting a resolution for the board, because, he said, he's county attorney. On some days, being county attorney means not assisting the Democrat on the board, and on some other days, it means helping little brother Luke and Bill Aceto scrub go through their documents.

Buried in the second paragraph of the letter below is a pretty interesting signal that he's advised his little brother and Bill Aceto that any email correspondence between him, as County freaking Attorney, and little bro/Bill Aceto would be privileged (that is, not subject to public inspection), because when he writes to them, and they write to him, he's serving in the role of County freaking Attorney and not as puppet master to the Board of Elections.

Yeah ... nothing wrong here. Just business as usual in Watauga freaking County.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Kevin Siers, yesterday, in the Charlotte Observer. Meanwhile, NC GOP Chair Claude Pope begins nervously whistling past the graveyard.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


That's "Virginia," as in Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

Photo taken yesterday near SkateWorld in western Watauga County, N.C.

Watauga Board of Elections ... "After Hours"

When the Watauga County Board of Elections adjourned its meeting yesterday, Board Chair Four Luke Eggers got out of that room fast. That may have been at least partly because the small courtroom on the first floor of the County Courthouse was full past capacity with citizens who were disturbed with his administration of voting in this county. Many of them carried hand-lettered signs accusing him and fellow Republican member Bill Aceto of malfeasance (generally) and of mistreatment of elections Director Jane Anne Hodges (specifically).

After Mr. Eggers fled the room, though, Jane Anne Hodges began to answer questions from the audience, and then so did Bill Aceto (to his credit, Mr. Aceto lingered in the room and listened and even answered a question). The new Board, at its very first meeting on August 12th, had passed a new "gag" rule that they would hear no public comment at any of their meetings, and yesterday's "after hours" -- with Four Luke Eggers nowhere he could hear what was said -- became a fairly pointed example of why the public needs to be heard.

Aceto made the real news of the day when he responded to a question from the audience: No, he said, he would not support a transfer voting station on the Appalachian State University campus for the November 5th election.

Why is that big news? Because a transfer voting station always handles a heavy volume of voters -- especially young, first-time voters -- who are confused about where to go. They often end up in the transfer station on campus. There's been one there for many election cycles. There's also a transfer station usually at the Courthouse.

Jane Anne Hodges said that she certainly hoped that "her board" would be reasonable and allow a transfer station on campus, because without a transfer station there will be a much larger volume of "provisional votes" -- votes cast "out of precinct" by voters whose registrations will then have to be verified in a time-consuming process. We feel certain that Aceto's "no" was the position of the Republican majority. Someone in that audience last evening pointed out to Mr. Aceto that the ulterior motive for removing a transfer station from campus was obvious and odious: It's just another part of a bigger scheme to discourage, block, frustrate, hinder, and otherwise depress the youth vote.

Someone in the audience who has worked repeatedly as a transfer station elections aide pointed out that without a transfer station, students in the wrong precinct would be forced to vote provisionally, a long and complicated process requiring the proper filling out of paper forms. Prediction: long lines, angry voters, more tart public attention on Four Luke Eggers and Bill Aceto.

Focus on a transfer voting station on campus became heightened after some statistics came to light earlier in the meeting. Director Hodges reported that, of 412 new registrations in Watauga County since Sept. 3...
approximately 70% of them were for voters under the age of 22
approximately 70% of them are Boone municipal voters
almost 50% live in dorms on the ASU campus
about 50% live in Boone 2 and Boone 3 precincts
The stats from August's 633 new registrations were even starker:
about 70% were under the age of 22
90% of them are Boone municipal voters
more than 70% of them live in ASU dorms
70% of them live in Boone 2 and Boone 3 precincts
These are the very voters being singled out by Eggers and Aceto for discouragement, for hindrance, and for frustration.

Their ulterior motive was also abundantly clear in their refusal to deal with or even acknowledge the physical problems in the Legends polling place for Boone 2, despite a memorandum from Jane Anne Hodges that they needed to address certain deficiencies in that location and despite a memorandum from State BOE Director Kim Strach that they needed to recognize and deal with those deficiencies. They refused.

That's what they do. They're on a glide path and remotely controlled.

Bertrand Gutierrez's report on this meeting in the Winston-Salem Journal this morning is required reading for a bunch of other stuff not covered here (including the fact that the new voter suppression law passed this year in Raleigh will throw out ALL provisional votes beginning in 2016, which is one of the main complaints being brought against the NC law by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder).

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Foxx and Friends

Holy Crap

Some of us love a conspiracy theory more than butter pecan ice cream. Some of us subscribe to the sure-fire way of knowing a conspiracy is true: if there's absolutely no evidence, it proves that the cover-up is working!

Public Policy Polling gives us plenty of face-palm moments today:

62% of Republicans believe that the Obama Administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away.

One in four Americans say that President Obama is secretly trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond 2017 – including almost half of Republicans (44%).

42% of Republicans think that Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems.

Republicans (21%) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (9%) to believe that the U.S. government engages in so-called “false flag” operations, where the government plans and executes terrorist or mass shooting events and blames those actions on others.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Foxx: "My Partisanship Don't Stink!"

Received in my in-box at 2:21 a.m. last night, a press release from Virginia Foxx that was full of self-righteousness and finger-pointing about the government shutdown (which, incidentally, Madam Foxx owns):

President Obama, Harry Reid, and Senate Democrats flat-out refused to come to the table to shape a bipartisan solution to keep the government open. I am incredibly disappointed that their ‘our way or the highway’ mindset has carried us past the government funding deadline and started the eighteenth government shutdown.

This Halloween, I'm going as "Angel," the handsome, shy, winged mutant in the "X Men." Actually, I'll be staying in and modeling my wings in my full-length mirror. Haven't gotten any party invitations yet.


House Republicans worked alone in good faith this weekend to keep the government open.  We also passed an additional provision that ensures active-duty military will continue to be paid in spite of the Senate stalemate.

When I was a child, I was too poor to afford costumes. Sometimes I tried fashioning something out of toe sacks, but no one would give me candy. I still hate them all and will see them in hell.


As the federal funding deadline approached, House Republicans knew the solution to keep government open had to be bipartisan – that’s the reality when Congress is comprised of a Republican House and a Democrat Senate.

Angel the winged mutant is way cool, and I give him extra, secret powers to shoot rays that melt people's faces. Well, mainly socialists' faces. They're already icky.


Just as Obamacare passed on purely partisan votes, the President’s legacy of partisanship continues.

I burned down a neighbor's barn once. I'm thinking of doing it again.