Friday, February 20, 2004

The 5th Congressional District Circus

Among the several Republican candidates to replace Richard Burr as 5th District congressman is one Nathan Tabor, "a Kenansville millionaire who has built his campaign on the support of local clergy." (Tabor is apparently struggling with Winston-Salem city councilman Vernon Robinson, another 5th District candidate, for the title of Champion of the Religious Right. Robinson, for his part, pulled the stunt of putting up a granite Ten Commandments monument on city property during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, which the city promptly removed.)

Robinson is now being fingered as the source of a hoax email purporting to come from "Pastor Randy" and also purporting to support Tabor by "praying for him." "Dear Fellow Christian Prayer Warrior," the bogus email begins. "Nathan Tabor desperately needs your intercessory prayers today." Why? "Please pray that it be God's will that Nathan will not have to spend one second behind bars," the email message reads. "He is barely more than a child himself."

Classic Republican dirty trick (though employed in this case against a fellow Republican) ... implying that Tabor is about to go to jail over something serious (which is never actually spelled out). The Raleigh News & Observer reports that indeed Tabor did get a traffic ticket in Wilkes county for speeding and for having an expired license. "His court date was Thursday [yesterday], and he was in no danger of going to prison."

The email also mentions other "crimes" from Tabor's youth and even takes a nasty little jab at the youthfulness of Tabor's wife: "The writer mentions that Tabor has a 21-year-old wife who is 'too young to live on her own while her husband is in prison.' It also refers to Tabor, whose family company makes soy supplements for menopausal women, as the 'soyboy playboy.' "

Confronted with the suggestion that it was his campaign that initiated this email smear, Vernon Robinson issued a written statement that virtually howled like the proverbial struck dog: "No one in this campaign is or knows Pastor Randy [obviously not, since he's a totally fictitious character]... If Nathan Tabor has a complaint about all of this information coming to light, he has no one but himself to blame for his past behavior. It looks like Pastor Randy is simply trying to help him out."

Naturally, we're rooting for Vernon Robinson to win this Republican primary. Anyone of his high moral caliber certainly needs to be carrying the banner for the Godly Party.

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