Trying to figure out where the local Republican Party stands on the high school issue was considerably clarified by the (admittedly less than clear) "party platform" published last week in the Watauga Democrat (see "So Many Contradictions, So Little Time," down-column).
The party leaders are OPPOSED to a new school. Some of their candidates are kissing that ring, most notably James Coffey (commission candidate), David Blust (N.C. Senate candidate), and of course Allen Trivette (school board candidate). Mr. Coffey reportedly signed the petition aimed at derailing the school through a referendum. Blust bragged way back that opposition to this school would be BIG, "another zoning issue" in Watauga. He was brave enough to actually vote against the budget based on his opposition.
But two commission candidates now say they support a new school -- Triplett and Honeycutt -- though Honeycutt wasn't nearly as publicly brave as Blust and skipped the meeting when he could have voted funding for the new school up or down. All the Republican school board candidates too, save Mr. Trivette, seem to be falling into line in favor of a new school.
Why can't Honeycutt stand up? It's an odd position to be in ... to buck your party (quietly) on the one hand, telling people privately you support the new school, while publicly refusing to take any official action that would help achieve the goal. Honeycutt, we hear, would NOT sign the petition for the referendum. One wonders what he'll do when the decision on whether to grant a referendum lands in the county commissioners' laps? Will he vote to allow a referendum or not? Or maybe he'll find he has pressing business out of town that day.
Meanwhile, riddle us this: Let's say for the sake of argument that the Republicans sweep the County Commission seats this year, much as the Democrats swept them in 2004. As we count it, the outcome will still be pro-new school. Triplett will vote for a new school. Deal & Kinsey will vote for a new school. That's a majority of three votes. Honeycutt will have kept SAYING he was for a new school but probably won't ever end up voting for anything that actually costs money, because he's afraid of a handful of old lizards who run his party.
The point is, if you're opposed to the new school ON PRINCIPLE, why would you bother to vote Republican?
FOOTNOTE TO LEAKERS: For those on both sides of the split in the local GOP who've been trying to feed me dirt about the other side ... you DO have to have more than the blurry picture you sent us. And assertions are not the same as evidence (though I understand from recent GOP history why the two are so often confused).