Friday, August 17, 2007

Charm Offensive

The outing of "Citizens for Change" in the local press (and there's another article in today's Watauga Democrat) has caused the following explosions of contempt:

1. Wednesday on his WATA radio show, co-host Jim Hastings went into a rant about the CFC's being exposed this close to the election. He blamed -- who else? -- Pam Williamson as the behind-the-scenes editorial director of both the Watauga Democrat and the Mountain Times. We note in passing that if CFC is such an upstanding group of sterling civic-minded citizens, it wouldn't be foaming at the mouth about being exposed to the light of day.

2. Last night at the monthly meeting of the Boone Town Council, CFC king-pin Phil Templeton staged a snit-fit in a personal attack on town attorney Sam Furgiuele and the entire Town Council (save Dempsey Wilcox, whom Templeton hearts). GoBlueRidge reported on it here late last night.

With their activities now widely known, CFC mouthpieces can do no more than spin the press as best they can (witness today's Watauga Democrat). Although there's a general admission that the steep-slope compromise ordinance is the source of their bile, there's now emerging -- thanks mainly to Reba Moretz -- an alternative "history" of the group, that they're all about "natives" running the town rather than people who aren't sufficiently pedigreed, since "natives" like Dempsey Wilcox, Tim Wilson, and Stephen Phillips KNOW when they're supposed to kowtow to certain special interests. The current Town Council obviously doesn't know whose rings they must kiss, and promptly.

Meanwhile, the candidates endorsed by CFC are acting like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths. Dempsey Wilcox, particularly, in today's Watauga Democrat article becomes a prose minimalist in describing his connection to the group, as though the fewest words will attract the least attention to the special interests he's sold out to: "They asked me to come to their meeting, I did; they asked me my stance on the issues, I did; and they decided to endorse me."

Meanwhile, Stephen Phillips' equivocation about CFC has now become its own self-parody. He's trying to have it both ways. He's told us that he does not accept the CFC endorsement. If that were true, it would be a simple matter for him to demand that they stop bandying his name around, yet his name continues to be paraded as an endorsee of the group. In today's paper he claims he doesn't know how one would go about accepting or declining an endorsement. Is there a piece of paper one could fill out? This ignorant act is wearing waaaay thin.

Then there's poor Ethan Dodson, the student who's being led by the nose and told what to do. Except there was apparently no one standing by to tell him not to embrace CFC so blatantly when the press called for a quote. So he professes himself tickled pink that this group -- ANY group -- embraces his candidacy. "I think their causes and the nature of what they stand for is questionable to some people, but certainly not to me," he said. "They're the only group that invited me to speak, so I was very grateful."

Well, thank goodness it wasn't the Antivivisection League that took note of him! He'll evidently go with anyone who blows in his ear.

Dodson is playing the "native" card too, that somehow being born here should make him less woefully uninformed about town issues. Fact is, he doesn't care about any of the multiple challenges facing this little burg. He's all about the College of Education building. He's swallowed the lie that the Town of Boone is just being mean about that proposed building, that therefore the Town of Boone hates ASU students (nice leap of logic, that!), and he's throwing in with this CFC in order to stand up for students (another nice leap of logic, since many in CFC have nothing but contempt for the educational mission and its performance at ASU. We're looking in your direction, David Blust).

If Dodson weren't such a tool of cynical manipulators, he might educate himself about the actual facts behind the College of Education stand-off. But we're not holding our breath.

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