Monday, January 13, 2014

The Homophobe in Charge of Fair Elections in Forsyth

Watauga County is not alone in having a local elections board that's unfit for prime time.

Meet Forsyth County Board of Elections Chair Ken Raymond, who's doing what he can to supplant Luke Eggers as the most partisan elections official in the state.

Like Eggers, Ken Raymond was appointed to the Forsyth County Board of Elections by the Republican leadership back early in the summer, and from the get-go he was on a conservative Republican crusade to insert partisan politics into every nook and cranny of voting in Winston-Salem, but particularly nooks and crannies occupied by black voters.

Raymond has implied that massive fraud is happening in some polling places, particularly ones with majority black voting populations. He suggested placing sheriff's deputies in those precincts. He doesn't like a polling station at majority-black Winston-Salem State University. He's working to get Forsyth County Elections Director Rob Coffman fired, apparently because Coffman has opposed many of his partisan initiatives. Any of that sound familiar to Watauga Countians?

He also lacks a sense of humor about himself, erupting recently in a string of emails that displayed his inflated ego and, quite incidentally, a raging homophobia. To wit:

Back in December, the Winston-Salem Chronicle, a black-owned newspaper, called Raymond out for his allegiance to the Civitas Institute and for his resemblance to other silly far-right black conservatives:
“We think what really fired-up Raymond – who would be the result if Allen West and Herman Cain could produce a lovechild – is his contention that Coffman got snippy and disparaged the Civitas Institute, the Raleigh altar at which Raymond and other conservatives go to worship and receive their calls to action." (emphasis added)
At that provocation, Raymond went off in an email rant, horrified that the suggestion of male-on-male sex had somehow been hung around the neck of his parentage. He seems to have completely missed the if in that editorial sentence. Not that that qualifier would mean anything to this now unmasked homophobe. Raymond wrote the editor a blistering email:
“I’m a love-child produced by two men? Is this is (sic) what you call thoughtful and insightful commentary? This statement is extremely crude and unprofessional. In fact, that concept only leads your readers to think about some of the most debased things in our society.”
Like a boatload of other conservatives, just thinking about gay sex induces a bout of queer fear in Raymond that's perhaps much more revealing than he ever intended. We're embarrassed for him, quite frankly.

Chad Nance at Camel City Dispatch labeled this Raymond outburst as "a little homophobia mixed in with his delusions of grandeur."

He's fit to be a local elections board chair ... why, again?

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