Carolina Forward as having previously owned a lively (now supposedly scandalous) Facebook page, Spank That Tail, that advocated, sometimes quite humorously, for more corporal punishment for children, especially those caught “twerking” and not going to church. Especially not going to church.
The Charlotte Observer picked up the story, followed by the Raleigh News and Observer, where I saw it a couple of hours ago. Apparently, the now defunct "Spank That Tail" FB page "linked to a website, spankthattail.com, which is inactive. Documents from the N.C. Secretary of State’s Office also show Echevarria as the registered agent of a business called Spank That Tail, LLC. The business formed in December 2014. It was administratively dissolved in 2016."
From what I've now seen of candidate Brian Echevarria, I'm frankly astounded by the way he's handling this meh revelation. He was defensive with the Charlotte Observer -- "it was all joke" -- when clearly it was not a joke but an actual stab at a new business. Was he planning to market wooden paddles? He brags on his website that marketing is his super-power, so it tracks.
I'm surprised that the Echevarria I've been watching on video didn't immediately throw it back in the media's face. I'm surprised he wasn't proud of that funny but marketable entrepreneurship.
|He finished on time, with seconds left over.|
I had to go take a closer look at this guy Echevarria. I found out immediately that he can talk. Not just the perpetual yammer of politics but logical, clear, complex sentences spoken by someone born (or made?) for the microphone. He's got an engaging personality -- all brightness and the joy from knowing he's unimpeachably right -- and the kind of slick delivery that suggests he learned it in church. He's a born preacher, a persuader, a marketeer indeed, but his is not like the preaching of bully Mark Robinson. Echevarria is more on the Ted Talk end of that spectrum than the hellfire and sarcasm end that Robinson occupies.
Echevarria is famous for delivering 3 minutes of a blistering takedown of what he'd heard about CRT (which he clearly didn't really understand), in front of the Cabarrus County School Board. The board members were over-matched by Echevarria. They had already shown cracks in the masks policy for school (it was mid-February of this year, after all, when most people were just giving up and giving in to the idea of catching COVID), and I believe Echevarria, who had many in the audience nodding their heads, laughing at his fluency, and applauding him, I believe he simply cowed that school board. (The video, which went viral and got a write-up in the New York Post, can be seen on his website.)
I totally get Echevarria's point, though I think it's based on a myth, a misunderstanding of history mixed with an understandable defensiveness, and I can't accept that basis. Though I get it why a multi-racial man with an accomplished wife and three kids in the rural South might push back:
“CRT, all of that, the parents don’t want it. It’s a big fat lie,” Echevarria said. “If you believe in CRT … it means you look at your black neighbor and say they’re oppressed and you look at your white neighbor and say they’re evil — regardless of the experience you’ve had with them. We know that’s not true because we believe the lives we live.”
He didn't get recruited by Republican leaders to run for office based on the viral spread of that video, because the speech in front of the Board of Education came last February, and he had already filed to run in December. I know not whether he was recruited or launched this on his own, but his speech on CRT produced a stunning political debut, and he's clearly riding it like a stallion. I'm reminded of his obsession with "the marketplace." He's vague about his "many businesses" and how he makes his living, Linked In says he's a financial advisor (Consolidated Planning Inc., but only since July of this year). I think he's tried many enterprises but at some point understood that his real product is himself, and he's pretty good at selling.
He's a hustler, maybe not in the wholly negative sense that Judge Judy means when she uses the word, but he strikes me as a person on the street who can convince "less skillful players" into competing at a gambling game that he's always going to win. If he makes it to the NC House, he'll rise faster than Mark Robinson and will make more sense. And that's a frightening prospect.
Echevarria's Democratic opponent
House District 73 is brand new after the most recent redistricting. NCFree, which leans right, rates it R + 5, but Dave's Redistricting gives a very slight edge to Democrats: 49.5% v. 47.8% Republican.
HD73 is an open seat. The Democrat running, another first-time candidate upon whom some considerable hope has been pinned, Diamond Staton-Williams, is a member of the Harrisburg Town Council and a nurse, an evidently single mom with three kids, and her personal story is as up-by-her-own-bootstraps as Echevarria's, but her buttoned-down campaign also seems over-matched. She is endorsed by Lillian's List.
She's not got any candidate video that I've found, but she was interviewed by J D Wooten for his "Carolina Democracy" podcast.