Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Fear of Mark Robinson Spawns a New Competitor


In 2008 -- the last year that North Carolina Democrats swept governor, US senator, and president -- a Salisbury lawyer named Bill Graham ran a very distant 3rd (with only 9% of the vote) in the crowded Republican primary for governor. Pat McCrory won that primary with 46% of the vote but went on to lose the fall election to Bev Perdue (of clouded memory). Bill Graham went back to lawyering in Salisbury and made a lot of money. 

Graham announced his candidacy today for governor. He said that he's donating $5 million of his personal fortune to his campaign and expects to be running TV spots before the first of November. David M. Drucker, a Vanity Fair contributor who just published his 1st book, In Trump's Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the Republican Party, wrote in The Dispatch that Graham is the great white hope of North Carolina conservatives who've grown wary of Mark Robinson's talent for self-immolation. "Republican insiders in North Carolina worry Robinson has too much baggage to win a high-profile contest in a battleground state that has seen Democrats occupy the governor’s mansion for most of the last three decades," writes Drucker.

Don't be fooled. Bill Graham may not bluster like Robinson and break the furniture -- he's a smooth operator with juries in personal injury lawsuits, which is a specialty of his -- but he's ever-bit as hard-core conservative as Robinson. Graham's announcement contained this boilerplate: "We need a nominee who will have the resources, discipline, and character needed to defeat the far-left Josh Stein in November." Labeling with coded language is sooo 1990, and that slur is ridiculous to boot. Josh Stein ain't "far left." 

Graham's bio on his law firm's website paints a picture and checks many boxes:

A committed conservative, he has been a strong supporter of The Jesse Helms Center, where he currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors, and is an active member in the American Conservative Union. Bill served on the U.S. Agriculture Committee for Senator Jesse Helms.

The rest of Drucker's important reporting was hidden from me behind a paywall, which I didn't breach. I'm already in-heavy paying my way. 

The problem With a Very Common Name 

I dare you to Google "Bill Graham" and deal with the thicket of other Bill Grahams, including the late evangelist and a 19th-century governor. You'll find no campaign presence whatsoever for anything resembling "Bill Graham for North Carolina Governor"-- nothing but Drucker's singular piece and an AP story -- no discernible Bill Graham social media presence at all -- no website, no Twitter, no nothing.

Was this candidacy rushed, do you think? And we'd lust to know what Drucker knows, since Drucker obviously has an inside source who leaked the draft announcement to him. Drucker also alludes to a Bill Graham YouTube announcement, which I also can't find. Maybe it'll be released by the time I get this posted. Dunno. I'll want to see it.

Graham is fully capable -- given his past -- of making himself important on TV. He first earned notoriety by leading a crusade against the state gas tax in 2006 while also running for Cabarrus County Commish. I posted about Graham in December of that year:

You may have seen Graham's mug on your TV set during the past year. First he was yelling about the state's gas tax. Closer to the November election, Graham switched his yelling to illegal immigration. He was still on as of last Sunday, on local Channel 18, during "NC Spin."

Taxes and immigration. It doesn't get any more "Standard Conservative Talking Point" than that.

1 comment:

Whitey said...

Come'on,you know the left could never abide an 'off the plantation' black man, or black woman for governor.

I hope this Bill Graham is to the right of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington with a smack o Daniel Morgan, Daniel Boone and my own great-great-great Grandfather who immigrated here from what is now Germany.

HUZZAH! Em Effers!