It appears Kim Strach is still stunned and surprised at what all has been happening at the state agency she reportedly runs.
But, I digress. Readers of The N&O website were greeted by THIS particular headline:
Mark Harris had ‘regular communication’ with Bladen County operative, consultant says
*Super.* Now, DID David Gergen/ former Duke CEO Jim Rogers front man Dan McCready ‘regularly’ speak with the people who ran field operations on his side? Inquiring minds want to know.
(*Especially about those meetings at Erskine Bowles’s house during the campaign.*)
From my time in the driveby media, I was always taught that the most important parts of the story need to be incorporated into the headline. People need to be able to read said headline and glean the most important part of the story from that.
Here’s what I see as the most important parts of the story:
- McRae Dowless was described as a very needy person quite often in need of reassurance. Mark Harris is an ordained pastor. Those folks are conditioned toward providing that kind of service to people. I wouldn’t be shocked at someone like Harris reaching out to Dowless to offer encouragement and reassurance.
- This quote from Harris consultant Andy Yates while he was testifying:[…] Yates said that Harris and Dowless spoke regularly and Harris was never uncomfortable with Dowless’ lack of documentation.
“His word was good enough for Dr. Harris,” said Yates. “He was in regular communication with Dr. Harris.”
Yates also said Dowless told him that he knew collecting absentee ballots is illegal and that he would not do so.
“He knew that was illegal and made sure all his folks knew that was illegal,” Yates said Dowless told him of ballot-harvesting. “You could not take that ballot and walk to the mailbox … he never touched one and his folks never touched one.”
Yates said he was comfortable with Dowless during the campaign.
“No red flags. He sounded like someone who knew the law very well,” Yates said. “He sounded like he had run all the traps.”
The headline makes one believe that Harris was part of some sinister criminal plot. Considering the two points I brought up, it clearly looks like Harris was (a) showing some pastor-like compassion to a guy who needed it, and (2) keeping abreast of an important new campaign operation he believed was operating in a lawful manner.
This part of the Yates testimony is even more amusing:
[…] It’s not illegal to collect absentee ballot request forms — just absentee ballots themselves. Paying a campaign worker per ballot request form is unusual, however, and Yates said he hadn’t worked on any similar absentee ballot solicitation programs.[….]
GOTV has worked well for Democrats for so many years in that region. Why not give it a spin, too?
If this all gets looked at in a serious, professional, unbiased manner, the whole Ninth District kerfuffle will go down as the biggest nothing-burger since Russian collusion.