Beaufort county commissioner has choice words for NCGOP and Chairman Pope





County commissioners Stan Deatherage and Hood Richardson have fought a lot of good fights for the GOP in Beaufort County.  They’ve locked horns with the Basnight machine and can be credited with a significant amount of the GOP’s success on the ground there.

In recent years, they’ve watched NCGOP operatives from Raleigh come into town to try and pick winners and losers in local races.  More recently, they’ve seen some apparent Raleigh-based monkey business over nominations to the Beaufort County board of elections.  I’m getting the impression that these two guys have had enough.  Check out what Deatherage has to say on the Beaufort County NOW site:

Republican County Commissioner Hood Richardson: “If I was called upon to reduce the success of this meeting with Claude Pope into an essay, I could sum it up in just one phrase: We got NOTHING!”

Last Thursday, July 18, 2013, a rather large delegation of Beaufort County’s very best Republicans sojourned to Raleigh to the NC GOP headquarters to meet with recently elected chairman Claude Pope about egregious improprieties foisted upon the local party by the state party. At the core of this pilgrimage was that the NC GOP subverted the wishes of the local party’s right to appoint two Republican members to the Beaufort County Board of elections, and instead, appointed their choice, former RINO County Commissioner Jay McRoy, to the local board, thereby supplanting their choice, McRoy, for the people’s choice – Delma Blinson – of the Beaufort County Republican Party. What makes the matter worse is that the NC GOP created the elaborate false narrative that North Carolina’s State Board of Elections was at fault – that they pushed the nomination of RINO McRoy. 

  In other words, rather than assume responsibility for their gross transgression against party and grass roots principles here Downeast, they elected to pack it off on the much maligned SBOE: Explaining that they were were responsible for the choice of RINO McRoy, and hoped we would just go away, and the leave the “Establishment GOP” to their own sorry devices. 

Enter Beaufort County Hood Richardson and what I have come to coin as the “Hood Principle” into the equation. The NC GOP bureaucracy was ill prepared to withstand the nuanced intellectual resources, and doggedness of Commissioner Richardson, who bounced from one false narrative to the better truth to determine what was the reality of the matter. And … as many of you should well know, “The Hood” did ascertain that truth, which was the NC GOP’s amateurish attempt to usurp the authority of a duly elected Beaufort County Republican Party Executive Committee’s dominion. Lying to fellow Republicans to cover-up corrupt behavior or ineptitude in performance is not a pretty sight, and should never be part and parcel of any political party that professes to be closest to the people – the grass roots.

The next step was for the Beaufort County Republican party to meet with North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope, as I did previously describe, which they did, led by Beaufort County Republican Party Chairman Keith Kidwell, former county chair Charles Hickman, who resigned his post on the Beaufort County Board of Elections over this transgression, Beaufort Observer Editor Delma Blinson and “The Hood” to afford the NC franchise an opportunity to explain itself. I did not attend, and, therefore, gave Commissioner Richardson my proxy as prescribed in my e-mail to the North Carolina Party Chairman, which is shown here just below in this post. 

To sum up what I heard from some of the participants regarding the success of their collective sojourn, Commissioner Richardson’s “NOTHING” assessment was most succinct.

In this paragraph, I shall further sum up that meeting, with this one understanding: I offer to all whom may be offended, and otherwise, all the cyber space necessary to rebut or comment in this well read publication. In summation, Chairman Pope recounts and advises: That the aforementioned transgression did not occur on his watch, so enough about that. What is most important is that the North Carolina Republican Party pull together, from top to bottom, to support whomever is the candidate, irrespective of whether that candidate is worthy of that support. Furthermore, stop publishing news and information that is outside of the party’s established talking points. In short: The party works best when we all do as we are told, all corrupt behavior notwithstanding. 

O’kay I get it; however, my response to the Chairman and the valiant efforts of my local Rpublican Party can well be summed up in my unanswered aforementioned e-mail to Chairman Pope, so therefore in this unresponded to e-mail response, might I offer my succinct rebuttal to all: 

From Stan Deatherage to NC GOP Chairman Claude Pope

sent on July 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Dear Chairman Pope,

I will be unable to attend the meeting to discuss at what point the North Carolina GOP elected to usurp all authority of the Beaufort County Republican Party to select their representatives to the Beaufort County Board of Elections.

  As the first Republican ever re-elected in Beaufort County, for any office, after Reconstruction, and as someone who has won 5 elections for county commissioner, and, moreover, as someone who has had to endure a re-count in one general election, with no friends on the local Board of Elections, I personally know how important it is to have good people of integrity serving on our behalf. 

  In this sorry matter of the NC GOP, the duly elected executive committee did overwhelming select two of our best people to accept the board of election mantel as our representatives, and then you people, in Raleigh, elected to select one of our worst, Jay McRoy, a certified RINO of the first order. In this obviously unvetted choice, you could not have done a poorer job, which well manifested to the Republicans of Beaufort County that you would rather show us that Republicans are managed better from the top down, rather than we mastering our own collective political fates from the grass roots’ position of from the bottom up. 

   The top down method, employed by Speaker Thom Tillis and his minions, was well shown to us in three specific general assembly races in last season’s primaries, and in all three of these primaries, the local citizen’s choices prevailed, and the heavily funded representatives of the “Boys from Raleigh” lost. 2 of these candidates, Norm Sanderson and Bill Cook won seats in the senateMattie Lawson lost by a narrow margin when some of the political operatives for Speaker Thom Tillis elected to work for the Democrat Paul Tine. 

“Sour Grapes?”

Ask yourself this: How well do you think Thom Tillis will do Downeast when he runs for U.S. Senator? 

Even though I will be unable to attend that meeting, my proxy will be given to County Commissioner Hood Richardson, who has served nearly 16 years with me during my 5 terms, and someone who I hold in deep respect.

    Hood Richardson, like myself, understands what it means to be a real Republican


Stan Deatherage
Beaufort County Commissioner, President of SNI, Publisher of Beaufort County NOW

14 thoughts on “Beaufort county commissioner has choice words for NCGOP and Chairman Pope

  1. The state party has too much cronyism and not enough accountability. Our good county organizations and our good candidates should not expect much leadership from this bunch. Ruling is not leadership. Our state party dishonors the grassroots of the party and imposes a top down method of operation that results in crony appointments as well as candidate recruitment and support of yes men. Hayes is out; Pope is in. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  2. One thing I really do not understand about Claude Pope is that this manipulation of the BOE list apparently happened on Robin Hayes watch. Hayes has a position in the liberal ”Rockefeller Republican” Ripon Society and is a lackey of the DC beltway GOP establishment. One of the best ways for Pope to clear the stale establishment air in the NCGOP would be to distance himself from Hayes. Yet, as in the Beaufort County example, he circles the wagons to defend Hayes’ shananigans.

    We have had a series of state chairmen, mostly beginning with Cobey, but a bit of it even goes back to Currin, who have been centralizers, trying to concentrate power in the party in Raleigh and take it away from the grassroots. This is an evil and destructive force in the party and needs badly to be reversed. Since Cobey, an insider clique in Raleigh has selected the establishment nominee for state chairman, UNTIL Pope. With Pope’s candidacy, the governor essentially told the Cobey clique to stand down and they did. Hayes abandoned his intent to run for reelection, and Wayne King abandoned his role as crown prince for the Cobey clique. With the Cobey clique gone, Pope has a chance to reenergize the grassroots by reversing Raleigh’s power grabs. Is he up to the task? He talks a good game but actions speak louder than words, and the Beaufort County controversy is a key test. That is true even more so than the Craven and Davidson controversies. How Pope handles this will tell us if we finally have a real champion of the grassroots at the helm of the NCGOP, or if we have just exchanged one Raleigh power clique for another.

    The issue in Beaufort County is not over. Another GOP BOE member resigned in disgust at the appointments that were made, so there is a vacancy. Whether Pope honors the list from the county in the order submitted by the county will be the key test of what Pope is made of. He now knows that those behind the attacks on the county party list are vindictive losers who lost badly at the March county convention, and before that lost badly when they got behind a former liberal Democrat legislator for the GOP House nomination. Will Pope stand with vindictive losers or with the official position of the county party executive committee? If Pope does the former, then we can completely give up on Pope. I am hopeful that he will honor the proper party process.

    The Craven situation is simmering again, too, as a result of the resolution passed last Thursday by their county executive committee, and how Pope handles that one also goes a long way to show whether he honors local leadership decisions or tries to second guess things from Raleigh.

    1. You’re right. The election board decision before Chairman Pope now will tell all. This one is his for sure and he must own it.

      It will also be interesting to see what happens with the Craven County situation. The Craven County Executive Committee has taken a stand. Is the state party speaking with them, at them or at all?

      In a similar situation last year Chairman Hayes was not interested in communicating with the Beaufort County Executive Committee. Instead, he and Political Director Canady kept a direct line of communication with other local lackeys. Communicating with county toadies instead of county executive committees didn’t work well for Hayes. I wonder if Pope will be that arrogant.

      1. I think most Republicans would like to see a party that functions like it should, so that we can spend our energy fighting Democrats rather than among ourselves. Robin Hayes and his cronies never understood that, and I hope that Claude Pope will. Arrogance from Raleigh, like Hayes, Tillis, et al just causes disunity at lower levels and the arrogance needs to stop so that the party can stop fighting itself.

  3. Thanks Brant for helping get the word out that some us still believe that the true “Grass Roots” still matters in Republican politics and governing.

    The word on the street is that you are one of the most astute political journalist in North Carolina, and that includes representatives from the MSM and the OMG, so this means a lot to me that you favor us by casting some light about what transpires here Downeast. In that respect, a growing number of us are getting well tired of getting pushed around, and may ultimately rebel by working for only candidates that we truly believe in, that are sympathetic to “Grass Roots” governing.

    The that effect we will quite wise to the “Grass Roots” posers that say one thing and then govern a different way.

    Thankfully, there are a growing number of publications, like ours, that will help the public devise the proverbial wheat from the chaff.

  4. If the State GOP wants to run things, why don’t they step up and demand the removal of democrats that still occupy key policy positions. We could use another Brad Hayes

    1. I think you are talking about state government rather than the situation in the party structure down east. Claude Pope ran on a platform that included helping push Republicans for policy level state government jobs, and if he can actually accomplish that, it would be extremely helpful. We will see. McCrory does not have an equivalent of Brad Hayes that I can see. Brad was Governor Martin’s political consultant and came to Raleigh once a week for meetings on policy and personnel. He was a hands on political guy and had tremendous clout within the administration. Many of us expected Jack Hawke to play a similar role for McCrory but that does not seem to be happening. Jack has had some health problems, to be sure, but his disappearance seems to be more than that. The other factor that is missing from the Jim Martin days is Wilma Sherrill. Wilma had 14 or 15 people working for her and rode heard on all state government jobs, big and small from the governor’s office. McCrory has no real equivalent within the governor’s office, but instead farms out personal to the cabinet secretaries, half of whom are not even Republicans in the first place.

      1. I agree. However, we must consider the big picture; State GOP, district and county leadership and state government. Many of us feel McCrory is getting poor advice from state personnel as well as departmental personnel folks. He also is allowing solid (Easley/Purdue) democrats to remain in policy positions. He is also accepting direction from some people who can only be described as politically ignorant. I am afraid that we are reaching a point of no return; and McCrory will be viewed as a weak governor. As someone else said, “it’s time for McCrory to rattle some teeth.” After surviving over 20 years in state government as a Republican, I can assure you that I know what I’m talking about.

        1. We are going off topic to discuss what McCrory needs to do to right the ship. However, it is an important topic, in and of itself. Governor Martin tried to operate the governor’s office without a chief of staff. That did not work, so he took corrective action and brought Phil Kirk over from DHR to be chief of staff, with Nancy Team / Temple as his assistant. That corrected the problem. Martin always had Brad Hayes watching his back politically and Wilma Sherrill keeping close tabs on personnel. McCrory has the chief of staff part down fine, but is missing the Brad Hayes and the Wilma Sherrill parts. Jack Hawke would serve him well if he were brought in to the full Brad Hayes role. Charles Duckett, who is already on the governor’s staff worked for Sherrill in the Martin administration and could do the Sherrill part if he was given a wider portfolio and more staff. There are probably others who could do both roles fine as well, but I was triying to think of people who already had a tight relationship with McCrory, which is needed in either role.

          Others in the party and feeling the same frustration you are, as indicated in this thread:

          We all want our GOP governor and GOP legislature to be successful, so we cringe at slip ups.

  5. OK. So these appointments were made during Pope’s tenure, but he is blaming them on Hayes, but Pope agrees with Hayes. That’s leadership in action, man. Further, the McRoy (ex-commissioner Jay) appointment is a gift wrapped bone to the faction of the Beaufort County Party that was publically recommending voting for Democrats over conservative Republicans as recently as the last election. OK. I get it. That’s a very clear position statement from our state party leadership!

  6. It looks like Chairman Pope got the message and did the right thing on filling the vacancy. He sent the names in the order the county party submitted them, and the State BOE appointed the top name, who was the same guy who had been knifed in the back in Robin Hayes’ rotten backroom deal.

    Of course, thanks to the despicable Robin Hayes, they are still stuck with a party traitor in the other county BOE slot that should go to a Republican, and no way to get him out. But Pope did everything right on his end on the latest one.

    1. Situation A: A party traitor serving with Mr. Hickman.
      Situation B: A party traitor serving with Mr. Blinson.
      Chairman Pope went to situation B, but Beaufort County still got screwed.

      1. Agreed. Beaufort County did get screwed and royally by putting the party traitor on the county BOE. That was due to Robin Hayes, his minions, and a group of Beaufort County losers doing a dirty backroom factional power play. Robin Hayes, who is a remember of the advisory board of the liberal Ripon Society and as establishment as it gets is the main culprit here. Unfortunately, there is no way to discharge the party traitor from the position he holds courtesy of Hayes putting rotten factional deals ahead of the interests of the party, so there is really no opportunity for a Situation C. Pope’s choice was the two names put forward to fill the vacancy of Hickman’s resignation (which he did in disgust over the appointment of the party traitor). Those were Blinson and a party newcomer as the number two. Pope sent the names forward, properly, in the order submitted by the county executive committee, something Hayes should have done if he were not an underhanded backstabber. If Hayes had acted properly, it would have been Blinson and Hickman, with the party backstabber not getting anything.

  7. I don’t doubt that Robin Hayes is to blame for much of this fiasco as well as several others involving meddling and favoritism of establishement toadies. It’s also my understanding that plenty of conversations were going on after the state convention between Beaufort County toadies and members of the state staff. It seems to me that new Chairman Pope should have called the Beaufort County Republican Party Chairman instead of waiting for a call from the elected local Republicans after the fact. If he had done that this all may have been cleared up before damage was done.

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