It was awfully sweet for those darlings over at McClatchy to illustrate yesterday’s proceedings at the state bar with a pic of Mark Harris bawling his eyes out.
The only thing that could top that? Video and / or photos of McClatchy employees crying their eyes out as they’re handed their pink slips and escorted out of the office by security. (*If you have anything like that. Hit us, up. Put-leeeeeeeeze.*)
Actually, you can’t blame Harris for cracking under the pressure. The Southern Baptist pastor has been smeared as some kind of low-life. He’s been chased all over the place by drivebys demanding he confess to an assortment of crimes.
Meanwhile that little punk Dan McCready — who went to The Candidate Store™ and picked up a wife, some babies and a military uniform — has gotten quite a pass. He’s little more than a stalking horse for big-dog crony capitalist influence peddlers like David Gergen and former Duke Power CEO Jim Rogers. Yet, he’s presented as some kind of capitalist impresario.
McCready has been able to dodge taking positions on issues, passing himself as some kind of “moderate” — while importing a traveling circus, a veritable freak show of radical homosexual and anti-abortion activists from out of state to do his bidding in the Ninth.
We’re spending sooooooo much time on lil’ ol’ Bladen County (which is not even completely IN the congressional district). Meanwhile, McCready forces flooded six to seven figures of cash into Bladen and Robeson counties. *But thaaaaaaaaaat’s not interesting.*
Also, we had some low-key below-radar meetings at Erskine Bowles’s house throughout the campaign. These meetings included Dan McCready and — from what we understand — county elections officials (Democrats, of course) from Bladen, Robeson and a few other counties in The Ninth. We know one Democrat elections board member from Robeson County made at least ONE of those meetings at Erskine’s house. What got discussed? Were deals cut? Did money change hands?
Let’s move on to some of the developments during testimony. One of the more monster developments — totally missed by the drivebys — came when Harris consultant Andy Yates testified that the Pittenger campaign alerted Dallas Woodhouse at NCGOP HQ about “red flags” on GOTV consultant McRae Dowless. Apparently, according to Yates, Woodhouse couldn’t find time to warn the Harris campaign about said “red flags” or the fact that Dowless had been a “person of interest” in a 2016 “vote fraud” investigation:
SBOE —Did you know that aides to Pittenger had approached the North Carolina Republican Party’s Executive Director because they believed fraud had accrued?
Yates – No sir.
SBOE- Were you aware that they had approached the political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee?
SBOE- What is the National Republican Congressional Committee?
Yates- It’s the Campaign Committee whose job is to make sure Republicans get elected to congress across the United States.
SBOE- And who is the executive director of the state party?
Yates- Dallas Woodhouse
SBOE- If you had been aware that they had expressed concerns to Mr. Woodhouse or to an employee of the NRCC that fraud had taken place, what would your reaction have been?
Yates- I would have wanted to seek out more information because in my opinion Congressman Pittenger is not a trustworthy person and there’s some people working on,.. while there are some people such as Paul Shumaker working on his campaign I consider trustworthy, there were several of his staff members on the ground that I didn’t always know to be trustworthy. So I wouldn’t have taken it on its face from them but I would have investigated it,asked for information,want to know what what they knew.
SBOE- You for sure would have expected that the Party would have notified you?
Yates- Yes.And if they knew that and they didn’t, that makes me livid with the Party.I’d be very sad and disappointed.
Chairman —Let me follow up for just one second here.Did you know or were you ever told that Mr. Dowless asserted his 5th Amendment rights in hearings before the State Board in 2016, following the McCrory …
Yates- No Mr. Chairman I was never told that.
Chairman — Republican party officials didn’t tell you that?
Yates- No sir they did not.
Chairman — Thank you.Please go ahead.
SBOE- Would you have expected that they would have shared that information with you?
Yates- Yes.Especially after I told them that Mr. Dowless was working with the Harris campaign,
SBOE- And did they ever express any concern about that?
Yates- They did not.
SBOE- And after Mr Pittenger or his aides raised these concerns they still didn’t express them to you?
Yates- They did not.
SBOE- Does it surprise you they didn’t ?
Yates- It shocks me that they didn’t.
SBOE- Do you think that maybe they notified someone else on the campaign other than you?
Yates- I would be surprised because I was the main point of contact at that time between the state party in the campaign.
SBOE- And what about the NRCC and the campaign?
Yates- I was the main point of contact between the NRCC and the campaign.They talk to other folks I’m sure but I was especially early I was the main point of contact.The day after the primary I spent hours actually standing in my front yard talking to both, to folks from the NRCC.
SBOE- Do you know Mr. Foote?
Yates- I do know Mr. Foote.
SBOE- And he never raised a concern?
Yates- He never raised a concern with me about it.
SBOE- Do you know Mr. Woodhouse?
Yates- I do.
SBOE- And did he ever raise it with you?
Yates- He did not.
SBOE- Would have been unusual for the NRCC to talk to one of it’s candidates directly about this?
Yates- It wouldn’t be unusual for them to talk to one of their candidates.I think an issue of this nature I believe the NRCC would have come to the consultant.
SBOE- But they didn’t come to the consultant?
Yates- They did not come to the consultant.
SBOE- So if they didn’t come to the consultant, who else might they have gone to on the campaign?
Yates- They could have gone to the candidate. They could have gone to the campaign manager. They could have spoken to the state party about.Had some communication with the State Party.I’m speculating now but that’s people they could have potentially gone to because that’s people they talk to.
SBOE- That’s not total speculation because you know who the lines of communication are between the State Party and the campaign, right?
Yates- Correct.Yes sir.
SBOE- And it would have been you, the campaign manager, the candidate?Anyone else?
Yates- They may have talked to the fundraiser but would that would have only been about fundraising.
SBOE- And with the NRCC, same question.It would have been you, it would have been the campaign manager and the candidate.Is that correct?
Yates- Yes sir.
SBOE- And it wasn’t you.
Yates- It wasn’t me.
SBOE- When did you tell Republican officials that Mr. Dowless was working for the Harris campaign?
Yates- I told Dallas Woodhouse the day after the Primary.
SBOE- And what was his reaction?
Yates- His reaction, he was asking about different results and his reaction was,asking what they could do to,..He said “I hope you’re going to continue to work with him in the general election and he wanted to know if there was anything he could do to make Mr. Dowless’s efforts more successful. To help with his efforts.
SBOE- Did you, and I understand this would have been after the 27th, have you subsequently learned that Mr. Woodhouse said that he remembers hearing about anomalies and took a cursory look at the end of that race and the vote totals?
Yates- I don’t remember reading that, but there’sbeen so many stories that have come outafter the 27th and I can guarantee you I haven’t read all of them .
SBOE- But if he had done that you would have expected that he would have let you know?
Yates- You’re darn right I would have.
SBOE- And if not you, the candidate?
Yates- If not me the candidate but I would have expected that he let me know.In fact I feel like there would have been an obligation for him to let me know.
SBOE- Did he have a relationship with Dr. Harris?
Yates- At that point not at that point not really. Just cursory.
SBOE- But he could have picked up the phone call and called Dr. Harris.
Yates- As far as I know he knows how to use a phone.He can pick up the phone and call anybody.[…]