John Kane: Taking Care of Business for NC Republicans
NCGOPe flunkies love to pay lip service to the concept of “voter integrity.” John Kane – a candidate for state GOP chairman this year – actually walks the walk out in the field right in the faces of the enemies of election integrity.
In late March, Kane attended a state board of elections field hearing in Surry County. What he saw that day was a textbook case of the NCGOPe leaving outside-the-beltline activists hung out to dry when lefties attack.
Kane put together a video presentation about his day in Surry County that got detailed in this blog post:
[…] When the two Republicans on the Surry County Board of Elections get railroaded by a leftist radical from Orange County the NCGOP is no where to be found. This is the picture of feckless leadership.
The same feckless leadership who is now the RNC General Counsel (despite not have a law license for over 6 years). ~John Kane
I just left Surry County a short while ago. I attended a NC State Board of Elections meeting there. And what I witnessed was really beyond belief.
A Kangaroo Court, as partisan as it could possibly be, just removed the two Republican board members from the Surry County Board of Elections. They did this because a leftist activist out of Orange County filed a Complaint with the State Board of Elections over a letter that these two gentlemen signed that made statements that most folks who are civil-minded and understand that we don’t have free and fair elections would agree with.
NCGOP WAS MIA
This activist march guy was represented by an attorney from – something or other – a 501(c)3 that has “Social Justice” in the title.
[Complainant Bob Hall’s attorney is Hilary Klein. She is the Senior Counsel for Voting Rights with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. We know this because we were at the same seminar Ms. Klein attended on Friday morning of last week and she gave us her business card. She said she wants to know more about the 704 Mecklenburg Mystery Voters who allegedly voted in the 2022 General Election. She lists her pronouns as she/her/hers.]
And not only did the NCGOP not attend, not assist these men, they couldn’t even find them an attorney that these guys wouldn’t have had to pay for out of pocket.
The responsibility of appointing individuals to serve on county boards of election is that of the Chairman of each respective party. It seems that Michael Whatley believes that his duty to appoint members to serve on each county board of elections ends at their appointment. That is absolutely asinine. If you have the obligation and responsibility to appoint people to serve on boards of elections, then you have the responsibility for their performance, and I would contend more importantly, you have the responsibility to have their back – to support them – to not let them get railroaded by an activist [State] board, an activist from half-way across the state, financed by a 501(c)3 that’s antithetical, that’s into everything that’s antithetical to everything Republicans believe in.
[For example, most Republicans believe the only people who should be on the current voter rolls are legal voters. The opposing side believes anyone who has ever lived in North Carolina, regardless of their current, permanent residence, should be on our current voter rolls. If you once lived in NC and were registered to vote in NC, you should be allowed to still vote in NC even though you permanently reside in VA. Unfortunately, that’s not satire.] […]
Kane ended up filing an ethics complaint against state board chairman Damon Circosta, a liberal Democrat in “independent” clothing:
[…] ETHICS COMPLAINT – CONFLICT OF INTEREST
I also have just now filed an ethics complaint with the NC Ethics Commission against the Chairman of the NCSBE, Damon Circosta. He’s employed by a Foundation that made a $50,000 grant to the organization – this Social Justice organization whose employ the the plaintiff’s attorney is in.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.
After hearing these remarks, we went to GuideStar to find this 501(c)3 or Foundation or whatever that allegedly employs NCSBE Chair Damon Circosta. Oh, here it is.
Principal Officer: Damon J Circosta
Video Transcript, continued.
Despite that, he [NCSBE Board Chair Damon Circosta] did not feel it necessary to disclose that obvious conflict of interest that the organization of which he is the Executive Director, that in the most recently available [990 tax] filing, he was paid $206,000 for that year, and in that same year that organization that pays him, that he works for, made a $50,000 grant to the Social Justice organization representing the plaintiff who filed a complaint against these two members of the Surry County board of elections.
What could be more of a conflict? It’s both an appearance of a conflict, and it is a conflict on its face. And any honest review of what occurred today will see that Mr. Circosta stacking the deck for the plaintiff.
Let’s go to NonProfit Explorer on ProPublica to see if we can find their Form 990 tax filing.
Yes, here it is.
AJ Fletcher Foundation
Damon J Circosta listed as the Executive Director
Compensation of current officers, directors, trustees and key employees
$161,716 + $45,250
(We see why Kane said Circosta “was paid $206k that year”).
And here’s where the 990 states the AJ Fletcher Foundation made a cash grant to the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, but it was only $40k, not $50k. Page 47.
Video Transcript, continued.
NO DELIBERATION – THE BOARD’S DECISION WAS MADE PRIOR TO THIS HEARING
Now you would think that the two Republicans on the State Board of Elections would have been advocating appropriately for these Republicans being treated so unjustly. But that’s not true. That would be too much to ask, I guess. One of the folks – one of the Republicans couldn’t be there. He didn’t show up. [Tommy Tucker, the State board member who did not certify the 2020 General Election. He also skipped out the original hearing on 2/14/2023].
The one Republican who did show up – after all the arguments had been made and the evidence that had been presented – the Chairman, the conflicted Chairman asked if any members of the board wanted to make a motion. I was expecting, probably like everyone else, that he was asking for a motion to go into closed session so that the board could deliberate as to what should occur, what action they wanted to take, if they wanted to unjustly remove these two men, or did they want to dismiss the case because it was baseless and should not have been given the amount of airtime it had been given already.
But that’s not what happened.
The lone Republican on the State Board of Elections [Stacey “Four” Eggers, IV, who was appointed to the NCSBE in October 2020 after the two Republicans on the NCSBE Board resigned in disgust over the late changes made involving Absentee by Mail ballots] who was present today made a motion that had been clearly prepared before, as he read directly from his notebook, and it was a long and detailed motion, the punchline being that these men should be removed from their [board of elections] seats. As you might guess, the three Democrats on the [State] board quickly voted in the affirmative, and just like that, these two men were removed from the County Board of Elections.
MOVE TO VIRGINIA, VOTE IN SURRY COUNTY – NOT A PROBLEM
Not only did they remove them from the County Board of Elections, the testimony that was given by a witness who tried to challenge two individuals who had been – who were formerly his neighbors, now living in Virginia, who tried to vote in the May 2022 Primary [in Surry County]. They ignored what this man reported, what this man saw, what this man challenged, and included in their motion an affirmation that there was no fraud or malfeasance or otherwise in the election at hand, which was not the issue before this sorry excuse for a board.
NCGOP – ALL TALK, NO ACTION
Naturally, they concluded the meeting by talking about how heartbroken they were to have to remove these gentlemen, but that they were doing the hard work necessary to preserve the laws of this land. It’s disgusting. It’s an unequal application of the law, and the only reason it’s allowed to happen is because the NCGOP refuses to stand up and fight for its people, and fight for what’s right. Instead, they stand by, stand down, while the men and women in our Party who step up and volunteer, and do the hard work necessary, in counties all over this state, get railroaded by activists who are well-funded and by a weaponized government.
It’s no wonder they keep doing these types of things to us because the folks that should be standing up and fighting back won’t do it. They want to TALK about election integrity but do nothing about it.
I’ll end with this. After this sham hearing, I had the great privilege of going to lunch with these two gentlemen and their wives and a couple other folks who they were close with there. And as we set down to eat, one of the gentlemen bowed his head to pray before our meal. And you could tell the last two months have been difficult, have been trying, for these gentlemen and their wives – understandably so.
And he thanked the Lord that they had been no fireworks, so to speak, today. He thanked Him that he knew the Lord was over all, and this fight was behind them, and he thanked Him for whatever He was going to do, however He was going to use them with the time they would now have on their hands as they looked ahead. That’s mighty special. Those are mighty good folks.
IT’S (PAST) TIME FOR A CHANGE
And those are folks who deserve to have people standing beside them, fighting alongside them, who won’t leave them out in the lurch, who won’t hang them out to dry, who won’t even find them a daggon attorney.
I can promise you this. When I’m Chairman of the NC Republican Party, great men like these two will have the support they deserve, and we will not stand idly by and let activists, leftists, people who weaponize the government, go after our folks and mow them down without us standing on the front line beside them, fighting back with all we’ve got.
Those days are done.
There you have it. Convention-goers have a serious choice in June. Keep what you have and get more of the same. Or roll the dice with John Kane and sit back to watch the applecarts get upset.
6 thoughts on “John Kane: Taking Care of Business for NC Republicans”
Kane makes a very important point here. We have got to have strong and competent people as our representatives on the state Board of Elections. Weaklings just won’t do.
Having serving on the state Central Committee for the tenures of state chairmen Bob Bradshaw and Jack Hawke, I saw the difference on how an effective chairman handles Board of Elections appointments as opposed to a weak chairman. Bradshaw let the personnel director in the governor’s office Wilma Sherrill tell him who to submit for the NCGOP’s state BOE slots, and did not even run the matter by the Central Committee.
After Hawke became chairman, complaints arose from at least two counties of the GOP majority on the state BOE treating them very unfairly. Hawke brought the matter to the Central Committee which directed that Hawke demand a response from each of these BOE members for their actions. One appologized and straighted up, but the other two did not. When the new appointments to those seats came up, Jack brought the matter up before the Central Committee and asked for approval of names to submit. We voted to submit the name of the one sitting member who had straightened up and two new members we had confidence would be strong. Jack sent those to the Governor’s office, and Wilma Sherrill had a caniption about it because one of the weaklings we removed was a buddy of hers. She got Governor Martin to call Jack about it, and once Jack explained the situation, Governor Martin said he fully understood and backed Jack and the Central Committee.
Those new appointees stood firm as we expected they would.
Heck, I can remember even the then 8th district chairman George Little in those discussions declaring that Republicans needed to get the “meanest and toughest” people we had available to appoint to BOE positions. We clearly have not been seeing that with the state BOE nominees. lately
Or the County BOE’s.
Sounds good to me. I don’t really know Mr. Kane, but he would have to be pretty bad to be worse than what we have now. I like the way he talks. Let’s give him a chance to prove himself. And while we’re at it, please, please, please DON’T vote for Addul Ali for State Vice-chair. While Susan Mills is not exactly my cup of tea, believe me, Addul, who is a con man and self-promoter and not much else, would be far worse. We just got rid of him as Chair of the Cabarrus GOP. He doesn’t need to advance any further.
You know it. After way too many things went wrong in the NC 2020 election, I attended an ncgop Zoom call one evening towards the end of my term and with a number of other county chairs, lit Mr. Whatley up. A lot of good that did. There had to be changes we said. Changes there have been but not for the better.. And you’re right on target about AA. But too many county leaders are still drinking his kool-aid.
With two Whatley-supporting establishment hacks running for vice chairman, there should be a conservative grassroots candidate emerge. If nobody comes forward on their own, who can be drafted to run?
John Kane needs someone who will have his back.
Mr. Whatley, please don’t let the screen door hit ya on the way out! (Seriously, for the sake of our NC Republican Party and our nation, please step aside and let a man with the courage to fight the dem/commies take over. It’s painfully clear you are NOT the man for the job!)
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