The more things “change,” the more they stay THE SAME

sbeWe’re riding out 2013’s last gasps from The Haymaker’s Watauga County outpost.  I happened to catch a local news report about the Watauga board of elections’ two-front fight with the AppState-based liberal lynch mob and the state board of elections:

The State Board of Elections rejected the petition to oust Republicans Bill Aceto and Luke Eggers from the Watauga County Board of Elections at a meeting on Friday, according to the complainants and

Democrats Stella Anderson, Jesse Presnell and Ian O’Keefe filed the complaint with the State Board of Elections in October, alleging a variety of charges against Eggers and Aceto since the two were sworn into the board in the summer. Aceto filed a response two days later requesting a dismissal of the complaint and described it as “very partisan.”

In September, the local board all attended a hearing before the State Board of Elections in Raleigh to discuss polling locations. While the State Board of Elections upheld the elimination of an early voting site on Appalachian State University, the state board admonished the local board for ending up on YouTube.

Leading up to the meeting, SBOE General Counsel Don Wright noted that Friday’s meeting wouldn’t be an evidentiary hearing of the complaint but a review and discussion amongst the state board members.

On Friday, Chairman Josh Howard, a Republican, acknowledged that this wasn’t the first time issues emerged on the “still young board” and mentioned that “Watauga County citizens would be better served by choosing the first three names in the phone book rather than the current board” featuring Eggers, Aceto and Democrat Kathleen Campbell, according to the complainants present and a Twitter feed from WRAL reporter Mark Binker.

Wow. That’s some pretty haughty, snide commentary coming from someone who owes his entire professional career — including his current position — to his federal judge daddy’s political connections.

While ol’ Josh is busy raising questions about the competence and integrity of the Watauga County board, we are still waiting on the findings of an audit into state Senator Fletcher Hartsell’s campaign finances — which first went public in JANUARY. 

Oh, we almost forgot.  Democrat state board member Joshua Malcolm and Republican member Paul Foley will be traveling to Watauga County for an “intervention” with the local elections board.  No details yet on what that “intervention” will entail.

 Foley was the lawyer for the NCGOP under chairman Robin Hayes.  I wonder if his “intervention” tactics will be similar to those he used on eastern North Carolina grassroots folks complaining about Thom Tillis’ meddling in the region’s GOP primary elections? 

A friend of mine — who currently serves on a county election board here in North Carolina — and I were recently discussing Delma Blinson’s ordeal in Beaufort County.  My friend offered me some insider perspective on how things work in the world of elections oversight:

”The new board team in Raleigh called us all on the carpet earlier this year.  They explained to us that we were to have nothing but unanimous votes at the local level.  We were told that anything that had the slightest bit of controversy attached to it was to be forwarded to Raleigh. We were not to touch it.”

Ah.  The long-standing tradition of establishment, ruling class types making decisions behind closed doors for the rest of us out here in the hinterlands is alive and well.  Somewhere, Larry Leake is lurking in the shadows — laughing maniacally,