My GOP's in Tatters. How 'bout Yours?

So, I wake up this morning, and the headline in the Sanford Herald screams, "Political disorganization: Lee GOP loses recognition over failure to file paperwork." Beautiful, huh? I had noticed that our local GOP was in some trouble; hell, I've met its members.

Here are the first two sentences from the article: "SANFORD — Paperwork problems for the Lee County Republican Party have resulted in the state party not recognizing any local GOP officials. The local group also faces the possibility of being stripped of its status by the state Board of Elections. "

If you can, take a read of the article. It's a venture in stupidity. My favorite part is the defense by the guy calling himself chairman (you can't chair a group that isn't recognized, can you?). Basically, he’s busy. And, it’s just paperwork right? Well, if you check with the NC Board of Elections, it’s the difference between breaking the law and not breaking it. The group calling itself the Lee County Republican Party can’t be bothered to file necessary paperwork to be recognized by ITS OWN STATE PARTY or to file paperwork that will keep it from violating state law. Classic.

One other factor to consider is this: this group recently was allowed to suggest someone to replace a vacancy on our county commission. The short version is, a Republican stepped down, and state law allows that person’s political party to suggest a replacement. The guy claiming to be the chair suggested a horrible replacement (he works for the NRA and trolls the Free Republic). He got the seat (in part because the commissioners don’t have their stuff together). So, now we find out there was no recognized party, and while the nominee was already confirmed, it does call all of those actions into question.

Here’s my suggestion for you all: check your local GOP group both on the NCGOP site and with the NC Board of Elections. Who knows what you may find.

More on my county later.



Littiken, who has served in the role of county chair­man since 2005, said Friday he thought the situation arose for the same reason.
“We’re an organized party,” he said. “We hold meetings and vote on things. If you ask anyone who the chairman is, they’ll tell you it’s me.”
He added that time issues are what prevented him from filing the paper­work with the state party.
“In addition to being a Republican, I’m an Elk, I’m a Jaycee, and I’ve got a business to run,” he said.
“Party chairman is a volun­teer position.”

So since it's a "volunteer position", it doesn't require that you do things like - follow legal requirements? Must be nice.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Yeah, you didn't hear?

Volunteers aren't governed by laws. Yeah, I hear that volunteer firefighters can deny calls if they are too busy. Candystripers can change patients' meds at will. No need to worry because they don't get paid for this stuff. That's normal, right?

I just saw in the High Point Enterprise yesterday

the Bob Orr will be the guest speaker at the High Point Republican Party meeting this week.

Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

Progressives are the true conservatives.

Dear Jesse: The DVD

the NC GOP is in tatters larely due to our former Senator Jesse Helms and his followers. Hate is not an organizing principal for a political party in the 21st Century. The trailer from the documentary "Dear Jesse" is up on You Tube.

Maybe we can get this doco on Raleigh Television Network (Channel 10), to give all of these new transplants to Raleigh a glimpse of this polarizing embarrasment from NC's past.

Excellent idea.

Hate is not an organizing principle for a political party in the 21st century.

This is brilliant, seriously.

And a good wake up call for me to dial back my level of upset a few notches. Now I have to write a note to George Bush telling him I don't hate him any more, even though I consider his behavior and policies to be criminal, unethical and incompetent. Not that he cares what I think.


We are not amused.

in the article, the "county chair", littken, reports...

..."the failure to file the paperwork for the state Board of Elections was the combined result of the county party not meeting the threshold for money raised in a quarter to make reporting necessary..."

i just looked it up...the exemption exists until the candidate or committee reaches $3000 in donations-not quarterly, nor annually, but cumulatively since the last report. (G.S. 163-278.10A)

this would suggest the county gop can't find the $3000 in donations needed to mandate reporting...nor can they afford someone who can accurately interpret the campaign laws.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I've checked their money before

They probably do keep under the $3000 a reporting cycle (and I think for the entire year). But, they still have those minimum requirements to meet, and they do not. The "county chair" has been there for a few years now, has tried to use his position to push his type of candidates (read "nutjobs"), and been a normal Republican agitator. And, oops, he can't follow his party's rules or the state's rules.

I find it hard to believe that

the Republicans in Lee County can't raise more than $3000. Seriously - that's very, very low. Did they file any reports for the 2006 cycle? It would be odd for a party to not raise more than $3000 in an election year - even in an off-year. And with 2008 coming, I am surprised that they haven't raised more money than that. If Dems in Moore County can raise more money than that, Republicans in Lee have, too, I'm sure. "In-Kind" contributions count as well.

And it doesn't matter whether they can "afford" to have someone do the reports or not. They've got to be done.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

In kind

Certainly in-kind donations do count for reporting and are supposed to be reported, but they have not reported any outside assistance.

i would remind everyone...

...that the reporting requirement is not limited in any way by cycle, or any other calendar period.

the statute simply says when contributions reach $3000 (cash, in-kind, and profits from sales of campaign goods all count), a report must be made.

this would suggest that a "backdated" or newly filed report listing more than $3000 in receipts could lead to multiple counts of a violation of the GS.

it also suggests a cross comparison of the state and national party's gifts to the county committee (which have presumably been reported by those groups to the sboe and/or the fec) might be quite revealing.

and you are absolutely correct, the inability to "afford good help" doesn't relieve you of the requirement to know what you're doing-but it does make kicking them when they're down just a bit more fun.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Kick away!

but it does make kicking them when they're down just a bit more fun.

Just be sure your own house is in order!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

a certain senator...

...would suddenly agree, i suspect.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Rovian-Helmsian tactics may work in the short run

but they don't build a party or inspire the grassroots.

That's why I have so many sources on Pat McHenry. He is trying to take over all aspects of the 10th district Republican party and the people he puts in place are unlikable and undemocratic. I have talked to YRs that quit rather than have their careers threatened. I have talked to College Republicans pressured into doing things they didn't agree with or thought might be illegal. I have heard he plans to take over the Republican party state-wide. And with the way things are, if we don't keep the pressure on, he just might succeed. He's a political operative with nothing in mind to help people or represent people. He thrives on disention and dirty tricks. This is what he was taught all through the 90s.

I don't think he will succeed because he is so unlikable but seeing how bad off the party is throughout the state, I'm wondering if this isn't just the kind of situation where bottom-feeders thrive.

Now that I see he's connected with software scandals out of Florida, I have to wonder what software shenanigans he might be looking into for our state. Who does the state buy it's election software from? We'd better check on this now before he sneaks into that arena.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

NC's voting systems law - scared Diebold away and does all this:

ES&S is the distributor of voting machines in NC. Two others were certified but withdrew bids - Diebold (Die Diebold Die) and Sequoia (conditionally).

Here are the requirements for voting machine companies:

SECTION 1.(a) "§ 163‑165.7 Voting systems: powers and duties of State Board of Elections.

(1) That the vendor post a bond or letter of credit to cover damages resulting from defects in the voting system. Damages shall include, among other items, any costs of conducting a new election attributable to those defects.

(2) That the voting system comply with all federal requirements for voting systems.

(3) That the voting system must have the capacity to include in precinct returns the votes cast by voters outside of the voter's precinct as required by G.S. 163‑132.5G.

(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record of each individual vote cast, which paper record shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand‑to‑eye count, hand‑to‑eye recount, or other audit. Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement.

(5) With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper record generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper record before the vote is cast.

(6) With respect to all voting systems using electronic means, that the vendor provide access to all of any information required to be placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163‑165.9A for review and examination by the State Board of Elections; the Office of Information Technology Services; the State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163‑96; the purchasing county; and designees as provided in subdivision (9) of subsection (d) of this section.

(7) That the vendor must quote a statewide uniform price for each unit of the equipment.

(8) That the vendor must separately agree with the purchasing county that if it is granted a contract to provide software for an electronic voting system but fails to debug, modify, repair, or update the software as agreed or in the event of the vendor having bankruptcy filed for or against it, the source code described in G.S. 163‑165.9A(a) shall be turned over to the purchasing county by the escrow agent chosen under G.S. 163‑165.9A(a)(1) for the purposes of continuing use of the software for the period of the contract and for permitting access to the persons described in subdivision (6) of this subsection for the purpose of reviewing the source code.

Here is my favorite part, the parts that scared Diebold away, items 3,4 and 5 :

SECTION 2.(a) Part 2 of Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

"§ 163‑165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties.

(a) Duties of Vendor. – Every vendor that has a contract to provide a voting system in North Carolina shall do all of the following:

(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low‑level and high‑level languages.

(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems.

(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract.

(b) Penalties. – Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163‑278.34(e)."

McHenry didn't have anything to do with that, our law limited how things could be done.

there's many ways to rig elections

as long as nobody is checking.

that is why its impt to have good poll workers and good BOE members, to ensure good and honest canvassing procedures for the entire process.

With the bi-partisan set up, the adversarial process helps us.