The Republican-led Lee County Board of Commissioners recently announced town-hall style meetings around the county. The problem is, their first meeting will be at the gated community Carolina Trace, which directly contradicts NC open meetings laws. When The Rant, a local blog, inquired about why this meeting was, essentially, closed to the public by virtue of its location, the Republicans took an interesting rightward turn to solve it.
For about a year now, Lee County has had a board of commissioners that is controlled by Republicans by a 4-3 margin. These four vote in lock-step almost always, and when they do, it is always bad for the people. As part of that attempt to ruin Lee County, the commissioners have set their eyes on the local school board. In a recent joint meeting, one commissioner found the real problem with the schools--the poor kids.
Republican Commissioner Kirk Smith wondered aloud why the schools didn't just feed low-income students peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to save money. And, as noted in this post at The Rant, that's about two-thirds of students in Lee County.
NC Mining and Energy Commission Chair Jim Womack recently called his opponents "whiney [sic] libtards" during an exchange in the comments section of The Sanford Herald. As shown in this entry on The Rant, a Lee County blog, Womack has a long history of aggressive and questionable comments online. An Independent Weekly article recently showed that Womack ran an anonymous blog while he was a sitting county commissioner, and the Sanford Herald ran an article about a Womack email suggesting running the Lee County manager over with a tank.
The complaint states that the Lee County Board of Commissioners, which wasn't affected by the bill, is controlled by a Republican majority, the same party as Stone. It also notes the four trustees kicked off the board and prohibited from being immediately re-elected are all registered as Democrat or Unaffiliated, and that the school board that elected them — which was recently changed to a partisan board, in a separate law proposed by Stone — is also majority Democrat or Unafilliated.
This isn't the first time General Assembly Republicans have misused their majority for partisan gain, and it's not the first time they've undermined the will of the people by taking authority away from local elected governments. But it may be the first time they've targeted specific individuals:
Womack founded and for the past two-plus years has operated a vicious, spiteful, and above all unethical anonymous blog in Lee County. He and the other authors use the names of American Founding Fathers as cover. Ball calls it "the worst kept secret in Lee County."
This L.A. Times story highlights Republican efforts to beat Obama in North Carolina. Specifically, the story focuses on the Lee County GOP and its strategy to woo Latino voters into voting for Romney. Lee GOP front man Charles Staley predictably blames the media for creating the impression that the GOP is anti-Latino (I suppose the Republican assault on Latino immigrants in recent years had nothing to do with that impression), and then gives us this little tidbit of revisionist history:
Submitted by scharrison on Sat, 06/26/2010 - 10:52am
Residents are signing land-lease contracts already:
Energy companies are snapping up the rights to underground natural gas from scores of property owners in Lee County, where indications of a massive natural gas deposit recently surfaced.
"There's several levels of concern," said Ted Feitshans, an extension specialist at N.C. State University's agricultural economics department. "One is they're not getting the level of payment they could get if they were skilled negotiators."
Other issues include contracts that would leave property owners legally responsible for the cleanup costs if an environmental accident on their land contaminated neighboring properties or drinking water.
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.
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