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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Ready For Prime Time? 

This piece on GoBlueRidge about the candidacy of William Byrd for sheriff of Watauga County kind of misses the drama. Byrd was supposed to be the Watauga GOP's candidate, but he missed the deadline for changing his party registration from "Unaffiliated" to "Republican," another slip-up of the Foxx-family dominated Republican Party of Watauga. So Byrd is trying to enter the race via petition as an "Independent," which in this case really means too-late-to-the-Party Republican.

In other local election news, the twice-cooked David Blust apparently sez he'll file by Friday (the last day of filing) to run for County Commissioner against Democratic candidate Lowell Thomas, if no other Republican steps forward for District 4. In baseball, this is called a pop-up sacrifice fly. In politics, a losing campaign.

The local GOP apparently has found no viable candidates for either District 4 or Dist. 2, where incumbent Democratic Commissioner Billy Ralph Winkler is running for reelection.

After Watauga Republicans failed to field a single commissioner candidate in 2008, most observers thought that the local GOP, under the iron fist of the Foxxes, would have their ducklings in a row this year. So far, their duckies don't look all that sea-worthy.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Foxx Moving Farther Right 

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx draws a Glenn-Beck-inspired challenger on the right, and the next thing you know, Virginia Foxx is planning on showing up at a Forsyth County "meetup" of the Glenn-Beck-inspired "912 group."

That's called cause and effect.

Anyone got an iPhone to go record her remarks in Rural Hall? Our guess is that V. Foxx is going to be moving even farther right than she already is, which means she may fall off the map of the known world. She will, however, want to keep those extreme opinions secret from the general public, or more specifically from moderate Republicans and independent voters in Forsyth county and elsewhere.

This a.m. the NYTimes has a long article up about the tea-party movement -- many diverse fringe and splinter groups, including Glenn Beck's 912 org and the guys who show up at presidential appearances packing guns. Some of that movement's savvier leaders are moving to take over the Republican Party from the precinct level up. We think this is a splendid idea. If they did that in Watauga County, however, they'd be essentially throwing out Virginia Foxx, since she runs the local party through her paid staff member who is also chair. We forget his name.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Triumph of the Foxx/Whitener Republicans 

Yesterday's edition of the Watauga Democrat included a guest column written by Baptist minister Herb Hash under the aegis of the Watauga County Democratic Party. The editor of the paper included an illuminating headnote to Rev. Hash's column, as follows:
A couple of years ago, the Watauga County Democratic and Republican parties agreed to submit a monthly column in which their parties positions on the issues of the day would be discussed.

This column published in several editions and was received well by readers.

Over the past few months, the local Republican Party, for unexplained reasons, has ceased to submit any columns.

Since this concept will only work if both parties participate, this column submitted by the Watauga Democratic Party will be the last in this series...." [No link available. These occasional columns have never been included in the Watauga Democrat's on-line edition, but the Hash column can now be read here.]

What the editor did not mention was that (1) early in 2009, at the Republican County Convention, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx and her surrogates took over control of the county party and ran off the man who had been writing most of their newspaper columns. And (2) the last column submitted by Aaron Whitener, the Foxx-appointed chair of the party and Foxx’s own employee, was an attack on gays signed by a wholly fictitious person, a breach of ethics that the newspaper editor vigorously questioned at the time and about which Aaron Whitener remained guiltily silent and unresponsive.

Despite all that creepy behavior, the Aaron Whitener version of the Watauga County Republican Party now manages nevertheless to win a tactical victory. That is to say, by failing to participate in the local paper’s attempt to offer contrasting views, or by failing to participate honestly in that exchange of views, the Foxx/Whitener Republican Party manages to silence everyone.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Virginia Foxx and the Epic Fail 

Virginia Foxx took over the Watauga GOP last spring, installing her paid employee, Aaron Whitener, as chair and running off the Republican worker bees who didn't agree with her.

The Republicans recruited to run in the Boone municipal elections today (or not recruited, as the case may be) were completely shut out in the election (see results down-column).

But not, as it turns out, without the following stroke of tactical brilliance on the part of the Foxx-paid party leadership: We began to hear this morning from Democrats who were getting robo-calls from a young man who did not identify himself other than to say he was calling on behalf of the Watauga Republican Party, urging the recipient of the call to go vote for the Republican team. And he obligingly named the candidates for mayor and all the Republicans running for council. These calls were happening this morning, after voting had commenced. If they were also underway earlier, when they might have actually produced some benefit, we didn't hear about it.

We repeat ... registered Democrats got these calls. Which served in at least one case to get an apathetic Democrat up off the couch to get dressed and to go in and vote -- armed with the information from the robo-call of who NOT to vote for.

But this is the best part: the robo-call urged citizens to vote for four Republican candidates for council, in what was a three-way race. Did the leadership of the party not realize that the candidate who got 62 votes had actually pulled out weeks ago?

No ... I take it back. This is the best part: Rep. Virginia Foxx is on record opposing political robo-calls. In fact, she's introduced legislation to ban them outright.

When they're used this ineptly, she's absolutely right.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Where's Foxx? 

Got this e-mail from some enterprising young citizen in Watauga County relative to Congresswoman Virginia Foxx's unavailability to her constituents:
Just started a Where's Foxx campaign all over the net:

Twitter: (If you have twitter: @WheresFoxx)



Working on getting a text short code and making flyers and mailers to go out with a wanted poster of her or something of the sorts that has the Facebook, Twitter, E-mail addresses, and shortcode information and asks the receiver to "Let us know if you've seen our representative."

Every time we get a legitimate response we'll map it on Google maps and post it to each page so the public can see where she's at.

Related (but not so different) is this comment from "Reader" on a thread over at Watauga Conservative:
Blogger, I don't know why a woman as tough as nails, wouldn't hold one [a townhall meeting] in person. She can take the heat. She keeps getting reelected, so that should tell her something. I respect officials when they can stand up and answer to all parties. I like what she's done for us.

August 19, 2009 8:19 AM

On that same comment thread at Watauga Conservative is background on something (a federal land swap, evidently) that went down in Blowing Rock and in which The Madam had a decisive role to play. We'd like to know much more about this:
I ... was a staunch supporter of Foxx until the Blowing Rock land trade fiasco occurred. As many are beginning to see, Foxx and the Town of Blowing Rock conspired, out of the view of the public, to trade land that was purchased under questionable circumstances by the Town of Blowing Rock. What many find even more surprising is the weird (for lack of a better term) manner in which Foxx acted towards local hunters and shooters concerned with losing the last place within walking distance of Blowing Rock that they could hunt or shoot on.

Instead of meeting with several sportsmen and women who had approached her on several occassions requesting an audience, Foxx simply refused to meet with them, cutting off all communications. To say many long time locals in Blowing Rock and Watauga County were shocked is an understatement.

At this point it is simply entertaining to watch Foxx and her number 1, Aaron Whitener, try and answer questions concerning the land trade by outraged taxpayers. Whitener was recently called on land trade inconsistiencies by a member of the Republican Woman's Party. If looks are any indication of emotions, Whitener was extremely uncomfortable.

Foxx and Whitener should be uncomfortable with refusing to engage with their constituents. Many valid questions concerning Mrs. Foxx's integrity are surfacing. The fact that a current town council member's 1.3 million dollar home overlooks the parcel is, in itself, enough to elicit obvious questions. How a municipality could legally spend half a million dollars of taxpayer money on land it didn't even know could be traded is another intriguing question.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Virginia Foxx and Her Ghost Writers 

This posting today sez that Virginia Foxx's e-mail to her constituents attacking a public option in health-care reform lifts all its salient language from one Frank Luntz, who told Republicans back in May to use this language in scaring Americans away from any meaningful health-care reform options.

Virginia Foxx cribbing her talking points? Ain't nuttin new.

She deputized her employee Aaron Whitener, whom she also installed as the new chair of the Watauga County Republican Party, to publish under a fictitious name an outrageous attack on the Town of Boone as some sort of gay-friendly, devil-worshipping municipality that was ripe -- RIPE, we say -- for Republican take-over.

Gosh. Can't the Madam say anything original?

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

If We Worked for the Madam, We'd Want to Stay Drunk Too 

Hat tip to Betsy Muse for catching this bit of behavior among Virginia Foxx's House staff last week, originally reported by Politico:
...But it seems the gaffe-prone Foxx may be rubbing off on her scheduler, Courtney Coble.

It's no secret that CapHill staff members drink beer in their offices occasionally -- holding office parties and hall happy hours, depending. Fine. And last week was recess, so, in essence, it was a slow week for staffers stuck in D.C. Fine again. But Coble inexplicably took to her Gmail account and curiously posted this brazen update, bragging: "Office beers. on taxpayer time. you're welcome, fightin 5th district."

The rest of Betsy's post includes other samples of Courtney Coble's twittering insipidness. She certainly seems well fitted to the congress critter she serves. As does Aaron Whitener, the new (ghost-writing?) head of the Watauga County Republican Party.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Watauga GOP Swallows Own Tongue 

The question of the fictitious authorship ("G. Oliver Parsons") of a now-notorious Watauga Democrat column submitted by the local Republican Party is addressed by the editor of that newspaper in today's edition:
Concerning the existence of recent Watauga County Republican Party column writer G. Oliver Parsons, two attempts were made to contact local party chairman Aaron Whitener to confirm Parsons’ identity. Whitener did not respond to either attempt....

Silence breeds.

The editor further explains that although the identities of writers of letters to the editor are always checked by newspaper staff, they did not feel they needed to confirm the existence of a writer whose work was being submitted by one of the two major political parties.

Live and learn.

The Foxx-dominated era of the local GOP is now well underway.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

The Watauga GOP Under Foxx Ownership 

In today's Watauga Democrat, the column published under the name of the Watauga County Republican Party does not respond in any way to Hugh Sturgill's stinging critique on May 6 in the same newspaper that the local Republicans have been taken over by an intolerant far-right group led by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, her husband Tom, and her employee Aaron Whitener. Sturgill charged that these people have forced out anyone not as self-righteous as they.

(NOTE: Neither Sturgill's column nor this present one are included in the on-line content at, under the apparent logic that if the paper publishes anything remotely interesting to read, you'll have to pay 50 cents to read it. Which is actually pretty good logic.)

As if to prove Sturgill's point, the column in Friday's paper doubles down on self-righteousness.

The column is signed by one "G. Oliver Parsons," who is supposedly a member of the Watauga County Republican Party. I put that name in quotation marks because no "G. Oliver Parsons" exists on the voter file of Watauga County, nor in the phone book, and his/her identity may be the pure figment of a Foxxian imagination. But it doesn't really matter. What he/she has to say matters.

"G. Oliver" pretty much confirms Sturgill's accusation that the local Republicans have no intention of broadening their base. Rather, the Watauga County Republican Party has decided to prove their relevance by attacking gays and gay-defenders.

In the editorial "G. Oliver Parsons" rails: HOW DARE the Boone Town Council, HOW DARE THEY – DEMOCRATS ALL! – fail to support a proposed bill in the N.C. Senate that would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage!? (Apparently, people struggling for the right to get married are a huge threat to the institution of marriage.)

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

G. Oliver Parsons' reasoning, as far as we can follow it, is this: North Carolina, according to slanted polling by the Pope Civitas Institute, is knee-jerk bigoted against gays, and the mountain people of Watauga County are even more bigoted against gays, so HOW DARE THE BOONE TOWN COUNCIL not live up to the expectations of all those bigots!?

Subtext: The Boone Town Council will RUE the day, come November 3, when the voters of Boone will vote out the gay-loving Democrats and vote in the gay-hating Republicans.

We believe this particular editorial is the opening gun in the Republican campaign to convince Boone voters to turn over this little town to Republican control. Which, when you get right down to it, is every bit as brilliant as the rest of Madam Foxx's recent public utterances.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hugh Sturgill and the Foxx Flying Elbows 

One of the first rules of political warfare: you don't let direct attacks go unanswered.

Yet the new Foxx regime of the local Watauga Republican Party appears to be unresponsive to Hugh Sturgill's attack on them in the May 6, 2009, issue of the "Watauga Democrat" (a lengthy column that never made it on-line).

According to Sturgill, a former member of the Watauga GOP central committee, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and her husband Tom made a successful power grab of the local party, forcing out "moderates" and anyone not prepared to kiss the congresswoman's ... ring.

Failure to respond to the charges of bullying only confirms Sturgill's charges and suggests further that the new leaders have something to hide.

One might have thought that Madam Foxx had a job in Washington, though it must get mighty boring after a while just voting no on everything (though that $174,000 annual salary apparently makes boredom bearable). Why take on the new job of running the Watauga GOP? The obvious answer, despite her protestations to the contrary, is that she's deeply embarrassed to be losing her home county in election after election, and she intends to do something about it.

"Doing something about it," turning Watauga more in her favor, apparently involves, first, alienating a portion of her Republican worker-bees. Public relations ain't Madam Foxx's strong suit. Shoving people out of the way is.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Watauga's "Right Wing Queen" 

Better go find yourself a copy of today's Watauga Democrat if you want to read Hugh Sturgill's lengthy blast against Virginia Foxx and her take-over of the Watauga Republican Party. Sturgill was until recently a member of the Watauga GOP executive committee and resigned in protest, he says, because of Tom Foxx's bullying and the installation of Madam Foxx's employee Aaron Whitener as chair of the local party.

You'll have to go find a copy of today's paper because the paper's management did not include this particular item in its on-line version.

And, yes, Sturgill does indeed call Madam Foxx our "right wing queen."

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

How Rare Is This? 

The new chair of the Watauga County Republican Party is also a full-time Congressional staffer for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, making close to $50,000 a year in taxpayer money as her "field representative."

Across the country, how many legislative staffers (for Members of Congress from either party) are also county chairs of their respective political parties? Would appear to raise all sorts of questions about how taxpayer money might be subsidizing partisan political activity.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Watauga Republicans Have a New Chair 

Aaron Whitener, according to the Watauga GOP website ... the 20-something ex-ASU student who in 2006 was mentioned as Virginia Foxx's local contact person following that disastrous "listening tour" of hers.

We also note that Virginia Foxx managed to "tear up" yet again in public.

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