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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Signs of More Trouble in the Watauga GOP 

Names are emerging of who will be on the Republican ballot in Watauga County in 2010, and more particularly, of who will be on the Republican ballot without the Republican Party's/Virginia Foxx's blessing.

We hear that Mark Shook will not be running for sheriff again after all. There's an open question about whether the Republicans will field anybody against Democratic Sheriff Len Hagaman.

Former County Commissioner David Blust, who had wanted to run for Clerk of Superior Court (which provides a big salary), is apparently going to run instead for his old seat on the Watauga County Commission (which provides practically no salary).

But Blust evidently will have a primary. Former County Commissioner David Triplett may run for what was also his old seat, without the blessing of the local GOP. Which demands a little (ancient) history:

David Triplett had been a multiple-term County Commissioner back in the day, but he got crossways with the local GOP, which doesn't much tolerate anyone they can't control. They ran Linda Craig against him in the primary of 1994 and ousted him. (Craig was herself ousted in 1998 after one term, but that's another tale of woe.) Triplett sat out of electoral politics until 2006, when he ran again against John Cooper, who ended up winning. Cooper is not running for reelection.

So ... that District 4 seat on the Watauga County Commission mimics the turn-over in the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Dick Burr:
1990 David Triplett elected to 4-year term
1994 Triplett ousted by Linda Craig
1998 Craig ousted by Sue Sweeting
2002 Sweeting ousted by David Blust
2006 Blust quits to run for NC Senate (and loses); Cooper takes the seat
2010 Cooper vacates the seat and ??? takes it

The May Republican primary may get very interesting.

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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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Monday, July 13, 2009

Head Scratcher 

The Watauga Conservative reports this a.m. that the Republicans will have candidates filing to run in the Boone municipal elections in November, but one of the two names mentioned is actually registered as a Democrat, according to the State Board of Elections. And wrong again on the party affiliation of the supposed Democrat who is running against Mayor Clawson. He's actually registered Unaffiliated.

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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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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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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Insurgency in the Davidson County GOP 

The Republicans in Davidson County had themselves a good old-fashioned power struggle Monday night at their county convention, with a new slate of officers sweeping out the old officers, even after the old officers attempted to maintain their power by denying voting credentials to 40-some delegates who were apparently aligned with the insurgents.


At least they had a lively convention. Compare Davidson County's dust-up to Watauga's GOP convention last Saturday, which mainly had Virginia Foxx bragging at length that she...

1. ...has been on TV a lot. Did you see me? Me me me.

2. ...has no patience for people who do not see that she and the Republican Party have the superior grasp on economic policies.

3. ...has an uncanny ability to make fellow congressmen absolutely furious with her, a knack that has served her well in Watauga County at election time.

4. ...possesses the gold-standard of personal faith in (the Baptist) God (or the Catholic, depending), and a towering patriotism so grand that she has to shed a theatrical tear about her own piety.

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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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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Republican Welcome Wagon: ASU Students & Teachers are "Alien," "Nuts," "Carpet-Baggers," "Not Welcome Here" 

The regular Republican bloggers at are resurrecting some juicy rhetoric that we had thought belonged only to defeated Republican county commissioners of Times Past -- and to Sarah Palin -- that there's a true American part of Watauga County and an un-American part of Watauga County, namely university people. These posts below are not by anonymous anybodys but by the anonymous SOMEBODYS who manage the site and represent the thinking of the local Republican Party:
They [Wataugans who carried the county for Obama] are known as carpet baggers not the smart people. They are aliens. (comment thread)

This area of the country, with the exception of the outsiders at the University, is rock solid conservative. (comment thread)

Love the outsiders line about the university - they are, and they are nuts. I am sick and tired of "outsiders" trying to take over Watauga County. "They" are not welcome here. (same as above)

Jeez, guys. Turning on the charm this way is likely to reverse that Democratic tide and sweep in your next team of university-haters!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sometimes the Jokes Just Write Themselves 

[Watauga County Republican Party Chair Jim] Goff said the party's mood was good, despite not having any county commission candidates, and the party was stronger after its local defeats in 2006. "There doesn't seem to be any local issues inspiring people enough to put themselves out there," Goff said, adding that some were content with the county's direction but others were opposed but didn't want to get involved this year. "In the end, I'd rather we not have candidates than those who didn't really want to run."

--Watauga Democrat, 25 July 2008

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

'A Watauga Conservative' Goes Rancid 

The smug, hermetically sealed dome of silliness that characterizes Right Blogostan has arrived in Watauga County. Someone posting anonymously as "Republican Proud" is peddling the fake Maureen Dowd column about how Barack Obama is supposedly raising big campaign contributions from Muslim moneybags in the Middle East.

The "Dowd column," we repeat, is a made-up slanderous lie. Anyone looking for, oh, five minutes could have determined that.

Except someone hooked by his own prejudices, and flattered to have those prejudices stroked into purring self-satisfaction by the apparent agreement of "liberal" Maureen Dowd at the New York Times.

Hooked and flopping on the deck, eyes bulging from lack of oxygen.

The amazing, embarrassing circle-jerk that is the local Watauga Republican Party.

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