Alternate title for this diary: Desperately Seeking Dallas:
The North Carolina Republican Party distributed a mailer to 6,000 Wilson County homes this week and state Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, has recorded a robocall urging voters to sign Fontenot’s ballot access petition. “A lot of people are aware of what’s going on, but the mailers are very good because it brings the opportunity directly to their door,” Fontenot said.
As an unaffiliated candidate, Fontenot must gather about 2,200 signatures — representing 4 percent of registered Wilson County voters — in order to be listed as a challenger to eight-term state Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, a Wilson Democrat. There is no Republican candidate in the race.
Before we talk about the ethics of this, I just wanted to point out how this story exposes another Dallas Woodhouse lie, when he bragged the GOP had achieved the same thing the NCDP had by having a candidate in all 170 NCGA races. But these lies are so ubiquitous now, as they are with his role model Donald Trump, it's doubtful any mainstream media will even ask him about it. Back to the ethics, and one glaring, gaping hole in the integrity of this gambit:
Fontenot said his campaign had collected nearly 1,400 signatures as of Friday afternoon. He believes the mailers, which he said were approved by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement prior to distribution, will help close the 800-signature gap before the May 8 deadline to submit the petition.
“This is definitely going to be a game-changer and push us over the top,” he said.
Each mailer includes a perforated, detachable form with space for up to two registered voters to sign Fontenot’s unaffiliated candidate nomination petition. The reverse side of the form is printed with a prepaid business reply mail label addressed to the North Carolina Republican Party.
That's right, the signatures aren't going to be collected by the candidate, they are going directly to NC GOP headquarters. First off, Dallas just lost a Senate candidate because he turned in her forms for her, instead of following the protocol of the candidate actually taking that step him- or her-self. But even more alarming is the "chain of custody" issue. With all the voter data available to the NC GOP, thanks in no small part to the efforts of foreign elements via Cambridge Analytica, Dallas could easily fill in the remaining names himself from voter lists before the "petition" is presented. And the way the boards of election are set up, it would likely take a formal complaint for somebody to double-check with those voters to make sure their names weren't hijacked.
It's hard to believe the state board approved this, and even harder to believe they approved it with the mailers going straight to the Republican Party for handling. This stinks to high heaven.