A little more background on Bill Luton's neck-grabbing opponent:
When he was asked several months ago about his ties to a convicted sex offender, Steinburg acted as if he hardly knew Harvey West Jr... A snippet of the video shot by Haddad showing Steinburg and Luton’s conversation in fact appears to show Steinburg accusing Luton of playing a role in the media’s exposure of West as a convicted sex offender.
I must admit, although I've seen the name mentioned in Tweets, I hadn't taken the time to dig into the story. West is an active Republican operative who would have been an alternate Convention delegate if it weren't for the N&O's outing of him as a convicted child molestor:
A registered sex offender in North Carolina who was elected as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in Tampa has resigned from the position. The move came an hour after The News & Observer noted his criminal record in a Dome post Thursday morning.
Harvey West Jr., 41, a longtime resident of Plymouth in eastern North Carolina, was nominated by Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District to serve as an alternate. He would have gone to the national convention to formally choose Mitt Romney as the party's nominee if another delegate was unable to attend.
West pleaded guilty in 2000 to five counts of taking indecent liberties with children. When released from state custody in 2006, he was required to register as a sex offender and will spend at least a decade on North Carolina’s registry.
Not only does he like to take liberties with children, he's also active in trying to take liberties away from others:
The Al-Pam Republican Club is pleased to introduce Lt. Col. Jay Delancy our guest speaker on Thursday August 2nd at Montero’s Resturant , 414 McArthur Drive Elizabeth City, NC 27909. The meeting will get underway at 6:30 PM
Jay is the Executive Director of the voter integrity Project. Please see attached Bio. The Menu will consist of Montero’s delicious Casini Chicken (grilled breasts topped with a Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce)and their Traditional Pot Roast, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Vegetable Medley. Tickets are $20. RSVP by email to email@example.com or contact Harvey West Jr. @ 252 809 2223
I was going to leave off the menu, but I have this aversion to vegetable medlies. Each vegetable should stand on its own merit, and not be helped along by other more tasty vegetables. It's culinary laziness, frankly, and shouldn't be encouraged.
Speaking of things that shouldn't be encouraged:
One of the campaigns he has helped is Republican Ed Goodwin’s bid for secretary of state against Democrat Elaine Marshall. Goodwin acknowledged West's role in the campaign, saying he has helped with a range of activities on a volunteer basis. Goodwin, a former federal law enforcement officer, said he sees no problem with the arrangement.
“Everyone has made mistakes,” Goodwin said during an interview Wednesday when asked about West's involvement. “He’s paid his debt to society. What else can he do? What good would it do to turn our back and keep him from participating in society at all?”
After West's resignation as an alternate delegate, Goodwin said he stands by his statements the day before: "If I want forgiveness myself, I must be willing to forgive," he said.
Unless your child was one of West's victims, it's not up to you to forgive him. And your position defending a convicted sex offender should lose you support from the entire law enforcement community, regardless of party affiliation.
Just an added note: as to Bob Steinburg's complaint:
“I didn’t evaluate the facts in the case, but this is one of those things that really grind me,” Steinburg said. “This race, the way it should be, is about me and my opponent."
Since the early beginnings of our civilization, society has gauged the character of individuals (at least partly) by their associations. Whom you choose as an associate is a voluntary act, and when you invite that person into your home, that's another voluntary act. And if those acts now seem like a mistake, a real man would admit such.