Beaufort County, Two Republican Parties, The Purge | Beaufort County Now | The goal should be to operate in accord with Republican principles...the Platform, not individual's druthers.

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By: Hood Richardson

The reality is most political parties are split into two factions.  Both the Democrat and Republican parties have these factions.  Party success usually depends on how dogmatic these factions are.  Dogmatism is stronger in the Republican Party.  Democrats, until lately, realize that unless they all stick together they will lose.  For the past few years, the Democrat Party has become fiercely dogmatic resulting in the loss of support because of their drift toward socialism.

Within the Beaufort County Republican Party Executive Committee, in more recent years, there has been little or no discussion about issues. For instance, there has been no open discussion about “how we elect county commissioners.”  Yet party resources have been used to promote a petition drive to change the electoral system for commissioners from “Limited Voting” to a district system.  A district map has even been produced, but to date never discussed or voted upon by the Executive Committee.  Mainly because the liberals or RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) have had their way.  There way has been for a small clique to get together and decide “how it’s going to be” and then expect everyone else to fall in line.  That is slowly beginning to change.  While conservative republicans differed, most kept quiet, on this and other issues, to preserve some semblance of party unity. 

That is beginning to change, mainly because absolute power breeds absolute corruption.  The RINOs thought they were in charge when they unilaterally started circulating the petition to change the way we elect commissioners in Beaufort County.  They ignored the elected conservative Republicans, the Democrats, the blacks, and the public at large.  We have reports that several who were pushing the petition told potential signatories that “the Republican Party supports this (going to a district system)…”

The “insiders” in the Beaufort County Executive Committee are arrogant enough to propose a system of electing commissioners from districts they thought they could control.  And all other things being equal, they assumed it would be easier to control a district than to have candidates run county-wide.  And of course, we have seen the shenanigans that go on in “redistricting.”  The Leadership (of both parties) in Raleigh seem obsessed with who gets districted in and who gets the shaft.  Just ask Bill Cook how that works.  This current Republican Executive Committee has proposed a map that they think would make it harder to Stan Deatherage and Hood Richardson to get re-elected to the County Commission. 

The insiders in the Beaufort County Executive Committee tried to politically purge Richardson and Deatherage from the Republican Party.  I remember the news stories about the purges of Joseph Stalin, the Russian dictator.  He purged people  into Siberian prisons.  He purged people from Moscow and the Communist Party.  Mao did likewise in China.

By “purge” here I mean marginalize those who might disagree with the Ruling Clique.

Purging conservative Republicans became the most important goal of the RINOs when Proctor Kidwell was County Chairman, followed by Keith Kidwell, and reached a higher level with former Senator Bill Cook as Chairman and is now being carried out by Carolyn Garris.  If you’re not aware of what the “Yellow Sheet Crusade” was, then you should check it out.  Oversimplified, what the Ruling Clique did was corral attendance at the County Convention with people, many of whom had never attended a convention and have not been seen since.  Because these people were so ill informed the Ruling Clique felt it necessary to print instructions for who they should vote for.  They did it on yellow paper, thus the “Yellowsheeters.”  Only Republicans attending the Beaufort County Conventions can bring an end to this misery,

The simple fact is that it is easier to purge candidates who are not part of the Ruling Clique in a district system than it is in a county-wide election.  There is some dialogue related to this on the Beaufort Observer and Beaufort County Now web sites if you want to check this out.  There are 100 counties in North Carolina. There may be 40 or 50 ways counties elect commissioners.  The legislature allows each county to decide, then passes a law for that county. 

I am not opposed to changing the way we elect commissioners, provided it gives the public more votes and addresses the concerns of all of the various interest groups and all options are fairly considered.

In principle, I favor each voter getting as many votes as there are seats available, county-wide.  One way is to allow commissioners to run at large with each voter having 7 votes to be cast as he pleases.  That is to place one vote for 7 people or 7 votes for one person, or any other combination desired by the voter. 

Currently, there is the issue of corruption between the Republicans and the Democrats in the selection a Chairman and Vice Chairman.  Even with 5 Republicans sitting on the board, the two Democrats decide who the Chairman  and Vice Chairman will be.

This happens because the system of limited voting that was installed in the early 1990’s has worked “too well.”  The purpose of limited voting was to guarantee that two minority blacks would be elected commissioner.   The system favors minorities.  Seven Democrats installed this system to settle a lawsuit over minorities not getting elected.  However, limited voting favors all minorities.  No Republicans or blacks were elected before the law was changed.  Now the reverse is true, 5 Republicans and 2 Democrats.  The old system was not a real at-large system because it used “residential districts.”  It shows how The Clique can control a district system.  That system was used to insure Frank Bonner having a “safe district.”  It worked…for a few Democrats.

The present situation is not all strait mathematics.  The Democrats moved away from their conservative ways into socialism and communism.  Many left the party and became independents (unaffiliated) or Republicans, while young people registered disproportionately unaffiliated.  You have to wonder if this was not a rejection of the districted system.

The shift of people who were liberal but not liberal enough to embrace socialism or communism, provided an opportunity for more liberals to be elected.  It is apparent that Democrats have a hard time getting elected in Beaufort County.  Several Democrats have sworn their allegiance to conservatism, got themselves elected as Republicans and then voted as Democrats.  In my book, if you vote like a Democrat you are a Democrat, regardless of whether you are registered as a Democrat or a Republican.  But you can fool part of the people all of the time.

With five Republicans, sitting on the board, two Democrats decide who the Chairman will be.  This is because liberal Republicans make deals with them and vote with them.  Fake Frankie Waters uses the votes of two Democrats, Jerry Langley and Ed Booth , to be chairman. He votes with them on the majority of all issues.  That is why I call him “Fake Frankie.”  He is good at fooling the people about what he actually is.

This is how we got a budget with 5.6 million dollars of increased spending this year.  Not one penny was cut from the proposed budget.  They actually increased the Manager‘s proposed budget.  Taxes are not being raised because the increased spending is coming from our savings.  Faking the people out.  All spending increases become tax increases.  Fake Frankie Waters may not be a Commissioner when it is time for you to pay for his wasteful ways.

The issue of corruption between RINOs and Democrats can easily be resolved in the way we vote for commissioners.  What if the Chairman and Vice Chairman ran at large every two years with the five commissioners running at large every two years.  Each voter would have five votes to use as they please with one vote for the chairman and one vote for the vice chairman.  Then the public has 14 votes every two years. With the chairman being elected on a single slate, he should have the option of assuming the position of County Manager.  Should he have to say whether or not he would be the manager before or after he is elected?  There is no doubt electing officials as I have described in this paragraph would clean up a lot of Beaufort County Government.  Wonder if that may be why the Ruling Clique doesn’t want to discuss other options.

Involving the black voters and the Democrat Party in the process of deciding how we vote for commissioners eliminates law suits, provides for minority representation and slaps the hands of the RINOs. 

Returning government to the will of the people should be the goal of everyone.  That is not likely to happen in a backroom by a small clique.


Go Back


( June 22nd, 2022 @ 9:36 am )
The goal is to get rid to the bad guy who hold office. Many people who want change keep voting for the same nin oom poop. Stop looking at personalities and look at performance. Donald J. Trump is a great example.
( June 19th, 2022 @ 7:44 pm )
This year's budget is a good example of what happens to taxpayers under limited voting. Too many of the commissioners do not care about the taxpayers and they keep getting away with it. That has been going on since they first brought in limited voting and it will keep going on until we drive a stake through the heart of that Frankenstein monster. Anything would be an improvement. Corrupt politicians thrive under rigged systems like limited voting as we have seen here in Beaufort County. Remember Jay McRoy or Ron Buzzeo, and too many others like them?
( June 15th, 2022 @ 4:44 pm )
Often politicians from districts never face a decent challenge from a bright and skilled citizen of better intentions, and that bothers me, especially when corruption is all but certain in a particular type of politician as they rule rather than wisely govern.

These corrupt politicians will often commit nefarious deeds of infamous purpose to achieve the continuance of their position.

If there are to be districts in the final analysis, there must be enough at-large positions, where the People can elect county-wide commissioner seats of a higher purpose in order to dilute these probable crony political actors of low skill, and of a sorrier purpose.
( June 15th, 2022 @ 12:38 pm )
Limited voting needs to be replaced. It makes me feel like I am living in a banana republic. But we need to work for the best possible replacement, as quickly as possible.
( June 15th, 2022 @ 6:58 am )
It is very simple, Stan. In a county-wide limited voting election, it is hard to get traction running an issue-based campaign. Candidates win with far less than a majority of anything, and they can run on things like what zip code they are from. A district campaign is less costly and therefore it is easier to recruit candidates. All candidates are from the same zip code anyway, so that is not a something any candidate can use as a crutch The school board primaries this year are a good example of how candidates feet can be held to the fire on issues in a district race.

An at-large system with full voting rights also enhances how much issues play, but not as much as a district plan. Limited voting is the worst of the lot.
( June 14th, 2022 @ 9:45 pm )
Then tell me how Fake Frankie Waters won most of the precincts near where he lives in a Republican primary against two Conservatives, and one of them me.

If I lived where his district would be, I could take him on and most probably win, but I don't live there, and if no one would run against him, which would most probably be the case (because most folks won't tolerate his corrupt ways, they knowing full well how he is), we keep Fake Frankie on the commission - a liberal Democrat cloaked in Republican clothing, doing damage every day he is is office against the Real People ... those unlike himself.

No, give me at large voting as much as is possible outside of "Limited Voting", so we at least have a chance to rid our selves of the Fakes, the Posers, the Parasites.
( June 14th, 2022 @ 5:27 pm )
Stan, District races are friendly to candidates who do what they say and are strong on the issues. They are unfriendly to those project one thing on the campaign trail and do another in office. You would have no problem getting reelected under a district plan unless you got gerrymandered into a Democrat district. The same is true of Hood Richardson.

The election system that is the friend of the political chameleon is limited voting, which is why we have the type of majority we have had under that system. The lack of accountability that exists under that system is what creates the lack of responsiveness to the voters.
( June 14th, 2022 @ 2:24 pm )
Steve: I get the history of it; however, the most important and Conservative effect that must occur right now is selecting commissioners who will govern as real Republicans. If that fine motive is not part of the equation, to effectively halt the stupidity and the corruption that is rampant here in this ham-handed Beaufort County government, then the local GOP has no right to exist.

The best way to honor that political Right is to first NOT work to rid Beaufort County of the two most experienced, most honest, most accurate, and far wisest commissioners. From what I have witnessed in the past with the local GOP, I am satisfied this infamous motive is deeply interwoven in this ham-handed initiative to rush to districts, ergo, I am convinced that there are folks currently in the local Republican party, pushing the district solution, drawn however they wish, whenever they wish, to accomplish politically whatever they wish. Furthermore, whether they realize this truth or not, they are supportive of this firm embrace of ignorance and corruption in our local government ... It is simply the history of this mess, which is a growing, stinking pile.

I wish I could have been proved wrong here in this true assessment born from deep knowledge, but it is far too late now to be proven otherwise wrong.
( June 14th, 2022 @ 1:50 pm )
When the then 5 member all-Democrat county commission squared off with Rev. David Moore over Moore's lawsuit, Republicans were kept at arm's length. Everything was done in the backroom. Indeed the average voter was shut out and not allowed to be part of the process. The Democrat County commission hired an ultra-partisan attorney from Chapel Hill who never wanted to fight voting rights cases, only help negotiate the surrender. That was unfortunate because Beaufort County actually had good defenses if the case had been fought in court.

I did have a chance to see David Moore's district map after the court imposed the backroom settlement that the commissioners had made. Moore's map created two majority black districts, but the others were drawn without seemingly party comsideration. Republicans would have easily won two of them, and would have been competitive if we had good candidates and campaigns in two more. Moore's map would have given the GOP at least two seats and a decent shot at a majority right out of the gate.

Moore's map would have ended the political career of then county commission chairman Frank Bonner, whose home was placed in a black majority district. To save Bonner's political career, he and the other Democrats asked their attorney to prepare an alternative, and that alternative was limited voting. Their highly partisan attorney also designed this to try to preserve a Democrat majority. In their view, they could always elect two black Democrats and two white Democrats under limited voting, guaranteeing a majority. They did not foresee the flight from their party by white voters as Democrats kept veering left. The county commissioners' purpose is proposing limited voting was 1) save Frank Bonner, and 2) create the best system to preserve a Democrat majority.

Moore's objective was two black commissioners which this seemed to do, so he dropped his district plan and agreed to limited voting. This backroom deal was never intended to be seen by the citizens and voters, just whisked through the courts. When word leaked out, there was a furor over this awful voting system, and at its next executive committee meeting, the Beaufort County Republican Party denounced it by unanimous vote and demanded that the county retract it.

Public opposition was so massive that the commissioners tried to walk it back and end their settlement of the case. The court ruled, however, that they had pursued the settlement too far and could not back out of it.

The Beaufort County Republican Party has adopted a number of resolutions over the years calling for an end to limited voting, most recently at the 2019 county convention. To the best of my recollection they have all been unanimous. That has been clear party policy since before the system was created by the court imposing the backroom deal "settlement" on the county.

Limited voting has disadvantaged a number of groups. One of them is black voters in the eastern end of the county, who have never been able to elect one of their own. The dynamics of limited voting give control of the two black seats to the black political operatives in Washington township. When a black Democrat city councilman in Belhaven tried running for county commissioner, he did not get very far. What has really taken a backseat for all voters, however, is the nature of limited voting precluding an issue based election.

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