Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Morganton Shenanigans - Wide Ranging & Far Reaching Implications

From WSOC-TV: Burke County Takes Over Morganton Elections (Dave Faherty surprised Burke County Board of Elections Director Debbie Mace on Tuesday and posted the story to WSOC TV's website.)

"It's so nonpolitical. We don't get wrapped up in other governments like school board races,” said Mayor Mel Cohen. “Fortunately we don't have that political atmosphere in our city. We appoint people by who they are not what political party they are." Many voters said they had no idea why the city held its elections early. Betty Carson has been voting in Morganton for five decades and wasn’t aware of the reason, but she said cost should be factor. "As the way we are in financial difficulty right now, it would be better to do it all together to save money,” she said. The Board of Elections hopes to revisit the timing of the elections some time after all the votes are counted.

(The Hound): The reason why Morganton holds this election separate from other elections is because they want to reduce the turnout, which helps the local elected officials better control the outcome. In Hickory, there was a 6+ fold increase in voter participation in the 2008 Presidential election compared to the 2009 city election and the 2010 Federal Election saw several times the turnout of the 2009 election. I believe that local officials don't want Federal and State elections to hold influence over voter decisions regarding City officials. A public that is likely to sweep out incumbents at the State and Federal level would be just as likely to sweep out local officials and in my opinion justifiably so.

To me the money issue is a non-issue. The City (government) is the body that has chosen to hold these separate elections for years. The City officials have chosen to do it this way. Here in Hickory, we have a Mayor that is trying to keep a referendum about the confusing and befuddling "Modified At-Large" system of city voting from garnering enough signatures by expressly telling people that it will cost money -- ( probably $800,000 like the city owned pools that he wanted torn up last year - haha!!!). What he fails to tell people is that we already spend extra money on elections that aren't necessary, because of the way this modified election system works with Ward Primaries in October and a General the first week in November. It is all about trying to control who sits on the Council, as best as they can, just like in Morganton.

As Mayor Wright has stated, they don't want people on the Council who don't focus on City Wide Issues. What does this mean? They don't want people who might bring ward specific concerns to the table. They want people who are willing to go along to get along with the Power's That Shouldn't Be's agenda, which might just (and probably) have negative consequences towards your own ward. If ward constituents don't like specific policies, then tough, they are going to shove it down your throat anyway and they don't want a "Trouble Maker" sitting on the Council giving official credence to those concerns.

The Governor is feeling the heat of corruption in the Democrat party. This is the reason for her "shake-up." Juliegh Sitton, an attorney from Morganton and until late last week was the Director of the Governor's Western Office, is accused of campaign "issue" involving a local millionaire in Morganton who is a Fast Food magnate. This Fast Food magnate has been implicated in several scandals including with the former Governor Mike Easley, Governor Bev Perdue, and from what I have read and heard the Football Scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Juleigh Sitton is the daughter of former Superior court Judge Claude Sitton.

Connect the Dots:
SBI investigates contributions for Perdue's campaign flights - Morganton News Herald - Mike Baker - October 8, 2010

Why Did Perdue Campaign Not Use Cheaper State Plane? - Carolina Journal - Don Carrington - September 30, 2010

Dozens Involved in Aircraft Provider Program for Perdue, Easley - Carolina Journal - Don Carrington - October 28, 2010

Unnamed Source Paid for Perdue Campaign Flight - Lincoln Tribune - February 24, 2011


( The Hound ): Who can you trust in this area. Every time we see the light shined upon one of these issues it looks dirty. We always look to the eastern side of North Carolina and point a finger towards the corruption we see there. What about the corruption we see in our own backyard? It's the same thing!


Silence DoGood said...

I'm curious as to who they might be that Rudy is referring to. I'm sure I can probably guess, but I'd like to hear it anyway.

harryhipps said...

Many, many politicians are incredibly dumb, but they know one thing: how to get and keep political power. They learn how to rig the system for their benefit and that of their cronies. Too bad most don't have a conscience.

Silence DoGood said...

Often, in the matter corruption, you hear about it down east because someone got arrested. In the west, you hear about corruption because the cover up failed. And that's the way it goes. It only looks like there's more in the east. The west is just better at covering it up.

examiner said...

"Juliegh Sitton, an attorney from Morganton and until late last week was the Director of the Governor's Western Office, is accused of campaign "issue" involving a local millionaire in Morganton who is a Fast Food magnate.

Just curious as to your source of this information you posted about Juleigh Sitton. Ms. Sitton is on the WPCC Board of Trustees as far as I know, and a friend of Burke County School Board Chair Catherine Thomas, also a local attorney.

Anonymous said...

There was some school board campaign shenanigans on a lower level, but when you look at the power players involved it could be linked to these other crooks. The beloved former Superintendent David Burleson, has had his wife involved in some campaign violations. Mrs.Beth Burleson is a CPA and worked for a lucrative firm in Marion,NC. She had been in that job for many years when all of a sudden she up and goes to James Tool Company in Morganton. One can not imagine that this small company can pay what the Marion firm did. About the time this happened in March, Mrs. Burleson was cited by the NC State Board of Elections for campaign non-compliance. Is this the reason she switched jobs? She was the treasurer for Mr. Buddy Armour a long time school board member and a nut job! Also, attorney John Ervin was the leader of a groundswell group to defend David Burleson's honor. They called themselves SOS. John Ervin was fined $1300 for reporting donations late and has appealed the fines. John Ervin is in the same boat with the Sitton's and other Morganton powerplayers. John Ervin has lived off the family name of Ervin because he is a cousin to the late Sam J. Ervin. If Ervin cant file campaign reports properly,then do you want him representing you in a case?