Edgecombe County – Senate District 3 Race Erica Smith-Ingram Defeats Senator Clark Jenkins On May 6, 2014 But Why I Ain’t Excited

Senator Elect Erica Smith-Ingram defeated Senator Clark Jenkins but I ain’t excited. The reason why I ain’t excited is because the Senate District 3 was created for a minority (black) several years ago.

The first year the seat was open I supported Patricia Ferguson from Bertie County. She was fiery county commissioner and on numerous board across the state. When we had our Edgecombe County District Conventions I said if something ever came up and I could vote for her, she had my vote. So when she announced she was running for the newly created Senate District 3 seat I was onboard. The sad part was though, I knew the district was going to be redrawn again after the first 2 year term so she would not be in my district. But I felt that if we elected her that it would be somewhat easy to replace her with another black candidate.

Well I teamed up with Pat Ferguson and was working Edgecombe County with her. Shelly Willingham filed along with Clark Jenkins. But the power players here supported Jenkins over the fine female who would have set the stage for the district. We set up appointments to meet the power players and they took the money and supported Jenkins.

During that election year I turned on Ferguson to the local radio station for advertisement. When the owner seen that I was very political and knew politicians not only locally but across the state, he asked me to come by the station and share politics with the listeners. Well that eventually lead to me pay to have a show on this station for 1 hour but went for 2 hours every Wednesdays because it was a very power show. During that time several young folks came down to the station and I taught them about politics. They also supported Jenkins. Well these guys were young so over the years I stopped holding that against them. But the older folks, damn I found out what I was working with that they could be bought and sold for some damn crumbs.

After Jenkins 2nd term I couldn’t take anymore of these Democratic Black Folks whom called themselves leaders. I changed my voter registration to Unaffiliated but after about a year I switched back. I switched back because the Democrats were running the county and I couldn’t go to their meetings and challenge them.

Several years later Willingham ran against Senator Jenkins and he could have beat him but I say that when he teamed up with a couple of folks from Pitt County, they threw his race. We could have beat Jenkins that year.

A couple of years ago some of my closest friends would not support Frankie Bordeaux when he ran against Jenkins. I said this was the time to take the seat. But nope they wouldn’t listen to me and inspite of the other person being in the race, Bordeaux almost won.

Now the most recent election a couple of days ago. I had seen the name and heard of it since around January before the filing period began in February. I was called and a person told asked me if he could give a person from North Hampton County but I never heard from her. And then on the night I was headed to Joe W. Dickens Jr. wake the end of March I received a call from someone asking me would I be willing to talk to her and I said yes. Then I got another call in the last hour late in April and by this time I said nope ain’t willing to talk to her because it is just too late for Edgecombe because I didn’t know anything about her.

I heard her at the Edgecombe County Human Relations Candidates Forum and the Edgecombe Democratic Party County Convention and both times I thought she was good.

I received a call several days ago and she told me that she was disappointed that I didn’t endorse her. I told her why I could not support her and that I would not do anything to hurt her.

Well the reason why I ain’t excited about Smith-Ingram defeating Senator Jenkins is because the people of Edgecombe County some of the same ones who say they are excited about unseating Jenkins are some of the same ones who have worked on his campaign (getting paid) over the years. I have not gotten paid to work on anybody’s campaign. Well I have been fighting to get a black person in the seat since the district was drawn. I knew that the people of Edgecombe County were going to support Jenkins and he won Edgecombe County just like I knew he would.

I don’t know anything about Erica Smith-Ingram so what was I going to tell the people? I did tell people she sounded good, that she looked good and she was a minister. I said she make a brother want to vote for her 2 or 3 times just because of how she looks and sound. (LOL) I told her that I wish she had gotten with me a couple of months ago and shared with me her campaign strategy for Edgecombe County. I said I wish her good look and that I would not do anything to hurt her. I said I hope we can meet after the election after she win or lose because I would love to learn more about her.

Although I am glad to see a black person finally in the seat 11 years later, I am not excited. Hell most folks don’t even know the history of the seat so for me the thrill is gone. But I can hear Pharrell Williams singing.

Video/Photos: Edgecombe County Democratic Party Convention Speaker Senator Clark Jenkins Saturday April 12, 2014

Click on photo to view more photos
In this photo Senator Clark Jenkins District 3


Click on photo to watch video

In this photo Gladys Shelton 1s Vice Chair Democratic Party


In Response To Bank Foreclosure Sale Of Senator Clark Jenkins’ Property Postponed

First of all who gave John T. Walker editor of the Daily Southerner the authority to write this article because I know some folks are pissed with him? I am quite sure he will receive some very strong and harsh responses from writing this article. However if it was me or somebody that looks like me I bet they would say otherwise. Remember when Frankie Bordeaux ran against Jenkins during Jenkins last election? Bordeaux had some money issues with his business and Jenkins toasted him.

You see it is articles like this when you see where folks stand. The very folks who talk about Black folks on welfare and all the other negatives they say they are paying for through tax dollars. But when these articles arise these very folks are quiet as hell and/or quick to come to the defense of said party. It is articles like this that point out the double standards when it comes to Black and white.

First of all I question why was the foreclosure sale was postponed? Maybe it was the weather. But seriously why was it postponed because that was left out of the article?

I question why was the home included? Make wonder if the couple are together or are they separating, getting a divorce or what?

So was it postponed because he is white?

So was it postponed because he is a Senator?

I found it quite interesting that during the campaign season my Senator basically put up his own money to run to keep his office during election time. I don’t think that the Senator’s position is worth no more than around $25,000 a year so was it worth it to spend hundreds of thousands of his own money during election time?

Well I guess some things about this article and my concerns will go unanswered because ain’t nobody going to talk about this because it is not a welfare article and they don’t look like me.

I do want to leave this with you. This is a good article because this is not just an average person but a person who is in politics. No if that was certain folks it would not be in the paper however we should hold our elected officials accountable for their actions. When a person become a public official that means they become public.

So for those of you who support double standards, you need to take articles like this and learn from them. How many Black folks, folks on welfare that have acquired anywhere close to all of the property that my Senator has? How many Black folks and folks on welfare have abused as much money that my Senator has been able to obtain over the years?

Read more:

Senator Clark Jenkins: Bank foreclosure sale of Jenkins’ property postponed – Daily Southerner

Senator Clark Jenkins: Bank foreclosure sale of Jenkins’ property postponed – Daily Southerner

TARBORO — The foreclosure sale by PNC Bank of property belonging to State Sen. Clark Jenkins and his wife, Mary, was postponed from noon Wednesday until noon on April 24.

Jenkins, who is serving his sixth term in the senate, represents Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrell and Washington counties. He is a member of six standing or select committees, including Finance and Commerce. (More)

Read more:

In Response To Bank Foreclosure Sale Of Senator Clark Jenkins’ Property Postponed

Senator Clark Jenkins: Bank foreclosure sale of Jenkins’ property postponed – Daily Southerner

TARBORO — The foreclosure sale by PNC Bank of property belonging to State Sen. Clark Jenkins and his wife, Mary, was postponed from noon Wednesday until noon on April 24.

Jenkins, who is serving his sixth term in the senate, represents Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrell and Washington counties. He is a member of six standing or select committees, including Finance and Commerce. (More)

Sen Jenkins: ‘The idea of Eugenics is horrible’ – Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) is disappointed a bill they co-sponsored which would provide compensation to victims who were forced to be sterilized, failed in the Senate and was not included in the state budget. Rep. Joe Tolson (D-Edgecombe) also sponsored the bill. It passed in the House. (More)

See related:


Senator Clark Jenkins District 3? For Those Who Say He Has Not Done Anything For Black Folks Who Am I To Believe? So How Do You Respond?

I will repeat myself again and again ever how many times I need to. When the District 3 was first created I supported Patricia Ferguson a black female out of Bertie County and I knew that she would probably be drawn out of the district within the following 2 years. I supported her because I felt if a black person was elected it may would be easy for another black person to replace her. Some of these same folks today not only in Edgecombe County but across the district are still playing games but they did not support Ferguson then but now they say Senator Clark Jenkins ain’t doing anything for black folks. He has been in the seat how long?

After trying to unseat Senator Jenkins several years ago when I supported Shelly Willingham and he didn’t do what we asked him to do during his campaign, that was it for me. Hell I didn’t even care that much for Willingham but was willing to try to get a black person in the seat and if Willingham had won and didn’t live up to his expectations, then I would have supported someone else after his 2 years in office. Now I will not support a black person who do not have a political machine because it will take a political machine to unseat Senator Jenkins.

But after all of these years one must use some common sense. Once you learn what is really going on then one should do differently. I have come to the conclusion that Senator Jenkins will be my Senator until he decides he will not run again.

I get tickled as hell when folks who say Senator Jenkins has not done anything for black folks. I ask them what do they mean and they can’t answer me. I ask them what have they asked him to do for them. They say nothing. I say oh well.

Now what I hear from folks and an editor of a black newspaper recently printed is that some white elected officials don’t come to a black sponsored forum. Well damn what these folks don’t understand is why do they have to come when the sponsors are supporting them anyway. Why do they want them to show up to their banquets, hell banquets are about fundraisers so if they send the money that is all that matters. Hell many black elected officials don’t show up and don’t send any money either.

Okay so now who am I to believe when they say that Senator Clark Jenkins has not done anything for black folks? Senator Jenkins has scored an “A” on the NAACP’s Legislative Report Card 2009 and 2011. Every household in his district receives a mailing stating this fact and in the mailing Representative Alma Adams Chairperson of the NC Black Legislative Caucus Foundation is quoted how he consistently fight to protect the State’s most underprivileged citizens.

So for those who say Senator Jenkins have not done anything for black folks show me your report card that you have done on him?

I am a life fully paid member of the NAACP, I live in the district and most of all I am actively engaged so I know for myself what is really going on.

Oh well like Senator Jenkins or not the report says he is doing something for black folks because I know they are underprivileged citizens.

The same could be said about Joe Pat Tolson House District 23. Tolson also received an “A” on the NAACP Report Card.

I ain’t telling you who to vote for, I am telling you who I am voting for and why.

See related:

I Just Don’t Get It, Black Folks Allow Mess To Go On And Do Not Hold Those Responsible Accountable For Their Actions 

Leadership, This Is What Comes To Mind When I Think About How Black Folks Allow Mess To Go On But Think Things Are Going To Change. Safe Negroes I Got My Eyes On Them. Talking About Being Outraged? When? Where? Why?

NC Senate District 3 Seat – Florence Armstrong Wants To Unseat Senator Clark Jenkins

Okay I have been involved in the Senate District 3 since the 90’s when the seat was created for black representation.

I supported a black female Patricia Ferguson Bertie County the 1st year however I knew the district was going to be possibly change again within 2 years and she would not be in the district but my thing was it would be easier to elect a black to replace her. Actually at that time the district was made up of 6 counties and then it was reduced to 3 counties all of Edgecombe, Martin and some of Pitt. Now some of those 6 counties are back in the district in this year’s election. I bet it is going to change again 2 years from now.

The year that Patricia Ferguson ran some black folks went with multi-millionaire Samuel Clark Jenkins. Of course everyone remembers Former Senator Frank Ballance had served us until he stepped down and became Congressman Frank Ballance when former Congresswoman Eva Clayton stepped down.

I supported Shelly Willingham several years ago trying to help him unseat Jenkins and I felt good about the mission and that we could have took the seat but his wouldn’t listen to the advise that many were giving him. Also we had to work against some black folks who only supported Jenkins because they were on his payroll during election time. They got a few crumbs. Matter of fact some of these guys knew what my mission was and they used it against me and helped Jenkins to retain the seat.

Jenkins has held the seat all of these years and although I have tried to make people aware of why we must put a black person in the seat my mission continued to fail. During the last election I really didn’t play a major role because Florence Armstrong and Frankie Bordeaux were going to split the votes. However Armstrong got just enough votes to keep Bordeaux from winning.

Although I didn’t really get into the Senate District 3 race 2 years ago, I will say it again that Bordeaux has been the one with the best political machine and the finances to beat Jenkins. However Bordeaux issues also hurt him along with the votes that Armstrong received.

My thing is that if Bordeaux had won that it may have been easier to get a black elected in that seat the next time.

This time around since it is going to be just Jenkins and Armstrong so I am going to see what kind of campaign Armstrong will run. The district 3 only included Edgecombe, some of Pitt and all of Martin 2 years ago but now it consist of Edgecombe, Martin, Washington, Tyrrell, Hertford, Chowan, Bertie and Northampton Counties. This is going to take some cash and some real grassroots campaigning.

Okay the Senate District 3 seat was created as a minority majority district. Some folks say that Jenkins has not done anything. I continue to ask them what are they talking about and what have they asked for. I have yet ran into anyone who have answered my questions.

I would like to hear from the folks in the Senate District 3 what are your thoughts about this race?

See related:

Edgecombe County: Filing ends for May primary election – The Daily Southerner

Daughtridge campaigning in RV–Source: The Daily Southerner

TARBORO — After turning some heads in the primary election for the District 3 state Senate seat when he campaigned with his champion Tennessee Walking Horse, Little Dumas, Republican candidate C.B. Daughtridge is taking a more modern approach for  the rest of the election season. (Read more)

Note: Really? Yeah right! I bet he changed to campaign in the RV since it was stated that look at him campaigning on a horse and buggy and that is where he and the other Republicans want to take you. LMBAO C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

Tax-Free Shopping this Weekend!


While I normally send you updates on legislation of interest in the General Assembly, I wanted to reach out to you today for another reason: to remind you that this weekend is the state’s annual sales tax holiday.

The legislature created this holiday in 2001 to give families a break on back-to-school shopping. From 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 6, until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 8, shoppers can buy clothing, classroom supplies, computers and other items tax-free.

We’re all still feeling anxious about our economy right now. That’s why I’m proud that during the session of the General Assembly that just concluded, we passed measures to keep our state moving forward to keep us on track for the recovery. I supported providing small businesses with a tax break, funding job creation efforts, protecting education, and balancing the budget in a fiscally-responsible way. This weekend’s sales tax holiday is another initiative that shows our commitment to helping the working families of North Carolina.

During the tax holiday weekend, consumers will not pay sales tax on:

  • Clothes and footwear costing less than $100 per item
  • School supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, textbooks, book bags, lunch bags and calculators costing less than $100 per item
  • Sports and recreation equipment costing $50 or less per item
  • Computers costing less than $3,500 and computer supplies costing less that $250 per item

For more information about the tax holiday, and a complete list of tax-free items, please visit the Department of Revenue’s Web site: http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html

Happy shopping, have a great weekend, and thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Senate.


Senator Clark Jenkins

Senate District 3 A Wasted Creation LMBDAO Part 1

Senate District 3 was created to help send black representation to Raleigh NC. A black person has not been elected since the seat was created.

I did not take the election day off so I didn’t ride around to the polls. Since I don’t know how people are going to vote, I do not predict how the results are going to be. People will say they will vote for a certain candidate but they can say one thing but go in the booth and vote differently. So if I was going to trust a poll it would have to be a poll that is conducted after voters have gone in the booth and they are truthful about who they actually voted for.

If I want to play with numbers, I would find the following very interesting. Let’s look at the numbers in all 3 counties and then in individual counties.

The total votes in all 3 counties were Jenkins 50%, Bordeaux 38% and Armstrong 12%. If one of the black candidates got the total of the votes that Jenkins didn’t get that would have been 50%. If Bordeaux didn’t have the Cambridge controversy then what?

The total votes in Edgecombe County were Jenkins 47% Bordeaux 32% and Armstrong 21%. If one of the black candidates got the total of the votes that Jenkins didn’t get that would have been 53%. If Bordeaux didn’t have the Cambridge controversy then what?

The total votes in Martin County were Jenkins 56% Bordeaux 40% and Armstrong 5%. If one of the black candidates got the total of the votes that Jenkins didn’t get that would have been 45%. If Bordeaux didn’t have the Cambridge controversy then what?

The total votes in Pitt County were Jenkins 49% Bordeaux 43% and Armstrong 8%. If one of the black candidates got the total of the votes that Jenkins didn’t get that would have been 51%. If Bordeaux didn’t have the Cambridge controversy then what?

I recognize and understand that Jenkins could have gotten some of the votes that he didn’t get.

So looking at the numbers, is this something to really be proud of as the incumbent? I feel there is a message in the numbers but that is just my opinion. You go figure.

The money. Over the years Jenkins has spent $100,000 or more and his opponents well under $50,000. Jenkins didn’t have to spend over $100,000 this year because he recognized Bordeaux and Armstrong would split the votes. When he saw the major black leaders were all divided, it was easy to see where this race was headed. The cloud over Bordeaux with the papers reporting on Cambridge and the Boys and Girls Club was a plus for Jenkins.

I had much respect for Dr. Florence A. Armstrong however I take her comments as an insult to me as it relates to why the Senate District 3 seat was created. Armstrong comments that she feel proud of what she did and consider herself a winner is funny as hell to me. Proud of what and a winner of what? I am not proud of what you nor your campaign did especially when I have been involved in trying to get a black person elected in this seat since the seat was created to help send more black representation to Raleigh. I do not apologize for being a part of trying to make that happen.

Armstrong said the race was a vicious, ugly race. I beg the difference. Bordeaux raised issues about Jenkins record but no one questioned the issues that Bordeaux raised publicly but they do it all the time behind closed doors. Why in the hell run a campaign against someone and not point out what the incumbent has not done.

I beg the difference that Bordeaux was not focused on the issues when he pointed out what Jenkins had not done. If he was making up things and lying on the candidate then that is another thing but since no one questioned the issues, I guess no one knows if Bordeaux was lying or not. What should have taken place is a debate between Jenkins, Bordeaux and Armstrong and this would have made this race more educational. It would have been interesting if The Daily Southerner, and the 2 sister newspapers The Daily Reflector and The Rocky Mount Telegram had hosted it. Maybe the Martin County paper as well. And then again the black radio stations could have hosted it but actually anyone could have done it.

And lastly Armstrong said she didn’t have a professional consultant. Well that might would have made the difference because the consultant may could have directed in such a way that you may could have pulled it off. Armstrong said she spent the least amount of money and that explains why she got the least amount of votes.

I am looking at the numbers of how each precinct voted in Edgecombe County and that is very interesting. I am going to do a report on how individual precincts in Edgecombe County voted for Jenkins, Bordeaux and Armstrong. Inspite of all the newspapers articles in both The Daily Southerner and The Rocky Mount Telegram, in my opinion Bordeaux still did a good job. If he could have received all of Armstrong votes he would have done a damn good job.

I have been following the Senate District 3 election since the district was first created and has been actively engaged in electing someone to represent me however this time I didn’t get involved. I didn’t simply because it was too much division among the black leaders just in Edgecombe County alone and I was not going to waste my time and energy fighting within the black community which I recognized and understood would only help get Jenkins re-elected.

My opinions about the Senate District 3 seat is not a vicious attack on the incumbent Senator Clark Jenkins who I voted for in the last election however I supported Shelly Willingham the election before that. I voted for Frankie Bordeaux on last Saturday. I was willing to support a change and to yes see a black person in that seat. If Bordeaux didn’t do a good job of representing the people then I would have campaigned against him during the next election.

If I should offend someone as I use the Senate District 3 seat as an example of how divided the black community is, then so be it. A seat that was created to help us send a black person to Raleigh and the blacks work against each other instead of with each other to make it happen is ignant as hell. I don’t want to hear nothing from certain black folks who continue to hold us just where we are. I don’t hold it against Jenkins so don’t get it twisted.

Yes I am Laughing My Black Democratic Ass Off.

I have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies only permanent interest.

The above is in response to the following article but not limited to:

Jenkins wins all 3 counties

Leading up to Election Day, state Sen. Clark Jenkins of Tarboro thought the three-way battle between himself, Frankie Bordeaux and Florence Armstrong would be close. (Read more @ The Daily Southerner)

See related:

Senate District 3 Race

Local Elections Results Partial Listing for Edgecombe, Pitt and Wilson

Edgecombe County
* Incumbent

*James L. Knight
                         6,801     94%
John Wilson                                     431    5.9%

Knight will face Arthur Braswell a black Republican in the November.

Senate District 3 Dem.
*Clark Jenkins
                             3,399     47%
Frankie L. Bordeaux                        2,298  31.9%
Florence A. Armstrong                    1,499  20.8%

Senate District 3 Rep.
Henry Williams                                  121  15.8%
C. B. Daughtridge                              644    84%

Jenkins will face Daughtridge in the November.

US House Dist. 1 Dem.
Chad Larkins                                  1,551  22.4%
*G. K. Butterfield                           5,364 77.5%

US House Dist. 1 Rep.
Ashley Woolard                                384  53.5%
Jerry Grimes                                    152  21.2%
John Carter                                    110  15.3%

Congressman Butterfield will face Woolard in the November.

US Senate Dem.
Elaine Marshall                               2,477  37.9%
Ken Lewis                                     1,070  16.4%
Cal Cunningham                              1,642 25.1%

US Senate Rep.
Richard Burr                                     664    86%

It appears the with the statewide results Marshall and Cunningham will be in a run-off. They will face Burr in November.

Board of Education Dist. 3
Evelyn J. Johnson                             642     56%
*Charlie G. Cobb                            500   43.6%
Board of Education Dist. 7
Faye L. Taylor                                 558   62.2%
*John W. Edmondson, Jr.                  333   37.1%

County Commissioner Dist. 6 Dem.
Oliver Curtis Powell                           196   21.4%
Mike Davis                                      236    491%
Donald Boswell                                491   53.2%

Boswell will face Brooks Wadsworth Republican in November.

See related:

Knight defeats primary challenger

Jenkins beats challengers in District 3 N.C. Senate race

Edgecombe school board challengers prevail

Boswell wins District 6 primary

Pitt County

Challenger Elks wins Pitt sheriff’s race over Manning

Bordeaux falls short against Jenkins

Election night favors incumbents Edith Warren defeats Mildred Council 

Jones, Butterfield win primaries, face opponents in November

Pitt County voters return incumbents to school boardMarc Wichard is Principal at C. B. Martin Middle School in Edgecombe County

Wilson County

Calvin Woodard defeats Sheriff Wayne Gay

See related:

Senate District 3 Race

Calvin Woodard For Sheriff

Gay: It’s not over

Political Candidates The DCN Has On Video

Ken Lewis Interview Simulcast On DCNTV

1st Congressional District Banquet Featuring David Young NC Party Chair, G.K. Butterfield, Cal Cunnigham, Eva Clayton and other Candidates Hertford County In Winton NC Saturday March 27, 2010

Butterfield Supports Lewis – Posted April 10, 2010 New

Democratic Party District Convention Edgecombe Community College Saturday April 10, 2010

Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Chad Larkins During North Hampton County Democratic Candidates Forum Saturday April 17, 2010

PROMM Parents & Relatives of Missing & Murdered Recognition Tribute To Our Daughters & Sons Church of God Of Deliverance Rocky Mount NC Sunday April 25, 2010

Pitt County Candidates Forum Featuring Bordeaux, Armstrong and Other Candidates New Covenant Church Greenville NC Tuesday April 27, 2010

See related:

Senate District 3 Race

SPINCycle for April 29, 2010

If you are having trouble reading this email, you may view the online version

Welcome to this week`s edition of SPINCycle.

Welcome to this week’s edition of SPINCycle.  This week on NC SPIN we are going to give you the most complete analysis of Tuesday’s primary elections, talk about the state’s efforts to collect sales taxes from Amazon and about the need for better teacher training.  In the meantime, participate in the discussion on these issues on the NC SPIN facebook page.

Tom Campbell`s Spin
A new book tells us a lot about the early history of our state. Check out this week’s column, “
Lessons from our founders”.

Heard on the Street
Politics, pork and prancing ponies
It’s not to late to double down and get in your registration for the 3rd Annual Derby Day. Colonel Rufus Edmisten will be passin’ ‘round the juleps and Miss Linda aka Scarlett O’Edmisten will provide the Southern Charm that accompanies parties surrounding the Kentucky Derby. You can be sure there will be food a’plenty, lots of wonderful company (including some of your favorites from SPIN), a silent auction and a big Derby Hat contest. Admission is $40 per person or $70 per couple. Proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Get out the hoop skirts, dust off the bonnets and wear your best derby attire. We’re pulling out the white linen suit (if it still fits) and plan to cheer on our favorites from 3 to 7 p.m. this Saturday. Can’t attend? No problem. Just send your $70 donation to Cheryl and feel good about it. Register by calling 919-829-1988 or mail checks to Foundation for Good Business, Edmisten and Webb, 132 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601. 

Election Central
Tuesday is the day we learn who wins the primary races throughout North Carolina. We’re gonna focus much of our NC SPIN show this week on all the facets of this very strange election, so be sure to catch it.

Political insiders are predicting a 30 percent turnout for the elections. Our experts are saying 20 percent is more like it, highly favoring incumbents in primary contests.

The only real statewide contest drawing any interest is the Democratic US Senate primary. We’ve been saying for months this is headed to a runoff and we still think it the case, but we are wondering if Elaine Marshall might have played it a bit too conservatively. Cal Cunningham’s TV ads have definitely cut into Marshall’s lead with both a WRAL and PPP poll showing outcomes within the statistical margin for error. Cunningham is has been on TV for several weeks. We’ve seen Marshall’s ad online and it doesn’t sizzle. She is supposedly placing a TV buy but has waited so late it is unlikely to have much impact on the primary election.

Marshall has worked hard to get the endorsement of minority groups. Ballots from black caucuses, especially in the East, all have Marshall as the pick. But few pundits predict that the black vote will amount to a significant percentage of the turnout so there is real question as to the value of these endorsements.

It is doubtful that a runoff between Marshall and Cunningham will be avoided. Marshall has been counting on this. Cunningham needed TV to ensure he was in second place. The question mark is the percentage of votes Ken Lewis draws. But momentum in politics is important and Cunningham has it going his way right now. We are told contributions are coming in strong and confidence is building in the Cunningham camp.

There are other races worth noting. The Sheriff’s race in Pitt County is uglier than homemade lye soap. Incumbent Mac Manning is facing a stiff challenge from Neil Elks, a former Captain in the Sheriff’s Department. A controversy worthy of a 60 Minutes investigation surrounds the death of the husband of a deputy in the department and a suggested cover-up by Sheriff Manning. Add to the mix charges of marital infidelity among members of the department and this race has truly captured the attention of folks in Pitt County. “Talk of the Town” conducted a debate between the two candidates, which sparked even more talk, according to host Henry Hinton, also a guest on this week’s NC SPIN. Read the Daily Reflector story on this race.

The region also has one of the more interesting legislative contests. In the 3rd district incumbent Clark Jenkins is running against Frankie Bordeaux, a successful African American businessman, as well as Florence Armstrong, a former African American Edgecombe County Commissioner. Many suspect Jenkins encouraged Armstrong to run so as to split up the black vote, a fact that has kept Jenkins elected in this majority African American district. Bordeaux is spending beau coups of bucks to win this nomination. Claims and counter claims surround this race, especially the overpayment of $4.2 million in mental health services from a corporation Bordeaux and his wife own. But this contest may come to the wire and depend on who shows up to vote. Bordeaux is staging a massive campaign to get black voters to the polls in early voting. Insiders tell us to look for a 400-500 margin either way. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will win the seat. Jenkins is one of the more powerful Senators in Marc Basnight’s Senate.

Another heated Senate race is in Moore County where former House Co-Speaker Richard Morgan is running against incumbent Harris Blake. This race is divisive among this largely Republican district. Blake’s health is a whispered issue. Morgan’s dealings while Speaker is another. Morgan has Carter Wrenn, one of the state’s most seasoned political strategists behind him.

Morgan has always been a controversial figure in politics and this campaign is exhibit A. While we haven’t seen it on TV, Morgan posted an ad on You Tube blasting Governor Perdue’s Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler regarding the no-bid contracts HHS entered into with clients of his former firm. The ad stated  that no Republicans or Democrats had stood up to the pay-to-play scheme but Morgan would. Republicans came to the defense of the Governor and Perdue, which created even more surprise…especially from Perdue.

Speaking of Sheriff’s races there are six contests where convicted felons are on the ballot to become Sheriff, the most notable of which is former Davidson Sheriff Gerald Hege. WRAL ran a great story about the contests, citing the fact that convicted felons could not legally possess firearms and that they cannot be hired as deputies. If a convicted felon was elected Sheriff he could not carry a gun. See the WRAL storyIn addition to Hege, Robert “Nub” Taylor in Avery County was convicted of obstruction of justice, Mark Stewart in McDowell County has felony drug convictions, as does Cleveland County’s David Morrow, Willie Tharpe from Wilkes County was convicted of receiving stolen goods, former Washington County Sheriff Stanley James was convicted of embezzling and Ryan White, from Dare County has pending drug charges. There is legislation proposed to prohibit felons from being elected Sheriff, but they won’t apply to this election.

Again, tune in the interesting discussion on the primary elections on this week’s NC SPIN.

Beason fined $111,000
It’s been many months since this publication talked about Don Beason, the former fast and loose lobbyist and friend of former House Speaker Jim Black. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall accused Beason and his son of accepting money from clients while failing to properly disclose who the clients were. She slapped a huge fine of $111,000 on Beason, who promptly appealed the levy saying Marshall had her facts wrong and that the fine was arbitrary and capricious.

We don’t really know much more about this story because of a codicil placed in the law which prohibits the release of information surrounding fines levied. Responding to the secrecy, Senate leader David Hoyle said, "We missed that.” Republican House Minority Leader Skip Stam added, “That certainly wasn’t the intent of the sponsors. We need to fix that."

Makes you wonder if anyone actually reads these bills that our legislature passes? Assuming they did read the bill you have to question whether the secrecy was indeed an oversight or the intent?

Basnight down by 32 percent
Want to know what impact of the departure of Tony Rand, David Hoyle, R.C. Soles and Charlie Albertson will have on the Senate next year. We got an inkling, as WRAL reported the receipts for the first three months of this year. Senator Marc Basnight’s Senate leadership campaign had collected $508,000 for this election cycle and has $725,000 in the bank. In 2008 he had close to $1 million on hand at this time according to political analyst John Davis. This means that Basnight won’t have as much money to spread around in close races with Republicans this fall and could bode ill for Democrats. Basnight blames the bad economy. Perhaps so, but the poor results also reflect a loss of support for a Senate that has been very business-friendly in the past.

The WRAL story has spawned more conversation about Basnight’s health. Listen to Basnight on this video and reach your own conclusion. Conversations around the Capitol are focused on whether Basnight will be able to serve two more years, much less as Pro Tem. Some are speculating that he ran again in order to be able to raise money to help fellow Democrats and, upon election, will resign. Others believe that he doesn’t have the votes to be elected Senate President Pro Tem in 2011. There are a growing number who believe the issue is moot because they believe Republicans will capture control over the Senate in November (26-24 is what we are hearing) ensuring a Republican as Pro Tem. All this makes for interesting discussion.

House Speaker Joe Hackney’s Democratic campaign fund raised $174,000 during the first three months. Another indicator worth noting: Democrats raised $327,000 while Republicans raised $241,000. GOP Chair Tom Fetzer has been beating the bushes and it shows. This is the closest to fund raising parity Republicans have seen and could be more proof that 2010 will be a good year.

Independent voters will have their choice in selecting either a Republican or Democratic ballot on Tuesday. We hear many observers speculate the independents will select GOP ballots by at least a 4 to 1 margin and polls indicate they plan to vote Republican in the November general elections.

Budget talk
Things have been quiet regarding the results of the April 15th personal income tax returns for our state. We should be hearing those results any time as we approach the beginning of the short session May 12th. Last week we raised the question of how the Senate expects to pass a budget eight days after convening. We got answers.

Much of what we hear is that the Senate will once again punt the ball over to the House and that neither body will do serious line item examinations. The General Assembly intends to pass the budget quickly, get out of town to conduct re-election campaigns and, if the numbers don’t work out with what actual revenues are received, lawmakers will leave it to Governor Perdue to deal with the problems as the budget year unfolds.

Aside from the budget, what issues will the legislature undertake? There are several thorny issues that need attention but few believe they will be tackled. There is some expectation they might take another look at property insurance rates for those in the eastern half of the state. Some are speculating a bill backed by business to clarify cases of contributory negligence versus comparative fault in workman’s comp cases.

The latest Elon University poll indicated voters supported legalizing video poker and offshore drilling. That sentiment might have changed following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Senator David Hoyle is seeking support to legalize video poker and sweepstakes games, taxing proceeds heavily. There is also speculation that the games will be run by the state lottery. Other states have done this and revenues have been substantial, we are told.

Perdue’s education cuts come under fire
As more details of Governor Perdue’s budget proposals are made clear, the opposition is mounting. The Governor’s budget calls for cuts in public education of some $135 million at the same time she is recommending a 1.5 percent step increase in pay for teachers and repayment to state employees for the furlough they were forced to take last year. Added together these two would almost equal the amount Perdue plans to cut and a growing number are urging the legislature not to make the cuts, saying they could result in the loss of as many of 2,000 teaching positions. Read the
Charlotte Observer story.

Pay-to-play TV
There are rumors circulating about problems within the state’s public television network. Legislators are asking questions, as are newspaper reporters. Today’s News and Observer reports that the statewide TV network is airing programs complimentary of The Golden Leaf Foundation that were funded by, take a guess, The Golden Leaf Foundation. More than $300,000 was directed to UNC-TV over the past several years. If this sounds like buying favored coverage you are not alone in those thoughts.

The fact that The Golden Leaf Foundation is involved makes the story even more intriguing. We have often written about the problems with this foundation. While the public needs to know what is being done with the huge dollars funded from the tobacco settlement, there is significant reason to question whether this expenditure is justified. Even more questionable is whether UNC-TV should accept funding to praise Golden Leaf for this purpose. The N&O article indicates this doesn’t pass the smell test.

It has been known for years that anyone proposing a new program idea for UNC-TV must also have funding in place before the concept will be accepted by UNC-TV, supposedly because funding is unavailable. This fact angered Senate budget leader Linda Garrou to the point where she tried to get the network moved from the University System to the School of the Arts, a move that never gained support. (Read our column on this from last April.) Now that this Golden Leaf story has broken, questions about the network, especially about state funding money raised on increasingly lengthy telethons and underwriting are being spent.

It is expensive to operate a group of high-power transmitter sites across the state and PBS programming must be purchased, on top of staffing costs that make this network a costly proposition. But UNC-TV has never achieved the lofty dreams its founders, including the late Billy Carmichael, Kay Kyzer and UNC President Emeritus Bill Friday thought possible.

There are highly creative people at UNC-TV who could produce insightful public affairs, news and cultural programs if given the opportunity. Since Bill Friday’s departure, the network has not been a high priority of the University and funding has been problematic. It is time for a top to bottom evaluation of our state-owned TV network, beginning with governance and ownership and including management, staffing and operations. UNC-TV is too valuable not to be a better resource for our people. We can do better.

Roanoke Rapids theatre in default
The bad deal Roanoke Rapids made building a fancy theatre just keeps getting worse. Following the bill of goods sold the community at the onset to the bad contract the town arranged with Dolly Parton’s brother, the marquee went dark before a lease-purchase was arranged, for a pittance of the $21.5 million construction cost, with Lafayette Gatling. Now the deal is in default and the community once again has this white elephant on its hands. It is too big and costly to be a church, unprofitable to run as a theatre and too valuable to give away. What a conundrum!

Top 10 Natural Wonders in NC
Charlotte Observer columnist and NC SPIN panelist Jack Betts always writes interesting blogs and columns. Yesterday’s featured a Land for Tomorrow contest to determine the top 10 natural wonders in our state. Betts lists some of his nominees. What are yours?
Enter your suggestions today. Then be prepared to vote after the nominations are closed.

RC Soles back in the news
Senator RC Soles continues to be the topic of news stories. WRAL reports that Kyle Blackburn, who was shot by Soles, has been paid more than $100,000 in the past seven years and that the Senator regularly pays people he wants to keep silent. Joe Cheshire, Soles’ attorney, says it isn’t true and that Blackburn and others just want to destroy the reputation of the good Senator.
Read the WRAL story.

What is the Super doing getting involved in OLF?
Heads are shaking over news coming from the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office. June Atkinson is going on record as being opposed to the proposal for an Outlying Landing Field in Northeastern Carolina on grounds that insulating schools for noise would be prohibitive and there would be safety issues. Did we miss the press release where the Superintendent had similar concerns over flights at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, Seymour Johnson Air base at Goldsboro or Pope Air Base in Fayetteville?

Drunk trooper’s poor judgment isn’t the only bad judgment
The State Highway Patrol employs people and people make mistakes, but this organization appears to have made one bad hiring decision after another for far too many years. There have been 27 charges of sexual misconduct reported. The latest involves a Captain in the Patrol who was stopped and reported to be “extremely drunk.” So what did the local police do? They took him to a hotel, not a jail cell and no charges were filed.

Doesn’t this fall under Governor Perdue’s zero tolerance policy? The trooper, the supervisor and perhaps even the Commander should be fired, not disciplined, over the handling of this case. It is time to set an example within the patrol that a trooper’s conduct is not just expected, but required to be exemplary. They are not above the law. There are plenty who would love jobs with sweet retirement benefits like troopers have. There is no excuse to continue to tolerate misconduct among those sworn to enforce laws of good conduct. We agree with today’s Charlotte Observer editorial.

Look for more discussion on this on next week’s NC SPIN.

Friday Interview DVD
We continue to receive requests for the complete interview we did with Bill Friday in celebration of our 600th show.  If you would like to have your own copy of this hour-long interview, please call NC SPIN at (919) 832-1416 or e-mail us at
contactus@ncspin.com. These DVD’s are $20 each. $5 of each purchase will be donated to the Ida Friday Faculty Development Fund at Meredith College.

Until next week, watch out for the SPIN!

Claire Cox-Woodlief, Editor
Tom Campbell, Publisher

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See related:

Senate District 3 Race

Candidates Forum Tonight In Pitt County

Join the Campaign Team and show your support at the Candidates Forum, Tuesday night – April 27, 6:30 PM, New Covenant Community Church, 1212 North Greene Street, (corner of Greene Street and Mumford Road), Greenville.

Forum participants will include candidates for NC Congressional Senate and House seats and Sheriff.  Please joins us. 

Thank you for your support last weekend.  We had a great turnout in Williamston and Farmville. 

We have one week left, let’s keep on making steps toward Leadership with a New Direction!

We need volunteers to assist in door to door canvassing for early voting from now until May 1 — call 252-757-1037 or 252-917-1431 and let us know when you are available.

Can you work the polls for at least one hour — we need poll workers to volunteer in one hour increments ask for support of voters.  Just give us a call.

Campaign meetings will resume on Tuesdays @ Thursdays at 6:45 pm unless noted differently.



Campaign meetings are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 PM at the Campaign Headquarters.

If you can volunteer or assist in any capacity please call 252-757-1037 or 252-917-1431

Please share this information with anyone you know.

Thank you for helping to Elect M. A. Council to the NC House.

Paid for by the Committee to Elect M. A. Council for N. C. House
P0 Box 402, Greenville, NC  27835

See related:

Senate District 3 Race