Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Democrats are spinning like teacups

Good morning, and welcome to O-pinion, the Observer editorial board’s home for opinion and discussion on the issues of the day. I’m Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten and I’ll be your host today.

Politics is bubbling this morning. Herman Cain’s presidential campaign is dead, Gov. Bev Perdue’s supporters are in full-blown damage control and Mecklenburg County commissioner Jennifer Roberts’ tenure as board chair is on life support.

Start with Cain. One measure of how far and how quickly his campaign has fallen is that when an Atlanta woman alleged that she had a 13-year affair with the married Cain, it was like stabbing a dead man in the back. Cain denies the allegation at the same time that his lawyer says it should be a private matter. But does anyone care? Cain is done, and the latest allegations are whatever comes after the final straw.

Closer to home, the Democrats are spinning faster than the teacups at Disney World after three of Gov. Perdue’s associates were indicted on campaign-related felonies Monday. Walton Robinson, the state party spokesman, sent out a press release highlighting Republican Tom Fetzer’s failure to file a campaign report 29 years ago, as well as the 2004 indictment of a field coordinator for Rep. Patrick McHenry. As if those have anything to do with Perdue’s troubles. This morning Robinson re-sent a statement from the Democratic Governors Association backing Perdue’s 2012 reelection. Earlier he sought to discredit N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes by digging up a clip from last year about one of his staffers being indicted. And Democratic Chairman David Parker sent out a statement focused on Perdue’s supposedly robust reelection chances.

Obviously the Democrats are missing the point. Instead of trying to dismiss the felony charges as unimportant, focusing on others’ flaws from 30 years ago and talking about how they’re going to win an election a year from now, they should sympathize with what the majority of voters see: That the whole episode is yet another blow to public confidence in North Carolina’s elected officials. It’s especially disappointing because Perdue ran on a pledge of ethical behavior and openness. Yet members of her inner circle are just the latest instances of alleged public corruption.

Here was our take on the whole affair on this morning’s editorial page and cartoonist Kevin Siers draws a mean do-do bird.

A week from now, Jennifer Roberts may be ousted as chairman of the county commissioners. Fellow Democrat Harold Cogdell is attempting a coup, and it appears he’ll have the backing of the board’s four Republicans to pull it off. Roberts has been an ineffective leader at times but we don’t have tremendous faith that Cogdell will be any better. Whoever is chair will be the face of Mecklenburg County government when the Democratic National Convention comes to town next

And don’t miss today’s stellar letters from readers, including one reader not quite in the Christmas spirit, and one who wrote an epitaph for hunters who shoot ducks in the wrong person’s yard.


Anonymous said...

Purdue has nothing to worry about. All she has to do on the campaign trail is go to the other 99 counties and remind everyone that Pat McCrory is from Charlotte, and she will ride the "I HATE CHARLOTTE!" loyalists to a landslide victory.

Similarly, who is the chair of the county commissioners is irrelevant. This city and county has turned so blue that I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if the Dems win all 11 seats next year. They could put a poorly-trained monkey in the chair seat and nothing is going to change.