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Bob Etheridge hurt his reelection campaign by losing his temper on a Washington, D.C. street when accosted by Republican dirty-tricksters.
 
He hurt his lasting reputation by showing a singular gracelessness when he conceded to Renee Ellmers:
 
"The combination of the national tide that swept the country, massive amounts of secret corporate cash funding a campaign of distortions, and dirty politics by Washington, D.C., partisan operatives was just too much to overcome."
 
He should have heeded the immortal words of Dr. J – Julius Erving: “You’ve got to win without bragging and lose without whining.”
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Johnnie Boomer
# Johnnie Boomer
Monday, November 22, 2010 11:38 AM
Gary, you are correct in your comments about Rep. Etheridge. Another mistake in my opinion was his negative TV ad in which he accused Ellmers of supporting a national sales tax. To my knowledge, this ad marked the first time that he mentioned her by name, thus letting everyone know that he considered her a real threat (no doubt based on his poll numbers). Also, the ad was not exactly honest in that it implied that Ellmers wanted to add such a sales tax to all existing taxes. Anyone with even a passing interest in the issue would know that the national sales tax idea is to replace the income tax and some other taxes with a sales tax levied equally on everyone. After that ad ran, Ellmers had enough money to put up some really well-done ads herself, one of which was a direct and effective rebuttal to that ad. (By the way, a friend of mine who splits his ticket said he decided to vote for Ellmers when he learned from this ad that she supported the national sales tax.) Etheridge's positive ads were well done and he should have had more of those. Regarding his YouTube moment, perhaps he should have done an ad in which he spoke directly to the camera and said something like this: I made a mistake that day and I have apologized publicly for it. I apologize again now and I would apologize to those young men in person if I knew their names and how to contact them. Then he could have gone on to talk about his record on education, housing, and looking after his rural constituents.
Carbine
# Carbine
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 2:43 PM
Speaking of sour notes, the news just broke of former governor Easley's plea deal--if it can be dignified by calling it that. A stack of state and federal felonies get swept under the rug with an Alford plea and a measley $1,000 fine. Un-freak'n believable! Clearly, in North Carolina under the Democrats, crime pays.

For all that's wrong with the Chinese system of governance, they do get one thing right. When government officials there are caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they often end up kneeling down in a gravel pit with their hands tied behind their backs and a soldier behind them with an AK-47 pointed at the back of their heads. We should take official corruption as seriously as they do.
dap916
# dap916
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:25 PM
This sentence will do nothing but help the republican party in North Carolina. It is a joke...no one can deny this. Even some very notable liberal/progressive/democrats on blogs around our fair state are outraged at the so-called penalty Easley got as a result of his plea agreement.

It's just more of the same. If a republican in our state (or ANY state, for that matter) had the same verdict/penalty...it'd be hell to pay in the mainstream media. Easley won't even get a passing mention.

It's just more of the same...next up? The penalties given to that great national hero and fabulous statesman (thanks, of course, to his gerrymandered district) Charlie Rangel. If ANY of we regular citizens did what he did, we'd be indicted and facing a prison term and have to pay those taxes WITH interest and penalties....even the MOST rabid liberal/progressive can argue it. Anyone truly believe Rangel will get anything even CLOSE to what we'd get for the same penalty?

You know not. Just like Easley didn't get what he should have received for what he did. Being a politician has its privileges...never think otherwise. Why else would people spend millions of their own money to get a job paying 1/10th of what they spend????

Duh.
Brunette
# Brunette
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:07 PM
Dang, Carbine! You really do need to get that acid reflux, influx and overflux thing looked into.

I don't disagree that Easley got off "easily" (sorry) and that he ought to have faced many, many more charges. But you think the better way is to shoot someone under what passes for legal process in China? Hmmmmm, no thanks.
I'd rather see the guy walk than turn to that kind of "justice."

You're wrong (as usual) about another thing. Kennerly isn't a Democrat. Neither is George Holding. Their willingness to bargain down wasn't about their feeling beholden to a party.

But on the other hand, their being forced to do it was arguably attributable to the work of a Democrat -- Larry Leake.

The reason Holding and Kennerly felt further charges were a risk is that Easley's attorneys were able to wave NC General Statute 163-278.29 at them and claim their client was immune from prosecution because of the testimony he was "compelled' to provide at the State Board of Elections.

It is worth noting that in other recent cases (Meg Scott Phipps, Jim Black, Thomas Wright) where key witnesses testified before the State Board of Elections, this statute was not asserted by defense attorneys in their subsequent trials. That is because in each of those cases, Colin Willoughby had insisted that Larry Leake read language to the sworn witnesses at SBOE hearings prior to any testimony being elicited. That language was to the effect that their testimony before the SBOE was not being "compelled." Thus, theoretically (and legal beagles seem to have bought it), the subpoena to appear before SBOE was not in and of itself "compelling" the witnesses to testify. Thus, none of those witnesses were considered to have been immunized against prosecution based upon his/her comments before the SBOE. Mysteriously, Leake failed to read this language to Mike Easley when he testified at the SBOE. Thus, Easley's attorneys were able to argue that his testimony*was* compelled and that the aforementioned statute had conferred immunity.

THAT is why Easley got off with such a pitifully limp slap on the wrist.
Carbine
# Carbine
Saturday, November 27, 2010 9:44 AM
Learn to read, Brunette. I wrote only about the PUNISHMENT metted out to corrupt officials in China, not the LEGAL PROCESSES by which guilt or innocence is determined there. Surely you understand that distinction.

Nor did I write anything that implying that Democrats had anything to do with the plea bargaining. Democrats have, however, been in absolute control of the General Statutes (including the one you cited) virtually forever in this state. The laws which proved inadequate to do justice in the Easley case were written by Democrats, and they alone are responsible for the problems with the statutes.

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