Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gloves Come Off: Unfounded Accusations - Wilmington Council Race

It appears that all of the political unrest and animosity that seems to pervade the air we breathe these days, has also settled upon our small corner of America here in Wilmington, and surrounds our city council race. Something never encountered by this writer has also made its appearance. An attack site has been set up to feebly attempt to denigrate and discredit a newcomer to local politics, challenger Joshua Fulton.

Usually sites of this regard are aimed at informing voters of incumbents' records and challenging their veracity on the campaign trail. Some sites in this vein carry a lot of merit, since they can provide a comprehensive analysis on an incumbent's voting record, and draw comparisons between historical fact, and a politically populist message. Such sites can be a quite useful tool in politics, given they are heavy on fact, and light on hyperbole.

However, the website in question at this moment is an abject reversal of such a formula. (TRJF) is a caricature of political rhetoric, paranoid fantasy, and hyperbolic dreck. Obviously, the writer goes to incredible lengths to maintain his anonymity; lest he be found out and ridiculed for such insane delusions. Besides efforts to concoct "evidence" that supposedly has  Fulton in bed with everyone from radical Islam to Big Labor (also ironically chastising him for his anti-statist views opposing union control), TRJF takes specific aim at yours truly.

If one didn't realize that TRJF was a serious effort to sway the council elections, one may find its claims and accusations humorous, if not downright satirical. However, as it stands, the intent to be serious results in a lot of effort to string together a cornucopia of outlandish, preposterous, and quite psychotic incoherence.

The latest posting from TRJF has The Alliance for a Better Local Economy and myself colluding to control Fulton in a nefarious scheme to exact the evils of better fiscal control of tax dollars, removing burdensome regulations that hinder organic free market business growth, and ridding local government of insider maneuvering that results in corrupt backroom dealings such as what has been now discovered involving our local ABC board. TRJF charges that I myself has the hooks in Fulton, and in fact it is I, not Fulton, that voters would be electing should he win a seat on city council.

Some of Ben McCoy’s positions have  validity, there is no doubt there, but if you vote for Joshua Fulton, you are actually electing Ben McCoy.  Fulton will just push whatever buttons that McCoy and ABLE desire to be pushed.  Fulton will not be an independent thinker.      

Never mind the fact that I have contributed no money to Fulton, or any other candidate's campaign. It is nothing more than my swagger and charm that persuades the pliable Joshua Fulton to adhere to my wishes, and carry out my bidding. It certainly isn't that I discovered Fulton along with everyone else while closely watching the council race, and decided that I agreed with his fiscally conservative platform.

It gets even more deranged. The writer produces a letter written recently by Fulton to city employees, that among its many paragraphs, contains the word "profligate". This is then compared to a letter written to city council by myself about a year ago, in which I use the word "profligate" as well. In the irrational and muddled mind of the blog writer, this is apparently hard evidence that I wrote both letters.

The same word, the rarely used word PROFLIGATE appears in both letters.  Now, either Ben McCoy wrote both letters, or both he and Fulton enjoy using this word in their “letters”.  We, at don’t believe in such coincidences.  Writing styles are fairly ingrained personality traits.  It is our belief that McCoy wrote both letters.

Why the word "letters" appears in quotes, is anyone's guess. But more importantly, the only thing that any of this proves is that the writer of this blog, in all of his rigidly protected anonymity and ambiguity, has a severe deficiency in vocabulary. One can instantly see a clear definition in writing style of both letters, and it is incredibly clear that the two letters were not written by the same hand. The use of the word "profligate" is not noteworthy in any way, and highlighting the use of the word as some sort of evidence that the two letters were written by myself is hilarious.

I would assume that I don't have to say it, but for the record, I had nothing at all to do with Fulton's letter, nor any aspect of his campaign in any way, other than planting a few yard signs.

The cherry on top, is that Fulton is a teacher of creative writing at UNCW. If anything, he should be the one to craft both letters, given his expertise in the practice. I consider myself a student of the written language, and embrace words as my palette. I strive to utilize words that correctly capture the spirit of my views, and enjoy using words that could be considered somewhat uncommon. However, I would not consider the word "profligate" as such - making this entire subject all the more comical.

The clear platform over at TRJF is that of protecting public sector jobs, salaries, and benefits for all within the city. The blogger all but reveals his position as a either an active or retired public employee. This paints a clear picture as to why the sites are set squarely on Fulton as being the sum of all evils in this current election cycle. Fulton's fiscally conservative views are deemed as the ultimate threat, as his position on council could lead to a reduction in duplicative or underperforming staff, minor cuts to city-contributed benefits in some cases, or other efforts to gain more prudent stewardship of the citizen's tax dollars. To the writer of TRJF, this is the ultimate crime, and Fulton must be stopped.

Fulton has made it clear that his intention is not to layoff public safety workers, or cut the salaries of firefighters and police officers who make a mere $32,000 a year. The waste exists in the administrative side, where it is not uncommon for a department within the inner sanctum of city government to have an average salary in the six digit range, when their private sector counterparts make half or even less than that. And even then, he has also clarified that his approach would not be a wide swath of cuts, but a targeted effort to clearly quantify where waste exists.

Fulton's message is gaining very positive traction among the voting population, who are realizing that they are contributing huge sums of money into a system where extravagant salaries and benefits are common; whereas they themselves are struggling to make ends meet in this dire economy. To the faceless minions of TRJF, this is viewed as a threat to their own gravy train, and warrants a last ditch desperate and pathetic effort to undermine Fulton with wild incoherent rambling devoid of logic.

So who is behind TRJF? Clearly, no citizen without any skin in the game would go this far, enthusiastically risking their reputation and credibility to this extent; even vigorously crossing the line into the realm of libel and slander to try and demonize a non-incumbent private citizen running for political office. Even someone as intellectually limited as the folks over at TRJF could see that this site exists to promote a certain mindset to the office of city council. While TRJF is far too cowardly to expose themselves, they cannot help but to offer insight as to who they are with this:

Fulton and his cronies have accused Mayor Saffo and other Democrats of publishing this site, and in their paranoia they state, “This is the old Wilmington Guard fighting to retain power.”  This site endorses no political candidate for City Council, there are 3 seats up for grabs and the Mayor.  This site endorses no incumbent, or new candidate.  We can also tell you that this site is most certainly not run by the “Wilmington Elite”.  Quite the contrary.

First, neither myself, nor any other of Fulton's supporters that I have encountered has ever accused Mayor Saffo, or any of his supporters of operating this blog. Saffo is far too intelligent and smooth to lower himself to such unfounded and deranged rambling. Likewise, no one has ever claimed it is the "old Wilmington Guard". TRJF actually manufactures for itself notoriety in claiming that conversations such as these exist, where Fulton's supporters are out there talking about who may be behind it. In fact, the day I discovered TRJF for the first time, the site talked about me discussing who may be behind it. I found that strange, knowing that I was discovering it for the first time at that moment.

TRJF could never be construed as an effort by the Louise McColl controlled aspect of the city council race such as Mayor Saffo; nor an establishment candidate, and seasoned politician such as Haynes, Padgett, or Sparks. The message of TRJF does not in any way coincide with that of Neil Anderson or Napier Fuller, and is far too combative to be affiliated with Ricky Meeks. Frank Meares is basically in agreement with Fulton on platform, and is obviously not behind it. Matt Hinson? A retired city worker for 30 years, who has shared concern about the "plight" of the government worker? Hinson remains the solitary question mark regarding TRJF, and these things have a funny way of coming to light. The coming weeks will be very eventful I predict.

Meanwhile, if some disturbed pseudo-blogger claims that Fulton both worships the devil, and is simultaneously an atheist; while working toward a nuclear Iran, and cementing Big Labor control over every aspect of our lives, while at the same time being a radical anarchist - don't believe the PROFLIGATE hype.