Friday, August 31, 2007
Tuesday we posted and discussed McHenry's original financial disclosures from February, 2004. He has previously unreported ties to a local businessman and blogger. It reads like a trashy romance!
Wednesday was a break in things. No, it wasn't. This was the story. What IS with Republicans and their repressed sex drives?
Thursday it was all about dirty tricks and corruption. We had already learned on Friday that was Pat involved with recent murder victim Ralph Gonzalez of Florida and Georgia ethics issues (including ties to Jack Abramoff and vote manipulation. But the North Carolina Conservative told us that not only McHenry was also tied to Jason Drake, who police say was the shooter.
Drake has also been tied to accused murderer Harlow Cuadra, apparently works or runs an escort service or porn business out of Virginia Beach. It's all over the tubes that there exist lists of republican clients for a call-boy service and that Drake was threatening to expose them if Gonzalez didn't give him money to help pay for Cuadra's defense for a Pennsylvania murder.
The unconfirmed allegations make for interesting speculation. What we do know is that Ralph Gonzalez is tied to several scandals with loads of documentation and McHenry has buried his political past, white washing his ties to all kinds of nasty political operations. Wonder what we'll learn this coming week?
Stay tuned, folks.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Florida police are saying that Jason Robert Drake,* left, shot two republican political consultants, Ralph Gonzalez and David Abrami, and then himself last week. What they're not saying is why. After first calling it a lover's triangle, they're now saying:
Drake was found carrying a firearm and backpack full of ammunition. Deputies said in a short statement witnesses had mentioned "a number of potential motives."NCC editor Judson Cox has done some digging and come up with a convoluted story that involves another murder in Pennsylvania, several video and still male-on-male porn sites, and a call-boy service in Virginia. Go read for yourself but I'd advise you not to follow the some of the links in the articles I link to unless you don't mind male nudity and more at your computer.
What caught my eye in the locally-oriented NCC article was the last paragraph and I'll quote it here:
Sources tell The North Carolina Conservative that Drake volunteered on several Republican campaigns in western North Carolina, and was an associate of Congressman Patrick McHenry. Gonzalez is also believed to have been associated with McHenry in the past. Since being elected, McHenry has attempted to insure that all elected officials in his district are his supporters and cronies. This has caused a very nasty political war of attrition in the 10th District. Sources say that Drake worked on these campaigns as a surrogate of McHenry.Pat Go Bye Bye readers will recall that I wrote of the McHenry connection last Friday. I have two off-the-record sources tying Gonzales to McHenry (and one wacky dude.) At the time I didn't have the information that Drake had ties to Rutherford County. (I've since read where he was coming there to be buried but can no longer find the link.)
For those of you who didn't follow those links for the Florida Gonzalez/Abrami/Drake murder/suicide story's details, I'll just sum up the political end of things for you:
Gonzales (as Georgia Republican Party Executive Director) has close ties to Ralph Reed and the dirty tricks that defeated Senator Max Cleland in Georgia. Never forget they employed the confederate flag wedge issue hysteria. Never forget that Ralph Reed took over the Georgian Republican Party using Abramoff-forced Choctaw "donations."
And never forget that Abramoff knows all these guys. (Ever wonder why McHenry defends Charles Taylor so often and vehemently?)
Ralph Gonzalez also worked as now-Representative Tom Feeney's campaign manager who created a smear site against his Democratic opponent, Clint Curtis. Gonzalez was also Feeney's campaign manager when he ran for Florida state house to become it's speaker. He stayed on as a strategist and spokesman. There the ethics scandal involving influencing software purchases. He's tied to another indicted legislator, former Rep. Sheri McInvale.
Drake's history is less obtainable on the internet unless you follow blogs to porn sites which I do not have any interest in doing. Since he's from Rutherford County it's not hard to believe NCC's story that he worked on local campaigns.
All of this will give you some taste of what we're dealing with here. Even if the call boy Republican client list/gay porn movie actor/homosexual lovers triangles stories turn out to be completely fallacious, we're steal dealing with some ugly customers. And they're friends of Pat McHenry's.
Now, we know why, even though he's never bought or sold property (except for twice when he used a power of attorney), McHenry still perpetuates the myth that he's a real estate small businessman. He really really doesn't want anyone to know what he's been doing all these years. He wouldn't have won the primary if people knew. And he wouldn't get reelected.
[One thing adding to the confusion: The police call him Robert Jason Drake, his ex-wife calls him Jason Robert Drake. I went with the woman.]
NOTE: This text has some slight changes from the original due to new information. See comment numbers 3 & 4. -DQ
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Yeah. Here's the July 25th story. I thought it was a joke like this other FruitFly post on GOP importing prostitutes for the 08 convention. (And maybe that one is not a joke!) But, no, the MySpace story is in the freakin' Christian Post. And NC's own Roy Cooper leads the charge:
So maybe it's time to probe deeper. I mean, look at Larry Craig and read the endless stories of Republican Sex Offenders, like North Carolina's own Coy Privette and David Almond, and don't forget Pat McHenry's friend, the National College Republican Chair Glenn Murphy, who likes to give blow jobs to sleeping heterosexual acquaintances.
MySpace.com has found and removed more than 29,000 sex offenders with profiles on the popular social networking site, according to state officials on Tuesday.
The newly released figure was a huge jump from 7,000 profiles of sex offenders just two months ago on a site with about 180 million profiles. Roy Cooper, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper along with several others had demanded data on the number of registered sex offenders using the social networking site, owned by News Corp.
"I'm absolutely astonished and appalled because the number has grown so exponentially over so short of time with no explanation," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, according to The Associated Press.
It's not like there aren't sexual predators and perverts in the Democratic Party but come on. Things are getting obvious here. Exactly why are so many Republicans perverts? I mean, we all know perverts are around every corner. Down every dark alley. And there seems to be quite a large subset of them which are what I call PRiGs: Predatory Republican Gays.
Obviously, we aren't going to answer all the questions about Republicans, their repressed sexuality and the need for their leaders to be sexually predatory whether gay, bi or hetero.
But I thought that it's time to get this conversation started.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
They're not available with the campaign finance reports at opensecrets dot org. The House Clerk's office publishes them in a four-set book that you can request for free. I've been told you can request these documents in some way but the woman in charge of these requests, Janice Glosson,
So, just in case my car gets run off the road some dark and foggy eve, I decided to post the documents right here for everyone to see.
One thing I noted immediately on Page 5. See where McHenry lists Tech5 Corporation and writes "Former Partner."
Well, that's very interesting because the president of Tech5 corporation is none other than the publisher of the Lincoln Tribune. Why should we care, you ask? Well, I'll give you a couple of examples of the kind of unbaised hard-ball reporting on McHenry that comes out of that Lincoln Tribune:
Audience member William Hal Schronce took McHenry to task on the amount of communications McHenry’s office sends out in the mail.Yeah, of course. Everyone loves getting a bunch of expensive pr crap from their Congressman. That's believable. And another:
“This is a waste of my tax dollars,” said Schronce. “There are a lot of people who feel the way I do.”’
The audience vehemently disagreed with Schronce, with many of them telling McHenry they like getting mailings from the Congressman’s office. McHenry said it’s just one of the ways his office keeps in touch with his constituents.
Several times during the night, McHenry drew applause for his stance on the hot-button issue of the war in Iraq.Of course, there's no mention that Publisher Jason Saine was and is the President of Tech5, a company that McHenry was a partner in months before he ran for Congress.
Resident Judy Gilbert asked McHenry why he voted against a house bill that called for U.S. soldiers to spend equal time between combat and home. McHenry’s answer was swift, decisive and garnered a thunderous round of applause from the audience.
Here's the Tech 5 Corporation archived website files. They mysteriously disappeared from the intertubes the same month McHenry ex-staffer Aaron Lay was indicted on voter fraud charges but it's still listed by the NC Secretary of State as an active corporation.
We need to know these business ties so we can know who is writing the stories (pr puff pieces) in these local newspapers. Why should they write about him as if they are being objective when clearly they are not?
Citizens have the right to these documents by law. If you don't like that they only available at the House Clerk's office, let your congressman know. Oops, your congressman wants it this way! I guess you're shit out of luck.
UPDATE: According to the Clerk's office's Janice Glosson, "the clerk has done everything required by law." They send the copies to every state. In North Carolina, it's the State Board of Elections. What they do with it is up to each individual state, Glosson told me. And as to being available to the public in the district, again, "the clerk has done everything required by law. As to having them posted on line. Again, "The clerk has done everything required by law." And as to people in the actual district wanting to view or have copies. "That's up tot he individual states. As to the young gentleman who told me I could get request copies or that they published a book of these available for free? "I'm not going to go there." So your government at work. At least she returned my phone call, eh?
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Monday, August 27, 2007
From Linda Osbon:
On Tuesday, August 28, members of MoveOn.org Political Action Hickory and surrounding communities will hold a candlelight vigil to call on Congress to vote to end the war in September.
“It’s time for the Bush Administration to stop looking through rose-colored glasses and realize that the surge has been a total failure,” said Linda Osbon local MoveOn member. “Rep. McHenry must Stand Up in September and vote to end this religious civil war that can’t be won,” concluded Osbon.
Participants in the vigil will read from a “War Toll Calendar” to honor and remember the soldiers that have died in the past year in the unwinnable religious civil war in Iraq.
Vigils like this one are part of national Take A Stand Day - a coordinated day of action to end the war initiated by the Americans Against Escalation in Iraq coalition, including MoveOn.org Political Action, VoteVets.org, the Service Employees International Union, True Majority and others.
Where: Union Square Downtown Hickory
When: Tuesday, August 28 at 7pm
What: Local residents urge Congress to vote to end the war in September and honor the soldiers who have died or been injured in the unwinnable civil war in Iraq.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
(Not having to report a residence purchase or sale somewhat neuters the concept that taxpayers have the right to know if you got a sweetheart deal but I'll let that go for now).
Problem with that? According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections you've been voting from Cherryville the last three elections since you bought that property (and chose to exclude it from your disclosures.)
So, now we've got that pesky ol' voter fraud problem rearing it's ugly head. Which is worse? Voter fraud or lying in financial disclosures? Both are federal legal violations, right? But, the thing is you have other inconsistencies on your financial disclosures (I won't got into it now but does the address 4211 Pete Brown Rd. Ring any bells?)
Friday, August 24, 2007
According to Max the Dog, a blogger at BlueNC, Florida Republican political consultant Ralph Gonzales consulted for McHenry in his 2004 Congressional race.
Here's what FOX news wrote:
ORLANDO, Fla. — A former campaign aide to a Florida congressman and two other men were found dead in a home in an apparent double-murder and suicide, authorities and relatives said.
Authorities have not determined a motive for the deaths of Ralph Gonzalez, 39, his roommate, David Abrami, 36, and a friend, Robert Drake, 30.
Investigators found weapons and signs of a struggle in the house, but they did not say what the weapons were or which man they believe was the killer. The men are believed to have died several days before the bodies were discovered Thursday.
Gonzalez was executive director of the Georgia Republican Party from 2001-2002. He managed U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney's 2002 campaign and was president of Strategum Group, an Orlando-based political consulting firm that represents Republican candidates.
"He was a born political consultant. He had bravado, he was intense, and he lived and breathed tactics and strategy," Feeney said. "He was an adviser and strategist for me and became a very good friend."
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
But public documents tell another story.
Last week Republican Dennis Benfield of Caldwell County wrote in the Hickory Daily Record that McHenry owned property which he did not list on his legally required financial disclosure statements.
And at the Lincoln County town hall, a 70-something woman named Farrie Blackburn politely asked McHenry about it. After a long stunned moment, McHenry said there wasn't a "word of truth in that article." She said she was sure that the figures were accurate, that she knew the author. Pat then required that all questions be submitted first in writing.
Below you'll see a segment of the Catawba County assessment for the property, linked here. Also below you can see the page of assets from his 2006 report linked here. It's owned by McHenry and it just ain't listed in his report.
And in blue map above you can see land layout (it's a condo so he owns only a fraction of this parcel of property.
In the assessment from January 1, 2007 there are other assessments going back to 1997. Even if they were under a previous owner, I'm going to go ahead and assume he owned it December 31, 2006, which makes it omitted from the 2006 financial disclosure documents filed May 15, 2007.
UPDATE: Thanks to Greg Flynn at BlueNC whose computer obviously is more patient with the Catawba County Register of Deeds, here are the facts from their website:
The condo was put up for sale Monday February 28th 2005 "at public auction at the Catawba County Courthouse door, when and where Patrick T. McHenry became the last and highest bidder for the said land at the price of $139,949.25". The deed is dated April 27th, 2005. The "mail to":" address listed for Patrick T. McHenry is C/O Williams Law Firm, Hickory. The related Deed of Trust was not signed by McHenry personally but by Jason J. Deans with Power of Attorney. However the POA on record does bear his signature with the characteristic flourish. The borrowed amount is $132,950. The current tax value is $143,300
I have to say it sure makes me wonder if he didn't acquire it as the Lay investigation heated up! I've seen those CSI shows where trace evidence of who knows what shows up years after the alleged misconduct . . .
But back to the numbers, you know, hard facts.
For the year 2006, McHenry reported these figures: from $342,000 to 930,000 in assets, from $160,000 to 365,000 in debts, and from $33,300 to 100,000 in income outside his Congressional salary. So, his self-reported net worth was $177,000 to 565,000. That makes the $140,000 condo somewhat of a significant oversight.
For 2004, he reported assets from 250,000 to 755,000, debts from $50,000 to 100,000 with income from assets of $206 to $16,200 and his former state legislator income of $20, 658. Don't trust my addition. Here are the documents.
Posted at BlueNC and Scru Hoo.
In Cleveland County last week, a Viet Nam veteran asked him "What does a terrorist look like? Describe a terrorist for me." Pat stared for a moment right at the gentleman and then refused to take anymore questions, closing the open meeting abruptly almost an hour and a half early. But you won't read about that in the Shelby Star (although they did cover the pharmacists rebellion.)
It's tough being out in public. Especially when real people crash the staged events. Especially when they're respectful older women or aunts of three-tour veterans or Viet Nam vets. You can't have your people boo at those kinds of people.
So, on to Plan B: make the "open public forum" as phony as his "virtual town hall." (Hey Aaron Latham, still haven't gotten your response to my email asking for the list of questions McHenry was asked but refused to answer that night.)
The big questions was initially posed by constituent and fellow Republican Dennis Benfield on his website and then at the Hickory Daily Record. Mainly, what gives with the unexplained (and undocumented in FEC required records) growth in his net worth over the last three years. By several accounts (and we'll soon have the video to show you) poor pat was "stunned" and didn't respond "for the longest time." When he did, he told the audience "there's not a word of truth in that article." She said she knew Mr. Benfield, and she was sure he wasn't "making up" the figures. She said he awkwardly moved on to the next question, and after that, insisted that questions be written down on paper and given to him.
Another witness called the incident a "meltdown."
McHenry supporters "laughed and clapped when they thought he had scored one." He announced that one constituent, Linda Osbon, was from MoveOn dot org to their moans, but she informed him she was not with that organization.
Linda asked about the companies in Iraq that were profiteering from the war . . . namely Haliburton. Pat's typically smirky response blamed Clinton. (He blamed Clinton for all American's problems during his last campaign to the giggles of most Democrats.)
According to another witness, Pat "just as well called one man a liar, when the guy confronted him with remarks he made at a Valdese at a meeting."
Judy Gilbert of Lincolnton led off with a question on Iraq. She told me it was questioning why he voted against a "bill to give our soldiers equal time at home as the time served." His answer, according to Judy, was that the bill had loopholes which could send soldiers from one place to another (such as Iraq and then to Afghanistan and then on to some other place and calling it their tour).
The Lincoln paper has a completely different version of the evening. This is how they characterized McHenry's response to Judy's question:
McHenry’s answer was swift, decisive and garnered a thunderous round of applause from the audience.It was so falsely sweet you'd think you were back in the fifties when bisexuality was neither discussed nor (horrors!) practiced by Congressmen and when abortions were neither discussed nor legal. And, of course, they weren't forced on interns. Ah, the good ol' days. The Lincoln paper has just one gigantic credibility problem.
McHenry and Lincoln Tribune publisher Jason Saine have done business together, a political consulting firm called Tech 5 corp dot com. Here's the Tech 5 Corporation archived website files. They mysteriously disappeared from the intertubes the same month Aaron Lay was indicted on voter fraud charges but it's still listed by the NC Secretary of State as an active corporation.
If you don't like the Lincoln Tribune's version of the news email the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Client list for Tech 5:
Nathan Tabor, Candidate for U.S. Congress
Commissioner Dan Barrett, Candidate for Governor
North Carolina Federation of Republican Women
Bill Fletcher, Candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instructions
Bill Boyd, Candidate for Lt. Governor
Mark Hollo, Candidate for NC House
U.S. Representative, Cass Ballenger
Sherriff Dan Crawford
N.C. Representative, Joe Kiser, N.C. Majority Leader
N.C. Representative, Mark Hilton
N.C. Representative, Debbie Clary
N.C. Representative, Edgar Starnes
N.C. Representative, Tim Moore
N.C. Representative, David Lewis
N.C. Representative, Julia Howard
N.C. Senator, Robert Pittenger
N.C. Senator, Andrew Brock
N.C. Court of Appeals, Judge Eric Levinson
Candidate for U.S. Senate, Jim Snyder
Catawba County Republican Party
Davie County Republican Party
Gaston County Republican Party
North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy
Citizens for a Sound Economy, Washington, D.C.
Tax Pledge Calls
- U.S. Senate, North Carolina, Elizabeth Dole
- Florida Governor, Jeb Bush
- U.S. Senate, New Hampshire, John Sununu
- U.S. House, Pennsylvania, Toomey Race
County Commissioner, Carrol Mitchem
County Commissioner, James Funderburk
Clerk of Courts, Fred Hatley
N.C. Representative, Patrick McHenry
Lincoln County Public Schools
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Pat brushes off concerns of local pharmacists, supports oil drilling, abruptly ends Cleveland town hall
While he blatantly distanced himself from the president, he also brushed off a group of local pharmacists who have been asking for McHenry to support bills to prevent them going out of business.
Four pharmacists in attendance told McHenry that local, hometown pharmacies were being phased out by government regulations. They said they have called McHenry's office frequently to ask him to support certain bills . . . they asked why doesn’t he?
The pharmacists explained that they are not getting reimbursed at a reasonable rate from government health programs. Also, they are concerned about the ability of internet pharmacies (that are being pushed by HMOs) to cut out local retailers by avoiding counseling regulations.
One pharmacist said, "I'm hearing this isn't your priority" from a staff member when they'd called his office.
McHenry asked, who said that? I expect my staff not to be rude. The pharmacist said, well, I won't tell you who. It's not that the person was rude. It's just that they said, and your actions confirm that this is not something you concern yourself with.
As it got heated, one pharmacist pointed out, I don't think anyone in this room wants to lose their local pharmacy.
They asked him specifically to sign on as a cosponsor to House bill number 671. McHenry replied, "Numbers mean nothing to me. I can't follow the bills by number." (But later when another person asked about a bill by number, he knew exactly what the bill was.)
The gathering was abruptly ended by the Congressman at
Other questions and responses
Shelby resident Betsy Wells asked about the Iraq War. She mentioned her nephew, who joined the Army after 9/11, and is on his third tour of duty in Iraq. She explained that this young man had changed his life goal because of the threat to the country. She asked, with your constant support of George Bush’s requests for the War, why aren’t you in uniform fighting in Iraq?
McHenry's response: My life's plan in my 20s did not include that. I serve my country in other ways. I wouldn't want to say that my sacrifice is near what the troops have sacrificed.
Betsy: Are any of your brothers or sisters in Iraq? McHenry: No.
Betsy: Do you have family or cousins in Iraq? McHenry: Yes, (but he did not elaborate).
Betsy: “Would you support a withdrawal date for removing troops from Iraq? McHenry: Emphatic No. "That would mean we lose." He said, it's better to fight them over there than here.
Betsy: “Why are more Congressman’s children not serving?” McHenry: "I don’t have any children, yet." He said he hopes to have children some day "after I meet the right woman."
He said he's looking forward to the General Petraeus report.
He told citizens that he want the bi-partisan bickering to stop. Failing to distinguish between parties, he went on to say that the situation gone on for too long. The only thing to fix it, is "throw the bums out."
Connie Savell asked “Do you support drilling for oil off the coast of North Carolina?" As an opponent, she said to McHenry "what will our world look for our children?" McHenry was emphatic in his support for off-shore drilling. According to McHenry, not only would the derricks would be so far off-shore that they couldn't be seen by beach-goers, he also contended that oil drilling has been so perfected now, that there would be absolutely no leaks. He mentioned that during Hurricane Katrina the derricks in the Gulf of Mexico fell over but were so well-constructed that there no oil escaped.
Beth Sibley talked living near Houston where tar balls littered the beaches and the clouds of fumes and poor air quality. Yet, she asked, what incentives do you have to offer big oil companies who are making record profits to build more refineries?
McHenry blamed not oil companies but lawyers. He said the problem is the unlimited number of appeals allowed by current law. He supports a bill that would limit the number of appeals allowed. Trial lawyers are a big problem.
A young man asked what can be done to punish two elected leaders who disgraced their offices? Niphong & Gonzales (for perjury). McHenry said that the Niphong case is a state matter. As to Gonzales, McHenry stated in strong terms that Gonzales should no longer be the attorney general.
This report was compiled with the assistance of long-time Cleveland County Democrats Beth Sibley and Betsy Wells (nine years the county chair).
Monday, August 20, 2007
According to long-time Democratic leader Betsy Wells, McHenry was asked by a resident what can be done to punish two leaders who disgraced their offices. The man referred to Duke prosecutor Mike Niphong and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. McHenry said that the Niphong case was a state matter. About Gonzales, McHenry said the President should have removed him, that he should not longer be the Attorney General.
Beth Sibley also contributed to a review of the entire meeting which will be posted later today.
Friday, August 17, 2007
From the Hickory Daily Record:
Our representative has done real well since entering Congress.Dennis Benfield is a candidate for Caldwell County Commissioner.
McHenry’s financial reports show, [at Open Secrets dot org] for instance, that he went from owning virtually nothing - he said - when he ran for Congress in 2004 to having a net worth in the bracket of “$720,000 to $1.2 million.”
Wow, where did that kind of net worth come from in just three years?
When McHenry first entered Congress, according to his filing, the Gastonia whiz kid reported “$68,009-$281,000” in net worth. That ranked 337th out of 435 members of Congress; in other words, only 98 members of Congress actually were “poorer” than he was.
But in the reports since, the august representative of the 10th District has seen his net worth skyrocket to the “$301,018-$877,000” bracket - on its way to “$720,000 to $1.2 million.” By any measure, on paper, he’s become a wealthy young man very quickly.
Not just wealthy, but every young adult’s financial dream - having a net worth of over a million dollars by your early 30s!
Would it be too much to ask the enterprising and wildly successful congressman to address publicly what has gone so terribly right in his financial life since he first ran for Congress in 2004 as “the only small businessman in this race”?
That year, the owner of McHenry Real Estate of Cherryville listed zero assets in his business - same as he does now. Could it be that “McHenry Real Estate” never really was a serious “business” three years ago, as his opponents claimed?
But the disclosure forms apparently don’t tell the whole McHenry financial story.
According to the Catawba County Geospatial Information Services (GIS) system, there’s a condo on Lake Hickory at 2200 Sixth St., NW, (No. 2), Hickory, for which McHenry is listed as the owner since April 27, 2005. If you grew up in Hickory, it’s located between the former sites of the old Rock House and the old Moose Club on “the lake road.”
This residence is not listed among his apparent real estate rental properties in Gastonia, Cherryville and Charlotte on Schedule III - Assets and “Unearned” Income that he reported on May 7. And yet, there it is, big as day in Deed Book 2658, Page 496, Parcel ID 3704170122320002, showing Patrick T. McHenry as the owner.
Is it barely possible that this young public servant is hiding some of his assets from the public? Maybe he thinks we might object to his amassing too much of a fortune too fast?
So, for sure, something is amiss. Both the deed for 2200 Sixth St., NW, (No. 2) and the House ethics reports bear McHenry’s signature. What gives here, congressman? Can you explain this?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Why 900 mil? It's how much tax money has come from citizens of the 10th district to fund that war. MoveOn members want their Congressman and fellow citizens to think what that kind of money could have done for our schools, our health care system, our futures. Or, think like a Republican and imagine what you could have done with your own money in your own private bank account.
From the local MoveOn chapter's press release:
Since the Iraq war began, Congress has spent almost a half-trillion dollar on an unwinnable civil war. The cost of the war to North Carolina taxpayers alone is $12.34 billion. Residents in the 10th district are paying $900 million for the Iraq war.
“Every day the war goes on means more of our hard earned tax dollars are wasted on an endless religious civil war that can’t be won,” said Linda Osbon local MoveOn member. “The $900 million being spent in Iraq should be put to better use here at home helping residents of the 10th district. We’ve had enough. Rep. Patrick McHenry and Senators Dole and Burr need to vote in September to end this war and bring our troops home or face being brought home by their constituents in 2008,” concluded Osbon.
The report shows that over 413,000 children could have been insured; 121,384 kids could have been sent to Headstart; 8,518 units of affordable housing could have been provided; and over 23,000 public safety officers could have been put on our streets. The report also highlights the terrible trade-offs, the broken promises, and the failed policies that got us to this point.
Why are you taking credit for bringing funding to the district when you VOTED AGAINST the bill?Here's what the Statesville paper had to say. Maybe you'd want to give 'em a call to correct their mistaken impression. Oh, no, I see you've already talked to them. My bad.
McHenry, whose 10th District takes in the southern portion of Iredell County, said he was glad to have a hand in the funding.Thanks to Donna Roulic for this wonderful question. She writes that the bill also:
“One million dollars [for the Statesville Regional Airport] goes a long way,” he said. “It is always a great experience working with Congresswoman Foxx - and especially now because Statesville will see the results of our concerted effort."
included $150,000 for the Hickory Engineering Center and $100,000 funding for the Appalachian State University at the Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) in Hudson. The CCC&TI funding provides training for local teachers as well as undergraduate education degrees.
Since the Hickory Daily Record hasn’t reported this in Thumbs Down, I’m going to go ahead and give a big fat “F MINUS” to N.C. Representative Patrick McHenry (R) for skirting the truth on his vote “AGAINST” the appropriations bill (H.R. 3034) which included $150,000 for the Hickory Engineering Center and $100,000 funding for the Appalachian State University at the Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) in Hudson. The CCC&TI funding provides training for local teachers as well as undergraduate education degrees.And I see here's another question from the virtual town hall that McHenry didn't see fit to answer.
Yes, folks, your congressman McHenry - the one who said – “This Center is an ideal coalition of education, manufacturing and community leaders, working together to improve our training and educational opportunities for our region” voted “NAY” on funding for the Engineering Center and the CCC&TI. I feel sure the voters in the 10th District sent McHenry to Washington to work for them not against them. If this is the way he represents us in Washington we really need someone else to drive this bus for awhile.
This Republican rising star is lying-by-omission to his constituents while at the same time taking the accolades from the chairman of the Future Forward Economic Alliance, Mr. Pete Miller. If any one deserves a thank you it‘s all House Democrat’s for their votes in getting H.R. 3043 passed through the House.
No matter how flat you make a pancake it still has two sides therefore I wanted to hear McHenry’s side. I went to his live Monday night telecast and I asked him a very simple question “why did you vote against H.R. 3034 funding?” Of course I didn’t get an answer so I guess no answer is better than “I don’t recall.”
So I ask you - whose interest does Patrick McHenry serve? Is he aloof, out of touch or just baffled like President Bush?
Hey Aaron Latham, I'm still waiting on your response to my email about the questions McHenry didn't answer that night . . . I think for $60,000 of taxpayer money a year you could answer a simple question.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I asked nicely.
That cute Doug dude (you know the intern from Charlotte and Clemson who doesn't live in the district and never has?) told me you'd answer my question if only I'd email you instead of stand there in the office.
So I didn't make a scene. I took no video. I played really nice.
But you haven't even said "boo."
Here's the first one:
Hi Aaron,Here's the second one:
I'd like a copy of the questions that were submitted for the virtual town hall Monday.
I have a list of the questions Congressman McHenry answered. I need the ones he didn't answer.
I know you're busy but it would only take a minute to cut and paste those questions that the Congressman didn't have time to answer on Monday night's virtual town hall.You know, if you're not going to answer email inquiries from the citizen press, you shouldn't (from your tiny backroom) tell nice interns like Doug to tell people like me that you will.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
And I don't know what sweet nothings our Pat is whispering into the ears of the Charlotte Observer's Lisa Zagaroli but BlueNC's Betsy Muse is all over it (plus there's more about the truth behind that "Democrats Cheat" hissy fit Pat threw a coupla weeks ago):
Here's all the poop from Betsy's BlueNC post:
Now, McHenry isn't the first to step across parliamentary lines and say something he later had to retract or apologize for, but this isn't a simple matter of the squirt losing his temper. In his whining attack on Democratic leadership, McHenry shows a shockingly inadequate grasp of voting procedures in the House. He isn't the only one.
From Norman Ornstein, a contributing writer at Roll Call [subscription only], we get this:More dismaying was to watch Republican leaders after this event, and to read what Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been writing in his press releases and in a column in Human Events. Either he and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) are consciously distorting what they know are the rules and practices of the House or they don’t know the basics of the rules.
If you're really paying attention, though to the cheap sophomoric tactics the Republicans are pulling to obstruct progress in Congress, then you recognized that this entire tantrum is over a motion that was intended merely to impede the Democratic Congress. Again, from Norman Ornstein:That gets us to the specifics of the motion to recommit. This motion, if it passed, would have required the Appropriations Committee to find language to ban any funds for housing for illegal immigrants and report the bill “promptly” back to the House. Three observations are in order.
First, this motion should not be done on an appropriations bill — it is a substantive action, not technically legislating but having that effect. Second, the motion sought to ban funds for housing. This was an agriculture bill — it was not about housing. Third, the motion consciously dropped the standard, long- established language of serious motions to recommit, calling for the measure to be reported back “forthwith,” which means immediately and gives these motions the functional equivalency of substantive amendments or substitutes — a way for the minority to offer alternatives. Using “promptly,” as I discussed at length in an earlier column, is a subterfuge, a way to kill bills, and reflects a desire not to legislate but to embarrass vulnerable majority Members through a “gotcha” process.
In other words, this motion was a sham, not a serious attempt to offer a minority alternative. The majority was wrong to try to circumvent the process; the minority showed a lack of seriousness by offering such a motion to an appropriations bill.
While I'm a pretty firm believer in the old adage, "two wrongs don't make a right", I'm also a firm believer in pointing out the hypocrisy of Republicans as they throw tantrums over how the Democratic leadership is conducting the business of the House, when they were guilty of far greater transgressions during their tenure in the majority.
Democrats did not cheat. The vote was closed in a timely manner. They didn't hold the vote open for hours like Republicans had a tendency to do and all votes that were cast, were counted. Yes, after an initial flurry of vote-changing by both sides, the Democratic leadership tallied the votes and called the final total. It didn't matter what was on the screen or when the gavel was pounded on the table. The vote had to be called at some point or the Republicans and Democrats could have changed votes all night long trying to see who would come out on top. The party in control of the House was going to win this particular motion, so at some point the fence hurdling was going to have to come to an end.
Funny thing is, this happened over a week ago, but fresh articles are still coming out. I can only imagine that the louder Republicans whine about the unfair practices of Democrats, the more respectable journalists, like Norman Ornstein, will step up to call them on their hypocrisy. With Youtube videos like the one above, these moments of Republican hypocrisy stay alive for longer periods of time giving more journalists and bloggers a chance to offer their commentary. [Good for me because it's taking longer for me to write my commentary!]
Now for the Charlotte Observer's Lisa Zagaroli and her girly giddiness over Patty Mac. It wasn't so much what she wrote, but what she left out that makes me think she's more impressed with McHenry than she should be. First, instead of pointing out that McHenry's comments were hypocritical, she not only quoted them in full, but offered absolutely zero pushback on his assertions that Democrats were "cheats". Norman Ornstein even had something to say about this in his piece in Roll Call.As for the press, the number of veteran journalists who know procedure, or who take the time to find out the facts before writing, has dwindled sharply.
Ouch! So, Zagaroli either has a thing for North Carolina's very own Oompa Loompa or she's a lazy reporter.
Second, Zagaroli wrote three different pieces on McHenry in one roundup. Dayum, talk about your PattyMac overload. Please, one helping is enough. Even - yes, I'm quoting the man again - Norm Ornstein agrees.If the minority ends up being driven by immature brats such as Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), everyone will suffer, starting with the American people.
Here's some questions for him.
Why did you spend 2,000 dollars for a television set?
Why did you obstruct for two weeks the military appropriations bill for the cause of transparency in Democratic earmarks then refuse to divulge your own (Republican) earmark for (heavily Republican) Mitchell County (an agricultural-related earmark that other North Carolina counties would have liked to have applied for)?
Since, by international law, the US is responsible for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, could you please publish a count and list of names of the dead and wounded from those countries?
Why has your campaign spokesman trivialized the indictment of your staffer and roommate? Do you not take voter fraud seriously? Which laws are important to you? Are you in any way tied to any other ongoing voter fraud investigations.
Will you vote to withdraw the troops from Iraq as soon as possible? If not, why?
Could you tell me how many credit unions have privatized since your bill to make it easier for them to do so? And how much in profits have their managers realized from those privatizations?
Why kind of pressures were you under before Republicans lost their majority that made you say that it was a relief to be in the minority?
So you still support oil drilling off the coast of North Carolina?
Monday, August 13, 2007
I just talked to someone in Mitchell County. They received a congressionally franked slick mailing today on all the town hall meetings. The only change was the time for tomorrow night in Mitchell County. It listed 6:30 till 8:30 pm. just for that one Mitchell meeting. All the others were still 7-9 as on your post.In 2006 the Mitchell County McHenry Town Hall was held in a local Town Hall. It is interesting that this year it moves to a church. This church, Abundant Life Outreach, is attended by the First Vice Chair of the Republican Party, and Spruce Pine Mayor, and Republican Campaign Activist - Ralph Hise. His mother, Shirley Hise, also attends this church. She is the Director of the Chamber of Commerce (As a side note the Mitchell Chamber rents the front part of its office building to the McHenry Congressional Field Office). Also belonging to the Abundant Life Outreach Church is Bill Sleagel (sp?) who is the new Chair of the Tenth District Republicans.It is interesting that several other of the locations have moved from public spaces in 2006 to conservative churches in 2007. Another example of this is in Catawba County. Last year the Catawba event was at the Community College.
Here's where he stands on the hot topics:
- Recognize the Unborn Childs' right to life and to deem that life begins from conception.
- Illegalize abortion of any kind, because abortion for any reason is murder.
- Ensure the individual's right to keep and bear arms without unconstitutional governmental restrictions.
- Enforce current border security laws and prevent the government from granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
- Bring our troops home, and end the unconstitutionally declared war in Iraq.
- Encourage the US to re-adopt a non-interventionalist foreign policy as the founders demanded.
- Attempt to help lower, and eventually, entirely abolish the income, estate and gift taxes.
- Preserve the US Citizens' right to free speech and oppose all attempts to enact hate crime bills.
Mr. Bryan Elliot Greene was born on January 27, 1961 in Charlotte, NC and has lived in the Caldwell County area for the majority of life. After graduating from West Caldwell High School he married his high school sweetheart, Kim Susan Shew, in June of 1981. A year later in 1982, Bryan enlisted in the United States Marine Corp., were he had the pleasure of serving his nation for seven and a half years both stateside and overseas. He is also the proud father of four children; Brandon (1983), Jordon (1987), Jared (1994) and Kallie (2001).Maybe he'll suck some votes from Pat. If he can get on the ballot, that is.
Bryan currently works in the Engineering Department at Frye Regional Medical Center, though he can do anything from fixing a car, building a house, electrical and heating and air. Even still, Mr. Greene is a well rounded individual who understands the need for principled, constitutional representation in our government and desires to be that representation. Bryan Greene has, throughout the years, been heavily involved in leadership roles. He serves as a deacon, and choir director while teaching the combined teens and college and career sunday-school class at Temple Baptist Church in Lenoir, NC.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
(Anyone who is able and willing to record the event, please let me know. I'll be glad to post all recordings, video or audio. Contact me by using the EMAIL ME: click here on the lower left of this webpage. Don't worry if you don't have much technical knowledge. We'll figure it out! And thank you!)
MONDAY, August 13 - AVERY COUNTY
The NCDP organized an event at the local chapter in Greenville, NC. Here's the coverage. If this doesn't inspire you to help, nothing will.
Participating in a service project in support of troops in Iraq is as good a cause as any, Meek said."It's the least we can do, given the sacrifices troops are making under very difficult circumstances," he said.
The Democrats visited six other eastern cities Friday and Saturday: Clinton, Lumberton, Sampson, Windsor, Conway and Ahoskie. They engaged in community service activities, door-to-door activism and voter registration, Meek said. Today, the group will stop in Winfall and Elizabeth City.
Though Pitt County is considered a Democratic stronghold, it helps to rally more support here for an increase in voter turnout, Meek said.
"It (the tour) will help to the extent we can come in and motivate people in the statewide election in 2008," he said. "We want voters to know we're not just here at election time."
The Democrats went to work making greeting cards, sorting books and inserting toiletries, recreational items, snacks and items specially requested by troops. Special inserts might include tactical sunglasses or multipurpose wristwatches that give temperature readings, Whitehead said.
Many of the troop letters come from Fort Bragg, she said. Overall, Give2TheTroops sends about 400 packages to soldiers each month. Packages can take anywhere from three days to several weeks to be delivered depending on the person's location in Iraq.
The most important part of the package is the thank you card, Whitehead said.
"It's what let's them know we appreciate their sacrifice and bravery," she said.
. . .
Daniel Spuller, treasurer of Young Democrats of North Carolina, picked out a photo of a green frog dressed in a pink dress for the front of the card.
His support comes because he cares and wants to show the party cares about the troops and military families, he said.
Being against the war doesn't conflict with him standing by the military, Spuller said.
"Whether you agree or disagree with the war, it's an issue that hits close to home for us," he said. "I just lost a friend who was killed in action."
Whitehead had no qualms welcoming a party in which opposition to the Iraq war is growing.
"No matter the party, I love it (group volunteering)," Whitehead said.
Friday, August 10, 2007
(When I figure out how I'll do one of those balloon things to make the wording bigger but not the whole photo.)
Thursday, August 9, 2007
If McHenry roomie, staffer, and alleged felon Michael Aaron Lay fulfills the requirements of his plea deferment deal, it can be like it never happened. That's what I've been told but I can't quite believe it.
May we all be blessed with Locke Bell as our prosecutor, eh?
What a nice guy. I wonder if McHenry is giving him back his donation. Hey, Locke, would you return my phone calls, please?
The photographer got giggled for this shot of DA Bell, but you can still get the idea. Happy defense lawyer (center) looks on while perpetrator, in black, and prosecutor make nice. It's sweet.
UPDATE: This is what the Hickory Record is reporting, a guilty plea but he can sit for the bar.
HICKORY -- A former campaign worker of U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor election fraud Thursday.
Michael Aaron Lay, 26, must serve 100 hours of community service and pay a $440 fine. He will be on probation for six months. If he meets those criteria, the charges will be dismissed.
The plea agreement entered in Gaston County Superior Court addressed felony charges that alleged Lay voted illegally in Gaston County in the 2004 primary and primary runoff elections. Lay pleaded instead to “two attempts to do voter fraud,” said Thom Goolsby, Lay’s attorney.
Lay was not available for comment Thursday, but Goolsby was pleased with the case’s quick resolution. Lay was charged in May and indicted by a grand jury last month.
Goolsby said Lay, who graduated from the University of Tennessee’s law school this year, can now sit for the North Carolina State Bar exam in February.
UPDATE NUMBER TWO: Because the charges were reduced to misdemeanors, that's why our young man can still do the legal thing. I guess that's how they convinced him (since Monday) not to fight the charges.
Also note that the Charlotte Observer (who actually had the nerve to call 16-hour-old news in the next county "breaking," along with the Hickory paper posted this in the wee early hours so it would be buried by early-morning news the next day . . .
The deal? Six months unsupervised probation, during which time he must complete 100 hours of community service, $240.50 in court costs and a $250.00 community service fee, for a grand total of $440.50.
If Lay does all that, District Attorney Locke Bell says he will voluntarily dismiss the charges. I don't know what that means as to passing the NC bar, if he never was charged is he not guilty?
Is Patrick and his pimp Jason Deans now going to say that it didn't happen, that this "poor Christian boy" had no choice?
Cross posted at BlueNC and Scrutiny Hooligans.
The terms were as follows: 6 months unsupervised probation, during which time Mr. Lay must complete 100 hours of community service. He must pay $240.50 in court costs and $250.00 community service fee, for a total of $440.50.
If Mr. Lay completes these obligations satisfactorily, District Attorney Locke Bell will voluntarily dismiss the charges.
Mr. Lay was represented by attorney Thom Goolsby of Wilmington.
Former McHenry campaign worker could have election fraud charges resolved today.What they don't tell you is that Michael Aaron Lay already turned down a plea deal on Monday. I have no idea why newspapers pick and chose which news to tell you. The only thing I can think is that if they had printed this yesterday or the day before, perhaps interested parties could have witnessed the trial.
Any other suggestions?
For more on Michael Aaron Lay's voter fraud case with its ties to Patrick McHenry as both roommate and staffer look here and here and here and here and here.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
McHenry has ties to Republican Party's newest alleged sex criminal National Young Republican chair Glenn Murphy (accused of "unwanted" oral sex on a sleeping man.)
Here's the police report. It's not pretty. [UPDATE: if you scroll down that police report, there's a sexual battery police form from 1998 where Murphy's alleged victim is male, 40 pound lighter and the witness is the victim's girlfriend.]
McHenry peeps Laura Harvey and Frank Williams were quoted in a YR email from February:
National Committeewoman Laura Harvey said, "I am honored to support Team Murphy and look for great things to come from this exceptional group of people. They understand where our organization has been and what will need to be done to build on that momentum to make the 2007 and 2008 elections a productive and positive experience for each and every state."
"In my view, one of the keys to building a successful organization is to get the right people on board from the outset," said Frank Williams, a former NCFYR Chairman. "Glenn Murphy has assembled a team that has the experience, background and vision needed to take the YRNF to the next level. Members of Team Murphy have played a key role in righting the ship over the past two years, and I believe they have what it takes to move our organization to new heights."
YRNF Chairman Candidate Glenn Murphy (IN) said he was proud to have the support of Young Republicans in North Carolina.
But some North Carolina YRs were against the endorsement. At least one YR whose email was forwarded to me feels the vote was pushed through without due consideration. This was part of a long email about "getting along" and reasons why the NC YRs should have held out on a national endorsement:
The vote was rushed so quickly from what I have been told that it was more of a page out of former Speaker Jim Black's book - not a issue that was given "thoughtful consideration" . . .No mention of what was so "personal" about the endorsement.
Folks can threaten and bully all they want but the proof is in the pudding. Out of the dozen or so folks I've talked to about this endorsement, none thought it was given due diligence . . .
I believe that you have done a great disservice to our state federation by making a hasty endorsement which by all accounts the only basis of which is personal
Thanks to Wonkette for the screen shot.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Republican D.A. Locke Bell offered Michael Aaron Lay a "deferred prosecution" deal, which means that if he did some community service and didn't get into trouble for a year the charges would be dismissed.For more on Michael Aaron Lay's voter fraud case with its ties to Patrick McHenry as both roommate and staffer look here and here and here and here and here.
Apparently Mr. Lay is a "true believer" and Mr. Lay's attorney told Mr. Bell where to shove his deal. So barring further developments Mr. Lay should appear in Courtroom 4C on Thursday before Superior Court Judge Tim Patti for his arraignment.
Monday, August 6, 2007
He had this to say about our Congressman:
I can't believe this guy is a member of the United States House of Representatives. Actually, I take that back, I can. I can believe it and that, dear readers, is what saddens me. The bicycle is, arguably, one of, if not the most efficient complex machine ever created.Our Naive Optimist had been inspired to disgust after reading a transcript of this McHenry speech:
Regardless, my question for Rep. McHenry is this: what's your solution? Rather than telling us why something is a bad idea, give us a better idea. This is the problem with politics, repeating what's wrong vs. talking about solutions.
A major component of the Democrats’ energy legislation and the Democrats’ answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle.
Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike.
Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: “Save energy, ride a bike.”
Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no.
They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing.
Apparently, the Democrats believe that the miracle on two wheels that we know as a bicycle will end our dependence on foreign oil. I cannot make this stuff up. It is absolutely amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Democrats, promoting 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. If you don’t like it, ride a bike. If you don’t like the price at the pumps, ride a bike.
Stay tuned for the next big idea for the Democrats: Improving energy efficiency by the horse and buggy.
Friday, August 3, 2007
A court hearing continues for Michael Aaron Lay, a 2004 election campaign worker of U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, who faces charges of election fraud, Gaston County Superior Court, Gastonia. Contact: 704-852-3100.
Thanks to Jerimee.
Here's video of the night before when Republicans just started shouting the place down.
Here's Majority Leader Steny Hoyer making nice, only alluding briefly to all the ugliness of Republicans when they were the majority.
And the Politico's Crypt is now turning to McHenry regularly to "splain" what he understands but wants to pretend he don't. Of course, the explanation Cryptoid (is he related to Novak?) prints doesn't have to be anything like accurate. Like me (who admits it) the Crypt just wants people to read his free rag.
Last night things got testy over immigration (who would have guessed?)
Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance.
Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.
Whatever the final tally, acrimony quickly exploded between lawmakers on either side of the aisle as Democratic leaders tried to plot a solution, while parliamentarians on either side argued over protocol.
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) eventually offered a motion to reconsider, according to floor staff on either side, ostensibly giving members a chance to recast their votes. But the maneuver sparked a chorus of angry protests from the Republicans, yelling “shame” on Democrats, while they returned fire with angry volleys of their own.
When Democrats finally moved to consider the spending bill as the last vote of the night, furious Republicans left the chamber en masse to protest the maneuver. The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result.
“Obviously, the Democrats don’t want to stand up against illegal immigration – so much so that they’re willing to cheat in order to win a vote,” Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said in an e-mail. “They’re desperate – and it shows.”
The official House website did not show a record of the vote as of 1 a.m. Friday.
I wonder how much The Crypt turned to the minority Democrats in the last few years, like when they tried to hold hearings and the Republicans turned off the power and locked the doors. But I guess that's not "cheating."
Deiphilus is posting the video of McHenry's one-minute comment on the floor today so I'll have that up when it's ready.