Monday, November 06, 2006

Political Endorsements and Predictions

Since I live in Durham, North Carolina, tommorrow's election will not have much clout on a national scale. The Durham/Chapel Hill area is totally controlled by the Democrats. The Republican party in this area is practically non-existent. Therefore, most of the Democrats on the ballot are running unopposed or the GOP nominees are so weak that they are invisible. So, Rep David Price (D-NC 4th district) will win with 70% of the vote. All of our state representatives in my district are Dems running unopposed, so it is no need to mention them.

The only race that matters is the District Attorney race. Everyone and their mother will be watching this result. I have recently concluded from all of the additional evidence (or lack of evidence) and reports, that Mike Nifong needs to go home. If you looked at my earlier posts, I was more than willing to give the DA the benefit of the doubt in the Duke lacrosse case. However, I kept waiting for more evidence to be present to collaborate the accuser's story and guess what, there has not been a lick of new evidence! When you even have 60 Minutes questioning the case, you know that there is nothing there. I feel that Mike Nifong got caught up in the headlines and hype when the case was first reported. This case was going to make him a superstar. I believe he was still smarting that he did not get to participate in the prior trial of the century in Durham, the Michael Petersen case. This rape case was a chance to show all of his doubters that he had what it takes to be the top dog. Also, he was facing a tough primary where he was facing his nemesis, Freda Black, who was the star of the Petersen trial. He needed to secure the black vote, and increase his name recognization.

The certainity which Nifong spoke when the case first surfaced, let me ( and I am sure many others) that Nifong had strong evidence to place charges on some of the players. Yet, the first round of DNA tests came up empty. Then, Nifong did the most despicable thing so far. At a forum at North Carolina Central ( a historically black university), he strongly affirmed that he believed a rape took place and some privileged kids were not going to get away with it. The worst thing is at the time, he knew the initial results, he knew the shaky procedures that the police used to get an identification, and he had not talked to the victim yet! ( which he still has not) Nevertheless, he exploited the anger and fear among the black community to secure his election.

Over the next few months, I patiently waited for more evidence to surface. The evidence which Reade Seligmann presented which obviously places him outside of the crime scene is damning. Yet, Nifong won't even drop the charges against him. I think even the most supportive Nifong fan knows that Reade Seligmann was not involved in any way. Nifong's prosecutorial conduct has been atrocious, I hope not to ever get on his wrong side.

Now, the question becomes who will I vote for. Steve Monks is available as a write-in candidate. He is the "chairman" of the local Republican party. That fact should disqualify him by itself, as I mentioned earlier the ineptness of the GOP in this area. I feel like that he should have gotten someone to run in the primary. Yes, I know this would have happened before the rape case, but I think this office is too important to run unopposed. Monks also has very little criminal trial experience as well. The other candidate is Lewis Cheek. Cheek is a private attorney and currently a Durham County Commissioner. He also lacks criminal trial experience and he was recruited by citizens who were upset about the Duke case. He does not plan to serve if elected. That is the problem that I have with Mr Cheek. I think if he knew that he was not going to run, he should have endorsed Mr Monks. However, I feel that Mr Cheek is trying to have it both ways. If he loses, he can say if he runs for re-election for County Commisioner, that he didn't want the office, others just put him up. If he wins, he can say that he was just a vehicle to get rid of an overzealous DA. I don't like my choices, so I will hold my nose and vote for Mr. Cheek, because he seems a more viable alternative to get rid of Nifong. Unfortunately, I believe that Nifong will survive as he will get almost all of the black vote and enough of the white vote to remain in office.

Other predictions
The GOP will barely hold on to control of the House and the Senate by 1 seat each. Most of the MSM is underreporting the GOP turnout. I have problems with the GOP on spending, immigration, and some of the decisions in Iraq, but they are better than the alternative! Who wants 2 years of hearings, charges, and accusations.

The MSM will spin the results as a win for Dems as they almost gained control after 12 years. However, they will scratch their heads to figure out how they can be wrong for the sixth year in a row.


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