What a fine mess

Imagine you're the Puppetmaster, sitting high up on your throne, watching the Little People scurring around, doing your bidding, carrying your water, licking your boots.

You raise your pinkie and presto, 4999 hate-filled mailings fly into Kinston, magically "educating" voters about the evils of compromise and common ground. You raise an eyebrow and POW, your pack of hungry lawyers slaps a lawsuit on some little guy who dared to question your infinite wisdom and awesome power.

You sit back and smile, your beady little eyes shifting in search of more rabble-rousers. You are on a mission to purify the planet, to restore the aristocracy, to celebrate the joys of having more money than sense. Life is good. You close your eyes. You rest.

But while you're sleeping, the Little People are getting antsy. They are tired of working in your cheap-ass stores for slave wages. They are fed up with your interference in their little lives. They have only a few inalienable rights, and they are not at all happy that you are trampling on those rights. They want clean elections and you have soiled the sanctity of their voting booths. They want the freedom to be fully self-expressed and you have threatened their liberty with frivolous litigation. Some of your shills, perhaps, are even tired of lying to cover your dirty tracks.

But you are asleep. You know not what the Little People do.

When you awaken on election day, the Little People will have their way with you and your imperial arrogance. They are connecting the dots between your overblown ego and your reign of error. You will be the pariah you have spent millions to avoid. You are becoming a joke, a schoolyard bully. The Little People are sick of your bullshit.

As reported here yesterday, and published today in the Kinston newspaper, Art Pope has filed a law suit against Stephen LaRoque.

According to the complaint, LaRoque said in the interviews that Pope is in the process of buying individual legislators. He also compared Pope to Michael Decker, a former House member who recently pleaded guilty to extortion, mail fraud and money laundering in federal court.

Pope said Wednesday that he will not discuss specific complaints listed in the lawsuit with the media, adding that the court action was taken after he failed to get a response from LaRoque concerning his request for an apology.

I'm no lawyer, but it's hard to imagine this case going anywhere. The term "buying" individual legislators is clearly a term of art (pun intended) to reflect the undue influence Pope is exerting in legislative races. And as to the comparison to Michael Decker, it may not be a precise fit. But the general notion of wielding the power of dirty money (in Pope's case, the allegation involved corporate money poured into electioneering activities) has some merit. I think a comparison to Karl Rove or Jack Abramoff is probably closer to the mark. To my knowledge.

And what has all the Puppetmaster's money done for the good people of Kinston? Well, go read it for yourself.

Pope, a Raleigh businessman, former legislator and influential GOP conservative, was instrumental in funding campaigns to oust several Republican legislators — including LaRoque — who supported Morgan and the Democratic agenda during recent legislative sessions.

“Stephen LaRoque owes loyal voting Republicans an apology,” Starling said. “It is this very type of attitude that shows Stephen LaRoque’s lack of party loyalty and contempt for active grassroots Republicans and has led him to desert the Republican Party and support (Democrat) House Speaker Jim Black and the liberal Democrats.” The e-mails, Starling noted, also discuss the types of mailing needed to destroy his candidacy. He added that the mailings contain distorted and false claims regarding his stand on various issues.


LaRoque charged that Starling is practicing “gutter politics” by repeatedly distorting and lying about his record as a legislator. He also said that Starling will say and do anything to win an election and has not come forward with any position on issues that affect voters in the 10th House District — a district that includes Greene and parts of Lenoir and Wayne counties.

“Willie Ray only knows how to run a negative campaign. I would like to know where he really stands on the issues,” LaRoque said. “During the first primary, while I ran a positive campaign, he did nothing but run a negative campaign. I’m only going to turn my cheek so many times. This campaign I’ve had to respond to his attacks.”

I highlight that first paragraph because Bob Shiles, the reporter who's covering this story in Kinston, should probably go find a lawyer himself. The Puppetmaster vehemently denies he was involved in ousting anybody, as he so clearly lied said to the State Board of Elections. He was educating voters, pure and simple. He wasn't advocating for anyone to be defeated.

Only four days before voters head to the polls for the GOP 10th House District primary rematch between Rep. Stephen LaRoque and Willie Ray Starling, the race is turning ugly.

Both candidates have come out swinging, each charging the other with running a negative campaign, misrepresenting their positions on issues and leveling false personal attacks against their character.

Look at what the Puppetmaster has wrought! I wonder how it feels to be such a royal screw-up.

To my knowledge.


More Kinston Kraziness

If the Starling LaRoque Smackdown weren't entertaining enough, Ted "Swiftboat" Sampley is in a swivet because his wiggle room on scamming negotiating is being limited by the mean old City of Kinston in order to get him to do what he actually said he would do. The city must be pretty hard up to even entertain dealing in such a convoluted mess. You can read all about it here.