Pundits in power continue to lose track of what matters most in Strach-gate: the fundamental conflict of interest of a high-powered investigator for the State Board of Elections being married to the general counsel of the North Carolina GOP. Despite what the N&O might say, this is not about Richard Moore. In fact, the only writer I've seen who has managed to get the story straight is Scott Mooneyham of the Insider (which, ironically, is also owned by the News and Observer). Unfortunately, you have to pay a couple thousand dollars to get an Insider subscription, so no links today, just a short excerpt.
Now, her husband was state GOP general counsel. The state GOP had brought the complaint against the Perdue campaign. As Andrew Whalen, executive director of the state Democratic Party recently noted, Phil Strach may have helped compose the complaint that his wife was now examining to determine its merits. Wallace wrote that Kim Strach had an unavoidable conflict of interest.
She replied that her work history - including an investigation that led to fines against the Republican Governors Association - made clear that she done her job without bias.
This muddled mere might have been avoided had state GOP officials and Phil Strach recognized that, given his wife's unique position, becoming party lawyer probably wasn't such a swell idea.
As one person wrote to me, "The most bizarre thing is the editorial opinion from two large N.C. newspapers that Kim Strach doesn’t have a conflict because of her outstanding job in the past. WTF? Job performance doesn’t have anything to do with conflict. These guys are lab rats performing tricks and waiting for their next treats from Kim."
I love that last expression. Lab rats.
The State Board of Elections is a quasi-judicial political institution, controlled by whatever party is in power, and abused by whatever party is out of power to further their own political goals. It is compromised in every sense of the word, regardless of who's in charge. I'd say it's time to shut the misguided experiment down.