Loitering within 10th

Ever since NC millionaire Republican Svengali Art Pope decided to take out Republican Steve LaRoque the race for the NC State House 10th District has been contentious. Willie Ray Starling, supported by Pope, was the apparent Republican primary winner by 11 votes but complaints of vote suppression led to a series of legal clashes resulting in a new Republican primary set for September 12th. The winner will face Democrat Van Braxton, a Kinston City Councilor for 12 years.

Kinston is also home to Ted Sampley a serial entrepreneur, character assassin and petulant self-appointed czar of veterans affairs. Sampley, a Vietnam veteran, is notorious for denigrating the military service of John McCain, John Kerry and John Murtha. He seems to have a problem with decorated veterans named John. Sampley has also attacked Jesse Helms when Congressional inquiries didn't go his way.

Sampley has been involved with numerous enterprises over the years including: Olde Kinston Gazette, Queen Street Press, Sampley Enterprises Inc, Broken Eagle restaurant, Red Hawk, Homecoming II, Last Firebase Veterans Archive Project, Neuse River Trading Company, Neuse River Antiques & Pottery, Kinston Ironclad Shipwright Company, US Veteran Dispatch, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry

Early August 12th BlueNC.com became aware that an anonymous and malicious, fake Braxton site had been created by cybersquatting vanbraxton.com and using code purloined from the real Van Braxton site including a copyright notice and the name of Braxton's campaign manager as author. While visually dissimilar from the real Van Braxton site the use of stolen code tricked search engine software into positioning the fake site next to the real site in Google search results. The site features images of Braxton paste onto Soviet propaganda which were created by Ted Sampley. As an anonymous communication disparaging a candidate the fake site was also an apparent violation of NC election laws. Since BlueNC flagged the fake site the code has been altered to munge the copyright notice, an obvious indication of willful violation of copyright law.

The fake site is hosted by Rustikat Internet Services in Kinston NC. Rustikat, owned by Fred and Kathy Riggs, also hosts the site of Braxton's then assumed opponent, Republican Willie Ray Starling and a number of other political and related websites including: kinstonpress.com, perquimansgop.com, pittgop.org, 3rdncgop.com, gocausey.com and kar.rustikat.net.

More significantly Rustikat also hosts multiple sites owned by Ted Sampley including: usvetdsp.com, lastfirebase.com, kerrystreason.com, hillaryclintongear.com, impeachhanoijohn.com, godresolution.com and, Sampley related sites rollingthundermotorcyclerally.com and rtmrwdc.org. Sampley's web empire extends beyond Rustikat to include walkofhonor.com, vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.org, vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com, cssneusii.com and americanpatriotonline.com hosted by other companies.

The fake site is similar to some of Sampley's sites. His main assault vehicle is US Veteran Dispatch which traffics in a legal no-man's-land between 501(c)3 status, commercial enterprise and political activity.

Rustikat was visited by local police inquiring about the fake site. Riggs, in an editorial in his own kinstonpress.com website mocked police for only asking about the site designer and not the owner of the site. Sampley freely admits, with the userID "shucks" in encToday.com forums, that he created the images used in the fake site but neither admits nor denies creating the site itself. Another, new, userID "jeffersonjr" claims responsibility for the fake site but may simply be an avatar for Sampley. Posts of both users are generally coy about the site. Meanwhile Riggs' indignancy is disengenous as he obviously knows more than he is willing to reveal.

Neither Starling nor LaRoque have publicly criticized the fake Van Braxton website. LaRoque pays for banner advertising on Riggs' kinstonpress.com website. Starling has not reported any expenditure for his own website hosted by Riggs. This may represent an unreported corporate contribution to Starling's campaign. Starling appears tone deaf to controversy. His website has images of him dining with Art Pope, speaking at the Pope funded Civitas Institute, attending one of Sampley's CSS Neuse II events and standing in a group with Governor George Wallace of Alabama.

Sampley decries the welfare state but is not above seeking public assistance for his enterprises. He is currently seeking the sale of public property for $1 to accommodate the CSS Neuse II project. He has arranged a $65,000 Gold Leaf Foundation grant for the project. In 2000 he arranged a $42,500 SBA Disaster loan for Sampley Enterprises Inc, the same year he stopped filing annual reports resulting in formal dissolution in 2005.

As documented elsewhere Sampley has a history of antagonism towards national political figures and is not shy about engaging in dirty tricks. (One of his stunts involved pouring oil on a DC highway ramp). Similarly, he has various beefs with local politicians including the Kinston City Council and Van Braxton in particular. Sampley obviously has the means, motive and, opportunity to create the fake site, admits to having a hand in it and, has a history of making false claims about public figures.

Whether Ted Sampley is proven to be responsible for this latest subversion of law and the democratic process remains to be seen. The constitution and amendments enumerate certain rights but it is our constant responsibility to be vigilant regarding the usurpation of those rights. The right to free speech is not abridged by an anonymous cry of "fire" in a crowded theater.


Sampley, a serial entrepreneur

(snicker)...I sure wish I had your way with words. Nice job. I love it.

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Double wow.

This is a fantastic summary of the Kinston Krazies, Greg. Very excellent and very thorough.

The thing that amazes me in all this is how these people seem to treat the work of good governance as a joke. They wink and nod at potentially illegal campaign practices like its part of some secret-handshake game.

Could you tell where Sampley stands on Starling versus LaRoque? Or, asked a different way, is Sampley in cahoots with the Art Pope? I know he's against Braxton (probably because Braxton doesn't bow down to Sampley's majestic presence), but is he part of the Puppetshow?

Kinston Krazies

I believe the phrase "good governance" might be a little on the subjective side as governance in K-town is somewhat different than in other parts of the state. And for us down on the farm in K-town, well.....things have not gone so well for us lately. So politics is our number one source of entertainment. I am enjoying your site and it is good to know that we are indeed recognized for our many accomplishments.

Spew warning, next time

You have a wonderful sense of humor and I'm sure it's tried every ounce of your patience dealing with folks like Sampley. We have our fair share here in Charlotte, trust me. I just haven't had a chance to uncover them. Contrary to Ted's belief, as witnessed on message boards, nobody in Kinston did this research. Everything about Mr. Ted is out there on the world wide web just waiting for a curious federal agent to find. Oh...I did have to check with the registrar of deeds on a certain business name he uses, but other than that it's all on the web.

Greg's research was not aided by any in Kinston either, I believe.

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There is no doubt that Greg did not have help from Kinston for his article. If he had he would never made reference to yelling fire in a crowded theater. The last time we had a crowd in our theater was when they were installing the seats..........boy, that was some crowd.


Everything I came across is publicly accessible. I've been to Kinston several times. I've even been to a Kinston theater, ironically to see the movie "Underworld". Coincidence?


Not when you're talking about people who were separated at birth!


Coming to Kinston is like entering "Thunderdome"......two men enter, one man leaves. Kinston politics is like living a movie everyday. We all are like Shallow Hal..........we see things differently.

Election Law Investigation

The Kinston Free Press (www.kinston.com) has an article concerning the investigation of the phantom Van Braxton site. And the city editor has comments under staff blogs - Charlie Kraebel. The online newspaper, www.Kinstonpress.com, published an editorial on the subject several days ago. The Free Press article states that the investigation should be completed this week. I do not think that either of the Republican candidates have commented. This has been the most excitement that we have had since they four-laned Hwy 70.

There has been some excitement

in Kinston, hasn't there? The KinstonPress.com site is Fred Riggs' online version of a newspaper and Sampley is one of his advertisers. I wouldn't look there for too much objectivity. I read Charlie's blog. He seems to be pretty bright and have a good understanding of the law.

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the "reporters" out there in traditional media could learn a thing or two.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

My thought exactly

I've been paying pretty darn close attention to political coverage in NC for at least 20 years and I've never seen any reporting around here on our own little Sampley Swift Boater.

The N&O online archive has exactly ONE reference to Sampley - about his ironclad scheme in Kinston.

Simply amazing.

Meet the Wacko

Sampley's self promotion always starts with blah blah about his status as a former Green Beret. And though he's obviously morphed into a crazy old coot on a motorcycle, I can't help wondering one thing:

I spent lots of time in my five years in the Navy working in special operations with the 82nd Airborne. Green Berets were arguably smarter and more professional than your average grunt. Many who are retiring today are completely disgusted with George Bush and the neocon cabal that Sampley is so fond of. So what gives? Why would a person who pretends to care about national security and the troops be such a freakin' idiot when it comes to understanding George Bush's disastrous presidency?

UPDATE: I had a picture of who I though was Sampley here but it turns out to be not the right person. Sorry.

Cute dog


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For the record

I most definitely qualify as a crazy old coot ... so I guess I can say "it takes one to know one."

Someone just whispered in my ear that

the picture is not of Ted Sampley. He's a long-haired ponytail kinda guy....not a poodle kisser.

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Here he is

Ted Sampley getting interviewed as a supporter of the clusterfuck in Iraq.

And Here is Teddy boy?

Ted Sampley getting interviewed as a supporter of the clusterfuck in Iraq.* A

Typical looking old coot thug for Art and the boys. Wonder
how many trips he made to the Blackwater Group which is
right up the road from his command post?

Better than the picture I had

and I still can't find it. I was visiting way too many sites last night.

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I believe you were looking for this:

Mug Shot?

#26120 On 22 August, 2006 9:10pm gregflynn said,

I believe you were looking for this:

How come you left out the bookend inmate number on the pic?

National Inquirer Swift garage barges wants to know?

Simply Amazing!

Good work Greg and all. Recommend!


All of you guys amaze me. You are soooo good. I am in awe every day. A, does a female qualify as an old coot?



I believe that old females like us are considered Old Cootettes!

Love it....

I want to be a member of the Cootette squad. How old to I have to be? If it's over 44 I'm lying about my age.

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It's photoshop time!

I have visions of a Saturday morning special....:)

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You are WAY too young. How about your mom? You can be a junior cootette or maybe we will call the younger members cooters. Well, maybe not.



I swear I'm going to hone up on my photoshop skills for this one.

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Sent this to

my local newspaper, The Pilot editor, Steve Bouser. Will anyone be contacting the television and radio stations on this? I found this, but perhaps because i'm currently on dial-up, the links won't come up for me.

North Carolina Media Links

Holy cow

I go on vacation for a couple of weeks, and when I get back my home town's the talk of bluenc. Bet y'all never knew Kinston had so much intrigue, eh? Well done, guys.

Charlotte is boring

compared to Kinston. Even Jim Black is mild....OK...well maybe that's stretching it. :)

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