The Truth about State-Wide Judical Campaigns?






Early on in my political campaign, I was a guest on a radio show and was asked by a caller named Teddy why I wanted to run for office and participate in such a corrupt system. I confess that I really did not have an answer at that time. However, I have given much thought to this question throughout my campaigns.

I do not want to be part of a corrupt and broken system and that is what we have in this country, whether it is on the local, state or national level. We have a national senate that has become a millionaires' club. We have sycophants from both sides of the aisle who care nothing for us or what is in our best interests, but only about what will keep them in power and what the special interests and lobbyists dictate. Not all individuals are of this ilk and I do not mean to taint them. Unfortunately, such individuals are rare and, if they are so fortunate as to attain public office, they are often so marginalized as to be rendered of no consequence.

So why would I or anyone else want to be a participant in such a system? The short answer is that I don't. Like so many others, I could simply abstain and not even bother to vote as my vote will not really make a difference anyway. From one perspective, that is true. Those who are in control have such immense power that there is little that ordinary people can do to fight it. But every once in awhile, one person makes it through or at the very least thwarts those in power. I wanted to be the one that made it through. I wanted to do my part to clean up my little corner of the world for which I was responsible. And others throughout my career have commented on my writing and research skills and my "fine analytical mind" as one of my professors long ago opined. I wanted to put these skills and talents to work where I felt they could best be used. And I wanted to change the justice system.

A long time ago, I came across a cartoon that depicted attorneys meeting their client for the first time. The client was in jail. The lawyers asked him, "Just how much justice can you afford?" That cartoon was telling.

We have one brand of justice for people like Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh or Patrick Kennedy. How many ordinary people like you or me would have received the kind of special treatment that each of them received? Its not only that kind of treatment. Some police officers are little more than thugs with badges. A few incidents are illustrative of the problem.

In a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an individual named Johnny Gammage was stopped for a traffic violation. He ended up dead following an incident that was described as a “scuffle” by police. In Atlanta, an elderly woman named Kathryn Johnson was shot by officers executing a “no knock” search warrant to search for drugs which she did not have. Frightened, she tried to defend herself and shot at the officers. They fired back and killed her. Recently, a young man named Peyton Strickland was shot through the head by police officers, even before he opened the door. His crime? Allegedly stealing an Xbox360. Nyles Arrington was killed by an off-duty officer because he allegedly tried to steal her car. Another citizen, Robert Wise, was dragged from his car and beaten because he supposedly did not park his vehicle correctly. Rene Thomas, a cook at a Raleigh sports bar, also was beaten up by off-duty police officers. The list can go on.

I am not suggesting that those who commit crimes should be allowed to do so with impunity or without consequences. Those who are adjudged guilty must face the consequences of their acts. However, these individuals are human beings and are entitled to be sentenced only after they have stood trial for their crimes and been found guilty. However, most of the victims that I described received a death sentence with no trial, and often some for relatively trivial crimes. The ones who were only beaten were fortunate; at least they were allowed to live. And it is not just police officers who have this mindset; there are some prosecutors who are equally out of control.

Because of the publicity, most people are familiar with the antics of the district attorney in the Duke non-rape case, Mike Nifong. However, he is by no means the first prosecutor to conceal or fail to turn over evidence. There are prosecutors David Hoke and Debra Graves, who did not turn over a tape recording in the Alan Gell murder case. Prosecutors Ken Honeycutt and Scott Brewer knew of a deal in which a witness received favors in exchange for his testimony and failed to disclose the information. And this is just a few recent North Carolina cases. There are prosecutors in other cases and in other states who have likewise concealed or failed to turn over evidence, prosecutors who kept a favorable informant at the jail with promises of a lenient sentence in exchange for testimony regarding supposed jailhouse confessions, or prosecutors who were concerned with winning and using the prosecutor’s job for higher political office, not about seeking justice. Other prosecutorial tricks are to pile on criminal charges against a hapless defendant and abusing the plea-bargaining system. Read the novel by Thomas Moore, “The Hunt for Confederate Gold.” Although it is a work of fiction, it accurately portrays how the federal prosecutor in that case wanted to use position as a prosecutor as a stepping stone to higher office.

And the problem is not limited to just the criminal justice system. Its prevalent in the civil justice system too. I have heard far too many stories of judges and/or lawyers being in cahoots with each other. Yes, some of these people who tell such stories are disgruntled litigants. Fifty percent of the people who are in court must necessarily lose their cases. But there is more than a kernel of truth to their allegations that justice is for sale in this country. It is clear that justice for the most part has fled from our courthouses. I wanted to change that and restore the concept of justice to our legal system. I felt that I had to try.

After my campaigns concluded, I felt that others out there who were political neophytes like me and who were considering a run for office might derive some benefit from the knowledge that I developed through the course of my two campaigns. As a result, I wrote this book. For those who are current office holders, this book is probably not for you. It is for little people who are new to political campaigns, those who are little people who, like me, feel impelled to try and change the system we have for the better. It also is for those who have run for office and lost and who may not know why and this book may help them succeed in future campaigns.

The early chapters are geared towards the operation of a political campaign and will contain ideas and tips to get you started. As the book progresses, I relate some of the things which I encountered in my campaign, things which you will need to be aware of in your own quest for office. I hope that you find this book useful.




In order to understand how I got where I am, it is important to understand where I have been and how events have led me to my present spot. My father was a trial lawyer and a very good one at that. He had gifted speaking abilities and knew how to reach the emotions of jurors.

As a child, I worked in his law office. I talked to his clients. I attended his trials. I can still remember some of his clients’ names or their issues or portions of his closing arguments. I grew early to love the law and wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps as a lawyer.

As I grew older, events changed and I suddenly wanted to be different than my father. Perhaps it was just teenage rebelliousness. Perhaps it was the father of a high school sweetheart who suggested that I did not have the brain power to make it in medical school. Whatever it was, I attended a very well known and well-respected school called Carnegie Mellon University where I majored in Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry as I had planned to attend medical school and become a medical doctor.

Sometime during my senior year and after enduring all types of chemistry classes, medicine had lost its enchantment from me. Nonetheless, I worked in a pharmaceutical plant in West Germany for a summer to see if I might like that. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Germany, I found that medicine was just not for me and that I was not interested in spending the rest of my life working in a laboratory or operating room. And so I returned home and decided to try my hand at law. I was accepted into the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. There I excelled and I realized that this was what I was meant to do.

After I graduated from law school, I spent twelve years working for the trial and appellate courts in Pennsylvania. Although the appellate work was satisfying, all of my family had relocated outside the state and the area was economically depressed. When the time was right, I decided to relocate to North Carolina to be near my family. I have visited friends and family and worked here during the summer for almost thirty (30) years. It was natural that I should move to North Carolina as this state has many things to offer.

And I have always liked the South. As I like to borrow the phrase, “I may be a Yankee by birth, but I am a Southerner by choice.” This is where I came and where I choose to be. It took longer than anticipated, but I ultimately obtained a job at a law firm where I have been ever since.

In working for the court system, I saw what it was like to be a judge and the kind of work that they did. In fact, I was doing the work, albeit under the names of the judges for whom I worked. I was fortunate to be blessed with a writing talent which was recognized by my employers and they permitted me to write. However, I also saw the seamier side of the judicial profession and I am sorry to say that I witnessed a great deal of inappropriate conduct. Several judges in Pennsylvania had been impeached for their behavior, others were not. It left me feeling both revulsion for this kind of misconduct and at the same time wanting to do it under my own name. But I despaired of ever breaking into the system.

After relocating to North Carolina, I met my current husband. I knew that he was involved in politics. On our first date, I bluntly told him that I wanted to be a judge. He told me to forget it as it was not attainable given how political campaigns were run. And so I did.

As I have moved throughout my life, I have come to learn that nothing happens by accident. I was meant to go to law school, not medical school. I was meant to get my first law job in a quiet little town called Somerset. I was meant to move to North Carolina. I was meant to meet my husband. And I was meant to run for office, even though I did not know it at the time.

While working at the law firm for several years, one of the junior partners came into my office one day and announced his decision to run for Congress. He asked me for some advice. By this time, my husband had moved to North Carolina to be with me. Again, knowing of his political experience, I suggested that the partner meet with him. I arranged a meeting between the two. The next thing I knew, my husband was coordinating the junior partner’s political campaign.

I threw my energies into the junior partner’s campaign and attended events on the campaign trail. At these events, I was able to see other candidates for office, including judicial seats. One young woman, who barely had been out of law school for six years, was running for judge. She had no other real qualifications other than that she had worked in the prosecutor’s office and that she was related to someone who was a well-known legislator. I thought to myself, if she can run for district court judge, I can run for office as well, given my significantly longer legal history. And so I filed away the information.

The primary was held late that year because of the battles over the re-districting of our state. Unfortunately, the junior partner that I had supported did not prevail. He was one of four candidates that ran for that seat in the Republican primary. Although I did not realize it at the time, there had been an evolving strategy among the NCGOP and the Republican Party to avoid primaries, a strategy which had emerged after President Bush (Bush 43) took office.

The party had chosen its designated candidate and they were to run in the fall against their Democratic opponent. Suffice it to say that the junior partner was not the chosen candidate and dared to run anyway. He ran up against what I was later to encounter, sabotage and dirty tricks perpetrated by his very own party. It should come as no surprise that he did not prevail against the chosen candidate. It is unfortunate, because if anyone had a chance to win in a presidential year, it is my opinion that he had the best chance to defeat the incumbent.

But it was not to be. The campaign staff, consisting mostly of young people, was demoralized. And then came yet another unexpected incident – one of the justices on our state Supreme Court resigned his seat to take a position at a law center.

After the announcement, I reminded my husband of the things that had occurred on the campaign trail and how individuals, infinitely less qualified than I was, were running for judicial office. I reminded him of how it takes two (2) years to run for office and that we should study the composition of the judicial races to see who best to challenge or what was available. I was thinking small, like a district court judgeship. My husband, however, was aware of the announcement regarding an opening on our Supreme Court and after giving it some thought, he said "you will run for office, but it will be for the Supreme Court seat."

I put my name on the ballot, but I did it almost as a lark. The former chair of the NC GOP had once told me that women have an excellent chance of being elected just by sticking their name on the ballot. Part of me wanted to see if this were true. However, any thoughts of just putting my name on the ballot quickly evaporated. The campaign became very serious and I worked hard at it.

After entering the race, the Republican candidates were invited to speak before the NC GOP Executive Committee. Remember what I said about sabotage and dirty tricks and avoiding primaries? The fix was in but I was still unaware of it as of yet. When I arrived, I realized that the NC GOP already had chosen its designated candidate and that he had been campaigning for several months. It was a dog-and-pony show just for him. And because I did not know any better and had thrown my hat in the ring, the dirty tricks started, from emails and comments full of hatred and anger, to phone call campaigns, to tactics that affected my ability to raise funds.

Fortunately, it was a short campaign cycle. The chosen candidate prevailed and, in my opinion, violated the federal Hatch Act to do so.[1] However, when the dust settled, I observed that I had done extremely well. I came in third place, only a few percentage points behind the winner and even fewer points behind the second place candidate. I had no party support and yet I managed to defeat by a large margin the other candidates in the race, some of who were or had been judges. It was a tremendous victory for a relative unknown in such a short timeframe.

I sat back and took stock of it all and decided to try again. I never stopped campaigning. The NC GOP plan of attack and vilification continued unabated even though the 2004 election ceased. To quiet the attacks, I decided to be the first to announce since it was part of the NC GOP strategy that whomever announced first should get the seat. Not that I ever expected it to work! I didn’t, but I decided to take away one of the arguments that they had used in the first campaign.

There also a great deal of uncertainty regarding the chief justice position. People knew that our former chief justice would be reaching mandatory retirement age and that this would be an open seat in 2006, i.e., the seat would not be occupied by any incumbent. That made it attractive. But it still remained to be seen what our governor would do and who he would appoint to fill the slot when the time came. For now, I decided that it would be safer to announce for the soon-to-be-vacated chief justice seat and bide my time.

The parties were having their political conventions and were to choose their respective leaders. Given what I had had to endure at the hands of the NC GOP, I felt that the only way to put an end to their tactics would be to have completely new leadership. Otherwise, there would be no future in remaining registered as a Republican in North Carolina. At the same time, an African-American candidate for congressional office, Vernon Robinson, had done well in the primary only to force a run-off in which he lost. I felt that he would be a good choice to lead the NC GOP in a new direction. And so, when he announced his intent to run for NC GOP chair, I enthusiastically supported him.

I attended the NC GOP convention in May of 2005. In quiet polling of individuals, it was felt that the candidate that I supported had a decent chance, especially after how the designated choice had behaved at a gathering of NC GOP party faithful in Asheville. But the promised support never materialized.

The convention was very poorly attended and those that did manage to attend voted overwhelmingly in favor of the status quo and the designated chair, Ferrell Blount. I still recall him screaming "top-down, top-down, top-down" at the top of his lungs and extolling the virtues of his "top-down" management style in which orders are dictated by the Bush Administration and Art Pope and dutifully carried out here. And I saw how those present treated Mr. Robinson. Had I been treated that way, I would have waited until all the votes were cast, I would have told them off and I never would have returned. However, he did and ran yet again, this time for a different congressional seat which he likewise lost.

By this time, I had firmly made up my mind to leave as the situation was hopeless. The NC GOP was under the control of one very wealthy man named Art Pope and it danced to his tune. It was time for me to go.

But where to? I observed other races in 2004 and I saw that independents and third-party candidates routinely did not fair very well. However, the Democratic Party indicated that it was a "big tent" and that it "welcomed" defectors from the NC GOP. It sounded too good to be true. It was, as notwithstanding their rhetoric and statements on their own website, it was all a sham. In saying this, I do not mean to denigrate or chastise the many fine people that I met while on the campaign trail who are Democrats. And I learned that there are as many flavors of Democrats as there are Republicans. There are pro-life Democrats, Christian Democrats, conservative Democrats, Progressive Democrats, and Thomas Jefferson types of classical liberals. I am not talking about any of these people, but of the tactics used by the NC DP leadership.

Of course, I had yet to realize all of this at the time I made my decision to leave. I felt that my best option would be to join the Democratic Party. I began attending Democratic events and at most places I received an enthusiastic welcome. I supported other Democratic candidates. I felt that I was home at last.

By this time, the retirement of our chief justice was drawing near and the question on everyone’s mind at that time was what would our governor do? In a statement that I had written on my website, I indicated that it might be an extraordinary thing for our governor to appoint the then only current female jurist who was sitting on our court. I stated that the vacancy created by her elevation should be filled by an African American woman. I had met one such woman on the campaign trail in 2004 and I thought that she would be a good choice given what I had seen. To my surprise, he did as I had suggested, albeit he appointed a different African American female than the one I had in mind.

Given that he appointed a female jurist to be the chief justice, I realized that my continued candidacy for that seat would only serve to split the Democratic vote. And the Republican choice was no choice in my view – as an attorney told me privately, "he is a very mean man." I do not know whether he is or is not, but I felt very strongly that this man should be kept off our court if possible. Splitting of the vote would also occur in the seat to which an African American female was appointed.

And so I looked elsewhere, but unfortunately, the choice of available seats was rapidly narrowing. One seat was held by a jurist who was retiring. Unfortunately, candidates for this seat were too numerous. And that meant a primary, which I did not want. Using the process of elimination, that left only one seat, the one that was occupied by an incumbent, Justice Mark Martin.

Justice Mark Martin appeared to be a fine individual and I wondered how I could ever hope to challenge someone like this. He had the right résumé and had made all the right connections. But as I learned more about him, the veneer began to slip away. I saw him for what he really was.

From the end of 2004, I began to receive emails from the emissaries that he used. One message inquired if I was going to run against him. Another extolled his virtues and opined about how well-reasoned his opinions were. I read his opinions and found that he did not author very many decisions, and that those decisions that he did participate in left much to be desired in terms of vindicating constitutional rights. I was uncowed and unintimidated by what I perceived to be thinly veiled threats against me to drop out of the campaign.

When these efforts failed, he stepped up the attacks. I was subjected to frivolous bar complaints, attacks by operatives, threats and intimidation. I and my husband were harassed by the police. The mainstream media was pressed into action. My husband is the subject of a criminal investigation because he engaged in the crime of voting. People were dispatched to the polls on election day and during early voting to continue spreading lies about my alleged mental insanity. Most of all, my professional and personal reputation were destroyed to the point that I doubt that I will be able to work in the legal profession in this state.

All of this Justice Martin was fully aware of. He enabled, encouraged and abetted such tactics. He never sought to denounce or distance himself from this conduct, much as Paul Newby did not distance himself from the same tactics employed by the NC GOP in 2004. He even published the untruths on his website and disseminated falsehoods in his campaign materials.

He even used one of his law school students to persuade me to stop. After what I had been through? It is akin to a gang of hoodlums armed with knives telling a victim, armed with a gun, that he needs to drop his firearm and disarm himself just to make the fight fair. It was absurd. The last straw was for Justice Martin to call on the big-firm lawyers and bar association presidents of this state for help. They responded in a big way.

I firmly believe that he had done polling and did not at all like what he had been hearing. There had been too many stories by me detailing the flaws in his participation in decisions or his questionable campaign expenditures. The ordinary people supported me and knew who I was. But the bar association and big-firm lawyers, who represented the moneyed interests, could not afford to let someone like me gain a seat on the court. They were even willing to break the law and manipulate the election results to prevent me from being elected.

Why? During the campaign, I read a book, which I previously mentioned, called "The Hunt for Confederate Gold." In the book, the villain is played by an FBI agent. In one chapter, he reminisces about advice that he had been given in his younger days by an older agent who was retiring. The then young agent asked the older agent how he should proceed if he wanted to advance his career at the FBI. The older agent gave him a bit of sage advice, which was of course ignored. The piece of advice was this, find a vice by which others in power can control you and make sure that they are aware of it.

You see, I am someone who is without such vices. I don’t gamble, cavort with men, women, boys or girls. I don’t drink. I have nothing going on by which I can be controlled. If elected to be a judge, I would decide a case based on its merits, based on the facts, the parties’ briefs and the law. This the power brokers and their lawyers cannot have. They want someone in place to do their bidding when it needs to be done. Realizing that they could not control me, they put their efforts into making sure that I was stopped, regardless of all costs, regardless of how they had to smear me, regardless of the law, which they deliberately broke, regardless of the vote, which they manipulated. They also could not allow me to succeed, because if I won, there would be others who would run for office. Its about power and control. So the lawyers and those already in power came to Justice Martin’s aid, with the results being predictable and inevitable.

That, in a nutshell is why I decided to run for office and how I campaigned. Are you depressed? Daunted? I did not mean to disillusion you. But if you are going to run for office and dare to try, you must understand fully what you are up against. You must understand the nature of what I have termed as "the beast."

[1] 5 U.S.C. § 7323(a(3).



As Lord Acton once famously commented, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was right. America was meant to represent an escape from the power and corruption that was so prevalent in Europe. Whatever their flaws, and they certainly had them, the founding fathers in America devised an ingenious system to keep the federal government in check, from accumulating too much power in any one person or bureaucracy. The world had never seen its like before and never will again.

Dr. Benjamin Franklin, when asked what kind of government had been devised, is reported to have said "A republic, if you can keep it." He may not have foreseen the marvelous inventions to come like trains, planes and automobiles, but he and the other founders well understood human nature, which has not changed in thousands of years. They knew the avarice and corruption and lust for power that animates men and they sought to restraint it by the careful checks and balances that they devised. As Thomas Jefferson said, “[i]n questions of powers, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

But as all things change, so it is with America. Not long after the ink was dry on our Constitution, there were various factions that were set in motion to get around it. These were comprised of the early Hamiltonian-mercantilists, like Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln and others. Eventually, slowly, they succeeded and our government has morphed into the behemoth that it is today.

With the ever bigger government came the corresponding aggregation of power and the desire for greater control. And our government is not limited to the descendants of the Federalist Party. It now encompasses both sides of the aisle, subsuming the Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans, or Democrats for short. It controls both sides, Democrats and Republicans. We see it now in Washington, D.C. We see it now in North Carolina.

Its tentacles have spread to all areas of our life. It controls the mainstream media. For example, three major radio stations here are controlled by the same entity, Curtis Media Group. Think that you will hear real news on any of them? No. You will only hear the Art Pope party line. The same is true of the television shows on Sunday morning on which Art Pope’s employees’ appear. Oh, they will occasionally have a "liberal" voice, like Alan Colmes, but it will never be a true seeker of liberty. The only one that they will let through is one who is controlled.

The same thing occurs with Fox News (I call it Faux News, for that is more often what you get) and the other conglomerates owned by Rupert Murdoch. Don't think that CNN or any of the other mainstream alternatives are immune; they are not. Tune in to any of these and you will get essentially the same story. These are all part and parcel of the same phenomenon or aspect that I have termed "the beast."

The beast fears ordinary people like you and me. If we ever got in office, the beast would lose a little of its power. If a large number of us got there, we would throw the beast out altogether. The beast cannot have that. It must maintain power and control at all costs. That is why it is so pervasive, why it needs to control every aspect of our lives, why it needs to keep us distracted, fighting over class warfare, race, abortion, sexual orientation, gender or some other divisive and polarizing issue, so that we will not join together to fight it.

Oh, if you want to get elected, if that is your ambition, it is easy to do. Just ingratiate yourself with those who are in power, work your way up through party ranks. If you are a lawyer, join your bar association, if not, join a professional association or some other type of social club. Follow the advice of the old FBI agent to have a vice and let others know about it and you will attain office. But don’t think that you will not be controlled and corrupted and become part of the beast. The beast will own you; if it raises you up and it can just as easily cast you back down again. We have our very own example of that in the former speaker of the house in North Carolina, Jim Black. He served in the legislature and rose to be speaker. He recently pled guilty to federal and state offenses and resigned, all over charges relating to corruption.

But if you are that rare someone like me, someone who cannot be controlled, the beast is going to unleash its full fury on you if you dare to challenge its authority and power. You will be the subject of dizzying attacks from the media and receive hate-filled messages from operatives. Attempts will be made to publicly humiliate, intimidate and threaten you. If you are a lawyer, then be especially wary, as fellow members of the bar, who are really part of the beast, will deluge you with frivolous bar and other complaints. The beast will prosecute you or members of your family on trumped-up charges. It will ruin your reputation, disparage you and demean you. The beast will interfere with your ability to earn a living. The beast will even break the law to stop you. All this and more will the beast do to destroy you.

Fortunately, not everyone everywhere is attuned to what is going on. And if you are strong like me, you will manage to survive the onslaught which is coming. Forewarned is forearmed. Be ready.



Before addressing the finer points of the campaign, you need to know about another individual that I encountered in my quest for office. If you are running in North Carolina, it is imperative that you know of him. If you are located outside North Carolina, perhaps you have someone in your own state that is like him. His name is Art Pope.

Art Pope funds the John William Pope Civitas Institute, the Pope Center, Americans for Prosperity, the John Locke Foundation, the Carolina Journal, and the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, to name a few organizations. The NC GOP is housed in the John William Pope, Sr. building, which was named after Art Pope’s father. The Civitas Institute is headed by Jack Hawke, a former chair of the NC GOP. The NC GOP is controlled by Art Pope. He and his groups also were instrumental in defeating Richard Morgan, Rick Eddins, David Miner and other “Morganistas,” all of whom were participants in the power-sharing deal in which Jim Black and Richard Morgan were made co-speakers of the state house. Although Jim Black was not defeated in the election, he recently pled guilty to federal and state corruption charges.

The three major radio stations in this area are owned by the Curtis Media Group, as well as some minor ones like State Government Radio. However, the hosts of such programs are either affiliated with the above groups or have visited these institutions. The same is true of the Sunday morning televisions shows, “NC Spin” and “At Issue,” on which employees’ of the above groups regularly appear. The guest/hosts then echo the ideological positions of these groups, which are funded by Art Pope. The groups do not articulate positions which are contrary to his positions; rather, the positions taken by these groups are his positions. People with a contrary view are not on the payroll.

During or shortly after my first campaign, someone that I talked with told me that the junior partner who ran for office lost his bid because "Art Pope did not approve," thereby suggesting that approval must first be obtained before running for office. I did not seek his approval either.

However, I noticed that two gubernatorial hopefuls in our state, former Justice Bob Orr and Professor Mike Munger, have both stated that they talked to Art Pope to solicit his approval before announcing their decision to seek the post as governor. Bob Orr is a Republican and Mike Munger is a Libertarian. Ask yourself, why must they obtain Art Pope’s approval if he is not in control of either group?

And then there is the lawsuit. Art Pope and his siblings conveyed their interests from variety stores, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., to a trust. Art Pope's brother married but passed away unexpectedly. The decedent's wife wants her share of the estate and also is seeking the deceased's share of the trust, which is worth approximately $50 million. These details have been recounted in the media and I am not privy to any additional information. However, the parties are fighting over a great deal of money. And both parties have money and are well represented. Unless a settlement is reached, this case will undoubtedly be appealed to the state Supreme Court. The suit was filed in 2004 and its now 2006. The Clerk of Court, who lost her bid for re-election, was supported by Art Pope when she first ran for office. When the case came before her, she ruled in favor of Art Pope and the case is now in court.

I have tried to be dispassionate about this individual and to stick to the facts that have been reported about him. I will keep my own conclusions about him to myself. However; you are free to judge for yourselves the kind of person that he is and the role that he plays in this state and what you will encounter if you, like me, do not seek out his approval.



Now that you have decided to run and have come up with a message for your campaign, how are you going to pay for it? Financing proved to be the one of the most problematic aspects of this campaign and it is one which you will have to consider in your own.

When I first threw my name into the ring, no one knew who I was. Although we had judicial financing of elections in North Carolina, this really is a misnomer. It ought to be called the “Judicial Incumbent Protection and Wealth Transfer Act” for that is what it really is. Judicial financing sounds very nice. The people who created it intended only the best, I am sure. However, the system that was devised was set up to keep people like me from ever obtaining office and to keep incumbents in place.

To get judicial financing, a candidate for office must first raise a certain amount of money. In my case, it was $34,000.00, an amount that mostly would have paid for my first campaign if I could have raised that much. I was not the only candidate in that position; there were at least several others who were unable to raise this sum and who were excluded from participation in the system. Also, something just seems plain wrong, especially for those who espouse the “conservative” position. How is taking money from the state for this purpose any different than welfare or any of the other entitlement programs that conservatives love to beat up on? Its nothing more than welfare for people who want to attain office.

To make matters worse, the NC GOP and the state elections board got together to ensure that candidates like me, who were not able to raise the necessary funds, would be prohibited from further fund-raising right before the election, which is the most critical time, as that is when the bulk of the campaign assets are spent. However, those who qualified for judicial financing were not only given funds by the legislature, but could continue and fundraise or even apply for "rescue funds" if needed. In other words, those who really need money could not get it and those who had it could get more. Does this sound fair? Fairness is not what the system is about. From the perspective of keeping incumbents in power, however, it makes perfect sense.

Financing for the first year of the program was through grants from various sources. Unfortunately, the program did not have sufficient funds, so the legislature decided that all attorneys must pay an extra $50.00 for it. This is blatantly unconstitutional. Why must only the attorneys pay? It is true that attorneys are users of the system and often are most intimately acquainted with the judges and justices that inhabit it. However, it was forgotten that attorneys are there, not for themselves, but for their clients. And the judicial voter guide, which is part of this program, benefits all voters in this state. It seems that if this is a proper governmental use of taxpayer dollars, then all should be compelled to pay for it, not just a particular group.

My other objection to financing is on the grounds of compelled speech. I may or may not agree with a particular candidate for office. In fact, I did not agree with several of my opponents who qualified for such funding. Yet, I am forced to fund their campaigns, while they did not have to fund mine. No one should be compelled to fund speech or the candidacy of someone with whom they disagree.

Currently, a federal lawsuit, Jackson v. Leake, No. 05-CV-324, (filed in the US District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina 2005), is pending relating to the judicial financing system. Unfortunately, it is not challenging public financing on the constitutional grounds I raised. Perhaps one day the legislature will act to right these wrongs of its own accord. However, I hope that some enterprising lawyer or law firm will file a lawsuit challenging it.

Faced with the inability to raise funds in such a short campaign cycle and the restrictions placed on fund-raising by our state elections board, I quickly surmised that the process was rigged to benefit incumbents and that I would not be a participant in such a system. I also had my slogan to consider – where would I be if I used public financing? I could not very well say that I could not be bought, as I would then be beholden to the state on which I was dependent for financing. For these reasons, I decided that I would tough it out and finance my own campaign. I put everything I had into the campaign that was not required for my medical bills and sustenance. When I say I personally sacrificed, I did.

You will have to consider whether you want to make that kind of sacrifice. Do you want to attain office that badly? It’s the most difficult road to travel and it is not for everyone. However, if you do not travel this road, what will you do? Remember, I assisted the junior partner during his campaign. He had lots of events and it was my experience that people have a tendency to give to those already in office. They are just not inclined to give to someone who is a newcomer or challenging an incumbent.

And you are facing tremendous hurdles. Yes, there are very wealthy people out there who will give. But will they give to you? My message appealed to the downtrodden, the little people who have nothing. Most may not have been able to afford to donate even if they wanted to. Perhaps you travel in more affluent circles. If so, by all means try and raise funds from your social circle. But realize that self-financing your campaign is an option.



During my first campaign, I was invited to speak to a group of civil trial attorneys, as were all of the other judicial candidates. One trial judge, who was running for the same seat that I was seeking, talked about himself and how he was fair to all litigants. And he stated to the group that he could not be bought. I filed away the information as I felt it would make a great campaign slogan.

When I decided to run my second campaign, my slogan became "She can not be bought." To emphasize the slogan, "cannot" was broken up into two words for emphasis. I am not suggesting that the other candidates would be willing to sell their vote. But the others are indebted to attorneys or special interests or they would not be where they are.

In contrast, I owe no one any favors and cannot be controlled by any source. I did not even accept donations! And I have always believed that the judiciary is a co-equal and independent branch of our government, not a rubber stamp for anyone. I wanted to present something different from the other candidates, I wanted to stress that my vote is not for sale, nor will I do what is "expedient" or what those in power dictate. I wanted to demonstrate that I was someone who would maintain my independence if elected, as I would have decided cases only on the facts and briefs presented by the parties and existing law.

My slogan related to the particular office for which I ran. I have no claim on it and anyone is welcome to use it. However, I would encourage you to find your own slogan in your own race, one that sums up and distills the essence of who you are and what you are about. We live in a time-sensitive, 30-second sound-bite world. You need to come up with a catchy phrase of your own, one that will hopefully stick in the minds of the voters.

Another theme that I echoed was on the concept of justice or the lack of it. It was a theme that really resonated with the voters. No matter their race or wealth, they understood. They knew what I was trying to say and do. And they supported my efforts.



The next thing that you will have to consider is how you are going to get your message out. What kind of office are you seeking? Is it purely local? Or statewide? I chose a statewide race.

North Carolina is one of the longest states east of the Mississippi River. From experience, I logged thousands of miles and I can tell you that this is indeed one long state. And my illness and trying to work placed an added burden on my time. Faced with these obstacles, I realized that visiting every county was not going to be realistic. And even if I did, who would I meet but a handful of individuals in most places? Of the events that I did attend, I saw many of the same faces there. I learned that the old method of campaigning is not practical in a statewide race. How then to reach a greater number of people?

The internet. I had been playing around on the internet for years, but it was only in the campaign run by the junior partner that it started to come into vogue. I and my campaign advisor saw the untapped possibilities and we put it to work in my first campaign. Learning on what we did in the first campaign, we then expanded its reach. The following are some of the secrets that I discovered:

1. Get a good webmaster to design your site- - good does not equate with money. Stay away from your family member or best friend who will do it on the cheap. Also, stay away from political opportunists procured by the party. Most of the other candidates’ websites are BORING and lack any really meaningful information anyway. Do choose someone that cannot be corrupted and that will not commit acts of sabotage or hold your website hostage or make recommendations as to how they think that you ought to run your campaign. You are paying them to be your webmaster, not paying them to be your campaign consultant. Maintain control of the registration of your website so that the webmaster cannot seize control of it.

2. Ever wonder how Google or other search engines find certain sites and lists them first? The companies pay for it. Want to be listed first? You control certain key words and can add or delete them as your campaign progresses. Choose the words and you will skyrocket to the top. A word of caution about this technique, however. Know that the tools that you use can and will be used by your enemies against you. If they are well-funded, they too can pay Google or Yahoo or another search engine and program certain key words. If there is an unflattering story about you, all your enemies have to do is program the key words and the negative story will stay at the top of the search engines if someone searches for you. Of course, this is likewise a tool that you can use against your enemies if something unflattering is printed about them.

3. Stay away from having a blog on your site and ignore all the political types who say otherwise. It will become a venue by which your enemies will use it to attack you. As Ronald Reagan once said, "I’m paying for this microphone." Since you are paying for the microphone of the internet, you control what goes on your site and what you will state, not someone else. This is about you and your quest for office, not about what someone else thinks. Refrain from blogging on other sites, but monitor what is said there if it relates to your campaign. Most bloggers do not have the influence that you think they have. Four or five people are regulars at various sites and you get the same comments from the same people. This will not get your message out to the masses of voters.

4. Issue regular email alerts. The uninitiated consider it spam. They are wrong. Political messages are not spam and were exempted from regulation by the Federal Elections Commission. However, make sure that you include a button so that people can take themselves of your email list if they would rather not hear from you. Other candidates send out several alerts a week. Your volume will depend on the office you are seeking. I tried to write something once a week or so, depending on work. Issuing email alerts also will help to create your name identification.

5. Consider the area in which you live and the office which you are seeking. I live in the Raleigh area. It is a relatively affluent area and one in which many people are connected to the internet. I knew that I was dealing with a computer-literate group. Other people in the state may live in more rural areas, but I discovered that they too are online. However, not everyone is internet-accessible and you still have to do some old-fashioned campaigning by attending functions and events. This becomes more necessary if you are in a purely local election. Knocking on doors is nice, but I question whether it is efficacious, even in local elections. This just does not seem to sway voters much anymore.

6. Have an email address by which you can be contacted. Get an internet phone service by which you can be contacted by telephone. I found one that is very cheap, that allows me to fax and phone, but there are others. Use these services to respond personally to every email or phone call that you receive. I did that with most of my contacts, whether they were positive or negative. It surprised most people that I took the time to respond. I call it "winning the fans." It worked as I managed to even win over some of my initial detractors.

7. Stay away from political consultants. I realize that people must earn a living and this is one profession that people enter. Many of them do not have principles and will work for either Republicans or Democrats; I call these types “political prostitutes” as that is essentially what they are. They are willing to sell their services for the right price. Some do have principles and will only work for candidates who share these philosophies. Regardless of the type that you are dealing with, most will not even consent to meet with you unless you have large sums of cash. If you want political advice, then be prepared to pay even more. Who among us has this kind of money to spend on consultants, for ordinary and often mediocre advice?

My campaign advisor is from the old school and does not believe in charging for his services. Even though he had few resources to work with he managed to make the opposition spend money. He was able to get the mainstream media to give me free publicity. He came up with creative ideas regarding the management of the campaign. If you can find an advisor like this, latch onto him. Otherwise, leave this alone unless you have the money to spend on such resources.

8. Exposure – during the campaign, I received tons of hate mail, ranging from death threats, to being called vile names or other types of hate mail. I also received many positive responses, whether it is from people in my own state, people throughout the United States or people throughout the world. I learned to deal with the negative comments in various ways, but the most effective way is to expose them for who and what they are. Create a hate-mail feature on your website and post the hate mail there along with your response. Create a corresponding section in which the supportive emails will be placed.

9 The internet is here to stay, or at least until it can be regulated by the government, which is not far-fetched or something from the science fiction movies. At least one presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich, is threatening to curtail the right to free speech and he is being applauded by fools. Hopefully, that will not happen anytime soon, but one never knows. Believe me, the beast is trying to figure out a way to control it. Until that day comes, use the internet. Glitzy mailers are nice, but costly, and will only end up lining someone’s trashcan. Instead, put the internet to use as a cost effective tool to get your message out. And the internet allows you to respond instantly; with the internet, you no longer need to rely on others, like the mainstream media, to make your voice heard.

Aside from the internet and old-fashioned campaigning by attending events, how else do you get your message out? If you have the resources for advertisements, use them wisely. Here, the judicial candidates who received the free money spent it like sailors on shore leave. They squandered it on many meaningless items and in all the wrong places. First, most spent it on road signs. They paid someone to drive up and down the interstate or highway to put three signs by an exit. However, if you are going to rely on signs, it helps if another candidate has the same last name as you do, as you then get all of the benefits and none of the burdens!

Kidding aside, I noticed the signs, but frequently could not read what was on them or what seat the candidate was even running for. I also noticed that virtually all of the signs were not placed in yards but alongside the roadways. Signs in yards signify that a person has support. Signs along roadways and at intersections signifies only that the sign-man was out putting up a candidate’s signs. And the signs often get lost in the conglomeration of signs that are at the intersections. Rule of thumb - don’t waste your money on signs.

Where else did they waste their money? On mainstream radio. Mainstream radio is hideously expensive. I found smaller sports or religious stations in little communities throughout the state. These were the stations that were really listened to by the people and they were much more reasonable in terms of cost. Candidates also spent their free money on television. Some candidates even went with mainstream television. Stay away from these channels as again advertising is expensive. A few candidates realized this and went with cable. Cable is much cheaper, but you have to target your commercials so that they will not get lost in the mass of political commercials out there. Target. Which group are you appealing to? What channels does this group watch? When do they watch? It makes no sense to run commercials during the day if your target group is people that work. So air the commercials when your group is most likely to be watching.

Good places to spend your money – on blog ads. Choose from a variety of sources, whether it is online newspapers or the Weather Channel. And don’t laugh-people do go to the Weather Channel. Don’t place your ads with all of the political ads. Put it where it will be seen-on the first page. Some websites are more expensive than others. Do make your deals early so that you can get a good price; don’t wait until the last two weeks of the campaign. I know that is when the voters get interested, but you will have to build name identification, remember? Start early and then come back for a second pass.



Something that was very much a part of my campaign was my brain tumor. Illness may not be a factor in your campaign, particularly an illness of this type. To the extent that you suffer from a handicap, you may find this chapter informative. If not, you may want to move ahead to the next chapter.

Two weeks after I first put my name on the ballot in the 2004 campaign, I woke up one day with a full feeling in my right ear, a diminished ability to ear out of that ear and tinnitus. At first, I thought it was an excessive accumulation of earwax and I used an over-the-counter medicine to see if this could be relieved. This did not work and I decided to see a family doctor. The doctor confirmed that earwax was not a problem and felt that there might be an ear infection. I took antibiotics, but still no change.

In researching the issue, I learned that the cause of tinnitus was unknown and that the condition was incurable. Brain tumors called acoustic neuromas or schwannomas were noted, but were rare. Based on this information, I felt that I probably had tinnitus, that there was nothing that medicine could do and that I should resign myself to living with it.

I proceeded through the first campaign and continued to get more tired. I felt this was just part of getting older. One day in January of 2005, I woke up and went to the bathroom. The room was spinning and I was not intoxicated or hung over from too much partying the night before. Something was very wrong.

I made an appointment to see an ear-nose-throat doctor. She wanted me to get an MRI. I did. The doctor called me and told me the results-I had a brain tumor that was non-cancerous called an acoustic neuroma.

In looking back, all of my problems started when I lived in Erie, Pennsylvania and it played, in part, in my decision to leave Pennsylvania. After I had relocated to North Carolina, I had one episode of vertigo, but that was followed by a really severe head cold. I thought that it was the head cold which caused these symptoms. Over the years, I had noticed that I was getting more and more tired. My other problems with my health had continued and I even remarked to family that something was killing me. It was. It was the tumor. I just had not put all of this together at the time, but that is what it was.

Because of the tumor, I would need further specialization and I chose to go to Duke. If I have learned nothing else from this condition, it is to go somewhere that has experience with these things and I am fortunate to live so closely to a medical facility that does have such experience. I met with my new doctors at the end of January. My tumor was considered too large for any procedure other than surgery. Surgery was a big deal and required coordination of many healthcare professionals. My surgery was scheduled in May.

Over the next few months, my condition really began to deteriorate. I was crashing into walls and needed to use the walls as a crutch for my sense of balance. I could not walk over uneven ground and would fall. My right eye began to dry out. I did not know it at the time, but the tumor started growing in the back of my brain. As it grew and became larger, it moved to fill my ear canal and destroyed my hearing and balance nerve and finally my facial nerve. By the time of surgery, it was thoroughly entwined among my cranial nerves.

Surgery took place at the end of May, right before Memorial Day. I went in early in the morning and came out around 9:00 p.m. Thirteen and one-half hours of surgery. You would have thought that my detractors might have taken a break, but no. They continued with their attacks even as I lay on the operating table and while I recuperated in the hospital. Others too busy, too important or too incompetent to remove themselves from my email list demanded that I take them off, like a former gubernatorial candidate. I decided, as weak as I was, that I would not do so. They could voluntarily unsubscribe and if they were too stupid, illiterate, lazy, busy, or if they did not have a browser that would permit this, that was their problem. I had more important things to do. Like recover.

I was discharged from the hospital within five (5) days after my surgery, but I was in no condition to do very much. I was very weak. My handwriting resembled that of an eighty (80)-year old. What the tumor did not destroy of my hearing, the surgery did, and I am deaf in my right ear now. I had stitches in my head that had to be coated with an antibiotic ointment and I could not wash my hair. My right eye was not closing and I had an ointment for that as well. But more importantly, I discovered that the right side of my face was paralyzed and that is why my right eye failed to close.

The paralysis has resolved somewhat, but its been almost two years now and there is no further improvement. Although some facial creases have returned, the muscles around my mouth and eye have not returned to their normal function. I have to drink everything, including coffee and wine, using a straw. The right side of my mouth is numb, like from being administered Novocain by the dentist. My senses of taste and smell are blunted. I have lost my hearing of course and the tinnitus in my right ear is constant. I also lost the ability to type with my right hand with the exception of my index finger.

People who are unfamiliar with my condition have said that I look like a freak or a "retard" as some of my detractors remarked. Anyone who has experienced an injury of this type knows that one must learn to do things again. It is a natural human urge to smile in posing for a picture. I have tried to train myself not to do so, but I sometimes forget and only one side of my face responds.

As I did not have enough vacation time, I returned to work after about three and one-half (3 1/2) weeks. For anyone going through this procedure, I would encourage them to take off six (6) to eight (8) weeks if they can afford to do so. I was still very tired and working exhausted me. I would come home from work, eat dinner and collapse. That still happens now. I do not have the stamina that I once had.

My right eye still had problems and the eye doctor referred me to an eye surgeon. In October, he implanted a gold weight in my right eyelid to help the eye close. Now, I look like even more of a freak/retard, as my right eyelid hangs a little lower than the left. As the facial paralysis is still present and the eye is still not fully closing, I am resigned that I will have to leave the weight in, even though the weight bothers me. I still have to put drops in my eye, but not as frequently as before.

I had my follow-up MRI in January. The neurosurgeon told me that only a sliver of tumor was left in following surgery because it had adhered to my facial nerve and the surgeon wanted to preserve as much facial function as possible. Unfortunately, when this is done, the tumors have a high rate of recurrence and I was no exception. What I did not count on was how rapidly the tumor had come back. The January 2006 MRI showed that the tumor had grown to a size of one (1) centimeter. The doctors decided to watch it and another MRI was scheduled for July. Some of the old symptoms, like the dizziness and using the wall as a crutch, had started to come back.

When the July MRI was done, the news was not good. In just six months, the tumor had doubled to about two (2) centimeters, medium-size. It was time to act and to do so quickly. Neither I nor the surgeons were particularly interested in doing another surgery. And surgery would destroy whatever level of facial function that I had. So I was referred to a radiation oncologist.

An oncologist? Isn't that a cancer doctor? I thought you said that the tumor was not cancerous? Yes, my tumor was not cancerous, but it can be just as life-threatening if left untreated. And this doctor treats all kinds of brain tumors with radiation, those that are cancerous and those that are not. The doctors were also concerned that these tumors usually grow slowly and mine was growing at a faster rate than was normal for this kind of tumor.

After meeting with the radiation oncologist, he scheduled me for a single dose of radiation at a high enough level to kill the tumor, but not high enough to make me radioactive. The treatment was not enjoyable. I had to have a head-frame screwed into my skull. And I had to sit with that thing on all day until the radiation team came up with a treatment plan for me. The procedure itself went quickly, but that device was awful and I had a headache until it was taken off. I hope that some bio-medical engineer can come up with something better in the future. However, it was still better than the surgery.

As a result of the radiation, my hair fell out in a two-inch by four-inch (2" x 4") area on the right side of my head. Fortunately, the hair is now starting to grow back, although my head is itchy at times. A recent MRI showed only minimal growth, which the doctor has interpreted as some swelling, so I am now taking a low dose of steroids to see if it reduces the swelling. He also observed an area indicating that the tumor is starting to die. I hope so, for I told the doctor that I want no more of these procedures. I have had enough. I am still dizzy and I still have numbness, both of which come and go, but which have become more bothersome of late. And I am still tired. But I am alive. The next MRI is scheduled for next year.

How was I able to campaign through my illness? I don't know. Many other candidates would have dropped out and few would have had the kind of courage and energy to endure and persevere that I had. Fortunately, my surgeries and the radiation really did not affect the campaign too much. There were only a few occasions where I did not go to an event because I was just too tired.

During the course of the campaign, I encountered many people who had themselves or had a friend or relative that experienced the kind of tumor that I have or a similar illness. Most people understood and were very sympathetic. However, various people commented initially that I looked like a freak and a retard. I look the way I do because of the surgeries that I have had. I don't want to look this way, but I have no choice. I am not going to wear a paper bag over my head or refrain from going out in public. And I am not going to change my daily activities just because of a few idiotic individuals. However, these unthinking and unkind comments made me decide that from now on, I would incorporate the tumor and surgeries into my speeches to explain why I look the way I do.

And it made me much more compassionate and aware of the plight of others who may have other physical challenges, whether they are deaf, blind or in a wheelchair. In fact, I became aware of a group in Greensboro, North Carolina which was facing problems with the transportation system. Many of these individuals are of limited means, yet they faced a doubling of their transportation fares and a reduction in their level of service. For many of these people, it will mean the difference between not making one or more trips to the doctor or school. I am pleased to have learned that they have finally come to an accommodation with the city regarding transportation and an increase in their costs.

Those who are conservative like to talk about how people should be independent. However, when conservatives talk of a reduction in the funding transportation for the physically-challenged or blind, they suggest that these people should be dependent on friends or family for their transportation. This is hypocritical. Some of these people may not have friends or family. Others are trying to be as independent as possible. Do you think they enjoy being dependent on others? They don’t. They want to be treated just like the rest of us, but there needs to be recognition that they need a little help, like with transportation, to allow them to have as full a life as possible.

I do understand the needs of the taxpayers, but when I see so much waste in government and the bona fide needs of some of its citizens, I think that government and the taxpayers can do much better. The Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote "[t]he degree of civilization in a society can be judged by observing its prisoners." To that I would add that the degree of civilization in a society can also be judged by how we treat the less fortunate or less physically able, whether it is the handicapped, the unborn or the elderly, as well as our prisoners. We have a long way to go in this respect.

That is how and why I used my illness in my campaign. I hope that you do not suffer from any serious ailments that it becomes necessary for you to do the same. However, if you do find yourself in this position, consider how I was able to turn a negative into a positive and to use it to advantage.




As I mentioned, I first became politically active in the junior partner's campaign and it was in that campaign that I learned my first rule - never run in a primary if you can avoid doing so. Why? Some reasons for this should be obvious, others less so.

First, the obvious. Ideally, parties have primaries to select among the best of several individuals. If you are in a primary, however, you know what a brutal experience it can be. Even if you prevail, you are usually beat up by your fellow primary members. Your opponent, who may or may not have a primary, should be taking notes. He or she will then use any negative information about you. Primaries are also financially draining in that it forces you to spend resources which you will need to get through the campaign. If you prevail, some added funds may come in. But don’t count on it to occur.

What are the less obvious reasons? Again, part of the NC GOP/Republican strategy was to avoid primaries. It had already made its decided choice. If you were not the choice, you were subjected to a barrage of criticism and other challenges, like theft of signs, sabotage or other tricks.

And don’t think this is confined to just the NC GOP/Republicans. It isn’t. I am sorry to say that I witnessed my share from the NC DP leadership that was directed at other candidates. For example, one other candidate had announced his intention to run for a certain office. He was not the choice of the party. Even though he was the first to announce and would have been the most qualified for that seat, the NC DP put in their choice. It should come as no surprise that the candidate lost to the NC DP choice.

I witnessed other things as well. In another race, there were many candidates vying for the seat. I had met most of the Democratic candidates at various events. One individual was from down east and seems to be of the Christian Democrat mold. There is nothing wrong with this per se; these individuals are of much of the same type as those who inhabit the religious right; only their party labels differ. However, the NC DP chair stepped in and sent an email around to various leaders in the party indicating that since this candidate was of this type, he should not receive party support.

The problem is that the state party is not supposed to interfere in primaries and is not to support any particular candidate. All candidates are supposed to be treated equally, but as we saw in both the NC DP and NC GOP primaries, some candidates were more equal than others. This kind of sabotage behind a candidate’s back goes on, however. And it is for this reason that you should avoid primaries at all costs. Run in a general election when you have a shot at winning.

What are some other considerations? The laws in various states differ, but if you are to run in North Carolina, you need to be aware of a quirk in North Carolina law that relates to ballot position. North Carolina lists candidates on the ballot in alphabetical order. What this means is that the candidate who is on top frequently wins, especially in a primary. I witnessed this in 2004 during the primary run by the junior partner as well as in other races.

The designated NC GOP choice had a name that began with a letter at the beginning of the alphabet; the junior partner with a name that began with a letter towards the end of the alphabet. There was one other candidate and “the ringer” that had been planted by the NC GOP to split the vote and thereby ensure that the designated choice would win.

In studying the primary results, in race after race, my campaign advisor and I discovered that the candidate that had the first position for a particular seat on the ballot had won. To counteract this factor, North Carolina has mandated that the ballot be alternated every other year in reverse alphabetical order such that the candidate with a surname that begins with a lower letter will be above a candidate whose surname begins with a letter that is more towards the beginning of the alphabet. Again, I studied various races in 2006 with the results being much the same. The candidate on top won. Other states deal with this phenomenon differently, such as by making the candidates draw straws or cast lots to see who will be listed first. However, we do not, and if you are to run in North Carolina, you need to be aware of this factor.

The other factor to be considered is gender. As I heard one woman remark, “if I know nothing else about the candidates, I always vote for the woman.” Unfortunately, voters don’t always know about the candidates. And women make up approximately fifty percent (50%) of the population. We are a voting bloc and an important one that is not to be taken for granted. Given these factors, it should be obvious that women often do well in elections, particularly in races for judicial office. Perhaps it is that they are conceived as being more compassionate.

A few examples. There was a race for chief justice in 2000. The Democrat candidate was male. The NC GOP candidate used his middle name of “Beverly” and listed himself by the initial of his first name and his middle name of “Beverly.” “Beverly“ is typically thought of as a female name. Perhaps the voters were not fooled, but “Beverly” prevailed. Another candidate for office was a male and goes by the name of “Les.” However, he listed his name on the ballot as “Leslie.” He prevailed.

To be sure, this does not always work. One candidate, who was male, listed himself as “Kris” although the spelling is suggestive of a female name. There was myself, who was listed on top of the other candidate. The chief justice, a female, was listed under her challenger. She prevailed and “Kris” and I did not. What does this tell you? That ballot position and gender do not always work, especially if there are other considerations. But ballot position and gender are factors that you should consider in deciding to run for office. Choose your seat carefully and think about these considerations. They will not guarantee success, but they may give you an edge.




As P.T. Barnum or someone famous once said “I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.” I have received much criticism for the use of this statement. However, what P.T. Barnum and other individuals have understood is basic human nature and its ability to recall certain information. We are on information overload. It is not humanly possible to know or recall everything all of the time. As a result, humans have a tendency to retain only important information and to tangentially recollect all else. It is true in political campaigns as it is true in other things. Thus, a person may recall your name but not why they heard it. With this in mind, I set out to create name identification for myself.

But how to do it? Through publicity, both positive and negative. If a candidate can afford to barrage the voters with mailers or advertisements, he or she is free to do so. This is certainly one aspect of publicity. Most candidates, however, find that resources are limited. The trick is to get publicity without having to pay for it. It is this that is infinitely harder to achieve.

One candidate in a congressional campaign hit on an ingenious way to generate positive publicity for himself without having to pay for it. At the time, gas prices were high and he offered to pay the difference between the selling price and a lower price for a period of time. It was a great way for him not only to meet the voters, but also to get publicity from the mainstream media, which reported this story.

Unfortunately, such an event really would not have worked in my race and I had to resort to other things. To generate name identification, I had a lot of blog ads early on. Later towards the end, I ran ads on radio stations, had more blog ads, appeared in small newspapers and ran some television commercials. All of this I had to pay for. However, there were several instances in which the mainstream media carried the ball for me and provided me with tons of free publicity, even though it was of the negative kind.

The first instance concerned something that occurred during my recovery from my surgery. While I was recuperating, I spent a great deal of time in bed or on the couch listening to the radio. I became more incensed over what was going on in our world. At first, I wanted to believe there were weapons in Iraq. There weren’t. The Patriot Act has been renewed, habeas corpus suspended. Its now okay to torture or to detain anyone indefinitely by designating them an enemy combatant, even an American citizen. I became angrier and angrier.

When I was well enough, I stated that the Bush Administration was acting like Nazis. They were, in my view. Even though this comment had been made by others, for some reason, it generated a huge amount of publicity by my utterance. One Republican, Nathan Tabor, who has twice-run for office and failed, sent an email to Republican legislators anyone and everyone who would listen. He urged people to call my employer. One or two people may have called, but his effort failed.

The second incident related to my use of a nickname “Madame Justice.” To understand, I have to first explain the genesis of the name. As I stated, I worked for many years for the appellate courts in Pennsylvania. I was naturally familiar with the judges on my own court as well as justices on our state Supreme Court. One year, a female jurist was elected to the state Supreme Court. In authoring her opinions, she always stated in the opinion line, “Opinion by Madame Justice So and so” rather than “Opinion by Justice So and so.” I express no comments on the propriety of such acts. She is free to do as she sees fit.

I thought, however, that this would make a great name for other characters and filed it away. When I moved to Erie, Pennsylvania to work for another judge, I became active on the internet. One may question the propriety of my acts, but as I was past the age of hanging out in bars with college students, I was left with little to do to amuse and entertain myself. And I was single.

I joined an ancient history site and became active there. I also corresponded with people from throughout the United States and throughout the world. Anyone who is internet-savvy knows that the internet is a wonderful tool. I use it daily in my research. However, it is also a place for people who mean to do us harm and it is not always easy to tell friend from foe. Because of this, many people do not use their real names or give out personal information about themselves, at least until one gets to know someone better. As a result, I used a screen name and one of the names that I used was “Madame Justice.”

Why “Madame Justice?” Because I worked for the courts and my function, as I saw it, was to dispense justice to the litigants on behalf of the judges for whom I worked. I also played a jurist at the ancient history site as well as other characters, several of whom could have fit the name. The name also could be applied to a costumed-clad crime fighting character from the comic books or a dominatrix. I am not saying that I am either of those things, but on the internet, you can be what you wish to be even if you are not that way in real life. On the internet, involved in role-play, my character could be whatever I wished it to be. And so I used the name “Madame Justice” along with some others.

North Carolina allows the use of nicknames on the ballot. In fact, usage of the nickname arose in the junior partner’s campaign and he used his nickname on the ballot. The state elections board does not have any rules governing the use of such names other than that one must have used the nickname for the past five (5) years. Gary Bartlett, the state elections director, however, can arbitrarily and capriciously decide to make rules on the spot and he can decide which names will or will not be allowed.

When I moved to North Carolina, I was too busy working to be involved with the internet. However, I still used the name in my correspondence with friends. I just did not think to use the name in my 2004 race. After all, I was new to the political realm as a candidate. But I did create a feature on my campaign website called “Ask Madame Justice,” much like the newspapers have the famous "Dear Abby" or "Ann Landers" columns in which readers inquire about their problems. In this section, I answered questions that I received about various cases or about the law or personal legal problems. I continued this feature through the 2006 campaign. Until a bar complaint was filed, it should be noted that no one ever complained about my use of the name in this manner.

When the time came for me to get listed on the 2006 ballot, I decided to use the name, as I had been using it in my campaign since 2004 and on the internet before that. I did it because I hoped to associate the voters with me and my nickname and for no other purpose, the same way other candidates use their nicknames to identify them to the voters. The nickname was never an attempt to misrepresent my qualifications for office or pretend to others that I was a justice. The voters were too smart for that.

As soon as I filed, the beast sprung into action. It enlisted the services of Mr. Michael Weisel and he promptly had a complaint ready to go. Who is Mr. Weisel? He is on the executive committee of the NC DP and is past president of the Wake County Democratic Party as well as a failed candidate for office. Despite his years of experience in tax and investments, he is representing Republican Richard Morgan in the investigation concerning the co-speakership and the switch of parties by Michael Decker which led to it. Remember that I said that the beast controls both political parties.

It does. Mr. Weisel’s conduct provides some evidence of it. The opposition was never about my use of a nickname. It was about stopping someone like me from ever attaining office. And so Mr. Weisel was pressed into service. The complaint was promptly filed, but this was just a formality for the state elections director. Although Gary Bartlett promised to at least wait until Tuesday to decide, he made up his mind on Monday. The name was going to be disallowed.

I decided not to waste taxpayer dollars over this and request a hearing. Besides, the elections board was looking into Speaker Jim Black’s financial dealings and I felt that this was more important. So I decided not to appeal. I later discovered that even though the state elections board did not permit me to list my nickname on the ballot, it still listed me this way at its voters’ guide. I was not going to tell them differently.

I received a huge amount of publicity by the mainstream media which seemed to think that this story was newsworthy. By talking about it repeatedly, it only served to boost my name recognition even further than if they had not published it at all.

The third instance of publicity was the Dean Smith affair. This was something that I had nothing to do with even though I was much maligned for it. In May, I attended the NC Sports Hall of Fame banquet. My husband is a former athlete and has many sports connections and that is why we attended. His father was inducted into the NC Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and if you go the museum, you will see him there.

While at the event, I met Dean Smith and took a picture with him. I had done this with many others. I used the photos on my website and discussed where I had been or who I had met in some of my statements. After the event, I said only that I had met him. I never said that he endorsed me or anyone else. In fact, it was my policy during both of my campaigns not to ask for endorsements. Endorsements don’t mean anything anymore, we saw that in the past elections. What does mean something is heartfelt and volunteered support. I welcomed that and if people voiced their encouragement or support, they were put on my supporters list. I had no reason to deviate from this policy for Dean Smith or anyone else so it makes no sense that I would say that he endorsed me.

I know that a candidate is ultimately supposed to be responsible for what goes on in his or her campaign. However, I was not. I delegated certain tasks to others because I worked and because of my illness. For these reasons, a decision was made that I would write statements, respond to email and attend events, but that the technical management would be left to my campaign advisor. I thus would prepare a draft of a statement and send it to my campaign advisor for review. If it was approved, he would send it to the webmaster for dissemination. Sometimes, the statement would be sent to others to solicit their thoughts.

And so it was with this statement. The statement was sent out on a Friday or on the weekend. By Monday, I received strange comments and calls from Dean Smith’s office. Something was wrong and upon learning what had happened, a corrected statement was issued. However, the media picked up on this as if it were a story and once more provided me with publicity.

The last event related to another candidate, Vernon Robinson, who ironically was the very same individual that I had supported to be chair of the NC GOP. When viewed through this light, the criticism of me is doubly dumbfounding, but it makes sense when you understand what was really occurring.

By now, I was registered as a Democrat and I attended many Democratic events. At some of these events I saw or met Congressman Brad Miller. Suffice it to say that he is not the liberal monster that he was made out to be in the campaign. One of these accusations was particularly ludicrous; charges were hurled that he was gay, even though he was married, merely because he was childless. It turns out there were bona fide reasons why he did not have children. It was this kind of nonsense that irked me.

One day, I listened to the radio and heard Mr. Miller and Mr. Robinson debating and I heard more accusations of this type. It was also coming up on June 6th and people on the radio had mentioned the significance of the date 6/06/2006 or 666, from the Book of Revelation. I decided to incorporate these events into a statement that I had written. In part one, I talked about “the beast” that pervades our society. And in the second part I chastised Mr. Robinson in talking about wedge issues like homosexuality and gay marriage, which only serve to divide us, rather than the real issues that we should be focused on, like the continued war in Iraq. I also stated that I was at the NC GOP convention in 2005 and had seen how Mr. Robinson, who is an African American, was treated and I criticized his behavior, not his race. I analogized his behavior as akin to that of a slave, who after being caught and berated or beaten by his master promises to be good from now on, as Mr. Robinson had returned to the NC GOP to seek approval from the very people who had treated him so badly at the NC GOP convention.

Once more, the beast raised its ugly head, but this time it was from the chair of the NC DP, Jerry Meek. The beast had no intention of allowing me to win and so it directed Jerry Meek to label me as a racist. Never mind that I had done nothing racist and had criticized a member of the NC GOP, a member of the opposite party and one who had leveled wild accusations at that. The mainstream media, whom I had now surmised was controlled by the beast, chimed in, as did the NC GOP and its own media organs.

All of this ultimately backfired. It is like watching a bomb miss its target and fizzle out in the dust. The attention given to this incident by the mainstream media only served to boost my publicity. At the very least, it made voters curious to know more about me. And when they went to my website and read what I had said or talked to me and got the real story, they were left wondering what all the hoopla was about.

That is how I managed to get publicity that I did not have to pay for. And it serves to illustrate what P.T. Barnum and others always have understood about human nature. People remember your name, but may not remember why. Positive publicity is better than negative publicity, but take all the free publicity you can get and use it.



During my campaign, a jurist was quoted by the newspaper as saying that he did not talk to the media. As I have come to learn, everything that you see and hear in the mainstream media is suspect, at least until you have confirmed it from another source. Regardless of whether he said it or not, it is an excellent piece of advice, however I would add one minor change and that is never to talk to the mainstream media.

There are many alternative sources of the media, such as satellite radio or alternative journalists that do try to get the truth out. Learn to differentiate for not all media can be treated the same. However, I encountered a few specimens of the mainstream media which deserve special treatment.

I have already talked about the Fayetteville Observer and Salisbury Post. The Winston-Salem Journal can be added to that list as well. Whenever the NC GOP needed an unfavorable story, they turned to these sources. The stories are "planted" there and sometimes they are picked up by other newspapers. An example is the story about former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr running for governor. The story was planted as a trial balloon in the Winston-Salem Journal. It has now been picked up by the Raleigh News & Observer and other news sources.

In fairness to the Fayetteville and Salisbury papers, I should note that they did afford me an opportunity to respond to the negative press by writing a letter to the editor. However, keeping a letter to 250 words does not afford you much space in which to rebut claims. And you have to keep letters to the editor within those parameters. Anything longer than that and the editors will edit it anyway. That is the beauty of having your own website; not only can you expose your enemy, but you have a megaphone in which you can do so in as much detail as you want. That is why it is such an effective tool.

Radio stations are also subject to the same failings. Like most folks, I listen to the traffic and weather in the morning to help keep me moving as I eat and get ready. The morning host at WPTF had been to the John Locke Foundation and was parroting the Art Pope line. Finally, I could take no more and searched for something else. I tuned in to WZTK, a radio station in Greensboro, North Carolina, which featured Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire. They also were owned by the Curtis Media Group, but I hoped that the message would not be so blatantly one-sided.

For awhile, things went well until Brad and Britt decided to discuss my alleged mental state and related how I had supposedly checked myself into a mental institution. I promptly switched the dial to something else, but the damage had been done. Family members who listened called me in a panic and I had to assure them that the story was completely untrue.

Did either Brad or Britt call me and attempt to verify the information? No. Did they try and verify the information with a mental health facility where I supposedly was detained? No. Where did they hear such nonsense? From whomever gave it to them, from whomever wanted me to look bad. Since the radio station was controlled by Curtis Media, I suspect it was the NC GOP, but it does not matter who provided this information. What matters is that it was wholly untrue and unverified. And even if the talk show hosts were not acting on behalf of anyone and just made this up, I had to wonder to myself, if they are so wrong about something small like this, what else are these people wrong about, what else do they pontificate about without having any evidence or checking any facts and why should I or anyone else listen to what they have to say? I turned them off and found something else.

Mainstream newspaper journalists are not much better than those on the radio. They are somewhat lazy and do not want to be bothered with fact-checking either. As a result, they play the game of letting a writer for the Associated Press (AP) do their work for them. They then re-print the AP story. In the alternative, a story may be “planted” in a small newspaper, like in Winston-Salem or elsewhere in the hopes that it will be picked up by the AP and then reported in other media outlets.

One of the tactics the AP writers utilized was to call my campaign headquarters, late in the day. My campaign advisor and I tried to checks the phones at least once in the day, but sometimes we would not get to it. On other occasions, we would check early on and not come back to it. You see, my campaign phone was not a real phone at all, but an internet site. It did not ring at my desk, so I could not pick up the phone until I logged into the site. The AP reporter would call, knowing that no one would respond, announce he was on deadline and give me an hour to call back. When I did not call back by the deadline, the story indicated that I did not respond. My campaign advisor got wise to the AP’s tactics and learned that a writer would update the story. He was able to salvage a few stories this way.

However, if it was so important that I be reached for comment, why did not the reporter call me at work? The answer is that the reporter did not want to reach me and wanted to make me look as badly as possible. This was not limited to the AP; the Salisbury Post did much the same thing, calling saying they were on deadline and leaving me an hour to respond. Be aware of this tactic.

Another reporter is Ed Cone of the Greensboro News & Record. He also has his own blogging site. He is a friend of John Hood of the John Locke Foundation/Carolina Journal. Remember that the beast controls both sides? Its has its foot in each camp. John Hood from the right, Ed Cone from the left.

Ed Cone long ago abandoned any pretense of journalistic integrity and ethics, even going beyond all bounds for defaming a public figure as established in New York Times v. Sullivan,[1] in that he acted with actual malice. His task was to portray me in the worst light imaginable. On one occasion, his comment that I was missing was seen by my campaign advisor, who suggested that Ed Cone call me at the office. He did and he reached me. I was where I was supposed to be.

However, this did not put an end to his attacks, which became even more vicious and vitriolic as the campaign went on. He called me “batshit crazy” and " nuts" after he had the gall to tell me earlier that he hoped people were decent in light of my brain tumor. He also characterized my tumor as a "tawdry campaign gimmick."

No, Mr. Cone, the brain tumor is very real and is hardly a tawdry campaign gimmick. I cannot remember what normal is like. I have lost my balance nerve, my hearing and my sense of taste and smell has been severely blunted. I cannot enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a walk because I experience a sense that something is not quite right, which I describe as “dizziness,” although others may describe it as a feeling of being on a ship at sea. However it is described, I seldom get up from my desk because of this.

I have occasional sharp pains in my head. The itchiness in my scalp comes and goes as does the numbness. My face is paralyzed on the right side. Not only can I never smile again, I have to drink everything through a straw and I have difficulty eating. When the numbness acts up, it feels as though I am drooling on the right side and I occasionally slur my words because of the facial paralysis. If I could give up everything I have just to return to normal, I would do it.

The tumor itself is not cancerous. However, this kind of tumor can be just as life-threatening. The bones of the skull have grown and fused together by the time of adulthood. The skull thus cannot expand; it is like a fixed case. Acoustic neuromas do not grow in the brain tissue itself; they grown on the auditory nerve. If left to grow, the brain cannot expand as it is within the enclosed skull and the tumor starts pushing portions of the brain out of the way and begins interfering with brain function. That was the cause of me crashing into walls, my inability to walk over uneven or rough ground, my right eye drying out and the other problems I experienced.

When the tumor grew back, the doctor said that I would have significant problems if something were not done. Those were his words, not mine. I did not make the tumor an issue during my 2004 campaign because the tumor had not been diagnosed yet.

However, after I found out about the tumor in January of 2005, I made it a part of my campaign. I am as well as I am going to ever be whenever I am seated and I only have difficulty hearing in crowded settings, like social events or crowded restaurants. My appearance would of course have no relevance to my ability to hear and decide cases. As a result, I did not feel that the tumor and my symptoms would significantly affect my duties as a justice in the event that I was elected. But I felt that the voters had a right to know about my condition and its possible effect on my ability to fulfill the duties of the office and that is why I made it a part of my campaign.

If I had not made it an issue, then my detractors would have accused me of hiding my medical condition. It was “damned if you do or damned if you don't.” And I explained that there were derogatory comments by a handful of ignorant fools. Their ugly remarks about my appearance made me decide to opt on the side of the truth and take away their negative statements and hopefully turn it into something positive. Its hard to argue with a woman with a brain tumor, but in their rage and hatred, they still managed. So I talked about the tumor and incorporated it into my campaign speech. This then was my "tawdry campaign gimmick."

In response to his other remarks such as my being “batshit crazy”, I ask what qualifications does he possess to make such a psychiatric diagnosis? What facts did he present to support his conclusion? How can he conclude whether I am fit or unfit for office? What legal skills does he have to make this assessment? To all these questions, the answer is none.

I, on the other hand, met many of the candidates running for office. I said to my campaign advisor that after seeing these people, I am as equally qualified, if not more so, than they. Six hundred thousand voters thought so too, Mr. Cone, and the result may even have been higher but for the actions of the beast.

Another reporter from the New & Record was Doug Clark, but Doug Clark spouted the NC GOP line. His mission also was to portray me in an unfavorable manner. Unlike Mr. Cone, he did actually ask me to come in for an interview. After the interview, he made a comment that I was not “as undignified as expected.” Who said I was undignified? Where did Doug Clark get this information?

The same source also gave Mr. Clark information on election night and Mr. Clark stated that I was only going to get a few hundred thousand votes. Again, how would he know the results in advance? I have questions about his source and the accuracy of the information that was provided to Doug Clark. He parroted what he was told, never questioning the information, never checking these facts against independent evidence which proved it to be wrong.

What do all of these sources, WZTK, and the News & Record have in common? That’s right, they all are in the Greensboro area. Ever wonder why? In 2004, I won in Greensboro. The beast and the NC GOP perceived that I was strong politically in Greensboro and they wanted to make sure that I did not win there again. That is why so much unfavorable press was concentrated in the Greensboro area. Negative statements were not just limited to Greensboro, however.

As with Greensboro, I had won in Charlotte in 2004. The other main area of population was Raleigh and I was now registered as a Democrat. The NC GOP and the beast were not taking any chances with these major population areas. I was supposed to lose and lose big, so in addition to Greensboro, these areas had to keep up the negative publicity about me.

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, is often credited with creation of the “big lie” theory. This theory posits that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth or people perceive it to be the truth. The NC GOP used the “loony” mantra in the2006 campaign, even employing operatives to work the election polls to repeat this lie. Those on the left who had the same goal of stopping me, decided to use and repeat this statement, like the Charlotte Observer and others, never questioning that it was not true, never checking the facts. Facts got in the way of their agenda, which was to stop me.

The N&O did something more insidious. The reporter assigned by the N&O is named Andrea Weigl. She hails from Pittsburgh and so do I. She pretended to be my buddy. I tried to be helpful to her and gave information to her whenever she contacted me. We were both from Pittsburgh and I looked on her as a kind of ally as we were both Yankees, now Southerners, and I thought that surely she would understand, being an outsider herself. We Pittsburgh girls have to stick together, right? Wrong.

On one occasion, Ms. Weigl scheduled an interview with my husband and I. She could have asked him any question about his alleged involvement in his prior criminal activity that she wanted. She did not do so. She did not say a word about it even though she knew that this would be released in a story she was working on. The day after the interview, out came a story discussing how my husband allegedly voted illegally in North Carolina and that he was a former prisoner.

Although this is the subject of another book about him, he pled nolo contendere to various crimes. He served eighteen (18) months in prison and was released. Suffice it to say that I understand why he pled as he did. His sister and wife had died, both of brain aneurysms, and he had stomach cancer and lymphoma at the same time. He had neither the will nor the energy to fight the charges. After hearing his story, I do not think he engaged in any of the acts to which he pled, as he provided the details to me. These crimes were used merely as a ploy by his political enemies, of which there were many, to get him for his past involvement in Georgia politics.

However, all of this occurred before I met him. He was out of prison and as far as I knew he could vote. I never questioned it. But Ms. Weigl seemed to think this was a big story even though my husband was not running for any office in North Carolina. We were in the midst of the campaign and did not have time to be sidetracked by this issue. That was what the beast wanted us to do; to devote precious campaign time to something that was irrelevant. My husband was too smart for this ploy. He was not going to take time away from the campaign.

But he did invite Ms. Weigl out to our house to review his files because he had an order somewhere which contained information about his release and restoration of his rights of citizenship. She was unwilling or unable to do so. If she was really after the truth of the story, if this issue was so important to the public, she would have reviewed the files and gotten my husband's side of the story. The fact that she did not do so tells me where she stood and what this was really all about.

Ms. Weigl knew about this story and deliberately concealed it from my husband and I during our interview. It was duplicitous and a betrayal of trust that will never be restored. However, this was not something that she had stumbled across on her own. She was told to do this story. The question remains, who at her place of employment told her to write this story? Clearly, someone had done some checking into my husband’s background and it was very cursory checking at that. I was told afterwards that the Charlotte and Raleigh papers wanted to become like the National Enquirer of North Carolina. They apparently have succeeded in becoming tabloids.

I suspect that the story was put out intentionally, during the last weeks of the campaign, by the beast or by the NC GOP. It does not matter which of the two it was as they worked in tandem to ensure my defeat. They both knew that my husband and campaign advisor were the same person. They also knew that my husband had political expertise regarding campaigns. They figured if they could knock out my husband, my campaign would founder, because I relied on my husband’s technical expertise with regard to the campaign. In other words, it wanted to stop me by stopping him. Fortunately, neither he nor I were going to let this happen and we did what we could to combat the negative publicity. And most people realized what was going on.

Not all of my interactions with the media were so unfavorable. The Wilmington Star actually endorsed me. The author of that editorial had done his homework and understood some of what I was trying to achieve and he portrayed me in an accurate light. WRAL’s reporter, Amanda Lamb, also interviewed me on two occasions and her stories did very fair assessments.

Because of the negative bias of the mainstream media, I turned my efforts to alternative sources. One journalist who did an internet magazine, Greg Szymanski, wrote some wonderful stories about me and put me on his radio show several times for which I will be forever grateful. This enabled me to do an end run around the mainstream media. No longer were they the gatekeepers. Through the satellite radio and internet journals, I could reach people all over with my message. And it worked.

The lesson from the above examples is never talk to the mainstream media that you know to be unfavorable. They have no inclination to help you or provide you with any favorable publicity unless you are part of the beast. If you have integrity and principles, the mainstream media will find a way to cast you in a negative light. They will even go after members of your family or do anything to make a sensational story to stop you. They have no sense of journalistic ethics or morals. They are lazy and don’t bother checking their facts and when they do put forth an effort, they will attempt to manipulate the situation to make it appear as though you did not respond when you had no meaningful opportunity to do so.

Fortunately, their subscription rates continue to drop as more people get their news and information from other alternative sources. Find those other sources, whether it is alternative journalists on the internet or satellite radio. And use the internet to not only rebut any false or misleading information, but to get your message out. Expose the beast all that you can; the internet is your weapon.



I want to make clear that I am not attacking all Democrats everywhere. I am not. Several county party chairs just followed the lead of the NC DP and did what they did because they did not know any better. I do not fault them, as they were just following orders. Others, however, refused to follow such orders and did what they wanted. I will not mention them, but I applaud them for their courage in having the chutzpah to stand up to the party leadership. These people are energetic, enthusiastic and thinkers and I hope that through their efforts, they will become new leaders of either the party or in government. Other party chairs stuck out their necks for me and these people have really earned my gratitude for what they have done. My comments are not directed at any of these people or at the rank and file members who have never attended a party event, but who just happen be registered as Democrats. My comments are directed at the state NC DP leadership, as characterized by such people as the chairman of the party, Jerry Meek, and people on the state or county executive committees, like Mr. Weisel and John Burns. It is people like this, people who are part of the beast, people who care for nothing but what is in their interest and in maintaining power and control, that I am talking about.

In an earlier chapter, I discussed some of the instances where the leadership of the NC DP had directed their efforts at myself or other candidates in the hope that we did not prevail, including sending unfavorable emails, making untrue comments and in running candidates who were the party’s choice against better qualified candidates. Tricks were not limited to these, however, and I had several others that were aimed at me in particular.

As I stated, I attended many Democratic events. Attempts were made to repeatedly snub me, in all sorts of various ways. For example, I attended the NC Democratic Women's convention in Wilmington, North Carolina. They featured many Democratic women running for office and had biographies of the women. They even distinguished between those who were running for legislative seats and those that were running for judicial ones. Conveniently, they left me out and did not print any materials about me. I went to the convention anyway and made sure that they knew about me. This also happened at a Democratic forum in Jacksonville. Again, I spoke to the crowd and told them who I was. There were several events in Raleigh and at one event, Congressman Bob Etheridge mentioned all of the Democratic judicial candidates, except me, even though I was seated in the front row and had my name tag on. He had to be reminded about me.

It was these obvious snubs that I had to encounter. I chose to deal with it by pretending to be pleasant. I went to the events and spoke if provided with the chance because I knew that if I spoke, I could win over a fan or two or maybe more. I refused to let them get away with it. I was not going to allow petty slights like these to stop my campaign or prevent me from attending events, like the Democratic state convention or events held at Democratic State Party headquarters.

Unfortunately, some counties did choose to follow the lead of the NC DP leadership and did not identify me as a Democratic candidate on their websites or on their “cheat sheets” which they passed out at polls. I had not had this kind of support in 2004, and I did very well then. I figured that their lack of support would not affect me because I did have the opportunity to speak to Democratic groups and get my message out and I was listed on other county websites and in their cheat sheets. Calls were also made to Democratic congressmen in an effort to discredit me. It did not work, but the attempt was made.

I have already discussed the actions of Mr. Weisel who dutifully filed the election complaint, not because he was so outraged as an attorney, but because he was instructed to do so. Regarding Jerry Meek, he too was instructed to act as he did and took it upon himself to call me a racist after I had criticized Mr. Robinson, who was a Republican. I have already explained my remarks in an earlier chapter and that I did not make a racist comment. I am not a racist or racially motivated. I criticized behavior only. And is it not odd that I criticized a member of the Republican Party? If anyone other Democrat had done that, there would have been cheers, not jeers. But I was different. I posed a threat. I had to be stopped.

After I made the remark, Jerry Meek promptly swung into action and labeled me as a racist. His comments were echoed by Mr. John Burns to see that I was not only criticized, but removed from the Wake County Democratic website, regardless of the wishes of the county party chair or those of the other committee members and his continued criticism of me.

I responded quickly to Mr. Meek. So did Doug Clark of the News & Record, as I knew that the NC GOP would be all over this. They were. Jerry Meek had miscalculated and badly so, as he received criticism from other Democrats who told me so at the state party convention.

He pulled his remarks, but again the damage had been done. My opponent kept spouting the lie that Jerry Meek had actually endorsed him. I can find nothing of the sort in public and Jerry Meek would have had much to answer for had he publicly endorsed a member of the NC GOP. From this, I can only conclude that this is again part of the “big lie” theory perpetrated by the NC GOP. However, they used this behavior as I knew they would.

A recent article came out in the Raleigh news extolling the supposed virtues of Mr. Meek. I had to laugh as nothing could be further from the truth. The article attempted to portray him as an “outsider” from the more liberal wing of the Democrat Party who was not under the control of the governor or those moneyed interests. What nonsense. He may well have not been the choice of the governor, but he proved that he is very much beholden to the governor and the moneyed Establishment faction of the party and did their bidding whenever it was necessary.

The Democrats could have held a majority of votes on our state supreme court. However, they were willing to forego the chance of possible control by stopping me. In fact, the trial lawyers and the Democratic Party joined forces to form {un)FAIR.JUDGES.NET in which they proceeded to violate the state election laws by advocating in favor of particular candidates.

The article about Mr. Meek also discussed how the Democratic Party welcomes converts and encourages individuals to run for office, which they have refrained from doing because of the patronage system and “good ole boy” network. The “good ole boy” network is very much alive and well in North Carolina. And as for welcoming people to the Democratic Party and encouraging them to run for office, review how I was treated. Was I greeted with open arms? No. The Democrats only want warm bodies to run for seats if no one can be found and they have given up on a particular seat.

The Eighth Congressional district seat was as example. Tim Dunn was originally the Establishment choice. However, he decided to drop out. That left only Larry Kissell to run against the incumbent Robin Hayes. The Democratic Party realized too late that the seat could be won and any help rendered was virtually useless. Still, Larry Kissell came within a few hundred votes of winning. Had he received more help earlier, he may well have won. There is also my own example in which the Democrats did not even take a neutral stance but actively thwarted me. This is hardly encouraging to those seeking to join a political party or run for office.

Aside from these tactics, I saw something else on which I wish to comment. It is not so much of a dirty trick as a fact of life. I learned that parties, whether it is the NC DP or the NC GOP, exist only for themselves. They do not exist to help other candidates.

A candidate in my area received immense help from the NC DP, as they sent out mailer after mailer on the candidate’s behalf. I do not begrudge the candidate assistance and was glad that the NC DP provided it. I felt that the seat was winnable. However, I realized that there were other equally good candidates that could have used some help too. Why were some helped and others not?

I saw this phenomenon in two congressional races as well. In one, the NC DP poured in assets and was able to defeat the incumbent Republican, who really did seem to be corrupt and he had to go. The other congressional candidate was Larry Kissell, who I already have discussed.

But I saw others who were not helped at all. At the NC DP state convention, I met several individuals who were running against incumbents. They remarked that they received absolutely no help at all from the party. Something had to be done. We had far too many candidates in the 2006 election that ran unopposed. I know that they are relieved that they had no opposition, but there is something that is un-American about this.

No one in our country has a right to office. We abandoned the concept of monarchy or aristocracy when we declared our independence from England over two hundred years ago. Yet that is what we have now. Some of these people in office feel as though they are entitled to the seat, as if they have a right to it. I encountered this attitude among several of the judicial candidates. No one has a right to hold office; there is always someone out there who may be able to do the job better than you can if they can persuade the voters.

And America’s political process is supposed to be about service. People are to serve in government and provide service to the people, not the people to provide service to the office holder so that the office-holder can enrich himself or herself at our expense. It is supposed to be that the office-holder will assume office for a brief period, one or two terms, and then return to private life and let someone else have a chance.

As I said, something had to be done. So I formed a political action committee (PAC) to try and provide assistance to these people. The PAC gave out aid to those who requested it, always within the limits allowed by law. The recipients were predominantly little candidates like me, candidates who wanted to make a difference. It did not matter who the candidates were, as long as they were opposed to the war in Iraq and committed to good and sensible government.

What did I get for my efforts? I don’t think any of these candidates prevailed. An operative of the NC GOP, John Barbara, went around and filed frivolous complaints, which I will discuss in more detail in a later chapter. Even now, another frivolous bar complaint was filed against me because the PAC donated small sums to try and help people who had nowhere else to turn. Why? What is the point of such a message now that the election is over and none of us prevailed? To ensure that I will not run again?

That is why we have the government that we do. As if the attacks on me were not enough, actions like this will only further discourage good people from running for office. And that is what the beast wants. Don’t let it win. We need more people to step up to the plate and run for office, not less.



As with the last chapter, allow me to state that I am not criticizing all Republicans everywhere. In fact, some of the NC GOP judicial candidates were quite cordial to me and even sought political advice from my campaign advisor in both the 2004 and 2006 campaigns. He gave it freely and without charge. I will not mention their names, but I appreciated the kindness that these individuals showed. To be fair, some of the Democratic candidates also were kind, whereas others were not. Kindness, no what side of the aisle it comes from, is always appreciated. My comments are confined to the NC GOP leadership, and in particular, Chairman of the NC GOP Ferrell Blount and his right hand man, Bill Peaslee, both of whom have now resigned from their positions.

Where do I begin? The dirty tricks were first felt during the campaign by the junior partner. In that campaign, four individuals emerged. I will identify them by the titles I have used to describe them. They are as follows:

1. The saboteur – He was ostensibly in charge of the position and was to assist all of the candidates. Early on, his true colors emerged and it was clear that he was there to make sure that none but the chosen candidate prevailed. He later emerged in my own campaign.

It started by his nasty email to me. It was my policy during the campaign to air the nasty emails I received and my responses to these people. After the 2004 campaign ended, he started. I chose to publish his hate mail. He then publicly defamed me and put his comments in his newsletter. He publishes his newsletter to those of like small mind who have taken it upon themselves to purge anyone from the party who dares to have an original thought that is not 110% in lockstep with them. They have succeeded and with any further success, I predict that the NC GOP will be down to four members meeting in a phone booth.

The saboteur re-emerged in my 2006 campaign. Someone needs to tell this fellow that I left the NC GOP and do not care what opinion he holds. Unfortunately, he seems to think that I should and felt impelled to send yet another nasty email message to me. In it, he threatened to go to the managing members of my law firm. When I published his message, with names of managing members and my employer omitted, he did just that.

In law, we have a principle known as tortious interference with contract. My employment had nothing to do with my campaign. Any views expressed by me are my own; I do not speak for my employer. They wanted to remain neutral in the campaign and rightly so. However, this individual deliberately attempted to interfere with my employment. If I lose my job because of the saboteur, he and others will be facing a lawsuit. Know and recognize him should you decide to run as a candidate for office in the NC GOP.

2. The mole – The mole participated in the campaign of the junior partner. In assembling a staff, my husband asked around who was recommended for employment as a webmaster. At the time, my husband was new to North Carolina and had not made connections with various folks. He did not know who was who. As a result, he made a few political calls and this was who was recommended. Little did he or the junior partner know that they had been set up.

I became suspicious when the mole produced a campaign list. I asked how he acquired it and the mole was very evasive. I wondered to myself if it had been acquired illegally. In looking back, I suspect that it was given to the mole in exchange for useful information about the campaign. The list turned out to be virtually useless.

However, when the campaign showed signs that it was very much alive, the mole went into action. He acquired the campaign website and changed the password so that the campaign could not access it. The mole engaged in other acts of behavior that were odd. When confronted, the mole denied that he had engaged in wrongdoing. Finally, it could not be ignored and events culminated in a very late night by the junior partner and my husband in which they confronted the mole and threatened to go to the police unless the mole resigned. He did.

That was not the end of the mole. He, too, emerged, during my 2004 campaign. His contribution was to call me “fat” and “ugly.” He later made an appearance in the 2006 campaign and called me a “retard” because of my appearance, which has been explained, following my surgeries. After such name-calling, it appears that the mole departed from the scene.

As an aside, the mole pled guilty to criminal charges stemming from his own failed political campaign before he became associated with the junior partner. The mole is a pathological liar. Know and recognize him if such a character surfaces in your own campaign.

3. The plant – Again, this figure emerged in the campaign of the junior partner. At various campaign events, this man would always show up. He claimed to be an unemployed nuclear engineer. However, he indicated that he was affiliated with some political outfit. This was true. His purpose was to learn about the workings of the campaign and report back. As with the saboteur, his mission was to make sure that the junior partner did not succeed in his quest for office. The plant never was really active in my campaign, but you need to be aware of this type.

4. The ringer – This was another candidate in the junior partner’s race. On the last day to file, before the deadline expired, in strolled the ringer to put his name on the ballot. Nothing wrong with being last to file as I did this in the 2004 campaign. The purpose was to see who signed up and whether I wanted to get in the race given my opponents.

The ringer, however, had absolutely no qualifications for office. He was not congressional material. So why was he in the race when there were three other people? Given the ringer’s conduct, it became obvious. The ringer had been told to run, not by God as he claimed, but by the NC GOP. His purpose was to divide the vote among the others running so that the NC GOP choice would succeed. He also engaged in acts of sabotage against the campaign by stealing signs. Be aware of this tactic.

As I stated, the saboteur, the mole, and to a lesser extent, the plant, emerged in my campaigns for office. Unfortunately, the tricks were not confined to these individuals and two more were added to the list. They are the fixer and the operative.

The fixer – during my 2006 campaign, my husband said he would attend a town meeting. I worked, but as we live in the town, he went to the meeting. While there, he encountered the fixer. The fixer, who seems to be a vertically-challenged individual, sought to intimidate my husband, who is six foot five inches tall (6’5”). Regardless of height, my husband is not the type of man who is intimidated anyone. As stated, he has spent time in prison. He knows what intimidation is all about.

The fixer approached my husband and indicated that he “fixed” problems for the NC GOP, much like a hitman for the Mafia, who is hired to threaten and intimidate someone who owes money the Mafia money and if they don’t pay, to break their legs or worse.

As I stated before, there was a move afoot to get at me by taking out my husband. Was this part of the effort? We will never know. But I do know that the intimidation did not stop there. He has emailed my husband constantly. My husband laughs it off and encourages him to send more outrageous emails, much like drawing an unwary animal into a trap. The fixer has fallen for it, but I do not like being threatened in this manner. What is the message that is sent? That someone like this will “fix” the situation unless I drop out of the race? That my husband or I are being followed to public events? That my husband is in his sights to be taken out?

The operative – In the first campaign, this seat was filled by another individual. His duty was confined to saying negative things about me, like defaming my employer or the type of work that I did. However, we came together during the fight for the chairmanship of the NC GOP in 2005. And he was very decent to me while I recuperated from my surgery, even bringing me a home-cooked meal. Nothing negative would be said against the other after this. So the NC GOP would have to turn elsewhere.

The NC GOP found a new operative called John Barbara. John Barbara appears to be an uneducated individual, employed as a grasscutter. However, his actions suggest that he is on the NC GOP payroll. Oh, I doubt that there is overt proof and those involved are not likely to ever admit it, but one never knows. Each time that I say to myself “they can’t be that stupid” the NC GOP manages to prove me wrong.

John Barbara’s mission was to discredit me. He launched a website devoted to attacks on me. He reviewed my campaign reports and filed complaints not only with other candidates who had received donations from the PAC that was created, but with other agencies, including the bar association. Oh, he was a coward and did not put his name on the complaint, but he claimed publicly that he jwas responsible. He did not stop there. He defamed my husband, who is not a public figure and who is not subject to the standard enunciated in New York Times v. Sullivan, supra. He was another who loudly predicted that I would only garner a small percentage of the vote. Again, how would he know that, unless he knew that the fix was in to make sure that the prediction came true?

Unfortunately, the NC GOP dirty tricks were not limited to the actions of the individuals I have outlined here. During my first run for office, I was subjected to a “whispering campaign” as well as automated telephone calls. The whispering campaign was instigated by the NC GOP who called members of the party to “spread the word” about me, stating that I was not from North Carolina and/or that I was “loony.”

This continued during the 2006 campaign in which operatives were hired to visit polling places and spread these lies. These operatives were even from as far away as Cherokee county! I know this for a fact as a client called to tell me. My husband encountered another operative when he went to vote and they were urging others not to vote for me because I was “loony.” Again, this person knew only what they were told and had never met me.

Others told me of the automated telephone calls by Elizabeth Dole and I still have her captured on tape endorsing the NC GOP candidate in the 2004 race. The NC GOP also was instrumental during the 2004 campaign in changing the fundraising rules to prevent people like me from raising any money. Calls were placed to certain congressional representatives that I had met to stop them from giving me recognition at an event at Duke. This did not work, but they tried anyway.

After my criticism of Mr. Robinson, I was subjected to a barrage of hate mail from the “freepers” as I call those who are regulars at the Free Republic website. This indicates that this group can be mobilized into action from outside the state. If you receive such hate mail from members of this group, recognize them, expose them for who and what they are and do not let their antics get to you.

But wait, there is more! Prior to the primary in 2006, the NC GOP sent out a series of email alerts, all of which targeted me. I was not even running in the primary and yet the email alerts were aimed at me. The NC GOP even ignored its own judicial candidates, who were running in the primary.

At approximately the same time, the NC GOP enlisted the services of two of its members, Attorney Steven Hedges of Greensboro and Representative David Almond of Stanly County. Attorney Hedges was among those who filed a frivolous bar complaint against me for failing to remove him from my email list. To his credit, he had the courage to identify himself. However, when we have an out-of-control district attorney in Durham who colludes with a laboratory to conceal exculpatory evidence, does not my refusal to remove someone from an email list seem slightly ridiculous in retrospect? If Attorney Hedges is really so concerned about the legal profession, he should seek to have the district attorney removed, not have someone like me sanctioned by the bar. And there is a button to remove himself, a button which he was instructed to press on numerous occasions, but chose to ignore.

Representative Almond raised a similar complaint. However, instead of filing a complaint with the state bar, he chose to file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. I had to take time out of my schedule and advise them of the facts and of Mr. Almond’s inability or unwillingness to remove himself via the unsubscribe button. Or perhaps he too did not have a browser that would allow this? It is difficult to believe that the people of Stanly County are represented by a person who thinks that he is best representing his constituents by filing a complaint against a candidate. The people deserve better and I hope that someone challenges him in the upcoming election.

After this kind of treatment, I concluded that the coordinated complaints, lies, intimidation, and orchestrated hate mail were tactics which were better suited to the Mafia than they were to a major political party. And I decided that if the NC GOP was going to act this way, then I was going to treat them this way. Henceforth, I regarded them as the NC GOP-Mafia and referred to them as such in my campaign.

I have been glued to the screen.

Thank you - for speaking (or writing) your truth here. Your words flow easily, and should be published.

I believed some of the rumors, I'm sad to say. For that, I apologize with all my heart. I hope that you find relief for your health issues, and, as I said, I'm glad that you shared your story here.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi



My husband used to be a member of the Libertarian party and received their newspaper for awhile. I always read it. I read some of the ideas and agree with some and disagree with others. But as I read, it struck me that since the party was founded during the 1970s, it has never grown. Ever wondered why?

The thought had occurred to me that the party was not designed to grow. It was not designed to be a success. It was put in place and left to be controlled by the major political parties. Oh, one candidate succeeds to office once in a while and there are true believers in the party. It is not these types of whom I speak.

In reviewing the Libertarian paper, it is filled with comments made by what I term “neutralizers.” They purport to spend endless time fighting over who is and is not a Libertarian or whether this or that idea is really Libertarian enough. The purpose of this party is to provide a haven for the “crazies,” that is those people who may have ideas that do not fit within the structure of the two major political parties. By having the Libertarian Party around, it provides a place for these people to go. And it keeps them tied up in one place so they cannot interfere with the real doings of the major parties. The task of the neutralizers is to keep these people fighting amongst themselves so that they will never be able to join forces and mount a really successful effort. And that is why the national Libertarian Party will never succeed.

Unfortunately, we have our very own set of neutralizers here in North Carolina. My first involvement with the NC Libertarians was again during the junior partner’s campaign. During my own campaign, I came in contact with the then Executive Director, Sean Haugh. At one point, he let the cat out of the bag and remarked that he and Art Pope had founded the Libertarian Party and that he and Art and Justice Martin had all gone to school together.

Suddenly, it all made sense. Art Pope had created the NC Libertarian Party. They were never to pose a threat to the real political parties. They were there only to do enough damage to the Democrats so that the NC GOP could win. They were allied with the NC GOP.

During my 2006 campaign, members of the NC Libertarian Party began sending me hate mail. One individual, Fisher Caudle, accused me of being in the KKK. Another who threatened to sue me for sending SPAM was Eric Smith, who sits on the Libertarian Party Executive Council. As I have explained, political email is not SPAM. Another individual who likewise sits on their board did things as well.

My campaign advisor complained to Sean Haugh about this treatment and suggested that he have talk with such individuals. In response, Sean Haugh went on about how unqualified I was, and how he knew Art Pope and Justice Martin and what fine individuals they were. He further supported Fisher Caudle and Eric Smith.

At the time, I supported the efforts of the NC Libertarian Party to regain ballot access. Our ballot access law was too draconian. All parties should be allowed on the ballot, regardless of their views. In fact, I don’t like party labels and believe that if candidates had to run non-partisan races, it would force candidates to do a better job of getting their message out and it would force the voters to actually learn about a candidate and vote for him or her rather than voting only for a party label.

After the attacks started coming in from the Libertarians, I decided to pull my support. And who can blame me? As my husband told this story: a man walks down the street and is robbed. The following day, he walks down the same street and sees a homeless man who asks for a donation. While talking to the homeless man, the robbery victim sees the man who had robbed him the previous day. The homeless man says “he is my partner.” Would you donate to the homeless man knowing that his partner had robbed you the previous day?

I don’t think you would, if you are like most people. And neither would I. The neutralizers had never met me and I doubt that they had ever visited my website or read what I had wrote. Had they done so, they may have had a very different view. However, their aim was not to enlighten themselves about me. It was to impede my progress and hence their attacks. Given the attitude of the neutralizers to attack me, I decided to have no more to do with the NC Libertarians.

As a side note, the Libertarians had an individual who became state chairman. He must have received similar treatment by the neutralizers as very soon after that, he resigned. Sean Haugh left his position and went to work for Mike Munger, a Libertarian candidate for governor who went to Art Pope to get his blessing to run. Why would he do that if the NC Libertarian Party is independent of the NC GOP?

As I stated, the Libertarian Party has some good ideas, some of which are espoused on truly Libertarian websites like I have found some of the commentators there to be insightful, like Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, law Professor Butler Shaffer, or Professor William Anderson, who has tirelessly written on the Duke non-rape case. That is where the true idea of liberty lies, not with the NC Libertarian Party.



I get a daily does of all kinds of true unwanted spam advising me of hot stock tips to ways that I can increase the size of my penis or other body parts to sales of drugs like Viagra. Do I threaten to sue? File complaints with state agencies? No. I simply delete the offending message and move on.

Political email, however, is not SPAM of this sort. It may be just as unwanted by the recipient but it is not SPAM, despite the contentions of Eric Smith and others. Lists were legitimately purchased and were expanded during the campaigns as individuals sent me personal email lists or wanted to be added to the list. In fact, many attorneys were on lawyer lists and I received email from several other judicial candidates, even those in the NC GOP. Again, I did not complain or file complaints against them. I did not threaten to sue them. I did not whine that they remove me from their lists.

However, when it came to my candidacy, complaints were filed against me. I have already discussed the complaint filed by Representative David Almond and the bar complaint by Mr. Hedges. With regard to these complaints, their gripe was that I would not remove them from my political email list. I was not going to waste precious campaign time removing people from lists, particularly those who were part of an orchestrated and deliberate strategy such as that used by the NC GOP. Both Mr. Hedges and Representative Almond are Republicans; I was registered as a Democrat. This was part of the Mafia-like tactics of intimidation that the NC GOP used and they were merely part of it.

Of course, I have no evidence and it is not likely that any of those involved will admit to it. But even if they somehow acted independently and on their own, their complaints against me were absurd. Mr. Hedges and Mr. Almond were instructed repeatedly on how to remove themselves from the email list. They were either unwilling or unable to do so. I later was advised by the email service that I used that some browsers just will not allow this. This is not my problem; it’s the users’ browsers. They can address their issue with their browser or learn to find the delete button just like I do. But I am not their slave and I will not do their bidding for them.

As for Mr. Hedges’ complaint in particular, I note this conduct is not subject to regulation by the state bar and violates no ethical or disciplinary rules. Lawyers can be as rude to each other as they please. In fact, I can cite numerous instances of such behavior that I have seen over the years. Despite such antics, I have never seen an attorney disciplined or even had a bar complaint filed for mere rudeness in the practice of law to an opponent, let alone rudeness relating to a non-legal matter, except in my case.

What were the other complaints? They dealt with a different substance but were anonymously filed. One objected to use of my nickname “Madame Justice” under the “Ask Madame Justice” section. Another related to the Dean Smith affair and use of the nickname in my commercial which was aired only on my website.

Throughout this ordeal, I took the position that the state bar has no authority to regulate elections. If a non-lawyer runs for office and violates some election law, he or she cannot be disciplined by the state bar. Why should a candidate who happens to be a lawyer be treated any differently?

In addition, the rules changed in 2002 with a case called Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U. S., 735 (2002). I actually got to meet the attorney who argued the case and won. Before this case was decided, the rule basically was that a judge or candidate for judicial office could discuss absolutely nothing more than his or her résumé and record. White changed that. In White, a lawyer ran for the Supreme Court like me. He had the temerity to criticize the court. The rules in Minnesota prohibited that and a bar complaint was filed against him, just like complaints were filed against me. The lawyer faced censure or discipline if he spoke out, so he withdrew from the race. He wanted to run again and sought an advisory opinion from the state bar. He thereafter filed suit. The case ended up before the United States Supreme Court which struck down the Minnesota prohibition.

The Court made very clear, both in the majority and in concurring opinions, that the First Amendment free speech clause is paramount and that attempts by the state bar to restrict free speech are impermissible. The result is that judges are now free to speak out about any issue. By freeing the judge of such restrictions, voters are now able to educate themselves about a judicial candidate. Unfortunately, most judges would prefer that the voters remain uninformed, as they refrain from speaking out.

In response to this decision, North Carolina, like other states, sought to revise its Judicial Canons of Ethics. In some states that have revised the law, it has been challenged and almost everywhere the restrictions have fallen. North Carolina has not learned from these examples. Despite revision of the judicial canons, the authors still do not understand that restrictions on free speech are not permissible. I hope some enterprising attorney will challenge these restrictions for the same reason that they have been challenged elsewhere – they are an abridgement of the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and the state bar, which is a quasi-state agency, cannot place these restrictions on lawyers running for judicial office.

I explained why this cannot be allowed under White. The bar dismissed the complaints, but still took the opportunity to further tarnish my reputation and label me as “unprofessional.” I am not and I deeply resent this insinuation. I have witnessed real unprofessional conduct, conduct even committed by judges, like drunkenness, crimes or abuse of office to gain benefits, sex with law clerks and actions which have led to the impeachment of the judge. We also have district attorneys who hide or do not turn over evidence and they are rewarded with state jobs. Even now, we have an out-of-control prosecutor in the Duke case who colluded with a laboratory director to conceal evidence from the defense. This is a clear violation of prosecutorial duty. Prosecutors have a duty to seek justice, not win at all costs or gain personal political election.

And yet it is me who is labeled as unprofessional, while for the most part, the individuals who have engaged in this conduct are held up as paragons of virtue. There is no where I can turn to ever get my reputation back, not in the legal or any other community.

Unfortunately, even now the complaints have not stopped even though I did not prevail in the election. The beast reared its ugly head again and instructed a dutiful anonymous servant to file yet more bar complaints. One seeks to challenge some small donations that were made to other candidates. Limits on donations have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court, but complete prohibitions by individuals have not. Such a prohibition would clearly run afoul of the constitution and fails for this reason.

The donations made by the PAC that I set up were all within the limits allowed by law. The PAC itself was funded by contributions from individuals, by my husband and a donation that I made. However, things became confusing and my husband inadvertently might have written a contribution from my campaign to another candidate. My husband and treasurer filed reports for the PAC and the campaign and I would have to defer to whatever is stated there. As I stated, I had no involvement in technical aspects of the campaign for my health and other reasons. As an aside, these donations were ultimately meaningless. While providing some small help to the candidates, all of them lost their elections as did I.

The second recently filed complaint seeks to dredge up my use of a nickname. It should be noted that nowhere does our state constitution have an office for “Madame Justice.” We have only “Justices” on our state Supreme Court. I have already explained the genesis of the nickname and although it was inspired by a female jurist it has nothing to do with her or her position. Even so, there has been no addition to my website. There is nothing new there. I am running for no office currently. Nor do I hold out to prospective clients that I have been or am a judge or that I have special connections with them.

So what purpose is served by filing complaint at this juncture? Clearly, as was the case in White, the state bar has become nothing more than a political tool to be used to attack and harass one’s enemies or opponents. And the bar complaints are laughable when viewed in the whole context of other real misconduct. The antics in the Duke non-rape case are unfortunately only the most recent episode in a line of examples of prosecutorial misconduct and the concealment of evidence. Have any of these prosecutors been disbarred? Sanctioned? Hardly. They get at most a slap on the wrist and are rewarded for their behavior.

We have police who are out of control as well. Remember the beating of Rodney King or the beating of the man in New Orleans? We had a motorist in Pittsburgh, Johnny Gammage, who ended up dead as the result of a routine traffic stop. We have Peyton Strickland who was recently shot dead for allegedly stealing an Xbox. We have the case of Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidians of Waco, citizens whose families or themselves were killed by federal agents. Very little has been done in any of these cases against the offending police or federal agents involved. They get away with it, but someone like me is considered to be a real danger to the public. And so I have to be stopped.

I learned long ago that you can pay anyone, expert or not, to say anything, and I am sure that if the bar was willing to pay, they could find some one somewhere who claims to have been misled. However, people did not vote for me because they were misled about my qualifications. They voted for me because they knew me to be an honest person that was dedicated to the return of justice to our courts. People are not as stupid or in need of the state to act in its parens patriae role. Ordinary people are discerning. They see the corruption that is endemic to our government. So the more the bar and the beast are exposed, the more people can see for themselves what is going on and why our nation and state are in the condition that they are in.

Let this be a lesson then to all those hapless and unfortunate candidates who happen to be lawyers. Know that your enemies are watching and waiting and that they will file numerous anonymous complaints against you in an effort to tarnish and damage you so that you will not be elected. If you are not a lawyer, use this tool to your advantage and file frivolous complaints against a lawyer candidate if you have no integrity or principles.

Of course, if you do not want to be the subject of such attacks, become an approved servant of the beast or else do not run. If you are a person like me, one is disgusted by the infestation we have in public office of stupid, incompetent or even criminal individuals, stand up for what you believe in and run anyway. I learned early that the only rule is that there are no rules, at least as applied to my opponents or enemies. The only rules that matter are the ones that the beast will use against you to trip you up. Don’t violate the rules, like financing and so forth. But don’t get allow yourself to be hamstrung by things like the judicial canons either. Servants of the beast violate or ignore them with impunity and will never be punished for it. So don’t play by rules set by the enemy. Play by your own.



In December of 2005, I was invited to a holiday party in Greensboro, North Carolina. There, I had the opportunity to meet some of the Democratic candidates who were running as well as to see the many fine people in the Democratic Party, including the Democratic Women of Guilford County. But more importantly, I had the opportunity to meet a man who would become both my campaign coordinator in Greensboro as well as a friend, Curtis Pickard.

I received a great deal of hate mail during the campaign. One never knows how seriously to take these threats. I took no chances. Curtis is a former professional football player and is a large muscular man. He served at some events as my “bodyguard.” He was so much more than that, but just in case anyone even thought of causing trouble, they would have to deal with Curtis. He made enough appearances that I did not experience any problems.

I did not rely on Curtis just for his physical appearance. I relied on him for his talent. He majored in communication in college and he is skilled at working a crowd. Curtis worked exceptionally hard during the campaign, attending events and just getting the word out about me. Curtis knew everybody. And Curtis had connections into places that I could never hope to get to on my own and to people who I would not ordinarily meet. Through him, I met former Duke basketball great, Gene Banks. I met pastors of various churches. I met the Executive Director of the Joy A. Shabazz Center for Independent Living and Dr. Anjail Ahmad, a professor at North Carolina AT&T as well as other members of the Consumers Advocacy Network-Disabled Organized. I met others too numerous to name, all through the efforts of Curtis. You see, Curtis is an African American and so are the others that I mentioned.

Traditionally, African Americans have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party. This became even more pronounced after the disastrous events of Hurricane Katrina and has resulted in almost total abandonment of this community by the NC GOP and other Republicans. Although the Democrats lay claim to this group, I found throughout my campaign that they only do so on the surface as African Americans were largely taken for granted.

I had been working with and through Curtis when the charge of racism was raised. People who know me know that of all things, I am not a racist. However, this remark caused me to focus my efforts even more so at members of the African American community. I learned that they are not a monolithic bloc, but as diverse as Caucasians or any other racial or ethnic group. I learned that for the most part, they have a deep faith in God and that religion plays an important role in their lives. I learned that most of them are just like the rest of us, that they have the same concerns that the rest of us do.

I advertised in African American newspapers magazines and on African American radio stations. I went into their communities and spoke about the injustice that is so prevalent in our legal system. This message especially resonated with this group. They well-understood the problem because they have had to endure abuse by the police, prosecutors or the judges.

Go into almost any prison in America and you will find that the inmates are predominantly African American. Why is this? According to the Republicans, this is simply because more African Americans commit crime. This is not true. It is because of the prison industry in this country. It is because of the insane drug laws. It is because of the law and order mentality of the police and prosecution.

Caucasians who have not had to experience this find it hard to believe that the police would lie or that prosecutors all too often have a mentality which is about winning rather than doing justice. How many stories, for example, have we heard that a man, usually an African American male, has been incarcerated for some long period of time only to learn, usually through DNA evidence, that he did not commit the crimes of which he was convicted?

I have seen the archetypal southern sheriff who rules Greensboro like a private medieval fiefdom and have heard how members of the African American community have been intimidated by him and his counterpart in a neighboring county. I have been subjected to an inordinate number of encounters with the police since my campaign began and the behavior continues. So I can tell you that it does exist. And I have seen the efforts of those in power to keep us racially divided so that they can stay in power. In fact, that is the real reason as to why the charge of racist was leveled against me.

If you are involved in your own run for office, maybe you too can find your own Curtis. If not, do not ignore this community but find a way to gain your own entrance. It will be well worth the effort.



Many may take issue with what I am about to say. Others may attribute it to “sour grapes” on my part because I did not prevail in the elections. To those critics, I say that I never entertained any expectation of winning. I knew that I would never be allowed to win. So this is not about disappointment in the election results. And I am not complaining because I did not get either the NC GOP’s or NC DP’s endorsement; I already have expressed my views on endorsements. Had it been a fair contest, had I been allowed to fairly compete, I probably would not even be writing this book. But this is not how events transpired. It was not a fair contest. And the individuals who now occupy seats on this state’s highest court were involved.

During my 2004 campaign, I initially thought little about one of my opponents, Paul Newby. I knew that he was the NC GOP choice, but I bore him no animosity. I knew that he was a federal prosecutor, but other than that, he was just another candidate.

From my time working for the court, I knew that one could not be a state or federal employee of any type and run for office. To do so would have violated the Hatch Act. What is the Hatch Act? In a nutshell, it prohibits government employees from engaging in partisan political activity, including running as a candidate for office. The exception is that one who holds such office is free to run to retain that office.

When I started the 2004 campaign, I assumed that being a federal prosecutor, Mr. Newby surely was acquainted with the law and that he would step down from office if he wanted to continue his campaign. Barbara Jackson, who worked for the state, was then running for a seat on the Court of Appeals. She had taken a temporary leave of absence from her job to run. And so, I did not give Mr. Newby further thought.

One day, I received an anonymous email which indicated that Mr. Newby was still actively practicing law while involved in the campaign. I was still new to the system and though that surely, a federal prosecutor would not deliberately violate the law. I therefore decided to look further into the matter.

As I learned, there is a federal Hatch Act, but it only prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. Non-partisan activity is permitted, including non-partisan elections, which was the case in my 2004 campaign. However, even a non-partisan race can become a partisan one. And that is what occurred in the 2004 race.

It became very partisan. The NC GOP explicitly endorsed Mr. Newby over the other candidates. It printed a flyer with Mr. Newby and the other Republican judicial candidates and touted them as the “Republican Judicial Team.” There was even a robo-call that I have on tape from Elizabeth Dole in which she supported Paul Newby. Because the race became partisan, the federal Hatch Act required federal employees to either step down from office to campaign or to cease campaigning. Mr. Newby did neither and kept his office.

We know how the election turned out and that he prevailed. After the election, I contacted the office charged with enforcement of the federal Hatch Act, the Office of Special Counsel, to learn the results. What I received was a wall of silence. The Office of Special Counsel would not release any information to me, hiding behind walls of privacy and that it might incriminate Mr. Newby. I just wanted to know, did a violation occur or did it not?

We will never know. However, I am left to surmise the following. An investigation was launched by the federal government. Employees in the past have been sanctioned for sending even a mere political cartoon! It is unlikely that the Office of Special Counsel would sweep this under the rug as the conduct alleged was infinitely more serious. Review of letters sent to other federal employees who had engaged in similar behavior provided further evidence of this fact. Had Mr. Newby been completely innocent, the NC GOP and he would have trumpeted this in the media and used this to show how loony I was. They did not do so and the fact that they did not suggests that a violation had indeed occurred. Since he won the election and would have resigned anyway, he and the Office of Special Counsel may have reached an agreement whereby he would resign, retroactive to the filing of his campaign, give back any salary that was paid during the campaign period, pay any fines and agree not to hold federal office again. As the results will not be released, we will never know, but in my eyes, we have someone sitting on our Supreme Court who violated the law when they should have known better.

My opponent in the 2006 campaign likewise earned a loss in respect. Early on, I wondered how I would ever hope to go up against someone like him. If you just looked at our naked résumés and compared them, you would think that my opponent was the more distinguished candidate and clearly the better choice. However, naked résumés do not tell you very much about a person.

I had my first inkling of what was to come when I received an email from one of the female Republican candidates who had run for the Court of Appeals and lost in the 2004 election. She pretended to be concerned about my brain tumor. What she was really after was information about my intent for the future. She had been deliberately sent by my opponent or by someone acting at his behest. The tracking service I used indicated that he had opened a statement I had sent out over twenty times. He was very concerned with my intentions for 2006 and so the female emissary was sent. I realized what was happening and I did not give out very much information to her.

Once the governor made his choice, I had to decide on the seat and I have explained why I chose the Martin seat. There really were no other alternatives. After I had announced, I received another strange email, this one from a member of the bar who had surfaced during my 2004 campaign. He was quite cordial, but the tenor of his email was that my opponent was such a distinguished jurist and that I ought to read his opinions to learn how well-reasoned they were. I likewise was cordial in my response, but this was a thinly veiled threat to drop out or else face the onslaught that was coming.

My opponents never realized something fundamental in my makeup. I do not bow to threats, intimidation or pressure. Such tactics have the reverse effect desired and only serve to make me more stubborn and determined. I dug in my heels and vowed to continue.

I took the attorney up on his challenge. I read every Supreme Court opinion dating back to 1999, when my opponent was elected to the Supreme Court. What I learned was astonishing, although it did not have the effect that the attorney desired. Far from supporting my opponent, his decisions indicated that he consistently sided against people’s constitutional rights. I selected a handful of cases which were not authored by my opponent but in which he participated. He was on the panel. If he disagreed with the reasoning or the result, he could have written separately. He did not do so, however. I am therefore left to conclude that the views expressed by the majority in those decisions are his views. I also learned that one justice up there other than my opponent stood up for people’s rights.

I wrote on this subject as I thought how my opponent decides a case was fair game for criticism. I was careful not to attack him personally. However, my decision changed as the campaign progressed. One day, I was researching something and found a new website for my opponent. I went to his site and lo and behold, there was more information there about me than there was about him. Unfortunately, what was said about me were nothing more than links to unflattering stories in the newspapers and media about me. I already have discussed the news articles and how they were flawed. Yet here was my opponent re-printing them even though he knew they were untrue. I saw what kind of campaign this man chose to run and what kind of person he really was.

Throughout the campaign, he made several untrue statements about me in which he stated that Jerry Meek, the Democratic Party Chair, had endorsed him. This was not true, but he seemed to believe in Goebbels’ “big lie” theory that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. He even printed literature in which he detailed the false information. I was alerted to this fact when a voter emailed me. The emailer was disgusted by such negative campaigning and threw out the packet. I saw it for myself when we were both asked to speak before the same group and he sent along his “materials” to pass out. I pointed out his untruths in statements that I wrote.

During the campaign, my treasurer was looking at Justice Martin’s campaign finance reports and suggested to me that something was wrong. And so I reviewed the reports for myself. My opponent had an expert political consultant, Paul Schumaker, on staff. And here he was giving over $14,000.00 in just one month’s time to a young lawyer named Matthew Martin for political consulting services.[1] What kind of political consulting services could a young man provide for this sum of money? Or was it really to the law firm that employed young Matthew? Curiously, no one in this state ever wondered about this kind of payoff to young Mr. Martin and/or his law firm.

My opponent and I spoke up in Asheville at a forum held there. I drove my own vehicle. My opponent, however, had excess cash and rather than use his own vehicle, he rented one. It was not just any car. No, he had to travel in style and rented a Cadillac. This simple act showed just how he viewed the people. As he mentioned at a forum some months before, he was not counting on the ordinary people. He had no idea of how they live or what they face on a daily basis. He was above that.

At another forum, which was held just after my radiation, I was concerned with moving along after my speech and letting the next candidates have their turn. I also just had radiation and felt kind of wobbly. I simply turned to exit the stage after our debate was completed and tried not to fall. My opponent sought to make hay out of this by making it appear that I had somehow deliberately slighted him.

But he was not done. He teaches at law schools and he even stooped to having one of his students contact me and ask me to stop. Sending a student to do one’s own work is cowardly enough. But asking me to disarm myself while leaving my opponent free to spout his lies about me is ludicrous. It is like a gang of hoodlums armed with knives telling a victim, armed with a gun, that he needs to drop his firearm and disarm himself just to make the fight fair. I refused. I am not going to pretend feigned niceties when someone is going to act like my opponent did. I was so disgusted by his behavior that I refused to shake his hand. I do not care what position he holds or what honors society chooses to heap upon him. I will be polite, but I can never respect someone who behaves like he did towards me.

Towards the end of the campaign, people who saw a televised debate between us at UNC thought that I did very well against him. And one of the other candidates told me that if elected, I would do just fine. The other candidate also indicated that my opponent was very nervous. As well he should be. He faced the very real prospect of possibly losing his seat. It meant he might actually have to get a job and work for a living instead of collecting a paycheck from the state while he was involved in other activities, such as teaching and obtaining his doctorate. Because of this, he asked the legal community to bail him out. They responded in a big way.



When I was recovering from my surgery in 2005, I received a pamphlet from the bar association regarding the supposed “professionalism” among attorneys in this state. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have already detailed the actions by some members of the bar and the disciplinary board towards me. I will not belabor the point except to say that I am deeply saddened and disgusted by the behavior of these people. Not one lawyer in this state who was aware of what was going on had the courage to stand up and say “I may not agree with Ms. Hunter’s positions, but the treatment of her should not be condoned.” Instead, I received hateful emails and frivolous complaints. This then is the true exhibition of “professionalism” by the bar. But the actions of the lawyers went far beyond even this.

During the campaign, I said to my campaign advisor that I would not be allowed to win this election and that even if I somehow did manage to pull it off, there would have been challenges mounted against me. So it was just a question of when it would occur, not if it would occur. I had my answer in the weeks leading up to the campaign.

As I said, my opponent called on the bar association and the lawyers to assist his floundering campaign. The bar responded and hugely. These were some of the comments that were made by L.P. Hornthal, Jr., a Democrat, and Representative Paul Stam, a Republican, of Apex. Mr. Hornthal, a former bar association president, said “the fact that a sitting justice on the N.C. Supreme Court who is well-qualified has to take valuable time away from the duties of his office to run for re-election against someone as lacking in qualifications as Rachel Hunter is reason enough for us to scrap the popular election of judges." Mr. Stam stated, "[i]f she either wins or comes close, it might finally frighten the General Assembly into doing something reasonable."

Forget that I was running for election for a moment and ponder the import of just those two statements. What Mr. Hornthal and Mr. Stam are saying is that if I had won the race, the legislature would promptly move to take away your and my right to vote for judges, regardless of the fact that such a right is mandated by our state constitution. Think about that. How can one person be regarded as such a danger and threat to the system that they would take away the right to vote?

These statements were extremely revealing about who and what these people are. They are nothing more than servants of the beast. Remember that the beast controls both sides – we have a Republican and a Democrat both saying the same thing. As I said stated many times in the campaign, I would be only one vote on our Supreme Court. By myself, I could take no action and even if I was so incompetent or loony as my enemies claimed, votes in each case would always be 6-1. So this is not about which candidate may win an election or even my winning an election. Its about power and control and the loss of that power and control by the beast. The beast has to maintain control at all costs. The beast cannot stand to lose power, even a tiny portion of it. The beast was desperate; I had to be stopped. So the beast was willing to threaten and intimidate voters that their right to vote would be taken away if they voted for me.

Unfortunately, the conduct did not stop there. No, the trial lawyers, the teamsters, and the Democratic Party all worked together to form an organization called There was nothing fair at all about this organization. They claimed to be bi-partisan and that they would inform the voters about the judges. They did nothing of the sort. Had they been both bi-partisan and desire to give votes information, they would have included all candidates on their site with links to the candidates’ websites and a brief statement about each of them. They did not do that, however.

They ran ads supporting my opponent and the other Democratic candidates in the Supreme Court race. This was not a bi-partisan effort. The group only supported my opponent because he was a part of the legal establishment and I was not. I had to be stopped and this was the only way to do it.

Even worse, one would think that this group, which was made up of attorneys, would follow the election laws. State election law precludes 527 groups from running candidate endorsements sixty (60) days before an election.[1] Did this group care what the election law said? Did the state board seek to censure and fine them for violating election law? No. They blithely proceeded to violate the law and run the advertisements in support of my opponent and the other Democratic candidates anyway. Were they charged with election law violations and fined? Where was Gary Bartlett, the elections director who was so quick to rule on my use of a nickname? Once again, bad or illegal behavior was rewarded as there was no censure and no fines.

In retrospect, I do not know how much this pathetic and last-ditch effort by the bar and others impacted the campaign, but I do not suspect that it was very much when considering the amount of money that they spent for their television advertisements and other costs. People who had watched my debate on UNC with my opponent were favorably impressed. Numerous other people who knew me personally have told me that they voted for me. However, the beast had one final ploy-the election results.

[1] N.C. General Statute §§ 163.278.80-163.278-83.



After the campaign was over, I had two individuals suggest to me that the election results might have been manipulated. One even sent me a link to a video on YouTube. For those who are interested, here is the link:

At first, I did not want to believe it and I had no hard evidence of it. But my campaign advisor and I studied the election results. I also looked at the results in other races in other states. As unthinkable as it sounds, elections are no longer safe in this country. They can and are being be manipulated. The YouTube video explains how.

In 2000, we were all treated to “hanging” and “pregnant” chads and allegations regarding the presidential election being “stolen” or decided by the US Supreme Court. We wanted never to go through that ordeal again. And so was born the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was supposed to make our life easier. As part of that, new “electronic” voting screens were brought to the fore and were sold to election offices in various counties throughout the country.

Many elections officials bought these machines. Unfortunately, when there is no paper trail backing up the machines, we have learned that it is relatively easy to access these machines by virtue of a computer card that is inserted. As in the YouTube video, once the card is inserted, it automatically changes the votes cast a certain way for the opposite vote. Thus, if 9 people vote “yes” and 2 people vote “no,” the machine can reverse the results to reflect 9 “no” votes and 2 “yes” votes. Since the total number of votes is the same, there is nothing suspicious to alert elections officials to the problem. And unless they bother to check the votes cast against the paper ballots, they will not discover that the vote has been tampered with. Elections personnel for the most part are hard working, but they have limited budgets and manpower. It is not possible to count every ballot by hand. So this can be done without such officials ever becoming aware of the problem. They are just as much victims of this terrible scheme as the public.

I am not saying that manipulation occurred in my race as I have no proof and unless an employee of a voting machine manufacturer is willing to step forward, it is doubtful that such proof could ever be obtained. I will venture to say that in the smaller counties, particularly those in heavily Democratic areas, there is just no way that my opponent could have received the number of votes that he did. Nor will I say that I would have won the election. However, I will say that but for the manipulation, the race would have been a lot closer than it was.

The question is, where do we go from here? It is tempting to not bother to vote. Why exercise your right when it can be manipulated? I do not have the answer, but the solution is not to abstain from voting. Once again, the remedy is exposure. More and more people are becoming aware of the problem, particularly with the voting equipment manufactured by Diebold. People need to speak out to their elected officials and demand that these machines not be used or, if they are used, to require not only a paper trail but also a hand recount in suspicious cases or in very close races. Any recount cannot be just a “statistical sampling” but an actual recount of all the paper ballots that were cast. No system is foolproof; what one man can devise, another can figure a way around. But this will do much to restore integrity into the voting process.



On election night, the NC GOP Chairman, Ferrell Blount, did not have the courage to endure the election results. He must have known that it would not bode well for the Republicans and he did not attend the NC GOP victory party. He resigned the following day. His chief of staff, Bill Peaslee, resigned soon thereafter. Linda Daves, the vice-chair, became acting chair and called a special meeting to confirm her status. As expected, she was confirmed. However, nothing is really going to change in the NC GOP. What it needs desperately is new leadership, but instead it is under the control of one man, Art Pope, and it continues to self-destruct. Nationally, the Republican Party is in disarray following the elements of corruption that we witnessed and their loss on election night. They, too, seem to be bent on their own self-destruction.

As for the national Democratic Party, they are on probation and cannot rest on their laurels. Given how the Republicans had so messed things up, their victory should have been larger. This suggests that people voted for them because it was the only other choice available, not because they are enamored with the Democratic philosophy necessarily. It remains to be seen whether the Democrats live up to their promises, but from what I have seen, it does not bode well. In this state, speaker Jim Black resigned, both as speaker and his seat. He pled guilty to federal and state charges arising out of his corruption and it remains to be seen how the Democrats will fare in the future.

All of this serves to illustrate that neither party is immune from corruption. What then is to be done? Most people are neither Republican nor Democratic. They are in the middle; perhaps more liberal on some issues and more conservative on others. However, seventy to eighty percent of people are disgusted by the behavior of both parties. They have simply “turned off” and “tuned out” to the political discourse, leaving only the activists and a handful of others left to vote.

We can be like those who just want to be left alone or we can “tune out” and ”turn off” like so many others. Where we are presented with no choice in an election, where “there is not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two choices, I would have to agree. And we have seen that the election results can and will be manipulated. So why bother?

Not all candidates are choices between Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. I ran and so did many others. Candidates like myself offered a real choice to the voters. By not voting, you hurt candidates like us. Yes, election results can and will be manipulated. However, the beast cannot do this in every election in every county. It is too risky. The beast was able to concentrate all of its firepower on me. That left open the door in other races.

As John Adams said of the American Revolution, about one-third of the people were loyal to the crown; one-third were advocates for the American Revolution and one-third just wanted to be left alone. We have to reach the one-third of the people who see that something is terribly wrong with our present system in order to begin to make a change. If more of us step up and run, it will dilute the beast’s ability to mount an effective fight against us. As the insurgency in Iraq or in the American Revolution has proved, the beast cannot fight us all at the same time. We cannot fight major battles, but we can use guerilla-style tactics against them.

If those Republicans and Democrats continue to be corrupt and expand the war in Iraq, then I foresee that the people are going to be ready for a viable and respected third-party in this country. No, it cannot have the baggage of the Libertarian Party, which was created just to neutralize people. It cannot be like the short-lived Reform party, which really was all about Ross Perot. It has to be premised on what is best about the Republican and Democratic parties, for both sides have some genuinely good ideas.

The Roman and Byzantine Empires lasted for well over a thousand years. In reading about the demise of these once mighty empires, I came across the words written by one of the last rulers of Byzantium, John Cantacuzenus. John was a capable and intelligent man, but the empire was too far deteriorated for him to save. This is what he had to say about the empire that was crumbling all around him:

There is nothing more conducive to the destruction of a nation, whether it be republic or monarchy, than the lack of men of wisdom or intellect. When a republic has many citizens or a monarchy many ministers of high quality, it quickly recovers from those losses that are brought by misfortune. When such men are lacking, it falls into the very depths of disgrace. That is why I deplore the present state of the empire which, having produced so many excellent men in the past, has now been reduced to such a level of sterility that today’s governors possess nothing to elevate them above those whom they govern.

His words are as true today as they were then. Our once great nation and state has been predominantly led by men and women who are devoid of intellect and quality. For the most part, they are venal and corrupt and seek not the betterment of mankind but their own enrichment. If nothing is done, they will be our demise and we will become slaves of the next mighty empire, China.

But even now, all is not lost and hopeless. There is yet still time for us to turn things around. Thomas Jefferson said, ""The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I know what he meant and am not suggesting violence or bloodshed of any kind. I laid it all on the line just like our founders. I have made my contribution to the tree of liberty. I will continue making my contribution and this book is a part of that.

I hope that you have found it useful in your own quest for office. For you must now make your own contribution to the tree of liberty. With your sacrifice, we can make liberty and justice a reality, not just a dream.



With regard to this book, it is based on my perception of events as they progressed throughout my 2004 and 2006 campaigns. Other events may be based on information given to me by others in phone conversations, email or in person. I have not named the individuals in question because their identity is not relevant. While events may have begun to fade in memory, nothing is deliberately invented or distorted by me. Truth is a defense to defamation, no matter how unflattering it may be. Nevertheless, it was not my intent to defame certain individuals. The assessment of their character is my own and based on facts that I have tried to disclose to the reader. The reader is free to reach his own conclusions.

Although too numerous to name individually, I would like to thank those who participated in the review and critique of this book. I have tried to incorporate your suggestions and I took all of your comments to heart. Any error or omissions are mine solely and I bear full responsibility for these.

While I have written the text, it is my husband who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for bringing this book to life. My husband strongly encouraged me to write this book as the level of what he and I had to endure was completely unusual from what is normally experienced in most campaigns. I also owe the title of this book to him. During the campaign, he often stated that he would like to play poker with the opposition because he felt that they would fall for his bluffs and traps. And he not only stood by me throughout these campaigns, but he endured my health problems, my many long nights spent at the office and our continued travails as the political persecution of both he and I continues.

Holy shit, Max.

Surely theres an audiobook link to this!!?!?!? I've gone crosseyed.

I'm usual

Max, is this about you? Haven't had a chance to finish reading it all but I've got to say....WOW!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Mo, I think this was written by Max's wife

Rachel Hunter. She ran for NC Supreme Court the last two times, if I'm not mistaken. The first time, she had been affiliated with the Republican Party. The second time, in 06, she was aligned more with Democrats (so to speak) because of her experience with NC Repugs.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,


No remark...just remarkable.


I think the comment "remarkable" is apt.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

This is the best part of the whole thing

And he not only stood by me throughout these campaigns, but he endured my health problems, my many long nights spent at the office and our continued travails as the political persecution of both he and I continues.

It's a day late, but Happy Valentine's Day.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Answers to State-Wide Judical Book?

I have printed this and will hand it to my campaign manager

Its okay to print it ; Isn't it??*Marshall Adame

Sure no legal problem! That is one of purposes for candiates to use....

Holy shit, Max.

Surely theres an audiobook link to this!!?!?!? I've gone crosseyed.*Christopher

Yes, we are in process in linking up on our site at can see the preview at the site....And to your Holy Larry Craig and former Congressman Holy Foley comment, I know a good doctor or redneck at jiffy lube who can straighten out your eyes in a Obama flash.

I'm usual

Max, is this about you? Haven't had a chance to finish reading it all but I've got to say....WOW!*momoaizo

No you are not! It is called senior moments and I have them all the time now! I will add a little story about my past in few minutes...stay tune

Clemson great parking-ticket scandal

By Gene Owens

Connie Mack Berry Jr. rolled up some impressive statistics in football and basketball at Clemson University between 1957 and 1960, but the> statistic that dwarfs them all is the one that denied him a degree from Clemson: a bill for $43,078.78 in campus parking tickets. Berry, now living in Carey, N. C., says the parking-ticket scandal is only one source of his notoriety on the Clemson campus. Another involves his exit from a classroom via a third-floor window. He did it to test his Yankee psychiatry professor theory that pain was all in the head, and you> could jump out the window and land without experiencing pain if you just put it out of your mind. Berry went out the window, and moments later his classmates saw him lying on the ground. He slowly got up and hollered, "It worked!"� It worked because he had secretly tied a rope inside the window and> rappelled to the ground. But he got A's for the rest of the course. Connie Mack Berry Jr. assures me that all this is true, and I have to believe him. He bears a name that stands for all that's good and wholesome about athletics a name borne by two hall-of-famers who never heard of steroids. One is Cornelius McGillicuddy, the original Connie Mack, owner and one-time playing manager for the Philadelphia Athletics. Mack met Connie's grandfather, William Clinton Berry, during the 1920s, while the A's were barnstorming through the South. Berry was a one-armed third baseman who also managed a semi-pro mill team in South Carolina. He had stuck one arm into> a cotton gin and pulled out a stump. He fielded by catching the ball in his> glove, tossing glove and ball into the air, then snatching the ball with his bare hand. His admired Connie Mack, and named his son after him. Connie Mack Berry became an athletic standout at North Carolina State and later played on championship teams in three professional sports: with baseball's Chicago Cubs, the National Football League's Chicago Bears, and the National Basketball Association's Oshkosh All Stars. He has been> inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Connie Mack Berry Jr., played end on offense and defense for the upstart Clemson Tiger football team that lost 7-6 to the national champions, Louisiana State University, in the 1959 Sugar Bowl. He was a team player on and off the field, which partly accounts for his huge parking-ticket debt. As he tells it, his mother bought him a 1954 Chevrolet to drive off to> college in 1957. Clemson was then an all-male institution, and the closest> source of coeds was a nursing school in Anderson, some 15 miles away. A car was essential, and Clemson's athletes treated Connie's like community property. "Everybody that played sports used it 24/7,"� Berry said. Sometimes Connie wouldn't see it for weeks at a time The borrowers usually would come to him for keys. But if they couldn't find him, they would jimmy their way in and hot wire� the ignition. They> parked wherever they wished on campus, often in spaces reserved for faculty> and staff. "It would always be parked in somebody's spot,"� Connie said. "All they> could do was keep ticketing it."� And, of course, nobody paid the tickets. When Connie Mack was ready to receive his degree, Dean of Students Walter T. Cox called him into a conference with R. C. Edwards, then the president of Clemson. They told him he would have to pay the four years's> worth of parking fines before he could graduate. Connie told them he didn't have $43,078.78 on him and didn't know when he could get it.. "I reminded them that Coach Howard owed me a great deal of funds for under-the-table services during my time at Clemson, and that we could simply make it an in-kind trade and forget the whole problem,"� said Berry. This invocation of the name of Frank Howard “ the Bear Bryant of> Clemson football “ cut no ice with the academicians. No pay, no degree, they insisted. On graduation day, Connie was handed a rolled-up piece of paper that said "Degree will be given upon full payment in cashier's check"� Connie eventually landed in Marietta, Ga., where he learned that if you burned photographic negatives, the film would go up in smoke but the silver in the emulsion would remain, and you could sell it. That led him into the precious metals business, which became his main source of income. He hasn't quit trying for that Clemson degree, though. "My cousin who is the lawyer for all of Clemson sports problems said> the other day> that they would settle the affair for 50 cents on the dollar,"� Connie told me. That, he speculated, would come to a net total of $1.95 million, allowing for compounded interest and inflation. Connie said he asked whether the university would accept a personal check on a bank in Panama. He hasn't heard back. Connie Mack Berry Jr. is married to Rachel Lee Hunter, who ran a strong race for associate justice on the North Carolina state Supreme Court. He says she's contemplating a race for chief justice in 2006 so she can be the boss of the candidate who defeated her. Unfortunately, her jurisdiction won't extend to Clemson University, which lies safely south of the North Carolina state line. But who wants a degree when it's so much fun to owe $1.9 million?

(Readers may write Gene Owens at 1004 Cobbs Glen Drive, Anderson, S. C. or, E-mail him at

Mo, I think this was written by Max's wife

Rachel Hunter. She ran for NC Supreme Court the last two times, if I'm not mistaken. The first time, she had been affiliated with the Republican Party. The second time, in 06, she was aligned more with Democrats (so to speak) because of her experience with NC Repugs.*DQ

Yep! And is the best when it comes to writting....


No remark...just remarkable.*loftT


I think the comment "remarkable" is apt.*Brunette

More amazing!

This is the best part of the whole thing

And he not only stood by me throughout these campaigns, but he endured my health problems, my many long nights spent at the office and our continued travails as the political persecution of both he and I continues.

It's a day late, but Happy Valentine's Day.*lcloud

You got that right! Any women to stay with me must be crazy or very lonely......" Madame Justice" is writting a book about my life which no doubt will get me locked up again......

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Max the Dawg

It's been a pleasure reading this, although I wouldn't have wanted to live it, I am awed by your experiences. It is wonderful having you as members of the People's Think Tank, I hope to meet you both one day.

(Just one wish, could Mrs. help work on Mr.'s writing?)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

To Ms momoaizo

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Max the Dawg

It's been a pleasure reading this, although I wouldn't have wanted to live it, I am awed by your experiences. It is wonderful having you as members of the People's Think Tank, I hope to meet you both one day.

(Just one wish, could Mrs. help work on Mr.'s writing?) *momoaizo

Thank you for your kind comments. As to my writing! In 2000 when George Bush was appointed President of the United States, I decided to use his amazing and brillant speaking abilities along with his superior writing skills as my persona on the internet.

I have no plans to change it until he is impeach or tried for treason. Other than that, I am a very smart person and the most hated idiot in this state by the Republican leadership.

but much loved here, Max.

I don't think the idiot in chief is going to be impeached, and I doubt he'll be tried for treason at this point. But the world will be a better, brighter place on Jan 20, 2009.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Now all we need to do...

is have somebody write a book dedicated to Max's inability to quote comments correctly, thus saving me from the confusion that always precedes THE FURTHER CONFUSION of an official MaxTheDog2 comment. Surely, I jest. But yeah, any takers?

It's a zen thing.

You've just got to flow with it, Christoper. Just flow.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

It's a Goat Thing Christoper?

is have somebody write a book dedicated to Max's inability to quote comments correctly, thus saving me from the confusion that always precedes THE FURTHER CONFUSION of an official MaxTheDog2 comment. Surely, I jest. But yeah, any takers?*Christopher

Christoper! As a confirmed conspiracy theorist believer and a secret society member. I cannot under oath nor reveal any confusion that you and many others have encounted with my words. Keep in mind that this is writen in secret goat code....

Madame Justice


I watched what you went through and grieved. I'm also familiar with John Barbara and was attacked by him (and others) endlessly for nothing more than speaking the truth.

All my life, I've dreamed of running for local office and making changes for the "working class". However, having watched what you've dealt with, I would never consider it. I wouldn't have the strength and couldn't handle it if they attacked my family.

The only real mistake I think you made was using the name Madame Justice witht he knowledge they were looking for anything and everything they could to discredit you. I didn't believe anything I saw until you wanted to have it used on the ballot. It was then that I began to wonder what was true and what wasn't.

You're an excellent writer and I hope this essay makes it's way to all those who were hoodwinked into not voting for you.

To Dharma! From Rachel Lea Hunter

Dear Dharma,

Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

Do not let idiots like John Barbara stop you from pursuing your dreams. John Barbara is a grass cutter at a grade school.
He is a nobody. He has no power at all unless you give him that power. However, he was instructed by the Republicans to do what he did. He failed and they ended up resorting to other tricks.

Regarding my "nickname" it was just that, a nickname. When I became active on the internet (I was active at an ancient Roman history site) I developed personas, one of which was a character called "Madame Justice." The name was inspired by a female justice on our state supreme court (I lived in Pennsylvania at the time). I played a lawgiver at the history site so this was apt. The name could equally apply to a dominatrix and I had an internet character which used the name when I was in that kind of mood (I do not behave like this in real life; however, one can "role-play" with characters, the way actors do).

I used the nickname in emails after I moved to North Carolina. The name still fits; I ran because I cared about doing real justice which I perceive to be so lacking in our courts and society today. There was never an atempt to mislead anyone and most of the people who know me call be "Madame Justice" as one would use a term of endearment. They know me and what I am and where I stand and that is why I used the nickname. It also gave me a lot of free publicity, although that was not my motivation. The law allowed for it and I did nothing illegal. For those who think its improper, then the law ought to be changed and no one should be allowed to use anything other than their full legal name.

If you want to run for office, then do it. Something I learned is that those in power do not bother to attack if they do not perceive you to be a threat. You can can gauge just how much of a threat and how correct you are by the level of the attacks. I was right on target and both the Republo-thugs and the Establishment Democrats knew it. I was such a threat to their system that they went ballistic and the attacks became ludicrous after awhile.

You do not think you are strong enough. If you go into it, you do have to recognize what is going to happen and be prepared to deal with "whatever comes out of the gates" as Russell Crowe's character Maximus said in "The Gladiator" movie. However, you know yourself and your family best. There are many ways to serve and give to the community and if running for office is not the way, then there may be something else. Get appointed to a board or commission; be active in the PTA. Do whatever suits you. And whatever you do, keep speaking the truth. That is a rare commodity in anyone and especially in our "leaders." People are hungry for real leaders, not the phony politicos or other talking heads on televison.

Rachel Lea Hunter