A long-awaited showdown in the internal power struggle for control of the Haywood County Republican Party will play out this Saturday during the party’s annual convention.
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist
Whether they strut across schoolyards or along the polished halls of a state capital, all bullies are alike. They have to be the boss of everything. They can’t stand anyone who talks back. But they can be beaten.
For now, though, the bullies are on a roll in North Carolina.
Editor's note: The cyberstalking allegations against Monroe Miller were dismissed by a judge following court testimony on March 24, 2015.
Monroe Miller, a watchdog and critic of county government and member of the so-called “patriot faction” of the Haywood County Republican Party, was charged with the misdemeanor of cyberstalking last week.
The charges were taken out by Savannah Tedesco, a 24-year-old woman. She was a volunteer precinct chair in the Haywood GOP but was in the mainstream of the party and not part of Miller’s faction.
Monroe Miller is no stranger to the inbox.
Hundreds of emails from Miller have peppered the email accounts of people in Haywood County over the past five years, targeting those he believes have misstepped.
His targets are accused of being inept or under-handed — and sometimes both. Miller summons large audiences to the email chain, roping in spectators through the cc line to witness the latest attack.
Haywood County commissioners are being accused of partisan politics for upping the liability bond for the county tax collector, although commissioners say it’s just a safeguard given the limited experience and less-than-stellar financial record of the incoming tax collector.
Critics say the Democratic commissioners are just trying to shut down the newly elected Republican tax collector Mike Matthews by setting his bond too high.
Just as President Obama seems poised to sign an executive order preventing the deportation of up to 5 million illegal immigrants, we read in the Nov. 17 Asheville Citizen-Times that a newcomer center for immigrants in the city school system is so full it has a waiting list. I have no idea how many of those students in the newcomer center or waiting to get in are illegals, but the point is that we have a huge immigration problem in this country and policy to address it keeps being ignored by those in a position to change things.
North Carolina has rarely seen an election where the candidates matter so little, but who wins matters so much.
This year it’s not about the names on the ballot. Those are mere window dressing. Their alma matter, their church, their IQ, their gender, their profession, their hometown — things voters might have cared about in the past — have fallen by the wayside, too. Even the last-minute, slick campaign ads will likely be futile in budging voters to their side of the fence.
Jackson County voters will finally be able to see the shape of the November ballot with the close of a second primary for the Jackson County Sheriff Republican candidate July 15. Following the first primary, in which only 42 votes separated first and last place, results show former Sylva police officer Curtis Lambert coming out on top, beating runner-up Jim Hodgins 130-107.
An ongoing tug-of-war for control of the Haywood County Republican Party reached a finale last week.
A faction of conservative activists failed in their bid to wrest the chairman’s seat away from Pat Carr, who represents the mainstream party establishment. Carr now hopes the party can overcome the internal division that has plagued it for more than a year.
When North Carolina Republicans arrive at Harrah’s in Cherokee the first week of June for their annual convention, they will likely leave the din of discontent far behind. The rallies — the restless and the rowdies — and the realities of Raleigh will fade in the rearview.