We held our 2015 Precinct Meetings and Concurrent County Convention this morning in Madison County.  This was a very successful Convention.

Your newly elected County GOP Officers are:

Chairman: Jesse Sigmon
Vice-Chairman: Gerald Davis
Secretary: Elizabeth Tilley
Treasurer: Roberta Lewis
Asst. Treasurer: Gail Davis

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!…please welcome and support these folks.

And I personally want to say thank you to everyone for your support and kind words today and over the past 6 years. Thank you for the card and the gift. Ya’ll are the greatest. It was an honor to serve you all and the great citizens of Madison County.—Matthew Wechtel, Former Chairman

What the Associated Press Refused to Print in its Misleading and Factually Incorrect Attack on Governor McCrory

“The governor has done everything in a proper and ethical manner. This is a classic example of partisan drive-by journalism that deliberately misrepresents the facts. The AP is making reckless accusations through anonymous people about laws that they cannot cite.” – Josh Ellis, Communications Director

AP CLAIM: “McCrory and Sanford deny they did anything improper by accepting the payments from Tree.com, which were not fully described in their ethics statements.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: Governor McCrory properly filled out his ethics statement as required by law. That source of income was previously listed in another part of the 2014 SEI form; therefore, the form is in compliance with the State Ethics Act (See NCGS 138A-24A3).

AP CLAIM: “However, more than a dozen securities lawyers and ethics experts told The Associated Press that such stock payouts are uncommon for elected officials, and raise significant concerns. These experts gave differing opinions about whether laws were broken.

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: What “securities lawyers” and what “ethics experts?” Name them. Not one “expert” was named. These same “experts” said that such stock payouts are uncommon, but it’s the standing board policy of Tree.com to make these payouts. Do these “experts” know that this was Tree.com’s policy? Doesn’t sound like it. And as the AP says itself, this was payment that was in fact ENTITLED. More importantly, the AP event contradicts itself saying, “Early vesting of restricted shares for departing directors is not unheard of in the corporate world.”

AP CLAIM: “AP reported that McCrory, a Duke retiree, held stock in the company as his administration made key regulatory decisions involving his former employer. Those decisions are now the subject of a federal criminal investigation.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: This is an outrageous accusation and this is absolutely incorrect – it is a false statement and was printed and published with malice. The AP is saying that the governor is under federal investigation and that is 100% false. Neither the governor nor anyone he hired has been subpoenaed as part of this investigation.

AP CLAIM: “McCrory declined requests for an interview. In a written statement McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said the governor fully complied with state law and “continues to uphold high ethical standards.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The AP reporter who wrote this story had dozens of chances to interview the governor. On one single occasion after letting the governor’s office know about this story, he had 15 minutes of the governor’s time with 3-4 other reporters where he asked two questions that weren’t related to this story.

AP CLAIM: “North Carolina officials are required to disclose their business dealings and their sources of compensation on annual ethics forms. Knowingly providing false information or concealing sources of income is potentially punishable by removal from office and up to eight months in prison.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: What the AP fails to mention here is that the governor did nothing wrong, nor has anyone accused him of doing anything wrong, and he fully complied with state ethics laws.

AP CLAIM: “In a statement, Ellis said that under state law, the governor wasn’t required to disclose his cash compensation from Tree.com because he had disclosed his company stock holdings earlier on the form. As for the other omissions, Ellis said the instructions on the ethics forms were unclear.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor answered the question (19a) correctly as it was plainly written. The State Ethics Commission recognized that the form needed to be changed and voted at the last commission meeting to rephrase the question on the 2015 SEI form.

AP CLAIM: “McCrory also rebuffed calls earlier this year to disclose the full value of Duke Energy stock he owned following the Dan River coal ash spill.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor properly disclosed what he was required to by state law.

AP CLAIM: “Despite his Tree.com payments, McCrory did not recuse himself from naming the state banking director in the weeks before receiving his special dividend, or from naming eight commissioners to the regulatory agency 18 days later. In addition to licensing mortgage brokers, the commission investigates complaints, which are kept secret under state law unless they result in discipline.”

WHAT THE AP LEFT OUT: The governor didn’t need to recuse himself as per state law. Instead, the AP is implying through shifty wordsmithing and editing – that the Governor took actions that benefitted Tree.com – another example of irresponsible drive-by journalism. Further, the governor re-appointed the chair, which was appointed by the previous Democratic governor, and he has over 40 years of banking experience. See what the former Democratic governor who appointed Ray Grace had to say about Commissioner Grace: http://www.nccob.gov/public/docs/News/Press%20Releases/Grace_nomination_press_release.pdf

Congratulations to Dyatt Smathers and Ray Lewis on their new positions with the Madison County Board of Elections.  Ray Lewis was sworn in by the Honorable Jim Baker as the newest Board Member on Wednesday, June 11th.  Ray’s first action was to nominate Dyatt Smathers as the new Chairman of the Board and Ray was then nominated to fill Dyatt’s former Secretary position.  We look forward to the upcoming elections in November.

The voters of Madison County will have quite a unique opportunity in the 2014 election cycle. Rarely does a community have a chance to send a message that corruption in public office will not be tolerated.

Since I arrived in WNC in January 2012, I’ve heard horror stories of the political machinations in Madison County. Some folks wear this almost as a badge of honor.

We’ll all find out just how proudly that badge is worn next year, when John Ledford attempts to win back a badge of his own.

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times: Just days after news spread of John Ledford’s dismissal from the Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency, the former Madison County Sheriff made another announcement — he will run for his old office in 2014. Ledford, a Democrat, was Madison County Sheriff before he was appointed Director of ALE. He was named to the post by Democratic former Gov. Bev Perdue in 2009.

But when Republican Pat McCrory won the gubernatorial race in 2012, Ledford asked for a demotion to a field agent. He got that demotion, according to a scathing memo from the new NC Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Frank Perry, by breaking the law.

This conduct, the letter states, stems from a 2012 request by Ledford to be reassigned from law enforcement director to an agent position. At the time, according to the letter, the only open position, budgeted at $39,198, was in Wilmington.

Perry states that Ledford requested top pay for “advanced” competency level. You then, in effect, recommended approval of your own request by signing the personnel action clearance form in your capacity as division director,” the letter states. Perry said the request was then “confirmed” by Chief Operating Officer Mikael Gross, rather than the deputy director, deviating from the correct procedure. “Not only did this procedure result in approval of a request that should not have been approved, it also resulted in approval of excessive salary ($65,887.00) thereby making you the highest-paid special agent in the division.”

There were no vacant positions in Asheville, according to Perry. Ledford says he was dismissed for “political reasons.” Apparently, following the law is now considered to be a political thing. I’d be more willing to believe Ledford’s explanation, if not for a little issue that popped up last June (which I believe comes before the month of November – and, as such, before the election of the Republican Governor).

From WRAL: Officials in the state Department of Public Safety repeatedly blocked attempts by state auditors to investigate a complaint that two high-ranking Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement officers were misusing their state-owned vehicles, according to an audit released Tuesday.

The auditors were responding to a tip that ALE Director John Ledford and Deputy Director for Operations Allen Page were using their state-owned vehicles to commute to their homes near Asheville on the weekends.

State law allows the men to use their official vehicles for commuting but also requires them to live in or near Raleigh since they are based at headquarters. The men share an apartment in Raleigh, according to the audit, so they shouldn’t be using a state-owned car to commute elsewhere.

According to the audit, attempts to speak with ALE officers in Asheville were met with so much resistance that the State Auditor’s Office had to ask the Attorney General’s Office to prepare subpoenas to compel cooperation before ALE officials finally relented and spoke with investigators.

So, all this “politicking” that has targeted Democrat Ledford occurred under a Democratic Governor.

After an audit by a Democratic Auditor. Who asked the Democratic Attorney General to intervene.

Got it. Maybe it’s not everyone else, Mr. Ledford. Maybe it’s you. This is a chance for the folks in Madison County to help repair the image as a hotbed of political machine corruption. But, November 2014 is a long way off.

EXIT QUOTE: Ledford said, “…we are going to put back confidence within the Sheriff’s Office.”

Good luck with that.

Did you notice who Obama threatened????
From now thru November 2014 this should be required weekly or at least monthly, reading – BY ALL WHO VOTE!!!

Did you notice who Obama threatened when he wasn’t getting his way on raising the debt ceiling?

He threatened to not pay: Social Security Retirees, Military Retirees, Social Security disability and Federal Retirees.

Now…  Let this sink in really good –

He did not threaten to stop payments to illegal aliens

He did not threatened to take frivolous benefits such as Internet access away from violent inmates

He did not offer to fire some of the thousands of unnecessary federal employees that he hired

He did not offer to cut down on his or his wife’s frivolous gallivanting around

He did not threaten to not pay the senators and representatives or any of their staff

He did not threaten to take benefits away from welfare recipients

He did not threaten the food stamp programs

He did not threaten to not pay foreign aid

He did not threaten to cut back on anything that involves his base voters

The list could go on and on.  He is in full political re-election mode!

Why are we allowing this person to destroy this wonderful country with his selfishness and his lies?

His type of change is killing our country.  He needs to be stopped and only our votes can stop him.

Do not forget about his tactics when it’s election time. Vote for true conservative candidates for US Senate and US House in 2014.

ELECTION 2014 IS COMING!!!

 

Leake Ousted as Madison County Attorney

9:45 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |  By Melissa Dean

MARSHALL — It did not take long for newly appointed county commissioners to shake things up in Madison County.

Within minutes of swearing in new county commissioners on Monday, Larry Leake was ousted as the Madison County Attorney by a 3-2 vote.

“I’ve known (Leake) for many years, and I consider him a good friend of mine,” said newly elected Commissioner Jim Baker, who made the motion. “But people voted me in because they are ready for the county and county government to go in a different direction.”

Democrat Wayne Brigman joined Republican Commissioners Bill Briggs and Baker to cast the deciding vote to replace Leake.

“People wanted a change,” said Briggs.

Commissioners Sue Vicinskas and Hall Moore dissented.

“I think it was a promise made during the election that Larry needed to be removed,” said Vilcinskas, who was appointed commission chair during Monday’s meeting. Baker was unanimously appointed vice chair.

Leake could not be reached to comment on the meeting.

Attorney Hal Harrison was appointed as the new county attorney. Harrison is also the attorney of Mitchell and Avery counties.

According to Baker, the move to replace Leake was due in part by what could be considered a conflict of interest for the county.

“Larry has the reputation of doing much more than just legal advice,” said Baker. “

It is time to do away with the county feeling that the same person is calling the shots. It will be a positive change for the county.”

Leake, while he has held the position as county attorney for more than 30 years, is also the attorney for the towns of Mars Hill, Marshall and Hot Springs, as well as the attorney for the Madison County Department of Social Services.

Leake also currently serves as the chairman of the state Board of Elections.

“They have, at times, gotten in the way of each other,” said Baker, who cited the 2011 case in which county commissioners sued DSS following a discrepancy with a board member.

“He is the attorney for a lot of different towns and agencies,” said Briggs. “It is good not to have one person in control of everything.”

Baker said the move will save the county money. Leake was paid a retainer fee of $1,000 a month, according to the county Finance Department.

While the move to replace Leake was not unanimous, Vicinskas said she hopes the board will move the county forward through bipartisanship and collaborative efforts.

“It will be an interesting time in our county,” said Vilcinskas. “I think the county is going to be surprised at how differently things will be run.”