Wilmington—NC you would think that with less than two weeks left until the election all of the October surprises have come and gone. Well, not in New Hanover County – and not in the county commissioner’s race.
In a recent turn of events, someone posted signs outside of various churches calling Patricia Kusek “a harlot.”
Kusek, a financial advisor, is running for one of the three seats up for grabs in this election cycle. She’s aligned herself with Woody White, a Republican who is also up for reelection – by the way.
As New Hanover County politicos tell me, White and Kusek do everything together -they even placed signs in the same locations and from what I hear campaign together. Hmm.
I’ve been in politics for 35 years, and “me thanks the lady doth protest a bit too much.”
Lee Atwater – the Republican strategist, from the Reagan years, would be proud knowing that his playbook is being used to such an advantage. Not!
The game plan: create a diversion, caught on the righteous armor of Almighty God, blame your opponent and get media attention.
Well played, well played indeed.
Except for a few things: it may not be surprising to see some video footage of someone putting those signs out at some point, and secondly; Lee Atwater is dead, and this is 2016 and not 1984.
Apparently, some similar scandalous occurrences happened during the primary. Considering that is water under the bridge – there’s no point in getting into all that.
Suffice to say that if I lived in New Hanover County – I would be voting for Nelson Beaulieu.
After the incident in question, Nelson posted this comment on his Facebook page:
Today was a sad day for this campaign! An opponent whom I had had a very pleasant relationship with went on TV and to the newspapers and suggested without any evidence that I was somehow involved in posting yard signs that attacked her character. Regrettably Mrs. Kusek was forced to defend her character against these types of attacks. But what was equally disheartening was her defense. Instead of taking the high road and acknowledging the condemnation of the 5 other candidates running against her, she took it upon herself to exonerate two of her opponents, (Woody White and Jonathon Barfield) and placed the blame on either myself, Julia Boseman, or Derrick Hickey. This was all done without any evidence. Because of that I have had to defend myself in the same way that Mrs Kusek defended herself, only I am forced to do so with a cloud of media suspicion hanging over my head.
This type of speculation should not be allowed on the part of the media! No candidate should be allowed to say without evidence, “it surely must be one of my opponents” and then get to walk away without being challenged. What gives her the right to cast aspersions on three people while exonerating two others and not being challenged! I know….”politics ain’t bean bags.” I have been told many times that I’m too nice for politics. But I think that is the problem don’t you?? Why do we accept that honesty and decency are not compatible with a successful career in public life? Isn’t that what we teach our children….honesty and decency??
So I plan on teaching my children! Despite the recent unpleasantness, I will keep my vow not to be undone by this type of small childish behavior. This simply must change. We just can’t govern like this if politics at every level becomes war by other means. And so I am inviting each County Commissioner candidate who shares the ballot with me to meet after the early voting polls close at 1pm this Saturday to share a meal together. My wife and I are willing to host the candidates and their families! No matter what happens, three of us will have to work together. Our County should see us leading by example!
We’ve all spent a year at the same events, talking to the same people and making the same sacrifices. In the words of Abraham Lincoln…..”We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.” Let’s demand more of ourselves and act like adults. One meal together to show our community that in New Hanover County, we are not Raleigh, and we are not Washington D.C. We can work together for the greater good and continue to be civil to one another. As promised, I will remain….militantly nice!
Well said – very well said. When they go low, we go high!