Monday, October 29, 2012



                        w-ed- ELECTION DAY 2012 IS HERE

            One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration ends in North Carolina this Saturday, Nov. 3rd. That means unless you plan to cast your ballots on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6th, you’ll have only today, Friday and Saturday to cast your early vote ballot.
            Contact your county Board of Elections to determine times of early voting operation. On Election Day, polls open at 6:30 a.m., and close at 7:30 p.m.
            If someone tries to challenge or intimidate you while you peacefully attempt to carry out our Constitutional privilege, just quietly, without anger, go inside the polling place with the person, ask for the chief polling judge, and a hearing will be held immediately to determine your voting status.
            DO NOT allow anyone to get you upset at the polls.
            As always, this newspaper is making our considered recommendations about the candidates we endorse for public office. Of course, we hope that our readers and community are closely following all of the candidates on the ballot, and make their ultimate choices based on competence and record, not party.
            Our entire list of candidates follows this week’s final roster of hopefuls.
            This is a pivotal election in so many ways, not just for the state, but also for our nation, and ultimately our children. Our community made history in 2008 with the election of the first African-American president.
            Now, in 2012, we must secure our future.
            Thus far our community is doing well at the polls in early voter, but that’s no reason to let up. There’s no such thing as having “enough” votes or having too many.
            Make sure that you, your friends and family vote. It means that much.

            As vice chair of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, Jonathan Barfield has displayed an impressive commitment to improving the quality of life for all residents. During his first term, the young Democrat has worked hard on the issues of economic development; waste disposal; and of course, finding ways to attract more businesses and industry to the county that would employ more citizens.           
            Rob Zapple, a Democrat, is a local developer who believes if the puzzle of economic growth can be solved for New Hanover County, then the other problems will be well on their way to being more easily solved. Zapple wants to bring his experience and perspective to the Commission Board to help make that happen. He believes that engaging large NHC corporations more about expanding their operations in the county would go a long way towards creating jobs immediately.
            Jonathan Barfield has brought energy, clarity and commitment to the Commission Board, and Rob Zapple will bring new ideas and a business perspective that could benefit all of us.
            We endorse Barfield for a second term, and Zapple for his first. They’re right for New Hanover County.

As we said last May during the primaries, Karen Clay Beatty has stepped up to the plate, and offered the community her experience, service, and deep commitment to improving education for all of our county’s children, and we’re glad she has.
A product of the school system that she wants to serve, Beatty retired from NHC Public Schools earlier this year after 30 years. Twenty-one of those years have been as a Licensed School Social Worker, where she served a couple of years as a lead social worker for secondary schools. Prior to that, she was an Educational Diagnostician for the system. She holds a B.A. degree from Shaw University, a BSW from Pembroke State University, and a MSW from East Carolina University.
If elected, Beatty vows to work to increase the graduation rate; develop more mentoring programs; and create a stronger bond between the schools and the community.
We need her experience, her vision and her leadership. Vote for Karen Clay Beatty for the NHC Board of Education.
When she  was a Republican, NHC School Board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh, while excepting the national JFK Courage Award, called her Board of Education, “…the bottom of the political food chain.” Given the courage she displayed fighting the racial bias of her GOP colleagues on the board, we knew there would always be a place in our hearts for this principled leader. It wasn’t long before Redenbaugh kissed the GOP goodbye, and joined the Democrats, hoping to continue to shape policy that honestly spoke to the needs of all children, instead of the racially resegregating redistricting parlor tricks her Republican board colleagues felt perfectly justified in engaging in. She fought to stop the closing of D.C. Virgo. She’s determined to close the racial achievement gap. This is one courageous leader who we must re-elect to the NHC Board of Education. Elizabeth Redenbaugh is a fighter for all children. Let’s keep strong leadership on the job.

Here’s another retired NHC educator with over 30 years elementary school experience, in addition to being an administrator. Emma Saunders brings a wealth of learning experience with her, in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Florida A&M University, and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Fayetteville State University. The biggest challenges, beside budget, facing NHC Public Schools, Saunders says, is raising all student achievement, reducing the dropout rate, and raising the graduation rate across the board. Emma Saunders knows what NHC Public Schools need, and that’s why she deserves to be elected to the NHC Board of Education.

Last year, attorney  Robin Wicks Robin son was appointed to serve as District Court Judge for New Hanover and Pender counties, and now she’s running to serve a full term. Judge Robinson has had 25 years of legal experience in family law, criminal law, juvenile law and civil law. There is no question that Judge Robinson has the experience, and since 2011, she has proven to have the judicial temperament.
Judge Robinson has impressed us with her integrity on the bench. We endorse her candidacy.

It’s rare when there are two candidates in a race, and both are so bad that we can’t find any redeeming value in either of them.
Such is the case with the House District 18 race between the Democratic incumbent Suzi Hamilton, and her Republican challenger Louis Harmati.
Hamilton has already proven that she can’t be trusted. The stunt she pulled last year voting with the Republicans, and against Gov. Perdue, on the fracking bill, finally proved that you trust this woman at your own risk.
Endorsing her is like having blood on your hands.
Sorry, Suzi, but we kind of like having clean hands when we recommend public servants to our community.
As for her Republican opponent, Louis Harmati of Leland, we trust him even less than Suzi, if that’s possible. He says our greatest threat is socialism. That means if elected to join his Republican brethren in the NC General Assembly, he will vote to cut everything short of lunch money.
No thanks, Louis.
So thus, we endorse no one in this race. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote for someone, however. But if you do, you better hold them to the strictest standards.
Whomever you choose must fight fir jobs, jobs and more jobs for our mostly black state House District 18. Suzi Hamilton likes to tout her connections with the movie industry, and that getting more tax credits for the moviemakers translates into more jobs. Maybe, but not for us, and that’s been proven by research.
Whoever ultimately wins this contest should be willing to vote to compensate the sterilization victims of the state’s longtime eugenics program.
Whoever is elected must be for safe methods of increasing our energy supply via our own resources. We are energy dependent on the Middle East, and that has to stop. We must cultivate our own energy resources, but not at the risk of hurting our environment or not exploring alternative energy sources like solar and wind.
Whoever is elected from House District 18 must advocate for expanding and improving our port. Wilmington lost 3,000 potential jobs recently because our port did not have the capacity needed, forcing Caterpillar and a major tire plant not to locate in Brunswick County.
With our newspaper, it’s not about the color of your skin or your party affiliation, but whether you are ready, willing and able to fight to improve the quality of life for all of the people in District 18.
We urge our readers, and the voters of state House District 18 to do their homework on Rep. Hamilton and Mr. Harmati. Who is paying their bills and wanting them to vote a certain way? Have either of these unacceptable candidates proven that they will work hard for poor people in our district.
This is why we caution our readers about voting a straight Democratic ticket. Not all Democratic candidates are for us, so putting them in office is just as bad as putting someone who has no regard at all for our community. Black people are smarter than that if given the choice and the proper instruction on how to discern which candidates, regardless of party, might prove worthy of our support.
Take the time to study all of the candidates, as we have. Don’t vote the straight Democratic ticket, not with Rep. Suzi Hamilton on it for sure.

In case you didn’t know, the nonpartisan  New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors ensures that the quality of our water is maintained at the highest standard through strong conservation and storm water management efforts.
There are four candidates for seats on that board, but the best, in our opinion, is David Dowdy, a hard worker and grassroots community servant we can trust. Dowdy says protecting our water and environment will be his top priorities if elected.
So let’s do it. Let’s elect David Dowdy to the NHC Soil and Water Conservation Board.


            Barack Obama - president
            Walter Dalton - governor
            Linda Coleman - lt. governor
            Cherie Berry  - labor commissioner
            Roy Cooper - state attorney general
            Beth Wood - state auditor
            June Atkinson - state schools supt.
            Janet Cowell - state treasurer
            Wayne Goodwin - state insurance commissioner
            Steve Troxler - state agriculture commissioner
            Elaine Marshall - secretary of state
            Wanda Bryant - NC Appellate court
            Cressie Thigpen - NC Appellate Court
            Linda McGee - NC Appellate Court
            Sam J. Ervin IV - NC Supreme Court
            Mike McIntyre - congressman Seventh District
            Erik Anderson - congressman, third District
            Deb Butler - NC Senate
            Jonathan Barfield - NHC Board of Commissioners
            Rob Zapple - NHC Board of Commissioners
            Karen Clay Beatty - NHC Board of Education
            Elizabeth Redenbaugh - NHC Board of Education
            Emma Sanders - NHC Board of Education
            Robin Wicks Robinson - NC District Court Judge District 5
            David Dowdy - Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

ALICIA KEYS AT CHAVIS - Superstar singer Alicia Keys wowed over 3500 fans at the Chavis Community Center baseball field in Southeast Raleigh last Friday on behalf of the Obama campaign. Black early voters in North Carolina are voting solidly for the president [Obama for America photo]

GOLDMAN ANGERS BLACK VOTERS - Debra Goldman, a Republican candidate for the state auditor (seen here with her campaign manager), and member of the Wake School Board, has angered black voters with this photograph of her looking to slug a punching bag with a picture of a black-eyed President Obama on it. Goldman is currently embroiled in an alleged sex scandal with fellow Wake School Board member Chris Malone [Photo Goldman campaign]

By Cash Michaels

            Will President Obama win North Carolina, let alone re-election?
            What will happen if the state elects a Republican governor and re-elects a GOP-led NC General Assembly?
            And will the NC Council of State remain in Democratic hands?
            With One Stop/Early Voting ending this Saturday, Nov. 3rd, and Election Day, Nov. 6th next Tuesday, those questions will soon be answered as tight, and some not-so-tight races come down to the wire.
            In early voting statewide, as Oct. 31st, 1,876,309 early ballots were cast in North Carolina, according to the NC Board of Elections. Thus far based on the ballots cast, 49 percent were Democrats; 32 percent Republican; and 20 percent unaffiliated.
            Per One Stop Early Voting, black female Democrats continue to lead all groups with 290,316 ballots cast. Black male Democrats to date have cast 171,848; while female Democrats have logged 217,136, and white male Democrats 150,991.
            On the Republican side, black females have cast 3,376 ballots; black males 3,377; white females 254,528 and white male GOP’ers 239,749.
            Just from these numbers alone, while it is clear that black Democrats are holding their own and outpacing their 2008 presidential election year numbers, white Democrats are being out paced by their Republican counterparts.
            Assuming that most white Democrats are not crossing over to vote for Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, that deficit could spell an extremely tight race for the president in North Carolina. The latest poll from Elon University this week shows a both candidates in a 45-45 percent dead heat.
            However, a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WRAL-TV in Raleigh this week suggests Republican Romney will win North Carolina on Election Day 50 to 45 percent, despite Democratic early vote dominance. The poll says the number of pro-Romney voters who will weigh-in on Nov. 6th are 2 to 1 to Obama voters.
            Jim Messina, campaign manager for the Obama campaign, says he has faith in the tremendous field operation he has on the ground in North Carolina, which helped the president win North Carolina by a slim 14,000 votes in 2008.
            In the gubernatorial race between Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, a Democrat; and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican; most polls show McCrory with a double-digit lead of anywhere from 14 to 19 points. Published reports show Dalton with just one-sixth the campaign war-chest of McCrory as he continues to struggle to present himself to the voters of North Carolina.
            McCrory has made no secret that if he’s elected, he’ll be in lockstep with the Republican-led state Legislature on voter ID, cutting public education, and shrinking social services.
            In the race for lt. governor, Democrat Linda Coleman and Republican Dan Forrest are neck-and-neck, which means whose campaign best turns out its supporters will ultimately win the office.
            For the rest of the NC Council of State, Republicans are salivating at the prospect of taking the majority for the first time.
            Republican Debra Goldman, who serves on the Wake County School Board, is hoping that a recent alleged sex scandal involving her and fellow Republican Wake School Board member Chris Malone, a candidate for the NC House, doesn’t hurt he chances to unseat Democratic incumbent State Auditor Beth Wood. Wood is leading that race while Republicans are turning against Goldman.
            And State Supt. June Atkinson charges that her Republican/Tea Party opponent, John Tedesco - also a Wake School Board member - has a problem telling the truth, has no real experience in education beyond his two years on the school board (compared to her 35 in education) and create “chaos” with everything he says and does.
Atkinson and the NCNAACP label allegations by Tedesco that the Democratic state schools supt. has hired the NCNAACP to campaign for her as absolutely false, and she points to that as an example of what she means. Tedesco, who has made it clear he has no love for the NAACP, stands by his allegation.
            In the nonpartisan races for the state Appellate and Supreme Court, Appeals Court judges Wanda Bryant, Linda McGee and Cressie Thigpen hope that voters will return all of them to the bench. Running as the Keep Fair Judges’ team, the three say if they go down, the appellate will lose most of its female and African-American representation.
            In the race for State Supreme Court, Appeals Court Judge Sam J. Ervin IV hopes that voters will cast their ballots for him over conservative opponent Paul Newby.
            Judge Ervin says he offers fair, nonpartisan judgment of cases as he does now on the appellate court. He is endorsed by Congressman G. K. Butterfield . The Morganton native has been practicing law since 1981. He served on the NC Utilities Commission since his appointment in 1999 by Gov. Jim Hunt. Judge Ervin was elected to the NC Court of Appeals in 2008.
            Editor’s note - At the polls, there are reports of attempts at voter intimidation, some of them even violent. If you have any problems while trying to lawfully cast your ballot, call Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, at it’s toll-free hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). For answers to most questions about where, when and how to vote, go to the special website: Voters can preview their own ballot, find the nearest Early Voting site, and check their registration status.
            In addition, because of the new redistricting plan adopted this year by the NC General Assembly, your voting district lines may have changed. You may even get a different ballot from your neighbor who lives down the street because of how the new district lines zigzag through neighborhoods. About two million voters live in precincts divided by district lines and you’re 50 percent more likely to live in one of those split precincts if you’re black. So check with your county board of elections, or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to confirm what your voting district is, and where you should vote.

                                        UNC LAW PROFESSOR GENE NICHOL

By Cash Michaels

            Saying that revelations about Assistant New Hanover County District Attorney James “Jay” Stroud Jr.’s racial jury gerrymandering, and his plot to cause a mistrial to impanel a “KKK” type jury in the Wilmington Ten case were “stunning and beyond outrage,” a UNC legal expert tells The Carolinian that those facts alone justify individual pardons of innocence from Gov. Beverly Perdue for the Wilmington Ten.
            Meanwhile, the Libertarian candidate for NC governor, announced her support Wednesday for pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten, citing the documented actions of prosecutor Stroud in saying, “A pardon of innocence by [Gov.] Perdue would grant some closure for the surviving members of the Ten, and must come before Perdue’s term ends December 31st.”
            In another development, the North Carolina chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference announced in Greenville Sunday that it was formally supporting the pardons of innocence effort for the Wilmington Ten.
            Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Ten, was on hand for the announcement.
            “It is stunning, and beyond outrage, to learn the level of prosecutorial abuse that dominated, infected, and ultimately drove the outcome in the Wilmington Ten trials,” says Gene R. Nichol, Boyd Tinsley Distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law at UNC - Chapel Hill, after reviewing portions of what is now known as “the Stroud file.”
“This intense abuse of governmental authority, prosecutorial misconduct -- both professional and racial -- casts a long shadow over the North Carolina system of justice, Prof. Nichol continued. “It also, of course, worked massive and unforgivable constitutional injury on the lives of ten North Carolinians.”
 “The prosecutor made mockery of his high office by knowingly, intentionally, and purposefully placing perjured testimony at the heart of the trial. It is also clear now, in ways not demonstrated by documentary evidence before, that he tainted the trial initiation process and vital jury selection through patent, overt, and outcome-determinative racism.”
“It is crucial that North Carolina act to admit and concede such a potent and defining abuse of power,” Prof. Nichol maintains. “To allow public servants to behave in such a fashion, without remedy, is literally intolerable.”      
            Prof. Nichol’s legal analysis comes after the fortieth anniversary of the convictions of the ten civil rights activists for crimes they did not commit. On Oct. 17th, 1972, nine young black males and one white female - all led by the Rev. Benjamin Chavis of the United Church of Christ - were falsely convicted during their second trial of conspiracy in connection with racial violence that gripped Wilmington in February 1971.
            The Stroud files now cast a large shadow over those convictions.
            “The Ten,” as some call them, were all sentenced collectively to 282 years in prison, some of which they all served before worldwide public pressure forced early releases. In 1976, Amnesty International, a respected international social justice agency, labeled the Wilmington Ten “political prisoners” because they were targeted only after they protested racial discrimination in their local public school system five years earlier.
            In 1977, the three witnesses on whose testimony the Wilmington Ten were convicted recanted their testimonies before a grand jury, saying that state prosecutor Jay Stroud paid them to lie with gifts and privileges. The CBS News program “60 Minutes” broadcast an expose’ on the fabrication of evidence in the case, strongly suggesting a false prosecution.
            And in 1980, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, citing prosecutorial misconduct on Stroud’s part, among other issues, overturned all ten convictions. But the state of North Carolina has upheld those convictions for the past 32 years.
            It was not until 2011, when the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) - an association of over 200 African-American newspapers across the nation - voted to officially seek pardons of innocence for the Wilmington Ten, did the effort to legally address the issue begin in earnest, and the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project was born.
            On May 17 of this year, a legal petition of pardons of actual innocence was formally submitted to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s Office of Executive Clemency on behalf of Dr. Benjamin Chavis; Wayne Moore; Marvin “Chili” Patrick; Reginald Epps; James “Bun” McKoy; Willie Earl Vereen; William “Joe” Wright; Jerry Jacobs; Ann Shepard and Connie Tindall.
            Wright, Jacobs, Shepard and Tindall are deceased. Tindall, 62, died in August.
            During the course of researching the case, the original files of Wilmington Ten state prosecutor Jay Stroud were found, and evidence of extraordinary prosecutorial misconduct uncovered. North Carolina Central University School of Law Professor Irving Joyner, and James Ferguson, original lead defense attorney forty years ago for the Wilmington Ten - both of whom filed the petition papers with the state - spent last summer researching and authenticating handwritten jury selection notes by prosecutor Stroud which indicated during the first trial in June 1972 in Pender County how he sought to impanel a “KKK” type jury to guarantee convictions.
            Stroud’s notes also document how he plotted to cause a mistrial in the first June 1972 Wilmington Ten trial because there were ten blacks and two whites on the jury, his star false witness against the Ten, Allen Hall, was not cooperating, and it looked very unlikely that Stroud could win the case given the lack of evidence.
            History shows that prosecutor Stroud told the presiding judge in the first June 1972 trial that he had become “ill,” and could not continue.
A mistrial was ultimately declared.
            It was during the second trial in Pender County, which began Sept. 11, 1972, that Stroud got a jury more to his liking - ten whites and two black domestic workers - and a different judge who was arguably biased against the defense.
            This time, the Wilmington Ten were convicted, sentenced, and sent away to prison.
            As The Carolinian exclusively reported in September, it was during a Sept. 5th forum at NCCU’s School of Law, that defense attorney James Ferguson said his examination of the Stroud files was revealing.
            “There was a fair amount of confirmation of things we suspected at the time that race was the central strategy of the prosecution,” attorney Ferguson maintained, singling out a legal pad that prosecutor Stroud used during jury selection of the first trial to track Ferguson’s questioning of potential jurors in Pender County, a neighboring county the case had been moved to in June 1972.
            Pender had a larger African-American population than New Hanover County, where the Wilmington Ten had been charged, thus, more black candidates for jury service.
            Ferguson detailed how Stroud wrote on the top of one page of his jury selection legal pad,” Stay away from black men.” Next to that on the top of that same sheet, Stroud wrote, “Leave off Rocky [Point], Maple Hill. Put on Burgaw, Long Creek Atkinson Blacks.”
            In Stroud’s mind, Ferguson said, blacks from the more rural towns of Burgaw, Long Creek and Atkinson, would probably be less likely to identify with “radical” civil rights leaders like Ben Chavis, than African-Americans from the more urbane towns of Rocky Point and Maple Hill.
            Indeed, the 29th prospective juror on that same page named “Randolph” has a capital “B” in front of his name in the margin, and in parentheses the word “no,” and written afterwards, “on basis Maple Hill.”
            In contrast, per another possible juror, number 9 with a “B” named “Murphy,” Stroud has written in parentheses, “Worth chance because from Atkinson.”
            There are several prospective jurors listed by name, and if not, certainly by number, who have the capital letter “B” written in the margin. If there was any doubt about the “B” indicating “black” - which was attached to many names the words “leave off” were written next too, that is dispelled by what Stroud writes in addition to some of them.
            On prospective “B” juror number eleven named “Graham,” Stroud writes, “knows; sensible; Uncle Tom type.”
            On Number 27 named “Stringfield,” Stroud writes, “no named black on jury.”
            On Number 19 named “James” Stroud writes, “stay away from,” apparently indicating that the potential juror is a black male he doesn’t want.
            And prosecutor Stroud had unmistakable codes for white jurors he felt he had to have.
            On that same legal pad sheet tracking juror interviews, when Stroud was impressed with a white interviewee’s answers, he’d write down the three letters of the alphabet most commonly associated with the most fear white supremacist group in the South at the time - the Ku Klux Klan.
            “KKK?...good” is what Stroud wrote for juror Number 1 known as “Pridgen.” For Number 6 named “Heath,” the reverse, “O.K.” then “KKK?”. Number 75 on a subsequent page was “Fine - probably KKK!!” and on Number 99 Stroud writes, “does not have a record - KKK!!”
            Stroud apparently was also concerned if potential black jurors in the June trial read about the case in The Wilmington Journal, the local African-American newspaper. Stroud considered the Journal a subversive publication that supported the Wilmington Ten.
            “Blacks - you get Wilmington Journal or read it - view sympathetic to letters from Chavis,” Stroud wrote in the column of his legal pad, making note of question would ask of potential black jurors.
            The notation is chilling because the following year, The Journal was firebombed by a white supremacist on June 1973, and historically, another black newspaper, The Daily Record, was burned to the ground by white supremacists during the November 10, 1898 racial uprising, demonstrating a long held fear of the Black Press in Wilmington.
            “Race infused the jury selection strategy in that June trial,” attorney Ferguson said of Stroud’s jury selection notes.
            As indicated earlier, the sheer number of prospective black jurors for the first Wilmington Ten trial resulted in a panel of ten African-Americans, and two whites.
            “We were able to position ourselves in a way that we were headed towards getting what appeared to be a jury that might be fair,” defense attorney Ferguson said.
            “But at that time, as they say, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.”
            Ferguson and Prof. Irving Joyner note that on the cardboard back of that jury selection legal pad Stroud used, the prosecutor literally drew a line down the middle.
            On the left he titled it, “Disadvantages of Mistrial.”
            On the right, “Advantages of Mistrial.”
            “Most people don’t list the pros and cons of getting sick,” quipped Ferguson.
            Stroud then proceeded to list reasons for both, seemingly to devise some sort of strategy as to what his next move should be.
            For disadvantages, the prosecutor wrote, “1 - waste of a week; 2- could affect Hall’s attitude and other witnesses (referring to star state’s witness Allen Hall, who was being paid by the prosecution to deliver false testimony) 3 - possibly waste of 2 weeks unless Allen can set up quick docket; 4 - inconvenience to all concerned; 5 - possibly get Judges Chess, Godwin or Copeland on new trial; and 6 - delaying getting cases over with.”
            On the other side of Stroud’s list for “Advantages of Mistrial’ in the first Wilmington Ten trial, the prosecutor listed, “1 - different judge; 2 - better prepared to select jury and to handle motions/more organized; 3 - avoid longer jury selection and hung jury in Pender because of their concern about retaliation; 4- fresh start [with] new jury from another county; 5- avoid reversible error [and] new trial on lack of [defense] witness interviews; 6 - can enlist Dan Johnson’s help; 7 - opportunity to separate [white Wilmington Ten member Ann] Shephard (sic) from others to keep out [Allen] Hall’s letter; and 8 - time to have case well prepared and organized.”
            Stroud apparently decided to cause the mistrial as a result of his deliberations.
            “The main prosecutor in the case (Stroud) suddenly became ill,” Ferguson recalls. “For what reason I do not know. [Perhaps] sitting there looking at that many black folks serving on the jury. But he became ill, sort of speak, and decided that he could not proceed with the trial. So that trial was aborted.”
            After reviewing the same materials, UNC law Professor Gene Nichol was deeply concerned.
            The Stroud memo reveals that the most cynical and stunning use of racial antagonism and hostility drove the prosecutor's decisions in launching, and re-launching the Wilmington Ten trials,” Prof. Nichol says.  “No justification exists, or could exist, for such bald constitutional transgression. It is vital that the state officially declare, as it would through a pardon of innocence, the flat rejection of the use of racial hatred in the exercise of criminal prosecution. Ignoring such outrageous misbehavior, once revealed, would be a fundamental breach of duty.”
            In reaction to the Stroud Files, Barbara Howe, Libertarian candidate for governor, said in a press release Wednesday, “This September, the files of the prosecutor in the case, Jay Stroud, were released, providing further insight into the depth of the misconduct. The notes from jury selection reveal an active pursuit of jurors with possible KKK ties and attempts to have black jurors removed.”
            Howe continued, “The evidence that has been revealed over the years since the convictions paints a very gloomy picture of the North Carolina judicial system. The recanting of witness statements and the prosecutorial misconduct that has come to light with the release of the Stroud files clearly demonstrate the need for action [by Perdue]. A pardon of innocence for the Wilmington Ten would show a renewed commitment by the State of North Carolina to the cause of justice.”
            Ms. Howe added that until those pardons of innocence are granted, the Wilmington Ten remain convicted felons in the state of North Carolina.           
            Prof. Nichol, who has also written a letter of support directly to Gov. Perdue for the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence, continued, “I am confident that the prosecutor's rank, grotesque, abuse of authority merits a pardon of innocence. There are surely no circumstances to seek a 'pardon of forgiveness'. It would be stunning to say to a group of defendants subjected to such breathtaking misconduct that we now 'forgive' you.”
             “The only acceptable response from the State of North Carolina,” Prof. Nichol concluded, “…is to concede that its power was exercised in the Wilmington Ten prosecutions in a tyrannical rejection of honesty and constitutionalism.”

By Cash Michaels

            ELECTION DAY - We hope, if you haven’t voted yet, that you will early vote by this Saturday, Nov. 3rd. And if you can’t make it then, then your last chance is Election Day, Nov. 6th. The polls open at 6:30 a.m., and close at 7:30 p.m. A lot’s at stake here.
            ELECTION NIGHT - I’ve been invited to join my old NBC-17 “At Issue” partner, Donna Martinez, on 680 WPTF-AM (folks in Wilmington can listen also at to do election returns that night. Six years ago, Donna and I did election night on NBC-17, so we work well together, though I’m certain there will be other analysts on the show.
            Given how close the presidential race is, I have the funny feeling I better bring my sleeping bag, because it’s going to be a long night!
SANDY - I hope by now you have looked at your family, and thanked GOD that all of you are safe, and then said a special prayer for all of those impacted on the mid-atlantic and east coast by Superstorm Sandy this week. Over twenty-nine dead, over eight million without power, and tens of billions of dollars in damage.
            My hometown, New York City, hasn’t been hit this hard since 9/11. The city’s subway system was flooded, as were many city streets below 40th Street in Manhattan b y an unprecedented 13-foot storm surge. Several homes were ablaze in Queens and Breezy Point, and the front of a four-story building ripped off by powerful winds.
            Oh, and did I mention that a giant construction crane was blown off a 90-story building, and at press time, was still dangling from the top of that building in Manhattan?
            But do you know what part of all of this was the weirdest for me?
            The fact that all of this was happening in the North, when it normally happens here in the South.
            Normally, it’s my family back in Brooklyn who is calling me when they see reports of tornadoes or hurricanes reeking havoc here in North Carolina.  So it weirded me out this week to be telling my Aunt Millie, “Make sure you have enough water; protect your windows against strong winds; prepare yourself for when the power goes out, because it will go out.”
            But for the grace of GOD…
            HEROES - We conveniently forget the brave men and women of law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical personnel, and yes, news media, who function at their highest capacity during disasters - natural or otherwise. They all take life-threatening risks the rest of us would never think of.
            And let’s face it - in tomes of real trouble, there’s no one else to turn to.
            So we owe all of our public safety personnel and news media, who function at the highest standard in times of extreme need, the biggest thanks. Always being there when we need you is something that should be deeply appreciated by all of us.
            OUT IN THE WIND - I’ve been involved in a raging debate online about how far television news should go to bring us the story when natural disasters strike. Some folks see no reason to have some reporter standing in 60 mph winds and rain, telling us what’s going on where they are.
            The argument is, we can see and hear what’s going on, so why do we need someone out there risking their lives to tell us?
            Simple, because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs.
            A real reporter just doesn’t tell me what I can see and hear, but what I can’t, and is important for me to know. Don’t get me wrong, this can be abused, and many viewers, and even other reporters say that it has. They feel that when a reporter puts him or herself in danger unnecessarily, all they’re doing is hyping the story.
            I don’t disagree that, at times, that happens, primarily because of TV competition for ratings. But by and large, most journalists I know want to go back home to their families after the hurricane is over.
            They are all very competitive. They want their coverage to be the best. They know that exciting pictures, along with the good information, makes for the best news coverage. Their job is to get exactly that.
            Of course risks must always be measured, and common sense always employed.
            But ultimately, when you get into the business, you signed up to always do you best. Period!
            Now if you have a problem with that, then simply turn someplace else.
            But I admire the journalists who have real ink in their veins, and do whatever it takes to get the story, and get it right. Because when you do that, only then are you really doing your job!
            MICKEY TO BUY DARTH VADER - Great news this week that Disney studios has agreed to purchase Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises for $4.05 billion. Even greater news that Disney is committed to make more Star Wars movies every two or three years, starting in 2015.  The last one, “Revenge of the Stith,” was made in 2005, and was supposed to be the last ever by producer George Lucas. Lucas will become a creative consultant under Disney’s helm.
            Disney isn’t kidding, is it? It purchased Marvel Studios, which makes “Iron Man” and “The Avengers,” and Disney also owns Pixar Studios, maker of “Toy Story.”
            So expect to see more movies, and perhaps more Star Wars special programming on Disney’s cable channels.
            QUEEN LATIFAH SHOW - Look for actress/rapper Queen Latifah’s new syndicated talk show next fall. It’s executive produced by Latifah, Will Smith and Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Go to the show’s website to learn more at It even has a countdown clock until the show begins.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.


            [GREENSBORO]  Over 1.2 million people across North Carolina have taken advantage of One Stop Early Voting, election officials say. But with the high numbers have also come schemes and bad behavior at the polls. In a letter to county elections supervisors across the state, Gary Bartlett, executive director of the NC Board of Elections, wrote, “"I have heard more complaints, more misinformation and more what I call intimidation or suppression than any time during my tenure.” Bartlett was referring to reports of people electioneering inside the mandated 50-foot buffer zone, or literally just changing it. Partisan supporters are cussing each other, and one person was physically injured at a Wake County polling place. He also noted several attempts to mislead or intimidate voters. “It seems like civility is not on the forefront for some of these folks," Bartlett said. "We need to make sure they do not do anything to the voter or the precinct official.”

            [CHARLOTTE] Saying that Franklin Graham has been “seduced by the sirens of money and power,” NCNAACP Pres. Rev. William Barber, joined by a group of black ministers, blasted the conservative evangelist for his stated support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Rev. Barber was particularly critical of the removal of Mormonism from a list of cults by Graham’s organization. Romney is a Mormon. Rev. Dr. Gregory Moss, one of the black ministers with Rev. Barber, said the issue was Romney’s faith, but that Graham was being hypocritical. “To change your mind for political expediency lend you hypocritical and morally bankrupt,” Rev. Moss said.

            The Association of North Carolina Alphamen will hold its annual Miss Black and Gold Pageant Saturday, Nov. 3rd at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Winston-Salem. Ten beautiful and talented women representing Alpha Phi Alpha Chapters from HBCU’s across the state will compete for the title of Miss Black and Gold 2012.  The winner will represent the association at the 2013 Southern Regional Pageant in Mobile Alabama. The public is invited to attend.


            Coats Cause We Care” is a community service event where individuals, along with private and public sector organizations, provide new or gently used/clean coats for children in the Raleigh area. The goal is to collect 500 coats. Citizens can drop off children’s coats at any City of Raleigh community center, or the Raleigh Police Substation at 1601-30 Crosslink Road now through November 10th. The coats will be distributed on Nov. 10th at the Sgt. Courtney T. Johnson Community Center; 1801 Proctor Street; Raleigh, NC 27610 from 11 .m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact Grady Bussey, director at the Sgt. Johnson Center at 919-831-6719.

            The historic storm that killed over 50 people in New York, New Jersey and other northeastern states, and caused billions in flooding, power outages and high wind destruction earlier this week, was kind to North Carolina in comparison. The North Carolina coast experienced heavy rain and strong winds. The Outer Banks experienced some flooding and high winds. In Western NC, four to eight inches of snow fell in the mountains. In areas like the Triangle, cold temperatures, wind and rain dominated Sunday through Tuesday.

             A homeless man who was not allowed to board a Raleigh CAT bus last Friday evening on New Bern Avenue, was accidentally killed when he reportedly fell while getting off, and the bus rolled over him. Raleigh police identify the victim as Wade Junior McCray, 65. Police say McCray apparently fell against the bus after he got off. The driver didn’t see him fall before pulling off. No charges have been filed. McCray was not allowed to board the bus because the driver determined he may have been drinking.

Monday, October 22, 2012


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                                    W-ed - COUNCIL OF STATE ELECTIONS

            One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration is underway in North Carolina now until Nov. 3rd. That means unless you plan to cast your ballots on Election Day, Nov. 6th, you’ll have just over a week to cast your ballot.
            Contact your county Board of Elections to determine the days and times of operation.
            As always, this newspaper will make recommendations about the candidates we endorse for public office. Of course, we hope that our readers and community are closely following all of the candidates on the ballot, and make their ultimate choices based on competence and record, not party.
            This is a pivotal election in so many ways, not just for the state, but also for our nation, and ultimately our children. Our community made history in 2008 with the election of the first African-American president.
            Now, in 2012, we must secure our future.
            Make sure that you, your friends and family vote. It means that much.

            Let’s be blunt - the only real hope that Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton has in his race for governor against Republican Pat McCrory is an overwhelming Democratic turnout for him at the polls that pollsters just haven’t picked up on yet.
            Dalton is not the most exciting candidate ever to run for governor. Neither is McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte. But at least with Dalton is closer to our community’s issues and way of thinking than is McCrory.
            Republican McCrory has made it no secret that he can’t wait to to get in bed with the GOP leaders of the NC General Assembly to make voter ID law, make fracking legal, and cut education even further than Republicans have already.
            We’ve seen what hell can be produced by a Republican-led General Assembly. If it wasn’t for the courageous actions of Gov. Beverly Perdue in using her veto pen, we’d all be lining up with our driver’s licenses just to prove our citizenship now.
            McCrory’s advantage in this race is that he started early in building a campaign war chest way back in 2008 when he lost his first attempt at the governor’s office, so there was no way Dalton, or any other Democrat for that matter, could have met the challenge dollar for dollar.
            But make no mistake, North Carolina will sink to the level of Mississippi with a Gov. McCrory and Republican Legislature at the helm.
            A Gov. Dalton wouldn’t be perfect - he’s a little to moderate for us, and is too willing to make deals where his veto pen should suffice. But he is a good man, an experienced legislator, and we believe that if GOP leaders try to run all over him like they tried to do with Gov. Perdue, Dalton, like Perdue, will give them a taste of his veto pen.
            Let’s shock the experts. Tell your friends to join you at the polls to vote Walton Dalton, Democrat for governor.

                                    NC COUNCIL OF STATE INCUMBENTS

            Many people are unaware of exactly who the NC Council of State are, and what is it that they do.
            Simply put, the Council of State is made up of the Lt. Gov. and the eight elected heads of the major North Carolina state agencies - Dept. of Public Instruction; state Treasurer’s Office; Attorney General’s Office; Secretary of State’s Office; Commissioner of Labor; Commissioner of Agriculture; Commissioner of Insurance; and state Auditor’s Office.
            Beyond running their own state agencies, the council members collectively decide issues dealing with the sale of public properties and capital punishment.
            It is our considered opinion that all of the incumbent members of the NC Council of State have served the citizens on North Carolina well, and deserve re-election.
            The only member of the council who is a current exception is Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who is running to become the state’s next governor.
            Given that, this paper wholeheartedly endorses Linda Coleman,  who has served as a state representative; director of the State Office of Personnel; Wake County commissioner, and even a teacher, among other roles. There is no question about her dedication to the people of North Carolina, or ability to navigate state government.
            Coleman would make an excellent  lieutenant governor.
            What we like about the list of other NC Council of State incumbents is that it is a mix of Democrats and Republicans.
            We see no reason why Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, a Republican, couldn’t be returned to office. We see her smiling face on every elevator in the state, and thus far she’s done a good job.
            Steve Troxler, another Republican, can be credited for a smoothly run Agriculture Dept. and 2012 NC State Fair. As long as he continues to do a good job for the people of NC, and particularly our farmers, we’re OK with him serving another four years.
            The rest of the Council of State members are Democrats, and to various degrees, they’ve all served well.
            State Attorney General Roy Cooper must be doing a good job because he’s running unopposed.
            State Auditor Beth Wood is responsible for exposing waste and inefficiencies in state government, and she’s done that. Her Republican challenger, Debra Goldman, is a Wake County Board member who is currently involved in an embarrassing sex scandal with another Wake School Board member. Ms. Goldman has no experience as a certified public accountant, and admittedly keeps $130,000 in cash in jewelry in her home because found it difficult to get money from banks after 9/11 to pay her bills.
            Ms. Goldman has problems, suffice it to say. State Auditor Beth Wood deserves re-election.
            Another Republican Wake School Board member who also has considerable problems is John Tedesco. The Tea Party-backed candidate for superintendent of NC Public Instruction believes in racially-identifiable neighborhood schools, which means if Tedesco has his way, high poverty schools in communities of color would be the law of the land here in NC.
            Also, it doesn’t help Tedesco that he once wrote that he knows how to educate black children because he’s had a few African-American “ex-girlfriends.”
            Tedesco has so much baggage, there can be no doubt that incumbent state Supt. June Atkinson, who is touting dramatic improvements in North Carolina’s graduation rate at over 80 percent under her leadership, deserves to continue her work for the people of North Carolina.
            Add to that re-election list Treasurer Janet Cowell; Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin; and Sec. of State Elaine Marshall, and we believe that North Carolina will remain in good hands for the next four years.
            In all, make sure you vote by Nov. 6th.

GET OUT AND VOTE - Community organizer Grady Bussey, seen here with his two sons - Jakobe, 11 (left) and Isaiah, 9 (center) - poses at Chavis Community Center after leading a march and rally of "Souls to the Polls" early voters there Sunday. Over 500 people cast ballots there that day, Bussey says.  Early Voting ends Nov. 3rd [photo courtesy of Grady Bussey]

By Cash Michaels
An analysis

            Normally the race for NC superintendent of Public Instruction is uneventful, given Democrat June Atkinson’s record of re-election.
            But this year Atkinson, who is vying for her third term, is faced with a Republican opponent who is arguably more politician than educator, and isn’t ashamed to say it. In fact, John Tedesco, the unabashed Tea Party candidate seeking to unseat Atkinson, says the main problem with the state’s public school system is that experienced educators like Atkinson have had a monopoly over it, and the results are nowhere near what they should be.
            That may be true, but if Tedesco’s own controversial record on the Wake Board of Education is any indication, his ability to lead the state to educational heights are also in question.
            Indeed, many political observers say Tedesco, who came to power with the rest of the Republican Wake School Board majority in Dec. 2009, is just using his statewide run while he’s still serving his first term as a stepping stone to higher office, like governor.
            The politically ambitious Tedesco has never denied it.
            Supt. Atkinson has been in office since 2005. With 35 years of educational experience, Atkinson has served in virtually every capacity, from teacher to principal to a developer of curriculums.
As the state superintendent of Public Instruction, Atkinson’s job is to lead statewide initiatives in improving teaching and learning for 1.5 million students across North Carolina; setting curriculum standards; establish accountability measures for local public school systems, and ensure that the state’s graduation rate improved every year.
She has a bachelor's degree in Business Education from Radford University, a master's degree in Vocational and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from North Carolina State University.
Tedesco, on the other hand, has very little by way of educational accomplishment beyond being elected to the Wake School Board in 2009, and being elected it’s vice chair for a short period before Wake voters ushered in a Republican majority.
In debate after debate with Atkinson, Tedesco, a conservative Republican, maintains his support for race-based neighborhood schools. It was the goal he sought when elected to the Wake Board.
Tedesco touts that he heads up a nonprofit educational group, but since its inception over a year ago, it has done very little beyond setting up a website and asking for contributions.
In Wake County, Tedesco is seen as a divisive figure. So divisive, in fact, that during the Wake School Board election runoff of 2011, the fact that he would become the chair of the school board if Republicans maintained a majority became a potent campaign issue.
In his personal bio, Tedesco maintains that after graduating college, he became “city manager” in New Jersey from 2000 to 2002. But a Carolinian Newspaper investigation determined that in fact, Tedesco was the Borough Administrator of the small town of Highlands, NJ, which had a 2000 US Census population of just 5,097 when Tedesco served there.
In Sept. 2002, according to the Asbury Park Press, Tedesco was fired by the five-member Highlands Borough Council “immediately” because he didn’t provide the leadership the council sought, and “the council has had an issue with the timeliness of Tedesco’s performance.”
In a statement, Tedesco blamed his termination on politics.
During his years on the Wake School Board, Tedesco has attacked the NCNAACP for protesting his drive for racially identifiable neighborhood schools; has spoken before numerous Tea Party groups across North Carolina; and has publicly attacked fellow Wake Board member Debra Goldman, calling her a “prom queen” and “Ms. Pinky Hairdo” during a televised board session.
Tedesco has been skewered by satirist Stephen Colbert on Colbert’s Comedy Central show for his neighborhood schools stance.
“Luckily, Tedesco is a part of a group of Tea Party-backed Republican school board members who recently voted for Wake County schools to go back to the old system of separate neighborhood schools to better teach the kids the three R’s - readin’, ritlin’, and resegregatin’,” Colbert deadpanned.
And US Education Secretary Arne Duncan blasted called the Tedesco-backed policy “troubling” in a Washington Post letter to the editor.
In one of his most outrageous acts, Tedesco wrote in an open letter that he knew more about educating black children because he had “a few ex-girlfriends who were African-American and Latino.”
Tedesco accuses Supt. Atkinson of being part of the “education establishment.”
Supt. Atkinson says Tedesco is “inexperienced” and has caused “chaos,” neither of which North Carolina needs right now. She touts the most recent figures of 80.4 percent of North Carolina seniors graduating as the kind of upward improvement her administration is responsible for. When she first took office in 2006, the graduation rate was just 68.3 percent.

By Cash Michaels

            As they did during the early days of One Stop-Early Voting in 2008, black Democratic female voters are once again leading the early voting charge in North Carolina.
            According to the latest figures available at presstime Wednesday from the NC Board of Elections (NCBOE), of the 816,015 absentee ballots cast thus far since Oct. 18th, 51.3 percent are by Democrats; 30.2 percent are Republican, and a significant 18.4% are from unaffiliated voters, who are considered the decisive key if Democrats and Republicans dead heat at the polls on Election Day Nov. 6th.
            Of all registered voters, 4,702,559 are white, while 1,473,221 are black. There are 411,912 that are categorized as “other”.
            On the first day of One Stop - Early voting alone across the state surpassed the 117,277 on first day of the 2008 early voting, with about 120,000.
            Per One Stop -Early voters, NCBOE records as of Oct. 24th show 138,546 ballots cast by African-American female Democrats, compared to just 89,472 white female Democrats; 64,361 white male Democrats, and 81,276 black male Democrats.
            Contrast that to One-Stop Early Voters on the GOP side.
            Black females - 1,439; white female - 95,433; black males - 1,397; and white males - 91,954.
            The strong early voting turnout has resulted in long lines at early voting sites across the state, prompting Gary Bartlett, elections supervisor with the NC Board of Elections to write county BOE’s, asking them to consider implementing longer early voting hours and more days.
            "The wait time at some sites is as long as 2 hours. County Boards should take immediate steps to alleviate these delays and facilitate a more efficient voting process for North Carolina voters," Bartlett wrote to all 100 county BOE’s.
            So far, no indication that any will comply.
            Leaders with state Democratic Party and Obama campaign are delighted with the turnout numbers thus far.
            We are pleased with the turnout so far but we have a long way to go,” said Walton Robinson, communications director with the NC Democratic Party. “This will be a close election so the success of these efforts gives us confidence that President Obama and Democrats up and down the ticket will be victorious in November but we intend to continue calling and knocking doors to get as many voters to the polls early as we can.”
            Robinson pointed to several indicators showing strong Democratic response:
                    - Youth (18-24) turnout is up 20 percent from 2008
                          - African-American turnout is up 30 percent from 2008
  - Democratic turnout is up 15 percent from 2008
Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina told reporters this week that the Tar Heel State is still “absolutely in play,” despite widespread reports that have already placed North Carolina in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s win column.
Campaign advisor David Axelrod echoed Messina.
“We are doubling down, we are not pulling back at all,” Axelrod told reporters this week. “Anybody who thinks [North Carolina is] in the bag (for Republican challenger Mitt Romney) are half in the bag themselves.”
The campaign still touts its ground game, fueled by 54 field offices across the state, compared to just 22 for the Romney campaign, to ensure voter turnout. That strategy, coupled with a strong voter registration drive, was credited with Obama winning North Carolina by just 14,000 votes in 2008.
 The president has not come to campaign to North Carolina since the Democratic National Convention during the first week in September. However, both First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice Pres. Joe Biden have campaigned in the state twice since then.


            [PILOT MOUNTAIN] The Republican state senator, who defiantly stood up against any payments to victims of state sponsored forced sterilizations, has died. Sen. Don East of Surry County died Monday after being hospitalized with back problems, published reports say. Sen. East served seven terms in the state Senate. He was previously a Surry county commissioner and a police officer in Winston Salem. Last June, Sen. East helped to block a vote on compensation for eugenics victims when he said, “You just can’t rewrite history. It was a sorry time in this country. I’m so sorry it happened, but throwing money don’t change it, don’t make it go away. It still happened.”

            [CHARLOTTE] Published reports say Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory solid double -digit lead over Democratic Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton has given the Democratic Governors Association so much consternation that it has backed off purchasing any more ads for Dalton’s campaign less than two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 6th. The DGA has so far spent only $2.6 million of the original $5 million it had promised Dalton.  In contrast, the Republican Governors Association has spent approximately $4.7 million for McCrory. The Dalton campaign can only count on a strong voter turnout now for it to have any chance of defeating McCrory.

            [RALEIGH] According to state officials, 965,297 people attended the 2012 NC State Fair over its eleven-day period, making it the third largest in North Carolina history. Bad weather and a tight economy may account for the depressed turnout. The top attendance ever was in 2010 with 1,091,887, and in 2011 with 1,007,173.

Friday night, Broughton High School will celebrate the life of Corporal Darrion Hicks, who was killed in Afghanistan in July. Darrion was a 2009 graduate of Broughton High. There will be a ceremony starting at 6:40pm on the football field prior to the Broughton and Sanderson football game. Hicks’ family will be there. Any active duty military in uniform or veterans who would like to participate are asked to assemble at the field by 6:15. They will join the Broughton JROTC on the field as the NC National Guard honor guard presents a flag to the family.
         Reports of an alleged illicit sexual affair in 2010 between Republican Wake School Board members Debra Goldman and Chris Malone have cast a looming shadow over both of their statewide campaigns for higher office.  Both were married with children at the time. The News and Observer reported Sunday that the alleged affair was uncovered when Goldman, who is running for state auditor, told Cary Police in 2010 that she suspected Malone of stealing $130,000 in cash and jewelry from her home. Reportedly, GOP leaders were aware of the allegations, and have now distanced themselves from Goldman. Both Malone, who is running for the NC House from Wake Forest, and Goldman say they will stay in their races.
         Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane formally endorsed President Barack Obama Tuesday. Mayor McFarlane said the president is commitment to investing in America’s infrastructure for growth, in addition to education and technological innovation. Many polls have already given North Carolina to Republican challenger Mitt Romney, but the Obama campaign says its ground game in North Carolina will win the state on Nov. 6th.
By Cash Michaels
               I VOTED - I early-voted last Friday. So I can run my mouth now all I want. Your turn! Get to it!

            GOOD MEDIA, BAD LIARS - During this election season we’re seeing a lot of garbage, trash, and just plain lying on our television sets and in major market newspapers.
            Clearly after last week’s second debate between Pres. Obama and Republican Mitt Romney - a debate that Pres. Obama clearly won in style and factual points - the right-wing media like Fox News tried to muddy up the water by claiming that Romney was correct in falsely alleging that the president did not call the Bengazi. Libya attacks that killed four Americans an “act of terror,” which he did twice immediately after, video shows.
            After this week’s third presidential debate on foreign policy, the president clearly dominated, but of course, Fox News and the conservative media wouldn’t hear of it, and gave points to Romney for just showing up.
            But standouts in making the case for truth have been the crew at MSNBC, and specifically Chris Matthews of “Hardball”; Rev. Al Sharpton of “PoliticsNation”; Ed Schultz of “The Ed Show”; Lawrence O’Donnell of “The Last Word’; and definitely, absolutely my girl Rachel Maddow of the “Rachel Maddow Show.” The MSNBC team has been nailing Fox and the other pretenders to the wall, and rightfully so.
            But I would be amiss if I also didn’t note CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on her daily “Starting Point” program. When Republican spinmeisters like John Sununu and Rudy Guiliani come on and try to lie their way through, O’Brien puts up a definite roadblock and straightens them out.
            That takes guts, and we applaud O’Brien for standing up to these clowns.
            We want to see more of that type of journalism, even when Democrats get out of hand.
            Spin at your own risks.
THIRTEEN DAYS TO GO - With thirteen days left before the Nov. 6th  elections, I have to start this column by asking this question - if you’re not going to vote, for whatever the reason, do you realize how you’re playing yourself.
            You see, most people don’t want to vote because they don’t want to give power to someone else they perceive as not deserving it.
            Problem is, when you don’t vote, that’s exactly what you’re doing anyway.
            Think about it. There are powerful interests here in North Carolina, and across the nation, who are working feverishly, and spending tens of millions of dollars, to deny you your right to vote.
            Because they’ve seen what your vote can do when you come together with other ordinary citizens to make a difference.
            They are literally afraid that you will do that again, so in every state in this nation, they’ve come up with ways suppress your vote. If not voter ID, then it’s cutting the early voting days and hours. If it’s not that, then it’s sending pollwatchers to each state to challenge black voters at their voting precincts.
            And if all else fails, then they try to get your pastor to tell you to sit this election out just because he (or she) has a biblical disagreement with one of the candidates.
            So many people just lining up to stop you from casting your vote. Shouldn’t that tell you something? Shouldn’t that tell you just how powerful you are, and your vote is?
            And wouldn’t it be so very, very stupid if you just gave up that power, and didn’t vote?
            Guess what? If there is a leak in your house, a small problem compared to everything that could go wrong, you don’t just stop living there. You fix the leak, right?
            If there is somebody in your family that you have a disagreement with, you don’t just never talk to them again. You deal with the problem, even pray for them. Yes, you may yell, scream and holler, but at the end of the day, you’re still family, and you still love each other, agree to disagree, and continue to love each other.
            So if you don’t make rash decisions in those circumstances, why are you so quick
to demand that a certain candidate had better agree with you on everything, or else you refuse to support him?
            Folks we are not voting fo perfect people here. If you agree with a candidate on eight out of ten things, guess what, that’s not a bad record. Six out of ten is decent. But the fact of the matter is someone is going to occupy that office, and it’s better that they basically be for you than against you.
            If you take yourself completely out of the process, you have nothing tp say when the pain comes. Yes, in many cases, the pain is already here, but why make it worse, especially for your children?
            In Nov. 201o we did not go to the polls. Other people did, and look what happened? We have more divided government than ever before.
            If you want that to change, you don’t do it by allowing the troublemakers to stay in office. You vote in more good people to help the ones who are outnumbered.
            One more thing…do you feel in your heart that GOD wants you to stay home and not vote? Do you really, because if you do, you’re wrong. GOD gave you choice to do something, not to sit still and count yourself out.
            Look at the issues, look at the candidates, then vote for who, and what is important to you.
            You are needed, and your vote, and opinion, is valuable.
            Be heard. Tens of thousands of others in our community are stepping up.
            I stepped up last Friday.
            Now it’s your turn.
            Do it!
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.