Skip to comments.NC: Politicianís campaign tactics questioned [re: Cobey, Peaslee]
Posted on 06/07/2004 5:32:18 AM PDT by Constitution Day
Politician's campaign tactics questioned
Former N.C. GOP leader accused of unfairly using party resources to bolster bid for governor
RALEIGH, N.C. GOP rivals are accusing former N.C. Republican Party chairman Bill Cobey of unfairly using the party's common resources and staff to boost his bid for governor.
Supporters or aides to three other Republican candidates for governor Southern Pines insurance executive George Little, former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot and former state Sen. Patrick Ballantine of Wilmington complain Cobey is using party mailing lists and e-mail lists in his campaign to win the party's nomination in the July 20 primary.
"It is fairly obvious that, one way or another, the lists, contacts the proprietary information - ended up in the hands of the Cobey campaign," said Jack Hawke, a former Republican Party chairman and a strategist for Little.
Cobey's spokesman said the claims of cooperation are not true. The Cobey campaign has compiled its own address lists, spokesman Jeff Miller said.
Cobey's competitors also said the fact that the state Republican Party's chief of staff, Bill Peaslee, set up Cobey's Web site is evidence that state party staffers are helping Cobey instead of staying neutral in the party primary.
The current party chairman said no staff member is helping a candidate while they are on the party clock.
Cobey, Ballantine, Little and Vinroot are among six candidates for the Republican nomination. The other two are state Sen. Fern Shubert of Union County and Davie County Commissioner Dan Barrett.
When Hawke was state chairman from 1987 to 1995, he inserted fake or uniquely identifiable names into the party's mailing list, a technique known as "salting," to monitor how the list was used. Any time a political mailing showed up addressed to those names, Hawke knew the list was being used. He said several Cobey mailings have been sent to those addresses.
Jim Hastings, another former state party chairman who is backing Little, also "salted" the list and has received Cobey mailings to those names.
Republican state Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County, a Ballantine supporter, said he has received repeated e-mails from Cobey on a private e-mail address he provided to the state Republican Party.
"I've never given (Cobey) my e-mail address, but I get two or three e-mails a week," Rucho said. "That's my personal e-mail, not my legislative e-mail. If he's gotten my e-mail, he has it from the party."
Neeley, Vinroot's campaign manager, said Vinroot heard similar complaints starting in February.
Miller said no one on the Cobey campaign obtained mail or e-mail lists from the party.
"For anyone to make accusations like that is pure crap," Miller said.
Instead, the Cobey campaign has aggressively tapped into publicly available databases, such as lists of Republican donors at the state Board of Elections or the Federal Elections Commission, Miller said.
The "salted" names Hawke described would not show up on those public lists because the bogus contributors did not make any contributions. There was no money processed and recorded for state or federal filings. Only the names were placed on a mailing list.
The state Board of Elections and FEC lists also do not contain e-mail addresses.
Miller said Cobey supporters throughout the state have been asked to compile e-mail lists from friends, families and political activists.
Cobey's three competitors also complain that Peaslee set up Cobey's Web site.
Peaslee said he did so on his own time and on his own computer before Cobey announced his candidacy.
The Web site's registration information shows Peaslee registered the Web site at 4:35 p.m. July 16. News stories appeared the following day saying Cobey was considering a run for governor. He announced his candidacy July 21.
Peaslee has not registered domain names for any of the other five candidates in the primary.
Ferrell Blount, the N.C. Republican Party's chairman, said no staff member has used party resources to help any candidate. Blount said he has no control over what staffers do on their own time.
He said when he took over from Cobey, he made clear that "if anybody helped anybody in a primary, we weren't going to do that, and I would deal harshly with them."
Asked about Peaslee's Web work, Blount said: "What Bill Peaslee does on his own time is his own business."
this is more than an accusation its a fact!
Now I know.
me too pal....I mentioned this on our board awhile back...it aint right!
Not that Jack Hawke is exactly a scion of ethics, but Cobey's and Peaslee's use of the salted lists is pretty much a smoking gun.
Ferrell had better do something about Peaslee if he wants to maintain any sort of credibility. Right now he just looks like Cobey's stooge.
Yeah, he does.
I wasn't too thrilled about Cobey, a party hack, running for Gov, and this makes me even less so.
Bang, bang, bang! Oh, my fooooooot!
Here we go. You see, what is lost here and what should be receiving at least equal attention is that the NC GOP and all GOP candidates MUST be squeaky clean about all they do. I mean, you think there aren't similar stories to be told about the Dims and Weasley? But don't hold your breath waiting for the N&O, Charlotte Observer or the A.P. to report them.
Well, I don't know much about the Charlotte Observer, but we both know that the N&O is at the front of the NC Dem's claque.
I got an email from Cobey and also a solicitation letter. The only previous contact I've ever had w/him is sending in a donation to NC Republican Party.
I sincerely hope and pray that Cobey doesn't get the nod in the primary, I'd have to have an industrial pair of clamps to wear on my nose to vote for him in Nov.
"Above all, we must realise that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
-- President Ronald Regan
Although I'm not supporting Cobey, this is nothing new. I get e-mail from many candidates who never should have my e-mail address unless there's a lot of "sharing" going on. Cobey could have gotten his lists from the party, from people associated with different campaigns, or maybe even the RNC. Who knows. I never signed up for Ballantine e-mails either, or George Little, but I get junk from them too.
This is a list of email addresses (GOP or conservative) that I receive email from at the same email address that my Cobey email comes to. I have indicated with a star those to whom I know that I have given this particular address:
Ballantine for Governor
Myrick for Congress*
Winter Soldier Newsletter*
Southern Republican Leadership Conference rpof.org*
George W. Bush.com*
Barrett for Governor
Cumberland County GOP*
aim.org* Accuracy in Media
National Right to Life
American Anglican Council
If we all put up our lists, this may help us identify the root of the problem. I suspect someone is selling email lists.
*****If you choose to share your list, please DO NOT give out any exact email addresses.*****
I've only gotten a few unsolicited political emails -- I have several email addresses so it's hard to keep track of what I've signed up for where. I'm pretty sure Tech5/Barrett/et al "shares" email addies -- but let's be honest, we know people pass lists around to people they're supporting.
Edgecombe County GOP*
Free Republic Contributions*
Free Republic Network*
Geo. Little for Gov.
Bill Cobey for Gov.
Ballantine for Gov.*
Burr for Senate*
American Enterprise Institute*
American Conservative Union*
I omitted DC Chapter of Free Republic, which I gave my address to.
Lot of overlaps. If we get a few more lists, we may be able to narrow it down.
Does Tech 5 have all of the YR lists for the whole state?
Where do you suppose George Little is getting his list? He's not really well networked, is he?
...which is run by a Freeper who's no longer active here.
Do you get any unsolicited political email?
I already unsubscribed from some of them. I'll check it out tonight. And like I said, it's hard to remember what I signed up for -- and of course I signed up for Cobey's list. I don't think I'll be much help. I'm pretty sure my Michael Barrick (unsolicited but welcome) emails were via YRs/Tech5/etal.
thanks TR.....only NCGOP is on my list....thanks for what ya do!
For my fellow Freepers that havent had the privilage to meet MKM, let me assure you she donates a lot of time and energy to conservative grass roots! She is solid and true...and what she is saying bears the truth.
One big ATTAGIRL to ya! (PS to my pal johnny. I can say that cuz Im and old guy!)
Wow, R's tearing down fellow R's is so good and helps us beat D's so much! (sarcasm)
You've got a good point there, Z.
However, we also have an obligation to identify and to attempt to repair problems within the organization.
Is it really that bad for the candidates to share email lists with each other?
The GOPUSA website, for instance, makes no privacy promises.
Did all the candidates have access? I have a hunch there is going to more to this story as time goes bye. We shall see.. I wonder if any money was channeled to Cobey's campaign? HMMMMMMMmmm???
Over the weekend I got a message from the Virginia Foxx campaign, whom I definitely have never written. I yelled back about her endorsement of SPAM... That led to a rant on the NC locale page.
Did any of the other candidates even ask for access?
I don't think the problem is--candidates sharing emails. It's that one particular candidate receives help from the state party and also that he had access to the "list" BEFORE he announced his candidacy. I might also add that he had the privilege of knowing each candidates' plans and strategies. Each candidate confided in him, so he knows all their plans, while they know nothing about him.
Put it this way: He had access to every contributor, volunteer and the GOP base, including addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. He's taken unfair advantage of ALL the other candidates. This isn't right and it should be brought out into the open
Forwarded to us for distribution (cc: NCGOP Mr. Chairman Ferrell Blount, Pol Dir Mr. Bill Peaslee
To the Editor,
In your Under the Dome of June 3, Bill Peaslee, political director for the NCGOP, is quoted "I have not used my office and position in an inappropriate way...." I'm afraid that my wife and I would have to disagree with Bill in that we believe that he did use his office inappropriately on several occasions. (Before explaining further, I will tell you that we are supporters of Sen. Fern Shubert for Governor.)
Republican State Party officials and staff cannot use their positions to influence voters, but are permitted to privately participate. However, the reality is that for high level officials and staff it is nigh to impossible to separate the office from the person. Therefore the decorum for Party officials and staff is to practice neutrality and impartiality to prevent misunderstandings or misrepresentations.
Now, while we personally have knowledge and seriously concerned about the email list access, we are more concerned with phone calls Mr. Peaslee made discouraging gubernatorial candidates from running and offering them other positions if they would withdraw from the race. We have first hand knowledge of this and perceive this act as a de facto endorsement of a candidate and an expression of partiality; and we believe his communications were made in no other way than in his official capacity.
We have additional reasons to believe this. Phone calls were made by other Party officials on behalf of Bill Cobey and in an effort to "fix" straw polls and encourage candidates to concede the primaries; calls made by no other than Chairman Ferrell Blount and Vice Chairman Linda Daves. Ask them. They may not initially admit to it, but if you can provide them specific contacts made, they will tell you that these calls were personal and made as common Republicans. It would also be telling to know why it is that Bill Cobey possesses the Party email volunteer, activist and contributor data base while the other candidates are denied access?
One final note, as loyal Republicans on several occassions, we carried our concerns to the proper Party authorities, but our concerns were dismissed or denied.
(NCGOP Headquarters ph# 828-6423)