Local Politics

GOP Wake commissioners spurn League of Women Voters

Posted August 28, 2014

— The four Republican members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners have jointly decided to skip all voter forums this fall sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Commissioners Joe Bryan, Paul Coble, Rich Gianni and Phil Matthews recently sent a letter to LWV officials, saying they were already participating in several forums across Wake County before the Nov. 4 election that are "both broad in scope and bipartisan" and have no intention of adding LWV events on Sept. 17, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 to their schedules.

"While we appreciate your offer, we believe your group has a scope that is too narrow to adequately preserve the impartiality of the setting needed for a full and fair discussion of local issues," the commissioners said in the letter.

Meanwhile, the four commissioners, who are all up for re-election, were expected to participate in a Thursday night forum sponsored by the conservative Wake County Taxpayers Association.

LWV officials expressed dismay at the move, noting that the organization has sponsored candidate forums annually for at least 15 years.

Marian Lewin, chairwoman of the Wake County chapter of LWV, said the group has been nonpartisan since its founding in 1920. She also took exception to the commissioners' assertion that the group was involved in lawsuits against the county.

"The League of Women Voters is both appalled and discouraged that these four incumbent county commissioners have resorted to inaccurate accusations and are unwilling to jointly meet with voters in Wake County," Lewin said in a statement.

The conservative Civitas Institute also has urged Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis to drop out of a LWV-sponsored debate with Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

“Speaker Tillis should not be lending his stature to the League of Women Voters while they are working with left-wing groups standing in the way of beneficial legislation," Civitas President Francis DeLuca said in a statement, noting that LWV is part of lawsuits challenging redrawn legislative and congressional voting maps and a sweeping elections law that, among other provisions, would require voters to present photo identification at the polls.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Tammy Rush Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Fine. This woman voter will be spurning these GOP Wake commissioners in November.

  • Danny22 Aug 29, 2014

    Boo Hoo.

  • miseem Aug 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Exactly. It's called preaching to the choir. The problem with that is that the choir is already on your side. You need to get the congregation in on it also. And it seems like the commissioners only want to preach to their base, their choir. Eventually, the congregation will likely get rid of them.

  • Jerry Sawyer Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Why do we need a league of Women Voters? Why not a league of all Voters?

  • heelhawk Aug 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    i agree with your last sentence.... Tillis should back out. He should back out of the senate race and let a senator who has the interest of the people in mind vs fat cat donors and corporations continue to represent us.

  • John McCray Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Besause they are still members of the Commissioners constituents. In essence, these politicians are saying your opinion doesn't matter because it doesn't line up with my ideology.

  • rlwieland Aug 29, 2014

    I agree with their decision completly. Why waste your time with a group that has no intention of lending support no matter what u say or do if u have an R by your name. This group is also hostile to many things these guys were elected ted to do. Proud of them for not bowing to a waste of time and pressure. Great job! Now Tills needs to back out also.

  • Eq Videri Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Shouldn't all incumbents be willing to attend just about any candidate forum? Politicians with guts and grace will both defend their records and listen to criticism and questions. This move is disappointing, and probably self-defeating.

  • Gary_too Aug 29, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Just a 'bi-partisan' as the LWV, p[art of the 'cripple and eviscerate' Blueprint NC.

  • rand321 Aug 29, 2014

    The GOP wants to be right wing extremists made up of angry white men. No moderates, no women, no Hispanics, no people of color, etc.

    The GOP seems to be more the party of NO!!!

    If they wish to get to 270 come 2016 and keep liberals out of the WH, they have to become more inclusive.