Bruce Lightner's full statement
Posted May 26, 2010 4:44 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2010 4:45 p.m. EDT
Bruce Lightner released the following statement about Jesse Helms' FBI file:
As a rule, I generally do not have anything to say about dead people but it seems as if 'Ol Jess is effecting us ... even from the grave.
First, Mayor Clarence Lightner was the most loyal Democrat you could find anywhere in North Carolina. His whole life was spent working to get Black citizens to exercise their right to vote. I can say, without any reservation or equivocation whatsoever that my Dad would never do anything to suppress anyone from voting. My Daddy, like most African Americans did not like or agree with anything Jesse Helms stood for. Period.
For the FBI or anyone to say that my father was offered or accepted money to try and influence Black citizens not to vote, and that this would benefit Senator Helms' reelection is on it's face ridiculous and absurd to the furthest degree possible. Clarence Lightner, under any circumstances would have never... ever ... helped Jesse Helms do anything. That just would not have happened. If there were ever two polar opposites in Raleigh it was Jesse Helms and Clarence Lightner.
For those old enough to have known my father know that he was principled, honest, beyond approach, unbought and unbossed. Let's just file this away in the Jesse Helms garbage can.