Rachel Lea Hunter Winning More Fans
'Your Time Has Come'
"[Rachel] Your Time Has Come", Gene Banks (Duke Basketball Legend)
Over the weekend I had the opportunity of meeting Gene Banks. I have only started to become interested in ACC basketball and I had not heard of him before. For those who, like me, are unknowing, he is a Duke graduate who led the team from 1978 to 1981. After graduation, he played professional basketball for the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls before retiring. He then served as a player and coach in Europe before returning here.
Since coming back, he has worked with disadvantaged youth. And he does not do it with public funds. He does it because he sees a need and he fills it. His wife unfortunately passed away because of multiple sclerosis and he is involved in that charity as well. I applaud these efforts and find that these are all worthwhile endeavors.
He is a true gentleman and wished me success in the campaign. In fact, he said "Rachel, your time has come." I think my time HAS come. However, I am not egotistical and have no hubris, but I am confident and optimistic that this will happen if it was meant to happen.
Things have been occurring in North Carolina at a rapid pace. The governor has appointed Justice Parker as chief justice. I do appeals so I have not had the pleasure of practicing before Justice Parker's opponent. However, I have spoken to lawyers that have and they have confirmed what I had already known. I do not think we need an individual like this on our Supreme Court and Justice Parker has the best chance of defeating him. I wish her good luck and success in her campaign.
Judge Timmons-Goodson resigned from the Court of Appeals. However, the governor has appointed her to fill the seat held by Justice Parker. I have not had an opportunity to meet her, but she is a Democrat, a female and an African-American. This was a good choice.
I see that another candidate, Judge Ann Marie Calabria, has entered the race for the seat held by Justice Wainwright, who has not yet announced publicly that he intends to step down. Her entry has led me to wonder about a few things. Prior to her entry, there was only Judge Robin Hudson, the only female. Now the Republican Party knows that a female is likely to prevail, so they persuaded Judge Calabria to run.
Why her? Yes, she is female and a Republican. She also has a last name that starts with "C." That means that she will be above the other candidates on the ballot and voters are sometimes likely to choose the first person.
What then will be their strategy in my race? I have played chess since I was a child. Whether its chess or the law, a good chess player or good attorney will try and figure out what his or her opponent will do. And in chess, a player will try and make this decision not only for one move, but many moves ahead.
What will the Republican Party do? Unlikely that the Republicans will enter another candidate, as Justice Martin is the Republican choice. And that would split the Republican vote, so they are not likely to select that option. So what will they do?
The only solution that I have come up with is that they will scour the field and find someone who either is a Republican who will "switch" parties and run as a Democrat or else they will find a willing Democrat. But they will not just find anyone. They will need a woman who has a name that starts before my last name.
This brings up another question - why are the Republicans SO determined to defeat me, a relative nobody and only one vote on the court? Why indeed? I have thought about this question since last year. It boils down to one man - Art Pope, who controls the Republican Party. The term megalomaniac has been defined as a "delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur." You can decide for yourselves whether this term is apt.
Art Pope, Master of the NCGOP
Mr. Pope has a desire to control everything in this state. He believes that this really is a "Republican" state and that he controls all the levers of power. He controls some of the major radio stations and newspapers, as they conveniently write stories that he wants to be printed. He was behind the charge to unseat House Speaker Jim Black, which as pundits were forced to admit, does not seem to be going anywhere. Yes, the tactics to push the legislation forward were ham-handed, but there is no criminality and most people are in favor of the lottery and want to know when they can buy their ticket.
Art Pope has many fronts, too. He is behind the John William Pope Civitas Institute, the Pope Center, Americans for Prosperity, Carolina Journal, and the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law and the lawsuit trying to stop the lottery, just to name a few. He is behind the effort to repeal the gas tax. He donated to Vance County recently, after Frank Ballance was sentenced. Was this a "thank you" for getting rid of Frank and Gary Ballance?
Art Pope approves of who will or will not be certain candidates. He approves of Justice Martin and Judge Calabria. He was instrumental in getting Jan Pueschel elected as Clerk of Court in Wake County. I am not approved of and for that reason I was attacked.
I thought the attacks would lessen since I left the party, but they have not. It's always a new band of insects that comes crawling out of the woodwork only to be swatted by me before they go scurrying back to their holes.
And then there is the lawsuit. What lawsuit, you ask? It seems that Art Pope and his siblings conveyed their interests from variety stores, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., to a trust. Art Pope's brother then married but passed away unexpectedly. Apparently the decedent's wife wants her share of the estate and also is seeking the deceased's share of the trust, which is worth approximately $50 million. I have not looked at the specifics of the case and cannot discuss the merits of it. However, I do know that the parties are fighting over a nice chunk of change and that both parties have money and are well represented, so this case will undoubtedly be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Suit was filed sometime last year and I have not received further information on it.
Which brings me back to the issue of control. What better way to ensure an absolute victory than by buying a justice? Or a whole slate of them, or at least enough to ensure a victory?
This sounds like the Pelican Brief, to those familiar with the novelist, John Grisham. I admit this is speculation on my part. But I do know that whether it's a desire to control everything in this state or whether it's a desire to control the court, I am not someone that is acceptable to Art Pope and that I must be stopped at all costs. So look for them to try to place another female candidate in this race. And look for them to abandon their other candidates and focus their attention on defeating me.
I mentioned a list of candidates that I had found who are running for various offices in North Carolina. Yet another has surfaced; he is Larry Kissell, running for the 8th Congressional district (www.larrykissell.com). I do not try and get involved when there are several Democrats for a seat. I met Mr. Kissell last year at a holiday party. I also met one of his opponents, Mark Ortiz. I think Mr. Ortiz' heart is in the right place. He is as opposed to the war in Iraq as I am. However, as he admitted, Mr. Kissell may be more acceptable to the voters. I think he is right.
US Congressional Candidate Larry Kissell speaks with Rachel at a recent dinner.
Mr. Kissell seemed to waiver on the war issue and whether we should pull the troops out, but he is starting to come round and accepts the position articulated by Jack Murtha. And the other Democratic candidate in the race, Timothy Dunn, who is pro-war, seems to be self-destructing. If Mr. Kissell maintains an anti-war stance, he is another who would get my support.
Many of you did not receive my last email because of a technical problem in the service that I used. For those who received it, bear with me for repeating myself. For those who did not receive it, the message was as follows in relevant part:
s you know, I set up a PAC last year; it's called the Madame Justice PAC. (www.madamejustice.org) The purpose of the PAC was to find and fund good candidates who are committed to responsible government and who are against the war in Iraq. I told you that I would find good candidates. I have. . . .
Thomas Paine urged the American colonists to fight. The Americans were fighting the mightiest army on the Earth at that time. They struggled and sacrificed and endured many hardships and brutalities. The Americans eventually won the day by their sacrifice.
I am not asking you to endure the level of suffering that the American colonists endured. But I am asking you to make some level of sacrifice. If you can afford to give, give generously. Even if you can only afford to give a small amount, give what you can when you can. Your sacrifice is deeply appreciated.
To this I would add that it costs money to run websites and blog ads. It takes money to have a campaign manager. It takes money to run television commercials. It takes money to have bumper stickers and campaign literature. It takes money to oppose someone who is so determined to stop me, like Art Pope. Whether it is to help the candidates and contribute to the PAC or to myself, please do so. We need your help to take back our country before it is too late.
One final note. In the movie, "The Gladiator," Oliver Reed's character talks to Maximus before he goes to fight in the Roman Coliseum. He was an old gladiator himself and he gives Maximus a piece of sound advice. He tells him that he will win his liberty if he wins the fans. That is what we are doing every day - "winning the fans" in the hopes that we will be successful in winning the election.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice