On the Campaign Trail Without
the Elite Judicial Boys Club
February 8, 2006
Dear Friends and Voters:
Over the holidays we were treated to revelations of this administration listening to phone conversations and reading email, ostensibly of terrorists, without bothering to get a warrant. We also heard the term "unitary executive" bandied about. "Unitary executive" is a theory that all power should be concentrated in the president. It is a doctrine created earlier that has been dusted off by this administration and put into use. It is really nothing more than Orwellian doublespeak for "monarch," "tyrant," "dictator," "king" "emperor" and "despot."
The spin of Karl Rove and his willing accomplices at Fox News no longer persuades. The American people have woken up to this Evil Empire. They have decided that it is time for a change, time to step back from the abyss of tyranny. And it cannot come too soon.
Its been another busy couple of weeks! I have been to speak to the young Democrats' in Wilkesboro. Thanks to Jason Carlton and the gang for having me. Jason is right - Virginia Foxx needs to go. And she can be beat by the right candidate.
Rachel with Jason Carlton of the Watuga Young Democrats
I was also in Greensboro where I attended the Guilford County Town Hall Democratic meeting hosted by Democratic party chair Paul Mengert. President of the Guilford County Democratic Women, Ossie Edwards and Commissioner-elect John Parks (can you believe that his election is still undecided? This is a travesty - where are the calls for his opponent to cease her frivolous challenges?) was there. So was Julia Wolf Hejazi as well as the newly appointed DA, Douglas Henderson. My coordinator, Curtis Pickard and his friend, Jeff Finch, were there too.
Rachel with Julia Wolf Hejazi
He declined to comment on American politics, but he did talk about Great Britain's view of how it perceives America and how America is perceived abroad. The featured speaker was Alistair Burt, a Member of the English parliament. He is a member of the conservative party. One may think it strange that he was speaking to North Carolina Democrats, but parties have different meanings across the pond, and being a "conservative" in England does not mean that he shares the views espoused by the American Republican party. He talked about the need for America to listen to other countries and to be involved. He is right.
Rachel with Alistair Burt, member of the English Parliament
America should not be the bully on the block and dictate to the rest of the world how it should be. Some of you may think it is fine to do so. However, dictating to others is arrogant and elitist. I am not saying that we should blindly follow other nations or go along with their
proposals if it is not right to do so, but we should at least listen. That willingness to listen is something that is missing from this administration and is typical of the arrogance that I have seen displayed, whether it is by the President at the national level or by the NC GOP leadership.
Mr. Burt also talked about the Kyoto protocol and the need for reducing our consumption and dependence on oil, as well as by the growth of China. All of these topics did not sound conservative in the American sense. I agree that China is emerging as the new economic powerhouse and that if America does not change course, it will find itself on the decline and eclipsed by China. I also agree that America needs to decrease its consumption of oil. One thing that we have in abundance in America is creativity and ingenuity. We can and we will come up with alternate means of by-passing the oil companies and the mid-east and create new and better fuel sources. I am not an environmental "wacko" but I believe that the Earth was given to us by our Creator to use, not destroy. We are to use what is here, but we are to be good stewards and to pass on the land and its fruits for our children and grandchildren to use and enjoy as well. With rights come responsibilities and we must learn to acknowledge them.
We heard too from Michael Veitch, who works for the Scottish Parliament, who had a few words about the movie "Braveheart," Scottish politics and the independence movement in Scotland.
Rachel with Michael Veitch of the Scottish Parliament
I was at the state Democratic executive committee meeting. Candidates Ty Harrell, Larry Kissell, Martk Ortiz, Tim Dunn and Ed Ridpath were all there, along with Chairman Jerry Meeks, Pitt County Chair Johnny Rouse, Forrest Chambless of the Lincoln County Democratic Men, Tony McEwen, who works for Congressman Mel Watt and is vice-president of the North Carolina young Democrats, Melvin Williams, Chairman of the 7th Congressional District, Superintendant of Public Instruction, June Atkinson, and newly appointed Court of Appeals judge, Linda Stephens. Even a former co-worker of mine was there! It was nice to see both old and new faces and to meet people.
And finally, I was at Satisfaction in Durham on the night of the President's State of the Union address to hear none other than Dr. Howard Dean, chairman of the national Democratic Party speak. It was thrilling and the crowd was very enthused to be there. Although he talked of many issues, one that stands out is he mentioned that we need good people to run for office. That is what I am doing and why I am running. It is why people like Ed Ridpath, Julia Wolf Hejazi, Ty Harrell, Larry Kissell and Heath Shuler are running too.
And that is why we need your financial support. To those of you who have made the sacrifice and donated to the PAC, I thank you on behalf of everyone. To those of you who have not, we need your help! We cannot take back our country without adequate funding. Our opponents are well funded and well-supported. We need the funds to put forth meaningful campaigns.
Just this week I received a letter indicating that Justice Martin is supported by no less than five former Chief Justices of the North Carolina Supreme Court. That I received the letter is in itself laughable, but the incantation of five names of former Chief Justices and that it will somehow magically cause people to vote for him is ludicrous. Who are they that mere mention of their name will cause people to alter their vote? Nobody. They are ordinary people just like you and me. I have people, little people like yourselves, people from all over North Carolina, people all over the United States and people all over the world, people on both the right and the left, who have voiced their support for me too. What about those people? Doesn't their support mean anything?
Apparently not; as only the views of five former chief justices and the members of the bar matter. Oh, the bar is up in arms too about my prospective candidacy and they have been wailing and gnashing their teeth. An attorney that I met told me that some members of the bar asked how dare I run.
Are you members of the bar who have voiced such views suggesting to the voters that Justice Martin should be unopposed and that he should be elected again? That he somehow has a right to this seat? First, if I never existed in this race, someone else who is a Democrat from North Carolina, maybe even a judge, would announce their intention to run against him. So he was hardly assured of this seat. Secondly, no one has a right to occupy a seat. Why hold elections then? That is what the neo-cons want. They want to "appoint" judges so that only the "right" people, people of their little club, a club that you or I will never be a member of and cannot get into no matter what we do, are excluded.
Besides, the bar members' position on this is somewhat strange, considering what I have seen elected to the bench. There are many fine judges out there and I had the good fortune to encounter one of them early in my legal career; he became my role model. But many are not.
I know of judges who had reputations for being drunkards. I know of judges have affairs with their law clerks. I know of judges who masturbate in their office. I know of judges who abuse their office and shake down lawyers who saw the judge in the hallway, and if you did not donate to the judge, your case was put last. I know of judges who interfere with another judge's pending case and tell them what to do with it. I know of judges who give favorable treatment to members of a particular union. I have seen judges who have been impeached.
You say that it cannot happen here and that these are just Yankees. Well, I have heard about judges here too. Judge Evelyn Hill recently resigned and was the subject of several bar complaints for her conduct and intemperate statements. There was a judge who engaged in some impropriety to acquire an elderly woman's property. There are certain judges who "rule the right way" in some DWI cases just to keep the defense bar happy. I have seen judges who are too lazy to bother to know the law that they just dismiss a case that the parties must then
appeal. And I have heard stories about judicial bias.
So it does happen here and the fact that I have not heard every story from every county does not mean that improprieties do not exist. And all the while you members of the bar who question me heap praises on people such as these and keep them in office and elect incompetent people to our courts. Yes, how dare someone like me, someone who can actually do the job, be elected when there are fine people such as these on the bench. Fortunately, many members of the public and the bar do not share your elitist and arrogant views.
I have a message for members of the bar and their boys' club. I am knocking at the door and I may gain entrance by being duly elected. And if I am, will the sky fall and pigs fly? No they will not. I have written over 500 opinions for the judges for whom I worked and numerous appellate briefs, on a variety of issues, ranging from medical malpractice, family law, real estate and zoning law, criminal law, insurance, criminal law, and general civil law dealing with contracts, torts and other miscellaneous issues. I have handled cases which could affect every insurance policy in the state. I have done property cases and researched arcane law of warrant and survey dating back to 1795 because it was relevant as to the ownership of real property. So it will not be the end of the world if someone like me is elected.
These are the types of people that I am up against. People who are arrogant. People who think they are better than you. Help join me in this fight.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice