Rachel with Coach Dean Smith at the North Carolina Sports Hall Of Fame 2006 Banquet.
Release May 15, 2006
Dear Friends and Voters,
In the novel by George Orwell, Winston Smith lives in a country called Oceania. Nations are no more; counties have coalesced into regions. And everything in government is run by a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors the citizens' behavior.
Think it can't happen here? Think again. This week, we were treated to new revelations about the Bush administration's domestic spying operations in which they have seized phone records to look for "patterns."
I hear people who continue to stand up for this administration say they don't mind if it makes us safer from terrorism. This is both naďve and foolish. I have nothing to hide. If the government wants to know how much I call my family and friends, it will find out, but it won't do anything about terrorism. But the violation is not that the government obtains harmless data about my calling patterns. The violation is in the fact that the government is looking to begin with. It has no right to know how often I make calls to friends and family. I have a constitutional right to be secure in my person and property absent probable cause that I am engaged in a criminal enterprise. And this has been violated.
Last week's primary presented a clarion call to those who are disaffected with the Republican Party as well as those in the Democratic Party, be they the Establishment or Progressives. We have seen the effects of one man, Art Pope, and his wealth and influence. He is trying to buy his way into UNC's western studies program. He has "think tanks", like the Civitas Group, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Government, The John Locke Foundation, Carolina Journal, Americans for Prosperity and others. These are not true think tanks at all but efforts to have these groups promote his views via articles and lawsuits. He has even succeeded in buying the elections. His efforts ousted David Miner, a Morganista, in 2004. And he has now gotten rid of Richard Morgan and other Morgan supporters. Since Richard Morgan is gone, who is next on Pope's hit list in his quest to purge the party and the state of those who do not agree with his vision of Pope-topia?
What we have in North Carolina is a microcosm of what is occurring in Washington, D.C. We have corruption and Republicans indicted up there. We have corruption and Republicans indicted here. If you want more of what is occurring in Washington, D.C. to come to North Carolina, then continue to do nothing. If you want things to stay as they are, then vote for my opponent and the Democrats will not succeed in gaining a majority on the state Supreme Court. Justice left our courtrooms long ago as anyone accused of a crime who is poor and has a court-appointed attorney will tell you. And we no longer respect private property rights as evidenced by the United States Supreme Court's decision in Kelo. Civil liberties and the US Constitution have been disregarded and cast aside. When you no longer respect civil liberties and property rights, the very bedrock of our society, can totalitarianism be far behind?
But if you believe as I do that we need to halt this decline, then we need to make a stand. We need to say "no" to the corporations and the lobbyists. We need to demand reform and restore ethics in good government. We need to make government not bigger but smarter. We need to bring justice back to our courts and have them respect our property, our civil and other rights. We need to make a change. If we do not, then we are going to wake up one day and find ourselves in the world of Oceania where Big Brother is indeed watching.
We were also treated to renewed calls for judicial appointment by wealthy bankers, Art Pope's puppets and by the newspapers. Our founding fathers may have lived in a different world than the one which we inhabit. They might not have anticipated modern conveniences like telephones or email, but they well understood human nature. And human nature has not changed for thousands of years. It is still inhabited by the same corrupt and greedy individuals and by those who will abuse power simply because they can.
It is no surprise that the bankers and newspapers and Art Pope's puppets call for judicial appointment. They want judicial appointment for one reason. They will control who gets appointed and make sure that the "right" people get put in place to make the "right" decisions. After all, "an honest politician is one who when once bought, stays bought." I cannot be bought at any price. And that is what the bankers, the newspapers and Art Pope do not want. Why, I might do something really radical like decide a case on the facts and its merits instead of how it would benefit the wealthy and powerful! And that is not something that they can afford to have happen, so they all cry that we need judicial appointment. If we have it, it will mean that the little guy like me has no chance of ever getting in. So don't be fooled and don't give up this important right. As flawed as it is, it's the only way of fighting back that we have.
Some of you that inhabit the Democratic Party have raised the issue that you want me to stop sending email alerts as you fear I may be hurting my campaign. I understand your concerns. However, I am a different sort of candidate than you may be used to. And I am running a different kind of campaign.
Until 2002, judicial candidates were precluded from saying anything more than their name and résúmé. That changed with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 735 (2002). Now, a judge can speak out on issues of interest if he or she desires but most do not. Judge who do things the old way have campaigns that are predictable and mediocre and tell little about themselves to the voters.
Technology and campaigns also have changed. Dr. Howard Dean proved that in his 2004 bid for the presidency. He was among the first to show that the internet can change the way campaigns are conducted. No longer are candidates captive to the established media. They do not need signs. They can send alerts or run blog ads for a fraction of the cost of printed mailers. And there are thousands of bloggers who can help or hurt by instantly debunking claims.
Others are concerned that I behave in a manner that is not "judicial." Tell me, how is a judge supposed to act? We all think we know, but imagination often bears no resemblance to reality. Are they supposed to "fix" tickets or decide a certain way in cases involving certain unions in exchange for campaign donations? Or get drunk at quitting time? Maybe they are supposed to have sex with their law clerks? What about breaking the law? Is that acting judicial? This goes on daily, yet lawyers and the state bar look the other way. Instead, they are concerned that someone like me might upset their power and control so I have to be stopped, while the real violators can go on.
Still others want me to disarm myself by ceasing my emails alerts. If an individual, armed with a gun, was beset by hoodlums who intended to do him harm, would you tell the person to lay down their weapon and submit to the attack? Unless you are a pacifist, you would not.
The internet is one of the few tools that I have available to use. I am not a pacifist; I do not believe in "turning the other cheek." I will not go out of my way to personally attack a person (like the attacks against Brad Miller insinuating that he is homosexual and criticizing him for being childless). I will not stoop to this level and sling "mud" at someone just because I can. However, I will not sit idly by and let the Republican Party and Art Pope's thugs say vile things about me and file frivolous complaints with various state agencies, while my opposition can pretend he is unaware of what is occurring and let Pope's minions do his dirty work for him.
As Justice Louis Brandeis said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is true that exposure of what is occurring often puts a halt to it. Many folks come from the old school and do not understand technology and its implications and may be uncomfortable with this idea. However, people have said “go ‘Madame Justice’!” or “I am proud of you” and have applauded my efforts. Others have characterized my campaign as “a breath of fresh air” from the humdrum campaigns they encounter, especially judicial ones. Still others have said, “if we had a hundred more people like you, we would have the problems we are facing today.” I have received many compliments from those in this state and all across the nation over the past two years.
If elected, I can promise you that I will not become someone like Judge Evelyn Hill nor will I make the kind of statements that she is alleged to have made. I will not be like Judge Rusty Duke and find attorneys in contempt or make prejudicial remarks about a defendant because I can. However, I will continue to defend myself. And I will continue to expose the Republican Party and Art Pope and even members of the Democratic Establishment if warranted, whether its judicial or not.
On the lighter side, I attended the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame banquet last night. http://www.rachelforjustice.com/events.html Many sports luminaries from North Carolina were there and I met the legendary Dean Smith. Yes, that Dean Smith of UNC fame. And he indicated that he is a Democrat and as opposed to the things that the Bush Administration is doing to us. There are 243 inductees, from basketball, football, baseball and golf, to journalists and sports announcers. North Carolina can be proud that it has contributed so many great athletes to the list, including Connie Mack Berry, Sr., who attended NC State and who is the only man to have played on three championship teams (baseball, football and basketball) in the same year.
And I have unleashed a new and improved website. The address is still the same, but the appearance has changed. My commercial is there and outlines my positions and where I stand on issues of importance to us all. And it even includes Max the Dog back for another appearance. Check it out at www.rachelforjustice.com. Things are moving onward despite the efforts of Pope puppets and the Establishment. I am confident that with your help, we will win in November.
Rachel Lea Hunter