Monday, May 5, 2008

Why I'll never vote for Fred Smith

Well, Fred Smith can just hang it up.  I'm done with him, and I know lots of other NC Republicans are as well.

Remember my voice post last week where I told you that Pat McCrory finally responded to Fred Smith's unwarranted and false attacks?  For those of you that didn't listen to it, the McCrory response ad points out that McCrory attempted to have the Republican candidates sign a contract to uphold Ronald Reagan's "11th commandment", which is not to attack other Republicans -- and Fred Smith refused to sign.  The ad then goes on to point out the inaccuracies in Fred Smith's attach ads.

The very next day, Fred Smith released ANOTHER attack ad against McCrory, accusing him of breaking his promise to not attack the other Republican candidates!  So what -- it's ok for Fred to tell half-truths about McCrory, but when McCrory attempts to set the record straight and defend himself, he's ATTACKING Fred Smith?

I think that was the first time that I realized that there was no way in hell I would be voting for Fred Smith in November if he wins the nomination.  God, I hate Beverly Perdue, and what she's done in her campaign is dirty, but I simply cannot support a man that gets so desperate when things are not going his way.  I've been saying for a while now that Smith doesn't have the appeal to win in a general election, but he just lost another Republican in me.

It's more that just the man himself.  It's the people in and around his campaign.  They are apparently just as bitter as he is, and rather than argue his virtues, they prefer to rely on their anger.  I first realized this several weeks ago at the Civitas Leadership Institute in Greensboro.  I had woken up early on a Saturday morning to man the Pat McCrory for Governor booth, and was the only one at the booth for several hours.  During that time, I was approached by three Fred Smith fans who felt the need to attack me for supporting McCrory.   They all came at different intervals, two of them pulling random things out of McCrory's record from the 90's, and one just incoherently screaming at me (I think he thought I was Pat McCrory) for not visiting Dare County.  Oh, and they were all about 135 years old.

With the first two, the most I could do was tell them what McCrory's stance on the issues are NOW, and explain that the things that have happened in Charlotte over the last few years are not always within the mayor's control.  Afterall, it is a majority-Democratic city, and while McCrory does have the veto power, there are usually enough votes to override him.  When one guy continued to press me for why McCrory had said one specific thing over 10 years ago, I finally had to shrug and tell him, "Sir, I'm not Pat McCrory, I've really never heard that until now, so I can't answer for it."  His snappy come-back?  "Well, you ARE working his table!"

The last guy was my favorite.  He stood several feet away from the table, like he was afraid I was going to snap and come after him, and loudly proclaimed that he was NOT voting for Pat McCrory because McCrory had not been to his county -- Dare County, over on the eastern part of the state.  "Fred Smith has been to Dare County FOUR TIMES over the past year, and Pat McCrory hasn't been at all!"

Would this be a good time to mention that Fred Smith, who probably has more money than everyone in Dare County put together, owns a vacation home there?  Could that be the reason he's visited four times in the past year?  Maybe?

I didn't know that little tidbit until later on in the day, so I couldn't use that against the Dare County crazy man, but I did point out that Fred Smith has been campaigning for governor for about two years, where as McCrory only recently entered the race.  I also pointed out that during his extensive campaigning, Smith has been the most absent senator in the NC legislature, whereas McCrory insists on continuing to do his job properly while running for governor.  Did this man care?  I think you know the answer to that question.  He literally yelled at me for another five minutes before wandering away.  Most of the room was staring at me at this point, and one person in the crowd piped up, "Well, McCrory's been to my county, so I guess I don't have any reason to argue with you."

I'd also like to point out that after someone showed up to help me with the booth around noon, no one else came by to fight.  Could it have something to do with the fact that these old men saw a young girl working the booth all alone and figured it would be easier to fight with her than later on when I was joined by a male?  I could make a lot of assumptions here.

Add to this all the crap I've put up with from Smith fans on local blogs who never really debate my point that Smith is not the electable gubernatorial candidate -- the majority of the rebuttals I receive are, "McCrory's a RINO!" or "Smith is a REAL conservative who will beat the Democrats in November!"  Really?  Is that why the polls show Perdue and Moore at about 20 points ahead of Smith, whereas they only lead McCrory by a few points?  I mean, if these people could just give me some proof for why they believe what they do, I might give them some credit every now and then, but they can't do it.

Oh, and how about good ole Nathan Tabor.  Nathan Tabor ran an unsuccessful campaign for a local US House seat several years back, and I worked for the campaign that defeated him in the primary (although we lost to the eventual winner, Virginia Foxx, in the run-off).  A couple years ago, he was spamming local blogs (including mine) with crap about how NC needed a TRUE conservative like -- who else -- Fred Smith.  About a month ago, I noticed a blog called "The Conservative Voice" which had several inflammatory stories about McCrory, including one that he had pulled ahead in the polls using deception.  I signed up for the site solely so that I could post comments to the anti-McCrory entries, and who else should send me a welcome email but Nathan Tabor.  A few more clicks of the mouse tells me that Tabor is currently working as a political consultant to Fred Smith.  So are Smith's campaign dollars funding inflammatory articles about Pat McCrory via this pseudo-real website?  It sure appears that way.

And now, the yard signs.  A friend of mine had been putting McCrory signs around High Point and Jamestown, and had reported back to me that someone was replacing all of her signs with Fred Smith signs (including the signs in her OWN YARD!)  I had hoped that maybe this was just some local bitter Smith fan at work, but I was wrong.  This weekend, I went to Charlotte and rode around with one of the campaign's volunteers, and he pointed out that every McCrory sign he had put up over the past week was gone and replaced with a Smith sign.  The sure makes it sound like it's not just one local nutjob, but something that's going on throughout the entire campaign.

No, Fred's bitter campaigning style does not sit well with me, and regardless of what happens, I will not be voting for him in November.  I know that there will be some Republicans that disagree with me, and some that join me, but I really don't care either way.  If McCrory doesn't win on Tuesday, I'll be finding myself a nice Libertarian to work for, and you Smith fans can all rest easy knowing that you lost one of your most hard-working and passionate Republican volunteers.

And if Fred's dirty politicking doesn't give me enough reason to not vote for him, I stumbled across these YouTube videos last night.  I asked all around the campaign to see if I could find out who made them, but no one seems to know.  They're not pro-McCrory at all, just anti-Smith.  They make some very good points.

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