NCGOP leader praises media for work on Bladen County election story

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s not unusual for the news media to be openly criticized by political leaders and even labeled “fake news.” But at least when it comes to recent reporting on questions about possible election fraud in Bladen County, the leader of the North Carolina Republican Party is handing out compliments.

In fact, NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, a former TV news reporter himself, wants the media to stay on the story and hold everyone accountable.

Today Woodhouse sent the following open letter to the news media about the coverage of questions about absentee ballots in Bladen County and the work of a political operative named McCrae Dowless, which are holding up the 9th District Congressional race and a couple of Bladen County elections.

To the media covering the 9th U.S. House District election:

I know many of you personally. As a television reporter so many years ago, I covered stories with you. I have broken bread with you. As one of the main spokespersons on Republican issues in North Carolina, I interact with you on a daily basis.

At times I have disagreed with you, or asked for a correction. Our disagreements have always been respectful. You have asked me some tough questions, never more than last week — every one of them fair, questions that should be asked and deserve to be answered.

On behalf of the North Carolina Republican Party, our activists in the 9th Congressional District and the voting electorate, I want to thank you and encourage you to continue these efforts for years to come.

Only you can help end systematic failure to fix this problem going back more than a decade, involving three different North Carolina governors of both parties, several different boards of elections, countless local, state and federal prosecutors and both major political parties.

We all share blame. We can all be part of the solution, but only if you hold us all to account for years to come.

Just to review some of your phenomenal efforts:

You raised serious questions about the lack of transparency and how the State Board of Elections bought this forward with a stunning lack of transparency.

You held the state Elections Board chair to account for unacceptable public partisan behavior leading to his just resignation.

You have asked tough questions of who knew what and when, including of me and the NC GOP.

The Washington Post praised local reporters for solid “shoe leather” reporting helping to expose the disgusting and revolting behavior in and around Bladen County when it comes to elections, and we agree.

You have uncovered how this scourge is not limited to one candidate, one political party and one election.

You have tracked down former election officials who could never get these types of cases in a court of law.

You have uncovered the serious failures of the state to address the systematic criminal behavior in Bladen County since at least 2010.

And your work is not done. It can’t be done when the 9th District election is settled. Serious efforts at reform can only succeed when everyone works to fix the systematic failures that allowed the rampant criminal behavior to become common accepted practice.

It will take new laws, new enforcement, trials and convictions, public educations efforts and trial and error. Some of you will move to new cities. Some will retire. All will move to other stories.

But we still need you watching, investigating, reporting. All of us are responsible for fixing this. Question us. Check us. Hold us accountable. All of us.

Your sunlight really is the best disinfectant. And we need tons of it. Now and for years to come.

Categories: Bladen, Local, News

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