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Thread: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

  1. #1
    CatherineE Guest

    Default Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    I'm guessing Gilbert's pro-IRV position cost him his Board of Elections position.



    Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel
    BY MICHAEL BIESECKER - STAFF WRITER
    Published: Fri, Jun. 19, 2009 05:17AMModified Fri, Jun. 19, 2009 05:18AM

    RALEIGH - The Wake County Democratic Party has nominated three people to potentially oversee local elections, including a former state official convicted in a criminal coverup.
    Alexander Killens, 55, resigned amid scandal as commissioner of the state Division of Motor Vehicles in 1996. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice after interfering with an SBI investigation into a DMV employee's misuse of state property.

    Killens was nominated to the Wake County Board of Elections last week, along with current member Sharon Everett and Raleigh lawyer Aida Doss Havel. The state Democratic Party will now decide whether to forward those names to the state Board of Elections, which will appoint two Democrats to the Wake board.

    Killens' consideration for the sensitive job of certifying local elections is drawing the ire of Republicans, as well as offering an opportunity to score political points as Democrats struggle with a federal probe into the dealings of former Gov. Mike Easley.

    "We have to question why the Wake County Democratic Party would choose to nominate an individual who has been convicted of obstruction of justice, and who at one time was banned from holding public office in North Carolina, to the Board of Elections when there are so many good, honest people in Wake County to choose from to serve," Claude Pope, Wake GOP chairman, said in a statement.

    Killens said something that happened more than 13 years ago shouldn't disqualify him for public service.

    "That's history," Killens said Thursday. "All that is past. I'm not going to rehash it."

    John H. Gilbert, the long-serving chairman of the Wake elections board, was not renominated after a vote held at a meeting June 11 of more than 100 members of the county party.

    Jack Nichols, Wake Democrats chairman, said there was no discussion of Killens' past troubles before the vote.

    "I understand he had some criminal problems, but my understanding is that those are resolved and expunged," said Nichols, a Raleigh lawyer. "I was trying to promote unity. His was the only name put up by the African American community."

    In fact, Killens' criminal conviction is still a matter of public record and is listed in the online database for the state courts system. Appointed by then-Gov. Jim Hunt in 1993,Killens had problems involving one of his employees, Algie Toomer.

    Toomer, who sometimes served as Killens' personal driver, was the subject of an SBI investigation after he received a controversial $100,000 state settlement, the purpose of which has never been fully disclosed. The payment, which was widely characterized as hush money, prompted state House Republicans to hold hearings on the issue.

    Killens was charged with obstruction of justice after he told investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation an internal inquiry had cleared Toomer of wrongdoing. That was not true.

    The former commissioner received a 45-day suspended sentence and five years of unsupervised probation. As part of his plea deal, he was also banned from seeking election or holding a government position for five years.

    Despite the criminal conviction, Killens has stayed active in local politics. He ran unsuccessfully for state House in 2002 and recently sought appointment to the unexpired term of Sen. Vernon Malone, who died in April.

    Nichols said Gilbert had served admirably as chairman of the elections board and is still interested in the position. He said he would not be disappointed if state party officials use their discretion to renominate Gilbert to the seat, disregarding one of the local party's suggested candidates. "John has done a good job, and the state party can still nominate whomever they want," the county chairman said. "We're sort of like Russian dolls. Everybody does their part and then passes it on."

    The state Board of Elections will appoint the Wake board, which consists of two Democrats and one Republican, because of the relative proportion of each party's registered voters in the county.

    Killens said he'll let others decide whether he should be appointed.

    "I've served this community admirably," Killens said. "The party has a decision to make, and I'm sure they will make their decision. This isn't the only controversial matter they are dealing with at this time. If that's what's important to them right now, then we might want to rethink what we're doing and how we're doing it."

    News researcher Brooke Cain contributed to this report.

    michael.biesecker@ newsobserver .com and919-829-4698

  2. #2
    DarylB Guest

    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Not often am I at a loss for words, but .......



    ...this is just nuckin' futts!

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    chaboard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    That was the work of the anti-IRV crowd. There were four candidates for three positions and hey were so hellbent on punishing Gilbert for supporting IRV that they didn't look at all at who they were voting FOR.

    Dumbasses.
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  4. #4
    CatherineE Guest

    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Heard some good news Wed. night that the NCDP will step in on the matter of Alexander Killian and Dr. Gilbert. My understanding is that the two female nominees will be seated/approved but that a third person will emerge as the alternate. That third alternate will neither be Killan or Gilbert. Much thanks to our NCDP powers that be on this matter. Still sorry to see Gilbert will not be included if in fact that is the case.

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    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    Heard some good news Wed. night that the NCDP will step in on the matter of Alexander Killian and Dr. Gilbert. My understanding is that the two female nominees will be seated/approved but that a third person will emerge as the alternate. That third alternate will neither be Killan or Gilbert. Much thanks to our NCDP powers that be on this matter. Still sorry to see Gilbert will not be included if in fact that is the case.
    The name is Alexander Killens, and it is my understanding that the WCDP, in the spirit of diversity, wanted at least one African American name submitted for the three nominees for the two positions on the Wake BOE.

    It is my understanding that Killens withdrew his name from consideration. It is also my understanding that the Wake Dems wanted to have a lawyer as one of their two members of the BOE so that everything doesn't have to be filtered through the BOE staff. The Wake GOP has an attorney on the BOE - why can't the Wake Dems have one? Had we had Aida Dos Havel on the BOE last summer, I doubt we would have been stuck signing a lease on the two mall voting sites that bound us to not having any election-related activity at the malls before the Wake BOE even applied to the SBOE for a waiver. And as I recall, both the Wake GOP and the Dems agreed this was not good policy.

    I also don't think that the NCDP has anything to do with the Killens matter - it's all being handled by the Wake Dems.

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    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    I'm guessing Gilbert's pro-IRV position cost him his Board of Elections position.
    No - Gilbert had many other issues that resulted in his coming in last. Is anyone else who has commented on the BOE matter a member of the Wake Dems County Executive Committee who actually showed up at the June 11th meeting? If not, not only did you not vote, but you didn't get a chance to speak on behalf of Gilbert.

    Of course there is that old saying: "if you don't vote......." you know the rest.

  7. #7
    CatherineE Guest

    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by VVActivist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    I'm guessing Gilbert's pro-IRV position cost him his Board of Elections position.
    No - Gilbert had many other issues that resulted in his coming in last. Is anyone else who has commented on the BOE matter a member of the Wake Dems County Executive Committee who actually showed up at the June 11th meeting? If not, not only did you not vote, but you didn't get a chance to speak on behalf of Gilbert.

    Of course there is that old saying: "if you don't vote......." you know the rest.
    What "other issues"? Seems like just another euphemism for "I don't like him." Spill.

  8. #8
    CatherineE Guest

    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by VVActivist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    Heard some good news Wed. night that the NCDP will step in on the matter of Alexander Killian and Dr. Gilbert. My understanding is that the two female nominees will be seated/approved but that a third person will emerge as the alternate. That third alternate will neither be Killan or Gilbert. Much thanks to our NCDP powers that be on this matter. Still sorry to see Gilbert will not be included if in fact that is the case.
    The name is Alexander Killens, and it is my understanding that the WCDP, in the spirit of diversity, wanted at least one African American name submitted for the three nominees for the two positions on the Wake BOE.

    It is my understanding that Killens withdrew his name from consideration. It is also my understanding that the Wake Dems wanted to have a lawyer as one of their two members of the BOE so that everything doesn't have to be filtered through the BOE staff. The Wake GOP has an attorney on the BOE - why can't the Wake Dems have one? Had we had Aida Dos Havel on the BOE last summer, I doubt we would have been stuck signing a lease on the two mall voting sites that bound us to not having any election-related activity at the malls before the Wake BOE even applied to the SBOE for a waiver. And as I recall, both the Wake GOP and the Dems agreed this was not good policy.

    I also don't think that the NCDP has anything to do with the Killens matter - it's all being handled by the Wake Dems.
    Chris, I can always count on you to post your disagreement based on nothing but opinion and guesses. Try getting the facts once in a while. Why else would Killens withdraw his name?

    The mess preventing electioneering at the mall location has nothing to do with lawyers and everything to do with poor party leadership. As you said, the NC GOP has a lawyer on the BOE.

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    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VVActivist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    I'm guessing Gilbert's pro-IRV position cost him his Board of Elections position.
    No - Gilbert had many other issues that resulted in his coming in last. Is anyone else who has commented on the BOE matter a member of the Wake Dems County Executive Committee who actually showed up at the June 11th meeting? If not, not only did you not vote, but you didn't get a chance to speak on behalf of Gilbert.

    Of course there is that old saying: "if you don't vote......." you know the rest.
    What "other issues"? Seems like just another euphemism for "I don't like him." Spill.
    That is your opinion. You would have to ask the Wake Dems who attended the CEC meeting why so few of them voted for John. If you didn't show up to vote or to speak on John's behalf or to support him - why do you care now? And all you'll do is pooh-pooh them and pretend they weren't worthy of consideration.

    People are entitled to vote for people they like and not vote for people they don't like. You of all people should know that.

    One does wonder why the N&O editorial board wants John back on the BOE so badly they would side up with the NC GOP who, based on their choices for state party officers, ought to be adopting a new flag: a wife-beater t-shirt with the NCGOP logo on it (white color by default, but other colors optional). Apologies to my verified voting friends in Cary who are Republicans - but that imagery is too good to ignore!

    They knew of the mall voting problems, the treatment of other BOE members and the public, and about the problems with IRV that were swept under the rug or ignored. They didn't really cover the drama until now.

    Once again - having a Democrat who is an attorney on the Wake BOE will mean that we don't have to depend on the BOE staff for opinions on all this complicated stuff. The GOP has had an attorney as a BOE member for years - why can't we have one?

    And Sharon Everett was on the SBOE for years before retiring. She wanted to be an election judge, but now she is a BOE appointee. Surely you can't have a problem with two very qualified Democratic women being on the BOE?

    Chris Telesca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wake Dems want fallen official on election panel

    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VVActivist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CatherineE View Post
    Heard some good news Wed. night that the NCDP will step in on the matter of Alexander Killian and Dr. Gilbert. My understanding is that the two female nominees will be seated/approved but that a third person will emerge as the alternate. That third alternate will neither be Killan or Gilbert. Much thanks to our NCDP powers that be on this matter. Still sorry to see Gilbert will not be included if in fact that is the case.
    The name is Alexander Killens, and it is my understanding that the WCDP, in the spirit of diversity, wanted at least one African American name submitted for the three nominees for the two positions on the Wake BOE.

    It is my understanding that Killens withdrew his name from consideration. It is also my understanding that the Wake Dems wanted to have a lawyer as one of their two members of the BOE so that everything doesn't have to be filtered through the BOE staff. The Wake GOP has an attorney on the BOE - why can't the Wake Dems have one? Had we had Aida Dos Havel on the BOE last summer, I doubt we would have been stuck signing a lease on the two mall voting sites that bound us to not having any election-related activity at the malls before the Wake BOE even applied to the SBOE for a waiver. And as I recall, both the Wake GOP and the Dems agreed this was not good policy.

    I also don't think that the NCDP has anything to do with the Killens matter - it's all being handled by the Wake Dems.
    Chris, I can always count on you to post your disagreement based on nothing but opinion and guesses. Try getting the facts once in a while. Why else would Killens withdraw his name?

    The mess preventing electioneering at the mall location has nothing to do with lawyers and everything to do with poor party leadership. As you said, the NC GOP has a lawyer on the BOE.
    Talk about opinion and guesses - you don't know why he withdrew his name either!

    It was not poor party leadership that resulted in the mall voting mess - it was that the BOE staff put one over on the BOE members. Both the Wake GOP and Dem chairs where there, as were other people. They heard the BOE members ask if there would be electioneering going on at the mall sites. They were told this was being worked on.

    What I was told by a BOE staffer was that the mall management has rules for tenants that state you can't hand out stuff on mall property unless you ask for and receive permission from mall management - something that I guess the Wake BOE staff didn't do. I specifically asked BOE staffers if they asked mall management if they asked for permission to electioneer, and they dodged the question and didn't provide a direct answer.

    Further complicating the mall mess was the fact that the Wake BOE signed a lease with the mall management in late August or early September so that the BOE staff could move into the Triangle Town Center site in mid September to process voter registration stuff. But the Wake BOE staff did not submit a request for a waiver of state law to the SBOE until early October - after the lease was signed.

    State law requires allowing for election related activities such as posting signs and doing poll greeting outside of a 50 foot radius unless there is a good reason for either moving that boundary further out OR doing away with the election related activity altogether. There are requirements for the county BOE to fulfill prior to asking for a waiver from the BOE - and I saw no proof those requirements were met. There was no documentation provided to the SBOE that met the requirements of the state law. So pray tell, how do either the leadership of the Wake County Dems or Republicans have anything to do with the BOE staffers not following the requirements of the law or of the BOE members for not catching them at it? And then when this problem finally manifested itself - why hasn't there been an investigation? Hell - at a December 2008 meeting of the SBOE - it turns out that the Wake BOE needed some HAVA money to pay for excessive costs for early voting - could it be the high rents charged at the mall voting sites? if we are going to pay a premium price for such a location in a down economy, we should certainly negotiate a little better then we did in 2008.

    But then again Catherine, I don't expect you would know this stuff, because you never attended any BOE meetings on IRV or mall voting. You were absent from the Wake CEC meeting on June 11, and so were not able to vote for or speak on John's behalf. But you sure can complain about it now!

    Why don't you answer a question or two Catherine - why weren't you at the Wake CEC meeting? Were you busy with your friend Gene from Blacksburg, VA?

    Chris Telesca
    Last edited by VVActivist; 07-07-2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: for clarity

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