By: Steve Trubilla
If there is one thing I think we can all agree on, it is that we do not like dirty politics. Political operatives are trying to make a big deal out of why I have commented in a positive way on Patricia Burnette Chastain.
Seems they favor Shelley Dickerson for Clerk of Court and figure by saying I am a right wing Tea Party Leader nut case, they can get you to vote for Dickerson.
I know of Chastain only because some time ago I had to conduct business at the court house. Before that I had never even heard her name.
Until that time, I had no real idea what the Clerk of Court’s office did. I suspect most of you really do not know either, or, for that matter, even care.
For me, this story began when I went to the court house. Never did I dream it would turn into a political soap opera.
When this all started to play out, Alice Faye Hunter was the Clerk of Court. I did not know her either, or even recall ever seeing her.
I arrived at the courthouse and was received like a dead fish. I was told you need to hire a lawyer, followed by, “is there anything else I can help you with today?”
So I left more frustrated than when I had arrived. Boy that sure was a lot of fun.
Time passed, my frustration relented to the reality that I had to get the matter taken care of.
Not wanting to spend money to hire a lawyer, I returned to the courthouse.
That is when, for the first time, I met Mrs. Patricia Burnette Chastain.
She greeted me as I walked in with something like, “Good morning, can I help you?” I was truly taken with just how nice she was.
Over time I leaned many other things about the role the Clerk of Court’s office played in our lives, and gained a real appreciation for just how much work everyone there did.
At some point, the issue of the historical records came up and I learned how Chastain was trying to work with the local heritage society to protect them.
It did not surprise me because, first hand, I had seen just how genuinely concerned she was for the community she is serving.
Talk about no good deed going unpunished. Many of the very people responsible for eventually destroying the records attacked her like a pit bull for doing what for decades they should have done.
Other members of the community asked that I lend a hand to protect the records. I found there was little to no support from most officials.
Chastain was the exception. It was clear she saw the value of the records to our community and was willing to work towards protecting them.
In short, her professionalism and obvious competence had earned my respect. It had absolutely nothing to do with politics.
I have since learned Chastain is a lifelong Democrat. Politically I reject most of what I will call their today’s divisive and socialist agenda. I feel it is destroying our country.
This said, being a Democrat does not totally define someone. I found Chastain to be a very nice person.
So if you ask me if I like her, yes I do.
Seeing how I found myself caught in the political crossfire on this, I made a point to contact Shelley Dickerson to see if I could get a feel for her platform and vision for the future.
The truth is I had never heard of her either.
Now remember, as a Republican I cannot even vote in this primary election. My interest was more of political curiosity than anything else.
Well, Mrs. Dickerson replied to me. Not with answers to my questions but with, ”you would probably be happier if I am not elected.” Then she ranted on about the Tea Party.
This was very much in contrast with my experience with Chastain, and reminded me of my initial visit to the courthouse.
Now that people have gone out of their way to pull me into their shenanigans, let’s explore some things.
So who are these people that are trying to influence this election?
One of them is former North Carolina State Sen. Douglas Berger. He has been beating this Tea Party thing like the Energizer Bunny. Now he knows it is not true, and does it anyway.
Here is a little fact Berger probably has never shared with you. To my memory he is the only local Democrat that has ever openly said he agreed with me on many issues. Of course, yes, I do have email or messages to back this up.
He may also be the only Democrat in my entire life, with the exception of my mother, who has given me a gift.
Now for your entertainment, while not even remotely true, but for arguments sake, let’s say I was the right wing leader of the Franklin County Tea Party.
How does Berger square his support for me while at the same time he detracts from Chastain?
I have done a little research and found over the course of his political career he has willingly accepted a number of political campaign contributions from Chastain.
So, this is politics. It is how things are done. It does not make Berger a bad person, or a good one; it simply renders him a politician.
My guess is he has political ambition for the future and this is a way to gain the public stage. Most in this pursuit are benefited from an election cycle that is very quickly forgotten by uninformed voters.
What about the real issues, do they even matter?
When Alice Faye Hunter left office, the Honorable Judge Robert Hobgood appointed Chastain. He could have appointed Shelley Dickerson.
After all she was the heir-apparent. If all was Camelot, why didn’t he?
Vote for who you think is best, don’t feed into party distractions.
Remember some people think you are just sheep to be herded along.