The Winston-Salem Journal became the latest major newspaper this morning to call for Governor Pat McCrory to remove his appointee, Republican lawyer Paul Foley, from the state Board of Elections. The editorial, which cited Foley’s troubling behavior surrounding the Board’s investigation of a sweepstakes company owner that was also a client of his law firm, came at almost the same time that Associated Press reported new and disturbing developments in the ongoing investigation of Foley related to the elimination of a voting site at Appalachian State University.
After summarizing his behavior in the sweepstake investigation (in which he repeatedly questioned Board of Elections staff and failed to disclose his obvious conflict of interest) the editorial concludes this way:
“Foley has shown he can’t be trusted to understand and fulfill his responsibilities. His continued presence on the board could hurt its credibility. If he won’t realize that and step down, Gov. McCrory should remove him.”
The Journal editorial comes on the heels of one in yesterday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer that said this:
“The public relies on the State Board of Elections to oversee honest elections and fair enforcement of election laws. Foley can no longer fulfill those roles credibly. He should step down or the governor should ask for his resignation.”
“Paul Foley, a Republican member of the the North Carolina elections board from Winston-Salem, worked closely with local officials in their effort to eliminate a heavily Democratic voting site, a plan a judge ruled was intended to suppress voter turnout, according to hundreds of emails reviewed by The Associated Press.The state Board of Elections is supposed to act as a neutral arbiter when policy disputes arise involving county elections boards. The emails show that Foley worked closely behind the scenes with GOP officials in Watauga County as they crafted a plan to eliminate the early voting site at Appalachian State University.”
Coming, as they have, at the very moment that Republican officials are trying to defend their relentless and transparent efforts to rig and suppress voting in a federal court trial in Winston-Salem, you’d think these latest revelations would prompt Governor McCrory to ax Foley ASAP. Based on his penchant for waffling and indecisive leadership in so many other controversies, however, it seems just as likely that the Guv will ignore the matter and head off to another ribbon cutting somewhere. Stay tuned.