Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Monks Spoiler

In the last couple of weeks, Duke students have been seeing and hearing a lot from Steve Monks about how he's the only candidate to ensure that Durham authorities treat Duke students according to the same procedures all other Durham residents receive. And oh, by the way, he wants their vote, too, as part of his apparent effort to siphon enough votes away from the Lewis Cheek line to ensure Mike Nifong's re-election.

Monks' words might carry weight if he had actually done anything to show his concern for due process in Durham before two or three weeks ago. But up until now, he's been wholly absent from the efforts to expose Mike Nifong's misconduct. Indeed, at his press conference Friday, he actually said that he has only recently concluded that it was essential that Nifong not serve another four years in office.

Maybe Monks' non-existent record explains why he was only polling at 2% in the recent N&O poll. And maybe that's also why virtually every prominent critic of Nifong--Duke Students for an Ethical Durham, Liestoppers, Duke Basketball Report, Ruth Sheehan, Michael Gaynor, this blog--has argued that the only way to oust Nifong is to vote for Cheek.

As the N&O poll confirmed, the politics of revenge and prosecutorial misconduct has a firm base of around 45% in Durham, and Mike Nifong has that vote locked up. Cheek's margin for error is very narrow, under the best of circumstances. Whatever Monks' reason for acting to ensure Nifong's re-election, Duke students--who, from what it seems, are about the only people he's seriously targeting--shouldn't assist him in his ill-conceived crusade.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

A wolf in sheeps clothing, Monks is trying to ensure that Nifong wins by not backing out. I wonder what kind of deal he cut with Nifong at the expense of the citizens of Durham.

locomotive breath said...

Well I wonder what kind of deal Cheek has. Remember when everyone was laughing because Nifong's campaign manager Jackie Brown "deserted" him to work for Cheek? I really am beginning to wonder if Cheek's real goal was to suck the oxygen out of the petition process by getting the signatures of all the Dems who want Nifong gone.

Then Cheek decides not to run. As as a bonus, Nifong gets a list of all his political enemies. (For those of you who have forgotten, remember Nifong's temper tantrum about members of the animal control board who signed the petition?) If Nifong wins, I wouldn't want to be someone who signed Cheek's petition.

Just out of curiosity, it would be interesting to know if Jackie Brown has gone back to Nifong or if she is working for Cheek or if she is sitting it out. That little tidbit would be very telling.

http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/465237.html

KC Johnson said...

Jackie Brown is working with the RN-VC effort.

Anonymous said...

Cheek doesn't have any kind of deal with Nifong. Even while the petitions were collected, Cheek hasn't made up his mind on whether he would run, and he said that much. He does not want to leave his practice.
As for Jackie Brown, she definetly has not gone back to work for Nifong.
It appears she is supporting RN-VC.
"Jackie Brown, Nifong's former campaign manager and one of the four organizers who helped get Cheek on the ballot, said the poll results could help change the election."
"Hopefully, this poll will be a wake-up call to the undecideds. I think it will energize some of the folks who would otherwise stay at home -- otherwise they're going to have four more years of Mike Nifong."
http://www.newsobserver.com/1185/story/502604.html
I hope your curiosity is satisfied.

Anonymous said...

And here is more evidence that Jackie Brown is helping RN-VC's efforts. Notice that H-S describes Jackie as a leader of the Cheek movement:
"But leaders of the Cheek movement were having nothing of it Friday.

Jackie Brown, a Cheek consultant, said she was so put off by Monks' remarks that she canceled a meeting between the two camps that had been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

"Any further discussions are meaningless," she said.

Beth Brewer, chairperson for the Cheek faction, agreed.

"We're staying right where we are," she said. "I don't think Steve Monks can win. I don't think his campaign will do what our campaign is designed to do."

According to Brewer, too much has been made of the fact that a vote for Cheek would be a vote for an unknown, since Cheek won't serve.

"I believe our governor would not appoint someone who would disappoint us or embarrass him," she said.

Brewer also blasted Monks' hypothetical statistics as meaningless.

"I'm an accountant," she said. "Anybody can go through the numbers and come up with any numbers they want."
http://www.heraldsun.com/durham/4-782629.html

Anonymous said...

I beleive the Governor will think long and hard on whom he will choose to be the next DA. That person will be scrutinized and will require integrity, honesty, intelligence and knowledge of the constitution and the codes of his office. So the next DA chosen for Durham by the Govenor will be the best possible man/women for the job.

Cliff said...

KC,

Gosh, KC, there you go again.

You say...

Monks' words might carry weight if he had actually done anything to show his concern for due process in Durham before two or three weeks ago. But up until now, he's been wholly absent from the efforts to expose Mike Nifong's misconduct.

Mr. Monks' job is not "to expose Mike Nifong's misconduct" (God knows there are an abundance of people, yourself included, who are doing an excellent job of that), it is to actually do something about it in a constructive way.

You yourself have acknowledged elsewhere on this blog and in correspondence with me that Monks makes more sense for this job than an Easley appointee, but you continue to hammer Monks and enlist in your efforts a poll whose polling is now, at best, thirteen (13) days old. A lot's happened in those thirteen (13) days, KC, and, whatever's going on up there in New York, folks down here in Durham— where the election's actually being held—are waking up to the fact that, in this race, your Emperor, Lewis Cheek, has no clothes.

With all due respect, it seems to me that this would be a real good time to wake up and join them...

More later…

Cliff

Anonymous said...

Please tell me again, how helping to get Nifong reelected by splitting the opposition is actually going to help defeat Nifong? Either Monks is a mentally disturbed as Nifong (but, jeepers, how likely could that be?) OR, Monks has cut a deal for some meaningful payback when Nifong is reelected. Who knows what Cliff gets-- he appears to be a publicity seeking bootlicker-- but maybe he gets to ride in a real police car with Gottlieb or wear his hat, or if he's real good, even hold his nightstick! Good boy, Cliff! Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

Here you go again, Cliff. People have asked you time and time again to release the polling statistics on "Barker poll." Instead now you claim that some people are "waking up" in Durham. As I recall you claimed the same thing just before N&O poll was published, where Mr. Monks polled 2 %. So, did more people wake up since then?
Did powerful people order another poll in addition to the "Barker poll?" How does Mr. Monk poll these days?

Anonymous said...

So Cliff, you get asked yet again to reveal the details of the Barker poll. Why are you avoiding this?

Anonymous said...

Cliff - Does Steve know you've escaped your cage? Will he have to come back and apologize for you again or has he given you permission to speak this time?

Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work, K.C.! Everyone needs to VOTE CHEEK! There is no question where the true challenge will come from.

I can see now why Monks polls at 2%. Monks' campaign attack dog is both vicious AND delusional. A rather nasty pair of traits to combine. Effective for a defanged dwarf pit bull, but quite unattractive in a human being.

VOTE CHEEK and all of your wildest dreams will come true.

Anonymous said...

Mini Monks says:
"Mr. Monks' job is not "to expose Mike Nifong's misconduct" (God knows there are an abundance of people, yourself included, who are doing an excellent job of that), it is to actually do something about it in a constructive way."

By doing "something about it", does Clifford the Big Red Dog mean to say, "ensure that he is allowed to continue his misconduct" by helping him stay in office? I wonder what a job like that pays?

Sure does seem like Mr. Monks is doing something destructive, not something constructive.

Anonymous said...

KC, What happended to your sidebar click-ons?

Anonymous said...

happened!

Anonymous said...

Ah, but here's the rub. Because Cheek said he would not HOLD office if elected, he denied voters, potential voters, and biased/ignorant citizens of Durham a forum for the issues to be openly discussed (something Monks is not doing and had no time to do, either, but which is a result of his lack of legitimacy as a candidate.) It would have prevented "reporters" like Cash Michaels and the HS from selectively revealing to the black community only what he wanted/needed to assure Nifong wins the election.

Cheek comes across as "cheeky" (pun intended) in allowing himself to be on a ballot while saying he will not serve if elected. Why not just go along and then resign after the win (and after reviewing the Duke case)? Just what IS Cheek's position on all of this, anyway?

In an election year that continues to demonstrate the intense polarization in our country amongst and between "groups", reducing many campaigns to individual slug-fests instead of issues-based platforms and debate, Cheek had the opportunity to address many issues in a legitimate campaign (i.e. any actual "underlying issues" instead of those that Nifong has fraudently created and then used to save his job at the expense of three innocent white boys). I suspect that it was/is not his practice he wanted to retain so much as he did not want to ruin that practice by having to debate the issues of race, prosecutorial misconduct (which is a character issue as much as it is an administrative one relative to how the DA office is run), and the Duke Lacrosse case where the payback, if he lost the election, would cost him his livelihood.

Rather, Cheek's campaign is unique out of all campaigns in the nation in that it exists totally to run one man out of office because of one case that is perceived, legitimately or not, as a matter of social justice versus blind/objective/equal justice. It is, indeed, a campaign where the candidate is "unknown" and voters are asked to vote against another candidate rather than withholding a vote for a candidate they do not wish to see as the DA.

Cheek could have forced Nifong to address the real issues, to appear in public forums, to defend against actions, procedures and the prosecution record of his office and himself, in addition to addressing issues surrounding the DPD and its procedures, rogue officers, etc. Had this effort been made, a lot more damage to Nifong (including financial) would have occurred APART from the Duke case, instead of Cheek being seen as a one-issue-and-I'm-done guy. (Does anyone even know what he looks like?) The news media would have been forced to cover the real issues and give equal time to both viable candidates. Just the kind of research and data that KC has published, here, is exactly a case in point. Objective data is not an "agenda" and could not be ignored if it is brought into a public forum. Instead, it is now fodder for a lawsuit after the LAX trial and is unlikely to see major exposure within the Durham community.

I have difficulty accepting the confidence some display in Easley to appoint another DA who will approach the Duke case objectively (where it would most certainly be dropped) AND who will have the moral stamina to drop it in light of the racial problems such would incur. In fact, I think there will be a litmus test applied to anyone Easley considers for the job. This is common practice for any appointed position among democrats. On what basis does anyone think Easley will suddenly not be a democrat first? The very actions and mindsets that we find repulsive and appalling as revealed in this rape hoax are the very platforms on which the democrat party now stands, whether they clearly spell it out or not. We know. They know. Few will say it out loud.

Brewer said: "I believe our governor would not appoint someone who would disappoint us or embarrass him."

Easley appointed Nifong.

Because there appears to be a paucity of willing candidates for the DA job, one would assume that Nifong's record in the traffic division may not have been thoroughly reviewed; or perhaps the standards for the job were based on what we see the standards having become, now (certainly not high); or simply that some deal was made with Nifong to the exclusion of others with more experience (which brings up the relationship between Freda Black and Nifong, making some ask if there isn't a bit of prejudice against women in this town, too). One surely wonders why NO ONE had the guts to run a legitimate campaign against him where, at least, Nifong would have been forced to address the issues, even if such a candidate could not win.

Brewer's use of "disappoint" is troubling. Just what does this mean? Does anyone believe that Easley will appoint someone who is going to please "us" as it relates to the Duke case? That is impossible because the collective "us" is divided irreconcilably. It is obvious to anyone that if the "us" are the Duke supporters, or at the least a faction of voters who see the current DA as unqualified for the office, no one will ever ADMIT that an appointee meets the demands of only a faction of white, privileged, Duke students and supporters.

Anonymous 2:25 said: I beleive [sic] the Governor will think long and hard on whom he will choose to be the next DA. That person will be scrutinized and will require integrity, honesty, intelligence and knowledge of the constitution and the codes of his office.

Is there anyone in Durham with these PROVEN character traits and credentials?

If Easley is the least bit "diasppointed" in Nifong, he certainly hasn't demonstrated that. He has done nothing at all where there are options available to him. Nothing. He is letting it ride, the same stuff on the line as the rest of the social justice racists controlling this case.

Cheek has let down all those who simply want proper procedures, due process, and justice to prevail. The ONE thing I agree with Cliff on is that Monks is, at the very least, willing to stay in the job if he were elected. But Monks waited too long, as KC said, probably for the same reasons Cheek won't officially run for the office. Monks is a disgrace to his own party in an entirely different way (not the least of which is the manner in which Cliff has acted/spoken, including failing to address the point KC made about "what took you so long" if you really cared about the ISSUES, which include Nifong's misconduct, etc....doing something constructive about it might have been possible, oh, say...er...four months ago?).

Question: If Nifong loses, what is there to prevent Easly from appointing Nifong as DA on the basis that Cheek's campaign was illegitimate since he stated he didn't want the job and would not take the job? Surely there has to be some North Carolina wonderland law/rule/procedure that requires all the votes obtained by someone who states pre-election that he will not accept the office if elected to go to the OTHER candidate, who then auotmatically gets the job, right?

Twaddlefree

KC Johnson said...

I, too, very much wish that Cheek had run. In light of everything that's occurred since July (pole-dancing; 60 Minutes, Nifong's revelation about not speaking to the accuser, etc.), I suspect Cheek would have won by 8-10 points.

So we're faced with the best of bad alternatives: a wildly unethical prosecutor, a non-entity polling 2%, or the Cheek line.

If Cheek won, could Easley reappoint Nifong? Yes. Realistically, however, that wouldn't be an option.

He could appoint someone like ADA Tracy Cline, who has been a cheerleader for the case.

It's my hope that Easley, if the best-case scenario unfolds and Cheek comes from behind to win, does the safe thing, which would be in character for him: appoint a retired judge who wouldn't run for election in 2008.

Anonymous said...

You either have a choice of Nifong, or not Nifong. It's unrealistic to think Monks can win this election because he is a republican write-in candidate, and N&O poll shows him at 2%. Like KC said, in over 20 years of US history, he couldn't find any write-in candidate that polled 2% weeks before the election, and went on to win that election. Please also notice that Monks campaign strategy was not to go after Nifong, but after Cheek. Monks also "could have forced Nifong to address the real issues, to appear in public forums, to defend against actions, procedures and the prosecution record of his office and himself, in addition to addressing issues surrounding the DPD and its procedures, rogue officers, etc." Why do you think he didn't? You have to accept that it's not realistic to expect Mr. Monks to win the election.
So, the choice is between Nifong and Cheek. If Cheek wins, Easley appoints a new DA, and it's not likely at all Easley would appoint Nifong if voters recall him.
So, you can debate this until the cows come home. It's not the best of situations, but this is the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Almost 50% of DAs in NC were appointed by the governor. I think Easley can manage to appoint a new DA if Nifong is recalled-Easley had a lot of practice of doing just that.

Anonymous said...

You can dream of a perfect situation and a perfect candidate to take on Nifong, but it's not going to happen 5 days before the election. To me, RN-VC is the best choice.

Cliff said...

In response to my post at 3:23 PM yesterday, KC sent me the following email...

Cliff:

2%.

Give me a candidate anywhere in the country in any county, state, or federal election in the last 25 years who was at 2% three weeks out and won. Give me one who even tallied 20%.

2%.

KC

I replied to KC as follows...

KC,

Can you give me a race where a candidate’s election results were accurately predicted by what was on election day, at best, 19 day old data when:

• he was the [local] Chairman of a major political party [Republican]

• it came to be known after the poll was concluded that he’d raised more money than any of his opponents (see: Monks Leads DA Candidates in Fundraising)

• was running against a candidate who was not campaigning and who’d declared he wouldn’t serve

• was viewed by at least one leading commentator, yourself, as the best man for the position (you should really make more of this as should your colleagues)

• hadn’t even begun the bulk of his media campaign (now consisting of television—attached—and radio spots) when the poll was conducted

• hadn’t aggressively advanced some of the best reasons to vote for him when the poll was conducted

• hadn't, when the poll was conducted, sent out a mailing to the just under 27,000 members of his own political party articulating, among other things, the unique opportunity his candidacy afforded the party to establish a strong presence in a community where they generally have not played a leading role

• his apparent support among one of the constituencies most interested in the outcome of the race—in this case Duke and other Durham students—was in the vicinity 2:1 relative to his non-campaigning, won’t serve if elected, opponent in a movement dedicated to removing a corrupt incumbent

• the bubble hadn’t been burst, when the poll was conducted, on the non-electability of write-in candidates (it’s about to be, by the way, and big time, but for a preview, using confirmed Congressional data, the success rate for write-in candidacies in Congressional general elections is 55.6%, which just happens to be 1,986 times greater than the .028% rate that someone tried to fob off as reality, relative to the same elections, in the Chronicle earlier this week)

If you can, please do let me know…

Look forward to any additional thoughts you may have here. Meanwhile, can’t help but wonder why you’re so enthused about supporting a candidacy that so many people in Durham view to be a full-scale farce when you could probably save the anti-Nifong movement simply by endorsing Monks—maybe you’re underestimating your own power here and if you are, I’d reevaluate that too…

Best,

Cliff

P.S., Is it just me or does it strike you, too, as a little absurd that a candidate—Cheek—who is not campaigning, won’t serve if elected, and, common sense would tell us, [is] losing momentum would be expecting a candidate—Monks—who is now very actively campaigning, will serve, and, the same common sense would tell us, [is] gaining momentum to withdraw from the race? My God, the man’s not even campaigning and he wants his opponent to withdraw—does it get any wackier than this?

Anonymous said...

Dear Cliff.
"Mr. Monks, the Republican candidate, who is running on the slogan “It’s Your Choice. Not the Governor’s,” said that if elected he would review the evidence carefully to make his own determination, but that “this case might very well have to go to trial.”"
This is a quote from Duff Wilson's article, as if you didn't know. Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Still no data from the fake poll Cliff? Are the questions people here have asked too tough for you to answer? How can you expect to have any credibility when everyone who reads this blog knows you floated a make believe poll to pretend to have viability? I think your math is wrong on the fundraising totals. Mine tells me the Cheek PAC's raised 23K to your 14K. Just another deception on your part, eh Cliffy. Hope you're proud of yourself on Wednesday morning when all of your lies have turned that 2% into 4.

Cliff said...

3:57 PM

What Mr. Monks' offers relative to an Easley appointment is a substantially greater probability (100%) that the case will receive the full, fair, and dispassionate review it so clearly deserves and that Mr. Monks has made a guarantee of his campaign (for the analysis see: “Defeating Nifong - Where Does Our Real Victory Lie?”).

At no point has Mr. Monks, or anyone associated with his campaign, said or done anything to even remotely suggest that Mr. Monks has guaranteed to dismiss this case.

Cliff said...

4:05 PM

If you don't like our poll, why don't you go with your poll? And then take another look at my post above at 3:09 PM...

By the way, if you don't like the math, it's not mine, it's the News & Observer's, as I would have hoped would have been clear from my post. However, here's their math again...
http://www.newsobserver.com/630/story/504607.html.

Anonymous said...

So, Cliff, why hasn't your candidate
Mr. Monks "forced Nifong to address the real issues, to appear in public forums, to defend against actions, procedures and the prosecution record of his office and himself, in addition to addressing issues surrounding the DPD and its procedures, rogue officers, etc." Why did your candidate wait to begin the bulk of his media campaign instead of addressing issues? Even now, it appears your goal is to switch votes from Cheek to Monks, instead of from Nifong to Monks. Even if you manage to get some of Cheek's votes, your candidate Mr. Monks isn't likely to become a DA, don't you think? What are you trying to accomplish here?

Anonymous said...

Cliff wrote: If you don't like our poll, why don't you go with your poll?

Cliff, why won't you release the data from the Barker poll? Is it because you and Monks would be exposed as accomplices in touting a scam poll?

Cliff said...

5:01 PM

What we're trying to accomplish is quite simple: to be certain that Steve Monks—the candidate who KC has repeatedly acknowledged is the best choice in the race to replace Mike Nifong—wins!

You all now have a choice to make: you can continue your attempts to obstruct that goal OR you can now direct your energies to its achievement...

I would recommend the latter, but, of course, the choice is yours...

For more information on the realities of Steve Monks' candidacy, please visit his website at: www.stevemonksfordurhamda.com.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Monks has about as much chance of becoming a DA as I have of becoming a queen of England.

KC Johnson said...

To correct Cliff's point above:

I have repeatedly said that in the abstract, with a choice between Nifong, a gubernatorial appointment, and Monks, Monks would be the better appointment (though after seeing his press conference last Fri. I'm less confident in my assertion that I once was).

All that said, in the real world, I have also argued, repeatedly, that the only hope for ousting Nifong on Tuesday is the Cheek line, and Monks' continued presence in the race suggests a motivation--for reasons I cannot understand--to keep Nifong in office.