The base political hackery that is Gov. Roy Cooper’s treatment of the NC State Board of Elections (SBE) continues apace.
Gov. Cooper has lost three SBE chairs since December. Andy Penry resigned under fire for his overly partisan conduct in December, Josh Malcolm withdrew his name from consideration for reappointment in January after the SBE failed to disclose the “frequent contact” he had with a “figure in NC-09 investigation during ’18 election” until threated with legal action, and Bob Cordle resigned last month after he told a joke involving cow sexuality to several hundred local elections officials.
Undeterred by his previous failures, Gov. Cooper has gone back to the hyper-partisan well by naming Damon Circosta to the board. Circosta was the officially nonpartisan member of the previous version of the SBE. However, his conduct shows that he has been anything but that. My colleague, Brian Balfour, noted Circosta’s ties with leftist groups yesterday. Also, a quick trip to the SBE’s voter search tool finds that Circosta has only requested Democratic ballots when a choice of party primary was available. Circosta has deleted his Twitter account, but a trip through his tweets on the Wayback Machine demonstrates his partisanship again, like this gem:
Of course, I am not knocking Circosta for being a partisan. He has as much right as anyone else to work hard to turn his beliefs into public policy.
However, this new appointment reveals that Circosta’s prior appointment as the nonpartisan member of an earlier version of the SBE was a sham. He has always conducted himself as a left-of-center partisan and a Democrat no matter what label was affixed to him.
Gov. Cooper’s two appointments of Circosta to the State Board of Elections also expose the farce of so-called nonpartisan redistricting commissions. Circosta is just the kind of partisan we could expect to fill the “nonpartisan” spots on such a board.
We have already seen what Gov. Cooper means by nonpartisan; it is just another way for him to assert political dominance.