I met with Lee Buchanan of the Independent Tribune today. We had a great conversation and the paper will remedy the article from last week. I forgive all and we start anew! “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”–Mark 11:25. I can always use some more practice at forgiveness so this whole situation has been a blessing!
Last week, the Independent Tribune published a featured piece by Justin Thibault that essentially said that Representative Pittman and I bribed the Cabarrus County GOP with $200. The piece explicitly referenced the payments as part of a “dirty deeds done cheap policy.” This is a BOLD-FACED LIE and Justin knows it and Lee Buchanan, the editor of the Independent Tribune, knows it.
The $200 payment was for tickets to the annual Reagan Day dinner, held every April. They were $50 each and I purchased a half-table sponsorship (four tickets and an ad in the program). In addition to my payment for tickets, ALL of the following candidates/office holders paid for tickets to the event: Fred Biggers, Carolyn Carpenter, Judge Brent Cloninger, Representative Carl Ford, Oddy Christ, Ben Franklin, Judge Billy Hamby, David Harrison, Senator Fletcher Hartsell, Judge Marty McGee, Blake Kiger, and Andrea Palo. In an ironic twist, the man Justin used his column to endorse, Mike Tallent, also paid $100 for tickets to the same event.
Seriously, were all these people, many of whom vociferously disagreed with me, all paying to be part of the same “dirty deeds done cheap policy?” Of course not! We simply bought tickets to a dinner. Here is a link to the report referenced in Justin’s column. A high schooler would immediately see that all the payments with a deposit date of 4/12/2014 were payments for tickets to the event (note that all of them are $50 increments).
Could it be more obvious that the Independent Tribune has zero journalistic integrity left? Who is in charge over there that a smear column like this could be published without even a basic fact check? All of our campaign finance reports are public records easily accessible. Below is my finance report showing the $200 payment for “Reagan Day Dinn Sponsorship.” Also, Senator Hartsell’s financial report showing $150 with an almost verbatim description: “Reagan Day Dinner Table/Tickets”. Representative Pittman’s shows the same (also below).
Certainly any editor that cared about the reputation of his paper as a trustworthy and credible “news” source would have easily figured this out. Instead, the Independent Tribune allowed its featured columnist to misrepresent an ordinary expense incurred by many as part of a slimy “dirty deeds done cheap policy”. I personally brought all of these documents to Lee Buchanan on Thursday and he has refused to retract their column.
Representative Pittman is one of the finest, Bible-living men that I know. To accuse a sitting representative and the entire local GOP executive committee of participating in a “dirty deeds done cheap policy” without even doing a basic fact check is OUTRAGEOUS. I let a lot roll off my back, but the Independent Tribune is not going to publish a baseless, malicious accusation of bribery.
Here is a screenshot from Senator Hartsell’s report (Note-I include this because the senator and I have almost the same entry and it would be absurd to allege that he was part of a “dirty deeds done cheap policy”).
Here is Representative Pittman’s report:
The Independent Tribune contacted me and asked me if I would do a final interview with them. I think they were very fair in putting together this piece. Thanks to them. Here’s a quick excerpt.
Q: Do you have plans to run for office again?
A: “I don’t. I have no plans to run for office. People told me after the election ‘Jason, you’re an awful politician.’ And they’re right. I was an awful politician. My goal was never to be a politician. We’ve got a bunch of good politicians in America, and we’ve got a country that’s falling apart. So we don’t need any more good politicians.
“I took that position because I wanted to see if you could still make real change in your local government by going and really working hard and empowering the people with information. I wanted to see if you could make a change doing that. And at this point in America I don’t believe that you can. It’s going to take something to awaken the people of America before they will reengage their government. … You can read more at http://www.independenttribune.com/news/oesterreich-reflects-on-contentious-months/article_9c239844-7896-11e4-b3bc-575e8f262906.html
“This power over the purse, may in fact be regarded as the MOST COMPLETE AND EFFECTUAL WEAPON with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, FOR OBTAINING A REDRESS OF EVERY GRIEVANCE, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” James Madison Federalist No. 58.
Our House of Representatives has ALL the power it needs to stop this executive branch blatant Constitutional breach. Will they use it or will they be cowards too scared about getting reelected to actually act in accordance with the oath they took to defend the Constitution?
Pending something unforeseen, our actions as commissioners have come to an end. These are my last comments as a member of Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners. Very simple, but I KNOW that if we do this, Cabarrus County and the United States will be blessed!
A plan to save America in 60 seconds; that’s worth watching right?
I know I am an imperfect messenger for this message, but I thank Jesus for the opportunity to serve our comminity. I hope God blesses you richly.
Here is the detail of the first act of Congress and President Washington. I mispoke when I said St. Mark’s Cathedral, it was St. Paul’s: http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=19942
My hope for the GOP–As a Christian, I can always find someone behaving worse than me. If I compare myself to him, I look pretty good. However, when I turn back to the Bible and compare myself to God’s word, I look pathetic and realize the need for repentance and change. I pray our GOP leaders will stop comparing themselves to the Democrats, where admittedly the GOP is better, and start comparing themselves to the Constitution and our founding fathers. Realize we need real change, not the superficial change discussed in elections, and then do that!
Until we get leaders willing to stand up for God and the Constitution, electing either party will make no difference.
The leaders of both of our political parties today will continue moving America down the WRONG path. As long as we keep electing them, America will fall further in despair. We need to reform at least one party to stand up for the Constitution and the Bible. Folks, this is the story of the first Inauguration. As their first official act, the President and Congress consecrated America to God.
By a 3-2 vote of the Board of Commissioners and a 6-0 vote by the Cabarrus County Board of Education, the two boards agreed to build the most EXPENSIVE elementary school in Cabarrus County HISTORY.
Mind you, as a county, we have over $400 million of debt and we need to build several new/replacement schools in the next couple years because we have not built one in several years. As you recall, there is no plan as to how to fund all of these schools except to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars. Click on this post, you will see VIDEO evidence that borrowing is the only plan. http://jasonoesterreich.com/2014/01/12/the-current-plan-is-to-borrow-borrow-borrow/
Once again, the school board favors building facilities over teachers and students. My neighbor is literally collecting $10 from each neighbor to fund teacher assistants at R. Brown McAllister. At the same time, we see the School Board’s priority is building the most expensive elementary school in county history.
By the way, as noted in my comments, the money being used for this additional funding of the new elementary school was taken from Mount Pleasant Middle School. Yes, the same Mount Pleasant Middle School that did not have stalls around a toilet–you can see the pictures here http://jasonoesterreich.com/2014/05/01/mount-pleasant-middle-school-the-facts/.
These boards have both been doing this for years. Until you hold them accountable, they will continue. Here are some other examples: http://jasonoesterreich.com/2014/04/27/government-waste-the-pictures/
Here are my full comments from last night.
Christians are not victims of the judiciary; we’ve been consistently voting for gay marriage and other unbiblical policies with our dollars and time. In a capitalist society, we vote every day with our dollars and our time (with respect to the media). Capitalism is very simple—the products that are desirable to the consumer are rewarded with purchases, the products that are undesirable go away because they are not financially supported. When you spend your dollar on a product, you are voting for more of that product. With respect to the media, spending time watching or listening to a program is a vote for similar programming (see note below for the details).
From a practical perspective, most Christians vote for certain policies in political elections one time every two or four years, but several times every day we vote with our dollars and time for opposite policies.
If you want a society that doesn’t glamorize pre-marital sex, divorce, lust, gay marriage, greed, materialism, etc., then don’t vote for products and programs that glamorize those things. The folly of rewarding A while hoping for B. Understand that businesses and media shape culture and culture determines policy. You see, the progressive media and businesses have been using products and programs to desensitize our society to sin (and normalize it) for a long time. So, if you want biblical policy, we need a culture that does not promote unbiblical policy. Unfortunately, Christians reward the businesses and media that promote sin and alter our culture to an unbiblical policy and then hope for biblical policy.
This is a basic causation analysis. Christians partially cause the society to be the way it is and then complain about the way it is. We are “victims” just like everyone else; refusing to acknowledge our responsibility for the result.
In I Thessalonians 5:21-22, Paul says, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” In my opinion, Christians have not been examining everything carefully. Instead, with respect to most things, we have been conformed to the worldly views of our nation and accept its determinations of what is good and evil. Realize that in the last few decades, our nation has been altered from a nation of Christian principles to a nation of moral relativism. Thus, we cannot trust its examination of things and must independently examine everything for ourselves.
Obviously, all the nuances of this analysis are not included here. One could write an entire book on motives and details. I simply wanted to convey the very basic truth that as Christians, we are not victims; we are part of the cause. Society will continue to erode until Christians decide to stop rewarding that erosion, and it won’t happen one second sooner.
*The media gives you programming for free in exchange for being able to expose you to advertisements. When you expend your time viewing or listening to a program, they sell your time to the advertisers and make money. So the more time you give them, the more money they make, the less time, the less money they make. So when you spend your time watching programming, you are voting for more of that substantive programming.
Time and time again, Commissioner Morris and Cabarrus Jobs Now have been caught lying and deceiving our voters (Commissioner Morris and soon-to-be-commissioner Diane Honeycutt co-founded Cabarrus Jobs Now together as a Political Action Committee).
When evil uses lies and deceit to take power from the innocent and unknowing, we must stand against it.
This morning, the Independent Tribune published an article stating that Commissioner Morris’s lies resulted in two library employees being suspended for 3 days each. Also, in response to such behavior, the county manager had to send out a memorandum to county volunteers and the public stating, “First and foremost I want to apologize for any false, inaccurate, or misrepresentation of factual information that may have been distributed to you from our library staff.” Commissioner Morris used the library staff and our county volunteers to spread lies. http://www.independenttribune.com/news/morris-oesterreich-square-off-over-library-woes/article_5b9a77d8-4714-11e4-943e-001a4bcf6878.html
Here is video from our last meeting of me confronting this behavior. He makes no effort to deny his behavior (the video runs through the end of the meeting so you can see he NEVER tries to refute this):
This group has a pattern and practice of lying. I’m sure you remember this flyer. They spent thousands of dollars sending this direct mailer, which said “behind closed doors, Cabarrus County Commissioners Chris Measmer and Larry Burrage awarded a $151,000 no-bid contract to their political crony John Day following his resignation as Cabarrus County Manager.” Even the county attorney acknowledged in our official meeting that this is TOTALLY FALSE—here is the video. This time, I explicitly ask Commissioner Morris if he wants to deny this (again he did not deny it):
Finally, in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars Cabarrus Jobs Now spent telling you Ms. Honeycutt is a “conservative Republican”, Ms. Honeycutt spent thousands on the attached flyer. FIVE times she tells you she is a “conservative” Republican. See Honeycutt Mailer (just first page). A tiny amount of research will quickly reveal she was not telling the truth.
Commissioner Morris used county resources to spread lies and Cabarrus Jobs Now and Ms. Honeycutt spent approximately $100,000 spreading theirs. You need to be aware that after they are seated, 4 out of the 5 sitting commissioners will have received significant campaign support from Cabarrus Jobs Now. If they will lie like this to gain a little power, they are going to lie to increase and keep power. Moreover, they likely are trying to impact other races this November.
“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” Ephesians 5:11