By Staff (Editorial Content)
It appears that Forsyth County Board of Elections Chairman Ken Raymond just can’t control himself or his mouth. Following his failed attempt to bring back Jim Crow era voter intimidation techniques, his spearheading Art Pope’s Civitas Institute’s attempt to get Forsyth Co Board of Elections Director fired as political retribution, and his comical “investigations” into possible malfeasance and voter fraud, Raymond has now sent a letter to The Chronicle which includes a little homophobia mixed in with his delusions of grandeur.
What really got caught in Raymond’s apparently prodigious craw was a crack The Chronicle made about him in their story about the attempt by Civitas to use Ken Raymond and Scott Cumbie as fronts to go after the Forsyth Co. Board of Elections director. According to a letter sent by Cumbie, Raymond, and Civitas to the State Board of Elections, they wanted Coffman fired for personally insulting Civitas. What really drew Civitas’ fire was a the fact that Coffman had interjected reality into his interaction with Chairman Ken Raymond. Reality has no part in Civitas/Raymond’s agenda so they went after the man’s job… hard.
So in covering that little bit of political nastiness (more details HERE) The Chronicle wrote the following quip- based in a great deal of that pesky reality stuff:
“We think what really fired-up Raymond – who would be the result if Allen West and Herman Cain could produce a lovechild – is his contention that Coffman got snippy and disparaged the Civitas Institute, the Raleigh altar at which Raymond and other conservatives go to worship and receive their calls to action.”
With all the style and grace of an internet troll, Raymond launched back at The Chronicle in as blinding a demonstration of having no sense of humor that could be imagined. Not only did Raymond not get the joke, his homophobia was showing:
“I’m a love-child produced by two men?” he wrote in an email. “Is this is (sic) what you call thoughtful and insightful commentary? This statement is extremely crude and unprofessional. In fact, that concept only leads your readers to think about some of the most debased things in our society.”
So Ken thinks the possibility of two men together is one of the most “Debased things in our society.”
For the record: We at CCD think that the most debased thing in our society is that in a nation that stubbornly remains a global economic power house… children are going hungry right this moment.
Raymond then doubles down on the homophobia:
“Apparently, The Chronicle has reduced itself to a mockery of a newspaper. That’s the only possible reason why its editor referred to the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Elections as ‘a love child produced by two men.’ And its (sic) the only possible reason why the editor is allowed to publish any disgusting thought that enters his mind.”
We can admit that the thought of Herman Cain and Allen West getting their groove on could certainly be categorized as “disgusting.” I don’t think we and Raymond would be coming at it in the same way, though. It was as if Raymond could not be satisfied in simply lashing out at The Chronicle, he seemed to feel the need to pick on the LGBT community a little while he did it.
For their part The Chronicle responded thus:
Our reference – quite clear to anyone with at least a fifth-grade education – explained, in a nutshell, the kind of blowhard Raymond is to the many, many, many who know nothing about this man who is desperate to use his position as chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Elections to make a name for himself. He clearly is a mash-up of Cain, West and all the other black Republicans who talk a lot but say very little.
All in all the email was a little wobbly in the middle, but Raymond did not fail to stick the landing- going to outrageous grandiose heights of self-delusion, which would be pretty funny if there was not also an edge of being pitiful. In the closer Raymond declared his intention to never comment to The Chronicle again (because open government facilitated by a free press is icky) and demands they print a retraction. Raymond then lets The Chronicle know that he has a way for his voice to get to Winston-Salem’s African American community… The Winston-Salem Journal.
I’m very confident that I can successfully communicate with the city’s black community through the Winston-Salem Journal. And the communications would certainly be more frequent.
We here at CCD sure are glad that Ken was able to find himself a fair and balanced media outlet.
While all of this could be pretty funny- it ceases to be so when this kind of unhinged and self -deluded email is being sent to a newspaper from a public official. Ken Raymond has shown that his understanding of his own position in the elections system is hampered by an over-load of ideology coupled with an inability to get a real hard fix on the reality of the situation. Now Chairman Raymond has displayed a profound lack of self discipline and control when he lashed out at The Chronicle in a way more befitting an internet troll sitting around with a feed-bag full of Cheetos around their neck while they multi-task World of War Craft, Drudge Report, and Huffington Post and main-line World Net Daily on an iphone. Chairman Raymond is embarrassing our community and should consider what is best for Forsyth County and our image to those who might be considering moving a business here, moving here themselves, or investing in Winston-Salem. Just let it go, bub. You’re really, truly terrible at this. Be a man and step down.
So how about that apology from The Chronicle?
After about two seconds of consideration, we decided that an apology would not be forthcoming for whatever offense Raymond believes we are guilty of.
When Raymond apologizes for trying to silence students and minorities at the polls and subscribing to policies and philosophies that make a mockery of the Civil Rights Movement, we may consider extending some sort of olive branch – but he shouldn’t hold his breath.
Read The Chronicle‘s initial coverage HERE.
Read The Chronicle‘s full response to Raymond’s email HERE.
Read CCD‘s coverage of Raymond’s first meeting as Chairman HERE.
Read CCD‘s coverage of the Civitas attack on Coffman. This article provides a good deal of background on exactly who Ken Raymond is HERE.