Dallas Woodhouse is a big, fat liar.
I’ve been thinking it for a while, but his actions in recent weeks have confirmed this.
I have been on a slow burn for days because of this guy; surprisingly, every time I’ve complained about him, people ask, “Who is that?”
Dallas Woodhouse started his career in broadcast journalism, working as a political reporter for TV stations for years. A couple of years ago he worked on the campaign of Phil Berger, getting the Senate majority leader reelected. He was rewarded last year with being named executive director of the N.C. Republican Party.
During the election season, I received several emails a week from Woodhouse’s office, usually attacking Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton and Roy Cooper. It became quite apparent that the GOP was using Woodhouse to say outlandish things that Berger, Gov. Pat McCrory and others might want to say, but feared it would hurt their image.
He once appeared on MSNBC carrying a pair of handcuffs and suggesting that Clinton wear this “jewelry” to the presidential inauguration.
When the voter ID law was struck down over the summer, Woodhouse reached out to county Board of Election offices, trying to get polling locations limited at certain times and places as to give an advantage to the Republicans.
The emails he sent out in August sought to curb early voting, keep polling sites closed on Sundays, shut down voting sites on college campuses and in general “make party-line changes to early voting.” Party-line changes, as in his party, the GOP.
Then we come to what happened in the past two weeks.
On Dec. 9, McCrory announced a special session to authorize disaster relief funds the same day that the U.S. Congress announced $300 million in disaster funding.
Several officials noted that the wording of McCrory’s announcement meant that this time not only could cover hurricane funding, but also any other surprise legislation that the GOP might want to pass before McCrory leaves office. One example given in a wire news report was that the General Assembly might add two new Republican judges to the state Supreme Court.
House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, even said that Friday that he believed the legislature could act on anything it chose once it had convened.
On Dec. 13, Woodhouse sent an email to me and several other newspaper editors complaining about us running stories and editorials about the upcoming special session.
“As a former news reporter, I am embarrassed by how the press fell hook, line and sinker” for the special-meeting crisis, he started off in the email.
“Otherwise reputable news organizations have added to this rumor mill – with no evidence, no written bill, no Republican endorsement, and no off-the-record background comments that it was possibly coming. The unfair and unrealistic notion that it is our job to answer every hair-brained paranoid scheme that the Democrats dream up, again without any proof, evidence, or confirmation, is absolutely ridiculous.”
Woodhouse specifically mentions the idea of adding new judges, but that is only part of what was suggested by wary Democrats.
Woodhouse went to extremes in trying to make all of us journalists look ridiculous.
“Since you have applied a new standard to our Party and our members— that we have to deny everything that is not going to happen, here we go:
“We are not outlawing the color blue.
“We are not selling the naming right to the General Assembly to Pepsi, or the Governor’s Mansion to Lowes.
“We are not going to shut down the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as punishment for their crazy liberal faculty.
“We are not requiring High School students to read: The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater, Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, or The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek.”
I might have felt a little shame at thinking bad thoughts about the GOP, but then two days later, the Republicans did even worse than expected. The blatant power grab made national news.
The GOP countered with the classic “he did it first” argument, pointing out some power grabs by the Democrats in the 1970s and ’80s. That’s true, but if any of you had childhood fights with siblings, saying “he started it” didn’t get you out of trouble with Mom. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Even if I can see the Republicans’ points about things like Gov. Jim Hunt sacking a bunch of GOP appointees in the ’70s, that doesn’t make it OK to lie to the public two days before the session. If the Republicans really believed what they were doing was perfectly acceptable, then mouthpiece Woodhouse wouldn’t have needed to send that deceptive email.
Oh, and Dallas? Liar, liar, pants on fire.
Jeff is the associate editor and can be reached at 415-4692.