The race in North Carolina for Senate is well on its way to being the most expensive Senate race in history, expected to top $100 million by the time it’s over. The contest between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis is also turning incredibly ugly.
Churchgoers in Fayetteville returned to their cars Sunday to find a political flyer on their windshield — which is to be expected 16 days before an election. But this flyer was different from the normal “Vote for candidate X” or “Oppose ballot question Y” fliers people are used to. This flyer was a picture of the lynching of a black man by a white crowd with the words “Kay Hagan Doesn’t WIN! Obama’s IMPEACHMENT Will Begin! Vote in 2014.”
— Paul Woolverton (@FO_Woolverton) October 20, 2014
The church is Kingdom Impact Global Ministries, a predominantly African-American congregation. Dawn McNair’s daughter found one of the fliers on her mother’s car and noticed the picture. “My daughter said, ‘Mom, look in the background. They’re lynching somebody.’ It’s the lynching of an African-American man,” Dawn told the Fayetteville Observer.
The message to the black parishioners was clear: Vote for the Democrat to protect the black president.
The local chapter of the NAACP doesn’t see a problem with the flier. President of the Fayetteville chapter, James Buxton, told the Observer, “That’s what the community feels. That if the Senate is taken over by the Republicans, and it remains the Republicans (in the majority) in the House of Representatives, they’re going to impeach him.”
County Republican Party Chairwoman Linda Devore saw things a little differently, saying, “I think it’s unfortunate to use this kind of emotion as a means to getting people out to vote. It’s bad information.”
The Fayetteville police are looking into the matter as “hate materials,” and expect federal authorities to be involved as they view the flier as an implied threat against the president.
Buxton of the NAACP sees it differently. WTVD reports him as saying, “he thinks the fliers are more partisan politics, than racist in nature.”
The authority line on the flier reads “Not endorsed by any candidate. Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Cumberland County.” It listed no address, and a search of the Internet turns up no results for the groups.
The Observer reports a former member of Fayetteville’s city council, Curtis Worthy, helped organize a group by that name in the 1990s, but he told them he hasn’t been involved with them for years and he had no idea if they still existed.
A spokesman for Hagan’s campaign was quick to distance the candidate from the lynching flier, telling the Observer, “I don’t know anything about the group or flier. We don’t coordinate with outside groups.”