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NC Congressman's aide indicted for voter fraud — and there's more to the story

And that’s not the half of it. First the general news about the homophobic congressman, via CBS:

The CBS News Investigative Unit has learned a man who was a field coordinator in Congressman Patrick McHenry‘s (R-NC) 2004 campaign has been indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina.

The indictment charges that Michael Aaron Lay, 26, illegally cast his ballot in two 2004 Congressional primary run-offs in which McHenry was a candidate. The charges indicate that Lay voted in a district where it was not legal for him to vote.

At the time Lay was listed as a resident in a home owned by 32-year-old McHenry but campaign records indicate Lay’s paychecks were sent to an address in Tennessee. McHenry won the primary by only 86 votes.

Now back to the more interesting part of the story There were rumors swirling last year about the unmarried McHenry’s orientation, but there was no smoking gun of course, only rumors.

Anyway, McHenry household has more than one man listed as living with him, though all we can tell — at this point — is that they were using it to vote for the Congressman.

So which is worse politically for McHenry — voter fraud, or the possibility that he might be co-habitating with a male lover?

Mike Rogers of BlogActive has copies of the voter registrations for other men with odd living arrangements, including a second staffer, Jason Jent Deans, who was registered McHenry’s district yet paid at another address. He also voted in the same primary that the above-mentioned indicted aide did. Oops.

Mike:

Want more? Yet ANOTHER person registered at the address just before McHenry’s first election. While the NC election records indicate that Matthew Allen Hamilton registered to vote at the address in October 29, 1998, just before election day. He didn’t vote in that election and did not start voting until November of 2002, four years after he registered. Interestingly, the only primaries he voted in were the ones in which McHenry ran, including a runoff in August of ’04…And in that tightly fought primary in ’04, Hamilton voted by absentee ballot.

Could there be MORE people at the address? Um, yup!

Someone named Neil Everett Capano, on June 23, 2004 was also registered at Rep. McHenry’s abode. Patrick’s busy, but he clearly provides a lot of hospitality!

Watch McHenry, who represents conservative Hickory and Mooresville, bleat about his opposition to marriage equality on the House floor:

UPDATE: My NC blogger pal Matt Hill Comer weighs in on the brouhaha, in his post “Patrick McHenry’s night-time buddy.”

I’m sure somebody will end up claiming that Lay doesn’t live with McHenry. If that is claimed, then it just seems as though McHenry’s been getting secret night-time visits from his good “pal” Lay.

Matt then points to this anti-McHenry blog, which has a damning observation about Michael Aaron Lay.

My question is this: Is it really appropriate and seemly for a 29/30 year old Congressman to be sharing his home with a 23/24 year old law student on a weekday/school night such that the young college student is up at 4:30 am and headed back to school at 5:00 am. In my opinion there are only a few good reasons for a young man to drive 3 1/2 hours on a Wednesday after classes to spend the night with someone and then get up the next morning at 4:30 and drive the 3 1/2 drive back to make his classes. I cannot imagine what legitimate tasks in this “Age of Information” could not be accomplished over phone, fax and internet. If this young man’s visit was not for inappropriate reasons, at least our Congressman should realize and avoid such an obvious “appearance of impropriety”. Michael Aaron Lay is a young man compared to Patrick McHenry. It should be obvious to the Congressman and anyone else that a single man in Patrick’s position would be well advised to avoid overnight guests who find it necessary to scuttle out of town on a school night before the sun is even up.

Hmmmm….Patrick McHenry may be going down in more ways than one in this next election cycle.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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