Views of campaign donors cause concern

Wilkes Journal-Patriot ran an article outlining campaign donations, including those for the mayoral race in North Wilkesboro (“One mayoral candidate raises $18,534,” Oct. 20).

The article said Michael Cooper’s contributions were over $18,000 in the first three campaign reporting periods. It quoted Mr. Cooper as saying his donors included relatives, longtime friends who no longer live in Wilkes and friends from a church mission trip. The amount alarmed me and prompted me to go online to find out who his donors were.

Contributors include shamed Democratic N.C. Senatorial candidate James “Cal” Cunningham, whom Cooper campaigned for in his run for one of N.C.’s two Senate seats. Cal and other family members make up $950 of contributions to the Cooper campaign.

Another donor, Gene Nichol, whom the Journal-Patriot described as a “champion of social justice.” A deeper look into Nichol’s past reveals his order to remove a cross from the Wren building at the college of William and Mary while president. Nichol said it was unwelcoming to those of other faiths (while this nation was founded on Christian principles). His most shocking offense was allowing a “Sex Workers Art Show” to present on campus. Nichols claimed it violated the First Amendment to not allow them to present. He resigned shortly thereafter.

Amy Handler, chief of education and community partnerships for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon, donated $100. That’s ironic, considering we had hundreds show up recently to sign a resolution to be given to the Wilkes County commissioners at their next board meeting, which is on Election Day. This resolution would make Wilkes a safe haven for the unborn and declare our stance against abortion at any phase of pregnancy. It should be noted that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Kahran Myers-Davis, a Greensboro attorney, donated $375 to Cooper’s campaign. Cooper sat on my front porch and proudly proclaimed that we must support our police, firemen and first responders, yet his donors have alternate beliefs. Ms. Myers-Davis is affiliated with State Voices, whose website has a section promoting defunding the police for democracy.

Rebekah Whilden of Charlotte, a senior campaign representative for the “Sierra Club,” donated $100. The Sierra Club is a strong supporter of the “Green New Deal,” among many other highly controversial issues.

Josh Lawson, of Facebook, donated $500. Many are aware of the actions of Facebook against conservatives and those who hold views against their sacred “fact checkers.” Lawson’s Linked-In account states he was “Civic Policy at Facebook, fmr. Chief of State Elections Council, White House Staff and public affairs fellow.”

Justin Barra donated $100 and is listed as “vice president” at the “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.” The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is an organization established and owned by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

With a list of liberal affiliations as laid out above, it’s convenient that North Wilkesboro’s elections are non-partisan as candidates like Mr. Cooper can go door to door and present themselves as a champion of that homeowner’s political party affiliation. Some say Mr. Cooper went away to make these “connections” in an effort to come back to North Wilkesboro and solve our problems. In my opinion, winning this election is nothing more than an attempt for Cooper to climb the political ladder to higher offices.

I was born and raised in North Wilkesboro. I met and married my wife here. I built a house in North Wilkesboro and it’s where my wife and I decided to plant our roots and raise our three children. When I see the controversial and questionable far left views of those on Mr. Cooper’s donor list, it leads me to question his personal beliefs and his judgment.

What are Mr. Cooper’s thoughts on accepting donations from such viewpoints and did he think this would go unnoticed? Does Mr. Cooper think these views align with the values of families in North Wilkesboro? I do not believe these values represent those held by the majority of North Wilkesboro’s citizens and if he were to win, I would be very concerned about what that would mean for our community.


North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Planned Parenthood link raises questions

I read with interest the letter to the editor (“Sources of Cooper’s funds concerning”) in the Oct. 20 issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot submitted by Andrew Palmer concerning the sources of Mike Cooper’s campaign finances. Personally, I am not opposed to a candidate soliciting funds from outside the community. I also support candidates in other communities outside of North Wilkesboro. I know the candidates fairly well, some better than others, and I think highly of all of them. I noticed that several donors are employees of large organizations located outside of North Wilkesboro. No problem there. I am a Lowe’s retiree.

However, Andrew does raise a legitimate question as to what interest a donor outside of North Wilkesboro has in a local mayoral election. Could it be an expectation of some future benefit to the donor on a larger scale? Of course, that’s politics. Therefore, what specific larger interest does an employee of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the country, have in a community with a pro-life culture?

Notwithstanding the moral issue, Planned Parenthood is certainly not helping the economy in the current (and future) age of labor shortages. Has anybody noticed the “Help Wanted” signs on store fronts throughout Wilkes County. A contribution from an employee of Planned Parenthood raises a question in my mind as to Mike Cooper’s position on the right to life of the unborn. I am satisfied with the positions of Marc Houser and Will Hamby. I think it would be very helpful to the voters of North Wilkesboro if Mike Cooper would make clear his position.


North Wilkesboro, N.C.

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