Thin Skin: Lobbyist Primary Opponent of Walter Jones Keeps Loosing His Cool

CRAVEN COUNTY – Politics is a blood sport that requires a certain thickness of skin when it comes to campaign season. Those in and around Washington D.C. know this, and usually develop immunity along the way. That’s why it’s a bit surprising to read reports of career lobbyist, and primary challenger to Third District Congressman Walter Jones (R), Scott Dacey loosing his cool when confronted with relatively mild (and truthful) criticisms of his candidacy.

Daily Haymaker relays accounts of Dacey, a lobbyist for Native American gaming concerns, flipping out on a surrogate of Jones, Peter Benton, who merely read the congressman’s statement to the Craven County GOP convention.

“Benton got through part of the statement before time ran out. The part he got to — as time was called — described Jones opponent Scott Dacey as “an Indian casino lobbyist.”

Following his remarks, Benton stepped outside the meeting room to speak with Hazel Speciale, the wife of state legislator Mike Speciale. It was at that point, the doors to the meeting room flew open and Dacey charged out toward Benton and Speciale. Witnesses tell us that Dacey loudly confronted Benton, saying things like: “Who are you? You’re not even a registered voter in North Carolina! My wife and I looked you up!”

First, Benton is indeed a registered voter. But what exactly did Dacey expect to accomplish with a confrontation? Especially one that had people wondering if a fight was going to break out. Seriously.

“Witnesses also tell us Dacey challenged Benton’s reference to him as “an Indian casino lobbyist,” saying “You need to get your facts straight!”.

Multiple public databases and online media sites covering the lobbying industry indicate Dacey represents nine Indian tribes and classify a leading focus of his work as “gaming” and /or “gambling.”

Witnesses tell me Dacey got “very close” to Benton, was red-faced and had clenched fists. Observers say they had genuine concerns a fight might break out.”

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Clifton also reminded us that this is not the first time Dacey has exhibited an incredibly thin skin, having gone toe-to-toe with popular Greenville talk radio host Henry Hinton and accusing Hinton of favoring Jones. Read the accounts here, and imagine just how awkward and uncomfortable this would have felt listening to on air.

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How does Dacey expect to gain the trust of the Third District voters, leaving them confident that he can fight for their principled causes, when he can’t even handle being labeled a lobbyist….when he’s a lobbyist!

Walter Jones has surely been called much worse when staking out unpopular, but principled, positions on issues over the years.

Kind of seems like Dacey is only comfortable when it’s all back-slapping and making friends in the Swamp.

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