There's was a noticeable verbal play at work when State Board of Elections member Bill Peaslee began his questioning of former N.C. Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Falmlen.
Peaslee, at right, is a former high ranking official within the N.C. Republican Party. And Peaslee repeatedly referred to Falmlen's party as the "Democrat Party," as in:
"Did the Democrat Party at any point arrange for travel for Gov. [Mike] Easley?" Peaslee asked.
"Not that I'm aware of. No sir," Falmlen answered.
Dropping the "ic" from "Democrat," of course is often meant as a little tweak. It serves as a reminder that the Board of Elections is a partisan body with three Democrats and two Republicans.
And to be fair, Bob Cordle, a Democrat pictured at right, has earned some attention this week for the tone of his questions. Columnist and Dome's distinguished colleague Rob Christensen noted that Cordle's questions have coddled witnesses all week.
Board Chairman Larry Leake, whom some Republicans had criticized for holding a fundraiser in 2000 for Easley, continued his persistent and professional questioning. The same could not be said for Bob Cordle, whose unfettered flattery of all Democratic witnesses, including Easley, is cringe-inducing.
Cordle is a Charlotte-area lawyer.
He almost went off the board in 2005, except for action by Mike Easley. Easley kept Speaker Jim Black from moving Cordle over to the lottery commission. Easley said at the time he needed Cordle on the election panel for his expertise.
Black would appoint Kevin Geddings to the lottery panel instead. Geddings didn't disclose that he had been working for a lottery vendor and was prosecuted for it.