Thursday, April 11, 2024

House speaker’s newest staffer out after old blog posts surface

A well-known Republican Party operative is no longer on N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore’s staff after old blog posts surfaced in which he expressed controversial views on race issues.

Carlton Huffman started work earlier this month as a new policy advisor to Moore, according to Huffman’s LinkedIn. As of this week, a staff directory on the legislative website lists him as a member of the House’s “GovOps” team, a group that works on investigations for the Joint Legislative Commission on Government Options.

A spokesperson for Moore said Thursday that he’s “no longer employed at the General Assembly.”

Huffman had previously worked for Herschel Walker’s Georgia Senate campaign, for the N.C. Republican Party, for the Wisconsin Republican Party and for the North Carolina legislature. He’s recently popped up in texts related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. According to news reports, Huffman wrote to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6 that “you’ve earned a special place in infamy for the events of today. And if you’re the Christian you claim to be in your heart you know that.”

Huffman’s role on Moore’s team became an issue Wednesday night after an anonymous email account sent reporters links to archived blog posts that Huffman authored more than a decade ago. The email called Huffman a “white supremacist.”

Among the comments Huffman posted:

-”Our members should remind our kinsmen that we must display our own racial solidarity as blacks are so apt at doing.”

-He said the killers of UNC Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson were “your typical thugs that George Wallace and Lester Maddox warned us about so long ago.”

-On a lawsuit challenging the drunk-driving arrests of immigrants in the country illegally, “since when do (we) let our honorable police officers be sued by Third World invaders who have no right to be here in the first place?!”

On Thursday, Huffman confirmed that he authored the old blog posts but says he no longer holds those views, saying his past statements were “hurtful and wrong.” He said he’s an admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King and that he’s spoken out against the recent police killings of unarmed Black people.

He says the anonymous effort to bring up his past statements was likely motivated by his critics within the Republican Party, some of whom have been upset by his criticism of GOP efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Huffman also made several appearances around 2010 on a radio show called “The Political Cesspool” that describes itself as “Pro-White.”

Huffman also made headlines in North Carolina as a legislative assistant in 2011 when he opposed legislation to pardon Reconstruction-era Gov. William Holden, who was impeached in 1871. 

Huffman told WRAL at the time that the Holden resolution was being ”rushed through,” because “I felt that they were doing a disservice to the history of the state.” The anonymous email to media outlets highlighting Huffman’s past comments was signed by “William Holden.”

WCNC in Charlotte reported last year that Huffman had written to a judge urging the maximum penalty for a Catawba County man who pleaded guilty to charges related to involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Unfortunately, in the case of James Little there is no remorse for his actions taken on January 6th and I believe a light sentence will present a risk to the public and to the governing authorities of the United States,” Huffman wrote to the judge.

The circumstances of Huffman’s quick departure from Moore’s staff are unclear. Moore spokeswoman Demi Dowdy didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry about whether he resigned or was fired. Huffman also declined to answer that question. 

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