A Barack Obama supporter in North Carolina admitted to me this afternoon that he wrote a now-controversial Facebook comment in which he stated that he had already voted four times and was planning to vote a fifth. During the same conversation, however, he steadfastly denied having violated election laws or having plans to do so.
I became aware of the comment authored by someone named Jim Turner after a conservative blog with which I am not very familiar published a post featuring a captured image of the comment, the text of which appears below (minus names of the actual towns he named):
I have voted once in (name of town #1), once in (name of town #2), twice in (name of town #3) and will vote in my precinct in (name of town #4), I will do whatever it takes to save our country from the world envisioned by Mitt and his fear mongering followers. I do not want my granddaughter to have to re-fight the battles won by women 40 years ago or to make less than my grandson for performing the same work he does. This election is not about taxing the wealthy. It is about the American spirit and caring for our fellow man. Let’s continue to move forward, not slip in the dark past.
Above the image was a link to the Facebook page of the Jim Turner alleged to be behind the comments. When I visited that page, I found no evidence of the controversial comment but did read a comment containing words that seemed to reference the controversial comment. The words that appeared in the second comment are shown below:
“I posted a comment to Jami’s page earlier today and it now lives in cybersomewhere. I can’t seem to get with the whole facebook thing. I made bold comments on the future of my grandchildren under a Romney presidency and now it is gone. I think my comments were deleted as part of a conspiracy inspired by some who see our national glass as half empty.”
When I looked for someone named Jami on the aforementioned Facebook page of Jim Turner in North Carolina, I found a “friend” by that name but nothing in the form of any recent, publicly-visible posts or comments by anyone named Jim Turner.
Still curious to learn more about this particular Jim Turner, I searched for him by name and city, careful to confirm that any address shown for him was also the address listed for his wife, a woman he describes in a section of his Facebook page as his “high school sweetheart.” I was amazed at what turned up.
By clicking on one of the search results, I was lead to an Obama campaign website where I found this statement: “Join us at the home of Jim and (wife’s name) Turner to make calls that will help re-elect President Obama.” Below the statement was contact information(i.e., home address and phone number) for Jim Turner and his wife.
After I confirmed that the phone number shown matched one I had found on an online phone directory, I used it to try reaching Jim Turner. After several tries today, I finally reached him at approximately 2:45 p.m. Central.
As stated above, the Jim Turner with whom I spoke admitted to writing the controversial comment but vehemently denied having actually voted more than once or having plans to do so. When I changed the subject and asked if he and his wife have hosted any phone bank sessions for the Obama re-election effort, he politely ended our two-minute phone conversation without answering that question.
Editor’s Note: Turner told me he has received death threats as a result of this controversy. Because I do not condone death threats or harassment of any sort, I removed several links and other information from this piece so as to make it more difficult for anyone wishing to do harm to Turner to reach such an objective.
“BY HOOK OR BY CROOK” UPDATE 11/03/2012 at 7:36 p.m. Central: NAACP operatives invade polling station in Houston.
“BY HOOK OR BY CROOK UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 8:16 a.m. Central: 538′s Nate Silver predicts Obama win.
UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 1:03 p.m. Central: It appears that more than one news outlet has let the “genie” out of the bottle; therefore, I’m offering links to their stories here, here and here. Note, my story is the only one that mentions the phone bank angle.
UPDATE 11/04/2012 at 9:17 p.m. Central: So many conservative sites are sharing news about Jim Turner, but I remain the only one to share news about him hosting phone bank sessions for the Obama re-election campaign. Now, I’ve added the photo above with Turner’s address and phone blocked out.
UPDATE: Turner was cleared of wrongdoing, according to this report.
Bob McCarty is the author of “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice,” a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, “The CLAPPER MEMO,” is set for release this fall.