October 25th, 2013
10:01 AM ET
12 months ago

North Carolina GOP precinct chair resigns after racial remarks

Updated 10/25/2013 at 6:43 pm

(CNN) - The GOP precinct chair of Buncombe County in North Carolina resigned Thursday after the state's Republican Party called for his resignation over a racially-charged interview on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

In the interview, Don Yelton made racially charged remarks and said North Carolina's new voter ID laws will "kick the Democrats in the butt."

Yelton stepped down from his post in an interview on Asheville radio station WWNC.

“I resign my position as precinct chair. Gladly. I'll give it up. To heck with it, I don't want to be part of a group that is that mealy-mouthed and that gutless,” he said.

It all began when Yelton's interview on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" aired Wednesday night. The satirical news show did a segment on North Carolina's new voter ID requirements that Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law in August.

"The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt," Yelton said. "If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts the whites, so be it."

"If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it," he added.

While Yelton said in the interview he's "been called a bigot before," he argued in his defense that one of his best friends is black.

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope swiftly called for Yelton's resignation.

"The North Carolina Republican Party finds the comments made by Mr. Yelton to be completely inappropriate and highly offensive," Pope said in a statement, adding that Yelton "does not speak for either the Buncombe County Republican Party or the North Carolina Republican Party."

Yelton told CNN affiliate WLOS on Thursday that he stands by his comments and brushed off any criticism.

"We can't avoid these issues. We need to bring them up and talk about them," he added.

On the radio show, Yelton went on to blast political correctness and reject the idea that he was hurting his party’s efforts at appealing to a wider audience or misrepresenting the GOP’s reasons for backing voter ID laws.

“They're a bunch of chickens,” he said, referring to Republicans who disagree with his approach. “I'm embarrassed for the fact that they don't stand up and fight for what's right.”

Yelton said he doesn’t regret any of the statements he made on the “Daily Show” and adamantly contended he was not a racist.

“I am not racist, never have been, and the ability of the local people and the media and the outlets to twist this into a racist issue shows exactly how willing the people are to be taken advantage of,” he said.

CNN reached out to Yelton Friday morning, but he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block parts of the new North Carolina law, which requires voters to have a photo ID, shortens early voting, eliminates same-day voter registration during early voting and restricts the counting of some provisional ballots.

This summer the Supreme Court struck down a Voting Rights Act requirement for North Carolina and other states with a history of discrimination to get permission from the Justice Department or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes.

The high court's decision gave the states the green light to proceed with voter ID laws, which critics say disproportionately affect minorities, while opponents say the regulations prevent voter fraud.


Filed under: North Carolina
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Bill

    More racial hatred and bigotry from a party that can no longer win elections, so it cheats, lies, manipulates or change the rules in hopes of rallying their shrinking base. Bottom line, the GOP is a lost cause and they know it.

    October 25, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Wake Up

    I'm loving your last comment on the Rubio thread!

    P.S. I'm also loving that I can respond to you and Dominican mama again.

    October 25, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    Quick question.......

    Since he is on record bragging about voter suppression will Issa begin an investigation or is he too worried about website glitches?

    October 25, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Vince

    Why make him step down? Does the GOP think any of this is still a secret to the rest of us?

    October 25, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    Thanks Lynda! Me too. Maybe the mod that doesn't like us is off this morning.....

    But seriously, why would the POTUS want to be a dictator of a country he alone bankrupted??

    October 25, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. ED1

    I live here and that kind of stupid talk in not acceptable no matter what party you are in he sure doesn't speak for me our the Party period.

    Wake up people needs to understand by making comments like you do doesn't help anything but create more crap. Racism does exist but it goes both ways Democrats and Republicans both make racist comments take a look at your own words I am a black Republican and voted for Obama the first time but he did not get my vote the second time around because he didn't do the job he to tries to divide this Country by comments he makes too.

    October 25, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. A True Conservative

    Wow – seems to me that he hit just about everybody....the only common theme was "lazy"....I guess the left got things in a knot because they simply can not comprehend the truth. If you are too lazy to get a photo ID, then you really don't need to bother to vote. But then, I guess that would cause real problems for some democrat voters....how would the dead get a photo ID?

    October 25, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. What's in that tea anyway?

    @ED1

    I live here and that kind of stupid talk in not acceptable no matter what party you are in he sure doesn't speak for me our the Party period.

    Wake up people needs to understand by making comments like you do doesn't help anything but create more crap. Racism does exist but it goes both ways Democrats and Republicans both make racist comments take a look at your own words I am a black Republican and voted for Obama the first time but he did not get my vote the second time around because he didn't do the job he to tries to divide this Country by comments he makes too.
    ------

    Get a brain there ED1....! This false equivalency you are promoting here is exactly that...FALSE.....Pointing out racism by the Dems is not the same as being an unapologetic bigot as is shown by the Chairman of YOUR PARTY. I couldn't even imagine President Obama saying anything even close to what this clown said. Get a gripe...your creditability is at zilch

    October 25, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. TONE

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama
    As always you are spot on, and thank God for you Rudy Sniffit, Lynda,Data, Wake up people,because if wasn't for all of you it would have been a waste of time looking at postings here. I do look forward to reading your posts,and I think a lot of right wingers should because the info they get from fox lies, liebaugh, and all right wing media makes me want to cry.

    October 25, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. jboh

    He was forced to resign for revealing TEA/GOP party secrets. Too bad we all knew the truth already.

    October 25, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. Wake up People!

    Keep on towing the line Ed1, while the GOP keeps trying to suppress votes and doing everything else they can to show their true feelings. You sound like the typical black man that hates Obama. The very people that were voted in to work with the POTUS have done nothing but obstruct and you know it's about the color of his skin. You're actually worse than the whites. Since you're so black, why don't you admit that blacks are way quicker to accept whites than whites are blacks.

    Why am I even talking to you. You're the perfect HN.

    October 25, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Stating the Obvious

    A True Conservative
    But then, I guess that would cause real problems for some democrat voters....how would the dead get a photo ID?
    --

    The old Acorn crowd takes care of that! They bilk many government programs without a problem. Why should our elections be any different?

    October 25, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. What's in that tea anyway?

    @A True Conservative

    Wow – seems to me that he hit just about everybody....the only common theme was "lazy"....I guess the left got things in a knot because they simply can not comprehend the truth. If you are too lazy to get a photo ID, then you really don't need to bother to vote. But then, I guess that would cause real problems for some democrat voters....how would the dead get a photo ID?
    -----

    yes sir...we can prognosticate that your party is going the way of the whigs.......The Stupid Party ...man, Bobby Jindahl told the truth.

    October 25, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. penguin

    The recent State legislations in mostly southern states repressing peoples right to vote just further shows guys like Scalia, Roberts, and Aito live in a cocoon oblivious to what's going on in our Nation

    October 25, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    @ED1
    "I live here and that kind of stupid talk in not acceptable no matter what party you are in he sure doesn't speak for me our the Party period."

    Well good! You must be one of those "mealy-mouthed and gutless" folks in the republicant party that Mr. Yelton is talking about. If you are truly black (which I doubt) and you are truly a republicant (which I'm sure of) and you truly voted for Obama the first time (which I doubt) and this man's words did not offend you to the core (which they obviously didn't, because the majority of your post was condemning Wake up people who was only speaking the truth- the truth is not the problem) then you are just not very smart (which I'm sure of).

    October 25, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Your right , this is a job for Darrel Issa !

    In fact maybe he could move to North Carolina and stay there.

    October 25, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Faux Scandals

    So, it's not about voter fraud, it's about kicking Democrats in the butt.

    October 25, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake Up!
    Why am I even talking to you. You're the perfect HN
    -------------------------------------------------
    Do you need somebody to break that down for you..."brother"?

    @Lynda
    My friend can you at least "feel" me trailing you from story to story a la tom l?! Lol!
    I'm enjoying your posts and unsuccessfully trying to respond...I'll keep trying!

    @ TONE
    Thank you babe, likewise I'm sure.

    October 25, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. What's in that tea anyway?

    Stating the Obvious

    A True Conservative
    But then, I guess that would cause real problems for some democrat voters....how would the dead get a photo ID?
    -

    The old Acorn crowd takes care of that! They bilk many government programs without a problem. Why should our elections be any different
    --–
    hey...go out and feed fluffy because he just chased a cat up a tree.....if you can't understand the drift of this post, let's say it this way; Try refreshing those stale 2008 Faux and fools talking points there genius. Let us know when you come up with something worthwhile "K????

    October 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. sawlz

    The bottom-line is he only states the truth, that is, that the repukelicans want to screw the people out of there right to vote.

    October 25, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Mary Ann Williams

    I am not Black. But I am a woman. The voter ID hurts a woman probably more than the Blacks. Our names change when we get married, divorced, remarried. If our cards do not match our drivers license we cannot vote. Who are the losers in this game they are playing to keep Blacks from voting. Women. Do you women care if you do stand up go look at your Drivers license and voters card. And get out there and vote. I will recommend to my children and granddaughters that no matter if they do get married do not change your name. If men don't have to do it why should we. Lazy I am not. Do I have time to take off work to mess with this crap, NO!! But I did so I can have a say about the idiots on the far right that hates Women,Black, and now I see collage kids.

    October 25, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Proud Mary

    You have to just laugh at them and carry on. They are a laugh-a-day.

    October 25, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ol' Yeller

    @ED1
    "I live here and that kind of stupid talk in not acceptable no matter what party you are in he sure doesn't speak for me our the Party period."

    Well good! You must be one of those "mealy-mouthed and gutless" folks in the republicant party that Mr. Yelton is talking about. If you are truly black (which I doubt) and you are truly a republicant (which I'm sure of) and you truly voted for Obama the first time (which I doubt) and this man's words did not offend you to the core (which they obviously didn't, because the majority of your post was condemning Wake up people who was only speaking the truth- the truth is not the problem) then you are just not very smart (which I'm sure of).
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hey Ed1, I was going to respond to your diatribe but 'Ol Yeller was so much more eloquent that I will just co-sign what he said...."brother".
    BTW you must be relatively new to this thread, or suffering from a name change delay, because Wake up is a woman, and a very smart one at that.

    October 25, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Boomer in Mo

    At least in MO, racism is casual, ingrained and rarely recognized for what it is. I find that more dangerous than my now deceased family members who knew they were racists and were proud of it.

    October 25, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. bla

    So he plain-face admitted on television in front of a studio audience that his state is purposely trying to perform voter suppression?

    This man may be the most honest politician we've had in decades!

    October 25, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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