Amanda Lamb of WRAL and Indy Week Blast SEANC Mailer

SEANC Mailer
In a hard hitting story, following up on news first posted here last week, WRAL’s Amanda Lamb reported today on the State Employees Association mailer that had been sent earlier this month to homes in Wake County accusing Wake County Democratic District Attorney candidate Lorrin Freeman of corruption.

As Lamb reports, some of Freeman’s supporters believe the SEANC endorsement of Freeman’s opponent Boz Zellinger and the mailer attacking Freeman is the result of criticism that Freeman leveled against SEANC in the fall over a program SEANC sponsors for members called Purchasing Power.

“An Atlanta company called Purchasing Power allows the SEANC’s 55,000 members to buy items and then make monthly payments through payroll deductions over a year. The payment plans sometimes result in workers paying double the retail cost for items such as high-definition televisions, tablet computers and gaming consoles.”

Colon Willoughby, who resigned the office in March after more than two decades as the elected District Attorney, told Lamb, “The district attorney’s office ought to be one about honesty and integrity. These ads are not honest, and I’m very disappointed.”

Zellinger told Lamb, “That mailer is not something I would have done, and of course, (it) didn’t come from our campaign. I don’t agree with thinking that she’s corrupt or has done anything untoward.”

The progressive weekly Indy Week, which recently endorsed Zellinger over Freeman in the Democratic primary, has also reported on the SEANC mailer:

“Numerous Democrats have called on Zellinger to disown these attacks. He has declined to do so — for a week — saying that he had nothing to do with them. [See the update below: Zellinger just told me he dislikes SEANC’s ‘tactics.’]”

and adding:

“This week, the Indy, too, endorsed Zellinger, citing his record as a trial attorney under Willoughby. The ability to try cases is important to a DA. So is the DA’s judgment. Zellinger’s passive stance while SEANC viciously and unfairly attacks Freeman is weak.”


“Zellinger called just after I posted this. He said he dislikes SEANC’s tactics, and ‘I strongly disagree with any assertion that [Freeman] is responsible for these felonies.’ He did ‘question whether there should’ve been procedural safeguards’ to prevent such crimes — Willoughby said the real weakness is a systemic one of outdated technology in the courts for which Freeman isn’t responsible.”

UPDATE: Freeman’s campaign responds: “This past week, the State Employees Association of North Carolina began an unprecedented, expensive advertising and mail campaign against Lorrin that misrepresents the truth.”

“Unfortunately, her opponent along with his endorser SEANC, are misleading voters. Despite seeking this endorsement, and having one of SEANC’s political operatives as his chief strategist, Mr. Zellinger has denied any responsibility, and refused to condemn their false and misleading attacks for over a week.”

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.