Two years ago when the Former Durham DA Mike Nifong was running roughshod in court and in the press over the 2006 Duke Lacrosse Team, he looked invincible. He held the power of the DA's Office and the cooperation of a corrupt City Hall, PD, & Duke Administration. No one in the community stood up to this petty tyrant. The “Silence of Durham” was “sickening.”
That Spring, no one thought it possible to stop Nifong. He was running unopposed: the winner of the Democratic primary in May, when few knew the deceit and treachery he had perpetrated in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax/Frame. Duke University, under the Brodhead/Steele leadership had become ardent enablers of Nifong and his Frame, finding it was just more political expedient to not oppose the "the faculty, the NAACP and the special interest groups.” Some locals had urged Nifong to drop the case. He refused and they resigned themselves that nothing could be done.
At this point something almost miraculous occurred!
Into this legal and moral abyss stepped Beth Brewer, a local Durham accountant and a mother with no political experience. We remember clearly her first public statements: something had to be done; somebody has to stand up to Nifong. Thus, the Recall Nifong -Vote Cheek movement was formed out of the simple idea that Justice wasn't just the providence of the powerful. It was both the right and the responsibility of every citizen.
Beth built that campaign with the help of other local citizens with the same ideals and inspiration. Countless hours of effort ensued! But, at last, Nifong had opposition! Lewis Cheek allowed his name to be used, but beyond his name, it was well understood that Nifong was running against Beth and her volunteers. It was an impossible task she was told over and over again. But she persisted.
in the end RNVC lost. But did she?
Surprisingly, even with the outrage generated by the false accusation and reckless local media, Nifong failed to gain a majority of the votes cast. Denying him a majority was a stinging rebuke! Those many hours of campaigning had begun to educate the citizens of Durham as to the extent of his lies and rogue behavior. Although, defeating the Hoax/Frame wasn't the work of any single person (it took the players themselves, their families, attorneys, volunteers, Bloggers like KC and many others) WITHOUT DOUBT, Beth's efforts gave a public face to the good citizens of Durham standing in opposition to their rogue District Attorney., Beth distracted him and hounded him with her campaign. She was to be known as "Nifong's Political Opponent" in the press.
She was his political nemesis when no other local leader would accept that role.
Indeed, when Nifong won the election, what did Beth do? Did she go home, tired, worn out, and defeated? Yes, but she would not allow that to be the end. She continued to work against him and eventually filed the affidavit for his removal that was to be his final demise. When Nifong announced his resignation (after it was clear he was going to be disbarred), many of us were skeptical.
We were right.
Nifong tried to extend time in power for as long as possible. Thankfully, Superior Court Judge Hudson had in hand Beth’s Affidavit for Nifong’s removal from Office and he FINALLY saw fit to act upon it. Beth and her attorney, Betty Lawrence(another LieStopper’s member), argued in court for the removal of this public menace and national embarrassment and finally, Nifong was forced to resign and left office, disgraced and rebuked once and for all.
His swagger turned to tears at his disbarment. Beth Brewer had brought this man to his just reward.
Today is the birthday of Beth Brewer and we celebrate it like other happy days overcoming the days of the Hoax/Frame:
Innocent Day- April 11,
Nifong’s Jail day- Sept 7,
And NOW Beth’s Birthday- Oct 11.
We not only celebrate Beth, we celebrate all of those who “Fought the law and won!” But, on her Birthday, we remember the gallant local Hooligan who stepped forward to defy Nifong, when no one else would. We honor the Mom who was the public face of the many good people who would not let Nifong’s outrageous Hoax/Frame stand.
Happy Birthday Beth!