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Nifong's Appreciation Week: With friends like these...

OK, if there's one thing that BCR is not about, it's the Duke lacrosse menagerie.  Local politics are more than fair game, though, and in that light, I wanted to pass along one of the most bizarre scenes I could have ever hoped to imagine.  From this morning's Herald-Sun, a colorful tale of a luncheon held Monday to kick off "District Attorney Appreciation Week" here in Durham:

Two of those behind Monday's Nifong appreciation luncheon in the DA's Office in the Durham County Courthouse were Victoria Peterson, rebuked by City Council members last month for making an anti-Duke statement at a public meeting, and former school board member Jackie Wagstaff, who five years ago received a favorable plea bargain on charges that she used a nonprofit organization to falsify requests involving $1,452 of taxpayers' money.

The original felony charges against Wagstaff were downgraded to misdemeanors.   

Nifong was not chief prosecutor at the time, but was a veteran assistant district attorney. He reportedly had nothing to do with Wagstaff's deal.

Peterson, Wagstaff, Durham resident Minnie Brown [N.B.: not to be confused with the perfectly pleasant and professional School Board co-chair Minnie Forte-Brown.  -Ed.] and another woman were the only nonstaff Nifong supporters on hand when a Herald-Sun writer dropped by late into Monday's luncheon -- about 1:15 p.m. Peterson said other members of the public had been there and left. Roughly a dozen others still around the table at 1:15 work for Nifong.

Free political advice for Mr. Nifong: If Victoria Peterson (perennial also-ran candidate, and bringer of insanity and inanity to City Council meetings) and Jackie Wagstaff (mayoral race also-ran candidate, and bringer of insanity and inanity to School Board meetings) are throwing you a party, you're better off to politely decline.  Or suddenly develop a last-minute violent case of Norovirus (most plausible these days around here as an excuse), or something.

My mind keeps coming back to an odd analogy between this luncheon and the image of Napoleon, Pedro and Deborah sitting all alone at the cafeteria, three misfits who only have each other as friends.  In Durham politics these days, the analogy holds pretty well -- save for the part about Pedro getting elected school body president.  Given their own unique personal journeys on the public stage over the past two years, I doubt Wagstaff, Peterson or Nifong are likely to ever be elected or appointed to any positions in the Bull City for quite some time.


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