State Elections Board Boots Butner Over Offensive Social Media Posts
A series of social media posts deemed racist, offensive and politically partisan have cost the chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections his job. Malcolm Butner was sworn into the post in July. He was removed by the State Board of Elections on Thursday.
On his Facebook profile, Malcolm “Mac” Butner writes of his love of filets wrapped in bacon and Cheerwine. On twitter he says he’s "just a wonderful, Christian, conservative, Republican Tar Heel classic made the same year as the Corvette and Playboy".
But dig into those accounts and you’ll find some posts with more than questionable content. One Facebook post ends with the line
“To hell with the Lesbos, Queers, Liberals and baby killers”
"These are remarks that I would not tolerate in my home," said Joshua Howard, "I won't abide them in my workplace, and I’m sure as heck not going to leave a person who says these things on a county board of elections." Howard is the Republican chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The board voted 3-2 to remove Butner.
Mac Butner was appointed chairman two and a half months ago, but the posts in question go back at least two years. One accompanied a photo of Moral Monday marchers.“Gee, they are all black,” Butner wrote, “I guess the white folk could not get off because they were too busy working and being productive, good citizens.”
The most recent post presented to the state board came on June 7 of this year – in the midst of the debate over the Confederate battle flag. Butner posted an image of the flag and wrote “God Bless the Confederate States of America.”
No one at the hearing defended these comments, or the sentiment behind them. The two who voted to keep Butner said they saw no evidence these views affected his job performance.
As chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections, Butner was charged with making sure elections were run in an inclusive, fair, and nonpartisan way. Yet on social media, the board pointed out, he still endorsed or liked Republican candidates which a violation of state rules.
Butner, a real estate broker, was not present, citing a medical condition. He also chose not to join the hearing by phone. But he did send a written response to the charges where he denied his conduct violated any law.
Earlier this year these same posts cost Butner his position as the chairman of the Rowan County Housing Board which administers Section 8 and public housing programs.