The self-proclaimed “Reagan Republican” who lost his primary to Sheriff Bill Wright is actively attempting to campaign for the Democrat vote. He’s also got a problem with the truth.
Most recently stated he would take his loss with honor, and work to help the employees who he felt were affected by the current leadership. That soon changed when he began to work with this Democrat rivals to attempt a write-in overthrow of the proper winner of the primary election. While I have your attention, and while there’s a lot of examples many people have of his statements to them, I am going to take this time to point out only those lies that I have personally witnessed.
On August 17th, the Laconia Republican Committee (LRC) hosted a candidate meet and greet. At the beginning of the event LRC Chair, Gregg Hough, outlined the evening and laid down the ground rules. Those rules included, no video recordings (still photography was allowed) and each candidate would get five minutes to talk and then ten minutes to answer questions. After their time was up the LRC would move on to the next candidate.
The presentations started off great. First up was an update from Representative Dawn Johnson then a very energetic Congressional Candidate, Karoline Leavitt. Senate candidate John Plummer came next and each of these guests seemed to understand the rules and there were zero issues.
The final speaker of the evening was current Belknap County Sheriff, Bill Wright. He spent time focusing on his plans for the future if he is re-elected. He never once mentioned his opponent, Mike MacFadzen who sat in the crowd. He focused solely on his plan for office if re-elected.
After the Sheriff wrapped up speaking it was time for his question segment. As I sat in the crowd waiting for the chance to ask a question about a Uvalde type situation here in Belknap County (he answered it for me at a later date and it was a very good answer), the first question was from an ex-employee of the Sheriff’s Department. This ex-employee made mention of a bizarrely inside baseball moment and explained in a very coy way that they once had expressed that a training exercise that involved calling the station late at night with a random complaints including but not limited to acting drunk and saying a cat was in a tree to gauge the dispatcher’s response was not appropriate. The Sheriff handled the question pretty well, considering that it was a gotcha style question that most of the audience was not understanding of the background of. The Sheriff explained that he regularly tested his employees to ensure compliance with their service code. The gotcha question had seemingly backfired by most interpretations.
Mike MacFadzen got involved in the session by asking a question about radio frequencies. This was another very inside politics question that the crowd was visibly confused by. As it turned out, MacFadzen did not have the correct information to bear in his attack. The Sheriff came correct, was able to steer the question towards current in progress projects with other departments coming on board. The Sheriff again took some time to try and explain for the crowd what this question had to do with his job with the Sheriff’s Department. This seemed to get MacFadzen very irritated. Two gotcha questions laid up, two of them smacked down. MacFadzen then insisted on a follow up question about why every police department had not entered this program. The Sheriff was again taking his time to fend off these attacks and explain the context to the crowd, to which again Sheriff Wright looked to be on the offense by answering these questions in such a straightforward and dignified manner. At this point the time keeper, Vice Chair of the LRC Thor Sliker, had called time for further questions as the segment had run much longer than allowed by the rules. It was at this point MacFadzen got visibly more upset and began to start raising his voice and muscleling in another follow up, a quick and nervous question about if Sheriff Wright had questioned his employees as to why they would not be voting for him. Sheriff Wright candidly said that it was improper (and possibly illegal) to attempt to influence people working under you on who to vote for, MacFadzen began yelling about an alleged complaint against the Sheriff. An attempt to bring scandal to the otherwise peaceful meeting, since that time through our investigation The Bastion has found no union grievance for this alleged complaint. At this point the Chair of the LRC, Gregg Hough, stepped in to rule him out of order and as he attempted regain the meeting’s decorum, many voices began to raise to attempt to squash those who had sent the meeting off track. This account of the events that night have been agreed to be the “what happened” by multiple State Representatives, Senate Candidates and Gunstock Area Commissioners in attendance as well as the general feeling of the feedback from folks leaving the meeting was that MacFadzen had gone off the rails, and attempted to make a mockery of this Republican get together.
The next day, I awoke to a “statement” released by MacFadzen in which he claimed people were posting stories about him and that:
This is a bold faced lie in multiple facets because well as I pointed out he did in fact get angry and lose his temper and most of the people making the comments about his grotesquely unprofessional behavior were in fact people who had attended the meeting. MacFadzen then moved on to claim Sheriff Wright could not handle the questions being asked.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, there was another sentiment that wafted in the air after that meeting, and it was how well the Sheriff handled himself in the face of ridiculously emotional and unhinged questioners. You can see in the photos I took from the meeting myself, the Sheriff was quite calm during the entire ordeal and answered each question asked to the best of his ability. MacFadzen goes on to claim there’s no proof of anyone’s allegations against him as video and photos were not allowed, though as stated still photography was allowed and it was obvious that they were being taken.
This lie was the first one that made his followers attack me, personally, as well as my business. Taking from an often used leftist tactic, claiming I was a part of some conspiracy to hurt his running. Once a number of people from many flavors of conservative/republican/libertarian had come out and thoroughly shared their take on the incident, MacFadzen in a fit of cowardice jumped to another leftist tactic which was to attack the individuals who simply came out to find out which of the candidates would be best fit for the position of Sheriff. His quote towards these people:
I responded to this statement by simply asking him to fix the information about the photos not being allowed as I was not going to get into the drama side of the statement at first, I figured I would just let the bigger, more well-known names in the room handle it as I knew I would not be casting my vote for him after that night. MacFadzen never responded to my request to correct this misinformation, but instead pressed his loyal followers into service, attacking me and my photography business as part of this conspiracy to undermine him all while I had originally went into that room with no chosen candidate yet. I was literally there to give Mike MacFadzen a chance. Over the next few weeks, I tried multiple ways to get him to respond, I did letters to the editor as well as putting it on Facebook. Not once during the pre-primary period did MacFadzen ever even utter my name, but yet he allowed his followers to attack me. These clergy went so far as to claim I was an active drug addict. Most people who know me, know me as the guy who doesn’t even want marijuana legalized. Somehow, though, I give off the impression to these people that I’m secretly a hard-core drug addict.
The next lie of this session was during a public appearance in Meredith. Once again, I was there providing photography as a service and watching the candidates speak. I will note that MacFadzen was the only candidate that night, either Democrat or Republican, who did not take the time to introduce himself to me. This showed me he clearly knew who I was and that I had taken issue with his statement. I am to see that this man, too afraid to speak his opinion to me, a potential constituent, is to be the one who takes over as our county Sheriff? MacFadzen spent 90 percent of his time with simple attacks of his opponent, not actually saying anything about his preparedness for the position and his plans for the department. Many of his claims about Sheriff Wright have proven to be false but the biggest kicker of the night was when it came to lies. The room had started discussing the legalization of weed. The room was 90 percent anti legalization. As the man in charge of Restorative Justice / Court Diversion he spoke up with the claim that the “angriest drug addicts he has ever seen” were the children addicted to marijuana in his court diversion program. This man oversees some of the most at-risk youth in the county and he well knows that that statement was a lie and it was clear he was just playing into the anti-marijuana crowd that was filling the room. Another room, you’d get another answer. I certainly had no reason to believe MacFadzen in what he stated, but many in the room certainly got the feeling he wasn’t being completely honest either, likely leading to his primary demise.
After taking the loss in the Republican primary and with his short lived recount wrapped up, he posted a very honorable message to his followers, which is of course now deleted from the platform. In this message he thanked his supporteres and made the continued claim that he would not run as an independent or a Democrat because he was a “Reagan Republican” and he would not switch sides to attempt to run.
And now, that’s all out the window along with his honor. This “Reagan Republican” MacFadzen is now running a write in campaign asking for the local Democrats to vote for him while putting out many hit pieces against good, staunch Republican candidates. MacFadzen has gone so far as to trade endorsements for Democrats, an example in his newest Daily Sun piece where he throws Senate candidate Tim Lang under the bus. Between MacFadzen’s endorsement of the Democrat PAC Citizens for Belknap and his open endorsement of progressive leftist candidates, it seems that for this “Reagan Republican” that’s all part of the big lie too.
Mike MacFadzen has had a number of breakdowns in the meantime for you to peruse on the pages of Facebook, attacking Republican supporters of Sheriff Wright. Attacking people simply asking questions of him, asking him to explain his endorsements, asking him why he’s lost the scope of what he was trying to accomplish. It seems, the last lie that MacFadzen can tell is that he’s in his right mind, and ready for such a heavy and important position as Sheriff. As of today, we’re still not sure if Mike MacFadzen is even legally capable of taking the role, due to his loss of police credentials, a sticking point for many since the role requires that he re-obtain these credentials. This, as well, is often a soft spot for MacFadzen, who often doesn’t like to discuss this requirement.
I finish this article by stating how well, through this behavior of MacFadzen, I’ve gotten to know the current Sheriff. To me, I actually sort of appreciate the unprofessional childish behavior of MacFadzen, as I wouldn’t have been able to meet and become acquaintances with such a stand-up and transparent public servant as Sheriff Bill Wright. I have made it pretty well known since joining as a contributor to The Bastion that I will throw my vote to the best candidate in the race. That candidate is most certainly not Mike MacFadzen, it is most assuredly, Sheriff Wright.
Ronnie Abbott is a local photographer and founder of FYP Media – facebook.com/fypmedianh