Trading Votes for Pork Rinds in Appalachia

The investigation began after residents of a government-subsidized housing complex said they were approached by a supporter of one of the candidates and offered cigarettes, liquor and in one case a bag of fried pork skins for their votes.!

Brit Hume’s Grapevine carried the story tonight,

Ben Cooper was re-elected into office in May 2004.

Over one thousand felony accounts were handed out against the 14 individuals:


Fourteen individuals, including the mayor/town manager of Appalachia, a town councilman, and two law enforcement officials, were indicted by a Wise County grand jury on multiple counts stemming from an alleged conspiracy to conduct election fraud during the 2004 town elections.

The investigation into allegations of voter fraud evolved from early reports of attempted vote buying before town elections that reportedly involved items like bags of pork rinds, packs of cigarettes, and six-packs of beer.

The grand jury handed down a total of nearly 1,000 felony counts leveled against the 14 individuals on 269 alleged violations of law ranging from conspiracy, to tampering with absentee ballots, to forgery, to illegal seizure of private property by law enforcement officials for their own personal use. Drug trafficking by some individuals has also been alleged.

Those indicted include:

* Appalachia Mayor/Town Manager Ben Cooper
* Town Councilman Owen Anderson “Andy” Sharrett III
* Sharrett’s father, Appalachia Parks and Recreation Director Owen Anderson “Dude” Sharrett Jr.
* Sharrett’s brother, Adam Brody Sharrett
* Wife to Dude and mother of Andy and Adam Sharrett, Belinda Carolyn Sharrett, employed in a clerk position in Town Hall
* Dude Sharrett’s aunt, Betty Chloe Sharrett Bolling
* Dude Sharrett’s brother, Kevin Lee Sharrett of Indiana
* Dennis Martin “Boogie” Sharrett, another of Dude Sharrett’s brothers

269 felony indictments!

You just can’t make this stuff up!

Also today, Texas Rainmaker found that of the 13 members of Congress who have been sent to jail since 1976, 11 have been democrat.

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