[Update: The word “libtards” was changed to “moonbats” in the comment attributed to Mr. Womack as of Sunday night, Feb. 2. The original screen cap is still included at the bottom of this post.]

Jim Womack, the Lee County commissioner and chairman of North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Committee, recently compared opponents of his policies to “whiney (sic) libtards” [free registration required] in the comment section of The Sanford Herald website.

“You can join the long line of full-throated, whiney (sic) libtards who think being responsible with people’s money is akin to being a bully,” Womack commented on a letter to The Herald’s editor that was printed on Saturday and questioned several statements Womack made about the county’s school board. The comment came toward the end of a long back-and-forth between Womack and the letter’s author, Jay Calendine.

“Libtard” is a portmanteau of “liberal” and “retard.”

Womack has been no stranger to internet-based “boldness” since he was elected to the Lee County Board of Commissioners in 2010. In late 2011, he wrote an email to several Republican activists in which he wrote about running over the county manager with a tank and firing the county attorney. When the email became public, Womack apologized but argued that the disclosure of the email was illegal. In early 2013, the Independent Weekly reported that Womack was behind a blog about Lee County politics in which the authors, seeking anonymity, presented themselves as Founding Fathers including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Patrick Henry. That blog included multiple incendiary comments against local, state and national Democratic officials but appears to have stopped publishing shortly after the Independent Weekly piece.

In the face of those controversies, Womack has continued posting his opinions online – albeit now more frequently under his own name. The Herald’s website shows more than 100 comments from Womack on stories dating back about a year. In some of those comments, he’s battled with other posters over fracking, the county school board’s search for a new superintendent, and a local bill that stripped the school board of its power to appoint Central Carolina Community College trustees.

Womack has even challenged the Herald’s reporters and editors, sometimes on a personal level (plus here and here), in the same comments section.

“Vulgar insults don’t do anything to promote dialogue,” Calendine told The Rant. “Contrary to Womack’s belief, every voter matters – we all count.”