News from Carrboro

Just in from Carrboro --

Someone is running around town defacing Joal Broun's (incumbent candidate for Alderman) signs claiming she is, among other things, for high-rises, high-taxes, and against affordable housing and is a friend of developers.

Can someone explain this? Who would do this? Putting the merits aside, Broun is likely to be #1 in the vote tally. If a challenger is responsible, one would expect them to go after a weaker candidate.

On to the merits…Broun has been Carrboro’s most outspoken advocate for affordable housing . . . one of the most outspoken officials in the county! And as for building heights and taxes – they all voted for new heights (except for Gist) and Broun is one of Carrboro’s biggest tax impact sticklers during the annual budget process.

I predict these tactics backfire and Broun is the #1 in Carrboro.



Mark - thnx for posting. I'm managing Joal Broun's campaign and this is simply atrocious. And it's hard to figure why Joal has been targeted on this (not that anyone should be targeted in this way). Incidentally, calls to the Board of Elections revealed that it is a crime to deface yard signs like this. This is just really a dissapointing and dispicable act that is embarassing for a town of Carrboro's progressive values. If anyone saw people doing this, please report them.

David Beck

Those accusations about Joal Broun are beneath contempt and more than a little frightening for their ignorance, and because of who they've targeted to the exclusion of other candidates with similar positions. Carrboro is such a nice little town, isn't it?

I call on all the candidates -- Steven Rose, Alex Zaffron, and Mark Chilton, as well as Jackie Gist, who has endorsed candidates in this race -- to publicly denounce these acts today, prior to the polls opening tomorrow.

Every canidate has has signs defaced.I have pointed it out to the press.When several caidates have each accussed the others of doing it I have always said that I do not believe that anyone running in this race would do that.I think the damage is being done by people who are not even involved in the race.The last time I ran all of signs disapeared.Just because I do not agree with folks does not mean I support stealing their stuff.

In 1999 tons of candidate signs disappeared. I didn't realize it wasn't just mine until the day after the election when they all showed up staked into a field at Chapel Hill High School.

I tend to attribute this stuff to idiotic hoodlums rather than malicious competitors. That doesn't make it any less deplorable. Seems like some jerks need to learn a hard civics lesson.

Well, this is more than simple defacement or removal, or even mere vandalism. Here we have a person or persons who created a sign, grabbed their stapler, and ran out in the middle of the night to post these messages on Joal's signs. Evidence of premediation and deliberation seems to raise this above the level of a prank.

Also, asking someone to denounce someone else's bad acts is not the same as accusing them of doing it. I think Duncan's plea to the candidates and the sitting Alderperson was made to make sure each of them distances themselves from these bad-actors.

Good point, Mark. I didn't realize they had gone to all that effort. What an awful thing. And as stated in the original post, how nonsensical! Do you think they're bitching about taxes and stuff as a strawman for race? It just doesn't make sense.

Jacquie Gist wrote:

"Just because I do not agree with folks does not mean I support stealing their stuff."

That's a good point, and true, and needed to be said. Maybe the moron with the stapler will get that through their thick head. Thanks for speaking up.

The sign vandalism in this election is the worst I have seen in 28 years of politics in this area. I have replaced signs in public locations numerous times in this campaign. I, too, hope someone is caught in the act and prosecuted. It isn't just the destruction of property, it is a direct attack on freedom of speech!

Steve Rose

Seems like the people who are taking these signs, or knocking them down have the same mentality as people who burn Hummers and SUV's in California. My guess is those who do it rationalize the stupid behavior by calling the signs themselves intrusive.

From my perspective, all of this is curious because the base politics of everyone running for these offices is pretty much the same. It is not like any single candidate should create enough stir to be singled out.

While I vocally oppose some candidates more than others, I would never harm a $3 sign.


I think all of us who pay for signs are outraged by this type of thing. This particualar move is beyond the pale. I feel confident that no one of so little character is a candidate (or incumbent) in this race. I join duncan in denouncing it as 1) low-down and sleazy and 2) without any factual basis. Also, Joal is a silly target because she is probably the strongest candidate. Personally, I can only think that this is a matter of spite either personal or racial.

_Mark Chilton

This is the sort of infantile behaviour that one would expect in a particularly nasty

race for junior high student council. Carrboro elections have traditionally been

characterized by robust, yet civil and respectful debate, and Joal is well known as one

of it's most civil and respectful participants. I hope that this is not

a harbinger of things to come. How sad.

It's come to my attention that some folks might have thought I was accusing candidates for the Board of Aldermen of having participated, or sanctioned, the defacing of Joal Broun's signs.

I never for one moment thought that Ms. Gist or Messrs. Chilton, Zaffron, or Rose were involved in any way. I understand that it was another competitor in the race who actually alerted Ms. Broun and began to tear off the papers tacked to her signs.

My only thought was that it would be nice if they all said something about it, thus showing that they (and by extension, we) demand civil elections in our community. I'm really glad they did it, every one of them. Thank you all.

(I suppose it was a little much to "call on" the candidates to do anything, especially from a website that didn't exist a month ago, but delusions of grandeur are the jet fuel of blogs. Plus, I'm a blowhard who longs for the day he can write his own J'ACCUSE!, but what's a modern Dreyfusard to do in Carrboro? Become a Nelsonard? A ShortBuilding-ard? The options are limited.)

Anyway, just wanted to clear that up. Good luck tomorrow at the polls.

During the 1991 campaign, on a Saturday night about 2am, a CH policeman witnessed a somewhat-intoxicated UNC student steal one of my signs. The policeman arrested the student (until then I hadn't realized just how legally protected those signs are) who claimed that it wasn't a political thing, rather that he just wanted

to hang it in his apartment in Carrboro. Why I have no idea!

I had to call district attorney Carl Fox and ask him not to prosecute the student. If I remember correctly, Carl said that he

couldn't not prosecute him, but he could set the priority

so low that the DA's office wouldn't get to it. Stealing

signs is stupid for whatever reason.

Joe C.

I like Mike.

Hey is there a link to the actual law text that protects the signs, on the internet? I am totally interested!

Also I wish I could vote at the Lions Club instead of the retirement home. Can we get it back there? That retirement home is totally depressing.

One of my favorite old cartoons is captioned, "Aha! The cancer is caused by the rats themselves!" The rats in this case aren't the candidates, but the signs that cause so much trouble. It's hard to pound them into the ground. It's hard to place them prominently. It's impossible to protect them from vandalism during the election period. The campaign workers are too busy delivering flyers to keep watch over the signs. We pound them into the ground and then pull them up on the first Wednesday of November. We vote with our shoulders and elbows.


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