Please pass the salt

because this crow tastes terrible! So much for my career as a political pundit . . . So what DOES it all mean?

I think someone on the Late Breaking News may have hit on something by calling this a referendum on Margaret Brown.

Clearly this is neither a rebuke for NoMerger.org nor an endorsement of school merger.

I said it twice yesterday, the voters are not stupid. I suspect that they saw two good candidates and voted for them. In fact, I spoke to quite a few people who said that they were voting for Moses and Valerie. I just figured they were significantly in the minority.

That said, there were a number of comments on this site from people who said that Margaret rubbed them the wrong way. I still think NoMerger.org did Margaret a disservice by painting her with same brush they used on Moses.

Here are the theories I heard bandied about tonight (I am not saying that I buy these ideas):

1) Margaret was punished for trying to have it both ways on merger (or that she was punished for failing to take a stand).

2) Margaret and Moses being painted with the same brush hurt Margaret worse because many of Moses's supporters single shot voted for him.

3) Moses and Val did well among black voters. Moses led Val slightly in Cheeks, W Hillsborough, Northside and Lincoln (which all have a high African American voter turnout) but Hemminger and Brown trailed in distant 3rd and 4th positions.

But the actual facts are probably a good deal more complicated. Everywhere that Moses did well, Margaret did well (except in the heavily African-American precincts). Likewise Pam did well in areas where Val did well. But Pam did not do quite as well in any of those places. And likewise Margaret trailed Moses a bit in many precincts. Where Margaret lead Moses, it was by only a few votes (eg Town Hall where she led by just three votes or OWASA where she led by two).

And basically all precincts went sharply toward either Margaret and Moses or toward Pam and Val (except the more African American Precincts). But the Margaret/Moses precincts were more Moses than Margaret and the Pam/Val precincts were more Val than Pam. Meanwhile a few precincts went Val/Moses and that was all she wrote.

Congratulations to Val and Moses. I was wrong. I admit it. But as I said, we are getting some good candidates in Orange County regardless. Congratualtions one and all (and even to my friends at NoMerger.Org - ya'll did a very credible job, notwithstanding my critique).

Does anyone have any pepper? This crow still needs something . . .

Issues: 

Total votes: 235

Comments

Thanks, Gloria. Glad you liked the column.

By the way, I should point out that I don't view Hartkopf as a racist for doing this, just an opportunist.

Dan.

I read your editorial this morning. It was a good read and did not contain some comments that I would have expected(I apologize for misjudging you in my thoughts). It was good piece and vechile for good and thoughtful conversation.

You are right that the difference in Val's campaign was the door-to-door conversations. This is a very important, wonderful, and memorable part of running any campaigning. Something that I was unable to do during my re-election because my son, mother, and aunt all faced serious hospitalizations at the same time (when it rains it pours).

Talking and listening to people is a very important part of campaigning. This is a part of campaigning that transcends color, glossy brochures. Truely good grassgroup campaigning goes beyond how much or how little that you spend or race. It just about the simple thing, the beginning thing - the people.(even when you lose an election by 27 votes... everyone of those 27 voters matter... everyone of those 27 doorways matter).

Just a bit of informaiton about Commissioner Brown's first race, quite a number of us who walked door-to-door in her first race also walked door-to-door for Val. I know I have replaced my shoe soles and shared "shoe sole" stories with the same folks after both of those races. We did it not stomp those feet for "one" issue. We did it for many issues including bus service to and from Efland.

So, you might wonder why that happen. Why did We? We "the shoe soulful"... We who supported SAPFO (a issue hated by developers). We who supported impact fees(a topic hated by the go-go growthers). We who supported, campaigned, and helped pass bonds for schools, senior centers, clean water, and park/rec for the ENTIRE county (you might recall some of the little people on the bond committees).

Have a good day, Dan. I will be "a'soft shoeing along". Thanks for the article.

What Paul Falduto and David Gerlach are describing is not playing the race card at all. It is playing one voter base against the other to get elected.

Blacks being told to vote for Cook, Simpson, and Hartkopf and whites being told only to vote for Hartkopf. What did the blacks in this county get out of supporting Hartkopf?

I saw a post by him earlier. Maybe he'll grace us with a denial of these raunchy tactics.

I agree with Marinda. If Moses Carey plays to his base, he's doing what every other smart politician does. That isn't manipulation--the connotation of the phrase "playing the race card."

What in the world were Keith Cook and Delores Simpson thinking getting in bed with Al Hartkopf?

Just guessing here but could Keith Cook have been thinking "boy I have royally screwed up here, so if I ally with Hartkopf maybe I'll retain some of my own loyal voters and gain some of their voters to boot?"

I don't know what Delores Simnpson was thinking- maybe she believed Hartkopf's campaign literature was sincere (stated that "closing the achievement gap" was a priority) I'm most interested to see some sincerity and concrete action in that area myself.

If whites were told to vote ONLY for Hartkopf, then both Cook and Simpson got toasted in the deal. And I don't mean with champagne.

I was at the precinct on Buckhorn Road and over heard one of the Hartkopf supports telling the white voters to vote only for Al Hartkopf and the black voters to vote for all three. I think the alliance was made because Mr. Cook was concerned about his chances for re-election after the plagarism issue. As much as I have disagreed with the way Mr. Cook has conducted himself, I am more disturbed by efforts to support Mr. Hartkopf that may have been racially motivated. To paraphrase Senator Albert Beveridge, we need to be a community held together by "thought and conscience and not by blood and prejudice."

Go-go-growth is a legitimate political philosophy, one embraced by our current president and his predecessor. Those who hold to it are usually unabashed and forthright in doing so even if they do not embrace the term itself.

Mark's point on the election is a legitimate one and should hardly be controversial. A quick look at the contribution reports would certainly provide confirmation.

That said and as the above discussion indicates, there were many other factors that went into determining the outcome of the BOCC primary.

Ruby,

As Dan pointed out, the term was coined by Ed Glassman, former columnist for the CH Herald. It's one of my favorite phrases and I never thought it would be considered an epithet. (Actually one can imagine Stick Williams getting sweatshirts made with Go-Go Growther printed on them & proudly giving them to his buddies.)

The phrase, as I used it, refers to all those people for whom more economic activity is a major priority: developers, homebuilders, real estate, other businesses that benefit from accelerated growth (materials suppliers, insurance companies, gas stations, restaurants, and on & on...)

As sure as the sun comes up, a lot of these folks discussed the candidates, shared their conclusions, made campaign donations, and participated in the process. There is a significant voting bloc that supports the "profits-first" appraoch of the "go-go growthers" (love how it rolls off my keyboard's tongue...). These are the people that always seem to elect the 4th candidate in the Town Council elections - like Pat Evans & Lee Pavao.

I think it is obvious that their choice would be Carey & Foushee, given the alternatives. This aspect of the outcome had not been hypothesized, so that's why I brought it up.

Mark, I'm just responding to your use of the vague epithet "go go growth." Feel free to offer a clearer definition of what you mean by it. Anita assumes you mean Republicans, is she right?

For the record, it never even ocurred to me that the Greens would endorse me when I ran for Council. I would have been very surprised had you done so, and I doubt it would have changed the outcome. In fact, I should thank you for doing your part to ensure that I maintained a "normal" life and avoided the hell of public officialdom (which holds no more appeal to me). I am grateful for that loss daily.

Is Kathy Hartkopf (Al's wife) still head of the local chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy?

Ruby,

I think it's time to focus on issues and not disparage my views (without actually specifically addressing them) as simply tailored for those who disagree with me. It's a cheap shot. Please be specific on the issues if you feel the need to tar me. I understand your lingering resentment over not getting the Greens endorsement when you ran for Town Council years ago and your disagreement with statements that I made. Obviously, disagreement usually runs both ways and the statements I made were rooted in the issues of the campaign.

I respect your activism, have promoted & supported this blog, and think that heated issue discussions of the past should not translate into personal resentment. And I think it's healthy that discussions and possible disagreements be allowed to happen. But on specific issues and according to the rules for constructive and respectful engagement that I've seen posted on the site.

There was an odd alliance in the Orange School Board race between Al Hartkopf, Keith Cook and Delores Simpson. A flyer was handed out at some polling places identifying those three as the only ones who pledged no merger ever in a poll that Citizens for A Sound Economy mailed to the candidates. Other candidates refused to sign the pledge, according to the flyer, which was paid for by Hartkopf, according to the last line of the flyer. I worked the Efland precinct for the Democratic Party to try to recruit volunteers for our voter project and waa there pretty much all day. The flyer was being passed out at Efland by school board member Randy Copeland. I wondered why Cook and Simpson would tie themselves to Hartkopf and also, why Hartkopf would do that and risk alineating supporters of the other candidates. But it soon became clear to me that only blacks were given the flyer; most whites (I counted at least 40) were given a different piece of literature, for Hartkopf alone, although Copeland did give three of the "slate" flyers to whites, so I can't say whites never got one, but again, just a very few did. I know Keith Cook was aware of this, because he showed up at the Efland precinct carrying some of the flyers with him and overheard he and Copeland talking about it. I'm hearing tidbits about similar things that went on at other precincts. So the black vote may have elected a conservative Republican to the Orange County School Board, and given a start to a political career for Al Hartkopf.

the go-go growth crowd has always been in Carey's camp. I think comparatively little to none for foushee...

Moses gets cut a lot of slack for things that others would not be treated the same for - like contributions from out of county supporters and out of county business associates... His average contribution was probably double foushees at least....

Not so fast, Anita. I don't think are enough Republicans in the county to justify Mark's frustrations (or mine). Depending on the context, I sometimes think "go go growth" means whoever has the gall to disagree with him.

FYI

I don't know why to be for some new growth is bad. What does the go go growth crowd mean?

Looking back over Barry's pretty mail outs to county residents there is a photo of George Horton who is a big time developer. George also donated money to Barry's campaign. I reckon it depends on who you support on what group you are labeled as.

I don't remember much other support for any of the candidates. Any names or instances would help in the discussion.

new voter

I would suspect that most of the people you are characterizing as "go go growth" had little to do with the outcome of this election since they are probably registered Republicans.

Again, I will go back to process. Yes, I know that Informed Voter think this is "wast of time" and "delay". I disagree.

A message that Valerie stated time and again - The issue of process. If we believe that process should a systematic study of implication, pros, cons, and impact on issues such as balancing schools. Again, I will recommend that everyone read the resegreation of public school studies coming out a studies of Wake, Mecklenburg, and Durham.

I am baffled by the "go go growth".Who are they? Where are they defined in Val's campaign. Val's campaign was a very grassroot group effort composed for a diverse population

In fact, I would ask that one study the impact of merger (which I still belive that was favorite of the go go growth representation). The commission are not imortal. I ask you to consider (somthing that Pam suggested early) what are the pressure that will place on the rural buffer (which I favor strongly).

Again, I ask us to look at in dept the implications of two issue... How to achieve equal funding as a seperate but feeder issue into merger. How to diversify our economic based in the four areas that I have already mentioned.

I ask us to look at how we can diversity our tax base (a tax base that should protect and encourage family farms, encourage "green friendly" economic developement, and stop us from depending excusively on on residental (high price estate homes...go ride out old 86) development. I hope and believe that with the open conversations between the public and the commissioners that we can and will achieve a consistent diversity of economic development in four critical areas that I have already mentioned.

A discussion that requires all of us to transcend our protected position. We must look at a inclusive and progressive comprehensive plan (long over due with the fact that no plan has been completed in the past 20 years). This one of the main theme on why I heavily supported my candidate Val Foushee. I don't believe in "one liner" comments that might instill emotion but it does not encourage consistent and logical development. Hey, call me a computer geet who spend her adult life looking at statistical evidence)

I think the voter made it very clear that we need a clear, defined process. A process that include a diverse group of parties. A process that looks at historic evidence from other counties.

Believe it or not folks, I am believe in other county needs - mental health (I can speak to this issue in a VERY personal basis), social services, senior center development that can be a combined process with other needs, and support for supportive justice system.

But, we must have committee that have a definitive outcome, definitive standards, and incorporate the views of a diverse population.

We must heal the wounds that were encouraged and started out of holding public hearing too soon without a taskforce to formulate definitive information for the public and definitive historical evidence to show paths that avoid pitfalls.

I personnaly support a district wide referendum on a county wide district tax. Let us start a REAL committee composed of diverse infidual that discuss funding alternative and efficiency in school funding.

Again I will state that I am very pleased with election results. The voters did not vote on a single issue. They voted becaue they believe that their elected governmental agencies need to stop the "one liner" rhetoric and move to a clearly defined process.

I am interested in Mr. Mulkey's comments about alternatives to the definition of how the BOC is defined. It too early for me to say that I support it.

Again, I will say this is a new day in politics. A poltics of cooperation and corrdination.

Smarth Growth is not "defining the number o parking spaces at a third high". It is consistent and inclusive project for planning country construction and transportation development.

Sorry to go too long. Thanks for listening and your feedback.

This board can also knowledgeably conduct collaboration successfully due to the fact that there will be a representative of both districts seated. Also, they can focus on finding ways to equalize funding between the districts WITHOUT merging, perhaps through a county wide supplemental tax.

The Republicans, roughly a fourth of the voters, were not represented in the Democratic primary. Mrs. Foushee was the top vote-getter. Thus, there is no mandate to merge. Had there been more races of interest in the city district (like the OCS BOE and the contested house race in other parts of Orange) and had there not been 3 candidates splitting anti-merger vote, then there might have been a completely different outcome. Who knows what November holds?

Mrs. Foushee responded to the NoMerger.org questionnaire that she would not seek merger in the next 4 years: "I would oppose a county commissioner initiated merger plan during the next four years as I do not feel that it is warranted at this time."

Given this and presuming historical Democrat trends for BOCC, the tally for the next four years should be: 1 FOR, 2 AGAINST, 2 unstated.

M

Richard,

There is not such thing as "simply participating in the political process." We all do so for our own reasona and with particular goals in mind. Those who are successful in their participation, particularly elected officials and those significantly backing their campaigns, should expect to have those reasons and goals examined. That is part of the democratic process and how we keep the system open and accountable.

I believe that is all that Mark M was suggesting.

--Dan

Definition

"Go-go growth crowd": a mild pejorative for "real estate, development, and growth interests" and their fellow-travelers, intended to convey a certain enthusiasm of purpose.

I first encountered the term an the columns of one-time Herald columnist Ed Glassman many years ago. You don't have to be a developer to be in this crowd but you do have to be philosophically aligned. It's not hard for those who perceive the existence of the "go-go growth crowd" to determine who its members are.

Regarding the tea leaves of the commissioners' race, I would add this interpretation, expanding on what I said on WCHL on election night:

1) If you strap a target on your back and run on it (as Moses Carey did with merger) then your re-election is a mandate on that issue. He'd be justified in placing this high on the agenda as soon as possible. remember, Foushee insisted that she was against merger "at this time" and repeatedly said (including on the air on election night) that she was not a one-issue candidate.

2) Look at the makeup of the new BOCC -- a strong merger proponent (Carey), an equally strong opponent (Gordon), a relatively neutral member (Jacobs) and experts from each school district (Halkiotis and Foushee). This is a board that can knowledgeably conduct the merger with minimum negative impact.

> It seems that the current time periods were based on the idea that

> some CPA is using charcoal and animal skins to tabulate contributions of

> beer, corn and pigs.

I laughed out loud!

Just fyi, NoMerger.org asked if we could use the state-provided software to report and were told that we could not since we are a county PAC. You should check out the forms that have to be used and you may (or may not) be shocked at how close your portrayal is to the current reporting.

M

Endorcement summary and results feel free to add (and of course):

nomerger.org - Foushee and Hemminger

Sierra Club - Brown and Hemminger

Independent - Brown and Carey

CH News - Carey and Hemminger

Breakfast Club - Carey and Foushee

I have I'm sure missed several -- Teachers Associations, Soccer Alliances, and others that didn't get my attention. Several for the Town Council race seem to be missing this time out or I missed them. Housing, Police, CAN, Neighbors Near Campus, Tax watchers. Many of these had not much of a stake in the County race, but others did. Did they matter? Did any of the endorsements matter?

Gloria, why don't you get CAN to sponsor an initiative to wedge in one more financial reporting cycle before the election? We could've avoided the Bachman, et. al. coyness issue by easily wedging in one more prior to the election. If nothing else, CAN could require, as a condition of their endorsement, that their candidates voluntarily report.

That way, you won't have to "eagerly await the final financial repotss."

BTW, I've been looking into creating an online system that candidates could use for facilitating accurate, early and 'evergreen' campaign reports. It seems that the current time periods were based on the idea that some CPA is using charcoal and animal skins to tabulate contributions of beer, corn and pigs. If we skip ahead a couple centuries and take in to account modern tools, like spreadsheets and the 'net, it is entirely feasible for a candidate for a local race to keep a running report on their contributions. Again, why don't you get CAN to sponsor this as part of their election reform plank?

I bet we could pull in some talent, like Mr. T-Blog and Mr. Jones to help make it a reality.

I think Alex ("Oh, brother") has covered pretty well the dangers of relying on "labels and gross characterizations", but I'd like to add one specific. Mark started this sub-thread by talking about "real estate, development, and business interests", and that morphed into the "go-go growth crowd", and ended up at Lee Pavao's campaign contributions.

Lee isn't a real estate agent or a developer, nor does he own (or even work for) a business in Chapel Hill. The only land he owns locally is something like 10 acres in Chatham County, which I imagine he will move to when he tires of Chapel Hill politics. He's just someone who is interested in politics, has donated a good deal of his time to public service, and supports candidates with views similar to his own with volunteer efforts and financial contributions. In other words, other than the fact this his pockets are a little deeper than most, he's not very different than anyone participating in this discussion.

I'll be second in line (right behind Mark M.) when it comes to decrying those who line their pockets by influencing elected officials to make zoning and development decisions that don't respect the environment, don't fit into surrounding land uses, and overburden the transportation system. But I can't extend that criticism to those who are simply participating in the political process.

Patrick

Can you point us to the documentation for that committee (including the minority report)? I found your comments interesting.

Here are some other threads for discussion.

1) Funding for Orange County Schools - what should be done.

2) Voting Trends - http://www.herald-sun.com/opinion/chhedits/57-503259.html

3) Economic Development in Orange Country - are we a bedroom community for RTP.

Just some thougths that I have thought about. What do you think?

I would to clear up a few statements that Mark M. has posted on the fair representation committee of 1993 set up by the commissioners. I served on that committee as an at-large member.

The committee was stacked to some degree but the findings were that the current at-large system was unfair. Keith Cook wrote the majority and minority reports. It was my mistake to let that happen. As Mark stated the recommendations were to enlarge the county commission and to elect by district or cumulative voting. Cumulative voting would require a special bill passed by the general assembly whereas district elected would require only a vote by the commissioners.

Some have mention the spending reports and cost of running. It is my opinion, that with term limits and district elected representatives this will reduce the cost of seeking office, open up the process for more folks to serve and allow more diverse opinions at the table.

Jay and Gloria,

You're right. I was basing my comments on the reports that have been filed thus far. In local races, the historical trend has been that the final reports generally track the interims. Be reminded that my comment in this regard was in response to other posters working from the same information without conjecture. Should the final reports change the picture substantially, we'll obviously have more to talk about.

While we're on the subject of influence of money in local races, the Big Story(sic) that nobody's talking about is Bill Faison's crushing of Barry Jacobs in Caswell, bankrolling his own campaign to the tune of $100,000 plus, overwhelming Barry's support in Orange (My postulation). Was it all money? Were there strategic campaign errors on Barry's part? And what are the implications when Bill is seated as a member of the Orange County legislative delegation?--I have asked Ruby to allow a new string on this subject and--if authorized-- will elaborate further. Anybody interested?

Finally, Welcome, "New Voter', to the fray! You ask great questions and your analysis is more sophisticated than you appear to believe. Keep it Coming!

There's been a lot of interesting comments since the results came in. I find it helpful in trying to understand both sides.

As far as the school board race it wasn't to surprising to me. It was common knowledge that Brown had many ties to teachers that actively campaigned for her because they thought if merger occured that teachers salaries would be raised.

The County Commissioners race wasn't to surprising. It was fairly close so as some say it was just who got their supporters out. I checked in the northern part of the county and Patrick is right that Pam didn't spend any time or money on signs in the northern part of the county and that cost her dearly. Maybe Margaret's defeat will teach elective officials something.

I voted early and voted for Barry. But after all is said and done it doesn't bother me that he lost. I am really surprise that Barry didn't carry OC by more than he did.Has he made enemies like Brown seemed to have? we could do worse on CC. His attitiude after the results are very disappointing. It will be interesting to watch Faison.

About the size of the Board. Yes it could be bigger and maybe serve the county better but not really sure. Some other thoughts though. The CC could be paid more then they could meet more and could maybe be able to consider things better. But another idea is that if you have ever watched the CC meetings they waste so much time on things that don't have much of an impact on Orange Co.while all their staff sit around watching while costing the taxpapers much money. If they want to discuss all their accomplishments and what they think about state and national events then they need to start the meeting earlier without have all department heads ansd 2 attorneys sitting around listening costing the taxpayers money.

new voter

Alex - we don't know who the top spender was yet....

all that was reported was June 30th....

I'll bet the top finisher in spending may not me Ms Brown....

I eagerly await the final financial repotss.

A question--does anyone know why the Orange County BOCC is not subject to term limits? For example, two terms of four years each, etc....What is the benefit of having no term limits in the county commissions?

2 doz. eggs, Milk, Clark Bar...Anyone...anyone?...

Well, you sparked a discussion with me--doesn't that count?

Duncan,

An advantage to cumulative voting is that the voters can self-selct their political "district" and we wouldn't have to go through the messy process of creating districts. We could empower the rural minority with the least messy effort. Voting districts have to be within 5% of each other in population - I think that is still true.

"A voting system translates people's votes into seats in a legislative assembly. Many different voting systems exist. Because the same votes in different systems can produce different results, the selection of a voting system has a powerful impact on governance and fair representation."

http://www.fairvote.org/pr/ALmodified.htm#cumulative

Terri,

I can't quarrel with your post at all. I'm not against cumulative voting, necessarily, but I guess I've just never heard, explicitly, why this is better than district voting in Orange County. I have my thoughts about that, I just wanted to spark a discussion. This is probably the wrong thread for that.

(Of course, my batting average on sparking discussions around here is pretty poor. Chilton could post his grocery list and there'd be 75 responses and two commentaries on WCHL about it.)

I suppose it doesn't help that I post about things like fish called "robust redhorses" and the like. http://orangepolitics.org/environment/robust_redhorse_rises_reluctantly_really.html

Duncan,

I was thinking about your post as I wandered through the farmer's market this afternoon--a privilege I want to thank all those county farmers for giving me.

The point of representative democracy is to ensure that 'groups' of people have a voice in decision-making. The reason to expand the BOCC or adopt a cumulative voting system, in my opinion, is because the 'group' constituted by the citizens of Orange Co is more diverse than it was a few years ago in terms of income, profession, education, race/ethnicity, etc. There were 14,000+ votes cast in town and 8,800+ cast in the county. This excludes absentee votes since location is unknown. Does that difference represent turnout or does it represent density? I don't know the answer to that question but I think it's a question worth asking if the answer leads us to more confidence that our county government is truly representative.

This is not to take anything away from the newly elected commissioners. No one should read this as my saying or predicting that they will not represent the full constituency to the best of their ability. But when the issues are as complex as those facing this county I think it would be better to have direct representation for all (more) of the diverse interests rather than to rely on 5 individuals to have to know and do everything.

First, congratulations to all 5 of the candidates for a hard

but clean campaign.

Since you could throw a small blanket over the top four finishers,

all the analyses, while entertaining, will never explain who won

and who didn't. It was simply a very close race where all four

were about equal in the eyes of county citizens.

For once I agree with Mark M. at least for one winner....(I think Mr. Pavao gave to both winners but gave about 10 times more to the incumbent)

The sierra club had no money to spend to help their endorsees and unfortunately it takes money to run a campaign and unfortunately 10,000+ is worth more than the sierra club endorsement alone ....

If someone ever reports the first and second quarter filings of contributors (and the future third) one will see that the go-go growth crowd did $$$ support one incumbent.

Terri and Matt:

Artie Franklin first introduced the idea of district representation during THIS campaign (I know it's been talked about in the past). In print, it was in his July 10 Chapel Hill Herald guest column. Before that, I believe he mentioned it at the New Hope Improvement Association forum.

Thanks,

Elizabeth Franklin

(wife and campaign manager)

Alex,

Ask Sharon Worthington what she thought of the process. She was on the committee.

You lost me when you began ranting about some conspiracy involving lackeys & cabals that I certainly never brought up. Maybe you merged (sorry about that word again...) the posts and are suffering from Post-Trauma Syndrome.

So I was correct about the committee, what it concluded, and the result but you criticize me for not providing facts?

The fact is that the committee recommended expanding the board from 5 to 7 and utilizing cumulative voting. This recommendation never got serious discussion by th BOCC. Hmmm... I wonder why?

Terri,

I was referring primarily to the supporters (and detractors), and how the tone--again, fairly or unfairly--was, in it's perception associated with the candidates featured most prominently in the shrillest elements of the debate.

Mark,

The political world is not a binary place--raising skepticism about all these notions revolving around theories of behind-the-curtain machinations does not imply that I believe that these interests have NO influence,--Are you arguing that they shouldn't?-- just that it's one of many factors in play, and your assertions are inadequately supported.

To 'Check..'

Yeah, but the top fund-raiser was also the loser (among the contenders). And lest anybody forget, I was, and remain a Margaret supporter--I hope she jumps back in. So what's yer point?

Cheers,

Alex

In rural Orange County the driving force was the school board race not the county commissioners. I say that after talking with a number of folks and a reporter who was assign to take pictures and asked people why they were voting and 9 times out of 10 the answer was school board. The reporter had been to a number of rural precincts before I spoke to her.

I advised Val and Pam to get out into the county and talk to these folks and I also suggested how to that. It didn't help Pam to talk about soccer fileds being built in Efland vs Chapel Hill and the need for a landfill.

As for Barry who I urge to run for the district 50th seat the word is Caswell voters thought Barry was controlled by Chapel Hill/ Carrboro interest.

Mark is correct that such a committee was formed, what it concluded, and the ultimate result. What I find troublesome,(and tiresome) is all that stuff in the middle, which seems to infer that the result, in and of itself is evidence (in sum) of a put-up-deal of some conspiracy by a cabal-of-running-dog-lackeys-of-the-go-go-growth-capitalist-hegemony-stacked-by-the-puppet...bla-bla-Yak-Yak...

While it's been a long time, I seem to recall that there was some discussion about implementation, and that there were some practical issues to be resolved. Even if my recollection is incorrect, I'd really like to hear some factual evidence beyond the fact that the result was one that Mark didn't like to support these theories about organized nefarious machinations. Otherwise, it's so much blather and is as unilluminating as much of the previous 'rhetoric-by-Sparky-the-Insult-Comic-Dog"., IMHO.

Can't we change the channel?

Cheers,

Alex

Alex,

Do you believe that there is no significant business/development segment of the community or that they just decided to sit this one out?

If there is a busimess/faster-development segment of the community, what is the politically correct way to refer to them? I mean I didn't call them scurrilous, profit-sucking parasites..

If there is no segment of the communbity that seeks to affect politics in order to increase their wealth, then we truly live in a unique modern-day utopia. Should we send out a press release? Because that is big news.

Duncan,

I was just pointing out an important factor in the election that no-one had mentioned. Obviously there were many aspects and currents at work that can potentailly off-set one another. Or merge (if you'll pardon the expression) into the perfect political storm so that a candidate without much of a detailed platform can come in first.

As for overlapping interests of new and original rural folks, it sure is complicated. But my feeling is that we need to make sure everyone has a voice. People can understand losing to majority rule if they at least have the opportunity to elect a representative to present their views and maybe influence policy. And of course, the occasional good idea can come from the most unlikely of places. When I was advocating for fair representation, I knew full well that all I had in common with some of the folks I was talking with was a desire for better democracy.

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