Primary News Roundup

"Dollar dollar bill, y'all..." Sorry I don't have time to write more, but here are some articles in today's Herald. Looks like it's all about money!

It turns out SEANC paid for the so-called "push polls" that appeared to be promoting Barry Jacobs in House District 50. No wonder, SEANC (the State Employees Association of N.C., pronounced "scenic") did endorse him.

Doesn't look like those calls have hurt him in the pocketbook, anyway. Bill Faison is the top spender in the House 50 race, having spent $59,000 to Barry Jacobs' $17,500. Faison has raised a total of $109,175 - including $103,000 of his own money. Jacobs' has raised $39,272 so far, most of which came from donors who gave $100 or less.

Commissioner Marget Brown, who failed to file her finance report by last week's deadline, raised more than any of her opponents in her re-election bid. She has raised $12,692.50, and has over $10K left to spend!

Another shocker: school funding is the main issue in the County Commissioners race. Now I am far from an expert on this topic, but I must point out that "merger" does not equal "school funding." And given that there is no specific plan for a merger before the commissioners, I just don't get how everyone thinks they know how they stand on it. And I really don't get how they think they know how the candidates will vote on a proposal no-one has even seen.

This might be one of the very rare occasions on which I agree with Margaret Brown who "said a merger discussion, and issues of equal educational opportunities, should be rational and based on factual information, instead of a knee-jerk yes or no response." Imagine that.

Issues: 

Total votes: 214

Comments

Can we PLEASE put an end to these public name calling sessions? Democracy is based on the assumption that reasonable people can work through differences. We don't have to love each other, but we do have to live in the same community after tomorrow's election. In public discourse, it's OK not to agree with one another. And that can be done respectfully.

Please join me in a moratorium on name calling, hateful insinuations, and the tit for tat (of which I am guilty and I apologize) nasty messages. Turning the other cheek is a mark of maturity (I belatedly remind myself).

Good heavens, Ms. Faley.

So close to the election and such nerves.

Feel free to disagree, but you are wrong to call your frantic distortions facts, when they are estimates and conjectures. You aren't a liar. Questioning your "facts" is not calling you a liar, Ms. Faley.

I question your facts, and I question your motivation here, as you clearly hate Brown for personal, not county issue, reasons, and are willing to blame your own failed bid to serve here on a mythical conspiracy headed by Brown, when really, you lost entirely on your own. Sorry if I think that makes your already questionable "facts" suspect.

Oh...

PLEASE do not press the Post button more than once under ANY circumstances! Sometimes the comments are very slow or appear not to have been published, or you may get an error message. Please wait at least 10 minutes, and refresh the page to see if your comments appear.

You do indeed have a lot of work to do tonight. Good luck tomorrow.

And please learn not to hate and lambast people because they disagree with you. It's beneath you, and lessens any real argument you might have had.

Oh by the way, informed voter... just for fun. I put Parkside Entrance and the parks location into Mapquest. Mapquest has a person traveling on I40.

It is one way for 16.89 miles. I wonder what car they used.

You are right. This election is about a lot more than merger. It is about telling the truth and owning what you believe.

You proved the point for me.

Pam Hemminger was quoted as saying that the park was 18 miles . She clearly stated that mileage in a forum and she stated clear that it was one way from her home. She did not just say anyplace, it was her home. So, Informed Voter. You are quoting her incorrectly.

I put her address and the park into Mapquest. The total one-way distance 23.27 miles. Wonder what car she drove. I think the point is that none of these miles come close to the mileage that you are giving. Okay... I am done with this silly argument.

I hate being called a liar. Especially, when I put my full name at the bottom of every post.

Bye... bye... I have lots of work to do.

Oh come one, Poor Misunderstood Informed Voter.

There is a lot more than your one and lonely person advocating for Commssioner Brown. If you are, then I would tell Commissioner Brown to be worried about tommorrow. Recheck the different posting. Unless you are all of the other anonymous posters.

I really don't care if you post anonymous or not. I don't care because I have found no value in your comments. Other like minded folks such as yourself probably do. That's great. It's wonderfully free country.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent merger.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent busing.

Many of us don't believe you about the busing.

Many of us have learned to listen to our eyes and see with our eyes.

I disagree with Terri. I don't find anything that you have said to have information that based in factual evidence. So, go right ahead and argue away. It is your right. And it's my right to find your argument illogical, berating, and without fact. You can act like we don't care about mental health (and you are wrong), you can act like we don't care about the envirnoment (and you are wrong).

You are right this election is about a lot of things. And all of those things stack up to a vote for a change on the board.

Have a nice night.

Oh come one, Poor Misunderstood Informed Voter.

There is a lot more than your one and lonely person advocating for Commssioner Brown. If you are, then I would tell Commissioner Brown to be worried about tommorrow. Recheck the different posting. Unless you are all of the other anonymous posters.

I really don't care if you post anonymous or not. I don't care because I have found no value in your comments. Other like minded folks such as yourself probably do. That's great. It's wonderfully free country.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent merger.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent busing.

Many of us don't believe you about the busing.

Many of us have learned to listen to our eyes and see with our eyes.

I disagree with Terri. I don't find anything that you have said to have information that based in factual evidence. So, go right ahead and argue away. It is your right. And it's my right to find your argument illogical, berating, and without fact. You can act like we don't care about mental health (and you are wrong), you can act like we don't care about the envirnoment (and you are wrong).

You are right this election is about a lot of things. And all of those things stack up to a vote for a change on the board.

Have a nice night.

Oh come one, Poor Misunderstood Informed Voter.

There is a lot more than your one and lonely person advocating for Commssioner Brown. If you are, then I would tell Commissioner Brown to be worried about tommorrow. Recheck the different posting. Unless you are all of the other anonymous posters.

I really don't care if you post anonymous or not. I don't care because I have found no value in your comments. Other like minded folks such as yourself probably do. That's great. It's wonderfully free country.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent merger.

Many of us don't believe you about the non-existent busing.

Many of us don't believe you about the busing.

Many of us have learned to listen to our eyes and see with our eyes.

I disagree with Terri. I don't find anything that you have said to have information that based in factual evidence. So, go right ahead and argue away. It is your right. And it's my right to find your argument illogical, berating, and without fact.

Have a nice night.

The question is ...

If you woke up the next morning and found a horses' head or Margaret Brown with you in bed which would scare you more and which would make you run into the shower first?

Informed Voter's lost cousin,

If I had the power to remove your posting I would. It is not worthy of this forum and I resent having to read such trash.

I agree, Terri.

Just thought you might like to listen to commentary about the definition of neighbors that was on WCHL1360 on Friday. Part of the reason for writing it was for this type of discussion.

http://www.wchl1360.com/commentators.jsp

I agree as well.

This Lost Cousin should also read the letter in the Herald from Wednesday about this exact kind of post on this very blog, written by Seth C. Turner.

Informed voter whoever you are:

And, of course, anonymity is the major cause of this kind of bullshit. Show some spunk & stand by your comments.

Informed voter whoever you are:

And, of course, anonymity is the major cause of this kind of bullshit. Show some spunk & stand by your comments. I think it's time that anonymous comments be deleted. Cowardly charges are made and bullshit posts are encouraged.

Hmmm...interesting that one Brown supporter comes on and is railed for being anonymous, while there are 10 bullshit and personal attack anonymous posts against Brown for every one nonbullshit post I make.

What cowardly charge/bullshit posts have I made?

The fact that Republicans were urged on the nomerger website to change their registration in order to influence a Democratic primary and that this *should* raise questions in any real democrat's mind about who supports whom and why?

That perhaps there is no vast web of influence controlled by a cabal in Orange County and some people are not elected because they lack voter confidence/experience/skills/knowledge of the issues?

That the mileage to the soccer complex is not 18 miles by my car?

That there is no bussing planned for a nonexistant merger that is not even on the planning board?

That people who claim certain things on this blog might just be acting out of purely personal motives for perceived political slights?

That perhaps the main issues in this election should be environment, and children, and recreation, and mental health, and the disadvantaged, and not a nonexistant merger issue backed by a republican minority and the dang soccer fields that 98% of the county residents will never set foot on?

Sorry if anonymous posts bother you, but don't take me to task for what 20 more people than I do. I don't think that pointing out these things counts as bullshit. Unless it's that you agree with other anonymous posts and not mine, which is fine.

Informed Voter,

You have presented a great deal of interesting information and have contributed to my understanding of the issues and I appreciate that. But I find it both interesting and troublesome that many comments in signed letters to the editors in the Herald, etc. are made here by anonymous posters. What's the difference? Some anonymous posters waste our time and contribute nothing to this forum. Others, such as you, have a great deal of knowledge/opinion, but it's never clear whether you (global sense) have an ulterior motive or whether there would truly be a risk to your person by using your real name. That said, I personally would give more credence to what you have to say if you were willing to take responsibility for it.

Last Monday, NoMerger.org offered released its list of donors through 6/30 to the Herald, Indy, and CHNews. The Herald took NoMerger.org up on that offer. The CHNews editor chose to not ask the merger reporter if a list had been offered and instead accused nomerger of being secretive because it suits the purposes of CH News in its quest to back a particular candidate.

Where are the lists of donors to the incumbent candidate campaigns less than $100.01?

NoMerger.org operates under the guidelines established for a county PAC. These guidelines are available in a well-written document on the state board of education website.

NoMerger.org has never asked for approval from the candidates for use of their name. And in fact, every media buy, including our signs, has this printed or stated in it. NoMerger.org is a group of involved parents. The candidates have no say in our endorsement of them.

The Herald-Sun put it this way: "NoMerger.org has helped to make this a different kind of race, and for that reason it's no accident that the group's role in the election is attracting criticism from partisans of the incumbents." http://www.herald-sun.com/opinion/chhedits/57-500828.html

the list for Nomerger was given to the Herald and whatever the newspaper deemed noteworthy published in the Herald already but it was boring so not much too publish. There is no secret there.

http://www.herald-sun.com/orange/10-500899.html

If moses wins he owes Ted Vaden a big kiss on the rear end.

The facts that STILL stand are the the OCS schools PROJECT (not the same as speculate or fabricate) 1500 empty seats going forward while the CHCCS schools PROJECT 1600 plus seats OVER capacity. But most people don't bother to read anything the county puts out (even on their web page) so they might as well not exist. Nomerger wasn't the ones going over the soccer field exact distance that was someone else - but I am sure anyone against merger looks alike to you.

People who are not political sofisticates sometimes answer things in a more polite way. Compare and contrast to the SEANC and push polling episode -- where no one fessed up to it until they were caught. And the answer by an experienced politico -- I knew nothing about it but am proud to have there support. Keep trolling for trash but I am more interested in how everyone seems to have missed the go go growth contributions to the carey campaign.

Including one of those Chatahm developers...

YES I see it all - Margaret Brown lives on a farm and thereby has access to horse heads to put in people's beds! She is the Godmother!

Oh, please.

If you really want a conspiracy, let's take a nice long in-depth look at nomerger.org and their financial backing and their actual ties to certain candidates (beyond "oh it was free so I let them put my name on their signs!" and being "out of town and unavailable for comment"). There's a nice shadowy place to shine some light.

I love that every actual serious allegation made against the nomerger.org people gets refracted back and like any reflection returns completely distorted.

A merger study turns into kids being bussed 50 miles from home - distortion and lie.

Soccer fields move further and further from Chapel Hill with every day that passes - actually, 22.6 miles ROUND TRIP to northern Chapel Hill!

A call for information on nomerger backing and now it comes back as another attack on Margaret Brown as some kind of mafia don - absurd!

Well, Muffett, why don't you ask them yourself if you're having such a hard time understanding. Their names are right there in the report. And what is all this about having the "ego to give money toward people/groups who trash them unless there is some benefit"? What does that mean? Name some people who gave money to Margaret Brown who have been "trashed" by her.

The level of this discussion is about that of a high school election. "He trashed me! He trashed me! My ego has been crushed!"

Speaking of trash, I'll say it again, apropos of nothing: Orange County, deal with your own damned trash.

(Did anyone catch Susan Halkiotis's pained letter to the editor discussing how disappointed she was that people were still talking about whether OC should take care of its own trash? She seemed actually proud of the fact that, after much public discussion, many committee meetings, hearings and other confabs, the county had made the brave, difficult decision to ship its trash out of the county so someone else could deal with it.

In OC, it's all about process. So long as the process is given adequate attention, it seems to matter less what the decision is. The give-our-trash-to-someone-else solution isn't exactly ground-breaking or brave, but because it was born of much "process," it somehow has acquired moral weight.

"Everyone agrees that a much more financially desperate community should take responsibility for our garbage! Great! Now let's go get hammered at Weaver Street on good wine!"

[Ed. note: We could have bought that wine cheaper at Cliff's Meat Market, had not the Weaver Street people recently put pressure on the distributor, who services both Weaver Street and now Cliff's, to "urge" Cliff to price his wine at a higher markup. Don't know how this ended up, but you've got to love the crypto-capitalists over at Weaver Street!]

the only problem which is hard to digest is that the not so private very personal trashing of some of the baby spiders by the momma and helpers makes it hard to understand why someone would contribute morsels toward the mother spider in the web. Very few spiders have the ego to give money towards people/groups who trash them unless there is some benefit.

From Geoffrey Graybeal's article, it would appear that the "group" is the infamous Southern Season/APS gadfly-crank/Foy/Strom/Verkerk/Herrera/Stephens/Philly /Sierra Club/Historic Home Caretaker Crew.

I'm told that Strom and Verkerk act as consiglieres, and all that silly public disagreement over everything is just a diabolical front. Michael Barefoot does all the catering.

What's more diabolical of Brown is the fact that she's allowed NoMerger.org to outspend her by 36%, Pam Hemminger to outspend her by 130%, and Moses Carey to outspend her by 340%. It's diabolical because she's got all that money left to spend this weekend on...ummm...ads in the Chapel Hill News AND the Herald-Sun. It's insane! It's terrifying!

"Voter" is so right to see Brown as the spider in the center of the web of "connections," whose wrath shall be felt by all those who cross her because she's so damned powerful. Obviously, all those people gave her money because they're scared of her. The muscle in the organization shook them down. It's the only explanation! Wake up, people!

Finally, in Orange County, Brown has turned campaign finance on its head. Instead of being in the pocket of her donors, Brown has her donors in _her_ pocket. It's brilliant and evil. How does she do it?

Anyway, thank God for "Voter," who is scared and ain't afraid to tell everyone about it.

[To be serious for a moment, I once incurred the wrath of Mr. Bob Brown for pointing out in print, after Mrs. Brown's first election, that Republican candidate Patrick Mulkey had done better than the average Republican candidate for the Board of County Commissioners -- that is, pretty badly, but not as badly as other Republicans. Needless to say, I'm an agnostic on Margaret Brown.

But I think Gloria Faley's insinuations and "Voter"'s histrionic fears are just plain loopy, and aren't at all in touch with the reality of Orange County politics, which are nasty to be sure, but not nearly as corrupt as folks seem to _want_ to believe. I think it must be because so many people get involved in Orange County politics (a good thing) without having had experience in politics elsewhere (a not so good thing.) If you think OC politics are corrupt to the point that Brown is shaking down contributors, you're just living on another planet. Here you are, hollering and gnashing your teeth over whether Margaret Brown Has a Posse (ooh -- just got a visual of a great campaign sign), while a truly corrupt group of politicians just to your south are ready to turn 15-501 into a long strip of 1,000+ family housing developments, with every new car pointed north toward Franklin Street. Then they're going to build a regional landfill because you all refuse to take your own damned trash and because they have a complete lack of imagination when it comes to economic development, and then they're going to run water and sewer countywide to all your favorite wilderness spots so their buddies can build more housing developments along the Haw and the Rocky River. You'll love that, I'm sure.]

Voter, come one! Why would you be afraid to name the group? You are posting anonymously . . .

With all due respect, Ruby, merger is full of hypotheticals that would only be known once implemented, by people (a new school board) currently undetermined. To the degree that any merger decision would be "fact-based," I can't imagine what difference new facts (or arrangements of facts) would make. We know the fundamental forces at involved, and some have said they want merger, others have said they don't (at least not now), and those remaining are by definition willing to consider it.

Durham's decision about 15 years ago was swift, by comparison. The people who needed to study a lot of facts were the ones who constituted the initial school board and who implemented merger, not the Commissioners who made the decision to merge.

Our Commission might need more facts to implement (or for someone else to implement) a hypothetical merger, but I don't think it needs more facts to make its decisions. If Brown & Jacobs & Halkiotis don't have firm, even immutable personal opinions by now, well, I'd be mighty surprised. It would be like a presidential candidate who were unsure whether he should have voted for the Iraq War resolution. (Oh, wait, ....)

In wednesday's N&O at least the online version said she had raised about 7500 on 7/13... published 7/14 so You'd hope the treasure would know what they mailed to the board of elections a day later.

Gloria - at this point anyone voting for commissioner Brown probably knows that she does not tell the truth and at this point we know the media doesn't seem to care....

You can tell which editors have ethics by which one's endorse her to some extent....I think....

the number has been moving around a lot...

I guess that is what reporters call "politics" when they do reporting that contradicts other sources...

I think the some of the media really might try to care. I think the media is just plain afraid or too lazy to really go find out the facts. It is just too easy to walk down the hall or go call up someone that you think is in the know.

Someone whose has that much money and can gather that much contributions can easily weld a whole lot of power. They can easily say you see it my way or else. You have to think Margaret didn't get this kind of power overnight, she had to acquire a machine like this over time (starting with the Greens). Just ask people who were in the Greens and dared to question the status quo. This is a political power that took at least 10 years in the making. And it will not be let go easily. Remember this is not just Margeret. There is a collection of folks. Small group, yes. But a very active group. A group with a LOT of connection. No, I am not brave enough to name them. But, I will bet you that you can figure it out by just reading a few columns around town.

I think there are folks out there that are just plain afraid. Afraid of this group holding a grudge and welding just enough power to make an impact on a project that they didn't fit the party line or just enought power to have an impact on an election.

I think it is rather brave of people like Pam who are willing to stand up for what they believe is right. I would be willing to wager that any project that Pam brings forward after this will find a quick death. Unless Pam wins (which is unlikely... sorry Pam... I'll vote for you, but this is an uphill battle and you are playing with some pretty big boys with pretty big bucks and a lot of IOU chips that they can turn to make things go their way).

Gosh, I hope that Chapel Hill can find its independent and liberal roots again. But, that takes some work and effort.

The democractic process is when people listen as well as they talk. Rather than just looking down on folks, why not try to hearing what some people are saying. You might learn something. Its not about the idealogy, its about bringing together a variety of ideas, finding common ground, and building a common project. Radical process huh.

Over $12,000. I thought that I read in an earlier quote in one of the newspaper that Commissioner Brown thought that she had raised between $4K and $6K. It is very odd that the final figure is $12K, but she said that she had $4K or $6K. According to record, Commissioner Brown is her own treasurer. Odd those figures were wrong. HHHHMMMM!!!

But, that's a lot of money. Now, I know why I got five color glossy flyers from Commission Brown in my mailbox. I'm bet you that when the election is all over, she will have spent a lot more than only $1,748. But, that will after the election. Yes... I'd say "Dollar, dollar, dollar". Didn't look there were any caps on donation. But, I could be wrong.

Yes, I agree with the idea that you should study the issue before you make a "slip shot" decision. I also heard Ms. Foushee comment to that same idea as well in last night's forum. I heard Commissioner Brown comment again that this was why she organized the Excellance in Education taskforce. But, don't you find it odd that the commissioners instructed that same committee that they should not consider merger in any way. HMMM!

I also hear Ms. Foushee state that DPI had a guideline for studying merger and that it was too bad that the commissioners had not used that guideline. Odd that Commissioner Brown didn't look at those guidelines. Mr. Link showed it to them in a worksession with the school board last year. HMMM!

I also heard Ms. Foushee state that the commissioner should review the process that other counties had taken in merging. That might have given Commissioner Brown some historical, research, and perspective about for how things could go well. HMMMM!

 

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