The Republican candidate(s?)

So I noticed that the elusive mayoral challenger Kevin Wolff suddenly has a number of yard signs around town. Then I got this e-mail from a friend:

Kevin Wolff got signs, and they're popping up everywhere. I didn't think he'd bother - he hasn't done much so far. But also, I got my Orange County Republican Party Newsletter today... and they included a link to Wolff's website: http://hometown.aol.com/kwolffmayor/myhomepage/

And Ginny recently posted this message from the College Republicans listserve:

Kevin Wolff, Candidate for Mayor of Chapel Hill, will be in the Pit tomorrow — Wed (11/2) between 5:30PM and 6:30PM — to meet and greet voters, answer questions, and to listen to any ideas, thoughts or concerns you may have. Kevin is an experienced and accomplished leader in the worlds of business, technology and law and he now wants to “give back” to the Chapel Hill community by devoting himself to public service. One of Kevin's many goals as Mayor is to fully support UNC's “Carolina North” development project. He believes there is a great potential benefit to our community in bringing a new, world-class research and development facility to Chapel Hill.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Dan Cote
Chairman, Orange County GOP

And speaking of Republicans, this announcement was posted on a local website last month:

Any Tar Heel Fans out there ?

Author: Katrina R
Subject: Any Tar Heel Fans out there ?
Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:28 pm (GMT -4)
Topic Replies: 0

I have acquired a set of UNC tickets (2) for each of the remaining home games in The Pope Box. That's the private box area reserved for high dollar donors and public officials. Your Senator may show up there !

My campaign will be raffling them off beginning next Monday. Only 200 tickets will be sold and all four sets will be given away. Drop me an e-mail if you're interested in buying a couple of raffle tickets. :D

http://tarheelblue.collegesports.com/facilities/kenan/
_________________
Katrina

Now Wolff is a registered Republican, so we shouldn't be too surprised by anything reported here (except at the fact that he's running at all).

But we all know Katrina was a Democratic party activist back in Texas, so is she cozy with the right-wing Pope family? This puts some of her previous remarks in a different light. For example: "The one thing I've learned in my brief time here is that the Carrboro crowd has a good bit in common with Tom Delay."

Issues: 

Total votes: 190

Comments

quoting KR from above :"Your Senator may show up there "

Ellie???????

I doubt it Gerry.

The Republican Party was hard at work this week during one-stop voting distributing literature for Mr. Wolff at the planetarium. Mr. Wolff himself had a handful of Robin Cutson brochures in hand yesterday. Disturbingly, I had to remind one of the workers not to campaign/distribute literature within the 50 ft limit. The disturbing part was that although Mr. Wolff was standing next to me when I told the worker about it, he did nothing to stop the continued violations that persisted throughout the 3 hours I was at the planetarium this morning.

I actually had a nice chat with GOP Chair Dan. (We were competing precinct chairs in Weaver Dairy when I lived on Stateside). Dan shared with me how refreshing it was to have a conservative running for office in Chapel Hill. Funny, I haven't heard Kevin W. describe himself as "conservative." Dan was telling voters that Mr. Wolff was experienced and very well qualified to lead Chapel Hill. Once, (I couldn't help myself) I had to interject with one voter that Mr. Wolff had only lived in Chapel Hill for four months.

Ruby,
To be fair, I don't think getting tickets to sit in the Pope Box means you support the Pope family. Maybe, but I think it's just named for them, it's not their private seating area. Just like taking a class in O. Max Gardner Hall doesn't make you a Klansman.

The question I had was, is it legal to hold such raffles? I don't know.

My oh my...I have never met a member of the Pope family, so I don't think we could be described as "cozy" .

The tickets were given to us by a friend who endows several baseball scholarships at UNC, and rather than sell them or put them on Ebay etc..,we threw the name of every campaign contributor, regardless of the amount donated, into a bowl and have been drawing a name for each game. That seemed like the most democratic thing to do.

The reference to the Senator was to Libby Dole, a Duke graduate, who almost always attends the Duke-UNC game.

That would be Liddy Dole.

Fair enough, Katrina. I'll admit I don't know much about football tickets. ;-) Still, I don't think running into either of our current US Senators would be much of a selling point.

Also, I think Mark may have a point. Isn't there something in the regulations about whether contributors recieve something in return for the donations?

I talked to an election law attorney who offered the opinion that since there was no guarantee of anything in return, it would be fine. In fact, I threw in the names of people who'd donated before we had the tickets, so there was no quid pro quo.

And, you'd be surprised how many people were interested in meeting her. More to bend her ear, I think, than anything else. Or, maybe they're secretly Republicans. I obviously, am not, since I would have sworn Elizabeth Dole was Libby...Oh well.

Re Kevin Wolff

My wife asked me today, after we voted, why I was so "rude" to the Wolff "team" that was swarming around the planetarium. I guess it comes down to the fact that his whole campaign seems somehow underhanded. Not showing up, not filling out requests for stances on the issues. Then, there is a part of me that feels the whole thing is some weird name recognition scam.
Anyway, good luck to the real candidates.
Not one other team there this morning at 10ish.

For what it is worth:

The following Google search returned 715 hits: "Libby Dole"
(in quote marks to require that the words appear together and in that order)

Whereas I got 26,600 hits for "Liddy Dole"

So sounds like it is 'Liddy.'

Robert, Robert, Robert! I was at Morehead lunch and dinner quite a few days. Ran into Bill Thorpe and DG Martin on Friday. Unfortunately, this morning was impossible. Maybe next election?

Robert,

Sorry we missed you, Kleinschmidt, Baker, Thorpe, and Easthom did take a break at 10 and attended the dedication of the new memorial on McCorkle Place.

Mark

I ran into Mr. Wolff on my way to vote Friday afternoon. First time I've ever had a conversation with him, and though I definitely wasn't voting for him, he's a genial and well-spoken fellow.

Given what I heard, though, I'm not surprised the OCRP hasn't been making a bigger push. He didn't really go over well with me, and I'm sure he wouldn't go over well with most voters.

Well I am sorry to have missed you all. We came up right after Rainbow Soccer, but during the dedication.

I couldn't figure out why my 4-year old was so excited about going to vote with me, until he asked if we would be going out in the deep water on the vote. :) Still, he enjoyed filling in the lines for us and sliding the ballots into the box.

Ruby, I find this game of "spot-the-Republican" to be very unattractive.

If you had questions about Katrina Ryan's obtaining and auctioning of tickets in the Pope box, couldn't you have asked her what the circumstances were privately, before posting the public insinuations?

Orangepolitics.org is a wonderful creation, and a wonderful resource. This post was beneath it.

I have to agree with Eric. The overall insinuation that there is something wrong with being a Carolina Republican is very unnecessary. There are issues of greater value to discuss in Orange County.

I would agree with Eric about the Katrina post, but disagree with John about the Carolina Republican point. As I have said here before, I was registered without party affiliation for many years and felt the voter should cast their ballot for the most qualified individual. However, I think anyone who still feels that way after what has happened nationally has on blinders. Perhaps in these non-partisan local elections we can look at each candidate issue-by-issue, but at the state level and certainly the national level the sides are clearly chosen in what amounts to a cultural battle for the future of our country. Sad. But true.

I'll admit I totally misunderstood the meaning of the Pope Box (although I personally still wouldn't enjoy watching the game in a space named in honor of the Popes). I apologize to Katrina for associating her with the arch enemy of liberal arts education in North Carolina.

But I think the party stuff is relevant. Please remember the purpose of OrangePolitics is not to inform and engage every one in the county. That's the news media's job (whether they do it or not). We have an agenda, and it's to mobilize progessives on local issues.

Anyone who thinks this a publicly owned town square, and therefore that they are being censored because they can't do or say anything they want here, is in the wrong place.

I was joking about Ellie

as to Katrina's question about the law, it really depends on whether you are selling raffle tickets with a football ticket prize, or simply giving away football tickets in a random draw to people who had already contributed. (the latter is completely legal from a raffle law stabdpoint)

Many organizations selling sporting event tickets prohibit in the contract of sale putting the ticket up in a raffle (because it takes away from THEIR potential sales market, and also because of the trademark infringement issues). Not sure about Carolina football.

GS 14-309.15 regulates raffles in NC
http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_....

It requires organizations ocnducting raffles to be a "nonprofit organization or association, recognized by the Department of Revenue as tax‑exempt pursuant to G.S. 105‑130.11(a), " Not sure whether your campaign is. It also requires "No less than ninety percent (90%) of the net proceeds of a raffle shall be used by the nonprofit organization or association for charitable, religious, educational, civic, or other nonprofit purposes." Off the top off my head, I'd say that political expenditures are NOT prohibited (the reason for the legalization of raffles in NC was to allow NONPROFIT groups to raise money for CHARITY).

In addition, there may be income tax consequences for the campaign, as raffle sales may be unrelated business income.

I meant to say
Off the top off my head, I'd say that political expenditures might be prohibited. But it is a close call (the reason for the legalization of raffles in NC was to allow NONPROFIT groups to raise money for CHARITY).
(my mistake)

Oy!! This has gotten a little out of hand. Attributing a political persuasion or lack of conviction to the acquisition of good football tickets is just bizarre.

I drive on MLK boulevard nearly every day. Does that make me a better person than choosing the Weaver Dairy extension ?

for instance, this is pretty much a blanket clause in all posteason NCAA tournament ticket sales:
http://www.greensborocoliseum.com/ncaa_info.cfm
.........
"Unless specifically authorized by the NCAA, tickets may not be offered in a commercial promotion or as a prize in a sweepstakes or contest."

Katrina, I wasn't criticizing the Pope family or the Pope box, or even criticizing Liddy Dole.

Ruby, I have never thought this was a publicly owned town square. And I've never breathed a word about being censored! I'm pleased to have the chance to comment here, and I've appreciated the couple of times that you have allowed me to guest-post an article. To be honest, I'm a little confused why you raised the question of censorship at all.

What I did do was to comment not on the fact of citing party affiliation--which certainly is relevant--but on a method of insinuating about party affiliation--which, to me at least, smacked of unfairness. I understand that this isn't a town square, but I had not understood that critical reactions to postings on this site were unwelcome.

Gerry, I don't have any problem with your comments. And your posting of the legalities, which we followed, are helpful in dispelling the myths of any chicanery.

I was replying to the comment that a "progressive" couldn't enjoy a football game viewed from the Pope Box. It's actually quite enjoyable, and the drinks are free!

Isn't Katrina regisered AS A DEMOCRAT? Now, she may not be what Ruby terms "progressive" (and I, for one, would like to know the rules) but that doesn't make her a Republican.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

melanie

Eric, sorry if I seemed to be overreacting. Some people have made complaints of censorship after OP declined to publish their posts or unsubstantiated comments. I think you are aware of at least one of these incidents.

I don't get how you can infer "that critical reactions to postings on this site were unwelcome." A cursory review of the comments on just about any post here will indicate otherwise. I may not LIKE what others have to say in the comments, but as long as it's not cruel, false, or way off-topic I don't stop them.

Well, the reason I inferred it was that you replied to my comment by telling me not to complain about censorship, and by suggesting that I was in "the wrong place" by commenting here on OP.

Maybe I misread you, though; were you not talking to me when you said the stuff about censorship and being in the wrong place? I thought you were. If not, I'm sorry for misreading you.

I was just making a general statement that no-one has a right to publish on OP, not addressing you personally.

Let me break into our previously scheduled rant to thank Ruby for giving us this wonderful forum on which to debate the merits of such a forum :)

On a lighter note, are they counting early votes this year? Or, in the future? Not releasing them of course, but I seem to remember hearing about this...could have been a stray comment about elsewhere though.

They are counting early voters, not releasing totals per candidate until after 7:30 on Tuesday.

Katrina, Did you mean to imply that there are alcoholic beverages served in the Pope Box? Or does "and the drinks are free" mean all the Cheerwine you can handle? Just curious because I don't think that the folks in the cheap seats are allowed to imbibe.

Both...all the Cheerwine you can handle, and yes, there is alcohol available, along with a snazzy buffet of sports bar type goodies. It's quite nice.

Thanks Catherine.

As for boxes, I got tickets to the "owner's box" for a Panthers game last year. It turns out there are about 10 "owner boxes", but the experience was great. I'm more of a bleacher person myself, but it was nice to be able to wander around, nibble, have a drink, and chat WHILE watching the game.

James - good point! Free booze in the skyboxes but can't even buy a beer in the stadium? I guess that solves the problem of Boad of Guv relatives getting busted for tailgating! Might make for an interesting story in the DTH or elsewhere.

Re: the ticket raffling, assuming Katrina meant what she said in the 10/5 post, the campaign planned to raffle tickets and only 200 raffle tickets can be purchased. I think we all know what 'purchased' means. And were the tickets listed as an in-kind contribution? i.e. were they given to the campaign or just used by the campaign? Sounds like Katrina changed course mid-stream and just gave them away to contributors, but I don't think that passes the legitimacy test either as you had to be a contributor to be eligible to win the tickets. And even if everyone was eligible, what is a political campaign doing giving away tickets to a football game? And has the campaign disclosed who "won" the tickets? Not to make a mtn out of a molehill, but this is really not a good thing for campaigns to be doing, even if it is legal, which I highly doubt.

That post was posted when I first got the call about having the tickets available. We hadn't yet sold any and upon receiving the clarification from our attorney, we adopted our policy of tossing everybody's name in the bowl. Not one person responded to that post.

As it turns out, both of the recipients so far were donors who contributed very early in the campaign, long before we had tickets. Since they both contributed well under the $100 that the BOE requires for disclosure, and I respect people's privacy, I hesitate to go farther than that.

If someone gave tickets to Katrina and she gave them away to contributors (or even sold them in a raffle) and the donor did not know what happened to the tickets, the ticket donor has no connection with anything related to campaign financing. If the donor gave the tickets to katrina with the knowledge that they would be given away to contributors or raffled, then the donor would be listed as an in-kind contrubution. (and two seats in a box at Kenan stadium with free liquor probably is worth more than $100 and would have to be itemized with the name of the donor).

It is an entirely different issue about whether a contributor of less than $100 is somehow entitled to privacy. Just because the law applicable to Carrboro does not REQUIRE listing those who gave less than $100, a candidate is free to disclose more than the minimum the law requires. I know Dan is tired about hearing about my past campaigns, but back when I ran, there was no campaign finance reporting at ALL for municipalities with populations under 50,000, but I field anyway and sent out press releases with all the names, itemizing the names of even the smallest contrubutor. (I recently asked NC Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmonds a Republican who gave $25 to my 1975 Chapel Hill mayoral campaign, how much he would pay for me to never mention his contribution!)

Gerry, I agree. It's good to see candidates who follow higher ethical guidelines than just the minimum the law allows. When I ran, I even disclosed the names of people who came to my benefit concert - big $6 donors (or however much it was). ;-)

The tickets have a face value of $35 each.

In my campaign solicitations, I stated that donors contributing over $100 would be disclosed to the board of elections. I feel that is a covenant between those donors and my campaign.

I generally like full disclsoure too, but I also think it's ok to preserve some way for people to contribute some minimal amount with some anonomynity. Some people might fear repurcussions from their bosses, friends, etc. And I think just about anything we can do to encourage small donations is positive.

On the football tix raffle, the tickets should be listed as a donation to the campaign from SOMEONE - either Katrina or the donor. They clearly are related to the campaign as they benefitted only campaign contributors and they clearly have value. The timing of the contribution isn't so much the issue as the contribution making one eligible. A select class of raffle-eligible individuals was created by dint of having contributed to the campaign. This just ain't Kosher to me.

And I wonder if it's even legal under state law for candidates to give away items of value to contributors. For instance, what if someone gave the Speaker of the House some sky box tickets and he held a raffle for all his contributors, with the winners getting tix (and a chance to lobby Liddy!). Think that would be news? Think it would be legal? I don't mean to get too harsh on this, but the more I think about it, the more wrong it seems - even though if it seems somewhat inadvertent.

David, if you've been following my comments elsewhere on OP, I've listed all my donors, no matter how small, on my website. I've included those after the BOE's required Oct. 24th report through today. I asked each contributor if they were OK with a pre-release of their contribution and they all "opted-in". I also collected the address, phone # and employment info for all the contributors - not just those at $100 or above. You'll see that some of the incumbents this year, and in years past, don't provide this level of detail.

I understand the anonymity issue (I'm concerned about "surveillance society") but the BOE reports will eventually report the names of each contributor.

C'mon, Katrina. Admit it. The two recipient/donors were Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, right?

Ruby--you stated that OP's rules are :
"as long as it's not cruel, false, or way off-topic" it's ok...I think you violated your own rules when you accused Katrina of being a republican candidate.

Certainly that is "false." You may not like her, or her candidacy, but I've seen NOTHING in her literature that would indicate that she is anything but a mainstream democrat.

melanie

According to the board of elections, it is not a violation of election law for Katrina to conduct a raffle. However, it is a violation of general statute 14-309.15, which could be prosecuted by the Department of Revenue. Apparently, they pretty much never do so. Katrina, her donors, and the Pope box should be fine.

I'll take your word for it Dan. She does need to list the tickets as contributions, as they are worth, as she says, $35 a ticket multiplied by the number of tickets. Will, I"m not sure why the BoE reports will eventually list every contributor who gives $100 or less.

The donor of the tickets is disclosed on my campaign reporting forms. It is, in fact, my husband, who is a registered Democrat, though largely apolitical. His true loyalty is to UNC athletics, especially football. He prefers to sit with his friends in the "everyman" seats, so most of our tickets are given to clients etc.

Those who have enjoyed the tickets thus far will not be, since one contributed $10 to my campaign and one donated $45.

Katrina, shame on people for giving you a hard time.

(Ok, I said it, will you give me that ticket to the Pope Box now?)

OK, I think the problem with some of the seeming conflict between Will and Katrina's statements is that the law is different.

Carrboro is under the general state law that only REQUIRES donor names to be disclosed at the $100 threshhold. So Katrina can legally withhold names of smaller contributores (and voters can weigh how important or unnimportant that is)

Chapel Hill is governed by SESSION LAW 1999-255 passed by the General Assembly in 1999 that states in Section 4: "The Town Council may by ordinance require the disclosure by candidates (and their political committees) for elective town office of the names of all contributors to their campaigns. The ordinance may exempt from disclosure contributions below a monetary amount set in the ordinance.", which allows the town to set a LOWER threshhold.

Section 2.71 of the Chapel Hill Ordinance Code, implementing the local act, sets the Chapel Hill disclosure threshhold at $20:

"Sec. 2-71. Disclosure of contributors.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section all candidates for municipal elections in the town, regardless of the amount they spend, shall file reports listing the names of all contributors and the amounts contributed by each.
(b) Names of contributors of amounts twenty dollars ($20.00) or less are exempt from the requirements of this section.
(c) Reports required by this section shall be filed in accordance with N.C.G.S. part 2, article 22A of chapter 163.
(Ord. No. 99-7-7/O-10, § 1; Ord. No. 99-10-27/O-10, § 1; Ord. No. 99-11-22/O-4.1, § 1)"

oh, and the fact that the "face value" of the tickets is $35 does not necessarily have anything to do with their fair market value, which the law would require. If the seat number included admission to a private box with free food and drink, and the ticket face value is $35, its fair market value would be a LOT higher.

And the fair market value of a Duke football ticket? $0.

Gerry, how would you suggest we estimate the fair market value ?

I'm being serious. We had discussed it as being an "in-kind" donation of $280 ( 8 ticketsX $35). Since we've never sold any tickets, how does one ascertain the "market value" ?

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