Kudos to the Indy

The Indy's election endorsements issue came out today. They prefer cumulative voting, but without that option on the ballot encourage a yes vote on the referendum. They also re-endorse the three Democratic Commissioner candidates, Carl Fox and Adam Stein for Superior Court, Ellie Kinnaird, Joe Hackney, and others you might expect.

In the past some people have complained here and elsewhere that the Indy does its readers a disservice by not making the voluminous surveys candidates fill out for it available to the general public. Voters who want to make up their own mind could find this to be a more substantive source of candidate information than anything else out there right now.

Editor Richard Hart notes this week that they're listening and that the surveys will go online later today at http://www.indyweek.com when the paper does. I look forward to looking at them, and hope others will too.

This must have been a great deal of work so hats off to Richard, Jennifer Strom, Denise Prickett, and the other folks at the Indy who made this possible.



I suspect that Mike Nelson would try to resurrect the merger issue if elected. Jamie may share that opinion, hence the continuing relevance of "No Merger".

I meant to say that the "No Merger" signs were from two years ago.

I think the "No Merger" signs are left over from his previous campaign two years. Also, many folks are questioning Mike Nelson's stand on the merger issue because he is supported by some of the most vocal pro-merger people in the county.

I'm still trying to figure out why Jamie has campaign signs that are talking about Merger.

Oh, and here's Richard talking about the endorsements, if you're curious:


It is unfortunate that the Indy couldn't make three full endorsements. They felt the need to endorse Mike Nelson with a stipulation for him to change:

"Although he touts his environmentalist credentials--he's the director of governmental relations at the Conservation Council--there is some question about his land-use philosophies. In Carrboro, he lobbied for developing an environmentally sensitive tract of land; public outcry defeated the plan. We are endorsing Nelson, but ask him to make environmental protection a priority if elected."

It sounds like they chose the lesser of two evils. I wonder what promises Jamie Daniel could have made to earn their endrosement.

Mark, your comment brings back memories. The very first (and perhaps, only time) I spoke with you was outside a BOCC meeting at OWASA in 1996, and out there on the sidewalk in the dark you gave me a quick tutorial on cumulative voting, which was unexpected and memorable. Every time I hear "cumulative voting," I think of that.

Say what you want about Mark Marcoplos, no one can say he hasn't been ahead of the pack on this issue for more than a decade at least.

OK, enough a--kissing or I'll lose my snark license. I still hate all of you.

The aspect of cumulative voting that makes it easiest of all methods to implement in the future is that no district lines need be drawn. I know this is an obvious statement, but it does give hope that we could change to it relatively easily at any time in the near future - and not have to wait another 53 years to make a change.

Nelson told the Indy "my very strong preference would have been for a cumulative voting system. I believe cumulative voting protects and enhances the interests of minorities (LGBT voters, African-Americans, rural voters, Republicans, etc) while continuing to encourage candidates to campaign county-wide and work for citizens in ALL parts of the county."

So we may get another shot at it in the future.

The endorsement in today's issue for the referendum ends with:

"Cumulative voting, already used in several states to elect school boards, legislators and town councils, is one way to address the perceived city-county disparity. Using this method, voters cast as many votes are there are seats; they can put multiple votes on one or more candidates, which allows even a small share of the population to elect a candidate. Alas, cumulative voting isn't on the ballot. Absent that solution, we endorse the districting plan and urge a YES vote."


The question 6 answers are fascinating and in line with the N&O poll posted elsewhere. Nelson, Gordon, and Daniels are all very critical of the proposal although Gordon supports "the commissioners' decision to have the citizens vote", Daniel finds it a "step in the right direction" (as Will points out, when will the next step be?) and Nelson likes expanding the board. Jacobs gives an argument for why he thinks the change is unnecessary other than for "an eye-of-the-beholder perception" but goes on to support the measure.

No wonder the majority of "likely" voters are apparently against this measure.

Thank you Fred. Alice, fairly weakly, Mike and Barry all have criticisms yet, in the end, don't stand firm to fight for a better outcome - they'll wait on the vote and support the "winning consensus". This, I think, is the difference between a leader and a politician. If this is a poor proposal, say so and fight for something better.

I wish the Indy had followed up with "what will you do, beyond this referendum, to strengthen democracy in the O.C.?" They could've asked Mike, "you like cumulative voting, will you bringing this before the BOCC?", etc.

Their responses are posted (Question 6).


Interesting answers.

I asked last week if anyone on OP would volunteer getting the current crop of BOCC candidates stance on the referendum. So far, no takers. Did the Indy ask them?

Of course I wish the Indy hadn't endorsed the referendum. I've seen their logic before - not good enough, want some more capability (like cumulative) but vote for it anyway...

Problem? If the referendum passes the impetus to implement non-partisan elections using alternative voting methods will pretty much be non-existent.


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