And the stragglers are...

I just called the Board of Elections to confirm that no-one is chllenging any of the three mayors (as their web site indicates) and lo and behold they are having technical difficulties! The site has been down all day and won't be back up until at least 4pm. Meanwhile 5 more candidates have filed for office:

Chapel Hill Mayor: Kevin Wolff
Chapel Hill Town Council: Will Raymond
Carrboro Board of Aldermen: Katrina Ryan
Carrboro Mayor: Chuck Morton and Brian Voyce

These folks will certainly increase the entertainment value of this election, if nothing else.

As always, you can find the complete list at http://orangepolitics.org/elections-2007. I will be adding more information this weekend including a map of candidates, their voter registration info, and any other public information that I can find without too much effort.

Issues: 

Total votes: 126

Comments

Hey now!
I think Will brings more than entertainment value to the mix. Kevin Wolff has lived here for at least two years now, so maybe he'll be able to make the forums this time.

Thanks Robert. I believe Ruby's just practicing some Lakoff-light....

To the extent that Lakoff advocates being honest about our own values, then yes. Mostly just saying what I think, y'all. You should expect nothing more or less.

So Will, why was this such big secret?

Maybe it's just me, but Will's entry into the race came as no surprise as he has been obviously trying very hard the past several months to turn Lot 5 into a major campaign issue and point of differentiation between himself and the incumbents. Discussing it is one thing, using it to show how you're different from the pack is, well, a big 'ole hint of something. :)

Best of luck to everyone, of course, late comers included.

Jason, my concerns about Lot $$$5 center around the 17-fold (so far) increase in the public's outlay. The halving of the project - giving the carrot that will drive the redevelopment of Wallace Deck away.

The continued underestimation of the land and air values, the overestimation of the public value (especially compared to RAM's windfall), the almost until the end - almost non-existent concern about the open-ended costs of hazardous waste removal. The height, breadth, depth and collateral damage to Northside. The disingenuous process to get TC-3 for the building, The lack of specific environmental criteria to measure RAM's promises against.

Heck, the lack of any published metrics to measure the success or failure of the boondoggle against, etc. , ad nauseum.

I'll leave the Machiavellian machinations to the other more experienced candidates. The reasons for what I've said and done on Lot $$$5 are pretty straightforward and well-documented here on OP, STP and Citizenwill.org .

Whatever the reason for playing it close Will, thanks; I won a five buck vote saying that you would run!

I agree with everything Terri said at 1:04pm.

If Will's comments are available online, then it is better to quote and address them directly, of course making sure they are in context.

Few (or any?) candidates or incumbents have put their own thoughts on the public record about campaign finance as Will has. The upside is that we know how he thinks and that he is willing to engage the public. The downside is that candidates who are vague or do not engage to this degree are actually rewarded for not engaging. Please keep this in mind.

I hope that the folks who are attacking Will will invest as much time researching other candidates' finances, asking them about it, and posting their responses if they decide not to publicly discuss this as Will has.

I hope to have more time to participate in this discussion later.

Make that a five buck bet!

Fred, may I direct your attention to here?

Expect a full public accounting. All funds to be used running for Council not building a warchest for some greater ambition.

I'm not questioning your motives, Will, merely making an observation.

Ruby,

Thanks for calling the BOE, I had been monitoring the site all day and surpised there were no last minute filings posted.
It is still not current.
I am curious about the address of Kevin Wolff. There was a 'for rent' sign in front of his house on Palafox during the last 4-6 weeks, the house looked vacant. The sign is now removed and the house occupied.
I am not implying he is not a CH resident, but wondering about above situation. He may own the property, but where does he reside?

Speaking of campaign finance Will, during the last election over half of your 'warchest' came through $1,600 in personal loans, most of which has not been paid off.

Personally I don't think making such a large contribution to your campaign is in keeping with the spirit of our local campaign finance rules, and since you have been such a stickler on these issues, can we count on you to limit yourself to giving your own campaign only $200 this year as is the limit for other individual contributors?

I think doing so would provide some consistency between your rhetoric and your actions as you have articulately demanded so many others to do over the years.

Thanks!

Tom, I'll have to think about it. I'm not entering the race with much money in the bank. I'm running against a slate of incumbents. And I don't have political operators - like yourself - to call upon for help.

Are you going to call on the other candidates to self-report their finances - contributions and expenditures - in near real-time as I did last round? Will you be asking them to cap their contributions at $100, like I did? Will you be asking them to report all their contributors information, no matter the size of contribution? Will you be asking all of us to raise and spend less than the $3,400 I did in 2005?

Or does your concern only extend to me?

As someone that has provided tactical, rhetorical and physical support to local campaigns, will you tell us who you're working for in this round?

It might help provide context and shed light on your earlier and, what I expect, continuing line of questions to a particular sub-group of candidates.

Will,
I don't keep tabs on where candidates' financing is coming from to the extent that you and Tom and others do so I was unaware that nearly half of your money in your last campaign came from personal loans to yourself. My recollection, though, is that during that election campaign you criticized Ed Harrison for accepting a campaign contribution from his parents. My recollection may be faulty and, if so, I'm sure you will set me straight and I'll be happy to accept your correction. But if you did indeed criticize Ed for accepting money from his parents I'd like to know how you reconcile that criticism with the $1600 in loans you made to yourself.

I didn't criticize Ed for getting money from his parents. In fact I said I thought it was fine by me - and quite understandable.

In one comment I said "I think I made it pretty clear that I don't care if Ed tapped Mom and Dad for %25 of his campaign funds."

There was a long line of discussion on this last round, including my loans, etc.

Strangely, you actually commented on my loans, so maybe another cup of joe this morning to rattle your memory cage?

The discussion went like this:

I find it interesting that certain candidates or commentators have chosen to focus on Ed Harrison's contributions (totally legal) of $1400 from his parents but no one has commented about WillR's $1600 in candidate loans to his campaign. Who were these loans from? And if he doesn't repay them do they become donations? And in what time frame are they supposed to be repaid before they become donations? And if they become donations do they still meet the legal limits?
Given the detail that WillR's has provided in his financial statement I find it quite surprising that he failed to provide an itemized accounting of these loans. Will, as a CFO, the provision of such information should not only be obvious but quite easy. Will you provide that info now? Thanks.

Comment at 8:12pm 11/4/2005 by George C

WillR,
I mistakenly referred to you as a CFO when you are really a CIO. Sorry about that. I didn't mean to demote you.

Comment at 8:17pm 11/4/2005 by George C

GeorgeC, it actually says:

loans of $1,600 owed to candidate.

and

$1,600 in candidate loans

in my post Campaign Economic Report Card. This means I loaned myself (the candidate) the funds in increments of $250 (8/16), $900 (9/28) and $450 (11/01).
Of course, it's a lot easier for an incumbent to amass funds when someone, like yourself GeorgeC, gives $200 a pop.
I look forward to seeing Mr. Harrison's detailed finances reported online prior to the election.

Comment at 8:23pm 11/4/2005 by WillR
http://willraymond.org

Where was the campaign funding concern when Council recently bumped the contribution limits up?

I will be sticking to $100, full reporting in as near real-time as practical. I invite the other candidates to do the same.

I'll also be running as low cost a campaign as possible, though I will not forget I placed 5th behind two candidates that spent double and almost triple what I did.

Will, for someone who claims to be a beacon of transparency, it is amazing to me that every time you are asked a tough question you try to turn it back on the person asking it.

You can fund over half of your campaign with personal funds again if you want. But unless you limit yourself to $200 you will be violating the spirit of the law just as you did in 2005. I don't see how you can do that and keep a straight face in claiming the moral high ground you have tried to claim on campaign finance issues.

As for who I am supporting, I answered that question months ago, ironically in another thread where you failed to give any straight answers about your motivations:

http://orangepolitics.org/2007/01/development-looms-large-these-days/

BTW, for full disclosure I was one of Will's main supporters two years ago. It saddens me that he has become so unpleasant since then that I can not do so again. My problem is not with Will's stance against Lot 5. Jim Ward opposed it and he'll be getting my vote in November. My problem is with Will's propensity for making everything personal and his unwillingness to respect other people's opinions and motivations.

WillR,
I'll take your advice and have that extra cup of coffee - whether it improves my memory remains to be seen. After I posted this AM I did go back and find my post from several years ago so my memory was already refreshed as to the discussion back then. And unlike what Ruby said in a post to another thread last week, I thought the OP search engine worked pretty well.

Regarding your comment about being outspent though - I'm sure my memory isn't so bad that it's providing a faulty recollection about several candidates over the last several elections spending large sums on their campaigns but still losing. Money spent is still no guarantee of success.

As far as I can see, Will has answered all the questions asked of him. Tom asked if he would limit himself to $200 per person contributions (including personal loans) and Will answered "we'll see." He then went on to explain the challenge such a commitment would make for his campaign.

George asked the same question, and included mis-recollections from the same discussion last year. Will corrected those mis-recollections and provided a link to last years thread.

Tom's claim that Will is unwilling to respect other people's opinions and motivations is at odds with my interactions with Will. Yes, he is passionate in defending his position, and he is persistent in pushing his agenda. But he always does his homework before coming to those "passionate positions" which gives him a degree of credibility that few other politicians in this town can claim. Furthermore Will's beliefs are recorded on the pages of his own blog, here, on STP, in the newspapers, and in Council records. So Tom and George CAN question his record on campaign financing, and many other topics using his own words.

Isn't that a good thing? In another thread, some of us have been lamenting the lack of research the local media can undertake on candidate records, etc. Unlike other candidates, Will didn't stop making his opinions known when he decided to move from policy wonk to politician. To his own political detriment, instead of backing off, he's been even more vocal. We know what he thinks and can directly question him and expect a response. We cannot hold other candidates, including the incumbents, to that degree of accountability.

Terri,

I don't think 'we'll see' is the kind of straight answer Will has demanded repeatedly from others.

Over the next four months I'll be happy to provide many, many examples of Will being intolerant of other people's opinions and motivations.

One that leaps to mind is his implication that the reason all 27 advisory board members who reviewed Lot 5 voted to approve it was that they were worried they would be dissolved ala the HWCC and Technology Boards:

http://orangepolitics.org/2007/02/open-thread-for-lot-5/#comment-112673

He also implies in that thread that most advisory board members are not knowledgable enough about Lot 5 to make an informed choice.

I found that comment pretty insulting and I know other folks do too.

Anyway Will came right out after the incumbents in his candidacy statement. I know he'll be holding them accountable, so I and others will be doing our best to hold him accountable too. Then folks can have the information on both sides to make their decisions.

"I and others will be doing our best to hold him accountable too. Then folks can have the information on both sides to make their decisions."

And that's the way it's supposed to work. I don't approve of the attacks Will has made on Bill, Cam and Sally either. But attacking him doesn't serve democracy in anyway--it just sets up a false dichotomy. It serves no purpose to demonize one side in an effort to idealize the other. Both sides have warts and both have virtues.

It would be nice if, after this election season, no one had to apologize to any of the candidates for negative, personally hurtful campaigning.

Tom, I didn't say or infer that these boards "were worried they would be dissolved ala the HWCC and Technology Boards".

Even a broad reading of what I wrote doesn't support that contention.

And unlike your statement that I "implie[d] in that thread that most advisory board members are not knowledgable enough about Lot 5 to make an informed choice", I was actually making the case that a number of those advisory boards weighed in well prior to the final deal. After speaking with some of their membership, my sense is that if some of the folks had known the final version of the project they would've asked for additional tweaks, possibly wholesale modifications, maybe even stood against the project.

Where's the insult in that?

And that's the problem with your string of comments - you're trying to propagandize instead of analyze. So be it.

Folks will probably understand that the level of accountability for the outcome of our Council's decisions is quite different than the sitting incumbents.

As far as "personally attacking" anyone - I've been tough on Sally, Cam and Bill for quite specific reasons (as I've been tough on Jim, Ed, etc.) You're continued attempts to spin that toughness and my passion into something else is distasteful.

I know that won't stop you from "having at it" but I wanted to be specific in my criticism.

Finally, thanks Terri for pointing out that I've tried to participate broadly in "small d" democracy. I expected Tom and others to comb through everything I've posted over the years - the bad, the worse over the good and insightful (incite-ful?).

Their words, also, will become part of the record. Maybe, once reminded of that fact, Tom, et. al. will stick to what I said - no matter how poorly - instead of creating demonstrably false inferences.

Then again, I'm not a political operative and maybe that's just the rules of their game.

I can see the sparks from way up here from whatever axe Tom is grinding. Pretty obvious he is backing someone else.

I don't know either Tom or Will in person, but generally find both to be interesting contributors to OP and local politics... until they interact with each other. Yes, it's clear you were all best buddies and had some falling out. You bicker like exes. Whatever it is, can you both let it go?

(Rhetorical question, really.)

Tom is okay with a local campaign taking almost all of its money from out of state and out of county and blowing the other candidates away with this money, per http://squeezethepulp.com/viewtopic.php?t=234

So I am not sure where the heat is coming from on this thread.

M

Will Raymond is a tireless researcher who doesn't just give vague opinions but supplies the data and info to back up his suggestions, proposals and criticisms.

His greatest value to us as a potential elected official may also prove his greatest handicap in possibly being elected---which is that he doesn't play political games, he doesn't talk in sound bites, and he doesn't alter his opinions and positions for political expediency. Of course, it's a sad statement on our political system that honesty and straight talk is a handicap. . .

And just to get back to the whole campaign finance thing. So Will paid for a lot of his campaign out of his own pocket---hypothetically speaking. . .in terms of “buying influence” is it smarter to trust a candidate who had the passion and commitment to fork out his own money for standing up for what he believes in ( I may be wrong but I don't believe Will is a rich guy for whom over a thou was just pocket change) ---- or is it smarter to trust the candidate who receives a multitude of donations from developers, real estate investors, current incumbents, and the wealthy (politically connected) elite of Chapel Hill?

Tom Jensen has said,
"BTW, for full disclosure I was one of Will's main supporters two years ago. It saddens me that he has become so unpleasant since then that I can not do so again.. . Over the next four months I'll be happy to provide many, many examples of Will being intolerant of other people's opinions and motivations.”

Whoa. . .talk about personal attacks . . .so what's driving this? The fact that the whole Lot 5 development deal is so lousy---just as Will has pointed out. Heck, even the Chapel Hill News ran a op ed questioning it.

In other words Will Raymond, being the workhorse wonk that he is, has all the facts, the figures, and data that shows just how ill-planned and ill conceived this whole deal now is.

Will has not “become unpleasant” ---the facts surrounding Lot 5 have become unpleasant---so the political machine will now try to deflect attention away from the unpleasant facts by blaming the messenger.

Don't back down on this issue Will—there are LOTS of people thinking like you are on this issue. And congratulations on filing. . .

Oh, and BTW Mr. Tom Jensen---the Sierra Club is supposed to be against environmental racism. . .so why were you (and the local Sierra Club) missing in action for the Rogers Road community?

P.U.!

What a civil and decorous way for the season to begin. Wonder how long it'll take for this toxic waste to spill over 'here'?---Not long, I'll wager.

Gaack,
Alex

Tom,
I hope that this:

I know he'll be holding them accountable, so I and others will be doing our best to hold him accountable too. Then folks can have the information on both sides to make their decisions.

Really meant this:

I and others will be doing our best to hold every candidate accountable, not just on blogs but in local print media as well. Then folks can have impartial information with which to make an informed choice.

I remember Tom encouraging folks to run for office. I guess he was excluding Will in that.

But I also wonder where Tom and his friends are on getting Rogers Road the justice they so well deserve and getting behind them in stopping another solid waste facility being built in their backyards. But then again most operatives and their favorite pols unlike Will have been running away from this issue. After all the community is invisible to most and staying silent has not brought any political consequences.

My hope is that will change. If enough bright light is showered on this travesty and awareness spreads all around Orange County, there are going to be a lot of embarrassed progressive officials and activists as well they should be.

Tom, are you participating in the Sierra Club's endorsements this year?

Nope. My job is completely separate from that.

Another day has passed and Tom Jensen still has not weighed in on Rogers Road. Maybe I should start counting going forward from here. What say you Tom?

David and others, please note the commenting guidelines below: "Please do not demand responses ... to your comments. No-one has any official obligation to read or respond to what is written."

I appreciate your vigor, but it's not fair or productive to treat others in this way. Nor are the negative insinuations and constant arguing helpful, which is a point Tom should make note of as well.

Forget it, Dave. This is largely a poser blog. If you want action you will need to look at another blog.

Say, jmk, what is a "poser" anyway?

Oh, and also, jmk, several times you have dismissed my arguments by telling me to "go count carbon credits" or something like that.

What does that mean?

By the way, as Ruby stated above, these are requests only for answers, not demands. Keep me in the dark if you wish.

JMK & David Richter,
Please stop harassing people and trying to bait them into a fight.

Want a louder voice with more control? Want to be free of the fake tyranny of other blog owners? GET YOUR OWN BLOG!

WillR learned that commenting on someone else's blog is one thing... but having your own is real online freedom. Good will is squandered as fast as you can hit enter.

Oh yeah... calling people names is so middle school. (poser?) Sheesh. Learn to play nice like an adult ok? Stop writing harassing comments please.

Thanks.

Ruby, you are correct. I was baiting Tom and it was premeditated. It will stop. I should have known the rules of this blog and I take responsibility for my actions.

In addition I try not call people derogatory names however I do point out behaviors that I think are inappropriate. I believe citizens have a duty to be watch dogs of our governmental institutions, the influencers and elected leaders, holding them accountable especially when they voted for them.

However, I am not sure how to differentiate arguing from debating. And I do believe there is a lot of 'debating' that goes on in this blog. That is healthy.

David, those are gracious comments on your part. And you are certainly correct that debate is not only legitimate, but healthy for democracy.

Brian, the reason for creating my 'blog didn't flow from my experiences as a prolific, Koufax nominated, commenter but I understand your basic thrust.

OP, I believe, functions as a particular kind of Town commons - its core value in concentrating, in one place, both debate and attention on various local issues. Individual 'blogs are dissipative, by necessity and design, which is why I'm occasionally concerned by calls to "lock down" or "lock out" OP's contributions and contributors. There's a kind of social inertia at play. A break in this momentum has been the downfall of other community sites.

Yes, as Ruby reminds us - it's her 'blog and her rules and I try to respect that but I hope we all can appreciate that this organically evolved online salon needs different perspectives to maintain its place in our community.

Oh, Brian, commenting is not necessarily so limiting - I wouldn't be surprised if more than %5 OP's content comes from comments I've made over its nearly four years online.

Baiting is an unfair term to apply to Dave R, even if he does own up to his intentionality. Dave believes in his cause passionately. If he doesn't constantly remind people who claim to have values similar to his that his cause is still in need of supporters and attention, wouldn't he be failing at his job as an activist?

"Our specialty has been highlighting local problems that might otherwise be forgotten and putting them on public agenda, but our primary goal is to get our residents (many of whom are already progressive activists) to focus on local issues where they can really have an impact."

Mark, Terri.. thanks for your kind words, but this is Ruby's house and she gets to make up the rules. I have the choice of using this platform or not.

Just two comments: 1) There are issues where silence is inappropriate behavior. 2) I hope that this issue is pursued at every candidate forum leading up to November and each candidate is pressed to provide his/her views. No one should get a free ride.

Maybe a review of the incumbents record on this issue?

Some of our sitting candidates have joined the Rogers Road Small Area Plan Task Force but one might ask how their indignation expressed during the 2000 Greene tract debate carried over into real action the past seven years.

If I may ask a question that does not have to do with candidates' stands or style:

Can someone explain why most of the school board candidates cluster on one side of the town? Is there something I'm unaware of about the structure of the election or is it just an intriguing happenstance?

BTW great map, Ruby! Thanks.

I had the same question about the map, Priscilla. It's interesting to see the geographic clusters of candidates. School board in the far northeast of town and Chapel Hill folks (roughly) between Estes and Franklin. There are also all those Carrboro candidates in the northern area, but that I can understand.

My only observation from the map is that I couldn't possibly afford to live on that side of town. :)

I would be curious, however, to know which schools that candidates raised their children in. Which schools are 'unrepresented' in the contest, or on the school board in general?

Ruby,
If that is supposed to be a link, it isn't working. I'd be really interested.

Fixed. (It's a link to the map that is on orangepolitics.org/elections-2007.)

Should this be a new post?

Jason, with seven seats, nine elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools, representation would be difficult. It might be worth looking and the feeds (elem to ms to hs) over the years, but they change as a result of redistricting.

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