A first?

Today I got a robocall from Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy, urging me to vote for him and the other 4 incumbents for Chapel Hill Town Council! Is this a first in Orange County municipal races?

Does anyone think this has a positive influence on voters? It's hard to imagine that the informative nature outweighs the don't-call-me-at-home aspect. Then again, it's always good to have a reminder to get out the vote.




KR is now trying to suggest that I may somehow be connected with the "flyer". Though I am sure they will say that is not what they meant.....!
So glad this is over!

Robo calls are like negative campaigning- people say they hate it but campaigns do it because ultimately it helps them get more votes.

I thought folks would be annoyed Allen Baddour made liberal use of robo calls last fall in a local election last fall but I think the results sort of speak for themselves.

In an election that has gotten little attention it should at least help get a few more people to the polls.

Another first: I just saw a Kevin Wolff sign in the median on highway 54 with a full-color photo of him!

ugh. I was offended with the postcard that contained such a large slate. The phone call would be worse.

Be grateful that you aren't a Chapel Hill resident who got a robocall from Thomas Stith, as this one got today. Annoying doesn't begin to describe the feeling.

There were rumors of robo-calls during the 2001 election.


I've seen more than a few of the Kevin Wolfe signs with the color picture of him. Obviously he decided to splurge on the final days of his campaign since I believe they first went up just a few days ago.


Certainly the flyer has the same sensibility as rightgrrl's video of Dan Coleman's 911 call. Certainly more plausible than accusing John K of putting it together. (Trust me, not his style.) I've no idea who rightgrrl is--do you?

Thanks for providing the link...perhaps a few people will listen to it again. This time, keeping Mr. Coleman's statement in mind:

“I apologize to Ms. Kotecki for hitting her with my car. I acknowledge the importance of the volunteer work she was doing in the park that day. And I recognize that when she put her hands on my car it was out of concern for the safety of the runners.

“I thank Ms. Kotecki for her willingness to talk this through and I thank the Dispute Settlement Center and the courts for making mediation available.”

The man admitted to assault. He is lucky Ms. Kotecki wasn't injured...if she had been mediation wouldn't have been an option. And let's not kid ourselves, she very well could have been. One does not get within inches of a person in a running vehicle. One's foot can slip off the brake. Look at what happened to Mike Kelly's wife...and that car wasn't intentionally aimed at her.

In re. your previous finance question Ruby, do you think the Council incumbents should have to report the call as a gift from Kevin? I don't think so, but it shows how financial reportingneer will tell the whole story.

Wow, seeing Kevin Wolff's photo as I drove out MLK yesterday officially marked the first time I'd seen his face in two years.

Make that "but it shows how financial reporting never will tell the whole story."

Since I voted on Friday...Mr. Foy's call was not only annoying, it was TOO LATE.

I thought I was finished with robo-calls once The Boy graduated from HS...

"Hello, Dave Thaden here..."

Another possible first? Saw some lurid fliers posted all over downtown Carrboro tonight, attacking Dan Coleman, Mark Chilton and Ruby Sinreich. They look like they're straight from the desk of Brian Voyce.

Wow! Well it won't be first time Brian made up malicious lies about any of the three of us. He's surely the most reason-impaired candidate I've ever seen in Orange County (and there was some competition in 2005).

Anyone have pictures or a scan? Maybe I should just check to see if they're posted at STP...

I'm scanning it now. You're going to love it!

That poster is an eyeful, and not in a good way. Whoever put this together gets few points for subtlety.

What's with the "Judy" Sinreich?

I hung around at the North Carrboro poll two years ago for most of the day. It was an interesting scene.

Somehow, I think tomorrow might top it.

Wow, that's quite an attack.

And here I thought Katrina was going after Dan because she saw him as the most vulnerable candidate to lose, so she could win.

But this is a whole 'nother level of nastiness.

I wonder who is responsible? The STP links don't say much for STP, that's for sure

Anyone can jot down and print a link. There are fringe folks on OP and STP on many sides of many issues. Don't judge a group by one post or one person's actions.

Actually, Mark, I judge STP by what I read there regularly: some interesting conversation and lots of name calling towards folks like me here at OP as well as lots of rude remarks about the town of Carrboro and its elected officials. I would never comment because I am quite certain I would not be welcomed (so so much for providing an alternative, open forum).

The reactions to the post by Ann H were particularly nasty. And she had some great points that weren't being raised elsewhere, at least not anywhere I saw online. Bravo to her for going into the fray.

The anti-Dan poster doesn't strike me as being that much different in tone than the comments that regularly appear on STP.

Well, if ya wanna know who started it; In the last cycle, it was Mark's last minute,
'Common Sense, Not Ideology...There Is no Role for an Ideologue in Making These Decisions' ,
postcard, immediately on the heels of our anti-Iraq-war resolution, that introduced this sort of technique.


Alex, I hardly think Mark's campaign postcards were in this league, much as you might have disagreed with their content. Similarly, I agree with Joan that arguments at OP are certainly not at the level of childish namecalling as STP. And I plan for it to stay that way. I guess that makes this the 3rd reich.

I will be keeping a copy of this flyer for the ages. I may use it for presentations in the future as well. Thanks for posting, Ethan!

I suspect John Kramer, a.k.a. "jmk" a.k.a. David Freedman, since he is so fond of calling me a Nazi. I don't know who calls me "Judy" though...

Could go on at length about the offensive stupidity of the flyer, but the original question here was about the robocall from Kevin Foy, which I got as well, although I didn't stick around long enough to listen to the message. I have a hard rule: anyone for whom I get a robocall automatically loses my vote.

That said -- and noting that I doubt that I'm in a small minority in resenting those calls (did get one at 2 am once) -- the fact that they persist after initial experimentation with them in past campaigns suggests that somehow it's been documented that they help more than they hurt. I hate that thought, but how else to explain their continued use?

I'd mark this flyer as at least as exceptional as a Mayoral robocall, so feel free to go on if you like. ;-)


Robocalls are a huge pain and they don't work.

A new non-partisan, non-profit org has started a National Political 'do not call' registry to fight the loophole in the Federal DNC list that exempts politicians from calling you at home.

More at:


Shaun Dakin


Disagreed with its content?! There was no content: It was a purely a slimy tactic to imply to more conservative voters that ,if you'll recall ,I was some sort of Benedict Arnold in offering the resolution referenced above. If you will further recall, when that 'innocuous' card was issued, I was flooded with email to the effect of the above. When I asked Mark if he was responsible for it, I was met with a deafening silence from his end---And was admonished in no uncertain terms by you, that No One(sic) was to demand any response to any challenge by anybody. Sorry, on this instance, I call Bullshit. These tactics were in this 'league', and your performance as referee speaks for itself.


As for the robocall, I keep thinking that if the message had just been a "get out the vote" type of thing, that I would have been just fine with it. In fact, I would have given Kevin some kudos for such a positive step. In fact I think this was just a waste of money, although I'm sure of my colleagues (including the one who probably advised this) would disagree.

We reached 3,000 voters for $200 so I think that's a pretty good return.

But I guess we'll see tonight!

RoboCALLS, I can live with; robo-politicians.....

Judging from the Chapel Hill News, the CH candidates appeared to be universally awful; they all seemed pro-Carolina North. I'm surprised CH doesn't have people who represent the people. Sad.

CH seems to have more town-gown issues than other college towns I've been familiar with.

Tom B, are you familiar with Durham?

Tom B,

If you think the CH candidates seem to be all pro-Carolina North you must be getting your news from a very different source than I get mine.

We reached 3,000 voters for $200 so I think that's a pretty good return.

But I guess we'll see tonight!
Comment at 12:59pm 11/6/2007 by Tom Jensen

Remind me not to vote early next time so I can make certain that I vote against any robocallers.

Tom J, all 4 incumbents were going to win anyway. That won't prove anything about robocalling.

Tom B, are you serious? Most criticism of the Council that I see is that they are too hard on UNC. I don't happen to agree, but many people do seem to think so. While there are always things I'd like to see done differently, I think we have a very strong Council on the issue of Carolina North.

"Tom B, are you familiar with Durham?
Comment at 1:25pm 11/6/2007 by joan


Tom B,

If you think the CH candidates seem to be all pro-Carolina North you must be getting your news from a very different source than I get mine.
Comment at 1:33pm 11/6/2007 by George C"


I'm over in Carrboro. I voted Saturday, largely along Sierra Club endorsements. All the Carrboro candidates seemed too growth happy to me, but there are better and worse choices.

I'd like ALL our leaders to sit down and think about what they'd like their towns to look like in 10 years. In terms of green space, traffic, the downtown. Where's the water going to come from? It's easy to rip down forests to create obscenities like Winmore; it's harder to say "no" to fat cat developers.

So, Tom, you're saying that UNC and Chapel Hill/Carrboro have worse town-gown relations than Duke and Durham. Seriously?

What makes me the most sad about the robocall is that he pushed the four incumbents along with himself. If this election has taught me anything it is that politicians in this town are like middle school girls. You're either in the cool club or you aren't. The four incumbents getting almost all of the endorsements said more to me about politics in Chapel Hill than it did about any of their records or stances. I accepted a long time ago that politics operate this way on a national level. It is disheartening to see local elections stooping to the good ol' boy network approach.

Brooks, it might look that way because you are managing the campaign of one of the challengers this year, but trust me: all of these incumbents were challengers once too. Many of us supported the them then, and we still think they're doing a good job. That has very little to do with with the challengers.

If Penny were to run again when there was an opening on the Council, I think she would have a great shot. This is simply not a good year for any challenger to run in Chapel Hill because they're running against four very successful and popular politicians. In my opinion, there's no conspiracy, just a glut of good candidates.

I just had a thought. Could this be the author of the flyer? http://www.youtube.com/user/rightgrrl

That's fair, Ruby. Point taken. And I shouldn't have said "if I learned anything" because to be quite frank, I learned a whole ton - probably more than I learned in law school last year. :)

That said, I'm not convinced all of the incumbents are good candidates, but perhaps I saw the worst of them when they were acting out at forums.

Regardless, I'm on the political scene now, but I'm still not sure if I want to be in the cool club. Come to think of it, in middle school I wasn't sure either.

The robocalls are annoying and, frankly, so are all the roadside signs. I know that if one candidate puts up right-of-way signs, all others feel obliged to do the same. But I'm hoping next time we can do away with them -- either by decree or by informal agreement.

Vitriolic flyers and postcards at least have the merit of conveying information and/or opinions (however misguided or untruthful they may be).

"CH seems to have more town-gown issues than other college towns I've been familiar with." -- Tom Barta

Tom, I spent eight years participating in the University
City Caucus of the National League of Cities. It was populated
by elected officials of most of the well-known university-
dominated cities. Without going into specific issues,
believe me, we have it very good here by contrast to other
univresity towns.

On another subject: I agree with Ruby that the reason
that it's a tough year for the challengers is simply that the
incumbents have done a good job. There have been
several incumbents who have lost in the last 20 years,
but I don't see it happening this time. And, yes, I will thus
have to buy Neil Offen lunch.

Chapel Hill/UNC relations are unquestionably worse than Durham/Duke relations. I can elaborate but this probably wouldn't be the right thread.

Watching the numbers change on WRAL's website and noting that so far there are, indeed, a couple of surprises -- although in no case do we have 100% of the tally yet. But in the context of this thread, interesting that Jim Ward, who opted not to do much campaigning beyond recycling signs and showing up for forums, so far is leading all others.

I saw one of the posters at WSM tonight behind the glass in that portico b/w WSM and Carr Mill. I thought you had to have approval to post stuff there? Or submit it? One factual error: the woman is not the track coach at Carrboro HS. I think her boyfriend is.


I realize it is a bit off-topic, but I'd love to read an elaboration on your point about Duke/Durham having better relations than UNC/Chapel Hill.

Give us a break, Ray. Duke's relationship with Durham?

By the way on that nasty flyer business, I am quite sure now (as I stated elsewhere) that the culprit was "Leann Rocut." It was clearly not John Kramer, so I'm sorry for dragging his name into this, but it wasn't a totally wild guess. I mean, I don't know anyone else who calls me a "nazi" with such regularity.

I think Kirk Ross at the Carrboro Citizen is looking into this, so I'm going to leave the detective work to him for now.

In an effort to determine who Leann Rocut might be, I put her name through the anagram server. It wasn't very helpful but did produce some interesting results. Here are a few of my favorites:

Unclean Rot
Unclear Not
Cannot Rule
Rectal Noun



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