The Other Stuff on the Ballot – May 2008 Edition

So you’ve got Barack and Hillary all figured out, but what else is on the ballot?Yes, it’s my periodic profile of the lesser known races on the ballot this May. I will be partisan and leave it to some other writer to profile the Republican Primaries (there are some). And I am skipping over the US President, NC Governor and US Senate races, presuming that you can find some good info on those somewhere else. I am also skipping the Orange School Board and the District 2 Commissioner races because I don't live in either of those districts and have not really followed those races.So what else is out there? A bunch of stuff and some of it is even fairly important. I have bolded below the names of folks that I think are the clear choice. In a few races you will see two bolded names in cases where I think progressive voters have an interesting choice to make. I personally have an opinion about those races as well and that may come through in my commentary.Lieutenant Governor – No Incumbent There are four candidates for Lieutenant Governor, but only two of them seem to have much of a following in this area: Hampton Dellinger and Dan Besse. Both Hamp and Dan are very good guys and both are experienced attorneys (if those two statements are not self-contradictory). The Lieutenant Governor has an important role in presiding over the NC Senate, but is even more important because s/he becomes Governor in the event that the Governor leaves office before his or her term is up. From that perspective, it seems to me that the real question is: Who is the more experienced candidate?Hampton Dellinger has served as an aid to the Governor on the judicial selection process, worked at the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore to reorganize the group in the mid 1990s, served on the NC Business Laws and the Economy Commission and the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.Dan Besse has served as a Winston-Salem City Council Member adopting a greenways plan, clean air action strategies, “big box” development rules, a bicycle plan, a parks and open space plan, and fuel efficiency/clean vehicle policies. Dan also serves or has served on the N.C. Climate Action Plan Advisory Group, Transportation Advisory Committee, the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, the N.C. Sedimentation Control Commission, the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, and N.C. Emergency Response Commission. Dan has been endorsed by the North Carolina Progressive Democrats caucus group.State Auditor – Republican Incumbent Two candidates are seeking to replace incumbent Republican Les Merritt: Beth Wood: "During her tenure in the State Auditor’s Office, Beth was instrumental in bringing the state’s compliance supplements up to federal standards, ensuring that federal grants are being used as intended. She was a leader in redesigning the Auditor’s Office training program to make training more relevant to state auditors’ work. And she helped develop employee evaluations that better reflected the job performance of Auditor’s Office employees."Fred Aikens: "I have more than 28 years experience working in the public sector with oversight and management responsibilities in two of the largest agencies in State Government. I know the operations of State Government and believe we need a State Auditor who will not only audit the financial columns but also help the Executive and Legislative Branches improve the performance of State Government."Frankly, they both sound like they have a lot of experience in state government, but Beth sounds like she has a lot more experience as an auditor. Both of them promise the same bland platitudes that all Auditor candidates always promise, so it seems like experience would have to be the decisive consideration.Commissioner of Insurance – No Incumbent Incumbent Commissioner Jim Long is passing the torch to former NC Rep. Wayne Goodwin, having formally endorsed Goodwin. Goodwin is an upstanding public servant, who ran a few years ago for Labor Commissioner. He currently serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Insurance. David C. Smith is the other challenger and he has been policy research director for the Lt. Governor and currently works as an attorney practicing in the area of insurance law. Frankly, they both sound well qualified to me and I admire the fact that both of them have taken the bold step of endorsing controversial proposals to lower auto insurance rates. What a surprise.Commissioner of Labor – Republican Incumbent Four challengers are vying for the Democratic nod, hoping to take on current Republican Commissioner Cherie Berry (pronounced so that the two names rhyme with one another). John C. Brooks would seem to be the most likely of the challengers having served as NC’s Labor Commissioner for 16 years from 1977 to 1993. Certainly he is the most qualified candidate. On the other hand it was Brooks who was at the helm in 1991 when fire inspections failed to prevent the Hamlet chicken plant fire that killed 25 workers. I think it is a reach to pin that on Commissioner Brooks, but still, it was his department.Ty Richardson has been involved in state government for a good while, having helped elect Jim Hunt as Governor and having tried to help elect Howard Lee as Lt. Governor. The information I found did not suggest any special qualifications he might have for this office, but perhaps there are some that I am simply unaware of.Robin Anderson seems a little more promising in that she is an attorney who serves as Chair of the State Personnel Commission, suggesting at least that she is knowledgeable about the relevant area of law.Based on my internet research, I am leaning toward Mary Fant Donnan who was the former director of Policy Research for the Labor Department for 7 years in the 1990’s and who now works at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem. She sounds like she knows a lot about labor law and labor policy.Superintendent of Public Instruction I have yet to hear any real reason why we should unseat incumbent Superintendent June Atkinson. The challenger is Eddie Davis.  State Treasurer – No Incumbent Most folks in Orange County seem to be supporting NC Senator Janet Cowell in her bid for the State Treasurer’s office. Cowell has been a Democratic leading light in the Senate. Michael Weisel and David Young are also running in this race.NC Senate District 23 I am not sure that I can add a lot to the discussion on this race. County Commissioner Moses Carey is challenging incumbent Senator Ellie Kinnaird. Some say that Carey would be more effective if elected, others say Kinnaird is more progressive and has been an effective advocate and conscience for the state. The “effectiveness” argument has a little traction based on reputation, although Senator Kinnaird was recently named the 23rd most effective legislator in North Carolina which is certainly not a shabby showing. Particularly because she achieved that ranking despite sometimes standing up to the Democratic leadership in the Senate when it comes to protecting public employees, people with disabilities and other folks that the NC Senate doesn’t seem to care about very much. All that said, Moses has worked long and hard for Orange County and I am sure he will continue to be an important community leader, win or lose.Orange County Commissioner At-Large – No Incumbent The candidates are Neloa Barbee Jones, Bernadette Pellissier and Mary M. Wolff. Ms. Wolff has not come to any candidate forums and is (to date) the only candidate that has managed to be still more mystifying than her husband, Kevin Wolff (erstwhile Chapel Hill Mayoral candidate and current Republican Primary candidate for this same County Commissioner seat). Can’t tell you what the Wolff household is up to here, but I think we can see that it scarcely matters.Neloa Jones has been a frequent contributor here on OP and is a passionate voice for the Rogers Road area. Neloa has been spirited in this race and is running more strongly than I expected.Bernadette Pelissier has been involved in the local community for a long time, having been on the County Planning Board and having served as the President of the local chapter of the Sierra Club among other things.Ya’ll can probably find plenty of information on this race on other threads on OP. So I will stop there.  Transfer Tax Referendum This is another one that has gotten a lot of discussion elsewhere on OP. My support for the tax has been widely publicized already, so I won’t even pretend to give you both sides of the argument here. The tax would be 4/10ths of a percent on the sale of any piece of real estate in Orange County (paid by the seller at the time of sale). The money will be used for parks and schools. You can vote FOR or AGAINST.Court of Appeals Judge (Wynn Seat) These judicial races are all non-partisan these days, although that appears to mean only that the party affiliations are not listed on the ballot – the elections are still quite partisan. Anyway, there is surely no good reason that we would want to replace incumbent Judge James Wynn. His two opponents are both conservative Republicans.Court of Appeals Judge (Tyson Seat) The democrats that are challenging Republican incumbent Judge Tyson are Sam Ervin IV and Kristin Ruth. Ervin will probably win because of his primary qualification: Being the son of a former US Senator from North Carolina. Ervin has served under both Gov. Easley and Gov. Hunt on the North Carolina Utilities Commission (which does not give me reason to hope). Judge Ruth is an experienced trial court attorney from Wake County. Her work on child support issues has been highlighted by the News & Observer and she seems like the better choice to me.District Court JudgeThere are three candidates running: Page Vernon, Lamar Proctor and Glenn Gerding. The attorneys that I know who work in district court seem to be leaning mostly toward Page Vernon and I am voting for her, but Glenn Gerding does seem to have some popular support as well, having endorsements from several local elected officials in the OC. Glenn was the only candidate who showed up at the OP Happy Hour a few weeks ago and I think he made a favorable impression on folks there.

Issues: 

Total votes: 104

Comments

I love that you do this every year. I find it very helpful for the judicial and statewide races. Still making my decision on a few of these...

this is super helpful. thanks.

also, give my regards to barack.  

Just so everyone understands, we have not heard any indication that Senator Obama is coming to the rally to be held at the Carrboro Town Commons.
The NCDP Jefferson-Jackson day dinner this year will be at Dorton Arena May 6 at 7:30 pm.  It usually is in a hotel ballroom.  Dinner is $125 on the floor, and for $25 you can sit in the stands and watch.  The NCDP is selling tickets at $250 for a reception from 5:30 to 6:30.   Carrboro is having an Obama rally from 2 to 5 that same afternoon.  I think this all points to Clinton and Obama being at the dinner and reception and Obama being in Carrboro beforehand.  I have no actual information, but I doubt people will be paying $25 to watch other people eat on the arena floor.

I can't remember last year's J-J (I don't think I went), but in years past standing in the back has always been free. I hope that if I opt to shell out $25 that there's a damn good reason for it. In my experience, given the quality of the food at NCDP fundraisers, I'd rather eat dinner beforehand and use the money saved to make a difference in a campaign I care more about than the NCDP general fund. (Notice I say NCDP. The Orange County Democratic Party has some of the best damn barbecue in the world at their events. To anyone who missed the convention yesterday, I feel sorry for you - it was worth coming for the food alone, even if you didn't care about the event. I'm 99% vegetarian, but I can't turn down good barbecue. Thanks to Dan Coleman's son Misha for sharing the rest of his with me.)

But back on topic - I'd really love to see Obama show up in Carrboro, and even more, hope they read Mark's guide to "The Other Stuff on the Ballot" before they vote. :)

The $25 does not include food (though the arena concession stands will be open for those who can stomach nachos)
n/t

according to

http://www.wral.com/news/local/politics/story/2767375/

Obama and Clinton have both committed to being together in Raleigh at Dorton Arena the evening of May 2. The announced debate for April 27 is off. This greatly increases the likelyhood of candidate attendance at the rally in Carrboro May 2.

While both Dan Besse and Hampton Dellinger have followings in Orange County, an important issue to consider is which one of these gentlemen is better positioned to defeat State Senator Walter Dalton, a much more conservative democrat than Mr. Besse or Mr. Dellinger, who is popular in other parts of the state and has over $1 million in donations (much from special interests) which he is actively spending on TV commercials. As a progressive, I find Mr. Dalton's record disturbing at times on issues of the Environment (his support of the Cliffside Plants), Reproductive Choice (only supports first trimester pregnancy termination), and Education (voted to cut Educational Funding in 2001 to help balance the budget). I would think other progressives would like to not only pick a candidate with progressive positions, but who is also in a position to win against a conservative. Hampton Dellinger now has aggregated financial support equal to Mr. Dalton (Besse is no where close) and the longest list of progressive endorsements and supporters. In addition to a comparison of experience, I thought this may be another important item to consider in this race.
Boy, now that's what you call inflation.  When John Kennedy was campaigning for President in 1960 I was able to wait in a hotel lobby at 3 AM to see him and it didn't cost a dime.  I didn't get close enough to shake his hand that night (a secret service man saw to that with a strong swing of his arm that swept me out of the way) but I was lucky enough to do so the next day.  And there was no cover charge to get in - just first come, first serve.
I guess you are among the truly blessed of Democrats if you got to see John Kennedy at 3 am.  What a lucky person!  And, for free no less!
What about the candidates for BOCC district 2?  I see no write up on them. 

"I am also skipping the Orange School Board and the District 2 Commissioner races because I don't live in either of those districts and have not really followed those races."

 I doubt if anyone cares what I think about those races anyway.

 But good luck with them.

Oops!  I missed that part, Mark.  Sorry!

hi

i do mark

Considering that I would like to be "fair and balanced" I will provide with my own personal beliefs on the opposing party for two offices in our area of interest.

 

B.J. Lawson
New to politics, this upcoming star is already winning the heart of libertarian minded individuals in the district. Opposed the war in Iraq, but also oppossed to socialistic mentality, this is the best choice for any republican. While Augustus Cho is a a fine gentleman, he is not focused on his district and has a conspirator like complex.

 

Pat McCrory

He is running for Governor, and he has my endorsement for the governship. his leadership for combating the criminal element in Charlotte brings to light NC's problem with gangs. I like his tough approach on these domestic terrorists and I endorse him for governor.

 

I'm just following Mark Chilton's plea for someone from the opposing party (or idealogy) to take charge and endorse someone who wouldn't appear on OP. 

Moses Carey has been putting out calculated, erroneous information about Kinnaird's accomplishments and committee assignments in the Legislature. This endorsement puts the Carey campaign's questionable tactics in perspective.

To the editor:

Ellie Kinnaird is the type of public servant we all aspire to be. I can think of few others who care so genuinely about their fellow citizens, and work so tirelessly on their behalf. Her work in the State Senate has brought real benefits to Orange and Person counties, and to all the people of North Carolina.

Ellie’s steadfast support for a fairer justice system, a cleaner environment, and a stronger University has led to progress on all counts. She truly affects how people feel about ideas that will make North Carolina a better place – and she has affected the Senate, and all of us who serve there, in an incredibly positive way.

In other words, Ellie is nothing short of fantastic – not just as a State Senator, but as a citizen of our great state. She is an effective and valued member of the Senate, she is a respected and admired voice in our legislature, and she is always going the extra mile for her constituents.

I am sure that the people of Orange and Person counties are proud to have Ellie Kinnaird as their Senator, just as I am proud to serve in the Senate with her.

Sincerely,

Marc Basnight

Mark, you are not being accurate with your claim, unless you seriously believe that anything a supporter does means that the candidate did it.

What should we infer from the fact that Mr. Basnight once said good things about Speaker Black?  Does that mean he supports Black's actions? 

Not sure what you mean - the Carey mailings came from the campaign address.
I was referring to the ad from a supporter.  What mailing did what you stated?
The ad had Carey's campaign address. Let's not be coy and Clintonian here - this sleazy stuff came from the Carey campaign.
I can assure you that the ad did not come from the campaign, it was an individual action.  As for the address, I'm not sure why that was.  Nothing coy about it.
The address on the ad was Carey's campaign address. The "individual" whose name was on the ad is a key Carey supporter. Re-read first line.

When and where was the ad mentioned above placed?  What did the ad say?  Did the ad list the name of the person or organization that paid for it (as I believe would be required by law)?  Who did pay for it?

Barry Katz is listed as the person who paid for it. Apparently he was then living at the address of the Carey for Senate Campaign which was listed at the bottom. 

The ad ran in the Chapel Hill News about 3 weeks ago.  

 

It says, Paid Political Advertisement. Why I am Voting for Moses Carey for State Senator."

"Paid for by Barry Katz  PO Box 253, Carrboro, NC 27510."

 Responses to it did go to that box, not to the home address of Mr. Katz.

For what it's worth, limiting campaign spending does not preclude an individual from doing exactly what was done in this case.

Once again, it still is not what you claimed, Mark M., Moses Carey did not put out that ad.

Hold on, folks, the Bassnight endorsemenet wasn't an ad.  It was a letter in this morning's CHN. 
The ad Mark and Fred are talking about can be found here.  Mark was citing the Basnight letter as a rebuttal to the ad.

I have been wondering what the fuss was about! I see the ad identifies itself as "Paid Political Advertisement." Since it lists Moses Carey's campaign address, I think it's a safe bet that it's his campaign that paid for it, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong if someone wants to do the research.

If that's the worst Moses has to throw at her, I'd say Ellie doesn't have much to worry about. 

As I understand it from talking to Barry he wrote and paid for the ad in its entirety himself; for better or for worse, I don't think the Carey campaign had a lot to do with it. Though I certainly haven't heard any hint that they were opposed to it, either. I've already voted for Ellie, but quite frankly having a dispute about the source of an ad that was properly and legally attributed is a nonstarter. Nothing to see here, let's move along. A rebuttal of the substance of the ad, however, would be useful for people to read, and I think there's a good bit of that on this thread.

I expect Ellie to win this election handily.  I would have rather seen the Carey campaign spend more time on convincing me why I should vote for Moses and less on why I shouldn't vote for Ellie.  There are things that aren't perfect about any politician, but it's hard to demonize a progressive leader with a proven track record.

It was paid for by who it says paid for it.  To keep suggesting otherwise is to imply everyone involved is lying.

Come on Fred.  You are not that naiive. 

If it wasn't related to the campaign then

1) It wouldn't have the campaign's address at the bottom.

2) Carey would have denounced it for its misinformation, twisting of facts, and overall unprecedented negativity in a local campaign.

Having just returned from a campaign meeting, I stand by what I wrote. Note your original claim --- it's just not true.  If you hold every candidate responsible for what every supporter does, then I would say that's naiive.
Hold on, folks, the Basnight endorsement wasn't an ad.  It was a letter in this morning's CHN. 

Carey's campaign address was on the bottom of the ad. If Carey is so innocent then he should publicly disown the ad and its contents. It is disingenuous to do other wise. His silence says at best that he approves of surrogates to do his political dirty work while he claims to have clean hands. This would not surprise me.

 

Therefore this disclaimer: I am not objective when it comes to Moses Carey. It is my opinion and experience he has both integrity and arrogance issues. So you can read my first paragraph with this in mind.

I doubt that Moses explicitly approved of Barry Katz's ad, but there can be no doubt that Barry's argument is central to the entire campaign.  Moses is trying to make the case that Ellie has not been an effective Senator, though not necessarily through Barry Katz.

But regardless of whose argument it is, the facts bear out a different conclusion.  Ellie has been endorsed for re-election by the leader of the Democrats in the State Senate, Marc Basnight.  She has been appointed to leadership positions in the Senate by Sen. Basnight.  Barry's argument (and at some level Moses's) is that Ellie could have been more effective if she had sucked-up more to Sen. Basnight.  But would that really have been in the best interests of Orange and Person Counties? 

Sen. Basnight's vision for North Carolina does not place an emphasis on the rights and interests of public employees, does not value environmental conservation and does include providing multi-million dollar tax incentives to large corporations.  I strongly disagree with Sen. Basnight on all of those points (and probably many more). 

When my state Senator steps out of line and stands up for taxing tobacco, decent pay for state employees, protecting the environment and ending corporate welfare, she makes me very proud of her work.  Ellie has done these things (and probably lots more that I don't even know of).  Would she be a higher ranking member of the Senate if she got in line behind Sen. Basnight more often?  Sure.  Is that really what Ellie's district would have wanted?  I doubt it.

Mark, I wish that you could show me any piece of literature or statement that demonstrates that Moses is running a campaign that in any shape fashion or form says that Ellie has not been effective; his campaign has been about what he can bring to the job.

Let's review the facts.  Ellie said she was ready to retire.  Three people indicated that they would seek the seat.  Ellie sought to find a WOMAN to follow her and after asking more than a few, she was not successful.  She then decided to run again because no other woman would step up. Two of the three announced candidates dropped out but Moses stayed in.

I personally have a problem with someone thinking that they are entitled to pick their successor.  I personally have a problem with someone deciding that they have a woman's seat and it's theirs to pass on.  There's a lot of values conflict around here and this is just another example.  If someone else did a version of this, what would have been the reaction?

 As the Independent said in their endorsement, "We wish Kinnaird were more effective at building consensus with her fellow legislators." Carey is running on his  experience and his leadership, and he believes that he can effectively represent us and build the consensus needed to help Orange and Person Counties.

Support who you think is best but it is just flat wrong to state the untruths that you have stated.  If you believe you are being truthful, produce the facts. But personally, I am troubled by people who are not troubled by what Ellie did. I think there are a good number of former Ellie supporters who are also and will vote accordingly; I already have.

Fred wrote: "I personally have a problem with someone thinking that they are entitled to pick their successor."

I agree.  That decision is for the voters.

Re: Is Moses running on the effectiveness issue

Maybe so, Fred.  But I have heard that critique a number of times from those saying that they are voting for Moses.  And without doubt, the so-called "effectiveness issue" is the knock on Ellie.  I admit I have not heard those words come from Moses's mouth, but there's no doubt that the issue is being bandied about by more of Moses's supporters than just Barry Katz.

Mark - do you really think a supporter would use your campaign address without checking with you first? Not impossible but unlikely. 

This is really a very simple matter to resolve: did Barry Katz use the Carey PO Box with out permission, effectively operating as a loose canon? Or did Carey know about it and therefore, at least implicitly, authorize the ad? They know the answer and are most likely reading this thread and able to reply.

Also (not just to Mark), let's put to rest this "hand pick her successor" line. Ellie thought about retiring and looked for potential candidates she could support for her seat. Many elected officials do this when or before leaving office. We are certainly aware of Supreme Court Justices who hang on in hopes of an administration change that will lead to a more favorable replacement (an indirect way of achieving a similar result.

And, it is widely believed that my colleage Joal Hall Broun went through a similar process last summer when she was uncertain about seeking a third term: putting out feelers for a possible African-American candidate and, finding none, running again herself. I don't know anyone who faults Joal for this. Do you, Fred? The only distinction is that Ellie's search became public. 

Fred, I hate to belabor the point, but you said: "I wish that you could show me any piece of literature or statement that demonstrates that Moses is running a campaign that in any shape fashion or form says that Ellie has not been effective; his campaign has been about what he can bring to the job."

And looking back through my recycling bin I saw this in the N&O (April 13).  Moses Carey said "I certainly think I can be more effective because I am prepared to provide the leadership. I have the substantive background in many areas, especially in the area of health care. ... I have the respect of my peers in the state, not only in the legislature but in the public health profession, and in the primary health care arena. ... And, quite frankly, I will certainly commit that if I'm ranked lower than 27th by the third term, I will not seek re-election, because I think that this process is about seeking this seat to serve and to lead, and I just want to do that -- that's why I'm seeking this seat. " [ellipses in the original]

I don't know if that justifies my use of the word "central" above, but it certainly amounts to campaigning on the so-called effectiveness issue.

Mark, I think you will agree that there is a world of difference between the quote you have reported from the N&O (being more effective) and you saying that the central theme of his campaign is that Ellie has not been effective.

I stand by my statement on what his campaign's about.

"And, quite frankly, I will certainly commit that if I'm ranked lower than 27th by the third term, I will not seek re-election."

Carey is saying we should give up on a very effective leader who has worked hard to rise throughthe ranks because he predicts he can get to that same position of effectiveness in three terms?!? Wow.

 

 

The ranking Carey cites is "based on surveys completed by the legislators themselves, by registered lobbyists who are based in North Carolina and who regularly work in the General Assembly, and by capital news reporters."

I would not be surprised that Ellie ranks lower among lobbyists because she is a "people's" Senator and not a tool of the special interests. Basnight's letter powerfully underscores the high regard her fellow legislators have for her.

If Moses is pledging to be more friendly to and therefore higher ranked by professional lobbyists then I do believe that is a promise he can keep.

The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, for all its good works, has not changed its survey methodology in its 30 years of surveys.  When it started, there was just a few legislative staff.  It would be a lot more relevant if staff rated lobbyists, we deal with them as much or more than the members nowadays.

I looked effective up in the American Heritage - the first definition is "having an intended or expected effect" - which sent me to the previous page to look up "effect'  - "something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result".

At Elliefest - and I don't want to misquote  or misinterpret but this is how I heard and took it - Senator Kinnaird said that our district commits to actions that other districts  undertake 10 years later acting as if they thought of it first.

Someone has to have the patience to be insistent and consistent long enough to see new ideas become comfortable ideas and then enacted as policies. 

I think Senator Kinnaird has exactly the intended or expected effect she intends to have. 

The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the goals of a better-informed public and more effective, accountable, and responsive government.

The Center’s effectiveness rankings are based on surveys completed by the legislators themselves, by registered lobbyists who are based in North Carolina and who regularly work in the General Assembly, and by capital news reporters. These three groups were asked to rate each legislator’s effectiveness on the basis of participation in committee work, skill at guiding bills through committees and in floor debates, and general knowledge or expertise in special fields. The respondents also were asked to consider the respect that legislators command from their peers, his or her ethics, the political power they hold (by virtue of office, longevity, or personal skills), their ability to sway the opinions of fellow legislators, and their aptitude for the overall legislative process.

http://www.nccppr.org/LegislativeRankings.pdf

President Pro-Tem Marc Basnight (D-Dare) is again ranked 1st in the Senate for a record-shattering eighth time.

Representative Joe Hackney (D-Orange), Speaker of the House, ranked 1st in the House.

Clearly, it's not just about being friendly to lobbyist as suggested.  Do they matter? Each voter must decide that.

Latest Kinnaird mailer just arrived including the following:

"Over the years, Senator Kinnaird has taken the lead on tough issues and she has an impressive record of accomplishments in areas such as the environment, election reform, and criminal justice."  --Sen. Tony Rand, Senate Majority Leader

Mr. Coleman, on the one hand you say many elected officials pick their
successors and then you cite Supreme Court justices as evidence.  My wife
and I have always supported Ellie, but not this time.  If she was ready to
retire, why another term is a good question, and not finding a woman to take
her seat isn't the right answer.  Regardless of others who may have done it
or will do it, we don't like it.

It also surprising, giving your disdain for lobbyists and their largess to
elected officials, you highlight support from the biggest wheeler-dealers in
the Legislature.  Is that really a badge of honor to have them say
supportative things about your candidate?  Where's the consistency?

I really don't think you see the damage done by Ellie's desires for a
specific successor becoming public.  I guess we really will see how voters feel
about the whole thing.

and if he returns for another year at Carolina, you can bet fans will celebrate. In politics as in sports, when an exceptional figure decides to stick around, that is cause for rejoicing.

But, anonymous is right that I don't need Tony Rand or Mark Basnight to tell me how exceptional Ellie is. It's been quite clear over the past 20 years.

Early voting is still going on this week, but may I suggest that you not wait until Friday, particularly if you are voting early at Carrboro Town Hall.  With Superchunk and Arcade Fire performing a free concert Friday afternoon, things may be pretty busy.

 The early voting sites for all Orange County residents are:

Morehead Planetarium at UNC

Carrboro Town Hall

Bd of Elections Office in Hillsborough

You can even register to vote during early voting (ie show up register and vote the same day).  After this Saturday, though, it will be too late to register for this election cycle.

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