Labor Day is Over!

So now what can we expect these 38 days until early voting begins and the 57 days until Election Day? There will be the assortment of candidate forums, media stories, letters of support from the faithful, a plethora of campaign events and fund raisers, and probably very little to inspire a significant number of us to bother to vote in these important decision opportunities.

It is not unusual to hear charges and counter charges during a campaign, so I was only a little surprised to read the charges by mayoral candidate Cho about one of the questions at the Sierra Club of Orange-Chatham County (Read more here) We also have the politics of filling the Bill Strom seat that will play a role in the campaigns and "Voter Owned" Elections probably will too. Fiscal judgment looks like a topic of interest and Dawson Hall will most likely receive attention.

There will be other issues that bubble up and I'm sure there are those wondering how the various candidates will interact on the campaign trail. One thing that could be different is the role our under-staffed/resourced local media will play in this campaign and maybe an increased role of other technology like blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think?

Issues: 

Total votes: 135

Comments

I'm not sure I understand what they were asking either.  Certainly there are environmental issues which affect minority and low social classes much more (ie, the Eubanks Rd issue in our community needs to be fixed because environmental justice has been lost for 30 years).  But they asked about "promoting sustainable".  Are they asking about the impact of Greenbridge on Northside?  I hate it when people ask ambiguous questions (like "do you support the job President Obama has been doing on healthcare" -- NO, but because he isn't doing enough, not because I don't support reform!).

The question, while possibly not as well phrased as it could have been, certainly is trying to get at real concerns. A leader would seek to understand the intent of the question. Instead he took the dubious approach of flaming up racism in a situation that most reasonable people would understand is devoid of it.

to say for some people who don't have to deal with this kind of shit time and again in their lives.  We hear based on our background and experiences, so don't be so quick to put this on him.  Those who framed the question seemingly did not consider how it might have been taken.

Since you mentioned facebook, I thought I'd share the facebook groups/fanpages I was familiar with.  Everyone should feel free to add to the list!  Chapel Hill Mayoral Race (I looked up all 4 candidates & put up the groups here for those who had them)Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayorhttp://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91222152476 Kevin Wolff for Mayor of Chapel Hillhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4280143833Augustus Chohe had a facebook support group, but it was for a previous run at a different office, so I decided not to include that facebook presence in this list Here are a few other groups/pages I'm aware of offhand.  Feel free to expand this list: Chapel Hill Town Council Penny Rich for Town Councilhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Penny-Rich/98837990702Carrboro Mayoral Race I'm voting for Mayor Chilton!http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100904972054 

Jon DeHart for Town Council:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=98411254462 Brownstein for School Board:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=215376445297 MaryAnne Gucciardi for Chapel Hill Carrboro City School Board:http://www.facebook.com/pages/MaryAnne-Gucciardi-for-Chapel-Hill-Carrbor...  

Michelle (Shell) Brownstein has a fan page and a group. The group link is above and fan page below.

http://www.facebook.com/michellebrownstein

I wish I lived in Carrboro so I could vote for Mayor Chilton:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137542477256

I'll bet we will hear the term sustainability misused over and over again, as was done in the Sierra Club interview. Sustainability does not mean environmentally friendly policies alone. Greenbridge may be a green project that addresses the  environmental challenges of urban development, but that doesn't mean it is sustainable. Moving the waste transfer station away from Rogers Road may be a socially responsible decision, but that doesn't make it sustainable. The policy decisions that led to the rezoning for Greenbridge and the consideration of a far distant rural community for the transfer stations have serious negative fiscal impact on the community. If sustainability had been considered in either decision, the bigger picture would have been considered, not just one-leg of the 3-legged sustainability stool.

from the Wolff campaign.  Asked which issues are most important to you and if you would be more or less likey to vote for Kevin Wolff if you believed he was the only mayoral candidate who could change the Council.

Change the Council - into what? 

I got the Kevin Wolff poll call last night. The question was slightly different. I indicated that Mark Kleinschmidt was my choice fof the 4 mayoral candidates I would vote for if the election were held today. I was then asked if it would change my vote to know that Kevin Wolff is "the only moral candidate." I immediately answered that it would make me even less likely to vote for Kevin Wolff, if that were possible. That answer ended the telephone call for the pollster. Before he hung up, I was able to wish him a moral day. But the quick retreat meant I didn't get a chance to ask what morality was being pushed. As is, I can speculate, especially since by the posts here, I see that others were told Kevin was the change candidate and not the moral candidate. I wonder if my choice of Mark altered the question. No matter, if I were any of the other candiates, I would be insulted to discover that Kevin has decided they are all immoral.

stands for "fool".

I can't believe Kevin Wolff is positioning himself as "the only moral candidate."  That is so incredibly rude!  At the Sierra Club Forum I was appalled by his lack of tact when talking about the other mayoral candidates.In addition to being rude, he comes across as completely bizarre. My favorite part was when (instead of answering the question asked) he pointed out that he drives a Prius and uses a re-usable cup.  And finally, in addition to coming across as rude and bizarre, he seems out of touch.  He made a comment about everyone staying here when they graduate from UNC.  They don't, because they can't afford to live here.  I don't think I just imagined it when all of my friends graduated from law school and moved to Durham.       

and his pledge to ride his bike to Council meetings as his primary environmental platform.

So I received the phone call from Tom's group this AM about the election in CH.  Unfortunately, they didn't identify themselves in the automated message at the beginning, so I was wary of who was asking and lied on the 1st couple of answers (including Mayor).  The other questions (about direction of town, etc) were very good.  It'll be interesting to see their results.

All I can say from the poll at this point is Tuesday's election will not provide a clear message about the direction people want the town to go in.  We are extremely divided, and I'm not sure we really know what we want!

I responded because I recognized your voice and knew you were doing it.  I suspect some may react as James did.

I didn't know until the quick ID at the end plus these posts for sure who the poll was from. I started another OP blog entry with what details I remembered about the poll.

I also was very "undecided" when answering the poll because I'm specifically not making public endorsements because I want to have a decent relationship with whoever is elected.  One of the interesting things about our school board is that we work really hard to play well with others since, among other things, we need a lot of approvals from the towns and cold hard cash from the county and our state officials.  If I had realized at the beginning that it was a ppp poll I would have trusted that answers would remain anonymous.  

We do the id at the end so that irate people who want to call and cuss me out about polling them actually have to complete the survey to know where they should call and cuss out...I'm sure the poll won't be perfect because Chapel Hill is so much smaller than most of the universes where we do surveys (the other ones I'm doing this weekend are the Virginia and New Jersey Governor's races, Maine gay marriage question, NY-23, and Charlotte Mayor) but it should give us some interesting information.

I too was whistled up by Wolff. Several of the questions, including the
one Fred mentions, were push questions which framed and limited the
responses leading to: Do you believe that Kevin Wolff is the only
candidate who could bring change to Council. The poll was by SouthEast
(surveys?) Really more of an advert dressed as a poll.

Amazing to me they aren't more clever about these things; also amazing that they're so cynical and even shameless about the spin. Not one question was framed in what a true survey designer would have considered neutral.  The questions offered a multiple choice of 4 answers appropriate for a tea-bagging conservative and one throw-away if you insist on being a liberal - and it's often the easily-missed 4th out of 5.  For example, you are asked to say which of a list of 5 issues is most important to you: reducing taxes, controlling government waste, developing downtown, environmental issues, or (something like) making government more responsive to the people.  I'll be interested to see how this hits the media as if it were an "independent" survey.    (added Thurs. pm, FYI: I also had specified Kleinschmidt as my choice - and I also had them hang up on me when I responded to the "if KW were the only person who could really change things" question that I still wouldn't vote for him."  Are they taking names?)

Do these polls only go to landlines?  As a grad student who lives in Chapel Hill, and the same is true of my husband, we only have cell phones even though we have lived here a number of years.  I would think that with Chapel Hill having a relatively large young population, that any poll that doesn't include cell phones is going to be inherently skewed (even if it wasn't a push poll to begin with).

I also received the telephone poll and was actually considering filing a complaint.  The poll was presented as an independent survey and not a campaign call.  At best this was a dishonest attempt to get my time and attention, and at worst this was a violation.  It is my expectation that a campaign call would have to be identified as such with some indication as to who was paying for the call (and if we don't currently have such a rule, we should).

By the way, my last question was Wolff as a "Change" candidate, so I definitely think the survey is tailored based on who you say that you support.

"any member of the media who reports that his campaign has participated in a discussion regarding morality in the election." according to the DTH:http://www.dailytarheel.com/content/wolff-rejects-%E2%80%98moral%E2%80%9...Granted "moral" sounds quite a bit like "mayoral", but the sentence “Would you change your vote if you knew Kevin Wolff was the only mayoral candidate?” doesn't make any sense!  

The Wolff press release states that:

 "if the media chooses to alter any of these facts" (they may) "be subject to legal action"

 The release goes on to state that

 "Kevin Wolff will not comment on strategic matters within the campaignand will neither confirm or deny a poll. We will have no other comment and will not discuss campaign strategy with anyone outside the campaign ... Mr. Wolff, an attorney ..."

 Mr. Wolff the attorney might know that in libel, slander, or defamation actions, the defendants in discovery will likely be able to find out all about the strategy and whether there were or not polls and what the questions were.  I was taught in law school (or maybe it was a J-school class on media law) that one of the problems with libel suits is that they serve largely to repeat the accusations over and over again.  

stands for foolhardy.

Yep.   some people would benefit from a good pillow fight.  Entirely too serious. 

"any member of the media who reports that his campaign has participated in a discussion regarding morality in the election." according to the DTH:http://www.dailytarheel.com/content/wolff-rejects-%E2%80%98moral%E2%80%9...Granted "moral" sounds quite a bit like "mayoral", but the sentence “Would you change your vote if you knew Kevin Wolff was the only mayoral candidate?” doesn't make any sense!  

so, would you change your vote if you knew Kevin Wolff was the only mayoral candidate?

At the Sierra Club Forum, did they really ask candidates that if they didn't win a seat in the election, would they apply for the vacant seat?  I would hope that the Club's leadership understands why there is controversy over the timeline.  One must apply by October 11th and the election is November 3d.  This is why candidate Will Raymond suggested that all eight candidates apply.  I would assume that he thinks his suggestion would take away the assumed downside of being on the ballot and applying, as some may read it as a mixed message.Still wondering, how does this issue connect to the Club's agenda to endorse based on a candidate's environmental credentials?

Fred,I'm not sure whether that question was from the Sierra Club or one of the ones collected from the audience.  My recollection is that it was toward the end and thus might have been from the audience.  Probably as relevant to the mission/interests of the Sierra Club as the one about Dawson Hall which I know came from the audience.

I think Will's reply is interesting . It has possibilities. 

Did they have to be written? If not, I would think that one of your goals would be to ensure that your limited and valuable time is spent on the things important to goals and objectives of the organizations.Will all of the forums end up asking the same things?

"Did they have to be written? If not, I would think that one of your
goals would be to ensure that your limited and valuable time is spent
on the things important to goals and objectives of the organizations."Fred,The questions from the audience were being written out and handed to Sierra Club people but other than that I have no additional info.  I was not associated with this forum other than as an attendee nor am I associated with any of the upcoming forums either.

Fred, the forums always end up asking the same things.  Candidate feels like a stuck record by the time it's over.  The Sierra Club in particular gives candidates a very stressful workout.  One-on-one interviews, questionnaires, forums... flexing that endorsement muscle and eating time for breakfast.  Somebody's got the stats on how many Sierra Club rejects get elected.  

Just curious about the point you are making. 

Any candidate not receiving their highly prized endorsement.  Pardon my attitude. 

I liked Will's answer. If the Council wants to prove that they want to serve the public, then Will suggestion is a viable alternative.

 I still don't understand why the Mayor rushed to call the the meeting and then was not prepared for it.

Does anyone know the dates/times/locations of the remaining candidate forums in both towns?

I'm still hoping people will add events to the calendar. Only the candidates have a complete list. We've got a pretty good start though: http://www.orangepolitics.org/events

Who made sense? Any good ideas emerge?

Disclaimer: I am Penny Rich's campaign manager.  Here's the new ideas that stuck in my head:Jim Merritt - HOV lanes on major transit corridors to increase carpooling and to make the bus a better option for commuters between Durham and Chapel Hill.Penny Rich - Municipal composting program and a ban on plastic bags Will Raymond - Have all 8 candidates submit their names to replace Bill Strom.  Fix the timing of stoplights where there are crosswalks so that there is enough time for handicapped and the elderly to cross safely.I'm sure there were other new ideas, but those are the ones that stuck in my head.  

is an important statement.

Jim Merritt - HOV lanes on major transit corridors to increase carpooling and to make the bus a better option for commuters between Durham and Chapel Hill.

This would certainly be big funding competition with the proposed light rail line between Chapel Hill and Durham that the General Assembly recently approved a referemdum on but if so, there would not be enough room to both build a light rail line and add lanes for HOV.

HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes are a congestion management strategy linked to freeways, and there is no freeway between Durham and Chapel Hill.  15-501 has many lights and at-grade intersections.The reason why HOV lanes can be effective on freeways is the limited access points to and from the road.  When you have a freeway with a mile or two between exits, it is much easier to physically separate a lane or two for HOVs. Without separation from regular traffic, motorists driving alone will merge into the HOV lane to gain speed if the HOV lane is moving faster than the regular lanes.  If this happens, eventually the HOV lane reaches the equilibrium point of congestion in the non-HOV lanes, and the benefit of the HOV facility is lost. 

Derwin Montgomery, a senior at Winston-Salem State University, won the Democratic primary for a district seat on the city council Tuesday, and will be unopposed in the general election. Montgomery upset a four-term incumbent. Turnout was four percent. Winston elects all of its eight member council from districts. WSSU students registered in heavy number in 2008's presidential election.

Montgomery got more than twice as many votes as Johnson -- 530 votes to her 228. Social networking through Facebook and early voting, in large part by WSSU students concerned about crime and economic development, sealed the surprise victory. Montgomery got 440 early votes to Johnson's 28 early votes and six votes cast in absentee ballots. She got 194 votes Tuesday to his 90, but by then she'd already lost the race.

You only need 530 votes to get elected to the Winston-Salem City Council? 

They have partisan elections. They have district elections, so only 1/8 of the city's voters were eligible to begin with. It was a Democratic primary, with only Democrats and Unaffiliated eligible, with a 4% turnout, while the 16-year incumbent (they have 4-year terms) was apparently asleep instead of campaigning.  Her opponent was a WSSU senior who organized students to go to an early voting site.  There is no Republican or Libertarian running and the deadline for write in candidates to file was August 5.

I should have known Larry Little was behind this, so it's all a big circle.Lots more details on Derwin Montgomery's primary win:

"Twice, Derwin Montgomery, a senior political-science student at Winston-Salem State University, had run for president of the Student Government Association, and twice he had lost.So early this summer, while the university was on break, he looked another direction to meet his goal of one day becoming a U.S. senator.Checking the Web site of the Forsyth County Board of Elections, Montgomery saw that voter turnout in the city's primaries is typically low. He estimated that he would need fewer than 500 votes to win the ward that encompasses Winston-Salem State. And he realized that if he could persuade the students to vote for him -- and get them to the polls -- he had a good shot at winning."We had this sleeping giant here," Montgomery said yesterday......Yesterday, Montgomery recounted how he turned his research into an election victory. He started a group on Facebook, the online social-networking site, titled "The Committee to Elect Derwin Montgomery." When classes started in the fall, he told other students about his plans to run. When the filing period opened, he went to the board of elections and filled out the paperwork.One of Montgomery's political-science professors was Larry Little, a former Winston-Salem alderman. Little read in the newspaper that Montgomery planned to run , so he sat down with his student and tried to find out what Montgomery was thinking."It was a good thing he didn't come to me before," Little said yesterday. "I would have told him not to run. I would have told him there was no way he'd win."After their talk, though, Little changed his mind. Montgomery had spoken articulately about his plans to improve public safety around the campus and to create jobs around the ward. Last year, Little watched the WSSU campus rally around Barack Obama's presidential campaign. He came to believe that with the right planning, Montgomery might have a shot.Montgomery, who had been running his campaign more or less alone, started delegating responsibility to fellow students. He had a "director of compliance" who helped WSSU students register to vote in Forsyth County. He had a "director of transportation" who organized vehicles to drive students to the board of elections so they could cast early ballots. He had two administrative assistants."

What the article does NOT tell you much about is that Larry Little was elected to that same seat in 1974 (Winston had its election in the even numbered years 'til 74). Larry was a Black Panther member in his late 20s then. In early January 1974, Larry called me -- he had heard that I was a college student just elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council, that he was running for W-S Council, and he wanted to talk strategy.  We met somewhere in the student Union at Carolina and talked campaign strategy and tactics for quite a while, and he went back to Winston and won.Not that I had much to do about it. 

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