Do Endorsements Matter?

A few weeks ago we started talking about and comparing endorsements in the local races. Since then, a few more endorsements have come out, including the supposedly-influential Independent Weekly's picks.

A reader recently asked: "Please have a story about least helpful/most harmful personal endorsements. My vote is Moses Carey endorsing Jim Ward."

So what do YOU think, readers? Do endorsements matter? Which ones? Personal or organizational? How many of us bring the Indy voter guides into the booth each November? Whose recommendations do you trust?


From this week's Indy (the endorsement issue that was missing a whole page of Orange and Chatham!), the following correction on page 21:

An Oct. 22 article "Town vs. Gown," should have said that Chapel Hill Town Council candidate Dianne Bachman was a board member of the Community Action Network, not the chair. Also, as a university architect and project manager, Bachman did not present plans to the Town Council, but attended council meetings to assist senior adminstrators on technical issues.

Sounds like Dianne didn't like being asked the old "so when did you stop beating your wife" question, and insisted that the Independent let folks know that it was months ago. Really. How reassuring.

And the fox says: "I wasn't actually 'guarding' the hen house per se, I was just, um, watching it for a friend. He'll be right back, I promise."

Indy School Board Endorsement Misses a Good One

I was sorely disappointed with the Independent's failure to endorse School Board Vice-Chairperson Gloria Faley. I have to admit that I'm not the most consistent watcher of school board actions, but the Indy got this one all wrong. There has been no indication that Gloria ever stopped being a "refreshing, independent voice" on the Board. As a member of one of the other elected bodies Gloria addressed during the "School in a Park" debate, one who ultimately voted against her position, I saw Gloria as professional, articulate advocate -- even as some others who supported locating the school on the park land, were anything but. I hope voters in Chapel Hill and Carrboro remember that amidst the fiery rhetoric of both the School/Park issue and the recent merger fights, Gloria has been a calming voice…in large part because she approaches these issues with a reasoned mind (even if other reasoned minds sometimes disagree with her). Her leadership consistently reminds me of the value of representative government.

Write-in Mania!

The Chapel Hill Herald reports that Pat Killian is challenging Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy as a write-in candidate! Although I've wished repeatedly and vocally for mayoral options, this campaign is even more suicidal than Jeff Vanke's in Carrboro. You just can't win the top office in town with a half-assed, last-minute campaign. Especially given this:

Killian didn't offer any specific criticism Tuesday of what Foy has and hasn't done in his two years as mayor.

"I'm just hoping that perhaps I have some other ideas that he maybe doesn't have," she said.

Killian lives on the part of Mason Farm that's in the path of UNC's future expansion, and her home basically is an "island" surrounded by land that UNC now owns, she said. ... [But] "it's not about me living on Mason Farm Road," she said. "That's not where I want to go with this. It's about a bigger picture.

I'm always glad to see more civic participation, but the "big picture" looks to me like she's wasting time and energy that could be used to support good candidates.

Follow the Money

The Chapel Hill News and the Chapel Hill Herald are reporting on the latest round of campaign spending reports. Both articles also highlight the donor trends, like Dianne Bachman's support from UNC officials and local developers. I swear she's her own worst enemy.

You can compare these figures to last month's reports. Also, here's the list of contributors in this reporting period.



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