May 2008

Sample ballots.

For those of you haven’t voted yet, if you want to get a look at the ballot before you head in to the polls, you can bring up an exact copy of it here.You need to enter your address, and affiliation, and then you will get a PDF document of the ballot you will need to complete when you vote.

Money talks

Thanks to The Independent Weekly for their recent article uncovering who is funding some of the most contentious local campaigns.

We already knew that statewide realtors and developer interests were funding the opposition to the Land Transfer Tax, including deceptive mailings and robocalls. Now we can see just how much money they are pouring in to fight this modest proposal. Fiona Morgan reports that the realtors had raised $234,239 as of April 28th.

The committee has spent $205,115 on direct mailings, polls and ads. With 95,805 registered voters in Orange County, that amounts to $2.14 spent per voter as of April 18, more than two weeks before the election.

- Independent Weekly: Orange: Sprawl lobby just says no to LTT, 4/30/08

Duke Energy vs. Ellie Kinnaird

I know as a long time observer of campaign finance issues, it is rare that a major corporate political action committee gives to an incumbent’s opponent in a primary. So I noted with interest that Duke Energy’s PAC gave Senator Ellie Kinnaird’s opponent $2000 in this primary. Ellie was the only state senator to vote against Senate Bill 3 which, although sold as renewable energy bill, was hijacked by the utilities so that it shifted most of the financial risk for building new coal and nuclear plants to the ratepayers.

Ellie saw this bill clearly for what it was, spoke out strongly against it, and clearly incurred the wrath of Duke Energy. As Democracy NC found in its research, in the four years ending in 2006, Duke Energy and Progress Energy averaged investments of $10,000 per North Carolina legislator in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.

It doesn’t work with our good senator. She represents us instead. Let’s keep it that way.

Land transfer tax

Important dates


In 2008, the Orange County Board of Elections will conduct a Primary Election on May 6, 2008, and a General Election on November 4, 2008, for local, state and federal offices.

Below are timelines and deadlines associated with the 2008 Elections. Note entries are hyperlinked to their underlying statutes.

May Primary Election Timelines and Deadlines:

Residential blue light call boxes

This just hit my email inbox:

I am writing you because of your leadership and involvement in Carolina Open Source Initiative over the past year. On Monday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m. the Chapel Hill Town Council will take a critical vote on the installation of pedestrian-level lighting and blue light call boxes in Chapel Hill residential areas. This vote will allow the installation of these initiatives to begin immediately as proposed by the student body. These safety initiatives will increase safety around our campus in the residential areas that we live. The residents of Rosemary, Mallette, Church, Short, Ransom, and McCauley Streets will be the most effected by this resolution; therefore student support is vital. I understand that during exams times most are not able to come out to the meeting at the town hall, yet it is critical that the council hear your support of this issue.

Community Design Commission meeting re Glen Lennox redevelopment

Following Ruby's April 3 post, and the energetic discussion that followed, here's an opportunity to discuss the prospect of re-developing the Glen Lennox development.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 3:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, Town Council Chambers

Where are Senator Clinton's People?

I like Senator Obama just fine, but one more phone call or doorbell ringing from his people and I'm ready to file a restraining order.

On the other hand, I have no mail, no phone calls and no knock-knock-knocking on my door from Senator Clinton's people. Other than lunch in February with a strong supporter of Senator Clinton, I have seen neither hide nor hair of the campaign.

Is this common throughout Orange County? Or is it just my neighborhood? Or demographic?




The new location of the shelter is...

This weekend I learned there would be a press conference today at 10 am (ie: right now) to reveal the new location of the InterFaith Council's homeless shelter. Of course, this tantalizing e-mail didn't name the location, but based on the particpants I think we have a pretty strong clue.

Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser will be joined by Chris Moran, executive director of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, Rev. Richard Edens, a United Church of Chapel Hill pastor, and other community leaders as they announce a new partnership to benefit the community’s homeless.

So will it be at the UCC? Carolina North? Human Services Building on Homestead? It seems certain to move away from Downtown, which I think is unfortunate

I guess we will all hear shortly.

OP on the radio

Tune to WCOM in at 8:30 on Election night (tomorrow) for a half hour of discussion about the 2008 primary election with me and Carrboro elected officials Mark Chilton and Dan Coleman. Listen on the radio at 103.5 FM if you are in central Carrboro, anywhere else you can catch the Internet stream at

I will also attempt to stream a live video of us while we're on the air. If that works, you can find the video right here on this page.

Afterward we will either hit the candidate parties (where are they?) or go home and geek out on election data.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 4:30pm


WCOM, 103.5 FM



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