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.

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

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.


The Independent's 2008 primary picks

Independent Weekly endorsements for the 2008 primary have just been posted online at http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A256728

They will be in tomorrow's print edition as well. Here's a summary:

  • Commissioners, District 2: Leo Allison
  • Commissioners, At-large: Bernadette Pelissier
  • Orange County Board of Education: Steve Halkiotis, Eddie Eubanks, Tony McKnight
  • Transfer Tax: Yes
  • District Court Judge: Page Vernon


Yard signs of the rich and famous

I drove all over the county this weekend and I'm pretty sure I got a picture of at least one yard sign by every candidate that has one.

By the way, here's some free advice: If you have a limited number of signs and/or volunteers, make sure you get your signs to one of Orange County's three early voting sites!



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