mecklenburg county

Mecklenburg legislative delegation

Last Wednesday our PBS station broadcast an open forum called, "Mecklenburg legislators: solving it together." Here is one link, or you can go to wtvipbscharlotte.org and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on older entries, when you see the story click on read more.

The stars of the evening were the masterminds behind the airport heist, Rucho, Brawley, and Samuelson. The mood turned ugly quickly. Good stuff.

This is my first post so if the link doesn't work could someone post a new one?

Charlotte Mayoral Candidate Scott Stone Fails Competency Test

A charity fund run by Scott Stone, Republican candidate for mayor in Charlotte, is receiving some unwanted attention for the low percentage of fundraising dollars passing through to the supported cause. According to available tax returns, North Carolina Heroes Fund (NCHF) has raised $168,807.73 and distributed $39,210.37 to veterans in need. This means only 23% of funds raised has passed through to help veterans, not the 30% stated by the Charlotte Observer. In contrast, $41,542.48 has gone to one professional fundraiser in 2009 and well over $40,000 in unitemized expenses have been incurred. This leaves Scott Stone's financial competence wide open for criticism.

Mecklenburg redistricting fiasco is strongest argument yet for home rule

As many of you know, the state legislature took it upon itself to ram through its own map for Mecklenburg County commission districts. The reason? Republicans on a citizens' commission were upset that one of the maps under consideration would have split the towns in the southeastern part of the county into two districts.

Whatever you may think about what the citizen board was considering, this strongarm act by the legislature is yet more proof North Carolina needs to bring local government into the 21st century. Specifically, we need local home rule.

Mecklenburg county commissioner to face music for anti-gay slur

cross-posted at dKos

We expected area Repubs to be up in arms over Richard Burr's vote in favor of repealing "don't ask, don't tell." But even by this state's standards, a county commissioner here in Mecklenburg County has gone several miles over the top.

Last week, Democratic commission chairwoman Jennifer Roberts asked her colleagues if they wanted to sign a letter thanking Burr, Kay Hagan, Larry Kissell and Mel Watt for voting to repeal the policy. When Bill James, a Repub who represents the southeastern part of the county, found out about it, he responded by suggesting that gays are all "sexual predators."

Staggering bigotry, even by North Carolina standards. Fortunately, it won't be allowed to stand. At tomorrow's county commission meeting, there's going to be a resolution condemning anti-gay bigotry. But this is only the first step. Suffice to say that a little bit of heat needs to be put on James when he runs for reelection in 2012.

Another argument against electing judges

Cross-posted at dKos

The front-page story on today's Charlotte Observer contains a disturbing story about two judges here in Charlotte. I've read this twice in print and once online, and I keep coming to the same conclusion--judges in North Carolina should be appointed based on merit, not elected.

Mecklenburg Chief District Judge Lisa Bell has taken $50,000 in contributions since first running for a judgeship in 1998 (she's been chief judge since 2008)--most of them from lawyers. One of her colleagues, Becky Tin, has gotten roughly the same amount since her first campaign in 2002. Lawyers from James, McElroy and Diehl, one of Charlotte's more aggressive firms, have given them each donations totaling over $2,500. Those amounts alone provide ready-made ammo for bias accusations. The problem is that the judges' critics dimply don't hold up under scrutiny.

Republicans got busy in Mecklenburg

Mecklenburg County Republicans have been busy. Every local, state and federal office has a Republican candidate listed on the ballot. Democrats just didn't bother.

Some of these Republicans don't stand a snowball's chance on a warm day of winning in November, but that hasn't stopped them from showing up. On the other hand, Democrats....meh.

There are 31 partisan elected positions for voters to fill in November. Democrats aren't even trying for six of them. There are 38 Democrats and 51 Republicans vying for these 31 seats.

John Lassiter Hide and Seek

John Lassiter is still avoiding cameras which causes a problem for residents of Charlotte who don't have the time, transportation or desire to grab a map of Charlotte and head out to a candidate forum. We heard last week that Lassiter had cancelled his appearance at the televised WTVI/League of Women Voter's candidate debate.

The Charlotte Observer editorial board thought it was a sign of John flexing his muscle, but to many of the rest of us it simply looked like he was scared for the people of Charlotte to see there actually are differences between him and Anthony Foxx. Personally, I think he may be a little too scared that folks will see he is actually too much like Pat McCrory and there is some major McCrory fatigue going around Charlotte.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Teachers Stand Up to CMS Administration

Tuesday it was announced that Charlotte Mecklenburg teachers had been given a form to sign allowing background, criminal and credit checks. They were ordered to sign it by Friday or their employment would be terminated.

CMS intended to use the form to allow updated criminal background checks, but the form permitted much more and teachers weren't happy. From the Charlotte Observer:

Mecklenburg County Reorganization Precinct Meetings

Most of you know that the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party has had some issues centered mainly around rushed precinct organization that occurred before the new selection of the replacement for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff. Today, the MCDP is taking the next step in its fresh start with newly appointed volunteer precinct chairs who will preside over reorganization meetings tonight at 7:00 p.m.

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