I confess to being a fan of Bob Geary, ace reporter and writer for the Independent Weekly here in the Triangle. He gets to the bottom of political bullshit better than anyone I've read in North Carolina, and his most recent article called The Vanishing Voter is an awesome piece of work. While the article pummels Pope and blasts Black for their sleazeball practices, it goes a big step farther and teases apart the sad state of North Carolina electoral politics in general.
I especially appreciate his zeroing in on a handful of specific problems, that are quite simply depressing. For example, the first section of the article wraps up this way:
Problem #1: The two parties whack up the districts between them in the redistricting process, eliminating the voters. Solution: Create a nonpartisan commission to apportion districts and generate more competitive elections. Consider some multi-member districts, with proportional representation. This session: no action.
The article goes on to cover third parties, general fundraising, corporate money, public financing and more, with special sidebars on Pope and Black. This piece should be required reading for anyone who cares at all about democracy in North Carolina.
Be sure to send Bob Geary a note or add a comment here to express your appreciation. I think he stops by BlueNC every now and then.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Tue, 08/22/2006 - 6:50pm
Attention BlueNCers and guests! Tonight and tomorrow we are taking action to support our Democratic Congressional candidates. While I would prefer everyone vote for Larry Kissell for everything, there will be some who feel the need to support Heath and Roger Sharpe or Bill Glass and Roger Sharpe or Bill Glass and Larry Kissell.
Whatever you do, Take Action Now!
Progressive Patriots - Vote for Larry Now! (He's the only NC candidate on the list) Voting ends tomorrow, so send this to family and friends.
DCCC - Pick the Candidate for Change Vote for Heath and drop down to other and type in Larry Kissell. Ok, Ok...if you insist you can type in Roger Sharpe, Bill Glass or another deserving Democrat.
This artincle on new census data requires no comment, but I will state the obvious fact that those who still see North Carolina as a sleepy country state with no need for serious mass transit and other planninf solutions are living in a past decade:
Led by Raleigh and Myrtle Beach, 10 metropolitan areas in North Carolina and South Carolina were among the country's 100 fastest-growing cities and towns between 2000 and 2005.
The Raleigh-Cary region, counted as a single Metropolitan Statistical Area by the federal government and including most of the Triangle, grew by 19.1 percent to a population of almost 950,000, the 18th-largest rate of growth.
Submitted by gregflynn on Tue, 08/22/2006 - 8:13am
Ever since NC millionaire Republican Svengali Art Pope decided to take out Republican Steve LaRoque the race for the NC State House 10th District has been contentious. Willie Ray Starling, supported by Pope, was the apparent Republican primary winner by 11 votes but complaints of vote suppression led to a series of legal clashes resulting in a new Republican primary set for September 12th. The winner will face Democrat Van Braxton, a Kinston City Councilor for 12 years.
Kinston is also home to Ted Sampley a serial entrepreneur, character assassin and petulant self-appointed czar of veterans affairs. Sampley, a Vietnam veteran, is notorious for denigrating the military service of John McCain, John Kerry and John Murtha. He seems to have a problem with decorated veterans named John. Sampley has also attacked Jesse Helms when Congressional inquiries didn't go his way.
Submitted by Betsy Muse on Tue, 08/22/2006 - 3:47am
My foray into the politics of North Carolina's 10th State House District started out innocently enough. I had planned to do an interview with Van Braxton, the Democrat running for the seat as part of our Citizen Journalism project here on BlueNC. It has turned into a tour of a darker side of politics. Much of the darkness can be attributed to one man, Ted Sampley, who operates a 501c3 that is closely linked to political organizations, he is years behind on filing tax returns for this organization and he seems to have some creative ideas for financing projects linked to the non-profit.
Steve Ford's latest column in the N&O on the political calculations around Bush's Iraq debacle could have been provocative, but it wasn't. Not even close. In fact, by reducing Bush's War to a discussion of presidential politics, Ford makes light of the untold misery created by this administration's inability to learn from mistakes. The title of the column is creepy enough ... On war, can White House say 'Uh-oh'? - and it goes downhill from there.
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