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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Who Knew the NC Constitution Was Such a Dick! 

The US Constitution, Amendment 1: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The NC Constitution, Article 6 Sec. 8: "The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God."

On the basis of the N.C. document (while ignoring the U.S. one), there's a group in Asheville trying to deny recently elected Asheville city councilman Cecil Bothwell his seat on the council because he once wrote a book critical of evangelist Billy Graham.

Plus this, in the Asheville Citizen-Times article: "Bothwell labels himself an atheist on his MySpace page, though he wrote in an online post last week on fellow incoming councilman Gordon Smith's blog, Scrutiny Hooligans, that he prefers the term 'post-theist.' Bothwell added: 'I don't deny the being of Almighty God; I simply consider the question of denial or acceptance irrelevant." (But soooo what?)

Some are threatening a law suit ... but against whom? Sue Cecil Bothwell, because he doesn't toe the theocratic line? Or sue the City of Asheville for swearing in an (okay, let's go for it!) atheist?

Good luck on that prospect! But, really, go ahead and sue and let's get this stupid line stuck down in our state constitution.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

North Carolina Round-Up 

Where was the celebrated Republican/conservative resurgence in North Carolina yesterday? Nowhere much.

...elected its first Democratic mayor in 22 years, Anthony Foxx (no relation), pictured left, and increased the Democratic majority on the city council to eight out of 11 seats.

Progressives swept the election. Mayor Terry Bellamy was reelected for a second term, and liberal Democrats Esther Manheimer, Gordon Smith, and Cecil Bothwell won council seats, beating two-term incumbent Republican Carl Mumpower, who ran such a weird campaign against Heath Shuler in the NC-11 last year. Both Smith and Bothwell are well known local bloggers.

Chapel Hill
The N&O summarized this race succinctly: "The liberal establishment held off a band of businessmen trying to change the town's course." So Chapel Hill has a new mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt, and the developers took only one of four available seats on the town council. Shades of Boone's Templetons: The pro-business candidates "were being influenced heavily by a specific group of developers, and I think in the end that backfired on them," said the top vote-getter, Penny Rich (love that name!).

Big reelection win for Dan Besse after "a sometimes-heated campaign" against Republican challenger Ted Shipley. Wish I'd been following this one! Dan is a personal hero of ours. Looks like a Democratic sweep otherwise in Tobacco City.

Democratic incumbents trounced their challengers, though the top vote-getter among the losers, a Libertarian, crowed that his 27% of the vote was a personal best for him and a sign of great things coming in the future.

The major bright spot statewide for the GOP. The mayor and city council turned over to Republican control. Mark Binker discusses it here.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Miniaturizing the Future 

The excerpt below was written by a Republican Party operative in Buncombe County about Republican prospects in the upcoming Asheville municipal elections. It was published on Scrutiny Hooligans, our favorite Asheville blog. It's an insider's analysis of the GOP's "branding" problems in the more urbanized areas of western North Carolina and might, in the short run, make its author unwelcome at Republican Party gatherings:
...the Buncombe County Republican Party has been characterized over the last several years more by its own infighting and proving itself relatively ineffective at get-out-the-vote efforts (GoTV). Although a recent influx of younger libertarians to the GOP are an exception, Republican activists are much older than their Democratic counterparts, and tend to consider party involvement more as a social outlet for its own sake rather than as a vehicle for political action. Republicans (social conservatives, particularly) also tend to be more isolated from the cultural life of downtown Asheville, many holding it in open contempt.

There is a virulent strain of isolationism and bigotry in the local Republican Party. The primary "issue" around which the base coalesces is a visceral fear of immigration, legal and otherwise and those fears are used for propaganda purposes by many Republican officials (though, arguably, it has largely backfired). Conservatives, especially, feel that their traditional way of life is threatened by what they see as an "invasion" by immigrants from the south and rapidly changing cultural mores regarding tolerance of homosexuality.

Republicans also lag far behind progressives in the effective utilization of modern technology, especially in the area of social networking tools. No comparable infrastructure exists in the GOP, and what efforts have been accomplished in terms of technology, it is more gloss than substance.

Since 2006, the local GOP has been crippled by intraparty ideological battles (between its social conservative and libertarian factions) and a recent spate of unviable candidates -- from the perennial to the polarizing to the incompetent. All this has had a marginalizing effect on moderate Republicans and has seriously hampered the Republican Party's local fundraising abilities.

The situation shows no signs of improving for the local GOP as the two factions have made peace, at least ostensibly. Ron Paul supporters, who several years ago planned to take over local Republican organizations, have been successful in Buncombe County, with the entire apparatus now controlled by them. Several self-annointed "principled" and socially conservative spokesmen for the local GOP continue to have a stranglehold on the dialogue, continuing to alienate and divide the party.

It should be noted that a grassroots effort has been undertaken in Buncombe County over the last few months under the auspices of the "Tea Party" movement, largely in protest of what they see as "socialist" bailouts, higher tax rates, and President Obama's expansion of government. While ostensibly "non-partisan," it has been largely a movement organized by local libertarians and Republicans and has tapped in to an undercurrent of Republican resentment at recent electoral defeat....

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Signs of the Times 

This one from North Vernon, Indiana, via Revolution in Jesusland.

Gordon has a huge slide show up at Scrutiny Hooligans from outside the Palin rally in Asheville yesterday. Our favorite sign seen in the crowd: "Sarah Palin ... After the Rapture, can I have your clothes?"

Our nephew got inside the auditorium for the Palin speech and was furiously texting "color" to family. He'd already voted early for Obama and a straight Democratic ticket. We suspect that a significant portion of that crowd in heavily Democratic Asheville wasn't exactly on Palin's side.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Obama Will Hold Rally in Asheville Sunday 

2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium, Asheville High School. The event is free and open to the public, no ticket required, but the Obama campaign is encouraging advance registration online.

More info here, along with a discussion of Obama's lopsided fundraising lead over McCain in western North Carolina.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Charlotte, Leading in Gas Consumption 

Is Charlotte the most Republican city in North Carolina, or what?.

And Asheville surely is the most Democratic. Bumpersticker seen all over the city: "KEEP ASHEVILLE WEIRD."

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