Friday, November 6, 2015

Post Election Finger Pointing Begins in Huntersville

Well, it hasn't taken long for some in the Team Swain camp to express their dismay and disappointment at their candidate's defeat at the polls on Tuesday.

This post from Huntersville Commissioner, Ron Julian, has been making the rounds on Facebook.  It exemplifies the extent of that disappointment.

Some in the media have also joined in to start subtly spinning a meme to explain away what happened to Mayor Jill Swain.  That would be the idea that Swain was not strongly pro-toll and that she was unfairly targeted by non-Huntersville residents.

The Charlotte Observer had this gem in its recent coverage...

"Swain has not been a vocal supporter of the I-77 project but has previously apologized for anti-toll rhetoric by others on the town board."

The Observer totally minimizes how Swain handled this so-called "apology".  You can see the rest of that story here.

As for Swain not being a "vocal supporter" of the HOT lanes project, well, just because she hasn't been out their saying "tolls are great" doesn't mean she has not been consistently working behind the scenes to push this project forward.

If Swain did not support the HOT plan, then how does one explain this move after the 2013 election where she sidelined the anti-toll commissioners as much as possible while sending Sarah McAulay back to the CRTPO where McAulay did everything she could to push the project forward.

If Swain did not support the HOT plan, then how does one explain her efforts as part of the HOT Lanes Bucket Brigade to stop area commissioners from asking Gov McCrory to delay the original contract signing.

And finally, if Mayor Swain was not a HOT lanes project supporter, then why did she send the below email just this past June attempting to coordinate an information campaign between I77 Mobility Partners, NCDOT and the Lake Norman Citizen?

As interestingly as Mayor Swain sending this email, why did she think the Citizen would be open to the idea?  For some reason she did.

The Citizen has made multiple references in recent coverage furthering the second part of the post election meme that is was non-Huntersvillians who were out to get the Mayor and caused the her defeat.  In its post election coverage the Citizen says "Swain and McAulay were unable, or unwilling, to counter a robust campaign mounted against them in no small part by a group of activists comprised largely of non-Huntersville residents."

How the Citizen knows the detailed breakdown of activists and members of Facebook pages focused on the toll issue is unclear.  However, they sure seem focused on the fact that there are members of these groups who don't live in Huntersville.  They also clearly ignore the fact that these groups have thousands of members and very likely have more than enough from Huntersville to easily cover Tuesday's margin of victory and probably much more than that.

Then again, the Citizen has a long history of this kind of coverage on this issue.

One of the first pieces on the I77 HOT lanes saga at aShortChronicle was a critique of local media way back in January of 2013.

"Media Watch: Is LKN Media in the Tank for the HOT Lanes?"

Word got back a few days later, that the folks at the Citizen didn't like it very much.

Doubt they will like this one any better.

The truth is this.

The incumbents in Huntersville who lost on Tuesday night lost because they were on the wrong side of the biggest issue in the Lake Norman region since the creation of Lake Norman itself.

It really is as simple as that.

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