Saturday, October 31, 2015

Leamon Brice Farewell Message: Citizens should listen to town hall and start "taking their medicine"

So, the latest "Town Message" has come down from Davidson Town Hall...

Soon-to-be-former Town Manager, Leamon Brice, rightfully had a lengthy farewell in his final quarterly Manager's Report column.  Unfortunately, he used a good bit of it to take a swipe at citizens who don't listen and those who have disagreed with him over the years. 

Brice describes those who have opposed town hall as little more than whiny children.

"Davidson is different because elected officials have been willing to look at new and innovative ideas and try them, sometimes in light of tremendous opposition from citizens. This opposition reminds me of sick children who bitterly fight to avoid taking their medicine, not understanding that once they do, they will feel better."

Did he really say that?  Yes.  Yes he did.

Brice sites examples like the CVS downtown and other developments that have been successful.  However, his comment was clearly a swipe at those who opposed to the Downtown Catalyst Project as if that project was the same type and scale of anything else ever proposed by town hall.  He conveniently makes no mention of Mi-Connection a decision he supported, a decision opposed by many of those same "sick children", a decision that has been the a disaster for the town.

Brice also laments citizens who don't listen to how well town hall communicates while taking a good swipe at the media in general and "social media" specifically.

"Don’t look to the rumor mill or social media for the truth. While the other media outlets portray themselves as your savior whose sole aim is to make sure you have all the information you need to stay 'in the know,' I am certain exaggerated headlines are for selling ads and not conveying accurate information."

"Other media outlets"?

Brice is clearly equating the town run "media" with your more traditional media outlets.

In most places, government run media goes by another name.  That name is "propaganda". 

A few years ago, the town board was considering making a change to 4 year staggered terms for elected officials.  That's a setup which makes it impossible for a majority of elected officials to be voted out in a single cycle.  If it had gone forward as originally planned the change would have been made unilaterally by the Board without even putting it to the voters.

That misguided and cynical power grab was only derailed by the efforts of "social media" and those citizens who would not just accept what was being "communicated" from town hall.

Can you imagine facing a challenge like the Catalyst Project with only half of elected officials up this cycle and the other half not up until 2017 - after any project would likely have been started?

Yes, this election cycle has a shortage of candidates, but at least the public has it's say.

Outside media also played a role in the town's recent approval of the Narrow Passage project.  Some may not like the outcome, but the Board eventually voted unanimously to support the project.  That unanimity was a surprise to many who were following that decision closely.

Do you think that would have happened if only the information from town hall staff had been made available to the public?  Town staff vehemently opposed the project along ideological lines while a majority of commenters at the public hearings showed opinion was much more evenly divided among citizens.

Has Leamon Brice done a lot of good for the Town of Davidson over the course of 25 years?  Yes, of course he has.  However, his final message to the citizens of Davidson shows clearly why it is now time for a change.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

North Meck early voting holds firm amid county wide falloff

Going into Thursday with three days left in early voting, it appears that totals for North Mecklenburg are almost exactly at 2013 levels while the county as a whole has fallen off considerably.

As of the Wednesday before election day, only 9,146 people had voted at the county's early voting sites.  In 2013 that total was 12,592.  That's a 27% drop!

However in North Mecklenburg the numbers seem to be holding.  The total numbers at the North Regional Library and Cornelius Town Hall are almost exactly the same as they were at this point in 2013.

1041 this year versus 1048 in 2013.

Assuming these two sites account for the vast majority of early voters from Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson it would appear there is a bit more enthusiasm in the north of the county than there is in the county as a whole.

Even so, it is hard to use the word "enthusiasm" when turnout is still this anemic.

2013 was a very close contest in a number of races in the local municipalities. With voting totals on par with that cycle, looks like we could expect the same this time around.

In the spirit of a Renaissance Festival herald...

Get thee to the polls!!!

Supercharge your vote this election

Election Day is upon us and it is time to head to the polls.  Last week’s column explained why local elections are so important.  This week provides tips on getting the most out of your vote this election season.  Here is how to super charge your vote.

First, actually go and do it.  Better yet, bring a few others with you.

That's not an attempt at humor, but a sincere suggestion.  Turnout is disturbingly low in municipal elections, so your vote and the votes of a few friends really matter.  Proportionally, your vote has greater impact in low turnout elections, giving real meaning to the old saying “every vote counts”.

Second, be selective in how you cast your ballot.

That may sound obvious, but many people often make a mistake in at-large contests like the races for municipal boards where you can vote for multiple candidates.  For example in Davidson and Cornelius, you can vote for up to five Board candidates and in Huntersville up to six.  However, just because you can vote for a full slate of candidates does not mean you must.

In this scenario, the sharpest arrow in the voter’s quiver is called the “single shot” vote.

Single shot, or bullet voting, is a tactic where you only vote for one candidate rather than a full slate.  It is a tactic often used by minority communities to get a candidate elected from the minority community even when their overall numbers are not a majority of voters.  It works by withholding votes from other candidates that would have otherwise been cast – giving that single vote a higher proportional value.

The same effect to a lesser degree can be achieved by voting for two or three candidates instead of five or six.  The basic idea is to just not give away votes to candidates that you don't agree with on major issues.

In Davidson and Cornelius most incumbents are going to win reelection anyway because only six candidates are running for five seats.  In those towns you may want to just vote for enough candidates to gain a majority on the board, or three candidates.  Alternatively, if you definitely want new blood, then only vote for one challenger.

In Huntersville, gaining a majority would require four. You could vote for three board members and make your selection in the Mayor’s race based on who you want to be the tie-breaker.  Local mayors only vote in the event of a tie.

Huntersville is the only municipality in North Mecklenburg with a contest for Mayor this year.  However, even in Cornelius and Davidson you have a “choice”.  If you are in either of those towns and don't like how your Mayor is doing things, leave the race blank.  Don't just give away your vote if you don't think they deserve it.  While the amount of the “undervote” usually does not make the news, if the percentage of blank votes or write-ins in the uncontested mayors’ races was high enough that would certainly send a message.

In truth, many of the candidates in all of these races hold similar positions on the smaller issues facing the towns.  Voting for candidates based on their stands on the big issues is where the differences lie.  Whether it be something like the I77 HOT lanes or the Catalyst Project in Davidson, voting based on these issues is where you get the most impact.

Finally, there is one item on everyone’s ballot that will impact your future votes - the referendum to extend terms from two years to four on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners starting with the next election.  If you believe elected officials should be held accountable to the voters more often, then definitely vote “NO” on that item.

The last two times Mecklenburg voters have been   asked this question, it failed.  Keeping that trend alive, protects the power of your vote for years to come.

If you haven't done so  already, early voting continues through Saturday.   Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd.

This column first appeared in this week's Herald Weekly at

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Obscene" donation benefits Tillis campaign..."you know it when you see it"

The NY Times published an op-ed on Tuesday involving the Junior Senator from North Carolina, Thom Tillis, that should make everyone cringe.

The Times piece was done by The Center for Responsive Politics, the people behind provides tremendous insight into the money trail that runs through politics by linking donors, lobbyists, PACs, and candidates with campaign donations.

The op-ed covers how an unnamed donor pumped $4.7 million dollars into the "nonprofit" Carolina Rising "social welfare organization" during Tills's campaign against Kay Hagan for US Senate.  That was pretty much everything the group raised and pretty much every penny of it went to support ads benefiting Tillis in the final weeks of the campaign.

Read the NY Times op-ed here. has published
a much more detailed account here.

The major issue covered in these pieces is that Carolina Rising may have broken all kinds of IRS rules by effectively existing solely to support a single candidate.  At the center if this controversy is information spouted by Dallas Woodhouse at the Tillis victory celebration on election night. Check out Woodhouse in this video from that night.

Woodhouse was recently named as the new Executive Director of the NCGOP.

Now, I don't know about you, but $4.7m seems like a lot of money to me.  "Obscene" is the word that comes to mind. It conjures images of Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart saying “I know it when I see it” when he was describing how to identify pornography.

And of course, it makes one wonder what in the world does someone expect to get in return for spending that kind of money on a candidate's behalf???

#Davidson Commissioner Jim Fuller opposes tolls! Really???

The one flyer I've received so far on the Davidson election was from Commissioner Jim Fuller.

Under accomplishments, he has "Oppose I77 Tolls".  Really???

Did he sign the 2014 letter to Gov McCrory asking for a delay in the original contract like the majority of North Meck Commissioners? Nope.

Did he fight for Davidson's latest resolution to the NCGA to be as forceful as that in Cornelius?  No. In fact he drafted the resolution which was significantly weaker.

It is easy to say one opposes something, but...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 Election Davidson recommendations...

Election Day is upon us and it is time to head to the polls. Here are some suggestions for Davidson based on the methodology outlined in my upcoming column from this week's Herald Weekly.  Be sure to check that out on Thursday.

Davidson has seen a lot of positive change at town hall since the last election, and much of the credit goes to the newest faces on the Board - Commissioner Stacey Anderson and Mayor Pro Tem Beth Cashion.

On their watch the town has seen significant change in senior town staff with the retirement of Leamon Brice and the recently announced resignation of Town Attorney Rick Kline.  Getting new thinking and perspective in these important staff positions will be a plus for the town.

Since these two Commissioners have joined the Board, the town has become more open in communication in various ways and my personal experience is that they are willing to get their hands dirty with thorny neighborhood issues if needed.

They are the only two Commissioners from Davidson who signed a 2014 letter to Governor McCrory asking for a delay in the initial HOT lanes contract signing.  They are also committed to resolving the Mi-Connection situation and realize it was never a business the towns should have entered.

Both Anderson and Cashion deserve reelection.

Newcomer Michael Angell also deserves a look.  On the two biggest issues facing the town - I77 and the Catalyst project - Angell has had the right answers.  He has stated the HOT contract with Cintra is a very bad deal for all the right reasons.  He is the only candidate on record fully stating the Catalyst Project is a bad idea for Davidson.

Having a voice like Angell's on the Board may have brought the issues uncovered at last week's public hearing on the Catalyst Project much sooner.

Now, for the Mayor's race in Davidson.

Mayor John Woods is once again running unopposed, an unfortunate situation to be sure.

Over his long tenure as an elected official, Mayor Woods has certainly done some good things.  His love of Davidson should not be questioned.  However, when it comes to the biggest decisions facing the town, Woods's track record is lacking.

He supported creating Mi-Connection which is the single worst decision in the town's history.  He became the face of the Red Line effort and the blind pursuit of rail transit without first securing solid permission from Norfolk Southern.  He has also been anything but an opponent of the Catalyst Project which has the potential to alter the very fabric of the town.

While it is a shame that he has no opponent this time around, voters do have a choice.  They can leave the race blank.

Doing that can send the message that even if the officeholder does not change, the thinking needs to.

Just my 2 cents...

Election 2015 Cornelius recommendations...

Election Day is upon us and it is time to head to the polls. Here are some suggestions for Cornelius based on the methodology outlined in my upcoming column from this week's Herald Weekly.  Be sure to check that out on Thursday.

Cornelius is fortunate to have a solid Board and a solid list of candidates.  With only six candidates and just one open seat on the Board, it is guaranteed there will be a number of familiar faces on the Board after Election Day.

Commissioner Dave Gilroy should be at the top of your list.  He has been a stalwart on the Board for years ensuring the town maintains low taxes and avoids bad decisions. (i.e. Mi-Connection, I77 HOT lanes).  More than maybe any other elected official in North Mecklenburg, Gilroy is unafraid to speak his mind, ask hard questions, and hold your government accountable at any level.

Also on your list should be Dr Mike Miltich.

Miltich narrowly missed making the Board last time falling just 138 votes short.

A few months later, Miltich should have been selected as the replacement for John Bradford when Bradford stepped down from the Board to run for the legislature.  That would have been the right thing to do, but unfortunately in a divided decision someone who did not even run for office was selected.

Dr Mike showing the fortitude to run again in the face of that kind of "politics" is admirable.  Plus, he is a committed opponent of the I77 toll project.

As for Mayor, voters should consider leaving this race blank or writing in someone else.  As a founding member of the HOT Lanes Bucket Brigade and appointee to the NC Turnpike Authority, Mayor Chuck Travis is fully committed to bringing tolls to the area.

That alone should make it hard for many in Cornelius to pull the lever for him in this uncontested race.

Just my 2 cents...

Election 2015 Huntersville recommendations...

Election Day is upon us and it is time to head to the polls. Here are some suggestions for Huntersville based on the methodology outlined in my upcomong column from this week's Herald Weekly.  Be sure to check that out on Thursday.

This election cycle, Huntersville is where most of the big action takes place. With over a dozen candidates for the Town Board and the area's only contested mayoral election, there is more to choose from here than anywhere else.

For Town Board you can't go wrong with incumbents Rob Kidwell and Danny Phillips along with newcomer Mark Gibbons.

Commissioners Kidwell and Phillips have proven themselves to be independent voices on the board rather than always walking in lockstep with the leadership on the dias.  They deserve reelection.  Challenger Mark Gibbons also has proven his commitment and willingness to fight for what is best for Huntersville and this region, serving as a prominent leader in the effort to stop the I77 HOT lanes project.

Together, these three gentlemen can ensure Huntersville's best interests are protected as the larger region grows.  They will not reflexively cave to the constant drum beat of "regionalism" coming out of Charlotte.  North Mecklenburg needs its largest municipality to have that kind of backbone if we are to prevent being constantly pummelled by the 800lb gorilla to our south.

On the mayoral side, the choice is also clear.

While I do not know Mayor Swain personally, people who do seem to think she is a very nice person.  HOWEVER, this is not a high school popularity contest.

Huntersville needs a leader willing to go to the mat for the town on large regional issues and Mayor Swain simply is not that person.  Maybe Mayor Swain has gotten too comfortable at Huntersville town hall having been there for a long, looong time.  Her lack of much of a visible campaign effort this cycle also gives the impression of a sense of entitlement that should never be apparent in an elected official.

Regardless, it is time for new blood.

Fortunately for Huntersville, challenger John Aneralla can provide the leadership that has been missing.

Aneralla is no stranger to the political process having run for office at the state level previously.  He also serves on the boards overseeing the State's retirement system which is one of the largest in the country.

Aneralla is on record opposing the I77 HOT lanes from his previous runs for office, so he is not a "jonny come lately" to the anti-toll effort.

In the role of Mayor, voters want someone who will break ties the right way - giving thoughtful consideration to all sides of an issue and not just doing what is popular to a select few.

Electing John Aneralla gives that to Huntersville.

Just my 2 cents...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Davidson's national search ends in local choice for new Town Manager.

A week after the Town of Davidson announced its choice for its new town manager, a few more details have started to trickle out.

It has been previously reported that 71 applicants were received from over 25 states.  From speaking with multiple people familiar with the overall process, here's what occurred after the net was cast wide.

The Waters and Company Executive Recruitment firm cut the list to 10-12 resumes for detailed review.  Eventually a short list of 3 was chosen for the in-depth interview process.  Interestingly, 2 of the final 3 ended up being local candidates.  The town would not confirm these numbers or if there was any sort of weighting that favored local candidates - saying that was not public information. Regardless, the end result of a national search was a decidedly local flavor.

Those final three were engaged for interviews with staff, a citizens panel, as well as lengthy interviews with the elected officials.

The background information provided to candidates included these high-priority areas of focus for the town:
  • Building upon strong working relationships with Davidson College, Mecklenburg County, and other regional partners.
  • Continuing to monitor Mi-Connection as it moves toward financial independence.
  • Working with the Board, advisory bodies, and the community to maintain to maintain Davidson's small town character while enhancing its connectivity and economic development opportunities.
  • The Town is also challenged by increasing development pressure.  To maintain Davidson's character and small town feel, the new Manager will be charged to work on issues such as preservation of open space, transportation and traffic issues as well as affordability and diversity of housing.

Ultimately, that months-long process resulted in the selection of Jamie Justice, Assistant Town Manager in Matthews and resident of Mooresville.

The Matthews press release had the following kind words for Justice.

“The Town has been fortunate to have Jamie on staff, with his years of experience and passion to see the Town succeed”, says Town Manager Hazen Blodgett. “While we are saddened by this news, we are happy for Jamie and his family at this new opportunity. We wish him the best for the future.”

Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor agrees. “I’m exceptionally proud of Jamie and his accomplishments over the last seven years. Matthews is a better place because of him and his work. I’ve spoken with Mayor Woods and share his excitement for the Town of Davidson. Jamie will do an excellent job there. It’s a loss for Matthews but I’m happy for both Jamie and the Town of Davidson."

Additionally, in speaking with one person familiar with Matthews town hall operations, this source had nothing but favorable things to say about how the town runs and town manager Blodgett.  After working under Blodgett for years, Justice's experience should be very valuable in knowing how a well run town should operate.

But Justice's road to Davidson has not been all roses.  Prior to his work at Matthews, Justice spent a rocky few years as town manager in Mooresville.

When justice came on board in 2005, Mooresville town hall was embroiled in a controversy over the handling a contract to expand the town's water system.  Reports indicate significant conflict between staff and the Board.  A year after arriving, Justice let go two town staffers.  Two years after that in 2008, he himself was asked to resign by the newly elected Mooresville Board.  Along the way he was also the town manager as Mooresville and Davidson inked the deal to form Mi-Connection in 2007.

It may be Justices's involvement in the formation of a Mi-Connection that could raise a few eyebrows in Davidson.  Considering how that decision went locally, that's an understandable concern.

Based on input from multiple people, it appears Justice played more the role of the unbiased arbiter of information to the Board in Mooresville.  That's the role one would actually expect from a Town Manager rather than being an advocate.   One possible validation of that would be to look at the votes in both towns when Mi-Connection was formed.  Mooresville voted 4-3 with Mayor Bill Thunberg casting the tie-breaker.  Davidson voted unanimously to form the company.

However, Justice's experience with controversial situations could come in handy in his new position.  He arrives in Davidson amid rising citizen concern with the Downtown Catalyst Project.  The I77 HOT lanes is always a potential flash point.  Justice will also be only the second town manager in the town's history - a situation that certainly will bring its own challenges.

Plus, Davidson is...well, Davidson.

Here's to wishing Mr Justice good luck.  He is likely to need more than a little of it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

#MeckBOCC : Vote 'No' on Four Year Terms

As voters head to the polls in Mecklenburg County in large numbers starting today with all early voting sites now open, there is one question on every ballot that deserves a resounding 'NO' vote.

Mecklenburg County Commissioners put a question on this year's ballot to extend their terms from 2-years to 4-years starting with next year's elections.   The question of putting it on the ballot was put forward by Commssioner George Dunlap and approved this past July by a vote of 7-2.

Only Commissioners Matthew Ridenhour and Pat Cotham voted against the idea.

Supporters use the same old justifications that are trotted out every time this kind of idea comes up locally.  "Everybody else is doing it" and "it would be easier for us elected officials" are the reasons they give.

Just because most counties in North Carolina have 4-year terms is really pretty meaningless if you give it more than 2 seconds worth of thought.  The old adage "if your friend jumps off a bridge would you do it too?" comes to mind.

As for making it easier on commissioners, that too should get the blunt retort of "so what!?!?"  If commissioners don't want to run every two years, then don't run!  Let someone else who does want to be accountable to the voters have the job.

Mecklenburg County has had multiple major issues facing it in recent years.  The tax revaluation and the I77 HOT lanes as examples.  Do you really want to give Commissioners more time between elections if they make the wrong dicisions on these issues?

For me, the answer to that is a resounding "No!"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Why your local elections matter...

This post originally appeared in this weeks’s Herald Weekly at

With early voting started and Election Day just 12 days away, this column and next week’s will focus on why our municipal elections are so important and how to cast your vote to have the most impact.  They won't be about endorsements or trying to sway your opinion, but hopefully they will encourage you to do a little candidate research and head to the polls on or before November 3rd, Election Day.

We all know voter turnout always seems to be lower that everyone wants and should expect.

Many people only vote in Presidential election years.  Others also vote in the State and Federal elections that occur in even numbered years, but those numbers fall way off when you start talking about the municipal elections that occur in the odd numbered years.  Those are the ones occurring now.

The ironic thing?  These local elections are the ones that touch people’s lives most directly and with the most impact.  Yet, in many cases voter turnout falls into the single digits.

Local Government hires your police and fire departments.  They set a big chunk of  your property tax rate.  Local elected officials deal with planning decisions that impact the value of your home.  They provide funding to make sure your local parks are available and maintained.

Do you need a new stop sign or street crossing to ensure your children’s safety on the way to school?  Do you have questions about noise ordinances?  Do you have concerns about that rezoning sign you just saw down the street?

Those are all things handled by your local government or at the very least your local government is the starting point for getting them resolved.  However, getting them resolved also requires you have elected officials who are willing to fight for the right solution.  If you don't have that then you often won't get anywhere.

Local elections are another opportunity for voters to inject new blood into the system and because local government can act much more quickly than the State and Federal levels results can be seen quickly.

Take for example what has happened in Davidson since the the last election just two years ago.  

In 2013 Davidson’s Board swore in two new members - Stacey Anderson and Beth Cashion.

Since then, the town has embarked on the process of hiring a new town manager after the announcement earlier this year that long-time manager, Leamon Brice, would be retiring.  The town will also be getting a new town attorney after the recent announcement of the resignation of long-time counsel, Rick Kline.

Over the past two years, the town government has shown more respect for property rights with the changes made to its affordable housing ordinance and the approval of the Narrow Passage neighborhood.  Yes, those were very tough discussions, but the town ultimately showed more flexibility than it has in the past.

Davidson town hall has also become more open with Davidson being the only North Mecklenburg town to make its meetings available via streaming online.  Commissioners have also changed the format of its monthly citizen “chats” in an attempt to bring in a wider audience.

Davidson even passed a resolution questioning aspects of the I77 HOT lanes project.  While some might have considered the resolution to be a bit mild compared to what it could have been, an action like that would have been all but unthinkable in years past.  Davidson does not rock the boat when it comes to issues like this, but this time it did.

Did all of these things happen solely because two new commissioners joined the Board?  More than likely not. However, it’s equally safe to say it is very likely some of them would not have occurred without two new faces as the result of the 2013 election.

So, if you have not already made your decisions, spend some time over the next few days learning about your candidates.  Check out for links to candidate websites.  Find out which ones you believe will actually fight for the things you support.  

Then, most importantly, go vote!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Davidson Board to discuss New Manager Contract and Catalyst next Tuesday

With two big events happening this week - the announcement of the new town manager and the raucous meeting on the Catalyst Project - the conversation should be interesting when Commissioners get together on Tuesday.

Note: There is no regular 6pm work session this time, so all the action will be at the 4pm "pre-meeting".

These meetings are open to the public.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Things just a got interesting with Davidson's election!

This election season Davidson's municipal campaigns have taken a back seat with local media coverage compared to what is going on in Cornelius and especially in Huntersville.  Davidson Mayor John Woods is running unopposed and the election to Davidson's Town Board features five incumbents and one challenger - political newcomer Michael Angell.

I do not know Mr Angell, having spoken to him one time soon after he filed back in July.  The outcome of that discussion was this post on the idea of directed votes and specifically the recent vote at the CRTPO to approve the TIP if it included the I77 HOT Lanes plan.

From that post Angell indicated:

If he was a Commissioner, he said he would vote against supporting the current TIP if it included the current HOT project.

Angell clarified that he's not totally opposed to the idea of tolls.  However, he does oppose the current P3 HOT plan.  He does not like the dynamic tolling process, the use of a foreign company in the P3 which takes money out of the state, the increase in passengers required from HOV-2 to HOT-3, and the use of a 50 year P3 contract for I77 versus the state managed toll proposals for other interstates in the Charlotte area.

Now, there is this...

After last night's raucous public hearing on the Catalyst Project at Town Hall, I messaged Angell today about a Facebook comment that indicated he was opposed to the ideas presented.  Below is what he just posted to his campaign Facebook page this evening.

So, here you have a candidate who has taken positions on two of the most critical issues facing the town.  He may be political newcomer, but he seems to have a very good sense for how the public feels.

With early voting sites opening in North Mecklenburg on Saturday, things could get really interesting really quickly if the energy in the room at Town Hall Tuesday night was to fall in line behind a fresh face.

Solicitors and theives on the prowl in Davidson? Not tonight!

Every so often crews of solitors conveniently "forget" to get the required permits before vroaming the streets of Davidson where going door to door is prohibited without a permit.  Well, that appears to be what happened in recent days in the River Run.

A bit more alarming, there was also a car break-in early this morning.  Thanks to the heads up action of a resident and the quick response of the Davidson Police this did not turn into one of those sprees that hit many cars.  Instead, the theives were taken into custody.

Read details below from Police Chief Jeanne Miller.

Sent to Rover Run residents from the neighborhood POA management company:

Good Afternoon River Run Residents,
Yesterday, Tuesday, October 20, 2015 we received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 17600 block of River Ford Drive at 7:00p.m.  A black male door-to-door magazine salesman described as wearing a blue shirt, tie, khaki pants and dress shoes, carrying a briefcase, became belligerent with the resident when he made inquiries of the individual.  The resident felt his very big dog, barking loudly at his side, deterred the situation from escalating.  Our officers were able to locate the subject and identify him.  He claimed to be selling magazines for a company out of Texas called “Discover Unlimited Possibilities.”  He could not provide an address or phone number for the company.  The subject did provide a name and telephone number for the supervisor. 
We will make contact with the supervisor and send a letter to the company advising of our door-to-door retail sales prohibition.  We will also send out a town wide telephone message and post on our Facebook and twitter about this. 
At approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning we received a 911 call from a resident in the 19600 block of Wooden Tee.  She was awakened by her dog and looked out to see white male trying to break into the driver’s side of her vehicle.  Officers responded immediately and found the suspicious person in a vehicle a block away from Wooden Tee.  The truck pulled off and when the driver failed to stop at a stop sign, the officer initiated a traffic stop.  The driver, and a passenger were detained.  The ensuing investigation discover stolen items belonging to our resident in their vehicle.  Both subjects were arrested last night.
In both instances residents relied on their dogs, listened to their instinct in terms of the situation and called 9-1-1 immediately.  If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call.
Jeanne A. Miller
Chief of Police
Davidson Police Department

Catalyst Project brings out pitchforks and torches in Davidson

Well, that may be a bit of an exageration, but let's just say the people were not happy.

The long awaited public meeting on the proposed Catalyst Project, a project which could transform downtown Davidson, took place Tuesday evening with an overflow crowd in attendance.

In fact it was one of the biggest crowds possible at Town Hall with people actually standing on the outside breezeway for a full hour listening to the various UNC SOG consultants give their presentations.  One of the lead consultants even said that in all his years of doing these events he had never seen a crowd like the one in town tonight.

The crowd was not there because they enjoyed the consultants pretty pictures though.  They were there because they were concerned, very concerned, about the possibility of the town pursuing changes that would likely alter the fabric of the town.

The crowd was polite, just as one would expect in genteel Davidson, but things started to turn when the below picture was posted as a depiction of how the project could be made to fit in with the "feel" of the town.

The gasps and chuckles were clearly audible.

When the Q&A portion of the presentation started it was clear that many more people were there in opposition than support.  A couple of questions in, Rusty Knox garnered the evening's first applause when he said he was more "infuriated" after seeing the presentation than he was before.

As the Q&A went on there were questions and concerns about increased traffic and potential safety issues.  When pressed on specifics the answers were often some version of "that's to be determined". 

There was a bit of comic, dark - very, very, dark - comic relief when one resident finally spoke in favor of the project.  He asked if people had noticed the Lamborghini's and Bentleys parked in front of Kindred.

Where would those people go if they couldn't find some place to park?!?! 

As if that was a good enough reason to build a project that could change what the town means and what it feels like - just so someone in an expensive car could find a place to park!

Unfortunately, that person was not joking.  Fortunately, many more people appeared to strongly disagree that reasoning.

Davidson officials got a bit of an earful Tuesday night.  Will they listen?

This blogger had to head home before it was over live and in color. I have not had the chance to watch the last bit of the video in detail, so maybe the tide turned in the fourth quarter.  Somehow I think not. 

You can watch the whole video here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"96% of Mayor Swain's support from outside Huntersville!"

That would be the logical headline if one local weekly publication was to write a story about Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain's 35-day campaign finance report filed a couple weeks ago.

At least that is what one would think after reading the publication's most recent anonymous commentary lamenting non-Huntersville residents expressing interest in the town's mayoral race.

When the anonymous columnist took potshots at citizens, he/she described them as people "who don’t live in the town they are targeting, meddling in an election with which they have no claim to stake and are clearly actively engaged in attempting to influence."

Ironically, while this local paper seemingly wrote the piece in defense of Mayor Swain, one could certainly say the same about the vast majority of the money donated to Mayor Swain's campaign a little more than a month out from Election Day.  This election cycle, $2700 out of $2800 donated to the campaign has come from people who don't live in Huntersville.

I guess those donors are trying to unduly influence the Huntersville race, right?!?!?

In truth, saying that would be about as silly as the comments coming from that local publication.

Of course almost all politicians and campaigns have supporters and opponents coming from outside their jurisdictions.  Of course those people have a right to their opinions.

That is doubly true in the North Mecklenburg area where our multiple municipalities have overlapping interests, share state legislative districts, participate in numerous regional bodies together, and regularly strive to act as a cohesive unit to counter the influence of the Big City to our south.

The Citizens of all Lake Norman area towns certainly do have an interest in who is elected in all of our towns.  That's because the decisions made by those officials impact all of us.

There is another headline one could also use after looking at the Mayor's campaign report.  "Is Mayor Swain mailing it in this election cycle?" would also be appropriate.  That's because her report shows a whopping 3 donors and zero expenditures.

That's a shockingly small number when compared to Swain's previous runs.  Certainly, the mayor has more than a few supporters left, but one has to wonder at that low number.

As we head into the final stretch of this campaign season, we can expect a few more surprises.   Activists from across the region working to impact the top spot in the region's biggest town shouldn't be one of them.

Bonus Observation:  The local paper also scoffed at those outsiders meddling in the Huntersville election as members of a closed "echo chamber" on Facebook so they were preaching to the choir - implying they were somewhat irrelevant.   As a frame of reference, the Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook group has over 4500 members.  Only a little over 9400 votes were cast in the Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson mayoral races combined in 2013.  Considering that the vast majority of this group lives in one of these three towns, rather than being irrelevant it may very well be the deciding factor this time around.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

HOT Lanes Info Bomb Dropped on Governor McCrory at Fundraiser

Regular readers of this site know that there is a lot more going on with the plan to install HOT lanes on I77 than just laying down some new asphalt.  In the three year saga of opposition to this project, we've seen strong arm tactics by by state and local governments, attempts to close meetings that should have been open, rushed contract signings to squelch opposition, and numbers that just don't add up.

None of that should make anyone feel good about our political process or the situation we currently find ourselves facing - a 50 year contract that nobody seems to want.  But as bad as all of that is, it pales in comparison with the "I need a shower" feelings induced when one looks closely at the companies our state is getting into bed with as part of this deal.

Much of the unsettling information in that regard has been researched and analyzed by Diane "Dee" Gilroy.  By day, Gilroy is a Spanish instructor at UNCC.  By night (and apparently in much of her other free time as well) she has become something of an activist extraordinaire.  Together with her husband Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy, they form something of a dynamic duo in the fight to stop the HOT lanes on I77.

However, recently it has been Diane Gilroy who has been making some of the biggest waves of anybody in the anti-toll effort.

Readers may remember that Gilroy recently got the attention of Cintra with a string of revelations regarding the HOT lanes contractor, it's parent company (Ferrovial), and one of its sister companies (Cespa).  In letters to the state attorney general and inspector general, Gilroy outlined a number of instances involving non-disclosure of items such as bankruptcies, corruption, and various other convictions at Ferrovial and Cespa that should have been disclosed by Cintra in its bid for the I77 project.

Cintra responded with ominous and thinly veiled threats of legal action.

In an August 3rd article in the Carolina Journal Online, Gilroy responded to those threats by saying "I stand by what I wrote, and I need to add more."

Well, now she has.

In a 14 page letter hand delivered on October 7th from Gilroy to Governor Pat McCrory at a private fundraiser in Cornelius, Gilroy lays out reason after reason why the governor should pull the plug on this project.

Those reasons cover some of the same territory as the letter to the AG and the Inspector General including the corruption involving Cintra's sister company in the Ferrovial family.  It also covers bribery involving Ferrovial.  All in all, she details out 8 different situations involving these companies that could each easily result in invalidating the I77 contract due to non or incomplete disclosure of legal issues as required by the State of North Carolina .

As a highlight, one bribery case involving Ferrovial "is so notorious and well known that it is also discussed in the newest Spanish book on the bookshelves in Spain entitled El Fango: Cuarenta Años de Corrupción en España (The Mud: 40 Years of Corruption in Spain) by Baltasar Garzón. Mr. Garzón had been a judge for over 30 years in Spain’s National Court, the Audiencia Nacional. He has also been credited with bringing down and arresting Chile’s dictator Augustine Pinochet."

These aren't just small issues involving the State's future business partners.  These are major issues being covered by very serious people.

In the letter to McCrory, Gilroy also takes on the lead designer for the project - the Louis Berger Group saying...

"In addition to these disturbing lawsuits and convictions against Ferrovial, the Louis Berger Group (LBG) based in New Jersey was selected as the Lead Design Firm on the I-77 HOT lanes project with Cintra Infraestructuras. This firm is an international disgrace. It has defrauded US taxpayers out of millions of dollars and it put our military in harm’s way in Afghanistan. On November 5, 2010 Louis Berger agreed to pay one of the largest fines of any war-zone contractor ($69.3 million in civil and criminal penalties)."

Gilroy goes on to point out other legal problems for LBG through a series of FBI press releases.

One has to wonder if after seeing all of this information, how could Governor McCrory possibly ignore these issues and punish his own state by allowing it to get into bed with such a bunch.  It would be like giving Gotham's villains the keys to the city.

How will he be able to sleep at night if he lets this happen?

But even all of those issues and questions may not be McCrory's biggest problem.

Gilroy's final point in her 14 page letter is that NCDOT has let all of this happen, and in some cases looks complicit in actually making it happen.  On multiple occasions it looks like later versions of forms were changed to remove questions regarding corruption that might be difficult for Cintra or LBG to answer.  In others, the supporting documentation for answers appears not to be available.

This last point is something that is not only under Governor McCrory's control, but it is his responsibility to get to the bottom of it.  The NCDOT reports to him, and he needs to make absolutely sure they are looking out for the citizens' best interests.

After receiving all of this information, Governor McCrory can not pretend he does not know what is about to be foisted on his state.  He has no "plausible deniability" on it anymore.

After what can best be described as an effort worthy of superhero status by Gilroy just to get the Governor this information, let's all hope it gives him the power and courage to actually use it.

UPDATE: Click here to download Diane Gilroy's entire letter to Governor McCrory.  Link posted on the Global Anti Toll Alliance (GATA) Facebook page.  Note: the link requires you download file.  It does not open directly.

Monday, October 12, 2015

UPDATE: Church removes controversial tweet "endorsing" Jill Swain

This is a breaking news update on the previous post.

Calvary Chapel replied to our inquiry this morning regarding its tweet supporting Mayor Jill Swain's reelection this election cycle.

Here is what we received.

"The Twitter post was done unintentionally. It was supposed to be posted to our Pastors account. It was taken down as soon as we realized the error. Simple human error, nothing more. Have a great day."

The first response came from "Team Calvary".

In answer to a follow-up question we received this from Pastor Mike Burner.

"The post was taken down on Sunday, by me, after our last church service. We (I) did not repost it elsewhere. It was a simple logon mistake of my own doing."

While we will take the church at its word that this was an innocent "mistake", it is worth pointing out that it seems odd the original tweet that came from the church account but also referenced the pastor's account (@mikeburner).  If the tweet was supposed to be coming from the pastor's personal account, also referencing that same account in the tweet seems redundant.

I guess we'll just have to chalk that up to an inefficient use of the 140 character Twitter format.

Also, as of this writing, Mayor Swain still has the content of the original tweet up on her campaign Facebook site.  One would think he appropriate thing for the good Mayor to do would be to pull that down as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mayor Jill Swain swoons over church's questionable "endorsement"

With less than a month until election day, it is now the "silly season" in our local elections - the time when the odd and outrageous tend to happen.

Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain kicked off the season with a swooning response to a questionable endorsement from a local church for her reelection.

The endorsement from Calvary Chapel in Huntersville appeared on the church's Twitter feed on Saturday just after noon.  Saturday evening Swain responded from her @SwainsWorld account.

An email to the church office requesting confirmation on who exactly posted  the tweet was not returned on Sunday, and the tweet was still up on the church's site Sunday evening as well as on Jill Swain's Facebook page.  However, the content of the message coming from an official church account and including the church pastor Mike Burner would most certainly seem to cross the line regarding the prohibition on tax exempt organizations engaging in political activity.

Even the most ardent supporters of churches getting involved in politics would likely raise eyebrows at this tweet under current law.

Check out the below excerpt from an open letter to pastors from just this past April.  It is from an organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith and Justice.  The letter was posted at

Churches are recognized as exempt from federal income tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code so long as they do not “intervene” in political campaigns. Political intervention, essentially, is advocating for or against candidates for political office. This means that the IRS prohibits churches from activities such as:
  • endorsing or opposing political candidates,

  • making financial contributions to political candidates, and
  • distributing political campaign literature.
There are two important points to keep in mind regarding the candidate prohibition. First, the candidate prohibition applies to churches and to pastors in their official capacities as church representatives. Pastors acting individually, and not as official church representatives, enjoy the same right to speak out as any other citizen. They may freely support or oppose political candidates without violating the candidate prohibition, or implicating their church’s 501(c)(3) tax status.

Second, the candidate prohibition bans a narrow category of political activity. Churches and their pastors can still discuss candidates’ positions on various issues without violating the candidate prohibition. Churches and their pastors can still distribute non-partisan voter guides, urge their congregants to get out and vote, or even rent out their facilities to candidates on the same terms as any other public group. Only advocating for or against a candidate is prohibited.

The content of the tweet from Calvary Chapel would certainly seem to cross that line.

The fact that it doesn't seem to bother Mayor Jill Swain at all certainly should bother voters.

UPDATE:  See the current post for an update on this story.  The tweet has been removed.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Davidson Town Attorney, Rick Kline, to "Resign"...

The big bombshell this week at Davidson Town Hall was the Wednesday announcement of the pending resignation of long, long, loooooong time Town Attorney, Rick Kline.  Kline has served in that capacity for nearly 40 years, but suddenly and with not much fanfare the town put out notice of his pending resignation.

From the press release:

"Rick Kline has announced to the Davidson Mayor and Board of Commissioners that he intends to resign his position as Davidson Town Attorney.  The Davidson Mayor and Board of Commissioners have asked Rick to continue to serve as their legal counsel until they can find a suitable successor.  The search process could take several months and the mayor and commissioners want to include the new town manager, a position that has not yet been filled, in the process. Rick has agreed to help in the transition to the new Town Attorney."

According to the town's Public Information Officer, Christina Shaul, there was no resignation letter and Mr Kline came to this decision on his own.

HOWEVER, readers should be reminded that just a little over two months ago approval of a new engagement letter for Mr Kline's services appeared on the consent agenda of Davidson's July Town Board Meeting.

Per emails from town hall, prior to the meeting Commissioner Cashion asked to have the engagement letter pulled from the agenda for further discussion amongst the board and no one disagreed with her request.  This is interesting because it raises questions about how it got on the consent agenda in the first place.  Items on this part of the agenda are supposed  to be completely non-controversial.  That's what it's called the "consent" agenda.

The town had been operating without a net for a long time with this situation.  Per another earlier request, no formal contract or even an engagement letter letter had been in place for the town attorney position.  Yet, the job paid roughly $50,000 per year and sometimes more.  For example Kline received a 50% bump last year for his work in reviewing the updated planning ordinance.  (You know, the one that passed with a number of holes in it.). We do know that Kline's expenses did not cover litigation efforts however - meaning when the town got itself into legal trouble, presumably after following his advise, Kline did not have to cover the costs of getting the town out of those situations.

$50,000 per year with no written contract and no real accountability when things went sideways - a pretty sweet gig if you can get it.

So, why would Mr Kline "resign"?  That's the question.

Could it be that the Board finally wanted those things and that was just too much to bear?

Davidson's Planning Ordinance Re-Write Leaves Some Holes

For two years, the Town of Davidson worked on rewriting its planning ordinance.  Consultants were hired.  Maps were drawn and re-drawn.  Multiple hearings were held..

In the end, it culminated in April when Davidson’s Board approved it with a 4-1 vote.

But after all that work, did the effort catch everything it should have?  Recent history would say “No. No, it did not.”

In fairness, that is no surprise considering the planning ordinance rewrite was also one of the largest rezoning efforts in the town’s history.  Rezonings and turmoil often go hand in hand.

The recent controversy over development in Davidson’s rural area would be one place where a lack of change in the ordinance may have contributed to the issues.  A rural area plan had been recommended years ago, but had not been completed.  The lack of that plan ultimately became the main issue in approving the Narrow Passage neighborhood.  While that work could have possibly been rolled into the ordinance rewrite, the Narrow Passage project forced the issue.   It got ugly before it was all over.

Another missed opportunity to address problems before they became issues is now unfolding on South Main.

In a column last February, readers learned of a proposed new development at the old Davidson Clinic site.

That project never came to fruition – falling apart this past summer.  However, as large as it was – at least 110 residential units plus retail housed in a four story building – it is likely small compared to what could go on the site if the parcels next to it are rezoned as well.

That potential rezoning of additional land should concern people, and not just because of the additional development it would allow.  It should concern people because land owners were put in the position of feeling they had to seek the rezonings in the first place.

After seeing the potential for what could be developed on the Davidson Clinic property next to their homes, the two adjacent homeowners on South Main recently sought to have their property rezoned to the same higher density designation.  To give you an understanding of why they would want this, the previously mentioned failed plans for the clinic site had that four story building just 12 feet from the property line – and one homeowner’s back porch.

In an August conversation with Jay Wade, the property owner immediately next to the site, Wade indicated that they had always intended on staying in the house where they have lived for over thirty years.  However, he felt they had no choice but to seek the rezonings after seeing what could potentially be built - literally right off their doorstep.

Frankly, regardless of how you feel about development in Davidson, any property owner put in that position would likely do the same thing.

So, when the recent deal for the clinic site fell apart, Wade and his neighbor went in with its owners to have all three properties advertised for sale as a package with a total acreage of 5.86 acres – making it a prime site for a very major development.

The add for the combined property even contained this line.  “Town of Davidson would look favorable on the rezoning of the property with the right parameters.”  Town records received from an earlier records request would seem to back up that optimism with planning department staff showing enthusiasm for the possibilities such a large parcel would provide.

However, this past week when this issue went before the town Planning Board, that optimism was certainly tempered.  Multiple people present at the meeting indicated the Planning Board did not think too highly of the idea.

The day after the meeting, the optimistic language was removed from the ad.  By the end of the week, the rezoning petitions had been withdrawn.

Where this one goes from here is anyone's guess, but it would sure seem Davidson’s planning ordinance rewrite missed another opportunity to influence development while also protecting existing land owners property rights.

This article first appeared in this week's Herald Weekly at

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Marco Rubio taps the "$19,116.45 Man" to help lead his NC campaign

As the Republican field slowly winnows, Marco Rubio has been the one professional politician who has seen his poll numbers creeping in the right direction.  For those looking for a fresher face while not being comfortable with a full-blown outsider (Trump, Carson, Fiorina), Rubio seems like the best choice.

Unfortunately, this week his campaign made an announcement that should ding his chances in North Carolina and quite frankly makes me question his judgment.

Rubio's campaign announced that Lincoln County State Representative, Jason "The $19,116.45 Man" Saine, will co-chair his effort in North Carolina.

Now, I like Rubio as a candidate.  In fact, until this announcement I was probably leaning towards him as my primary election choice. However, picking a national board member of ALEC and someone who spends over $19k in campaign funds on clothes makes me cringe.

With his somewhat flashy Miami image, the media has had it out for Rubio and his own spending habits in the past.  Remember this story from Rubio's 2010 US Senate campaign about pricey haircuts?

I can just see the campaign ads now..."Rubio and Saine go on shopping spree.  Spend thousands on socks, belts, and other accessories." 

Queue the ZZ Top playing in the background. 

Near tragedy ends with "best case scenario" for local landmark

At about 1:25pm yesterday things got exciting at the Shops on the Green shopping center in Cornelius with the arrival of 6 fire trucks.

There was a fire in progress at Prosciutto's Pizza!!!

After what looked like it could turn out to be a very bad situation - flames could be seen coming momentarily from the area of the roof vent - everything quickly came under control.

There were no injuries and miraculously, the restaurant remained open for business.

Owner Joel Pfyffer posted on Facebook shortly after the incident.

"As far as having a fire goes, this was the best case scenario. Thanks to the Cornelius-Lemley Fire Department for their quick and professional response!"

The fire was apparently the result of a small electrical issue in the front eve of the restaurant which contained the damage.  Fire fighters also did not have to go through the roof to put out the fire which was good news as well.  According to another owner of a shop in the complex, the roof was just recently redone in the shopping center.

Sitting right near Exit 28, Proshiutto's has been one of the more public business supporters of the anti-toll effort led by with its ongoing Wednesday night fundraiser to support the group's legal costs.  From WidenI77's Facebook page, Pfyffer "has pledged to donate 10% of all proceeds from his pizzeria to benefit the WidenI-77 Legal Fund starting on Wednesday, September 9th and select Wednesdays thereafter.

Maybe other local businesses should take note of the good karma being paid Phyffer's way and get on the bandwagon.  What could have been a story ending in tragedy, turned out to be a relatively minor inconvenience.

If you are looking for some good karma yourself, head on out this Wednesday for your weekly pizza fix - a little might rub off on you.

Just sayin'...

Friday, October 2, 2015

GOP swirl at national and state levels make for interesting week

The below column is from this week's Herald Weekly.  It was submitted Monday night, prior to the flurry of activity at the NCGA Tuesday.

Couple of observations/updates.

1.  As was mentioned in the previous post, the Honorables actually expanded the use of the controversial committees rather than cutting them back.
2.  Local legislator John Bradford who indicated that he would have voted against H373 actually voted for S119 which contained the expanded provisions, so that gives a sense for how strongly he felt (or not) about the issue.  In fairness, so did John Blust who was one of the most vocal opponents of H373.  

Column from the Herald Weekly...

Wow! Last week was some week in the world of politics.

On Friday, you had the “surprise” but really not so surprising announcement that U.S. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, would be stepping down and resigning his seat in Congress.  It was a surprise because it came just one day after he achieved one of his long-time goals of coordinating a Papal address to a combined session of Congress.  However, if you've been following the action in Washington over this past Summer it is not all that surprising he decided to “go out on a high-note”.

Ever since late July, when Rep Mark Meadows (NC-11) threw down the gauntlet and publicly called for Boehner to be replaced, Boehner has had the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head.  On July 28th, Meadows submitted a motion to “vacate the chair”.  That's a fancy way of saying he wanted a vote on a new Speaker.  Boehner could have brought the issue for a vote if he was certain he had the votes to win cleanly.  The fact that he did not do that clearly signaled he was uncertain of that support.

Over the past two months, it became increasingly clear that if another vote was actually held, Boehner  may need Democrats to vote for him.  That would put him in the predicament of being a Speaker who couldn't win with just members of his own party.  Facing that potential embarrassing situation, it's not all that surprising he decided to resign.

However, facing a similar situation at the state level just the day before, leaders of the NC House came to a very different conclusion.

In a surprise move, the Republican-led NC General Assembly passed bill H373 with the last minute inclusion of a provision limiting the influence of the state's political parties.  The provision allows legislative leaders to take full control of the purse strings for caucus fundraising and expenditures by setting up what has been called by some  a “shadow” party structure.  Instead of the money going through the political parties and being subject to their rules, it would be controlled by legislative leaders directly. 

The bill passed the NC Senate with zero Democrats supporting it.  The House was a different story however.

The bill passed the House 52-49 only because seven Democrats supported it.  It was also voted on while a large number of Republicans were excused Thursday afternoon.  One of those excused was North Mecklenburg’s John Bradford.  In a Facebook post Thursday evening, Bradford indicated he would have been a “no” vote if he had been present.

Incidentally, the other North Mecklenburg legislators, Rep Charles Jeter and Sen. Jeff Tarte, both voted for the bill.

The divisiveness of this bill did not sit well with some Republican members of the legislature - much less with many party activists.  Republican Rep John Blust of Guilford County had this to say on Facebook Thursday evening after the vote.

“Honorable people do not conduct the public's business this way. The attitude reflected by the leaders in carrying this out shows a profound disrespect not only for the other legislators, but for the people we represent.”

Before this offending provision was added, H373 was simply a bill intended to move NC's primary date back to March to avoid penalties at next year's Republican National Convention.  To do so it needed to be passed by an October 1st deadline.

The short time left  makes a veto – something being encouraged by many NCGOP activists - unlikely since that penalty will go into effect if the bill is not signed before October 1st.  As of this writing Monday night, no veto had been issued.  

By the time you read this On Thursday, this bill will have passed or there will have been a whirlwind of activity at the NCGA to remove it and resubmit after a veto.  In either case, it will have been quite the week.

NC House Republican leaders  will have also proven they they have a higher tolerance for embarrassment than John Boehner - using votes from the other party to help gut their own.