Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Return of the Rant; 2017 local elections

     Two years ago it was me; running a very grassroots campaign for City Council at Large.  My decision to run was one I had been pondering for several years but the final decision to file was an 11th hour decision.  I learned a lot in that short campaign about Greensboro's political scene and also about both partisan sides in what is designed to be a non partisan city council.  We all know that is not the case in reality.  We all know Greensboro is and has always been a "blue city".  Everyone knows which side each candidate falls on; no secrets there.  We all know that local election apathy exists in large quantities in Greensboro; due in part to odd year elections, in part to cronyism and in part to a startling lack of media coverage, especially by the local electronic media.  It would not take much effort to point out that local secondary publications such as the Rhino Times, Triad Weekly and Yes Weekly do far more to cover local elections and politics than the primary newspaper does.  If the local primary media (News and Record, WFMY News 2 for example) are not offering more than very cursory coverage, how can a local candidate make any headway versus the established cronies who have campaign coffers filled with local developers money?
     WFMY News 2 is especially negligent in covering these important elections.  Two years ago the only electronic media representative that contacted me was WGHP Fox 8.  I received a phone call the night of the election asking where they could reach me in the event I won my election.  Sad.  In an age where print media is struggling to stay financially solvent due to declining subscriptions, most folks turn on their local channels to get what local news they receive.  Granted, most viewers in Greensboro are primarily only interested in the weather but they do at least tune in.  What they get is state news, national news and local fluff.  The reason that this is detrimental to our city is that the cronies have access to the airwaves to bloviate their "all is well" messages and are NEVER asked about or held accountable for their failings.  If the local TV stations aren't covering local elections and actually seeking out "new" candidates to share their views, how are local citizens going to make informed opinions about their options?  Greensboro citizens have talked about "change" for several years.  Many are disgusted to the point of "no hope" and those who can leave are.  Compare the demographic changes to our city the past 35 years.  Read the city's own Trends and Development reports since 1980.  The statistics are startling.  Yet Greensboro citizens are either in a politically induced coma or they simply like being led around by their noses and allow local cronies or opportunistic antagonists to tell them HOW to vote.
     Do the politically "elite" run the show here?  You betcha!  And here's a news flash for you; they don't all live in Old Irving Park.  Members of the "club" come from all corners of our city and the worst ones prey on lower income citizens.  The local Pulpit Forum controls a large part of the east Greensboro voting block simply by telling its' parishioners "who" to vote for; not "why" to vote for them just "who".  It works too.  Joblessness and poverty continues to grip east Greensboro yet the same old promises that we hear every campaign season are still the rallying cries though rarely do you here anything about them after the election is over.  Whether it's work training centers, affordable housing or job creation, east side voters fall for the same old shtick only to see the same old nothing.  Instead they are creatively diverted to issues in the State General Assembly or social issues, some warranted but many not so.
     In an interview with News and Record columnists Allen Johnson and Doug Clark during the 2015 election, I was asked by Mr. Clark if I felt as if I were running against a "team effort" by the incumbents.  My immediate answer was a resounding YES!  When the new candidates go to the political forums sponsored by varying groups in our city, you will hear things from the incumbents  like "our current council works together better than any council we have ever had".  You will hear it from EVERY incumbent candidate.  They want to keep the club together.  What is more apparent is that the movers and shakers in Greensboro (i.e. the developers) all agree with them.  One such developer who is a registered Republican, donated to every incumbent campaign in 2015 except for Mike Barber's; that's 7 Democrats and one Republican.  Now why else would he do that unless he was "happy" with how the sitting council was benefiting his business?  And he is not the only one.  Who is making money downtown?  Who stands to gain from saturating the city with retail businesses that produce little to no career jobs that have benefits?  When the movers and shakers are loading up local incumbent campaign funds with tens of thousands of dollars, how do new candidates get their messages, ideas and more importantly the failed resumes of incumbents to the voting public?  Without in depth, impartial and fair media coverage, the answer is they don't.
     These local forums are also a chance to see the incumbents exercise their best "team" ability; diversion.  During the last campaign I consistently brought up Greensboro's depressing economic numbers.  They have not changed the past 2 years.  Greensboro is last compared to cities our size or even smaller in several economic categories; poverty, new job creation, tax rate, new businesses, unemployment to name a few.  What's more, the Trends and Development report published by the city annually confirms these numbers.  Greensboro's home ownership rate is 50% or less now.  Where are the property tax revenues coming from?  Did your water rates go up?  Property taxes?  Since 1980, those who can afford to move usually do.  Students from our many colleges and universities are no longer staying because there are no jobs or careers.  High school graduates are going off to college and not returning.  The millennial population in Greensboro has declined 9% since 2010.  Mass job producing businesses find Greensboro as an "unfriendly" place to locate.  The Mayor trumpeted Honda Jet as a city success in 2015; how many residents of east Greensboro or Greensboro in general was hired by Honda Jet?  How many of their "relocated employees" moved into the city?
     Yet when I would point out these economic numbers, the incumbents did not challenge me on them.  They simply changed the topic to other issues, mainly NC General Assembly bills in which they had zero control.  They did not want to talk about their record of lack of achievement.
     This year there was a noticeable increase in candidates filing for city office.  Several have already packed it in.  Want to know who is in the club?   Look no further than Jamal Fox's replacement for example.  Mr. Fox backed Tim Vincent as a replacement to fill out his term.  The council chose Goldie Wells, a long time political figure in the city.  Mr. Vincent filed to run for election in District 2 as Ms. Wells supposedly had no intention of running.  Ms. Wells switched her position and filed; Mr. Vincent compliantly withdrew.  Wonder who the east side elite club members are endorsing?
     To oust an incumbent in this city, you either have to start raising money and support years in advance or gain the approval of the club elite.  You somehow have to identify the pitiful 11% of the city's population that bothers to vote, then hope the club elite have not sufficiently mobilized their voting block.  Then to be effective you have to hope that scenario manifests itself at least in five races.  That has happened once that I can recall the past several years.  What is even worse is that some of the candidates running are frighteningly worse than some of the incumbents.  Without the perfect storm, Greensboro's city council will not get one iota better.  Unfortunately, with some of the candidates running it could get a whole lot worse. Social issues will continue to dominate council business meetings further deteriorating and undermining any possible improvements and special interests will continue to dominate decisions.  Now that we have moved to four year terms, Greensboro's rate of decay will accelerate.
     Greensboro is not only in need of new leadership and ideas, it is in need of any leadership or ideas.  It is my hope and prayer that the Greensboro electorate will heed the call for significant action and change.  It is my belief that they will not.
     Drug addicts often have to hit rock bottom before they can actually get help.  Greensboro is an "addicted city".  Like Detroit, it is headed for rock bottom.  If the chain of bad electoral decisions is not broken soon, it is just a matter of time before Greensboro founders.  We are "circling the drain" with no plug in sight.                

22 comments:





  1. Holy Hell, how does one comment through the masses of loyal followers of profit marc "racists do not bother me" ridgill.

    Mike Barber will be humiliated as his bloated, elitist, racist ass deserves, I am heating up the tar and are sourcing feathers as we speak.

    We need the most radical socialists we can pack the council with to defeat the rich lazy moochers who are screwing over everybody else (you included) remeber compared to the Marty Kotis and Roy Carol scumbags we are ALL peasants.

    you STILL have not bothered to properly condemn white supremacy, you spent a whopping;y underwhelming half a paragraph on the subject. Obviously that does not offend you as much as you briefly pretended it did. but you have to get in your jabs about "radical" (black) candidates.

    Where is your ranting and raving about the need to wipe out the Klan. You think there are "many sides" too?

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  2. I condemned the Klan. You havent condemned Antifa.

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    1. Antifi is a heroic, anti fascist group, they need to be promoted NOT condemned.

      Delete
  3. Right. The left wing double standard.

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  4. I am intolerant of the intolerance of the white supremacists, exterminate them all.

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  5. If you oppose antifa, you are by default and definition fascist. Thank you for proving my point for me.

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  6. What a dumb thing to say. Who writes this stuff for you because no one human being can be that stupid.

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    1. My statement is irrefutable, sound logic at it's most basic. Yet you refute it. Genius............

      What part of anti fascism bothers you, the anti racism, the anti authoritarianism or the anti elitism?? (Hint you are not rich enough to be a target for anti elitists)

      You are siding with those who hold you back.

      Delete
  7. Here is a candidate to support. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ukv9v7IGZw

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  8. There is nothing "logical" about anything you represent. Every time you type or speak you reveal yourself to be the uneducated fool you are.

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  9. Stop dodging questions
    What part of anti fascism bothers you, the anti racism, the anti authoritarianism or the anti elitism?? (Hint you are not rich enough to be a target for anti elitists)

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  10. I am wondering how the logic of saying that people who oppose anti fascists are themselves fascist escapes you.

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  11. And Im wondering how someone who opposes violent hate filled idiots such as the Klan hypocritically supports another violent hate filled sheet wearing group that is cowardly antifa and also advocates violence on his anonymous, gutless snd cowardly facebook page toward police and white people. Actually Im not wondering. You are an uneducated idiot that talks out of both sides of his mouth.

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  12. Yet another false equivalency, Any actions I reccomend toward police is purely defensive. You say "hates the KKK" like that is somehow bad. You are a bootlicker who thinks that black people should just shut up about white supremacy.

    If you think I am gutless come see me, we've had this chat before but you are too much of a cowardly stooge to meet me face to face. Gotta take your jabs, defending racism and police brutality.

    What is your weak "he should have obeyed" excuse for the latest GPD attack on black people. This guy has a clean record so what flimsy, pathetic "reason" will you use this time. https://triad-city-beat.com/complaint-gpd-profiled-escalated-conflict-black-men-downtown/

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  13. Lol. You would shit your britches if I ever walked up to you. Thats hilarious. You dont even have the guts to post under your own name Brian. Go cry some more crocodile tears to the Mayor.

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  14. Any old excuse will do. Why dont you come see for yourself how much shit is involved, besides you. Like i've told you before, I would call you shit but then I would get complaints from actual feces about you being bad for its reputation.

    The GPD's newest disgrace is just getting warmed up.

    Alvarez and his buddy committed perjury and assault. They have their GPD issued "get out of jail free" card so it will go like it always does.

    http://www.greensboro.com/news/crime/greensboro-police-reopen-investigation-into-officers-actions-after-video-of/article_590aaff4-1de3-5772-a2d1-207bcc1aab47.html

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  15. No, they didnt but truth has never been something you are interested in. Your agenda and hatred of the police is much more important to you than truth or even justice. You lead a sad, pathetic life.

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  16. So lying to a magistrate is not perjury. Classic. Of course based on your past statements, your knowledge of what is legal or illegal is feeble at best. Your consistently befuddled legal predictions have earned you the nickname "Nostradumbass". I remember claims of a "slam dunk conviction" regarding numerous issues that NEVER HAPPENED.

    You keep confusing the myriad reasons not to trust police with "hating them". Any ill feelings toward police is due to things I have personally seen police do and videos of police misconduct in other words, EXPERIENCE.

    Your agenda is to cover up for police misconduct by discrediting those who criticize police.

    Police are educated in discrediting critics. This is a decades old, well documented ILLEGAL tactic. Label ANYONE who criticizes police as an "agitator". Label black people who speak out against racism as "extremists"

    Yes I am such a terrible person for not wanting police to beat up, kill, railroad so many fucking people. THAT'S JUSTICE. Justice bears little relation to the free pass police get thanks to apologists like you defending police brutality and murder.

    Still refusing to call for action against white supremacy I see. You have spent more time blabbering in the last day than you have EVER spent denouncing terrorist white supremacists. Very revealing indeed.

    Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck

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  17. And your evidence is what??? Absolutely none. You tell lies as big as your buddy Nelson claiming to have been stabbed. You have no credibility. You live in your own made up reality. Type away. Done on this thread. Can argue with a psychotic buffoon. But thanks for revealing yourself as the irrational unimportant rube that you are. See you next article Brian Drew Watkins of 1903 Taylor Street.

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    1. Your only possible reason to publish names and addresses is to threaten and endanger to silence. But you still have your GPD issued get out of jail free card so no worries for you I guess.

      You mention psychotic buffoons, you are clearly referring to the pussy grabber in chief.

      You have no evidence to refute what the media has reported about Alverez and his purjurous remarks to the magistrate.

      If I were petty I would publish YOUR address, as a property owner (property which BTW is NOT immune to liens or other punitive judgement action) it is a matter of public record. But hey, any desperate act will do for you.

      Delete
  18. Lol. I aint remotely worried about punitive actions from you. And if you rely on snything our media published being fact you are a bigger dumbass than Even I thought

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    1. Ahh. So its "fake news", anything not published by the KKK approved rhino times is "fake news" got it

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