Is Brawley anti-government?

Bill Brawley is already making waves in North Carolina politics despite  having been elected just a couple of weeks ago. On Sunday, he was quoted by a Charlotte Observer reporter in an article called “Lean Times: The New Normal.”

“We only have so much money,” he says. “We have to prioritize the spending. If that means some things that had been funded aren’t, it’s unfortunate. But it’s not something over which we have control.”

He’s then re-quoted by Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch, a left-leaning public policy organization. Fitzsimon argues that the Republican mission is inherently anti-government and that philosophy will lead to heavy cuts in services that will directly hurt people, especially those on the lower socioeconomic rung of the ladder. His solution to the $3 billion+ budget shortfall is to find additional revenue—in other words, raise certain taxes including cigarette, alcohol, and add a new tax on services. Continue reading


Sue Myrick votes early at the South Park library

If you are Sue Myrick, this is about the highlight of the election season: Voting early at the library. That’s because barring a catastrophe, she will easily get reelected to represent the 9th District for Congress. Myrick is so confident in her reelection that she’s hardly spent a penny on advertising. Her opponent, Jeff Doctor of Charlotte, seems like a capable candidate. But the suburbs and Gastonia are Myrick country and until she decides to retire, it’s safe to say she will keep getting reelected. Photographer Ed McDonald grabbed these shots of Myrick as she was coming out of the library after voting.


Is the Mecklenburg County District Attorney the ‘top cop?’

This election marks the first time since 1975 that Peter Gilchrist will not be the District Attorney for Mecklenburg County. Instead, we have two candidates–Republican Andrew Murray and Democrat Michael Barnes–vying to be the next D.A.

A debate between the two at the Charlotte School of Law School last week posed an interesting question: Is the District Attorney the “top cop?” Murray argues no, while Barnes, in a round-about way, says yes.

From a WFAE transcript:

Murray: To call yourself the Top Cop as the head prosecutor is a fundamental misunderstanding of our rules of justice of our system. Our prosecutor should be nowhere close to the Top Cop. We have a Top Cop. His name is Rodney Monroe. His job is to make certain his individuals are trained and equipped to investigate, to arrest, to bring quality cases to the prosecutor, and that’s where it ends.

Barnes: I am not interested in protecting criminals. I have talked to Chief Monroe and I have talked to the other chiefs as I have mentioned and they very much understand and desire to have a collaboration where the DA’s office is working with them to make sure that the cases are strong. They are not saying ‘We don’t want you to have anything to do with us, we want to work with you.’ They want to work with the DA’s office in a healthy way. I’ve also talked to detectives who say they want to have a strong relationship with the DA’s office so that when they bring the case in the case is made stronger because of that collaboration, not necessarily taken apart. So, for my opponent to say that it is not appropriate that the DA have a good relationship with the…

Women in audience: He didn’t say that! He didn’t say that!

Barnes: …prosecutor to such a degree that he becomes the Top Cop, theoretically speaking, I think, is a mistake. My job as your DA is to protect the people of this county from people who are breaking the law, and that’s what I’ll do.


District 103 candidates debate tonight; interest heats up

Republican Bill Brawley and Democrat Ann Newman will go head-to-head tonight for the Lion’s Club debate at 7 pm at Jimmie’s Restaurant. The District 103 candidates have made a splash recently as both state Democrats and Republicans look to this race as a possible tipping point in gaining control of the N.C. House.
Meanwhile, Newman recently received the endorsement of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association. NCPBA President Randy Byrd said, “A vote for Ann Newman is a vote for the men and women of law enforcement and the citizens they serve.”


N.C. to test new voting system for those vying for N.C. Court of Appeals

As the Carolina Journal reports, the 13 candidates vying for the single spot on the NC Court of Appeals are in an unusual race this year. That’s because when Jim Wynn was appointed to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, there was not enough time to have a primary. So this year, we’ll see an “instant runoff” which allows voters to choose their first, second and third choices on the ballot. It’s the first time a U.S. state has used this system in a primary election. If it goes well, lawmakers will consider expanding its use to general elections.
Said Michael Munger, a Duke University professor and former Libertarian candidate for governor:

“The current system forces people to vote for someone they don’t like to keep the person they hate out of office,” Munger said. “We’re always voting our fears.” Instant runoff voting, he said, gives people the chance to “vote their dreams.”


Republicans hold rally at Jimmie’s Restaurant in Mint Hill

Bill Brawley talks to a supporter as photographers for local media organizations click away.

They are billing it as “100 days that will change North Carolina.” On November 2, we’ll know if they are right. Today was the latest stop on the Republican tour of North Carolina to raise support for N.C. House and Senate candidates. NCGOP Chairman Tom Fetzer, House Whip Thom Tillis, Sen. Bob Rucho and local candidates Bill Brawley (NC House 103) and Tommy Tucker (NC Senate 35) mingled with supporters at Jimmie’s Restaurant for lunch. Also in attendance were Mint Hill Commissioner Lloyd Austin, who lost to Brawley in the primary, and Mayor Ted Biggers who said he was there to welcome the GOP officials to Mint Hill.