Pete's Prep: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Asheville Democrats demand single-party control

The people in control of Asheville government and politics say a poll of their voters shows support for keeping them in control.

At a luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, state lawmakers discussed the plan to create district elections for City Council. 

In the Citizen-Times story, NC Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D) cited a referendum in the last election as proof that voters didn't want districts.

She noted that "not a single precinct" in the city, including those in South Asheville where backing for districts appears to be strongest, gave the idea a majority. Citywide, 75 percent voted against districts.

"There are reasons for district elections, to give individual groups of people more voice, but there are also reasons for at large elections, so that the City Council acts in the best interest of the entire city," Van Duyn said.

Of course, using a ballot referendum to determine minority representation in government is monumentally stupid. But this has been the approach preferred by Democrats in this debate.

If the City Council were to reflect the population is serves, it would have at least one Republican on the body. It does not, though. The system is meant to protect the Democratic candidates and incumbents by only allowing three seats to be voted upon at one time.

If all six of the Council seats were up for election at the same time (rather than the staggered system currently employed), it would give a Republican a chance to win one seat.

But one seat is too many.

She drew applause from the audience when she said the choice should be made locally instead of in Raleigh: "I think the City of Asheville is in the best position to make that decision and I just wish the General Assembly would give them more opportunity to do that."

The General Assembly did, actually.

The City Council refused to even consider developing a district-based plan.

Instead, Council put a question on the ballot - in an election where the most people turning out to vote would be Democrats.

Because that's how the system is designed.

"Lynching memorial" opens in Alabama

I think this is a good thing, and long overdue.

For the hanged and beaten.

For the shot, drowned, and burned.

For the tortured, tormented, and terrorized.

For those abandoned by the rule of law.

We will remember.

With hope, because hopelessness is the enemy of justice.

With courage, because peace requires bravery.

With persistence, because justice is a constant struggle.

With faith, because we shall overcome.


[Today], in Montgomery, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice will open to the public. A stunning - and sobering - six-acre park overlooking the city, the project spearhead by the Equal Justice Initiative is the first memorial in the country dedicated to the stories of more than 4,400 documented lynching victims.

In a press preview on Monday, Bryan Stevenson, EJI founder and executive director, drew parallels to Holocaust memorials in Germany, Stevenson discussed the importance of engaging with a true history, and signaling to the world "never again."

As visitors walk around the memorial, the path gradually descends so that the monuments shift from eye level to a hanging display overhead. The steel columns are designed to weather and change color over time. From a distance, each looks the same, but as you approach them you see different imperfections, variations and colorations, evoking the reality that while this was a massive national tragedy, the victims were individuals. The visual effect is the sensation of looking at hundreds of brown bodies hanging above you.

If we are to erect and protect monuments about Southern - and American - heritage in order to honor the past and learn from our ancestors' mistakes, then we need more monuments to different people, too.

This is a good start.

Charlotte official is a "9/11 Truther"

North Carolina's PolitiFact franchise just rated Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield "Pants on Fire" for her comments about the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks.

It started with a Facebook post, where Mayfield said there's been no plane wreckage ever recovered from the World Trade Center site.

She appeared on the WCNC show “Flashpoint” to discuss the post. When asked directly about the post — "Do you believe the planes took down those towers?" — Mayfield dodged the question.

"What I believe is that we lost Americans during this event. What I believe is that after this event, our nation identified a segment of our community and said this community is now terrorists. And from that moment, we have been saying 'terrorists, terrorists, terrorists,'" Mayfield said. But, she added, "white Americans who have committed mass killings since that time" were not called "terrorists."

It’s unclear what, exactly, Mayfield believes happened on 9/11.

She didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. When reached by phone Wednesday, Mayfield said the email likely went into a folder she created for 9/11-related emails and that she hadn’t seen it. She then declined to comment on her Facebook post, saying she was walking into a meeting.

The “three-day news cycle” has passed, Mayfield said, adding “I’m trying to tackle this housing crisis.”

It is clear, however, that planes hit the Twin Towers and caused them to collapse. 

In her defense, Mayfield probably assumed that her Democratic privilege extended to 9/11 Trutherism.

It apparently does not.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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