Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rhino Roy Carroll Redistricting Spin Watch, by John Hammer

"...It was odd that during the meeting with the council, with all the players in one room, the issue of Senate Bill 36 – which changes the way the City Council is elected – barely came up.

...The councilmembers theoretically are the leaders of the community.  How can you lead if you are scared to death to have a discussion with somebody because you might disagree?  If any further proof was needed that there are huge problems on the City Council, here it is.

...The council could have walked out of that room with a lot of answers; instead they walked out not knowing any more than when they walked in.  Apparently there was absolutely no reason for the two groups to meet.

...No one including Wade expects Senate Bill 36 to make it through the state Senate and House without changes.

In fact Wade said that after hearing from people at the public hearing and others by email and phone she has decided to alter her plan for Greensboro City government to remove veto power from the mayor.

...She said that by removing the veto power from the mayor, her bill would set up the city government in Greensboro to be very similar to the current government in Winston-Salem.  The big difference there is that Winston-Salem has eight districts and a mayor at large and Wade’s bill divides Greensboro into seven districts and a mayor at large.  With the change both mayors will only vote in the case of a tie.

...A good number of people had a lot to say about Senate Bill 36, and some of their comments were based on bad information that has been circulated by people who oppose this plan along with everything the Republicans do in Raleigh.

...Other reports have indicated that the room was full of people only to speak against Senate Bill 36, but that was far from true. ...But many people did come to speak about the City Council redistricting plan...

The Democrats have always been good at getting a crowd out to oppose Republican causes and this was no exception.  The Democrats did a great job of getting people to city hall and providing them with talking points.

...Bob Weinberg said that he opposed Wade’s bill and added, “I also voted for the current system that we have right now.”  That is the kind of misinformation that is being spread around.  He didn’t vote for the current plan because he wasn’t on the City Council...

...A number of district plans were put before voters between 1973 and 1983, but they all failed.  In 1981, the voters of Greensboro elected an all-white City Council.  The Justice Department told Greensboro it could not annex more territory unless it changed to a more representative form of government.

...Alston said that under Senate Bill 36 there are three minority-majority districts and that two other districts have substantial black populations, meaning those councilmembers cannot ignore the issues important to black voters.

The mainstream media are constantly writing about the fact that Republicans who were in favor of nonpartisan redistricting when they were in the minority are now in favor of keeping things the way they are with the majority party getting to draw the lines.

What I have yet to see in a mainstream newspaper is something about a Democrat who was in favor of partisan redistricting and now that the Democrats are in the minority suddenly thinking it should be nonpartisan.

They all switched sides, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
Next time [Susan] Ladd writes about Wade I bet she calls her a sexagenarian.
The Greensboro City Council in a special meeting held Wednesday, Feb. 18, unanimously passed two resolutions in opposition to Senate Bill 36 filed by state Sen. Trudy Wade to revamp the way the council is elected.

The only surprise is that the motions passed unanimously...

...After the meeting Wilkins said, “I don’t oppose Senate Bill 36.  I don’t support or oppose Senate Bill 36.”  He said he voted for the resolution “Because I’m not opposed to the referendum.”

...It was confusing to have the one person who had stood up for Senate Bill 36 to vote against it.

...Wade has said that after the public hearing and after talking to others she has decided to take the veto for the mayor out of the bill, and, also, the city clerk was inadvertently put in the bill and the language about the city clerk will be removed.