Saturday, November 26, 2016

Skip Alston, Earl Jones and friends "who asked to defend council redistricting suit now want out"

"...nine local residents who last year successfully lobbied to become defendants in City of Greensboro v. Guilford County Board of Elections asked the court to let them withdraw.

The group, led by former Guilford County Commissioner Melvin “Skip” Alston and former City Councilman Earl Jones, filed the motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro.

Their motion says that circumstances have changed since they asked to be named defendants in October 2015 and that any further defense on their part “would be futile.”

Greensboro Citizens for Fair Election held a news conference Thursday afternoon
in support of House Bill 236, which is now law, 
asking city council members to stop their lawsuit.

Republican Party activist Marcus Kindley led the conference 
followed by comments from former city councilman Jim Kee, 
Lake Jeanette resident Lynn Benzy, 
former Guilford County commissioner and chairman Skip Alston 
and former NC House Representative Earl Jones.

...The group had originally said the legislature’s redistricting plan in Greensboro more fairly represents minority voters than the council’s current setup.

Skip and Earl found themselves on the wrong side of their community,
as Greensboro's African American's were misled by Greensboro's News and Record

...The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 9.

The matter stems from something that happened in mid-2015 in Raleigh.

The state legislature passed a law that drew eight new voting districts for the Greensboro City Council. It eliminated the council’s three at-large members, those elected by all city voters.

This new-look council would have eight members elected from those newly drawn districts and a mayor, elected by all city voters but unable to vote on proceedings except in the case of a tie.

Which would benefit Greensboro's African American community,
which the Republican's may have just figured out, 
which would be a reason to not defend the law, 
as it would put more (real) African American's on the City Council

The city and six local residents soon filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, saying that the redistricting plan “substantially impairs the city of Greensboro and its citizens’ rights to self-governance.”

Doesn't it seem better to have eight small districts
for an individual to knock on every door,
than a few City wide swings votes for sale to the highest bidders
like Marty Kotis, Roy Carroll, Koury and Jim Melvin?

Days later, the city persuaded a federal judge to stop the law from going into effect in 2015. No one acted as defendant during that hearing because the state refused to provide attorneys.

Maybe because Trudy Wade and friends figured out
the eight district map was not in the best interests of Republicans,
but in the best interests of those they sought to disenfranchise.

Guiford County, meanwhile, was saying it wasn’t the right legislative body to defend the lawsuit. County attorneys argued that they wouldn’t have the legal authority to make the redistricting plan go away if the city won.

The new eight district map
is better than the current oligarch controlled
Barber, Johnson and Abuzuaiter at large votes. 

Enter the nine “intervenor-defendants,” who said their interest as city residents and voters wasn’t being adequately represented by Guilford County’s role as defendant.

More expensive races = more control for the big money.

Less expensive races = more control for more than less.

The city and the other set of residents have continued with the lawsuit to stop the new district lines from going into effect for the 2017 council election.

Greensboro's redistricting messed up the City's crony pay to play and corrupt connections,
which in my view, was the purpose of doing it,
which is why Kotis, Melvin and even Carroll went against.

In other news related to the lawsuit, a judge also on Wednesday scolded state legislators for not complying with his order to give him a detailed description of documents they say are too privileged for even him to see.

The only ones crying racism after most realize what happened 
were those with something to lose.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Webster said the descriptions, called privilege logs, are “woefully inadequate for the court to properly assess whether the privileges asserted are applicable.”

Mike Barber said Tony Wilkins was in on the bill, 
which means barber lied to the News and Record which didn't call Barber on it
which means the News and Record sacrificed credibility
to keep a corrupted political system in place for Jim Melvin etc... 

The legislators, all Republicans, include members of the Guilford County delegation: state Reps. John Faircloth and Jon Hardister, and state Sen. Trudy Wade.

As if most folks have any real idea what has occurred,
as our paper of record slanted the story.

Think Allen Johnson will admit 
the redistricting is  pretty good for Greensboro Blacks?

The plaintiffs had demanded to see the documents that Wade, Faircloth, Hardister and other legislators used to redraw the lines, including drafts of the bill, the rationale for filing it, information on voting patterns, maps and emails.

Greensboro's News and Record is acting in the best interests
of Greensboro's white democratic power players
at the expense of Greensboro's black population.

The legislators’ attorneys said they already had provided all the information that’s not covered by legislative privilege.

Greensboro's News and Record is acting in the best interests
of Greensboro's black City Council incumbents
at the expense of Greensboro's black population

In September, Webster ordered the “privilege log” as a compromise.

The new eight district map is better than the current oligarch controlled
Barber, Johnson and Abuzuaiter at large votes.

But the legislators kept fighting. They said the log would create a “chilling effect” on confidential communication between lawmakers and staff members, attorneys for the legislators responded in a court filing.

The current five-district system has two minority-majority districts, 
and in 33 years only one African American,  City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson, 
has ever been elected at large in Greensboro.

Earl Jones ...said, “The simplistic answer to why I’m in favor of the plan 
is that there is more power for black citizens 
under the new system than the old system.  

Four districts out of eight is more than two districts out of eight.

John Hammer

Webster said he found that argument “unpersuasive,” and and ordered them to turn in the log.

They did so earlier this month, but didn’t provide enough detail to satisfy Webster.
His order Wednesday gives them until 5 p.m. Dec. 7 to provide those details. He said that if they don’t comply he’ll waive their right to privilege altogether.

If our City wasn't as crooked as it is, I would defend the status quo, but Greensboro's big money contributors who enjoy the financial benefits of owning Council members are very interested in keeping Greensboro's districts just as under their control as it is now.

Put the state's shameful process on a shelf, and the net positive in the near term should be a less corrupt Council by ridding City taxpayers of some who have personally benefited from their elected posts.

The process was shameful, but the end product deserves a try.

It's better to have eight small districts for individuals to knock on doors than a few City wide at large swing votes for sale to the highest bidders.

More expensive races equal more control for Greensboro's big contributors who profit from taxpayer ignorance, and less expensive smaller races equates to more control for everyone else.

If you are one of Greensboro's African Americans, this redistricting scheme is the best thing to happen for Greensboro's Black's in decades.  Greensboro will have at least 3 minority districts.  The City had 3 of 9 African American votes before, which was 33%.  Now minorities can have at least 3 of 8, which is 37.5%

4 of 8 minority Council votes are likely, which would give Greensboro's African American community half of the voting seats.  Those citing racism after most realize the actual benefits are most likely those with something to personally lose.

The News and Record and Rhino's coverage of Redistricting instead of the repeal of the Protest Petition kept attention away from where crony interests who control City Council make money.

Why wasn't there a referendum for the Performing Arts Center which Roy Carroll and friends are set to profit from?  I'll take "we shall see" over blatant unreported, non prosecuted corruption any day.  The less power our rulers have to line their own pockets, the better."

From what I can tell, you must not have done your due diligence on the statistics yet.  The last backlash election was 2011, when Robbie Perkins beat Bill Knight on the White Street landfill issue.  I have the stats if you are interested.  g"

2. Also on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Triad City Beat's Eric Ginsburg wrote that in the late 1960's;

"George Simkins, a black civil rights pioneer, put forward the first of several proposals to modify the election process that went before voters. His idea: scrap at-large representation altogether, expanding the number of seats on council to create 12 districts and a mayor elected at large."

3. On July 11, 2015, I sent a "reply to all" email to the same individuals at the Southern Coalition for Justice, which began with;

"I went through the stats in this one; Must Read; Attorney Samuel Spagnola on "internecine race conflicts within the Democratic Party" and Greensboro's Redistricting" including a link to which stated [GH; out of order];

"Top two at large vote recipients by the new Districts, with the candidate who won the most votes in 2011 when Robbie Perkins won over Bill Knight over the White Street Landfill issue.

Winners listed first and second,
which backs up the demographic numbers from the new districts
which suggests Blacks will control four City Council seats;

1.  Johnson and Abuzuaiter 5.  Johnson and Chris Lawyer
2.  Johnson and Abuzuaiter 3.  Nancy Vaughan and Johnson
4.  Johnson and Abuzuaiter 7.  Chris Lawyer and Danny Thompson
6.  Johnson and Abuzuaiter 8.  Chris Lawyer and Nancy Vaughan
Top two at large vote recipients by District [2013],
with the candidate who won the most votes listed first;

1. Johnson and Abuzuaiter 3. Barber and Johnson
2. Johnson and Abuzuaiter 5. Barber and Johnson
4. Johnson and Abuzuaiter 7. Barber and Chris Lawyer
6. Johnson and Abuzuaiter 8. Barber and Chris Lawyer
2011 race between Bill Knight and Robbie Perkins by the new Districts, listing the candidate who won each district which also backs up the demographic numbers suggesting blacks should control four of the new districts;

1.  Perkins 3,388 to 606 for Bill Knight     3.  Perkins 3,201 to 3,074
2.  Perkins 2,791 to 812 for Bill                 5.  Knight 2,349 to 1,711 for Perkins
4.  Perkins 3,214 to 421                             7.  Knight 3,401 to 2,147 for Perkins
6.  Perkins 1,752 to 1,115 for Knight          8.  Knight 4,329 to 2,884 for Perkins
[GH, not from the email; The majority of both Johnson and Abuzuaiter's constituents were African American in 2011 and 2013, as well as Robbie Perkins' against Bill Knight in 2011 over the White Street Landfill reopening issue.]

From the Board of Elections;

DISTRICT 1 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 25,852, Dem; 18,575, Rep; 1,648, Una; 5,552, Black; 19,649, White; 4133

DISTRICT 2 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 20,718, Dem; 14,189, Rep; 2162, Una; 4,299, Black; 14,297, White; 4,985

DISTRICT 4 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 24,166, Dem; 18,057, Rep; 1,298, Una; 4,710, Black; 18,773, White; 3,539

DISTRICT 6 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 20,545, Dem; 12,262, Rep; 2,803, Una; 5,374, Black; 10,280, White; 7,784
More Dems in District 6 today than in 2011
when Robbie Perkins won over Bill Knight
over the White Street Landfill issue.

2011; DISTRICT 6 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 19,453, Dem; 11,941, Rep; 3,170, Una; 4,306, Black; 9,025, White; 8,723

2015; DISTRICT 6 most probable winner; A Black Democrat
Total Voters; 20,545, Dem; 12,262, Rep; 2,803, Una; 5,374, Black; 10,280, White; 7,784

More Blacks in District 6 today than in 2011
when Robbie Perkins won over Bill Knight
over the White Street Landfill issue.

Fewer Republicans in District 6 today than in 2011
when Robbie Perkins won over Bill Knight
over the White Street Landfill issue.

Fewer Whites in District 6 today than in 2011
when Robbie Perkins won over Bill Knight
over the White Street Landfill issue.
By my count from numbers
provided by Guilford County's Board of Elections
that's four Black Democrats, which confirms what Spag is saying."

How Zack Matheny got the taxpayer funded DGI job.

Greensboro Registered Voters by Party, Gender and Race under Greensboro's New Eight Districts

[Samuel 'Spag' Spagnola on Mayor Nancy Vaughan's Facebook page];  "The opposition to this is being driven by white Democrat incumbents who are worried that they will have to compete with black Democrats. ...This bill will still likely result in at least four black Democrat council members at the expense of white Democrats.  This isn't about partisanship, it's about internecine race conflicts within the Democratic Party.

The hoopla about racial representation within the City as whole is a smoke screen.  The reason for the frivolous suit is to get an injunction before there is an election where the result of such election would prove exactly what I am saying- there will not be fewer black Democrats on City Council, but there may very well be fewer white Democrats.  It seems that a lot of white Democrats prefer the plantation system where black Democrats are strategically placed in districts so as not to compete with white Democrats.

They want to give blacks token power, but just not enough power to interfere with the agenda of white power brokers in the Democratic Party.  It works the same way on the state and federal level.  Keep the blacks in their place by giving the appearance of looking out for their interests (assuming that all blacks have the same interests) while lecturing others about alleged racism.  It has worked spectacularly well, but I sense that many blacks are catching on to this racket.

There is no civil rights violation.

This is about the City arguing that the legislature does not have the right to do what the law clearly allows it to do.  Always ask what is the end result, the goal if you will.  It comes down to one thing- protecting incumbents and/or ensuring that lines are drawn to help white Democrats remain competitive in a city that has a large black Democrat population... It would be a grand theory to justify it as the standard for an injunction is "immediate and irreparable harm" Question who faces "immediate and irreparable harm"?

Since nobody has a right to win an election or a right to a "safe seat", I don't see how this could meet that standard.  If it were so, then wouldn't all candidates seek an injunction on the basis that if they might possibly lose, they would face immediate and reparable harm?"

Samuel (Spag) Spagnola

Mayor Vaughan's Lie To Greensboro Minorities And Liberals

The big money D and R contributors are very interested in keeping the Greensboro's districts just like they are.

From a Facebook thread on Greensboro's redistricting

[Susan Ladd, Greensboro News and Record]; "three of the six sitting council members — including two of the four black representatives — will lose their seats because they will be facing each other in the same district."

This is particularly rich in irony when you recall that Wade claimed her original bill would increase minority representation.

"Its redistricting aspects likely violate the Voting Rights Act by packing black voters into two districts."
N&R; "Greensboro council says HB 263 redistricting is ...racist", which isn't true.

...Some argued ...the changes were ...designed to limit minority representation on the City Council.

[Greensboro At-Large Councilwoman Yvonne Johnson]; ...“When you look at a map where all four black City Council members are drawn into districts where they have to face each other, it’s not a coincidence,” Johnson said. “It smells of racism to me.”

“Segregation was legal.  Slavery was legal,” “But it wasn’t right.”  “I’m going to stand up for what is right, come hell or high water”
Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, drawn into District 1 with Outling, agreed. “It’s racism, and it’s partisanship,” she said.

...“In the last 24 hours I’ve heard overwhelmingly from people who want us to pursue all of our legal options,” Vaughan said. “There are very few people who are happy about this.”

Like Greensboro's citizens are going to call the Mayor 
and tell her what she doesn't want to hear.

4. After receiving multiple examples of actual votes within the new districts by Greensboro's registered voters, the Southern Coalition for Justice and Brooks Pierce cited only Voting Age Population statistics to the Court in item 44 of their complaint, instead of actual registered voters and registered voters who actually voted in the prior two elections which they had access to, and chose not to cite, misleading the Court and tarnishing Plaintiff's legal arguments by using non-relevant, non-specific, un-sourced and un-dated data, after being provided detailed, current and sorted prior data from the Guilford County Board of Elections.

At present, the Greensboro City Council 
includes four African-American members, 
roughly in proportion with the racial makeup of the city’s residents, 
42.34% of whom are African-American or mixed-race African-American.

...the Greensboro Act pairs all four African-American incumbents 
in a district with another African-American incumbent.

Plaintiffs' July 13, 2015 Case 1:15-cv-00559 filing

On June 16, 2015, WFMY News 2 reported "Justin Outling Replaces Zack Matheny On Greensboro City Council", which stated "Greensboro City Council appointed Justin Outling to replace Zack Matheny as the District 3 representative." and "Council voted 7-2 in favor of Outling's appointment. Outling will serve out the remainder of Matheny's term, which ends this year." and "Outling plans to run for the District 3 seat in November."

Justin Outling was not elected, but appointed.

Zack Matheny is/was a white Republican now living in a different district, rendering Plaintiff's arguments associated with past, current or future racial disparities associated with Greensboro's minority makeup and incumbent residential locations purposefully misleading to the Court.


1. The City of Greensboro's attempt to use racial disparity to prevent an upcoming redistricted City
Council election is specious, as detailed in Items 1-5 in Facts.

2. Plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order should be denied, as the City's other arguments against the State's legislation, some of which may be valid, are not contingent on immediate injunctive relief, which would prohibit the revised Greensboro City Council redistricted election from occurring, which would likely enable four minority City Council seats, as detailed in Items 1-5 in Facts.

Respectfully submitted, Tuesday, July 14, 2015.

George Hartzman, Pro Se