Green and Issacson on Green

Reporter Jordan Green weighs in on Wharton’s criticism of his recent Yes!Weekly article about developers and politics in Greensboro.  Green says this about the point of view of his article…

“…My approach with this story was a bit unorthodox in that I clearly took a stance: It’s a broadside. I’m as interested in provoking a discussion as reciting facts….”

An excellent discussion has indeed been provoked at Wharton’s spurred on by an informed anonymous contributor.  Green’s article also provoked a chance sidewalk conversation downtown today between attorney Mark Isaacson and myself. 

Mark was just a little miffed at Green’s dot connecting between local campaign contributions and the city council’s overwhelming tendancy to vote in favor of he and his father’s rezoning cases.   (I’m paraphrasing parts of our very pleasant conversation below because I didn’t have a notebook on my way to lunch at Fincastle’s)

“The reason we are so successful before council is because of all the work we put into making the projects we represent the best they can be.  …We should be 26 for 26, not 26 for 25. (a reference to Green’s reporting of the Issacsons’ 2-year win/loss record before Council)  …We do tons of legwork on the front end and we work closely with staff to improve our client’s plans before Council ever takes them up for consideration.”, the barrister offered. 

He continued, “The suggestion that those people who serve so unselfishly on council can be swayed to favor rezoning cases simply because of a $500 campaign donation is reprehensible.  …They deserve a lot more credit than that.  So does the quality of our work.  ….We turn down a lot of cases because in our opinion they don’t make sense and don’t deserve to be heard.”

I hope the discussion continues.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted May 31, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    “…My approach with this story was a bit unorthodox in that I clearly took a stance

    he always does..green is a supporter not a reporter..see surveillance..I was shocked he didnt try to tie it back to nov 3 1979.

  2. Posted June 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Thought I would mention for anyone interested in checking my research or doing their own analysis that the spreadsheets itemizing city council votes and campaign contributionss are now posted at the end of my article. To Jim Rosenberg: In regards to the Simkins PAC’s mighty influence over city council, I have a spreadsheet on economic developent socked away for a future story that shows Steve Bowden speaking before the council in favor of redeveloping the Carolina Circle Mall for Wal-Mart. I can’t recall whether Steve is a contributor or not. Make of it what you will.

  3. Jim Rosenberg
    Posted June 4, 2007 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Jordan: Thanks. I once muttered that Paris Hilton ought to be in jail, but I don’t think I caused it to happen. I also doubt there is any sort of one-to-one correspondency between these modest campaign contributions and particular votes. I do, however, think that the fainting spells experienced by some over the scourge of “identity politics” fails to recognize that identity gets rolled in packages of pedigree, class, and profession as well as race.

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  1. [...] Troublemaker has the best line, over at Hoggard’s: ..green is a supporter not a reporter..see surveillance..I was shocked he didnt try to tie it back [...]