City Council Non-Endorsements

I got a voicemail this evening from N&R head editorialist Allen Johnson apologetically explaining why he can’t run the column I submitted this week.  Previously unbeknown to me, Allen belatedly let me know they have a long-standing policy against allowing local columnists to endorse candidates.

I need to get me one them thar N&R policy manuals because this is the second time I’ve run afoul of the rules.  But rules is rules, so, again, I turn to my personal printing press.

I was thinking about arguing my case for having them print what follows because it is not technically an endorsement column… it is more like a non-endorsement column… but I know I would have lost the argument with Allen.  But as an added feature, and because I am not limited to 580 words on my own blog, I have included a bonus non-endorsement that I didn’t have room for in Wednesday’s N&R.  Wanna guess which one it was?

Anyway, here’s my opinion… make it yours…  Perhaps The Rhino Times will pick up my syndication for one week.  It’ll cost you, though, John.


Since you probably aren’t going to vote anyway… please, allow me.

I’ve been reading the Greensboro electorate’s tealeaves since the primary election whittled down the candidate field back in October and have a few observations. 

First and foremost, it is obvious from the 7% primary turnout that 93% of you decided it is OK for me and a few other die-hard voters to elect your representatives for you.  I really don’t mind taking on that responsibility in your stead but you don’t get to complain about my choices.

There is a definite undercurrent for change on our council.  Perhaps fueled by the drawn out claims and counter-claims surrounding former police chief David Wray’s resignation, many people I have spoken to are in a “throw the bums out� frame of mind.  But before we do that, let’s make sure that we aren’t just going to elect a different set of “bums�.


—If people in District 5 think long-time incumbent Sandy Carmany has over-stayed her welcome on the Council, she’d be a downright push over to vote out of office compared to her opponent: former County Commissioner Trudy Wade.  To my knowledge, Carmany has never lost an election.  But if she ever does I’m confident she will give up her seat with grace and dignity.  Wade has exhibited the unsettling proclivity to remain in her position of power by incurring never-ending strings of frivolous, taxpayer borne, legal bills that would choke a good-sized horse.

If you are considering voting Wade into office again, you might want to calculate how many police officer positions or other city services you are willing to forego should she come up on the short end the election stick in two years’ time.  She’s proven herself to be an expensive representative to get rid of.

—Coming out of the primaries, the front-runner in the at-large race is another former County Commissioner.  I’ve been a supporter of Mary Rakestraw during previous elections because of her up-front, no nonsense style, but so far she has lost me in her quest to take a seat to run my city.

Mary has done all she can to align herself against city manager Mitch Johnson citing his handling of the Wray situation.  Falling just short of calling for Johnson’s ouster, Rakestraw is precariously hitching her political future to the never-ending telling of Wray’s story in the Rhinoceros Times.

If she would only temper her opinion of Johnson by admitting she couldn’t possibly know the whole story until she gets elected, I’d get back in her camp.  If she would indicate her willingness to support the city manager if all of the for-council’s-eyes-only information confirms the two-year-long support of Johnson unanimously espoused by all nine of our current members, I’d put a sign in my yard for Mary in a heartbeat.  But as it stands now, being so sure of one’s position before becoming fully and officially informed of all sides of such an important issue is not a good quality to have as a councilwoman.

—In District 3, the obcenely well-funded Zack Matheny is just too young to be so slick.  Sure, I understand the appeal of ‘whiz kids’ and how much Greensboro needs the viewpoint of those 30-something ‘young professionals’, but for Zack to rise to prominence so fast and have so many of Greensboro’s well-to-do and influential people handing over so much money so readily just raises big red flags for me.

I know money doesn’t necessarily buy influence, but I’ve noticed that with my kids, it sure helps to keep them in line.

—Although the race for Mayor of Greensboro had all of the elements to become a real contest, that’s not how it ultimately panned out.

I like Milton Kern and all he has accomplished for Greensboro, but he hasn’t proved that he wants the job badly enough to gain my vote.

Going up against the formidable Yvonne Johnson, one would have expected Kern to raise and spend a bunch of money early on to win over votes.  Long labeled as the “Mayor of Downtown� Kern might have realized too late that Greensboro is a lot more than the 99 blocks that comprise our center city.  Yvonne Johnson knows all of Greensboro and it will show up at the polls.

I’m hoping that you agree with my opinions regarding the above three four races since the vast majority of you are going to let me cast your vote for you anyway.

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  1. Posted October 23, 2007 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Interesting non endorsements. On most we agree.

  2. Nick
    Posted October 23, 2007 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Great column. It is ashamed the N&R won’t publish it.

  3. joe wilson
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 9:20 am | Permalink


  4. Posted October 24, 2007 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Good boy.

  5. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    But Hoggman, there’s one important fact you leave out…how many policemen could we hire with the $3.7M that Carmany voted to spend on the Canada Dry Building? (which incidentally is owned by News & Record Editor John Robinson’s family who intend to print an endorsement Friday for GUESS WHO!)

  6. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 11:39 am | Permalink


  7. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Posted on John Robinson’s blog:

    Tony Wilkins said:

    Continued observation on your topic of “selling newspapers” to John Robinson:
    Wouldn’t Sandy Carmany’s support of using tax payer’s money to obtain land from your family (at a rate above appraisal) cause a conflict of interest with your paper’s planned endorsement of Carmany on Friday?

    Posted on October 24, 2007 1:21 PM

  8. Brenda Bowers
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Very good article David. I wish the N&R would have seen fit to run it. They have run so many others that I would say violate their “rules” far more than this one would have.BB

  9. dhoggard
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 5:08 pm | Permalink


    I don’t know about anyone else, but if I hear just one more time about the Robinsons of N&R fame’s property and the city’s consideration of it – I do think I’ll blow groceries all over my keyboard.

    If John Hammer owned the Canada Dry building, would it then be OK for the city to consider it?

    If the N&R’s Allen Johnson was selling the property I’d have some concerns, but… oh never mind.

    Brenda, thanks… but I have to ask: such as?

  10. Posted October 24, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I am puzzled about the interest in the Canada Dry property. As I understand it, it is owned by John Robinson’s wife and her brothers. It would seem to me that it is separate from John.

    Can woman not have business dealings that are separate from their husband’s?

  11. Fred Gregory
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi David,

    Allen won’t print anything negative about the Simkins PAC either. See my comment and link to Guarino.

    The Machine..Bad In Lot Of Ways

  12. jc
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Sandy has been in office since 1991. It would be interesting to know how many times she has voted to raise our property taxes and how many fees she has voted for.

    All I know is my property taxes keep going up. I would certainly vote for Sandy if I wanted my taxes increased.

  13. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Sure woman can.
    Woman did.
    Woman pushed YES button for large corporate incentive and voila!…husband got new job!
    Is this the “separate” you were speaking of or was there something else?
    I saw an ad with details of those numerous tax increases on page 9 of today’s Rhino.
    Sorry I made you puke. It was not intentional.

  14. Posted October 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the typo. It should have read “women.” When I make a mistake I admit it and try to correct it.

    I was referring to the issue you were talking about. The Canada Dry property is owned by JR’s wife. She is entitled to have her own business dealings separate from her husband.

  15. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    jw, the answer to your question is yes. (and I thought you were referring to “womanhood”, didn’t know it was a typo).
    Now that you bring up the subject of the husband’s job, how does that appear from the outside looking in?
    Sitting council member votes for large corporate incentive and husband gets job with same company. If there was a previous interest in employment might it have been proper to recuse? Not implying, just asking.
    Sandy’s bloggroupies have been a little quiet when this subject has been mentioned.
    I just didn’t think it seemed proper at the time.

    David, sorry to make you upchuck again, just when you got your keyboard clean.

  16. Posted October 26, 2007 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    There was not a “previous interest in employment.” The job happened to come up some time after the company was moving forward with their plans.

    “bloggroupies?” This medium has indeed spawned a language of its own.

  17. Posted October 26, 2007 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    “There was not a “previous interest in employment.â€? The job happened to come up some time after the company was moving forward with their plans.”

    And there’s absolutely no reason at all to suggest something improper took place and it’s all just a strange coincidence, right?

  18. Posted October 27, 2007 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Yes. Absolutely correct, Bubba! Thanks for helping me clear that up. You really can cut right to the heart of a matter. I appreciate it.

  19. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 27, 2007 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    jw, see what I mean about her normal supporters being quiet on this issue?
    You could hear a pin drop.
    Come out come out wherever you are.

  20. Posted October 27, 2007 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    What? It’s not an issue. Bubba understands that.

  21. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    jw, Sandy Carmany has posted on her website that she received the endorsement of the NC Realtors PAC and has a link to their website.
    I personally spoke with Mary Catherine Green of the PAC and she stated to me that if Carmany made that statement is was misleading because they did not endorse her.
    Any ideas why she would mislead us in this manner?

  22. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    She also states the Professional Firefighters of Greensboro endorse her leading the public to believe the Greensboro Fire Department endorses her when she should state she was endorsed by The Firefighters Union #947 (which represents only about 40% of the Fire Department).
    Are these misleading statements a sign of desperation at this late moment in the campaign?

  23. Posted October 29, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Sandy was mislead as well. Because she received a check for $500.00 she thought that was an endorsement. I thought so too. She has made the correction on her blog.

  24. Posted October 29, 2007 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Wade got the S PAC endorsement. Sandy’s chance of winning is looking slim.

  25. Sandy Carmany
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


    When I received the phone call from Mr. O’Brien Saturday afternoon, I asked him for the official name of the group endorsing me and “Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro” is what he told me. Since he is one of the top leaders of this organization, I believe the name/information to be correct.

  26. meblogin
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I think Sandy is the better choice for Greensboro. The other person who shall remain nameless was not a benefit to the county. You might disagree.

  27. Posted October 29, 2007 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


    The IAFF Local 947 commonly identify themselves as the Professional Firefighers of Greensboro. They also endoresed Joe Wilson.

    You’ve probably been called by them.

  28. Tony Wilkins
    Posted October 29, 2007 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Understood Roch, thanks for the info.

    Joe Wilson was very clear on his website at identifying this group:
    “I heard today that the Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro have endorsed my campaign In District 3. Their members belong to local 947 of IAFF.”

  29. joe wilson
    Posted October 30, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I never did thank you David for the non endorsement of my opponent. Thank You David! I will represent every person in my district not a few selected VIP entities. We will enjoy a new day in Greensboro November 7, I just hope the city wins that day by selecting the candidates for change.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Piedmont Publius » Blog Archive » More District 3 on October 24, 2007 at 10:02 am

    [...] his non-City Council endorsements, Hoggard says the “obscenely well-funded Zack Matheny is just too young to be so slick.” [...]

  2. By Hogg’s Blog » Deadlines, too on November 19, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    [...] fair and patient with me, but I don’t think they are the best of communicators.  To wit: my on-deadline submission of four weeks ago was not published because of a (previously unknown to me) policy against political [...]