Here we go….

I’ve received a bunch of communication about the Rhino’s political advertising and editor John and publisher Willy Hammer’s endorsements for the upcoming election.  Even the comments to the last post I made before I left turned to the subject so I guess people need a place to say what they need to say about things.  Well here you go.


All in all I think that Hammers and Co. did OK with their pick and there were few surprises.  They endorsed some Democrats which was a bit out of character for my favorite weekly reader, but breaking party rank in some cases lended the preponderance of their endorsement choices some real credibility.  I haven’t yet had time to read the whole issue, but an initial scan reveals some serious thinking that I am looking forward to delving into.


The one thing that really struck me in my first scan of the Rhino however, was the amount of money the publication has raked in for ads by largely Republican based PAC’s and for expensive ads for Republican candidates.  It’s really astounding.  The Democrats just can’t seem to get their poo in a pot big enough to keep up the pace, well… except for Pricey Harrison who definitely is writing bigger checks to the Rhino than her Republican opponent, Joanne Bowie – but not by much.


John and Willy, I’m expecting the Scmoozefest from hell next month.  Buy some decent Bourbon, for God’s sake.


comment I received about  one of the Rhino endorsements was from someone who used to be known as “Proud to be ABC”, but recently changed his moniker simply to ”Proud”.



“How sad for you Hoggard that you’re in Charlotte where you can’t defend your beloved Kris Cooke from the beating that she’s taking in the Rhino.”


I read the endorsement and was puzzled by it at first.  But then I went back and counted up the SOS PAC’s ad money that will be paying for my top shelf Boubon at the next Schmoozefest and realized the Rhino just made a throw away endorsement.  As both John and Willy have reminded me many times, in the vast majority of local elections, there are some basic tenants that are requisite to winning.  Don’t run unless there is an open seat and… name recognition is all that matters and… getting elected has nothing to do with the issues.  


I will admit that SOS and ABC have made a great run at building Bill Davidson’s name up to the uninformed electorate, but the people of District 7 are a pretty smart bunch.  So, in my opinion, the Rhino endorsement in the District 7 school board race was an investment in the future… not the future of Guilford County…. but in the future of the Rhino’s political ad income potential.  That endorsement sends a clear message to PAC’s and other political big spenders in my view: If you spend the money, the Rhino will pick your guy, even though we know he has a snowball’s change of winning.  We are in a no-lose position… so what the hell – we’ll go with the money when our opinion will make no discernable difference in the vote count.


Note to Kris Cooke supporters who might be concerned about the Rhino’s endorsement of her opponent:  David Hoggard was the Rhino’s top pick in last year’s at-large City Council race.


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I wish the “Skip Alston pulling Jeff Thigpen’s Strings” ad was available for posting so everyone could understand why I despise my local Republican Party’s leadership and far-right stalwarts.  The ad was placed and paid for by a PAC called Conservative Values PAC (which lists as its principal one Jonathan Wagstaff – who was soundly defeated by Thigpen in the last Commissioner election – despite a ton of money that was spent on his behalf, BTW).


The ad is race baiting at its very worst, and, to this untrained eye – both of that PAC’s “morphed faces” ads (there is another aimed at Distruct 7 Democratic candidate Mike Barber) appear to have been designed by the same adolescent mind that dreamt up the SOS PAC’s ads targeting Dot Kearns and Kris Cooke.

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