-May 13, 2013-
3:00 -- BREAKING NEWS: A Philadelphia jury convicts abortionist Kermit Gosnell on three counts of First Dgree Murder. Plus, the latest on the Asheville water lawsuit.
4:00 -- The Mayor of Asheville says she never got a written $57 million proposal from the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Except she actually did.
5:00 -- The IRS is trouble for targeting Tea Party groups starting back in 2010.
-May 14, 2013-
3:00 -- Buncombe County Commissioners really, really, really care about what you think about their proposal to give $18 million to an un-named business. But they say we'll be happy!
4:00 -- WLOS has a story on how the Buncombe County School district has a history of not getting the required permits for work.
5:00 -- More on the WLOS story. Plus, Scott Hamilton, President & CEO of AdvantageWest, joins us to talk about a bill in the NC Senate that would strip the organization of $1 million in state funding.
-May 15, 2013-
3:00 -- Dr. Terry Stoops joins us to talk about a Henderson County classroom exam that used a partisan editorial to teach English to 4th graders. Plus, dissention at AB Tech over the new building.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress drop by to chat about the latest edition on news stands today.
5:00 -- Jane Bilello, Chairman of the Asheville Tea Party, joins us to talk about how her group may have been targeted by the IRS in a national campaign of intimidation.
-May 16, 2013-
3:00 -- Scandalamnia! IRS, Benghazi, and the AP phone records - has President Obama stopped the political bleeding?
4:00 -- More Scandalmania.
4:30 -- NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell drops by the studio to chat about unclaimed property you might have, plus will the City of Asheville see a downgrade of its bond rating if the water system gets merged into MSD?
5:00 -- Scandalmania! Plus trivia.
-May 17, 2013-
3:00 -- As Pete predicted it took a year for John Edwards to kick off his "comeback" tour. Plus, Jeff Greiner, Gerald Kummerlow and Simone Seitz join us to about an upcoming Zipline event to raise money for a local autism agency. Details are here.
4:00 -- Protesters rally for education. Pete suggests stop crying about funding until schools quit wasting money, like the "sweet" deal given to outgoing Asheville City Schools Superintendent Allen Johnson. Then, more on the Buncombe Co. Schools permit scandal.
5:00 -- More on the permits story. Plus, Susan Myrick from Civitas joins us to talk about the latest in a series of investigative reports looking at the incestuous relationship between the Board of Elections and the leftwing group Democracy NC.
Frankly, I don't believe anyone really relies on newspaper endorsements to help make decisions on which politicians to support.
However, I've noticed a peculiar trend in the local paper recently when it comes to the Editorial Board's slate of endorsements.
No, not the overwhelming number of Democrats that are endorsed - I expected as much given the local politics and the philosophical disposition of modern day journalists.
I'm talking about the absence of party affiliation mentioned in the writings.
A trend begins
It started last week, with the endorsements in Buncombe County races - including the County Commissioners, School Board, and Register of Deeds.
Of the seven candidates running for Commissioner, the paper picked six Democrats. It followed up with endorsing the four incumbent School Board members - all of whom are members of the Democratic Party.
Even the incumbent (Democrat) Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor was endorsed over his GOP challenger.
But the thing that really struck me was how the entire editorial never mentioned the word "Democrat." Not once. The impression it leaves is that all of these races are non-partisan, when only the School Board race is.
The next day, the Editorial Board broke with it's pro-incumbent endorsement philosophy and supported Patsy Keever over the incumbent Patrick McHenry. Keever is a Democrat.
Then it endorsed Democrat Hayden Rogers over Republican Mark Meadows, noting Rogers would be a conservative "Blue Dog Democrat" like his current boss - Congressman Heath Shuler. This was the first and only time the word "Democrat" was used to date.
The Editorial Board also felt it necessary to point out how the GOP candidate might be beholden to various right-wingers:
He is not a darling of the party’s far-right wing, but he could be obligated to vote the party line in Congress or risk being ostracized.
Best not to take any chances, I guess.
Because while Meadows is not some scary extremist, he COULD vote with them.
Of course, under this same rationale, Hayden Rogers COULD vote with Communists. You never can be TOO sure, right?
It's particularly transparent and partisan rationale.
The trend continues
This weekend we saw endorsements for NC legislative races, where we finally get some party affiliations mentioned. But not on all the races. Weird.
Party identification was absent in the NC Senate District 50 race between GOP incumbent Jim Davis and Democratic challenger John Snow. The paper endorsed Snow.
Then, we're told the incumbent Democratic Representative in NC House District 119 is retiring, but we aren't told what party affiliation his endorsed replacement is. (Here's a hint: it's not a Republican.)
We were treated to the second and third endorsements of Republicans in as many days - Nathan Ramsey and Ralph Hise.
Sunday we saw the shocking endorsement of President Barack Obama for re-election. No further comment is really needed.
Affiliations go missing again
Which brings us to today and the NC Council of State races. These are the offices like Attorney General, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner and the like.
The Editors at the Asheville Citizen-Times reverted back to its pro-incumbent philosophy, apparently. It endorsed the incumbent slate, while identifying party affiliations in a vague way:
The present council, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has worked together well, and there is no reason to turn out any of the incumbents.
That's the only time you'll see the word "Democrat" mentioned in this editorial, even though it goes on to endorse Linda Coleman for Lt. Gov. over some un-named opponent. (Hint: his name is Dan Forest and he's not a Democrat.)
Lest not ye be judged
Finally, we come to the judicial races.
Like the School Board seats, these are designated as "non-partisan" races - meaning party affiliations will not be shown on the ballots. These races used to be partisan, but several years ago Democratic state lawmakers got tired of seeing voters send Democrats to the legislature and Republicans to the judiciary. So, they changed the election process.
So, how did the newspaper's endorsements go on these non-partisan races?
Do you need any more hints? Yeah, they're all Democrats.
But wait! The Editors are disturbed because the GOP has endorsed a slate of Republican candidates:
Judicial elections are supposed to be nonpartisan. This year, however, Supreme Court Justice Paul Martin Newby and challengers for three Court of Appeals seats are being openly supported by the Republican Party.
This is disturbing enough for its own sake, as it undermines the system.
Shockingly, a quick check of the NC Democratic Party website finds this:
It appears the NC Democratic Party is engaging in some "disturbing" electioneering itself! All of those candidates are Democrats.
Here's the point: If you want to be seen as arbiters of truth and fairness, you have to earn that trust by actually being honest and fair. In life, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, when you show me a pattern of obfuscation and double standards, I tend not to ignore that kind of evidence.
But more importantly, readers don't ignore it, either.
So, as we talk about the importance of voting, tranparency and our duties as Americans, I ask that we examine how we can apply some of those principles in our own work and lives.
Oh! And in case you weren't keeping track, the total endorsement count so far is:
We'll see how tomorrow's endorsement in the race for NC Governor goes.