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Elaine Lite: A Serious Voice For Sane Development

Click here to donate to Elaine's campaign.

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While there are many issues facing our city, growth and development issues are far and away the most current and the most far-reaching. Over the last year we've seen a rapid rise in community activism as Ashevillians work feverishly to try to have a hand in shaping the future of their city. Developments are springing up like poke weed, and our city government, while doing its level best to manage the situation, finds itself drowning in development related issues: What do we want? What do we want to become? How do we enforce the laws already on the books? How do we balance maintaining our tourist economy, being inviting to transplants, and holding fast to the quality of life that we enjoy as citizens of this beautiful city?

The race for Asheville City Council is going to come down to just a few issues, with the most important being how best to guide growth as thousands of people move to our beautiful town. The debate over growth and development tends to get oversimplified into two mythical camps: Don't Build Anything Ever! vs. Build Anything, Anywhere, Anytime!

A more accurate way of framing the issue of growth and development is this: Those who believe that private interests ought to hold sway vs. those who believe that the public interest ought to hold sway.

The right way forward lies between the poles of these dichotomous frames. Elaine Lite, candidate for City Council best exemplifies the right attitude towards sane development practices.

Yearly Kos 2007

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I'm here. It wasn't easy navigating the Dan Ryan Freeway during morning rush hour after staying up too late drinking the just-released Chimay Tripel at The Small Bar while watching the Cubs squeak out a victory against the Phillies, but I made it. YK07 is at McCormick Place in sunny Chicago. The convention center is enormous.

Today's schedule is packed. If you have anything you want to know or want me to see/get/do for you, please email me at scrutinyhooligans@yahoo.com. Here's what I'm planning to attend today:

Creating a Culture of Grassroots Giving
The Agony and Ecstacy of Successful State-Local Blogging
Volunteer Recruitment and Development
NC Bloggers Caucus
Atlantic South Netroots Caucus
MyDD Caucus
Drinking Liberally Happy Hour
Opening Keynote with Senator Dick Durbin and DNC Chairman Howard Dean
Pub Quiz

You can watch for updates here or over at Scrutiny Hooligans. w00t!

Elect Elaine

First posted at Scrutiny Hooligans

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWe may not know whether our municipal elections will be partisan or non-partisan, but that doesn't have to stop us from taking a look at the candidates. Scrutiny Hooligans will be taking a look at (almost) all of them over the next several weeks. The major issues facing our city - Growth and Development, Business, Housing, and Crime are all at critical junctures, and we're going to need real leadership in every area to ensure that Asheville's progress doesn't become its downfall.

Our first stop is with my favorite candidate on the ballot, Elaine Lite. Elaine is a founding member of Mountain Voices Alliance, a member of People Advocating Real Conservancy, a board member of Hope for Horses and of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe county, and Publisher and Editor of Critter magazine. She's a 20-year resident of Asheville whose leadership has been vital as the tidal wave of overdevelopment hits western North Carolina.

Elaine has managed to leave me with a richer perspective on growth and development every time I've spoken with her. She believes strongly in the right of communities to determine their future. Her campaign platform is here, and here's the condensed bullets for you:

BREAKING: David Young Running For State Treasurer

David Young, sitting Buncombe County Commissioner, is joining the field of candidates for State Treasurer. The 47 year-old "co-owns Fugazy Travel with his wife and has been a county commissioner for nearly 16 years. He'll be president of the statewide N.C. Association of County Commissioners next year"

This is big news in Buncombe County where the county commission will have three empty seats in a political atmosphere heated by an evolving debate over growth and development issues.

Ashvegas broke the news. Read the rest there.

Charles Taylor Holds NC-11 Republicans Hostage

No matter your feelings about Heath Shuler (Mixed Bag D - NC), no one misses The Lump. Disgraced former Congressman Charles Taylor ran the dirtiest campaign in memory, throwing nearly $4 million at those amateur television spots and mailers in an effort to make people forget just how much they loathed him. Almost $3 million of that came out of Taylor's own deep pockets, and Charles Taylor does not like spending his own money.

In this post-election year, using every other off-year as a basis, we can safely assume that Taylor is busy raising money to pay himself back for all those rubles he spent. Meanwhile, a squadron of Republican candidates wait in the wings, knowing that every day Charles Taylor doesn't withdraw his name from the race is a day lost.

Who's Going to Yearly Kos?

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Yearly Kos is an annual event bringing bloggers together from across the nation for a weekend of organizing, activism, networking, and progressive infrastructure building. The deadline to buy tickets is July 14 for the August 2-5 convention.

I've been asked to moderate the NC "caucus" and co-lead a regional gathering as well, so I'm asking the BlueNC community. Who's coming to Yearly Kos? You can respond here or use the BlueNC mail.

Lots more about Yearly Kos after the jump.

Dead Heat

It's going to be a barn burner.

Political Wire: A new Public Policy Polling survey shows a three way tie in the North Carolina Democratic primary, with Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama at 27% and John Edwards at 26% in his home state.

Key finding for Edwards: "Democratic Party demographics are against him. Women and African-Americans make up a significant majority of Democratic primary voters. Yet Edwards performs best among men and whites."

Fayetteville Area Pilots 2010 Census

I worked the 2000 Census and have been fascinated by the process ever since. In those days we went out with our maps and lists of addresses. I carried those thick forms into every corner of Jackson County, North Carolina. The Jeep J-10 took me up roads without names to people who didn't see many other people. It was a charming and awkward way to get to know people.

Anyway, enough woolgathering, the US Census Department has decided to come to Fayetteville to warm up for the decennial, and they've brought new toys:

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