Lyme Disease Epidemic in North Carolina

If you're not familiar with Lyme Disease, you need to be. Because an epidemic broke out last night right here in the Old North State. In an orgy of greed sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Realtors, the Home Ticks spent upwards of $7 per vote to interfere in local elections, burrowing into the heart of North Carolina municipalities in an unprecedented display of crass self interest. They successfully undermined every local government Transfer Tax initiative, putting infrastructure at risk and increasing the pressure to raise property taxes throughout the state.

Make no mistake, the Ticks will stop at nothing to preserve their profits. You see, transfer taxes are a Trojan Horse that would wake up homeowners to the absurdity of their sacred 6% commissions.

But when transfer taxes are defeated, that leaves property taxes to carry the load. And in case you're not familiar with that funding mechanism, here's the scoop.

Local governments have two ways of getting more revenue out of property taxes. They can increase the actual rate, which they hate to do, or they can do reset (raise) the assessed value of properties in their municipalities so they get more money without raising the rate. That's what happened in Chapel Hill recently. Homeowners saw the tax values of their homes increase, but not their tax rate.

When home prices go up, Realtor Ticks make more money. This is just another version of the shell game being played by the sub-prime industry recently wherein appraisers colluded with lenders to artificially inflate prices.

The development and real estate lobbies in North Carolina are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into local elections with nothing but their own greed and self-interest in mind. I predict this will come back to haunt them in more ways than they can imagine - and I personally will do whatever I can to diminish their influence.

It won't be easy. The Realtor Ticks are just like the Pope Puppets, indeed they are the same exact people in many cases. And they are spending millions to shape public opinion in ways that serve their own greedy interests. We, on the other hand, are spending less than $100 a month.

It's David and Goliath all over again. So get out your slingshots and start practicing.


Comments

I saw only two signs here in Union County

Some Republicans areas are so averse to anything with the word "tax" in it, they don't need a campaign to get them to vote against it. Oh well. We just have to keep working on these people. When their property taxes get hiked and their properties get reassessed we point the fingers at the Realtor's association and tell the voters to thank the RA.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

And work on them we will

I don't know anything about Union County, so they may have had it on the ballot just to kill it. But in some counties, this was a critical issue.

The larger challenge is the growing and undue influence of the Ticks in general.

Greg fought the good fight . . . but he more or less did it alone. Next time, I'll be in the barrel with him 100%.

For those interested, I suggest we hold a strategy session to plan for upcoming legislative sessions. I think a special tax on real estate commissions is in order. Heh. (That's right, Ticks. You'll want to pad your lobbying budget for the next couple of years. You'll be swatting at assaults from Progressives every time you turn around. Think of us as hungry Brown Thrashers.)


A brown thrasher can eat of 6000 insects a day.

Union is the 16th fastest growing county in the COUNTRY...

We needed it. All Republican county commission. They wanted it, but I don't think there was enough time for public education. I'm sure there is already a property tax increase planned. Maybe the name recognition will help next time it's on the ballot....like say next year? Can they put it back on the ballot next year?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm not aware of anything that would prohibit it

Except the Puppets and the Ticks are already out there saying, "Voters have rejected blah blah blah." I'd say your Republican County Commissioners more or less now have a gun to their heads.

Too soon

They can put it on the ballot as many times as they want just as they can repeal it whenever they want. The line about "permanent" was a lie.

The rush to November was ill advised, as was the combo ballot. Not nearly enough time to explain and gain support.

The forces against were well funded and well organized. In addition to the realtors and home builders, there was the full force of the Art Pope empire. Freedomworks, Americans for Prosperity, John Locke Foundation, Civitas all were involved in a coordinated campaign.

Home builders are going to be losers in this and they only have themselves to blame.

Homebuilders are notoriously inept

at taking the long view on anything. This is just another example of short-sighted greed.

They're going to be big losers here in Union

and from what I can tell Johnston as well. Lincoln already has a moratorium on new construction (at least that's what I heard) and not long ago our county commission met to decide how the last sewer permits would be doled out. Most went to businesses. Yes, you can do septic systems but not all land perks for septic. There is a lot in this neighborhood that doesn't perk for septic. The neighborhoods with mansions that seem to be all that is being built out here won't want septic systems. It's going to get ugly.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The real losers in this

will be the counties.

Infrastructure is needed for growth. Growth requires money going to the county manager and county commissioners to spend correctly.

Property is sold, etc all the time. That was a chance for revenue to get into the county.

My county has put a roof on our schools and some other things because of this transfer TAX. My taxes where not raised one dime in direct support of this. The critters of my county now have a roof over their heads when they are in school. For the counties that had the chance to get this transfer tax and squandered it away, sure hope you enjoy your property taxes or other taxes going up. or staying at the status quo.

I heard a county manager talking about getting money for his county today. Great discussion. His county yesterday voted against this tax.

He talked about grants and matching grant monies. He said the total number of counties asking for grants (based on a course the county and town has to take before they can apply) has skyrocketed. There is a finite dollar amount to help counties but more counties, towns and cities are asking for that money. What is going to happen is the matching funds portion of all these grants etc is going to be raised.

So when your county or town needs money to match the grant the state is willing to give you, your county better have a source of revenue coming into the county. Or you will do with out something else...yet properties will still be sold in your county and you can watch that seed money just keep slipping by.

My county does. I am glad my county has this transfer tax. My county will have greater flexibility when applying for loans and grants.

Will yours? To be selfish, I am glad so many of you counties voted this down. That makes it easier for my county to get the loans and grants we need.

Vote TRANSFER TAX next time is shows up for your county.

PS:
OOOOO, BTW, the realators are still getting their 6%. Even if this tax was voted in, guess what, the realators will still be getting their 6%. NOT ONE REALATOR WAS HURT BY VOTING DOWN THIS TAX!

Not yet.

NOT ONE REALTOR WAS HURT BY VOTING DOWN THIS TAX!

I think it will backfire. Interviewed last night about the transfer tax going down, one of our commissioners said:

Colin McKenzie, chairman of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, said he was not surprised that the land transfer tax did not survive.

"I kind of expected that," he said. "We couldn't advertise or spend any money (supporting the tax). Now an increase in the property tax is the only way to pay for the school and college improvements," McKenzie said.

The county passed nearly $70 million dollars in bonds last night. Now, county commissioners are going to have to raise property tax. When our taxes go up, people moving into Moore County because of its amenities, proximity to Ft. Bragg, etc., will look to other counties (like Hoke) where the taxes are not as high. There is also an aggressive push to impose a building moratorium until more planning for infrastructure, etc. can be done. So there will be fewer new people purchasing existing homes, and fewer new homes for people to purchase.

Funny thing, isn't it? It will sort of be political karma. Destroy a progressive measure and have it bite you with higher property taxes and fewer people to pay them. Heh.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Hmmmmmmm

Just where exactly could we advocate spending cuts? Think about this. What would make the lobbyists be more careful about what they ask for.

Oh, what the heck, they are just bond, bitch, and squander Republicans.

50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

I wouldn't advocate spending cuts.

I would advocate watching closely the building rate and sale of homes in the counties where the tax went down, as well as the inevitable increase in property tax. And then, an aggressive LTE writing campaign reminding just who is responsible for it. I advocate embarrassing the hell out of them and not letting them forget that they are the ones who made it happen.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Epidemic

The true epidemic is the refusal of posters on this board and elsewhere to understand that the voters spoke loud and clear on Tuesday.

The continued slander and defaming of the Realtor Association and the other organizations who helped educate the public about the transfer tax only furthers the opinions of many that some on here are too full of self-righteous indignation to recognize the will of the people.

The fact of the matter is that the Realtors stood up for property owners across the state with a message that resonated and a hard working, well orchestrated campaign. The fact of the matter is that this same organization supported sales tax referendums in Cumberland and Pitt counties in addition to the transit tax in Charlotte as a means of providing solutions to real problems these communities faced. The fact of the matter is that the Realtor Association does indeed share great concerns about the quality of life in NC communities and addressing some of the recognized needs.The fact of the matter is that, no matter how hard Anglico, Flynn, Fitzsimon and others try to demagogue the anti-transfer tax groups and distract from the real issue, the voters understood the issue and overwhelmingly chose to vote it down.

I respect your right to voice your opinion and engage in thoughtful, considerate dialogue on this issue. However, I personally believe that the hypocrisy being shown by posters on this forum is downright sad. For people who feel so strongly about the importance of tolerance and acceptance of other ideas and opinions, you sure seem quick to impune those who disagree with you.

I appreciate in advance the opportunity to visit this forum to express my views and am prepared for the knives and bullets that will follow. Just keep in mind my comments above before you start stabbing and shooting.

And I appreciate the fact that

you don't mind people paying increased property taxes, but you'll be damned if you sit by and let any gummint, local or state, mess with your 6% money.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I don't mind

In fact Leslie, I don't mind other people paying property taxes or paying them myself. They are more broad-based than transfer taxes and spread the burden more equally among residents. That is not to say I enjoy paying them or think they are completely fair themselves - particularly to residents on a fixed income who have lived in the county for years. Homestead exemptions help address that dynamic, at least in part.

Nonetheless, if what you say is true and the additional $ just has to come from somewhere, I would rather it be spread as evenly as possible among everyone who lives in the county and benefits from county services - including those who don't pay property taxes at all. That is why, despite the fact that the sales tax is more regressive (much like impact fees and the transfer tax by the way), I prefer it as a means for raising additional revenue. It is particularly appealing when structured in the way that York County, SC has done through their Pennies for Progress program.

Check it out: http://www.penniesforprogress.net/

You're just wrong, swanquarter.

Spreading the burden for rapid growth around to all residents is neither fair nor good. Rapid growth should pay a higher percentage of the costs of building to accomodate rapid growth. THAT is fair and good. The county services that are costing so much money so fast are the ones that have to be ramped up quickly to accomodate high numbers of new residents moving in.

Your spin is ridiculous. The only reason you don't like Transfer Taxes is that you're afraid the 499,999 house seller or buyer might ask you for some wiggle room in your 29,994 cut of the transaction. Your selfish and greedy. Period. Your motivations have nothing whatsoever to do with educating or protecting anyone or anything but your own fat bank account.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

ways to make friends with progressives

101

Dont tell them that you helped by increasing sales taxes and avoiding an actual solution. Since when has choosing a regressive tax over a one time fee that will not affect those with low income been a good thing?

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Ways to show your ass 101

Definitely not trying to "make friends" Blue. Don't worry so much...

Just to be clear.

I don't care if you want to make friends here or not, but you'd be wise to remember you're in our living room. Start behaving like a jerk and you'll be asked to leave.

No knives, no bullets

and no sympathy.

I'm happy to hear any point of view about this, including yours, but the idea that the Realtor Association cares about North Carolina homeowners is laughable. The Realtor Association cares about selling more homes. Period. If they cared about homeowners, they'd institute a cap on commissions of 1 or 2%.

What's more, the NCAR "education" campaign was disingenuous at best, and full of downright lies at worst.

So with all due respect, it's not clear at all that voters understood either the issue or the motivation of the Realtors in interfering in this issue. Which makes basic premise of your comment invalid. Voters believed what the NCAR told them to believe, and that bears almost no relationship to reality.

Finally, I'm a property owner in one the counties the Realtors infested. I didn't ask any of you to come in to my county and "stand up" for me. And the fact is, Realtors did NOT stand up for me. They stood up for their own self interest with not a single homeowner that I'm aware of asking for their involvement.

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Speaking of not understanding things, I don't understand why the NCAR is involved in this question at all. Can you explain that to me? Why did you fight the ability of local governments to have access to the transfer tax option in the first place? Why does it matter to you? And once it was approved in the General Assembly, why did you pull out the stops to defeat it?

I'm seriously interested in an answer - because the only answer I can come up with is this:

Local governments have two ways of getting more revenue out of property taxes. They can increase the actual rate, which they hate to do, or they can do reset (raise) the assessed value of properties in their municipalities so they get more money without raising the rate. That's what happened in Chapel Hill recently. Homeowners saw the tax values of their homes increase, but not their tax rate.

When home prices go up, Realtor Ticks make more money. This is just another version of the shell game being played by the sub-prime industry recently wherein appraisers colluded with lenders to artificially inflate prices.

So I guess

"Voters believed what the NCAR told them to believe, and that bears almost no relationship to reality."

Everyone that voted against the transfer tax on Tuesday are just stupid. Great reasoning Anglico...

Keep on with the attacks and claims of selfishness and greed. It made a big difference on Tuesday didn't it?

Of course this isn't true:

Everyone that voted against the transfer tax on Tuesday are just stupid.

but I sure wish voters would sit back and think about why those who represent one side of an issue can afford to spend millions promoting their viewpoint, while the other side doesn't have that money base...

Housing slowdown is going to suck for you

What will be worse is when counties like Union follow Lincoln with a moratorium on new home construction because there aren't enough funds to improve infrastructure to allow more homes. The electorate will only put up with having their property taxes raised so many years in a row before they revolt.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

union's sewer woes

Check out Unions recent sewer woes as example #1

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

I've been bringing those up

All of the permits are allotted and there will be no more for some time.

It isn't going to be pretty.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Look at Chapel Hill

they elected someone who is pro-growth, but who is against raising property taxes, thinks we pay too much in taxes. If the good communists of Chapel Hill have had enough in property tax increases to pay for their nationally ranked schools, then I can only imagine what the rest of the state must be thinking.

An end is coming to increasing property taxes.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

You sound like my glossy Direct Mail.

Do you perhaps work for the NAR or one of their member groups? The Realtors are masterful astroturfers and you sound like one of their ilk.

I personally believe that the hypocrisy being shown by posters on this forum is downright sad. For people who feel so strongly about the importance of tolerance and acceptance of other ideas and opinions, you sure seem quick to impune those who disagree with you.

Well said and true.

You know

when I signed up for this community, I never signed an oath to be tolerant of idiotic viewpoints. I try never to impugn the people themselves, but the viewpoints are fair game. If you come to one of the most progressive political blogs in NC and start spouting propaganda, it's at best foolish to expect to be greeted with open arms.

And for the record - most of us will espouse a philosophy of being accepting of people who are different than us. But not necessarily accepting of political opinions or ideas that are, by our standards, regressive and foolish.

Let me be clear that even though I used a plural pronoun above, I am speaking for myself.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I think isabela is NOT agreeing with him lcloud.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I want to take a shower

after just responding to Realtor astroturfing... **yeuck**

The worst is that the battle's over. He's just coming here to gloat. Unless I'm wrong and he/she's just committed Realtor/Developer talking points to memory and is trained in PR.

Yes. Swanquarter is a Tickbot.

S/he represents the worst kind of intrusion of corporate interests into democracy, aided and abetted by the free-market extremists at the Art Pope Puppetshow.

But I have to say, I like it when they gloat. It exposes their greed, which will in the long run be their downfall.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Just have to blurt out here -

This may be mildly off-topic, but I have to say that every time I see the image of those ticks on this page, I get a shivery feeling and want to scream. I've overcome a lot of aversions in my life. I used to squirm at the sight of a spider. Not so much now. I appreciate their work and they never attach themselves to me. Those camel crickets with the grey-pink underbellies used to make my skin crawl. I'm ok with them now -- have even made tentative gestures of friendship. But a tick. No. I will never overcome my horror. Now to nudge the point only somewhat closer to the matter of real estate, I have always thought of those huge McMansions that people build on lots with virtually no yard area as ticks. They're swollen, bloated looking things, ruin the space and take away the neighbors' sunshine. And they're rather hideous.

Sorry. Couldn't help myself

A great blurt

I think that's why Greg originally chose that particular insect creature. . . it's so vile and repulsive. Sorry it gives you the creeps.

Now those camel crickets, those are the worst in my book. Especially down in my crawl space. Yuck.

Corrected

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When we see neighborhoods of the McMansions springing up

we know it is the work of the Mad Real Estate God - who was driven crazy by over-worship and the enticement of his consort, Asphaltia. Now I know what his symbol is. The Tick.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I love your way with words

Do you talk as cool as you write? We need to get together for a beer or two soon...

In the city

We call it the Condo Fairy. Sprinkling their stainless steel appliance and granite countertop pixie dust all over the poor neighborhoods.

That is correct.

The comment was a repudiation of the Ticks, for which Isabela is to be commended.

I got that.

I was just commenting. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Who do you think you are?

commenting...
Didn't you hear. the people have spoken already.

I think I'm people

And I think I'm commenting. dammit. :-D

And I think I'm gonna keep commenting as long as I feel like it.

Because - that's what I do. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Cure

The demagogy started with Tim Kent and went exponential when NCAR teamed up with Civitas, John Locke and AFP.

"The public already feels (it) is taxed to the max,"
-----
"The good guys won last night,"
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North Carolina doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem
-----
Kent said the group wouldn't support a transfer tax even if it were paid by
home buyers rather than home sellers. The real-estate group also opposes school impact fees, saying the cost of new schools should be paid through budget cuts and property taxes

And, who can forget this memorable NCAR push poll line:

With surplus money, the state should NOT increase taxes because when it comes to taxes my family has hit the limit.

I know some local realtor groups had slightly different opinions but they kept quiet and deferred to NCAR. The demonization of local government and strident anti-tax campaign belies the alleged support for sales tax and county needs.

Most people who have been following tax structure issues in the state know that something different has to be done. Transfer tax is a reasonable bridge between property tax and sales tax and tracks growth activity. Until we effectively tax internet sales increasing sales tax is only taxing a shrinking pot. Most observers say taxation of services is the best long term adjustment to our tax structure. If you thought opposition to the transfer tax was indignant wait till you hear from well heeled professionals like doctors and lawyers. Here's Kent on the subject in 2003:

Tim Kent, executive vice president of the North Carolina Association of Realtors, said his group will fight a service-based sales tax based on beliefs that it could negatively impact home sales.

Considerable irony in the name "swanquarter". Hyde County is among the poorest, least populated counties in the state. It has no incorporated municipality and struggles to get by. They don't have enough stores to sell stuff even if they had customers. Even the ABC Board couldn't turn a profit until this year after they finally voted for liquor by the drink. After Hurricane Isabel the County Emergency Operations Center was set up in a potato warehouse. These people need help, jobs and they need revenue options that NCAR and AFP, JLF, Civitas et al, don't want them to have.

I don't want more taxation but I do want smarter taxation. That means taxing more things at a lower rate.

Moore County

The commissioners (all Republican) here are on record saying that they will increase the property tax rather than raise the values of homes. And the building moratorium is back on the table.

Like I've said before - political karma. It's going to suck to be a TICK.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

even with a building moritorium

folks are going to buy and sell properties that would have been taxed with this transfer tax.

That would have been free money for infrastructure. Free money for the county commissioners and county managers and city managers to fix problems with.

The buyers and sellers will not mind.....well maybe the "flipper" guys, but hey, they are in it for the quick buck anyways. so what if they pay twice in one year for the same property to help with infrastructure. No sweat off my back, or theirs. well, maybe a few dollars. but once you figure out the transfer tax add in, you can just pass that on to the other guy. tick tick tick did the ticks really help the counties?

tick tick tick.....the ticks are laughing at us. tick tick tick....the ticks will be crying when their own taxes are increased....tick tick tick this year the county commissioners reset the assessment values for home and increase the revenue collected based on this reset...tick tick tick, next year the county commissioners HAVE to raise your tax rates to pay for infrastructure....tick tick tick, the ticks are looking out for you....tick tick tick,,,,ticks bite me!

tick tick ticks

like cockroaches they feed and grow...tick tick ticks...they scurry about tick tick ticks..im laughing so hard at thinking about ticks!

swan, just how did taking free money from the county help the 16 counties that disapproved this measure? Why did the realtors care if folks paid this transfer tax or not? is it because the real estate agents would have to figure out another mathematical formula? What was so bad about a transfer tax that I should not have paid for it in Perquimans County? How did it hurt ME? or the person that I bought my house from? Regardless of this transfer tax, you got your 3% and 3% correct?

What am I missing? What was so horrible that I should not have paid this tax? Are my county commissioners over taxing me? Should my county manager NOT use this money to fix the roof on my schools? Just how does this transfer tax hurt my county? explain that one.

Swan, I want to have a discussion with you. You have alluded that I would or my county would be hurt by having this horrible TAX. Should I throw my house into the river like the Bostonians did over the Tea tax so long ago? Is it taxation without representation? Explain this position ooooo smart tick.

Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad.

Swan, say it with me!!!!!! Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad. Transfer tax good, ticks bad.

Tick tick ticks, bite me!

your tick pics

got me going!

I laugh every time I see those six bugs and just wanna squish the life out of em. Love the little R on their backs.

What really got me going was I know this tax does not hurt a single person. The money spent on this transfer tax is the least harmful way of producing revenue on normal property buyers/sellers.

The only persons that are hurt by this tax is the power buyer/seller. These folks are probably ticks in the first place. Sad thing is 3% of the sale of the house would go to them as the listing agent and if they are the ones that actually sell the house, then none of the 6% leaves their wallet. With the transfer tax removed from the game, they get all the money except for the lawyer fees and the county gets the shaft. Yea, realtors where looking out for peoples best interests, the bastages.....tick tick ticks...bite me!

That is a very small group of people that were just helped when these tax initiatives were voted down.