Rowan County Democrats vs. Wyoming Republicans

Quick, which is more cowardly and bigoted? Democratic Rowan County Commissioners or Republicans in the Wyoming House of Representatives?

If you thought blue state North Carolina Democrats had one up on Dick Cheney's home state Wyoming red-red-red Republicans, you'd be wrong.

Last night, the Rowan County Commission voted for a meaningless resolution concerning writing discrimination into the state constitution via a so-called marriage amendment.

Reading the link, you'll note that the cowardly Democrats on the county commission voted for this toothless nonsense. You might ask where was the resolution about divorce, or funding for marriage counseling, or myriad other questions.

I'm asking why North Carolina Democratic County Commissioners don't have the same level of sense as Wyoming Republicans.

A few days ago, the Wyoming House of Representatives flatly rejected a so-called marriage amendment. It needed 40 of 60 votes to pass. It got 25. Not even a majority. And Wyoming is an overwhelmingly Republican state with both chambers of their legislature having overwhelming majorities in favor of Republicans.

Shame on you Rowan County Democratic County Commissioners. You don't have the guts Wyoming Republicans do.

Why is this coming up now? NC state Senator and arch-bigot Jim Forrester sent letters to the chairs of every county commission asking for these useless resolutions.

You might want to check your county commission agenda for this exercise in time-wasting. I'd hate for county commissions to be spending time balancing their budgets. Well...maybe passing a resolution asking Senator Forrester to actually focus on the health care crisis (he is a doctor) or the economic storm we're facing would get his attention. Who's up for that kind of resolution?


I can guarantee you

the Union County Commissioners are at least considering between visits from the feds.

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

This is weird

Maybe we'll end up going to "local option" when it comes to defending the rights of heterosexuals to claim exclusive dominion over relationships, child-rearing and love. It's funny, we don't worry much about such things here in Orange County.

Does anyone know where to find county-by-county divorce rates?

Marriage is better protected in Massachusetts

Seriously. The divroce rate is lower in MA than the divorce rate in NC.

Sounds like we need to get some gay marriage going in North Carolina to help lower the divorce rate.


Chapel Hill

It's funny, we don't worry much about such things here in Orange County

Yeah, the Chapel Hill Council is too busy passing useless resolutions on peak oil and impeaching Bush.
Carrboro did pass one supporting gay marriage.

Regardless of a board's politics, I don't know why these county and municipal boards pass resolutions on issues far removed from their authority.


I was on the Town Council in Chapel Hill for two years, and I voted enthusiastically for what you call "useless" resolutions. Elected officials can be insular and parochial, doing nothing but managing the little piece of the puzzle defined by their jurisdictions. Or they can recognize that every community is part of a larger whole, and that what we do can and should influence broader public policy.

More than useless

I'll go as far as to say they are more than useless. They are counterproductive.

Local governments, and the authority granted them by the NC Legislature should be and often are oases of simple, pure, democracy and representation. While all the clowns in Washington, and to a lesser extent in Raleigh, play their partisan games with fiscal and especially social issues, local governments can do things that transcend all the crap we're used to seeing.

Local governments do things like provide water, sewer, streets, fire and police protection, parks, land use planning, schools, and other basics of everyday life. Especially if you set aside land use regulation, most of these issues are ones in which we all have essentially the same concerns. What it "Republican" or "Democratic" about fire trucks and street paving?

Though it is not a requirement, EVERY county commission in the state is elected in a partisan election even though pretty much none of the responsibilities of a county commission are remotely relevant to the platforms of the parties. Here in Moore County, it is basically impossible for a Dem to be elected to the county commission even though there are likely plenty of Dems here who could rezone and buy sherriff cars as well or better than any Rep. Are we being well-served by injecting if only by inference the party platforms into a place where they are largely irrelevant? I don't think so.

Jumping into issues like gay marriage or impeachment of a President unnecessarily pulls the nasty politics and partisanship we are all tired of into the local government realm. That is why I don't think these resolutions, regardless of what side they are on, are more than useless- they hurt things in the long run.

I don't know anything about Moore County

other than it's a dysfunctional mess. But your point of view about resolutions is uninformed. The resolutions I voted for have nothing to do with partisan politics. They were voted on after discussion by community members and elected officials to encourage the county, state and national levels to adopt policies we believed furthered the common good - including our own interests.

You're certainly free to be "tired" of politics, and you're welcome to ask others to be "tired" too, but some of us see politics ... and even partisanship ... as the essential work of democracy.

I've never seen any of our resolutions in Chapel Hill rise to the level of counterproductive. Unless you count a few citizens writing letters to the newspaper to whine about votes they didn't agree with as being counterproductive.

Moore County government is a joke.

County Commissioners are elected to represent 1 of 5 districts, yet everyone in the county can vote for each district. It's like allowing all voters in the United States to vote on the NC Senate seats. Ridiculous. Commissioners should be elected by their own district, and no other. Many of the issues that affect Pinehurst and Southern Pines are light years away from the issues that affect more rural communities like Vass, Robbins, or Eagle Springs. The folks in SP and Pinehurst have no business electing representatives for Vass or Robbins.

Jumping into issues like gay marriage or impeachment of a President unnecessarily pulls the nasty politics and partisanship we are all tired of into the local government realm.

I disagree. These are not partisan issues - they are legal issues, and should dealt with on every level, even if it's just to make the feelings of constituents known. For instance, imagine if every county within Howard Coble's district passed a resolution calling on Congress to hold Karl Rove accountable for his actions and not allow him to hide behind "executive privelege". Old Howard would know in no uncertain terms how he should vote to be in step with his constituents.

Currently, however, the Moore County commission is not truly representative of the population of Moore County - so my assumption with everything is that they are not effective at all. We'd be much better off if we elected commissioners on a nonpartisan basis the way we do the school board. Even though people in both parties know who is the R, and who is the D, at least they make it to the general election, giving the entire county a chance to vote on them. As things stand now, most of our county commissioners are elected during the Republican primary, ensuring that roughly 18,000 registered voters do not get to cast their ballot for those seats.

Two-fer in the NC Senate time-wasting award category

Update on the source of time-wasting for county commissions from Q-Notes:

Chairman Carl Ford said that two state senators — James Forrester and Jim Jacumin — had asked every county commission to draft resolutions in favor of the marriage amendment.

Wonder what the rest of the NC Senate thinks about Senators Forrester and Jacumin leading this charge?

I'd love to see some of their Senate colleagues giving them some friendly advice on not fomenting discrimination, but I won't hold my breath.


This isn't new... Warren County did it in 2005

On March 14, 2005 Warren County's all-Democrat board of county commissioners passed a resolution supporting one man/one woman marriage and urged the General Assembly to allow a referendum for voters to decide on a state constitutional amendmendment to define marrtiage in NC as only being between one man and one woman.

Warren County is over 80% registered Democrat voters.

Mike Wilburt

Warren County's reaction after 2005

was to elect an openly gay county commissioner in 2006.

Yes. Rural Warren County has an openly gay county commissioner.

Rowan County, maybe it's your turn.


Moore County Commissioners did something too yesterday

From the Pilot:

In another addition to the regular agenda, the board voted unanimously and without discussion to adopt a resolution calling for a referendum on an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, this to be the only legal definition in North Carolina.

The resolution was sent to the board by legislators who have introduced bills seeking the referendum.

I'd like to see the resolution itself to see if it takes a stance on the issue or just asks for a referendum.


What was all that about a constitution protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority?

Moore County Commissioners could care less.

You'd think they want more money from the state for roads or schools in Moore County rather than spending millions in taxpayer dollars on an amendment that won't stop divorce.


Typical Republican garbage in Moore

Not only did they vote unanimously for this ridiculous resolution, they voted to cut taxes and cap the EMS budget. I guess things like ambulances and paramedics are partisan issues to some.

Not necessarily

How is voting on the EMS budget partisan? If it is a service that has been delegated to the local government, it's hardly surprising that the local government would be forced, by necessity, to establish a budget and manage it accordingly.

Now maybe I am wrong, but it sounds as if you are suggesting that they have turned the EMS budget into a partisan issue simply because their decision doesn't comport with your personal policy preferences. I only say this because you don't cite any facts that would suggest that the local Republicans made this a partisan issue (rather than simply a political issue) other than by voting on it. If an all-Democrat county board of commissioners voted in favor of adopting a new procedural rule, scheduling system, or educational initiative, does that automatically mean that they are approaching these issues from a partisan perspective? Are all political issues automatically partisan ones?

I'm just playing devil's advocate. Personally I disagree with the Moore County resolutions and think they are pretty sad and disgusting. It's tempting to say that this means that all of their decisions must be equally irrational, partisan, etc, but I think that goes to far in all fairness. Then again, maybe you know more about the EMS budget as a Moore County political issue.

"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

So what? It's an opinion that

So what? It's an opinion that obviously reflects the county. I don't endorse that train of thought because it so often derails. As you pointed out, its meaningless. I care more about what happens in Raleigh and Washington because in the end they'll be proven wrong.

No, it doesn't reflect the county.

As I've described above, the election process for county commissioners in Moore County leads to under-representation of those of us (and there are a lot of us) who have more liberal or progressive (or just plain human) views.