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Blueprint For Beating Meck County Tax-and-Spenders


I stay fairly close to the political action in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and was a little bewildered by some of the comments I’ve seen in response to Tom Ashcraft’s latest HouseGuest column. If any of the candidates running for at-large Mecklenburg County commissioner have put forth the conservative positions listed in Tom’s article, I have not heard them.

We have some conservatives on the ballot, but that alone does not speak to the issues facing Mecklenburg County. In fact the word ‘conservative’ has been so blurred by Republicans who vote like Democrats, that to many folks it means little. I have not heard anyone running in the at-large race present a clear, simple platform that included the issues in Tom’s article. Nor have I seen a single press conference calling out the manager and the Democrats over the county’s financial mess, the corruption and cronyism in the DSS, or cutting taxes to reduce the size of government – the only way government can influence job growth.

If all of you can agree on a simple, specific platform that resonates with a hurting constituency, bundle your money and run as a group, you can create some real excitement in this community, and I believe have a good chance to win control of the county commission. You will find many folks ready and willing to rally to your cause. All three of you could win using this strategy. Otherwise I’ll go on record right now and say that, at best, only one of you will win and that most likely will be Pendergraph, who has tremendous name recognition.

It would be a great day for Mecklenburg if all three of you win; but it’s going to take an aggressive, well coordinated, issue-specific campaign and platform. In my opinion, acting alone will not succeed, if for no other reason than a shortage of money. You may think that you have gotten the message out, but I tell you that most people in the county do not even know who’s running, much less their platform. Platitudes like fiscal conservatism, promoting American idealism, and upholding constitutional principles sound good, but will not promote the turnout of people you need to win. You need look no further than John Lassiter’s campaign to see this.

There is an enthusiasm among conservatives waiting to be tapped. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity that is available because of Democrat failures. We want to change the way our county is run, and we are looking for candidates who will declare war on the Democrats and promise specific changes if elected. We want to support all the Republicans who are running. We are practically begging the three at-large candidates to stand tall, be specific, and adopt a ‘contract with Charlotte’, listing those things that you will change if elected – not necessarily to please us, but because it as the only way the three of you can win.

If all of you can’t agree that the government is far too big and intrusive and the best way to address that problem is to cut taxes, how can you expect enthusiasm from the conservative community, which knows we are the highest taxed area in the state? Illegal immigration, corporate give-a-ways and incentives, more uptown projects/toys, etc., are gut issues that can excite the 50,000 unemployed in our area, people who can’t pay their mortgages and other hurts resulting from our economic woes.

Commission Chairman Jennifer Roberts and her Democrat colleagues realize they are in deep trouble in the upcoming election. Her recent editorial in the Charlotte Observer comparing Mecklenburg with Wake County is nothing more than an attempt to excuse herself and the other Democrat commissioners for their large role in bringing Mecklenburg County to the brink of bankruptcy. The real reason that Wake County has lower taxes, lower per-capita spending, and lower debt is because the Wake County manager and county commission have been better stewards of their public funds than our county manager Harry Jones, Commissioner Roberts and the other Democrat commissioners. Ms. Roberts is simply trying to cover up the irresponsible spending and vote buying – trademarks of the Democrat Party – and divert attention from the cronyism and corruption in Mecklenburg County, presided over by Harry Jones and Jennifer Roberts.

These failures have given Republicans a real chance to take back our government, to reduce its size, cut taxes, cut spending and adjust our priorities. Tens of thousands of hurting Mecklenburg taxpayers are waiting for the Republican candidates to show an understanding of their plight and offer an alternative to the failed Democrat policies. This, I believe, can best be done by adopting a ‘Republican Contract With Mecklenburg’, stating specifically what you will do if elected.  Then run as a slate, a strategy that has proven successful in many areas, including Wake County. Above all, run a bold, powerful campaign that places the cause of the county’s financial debacle exactly where it belongs: Around the necks of Chairman Roberts and the Democrats.

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