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Archive for October 22nd, 2009

Another Republican Tight with the Jim Black Gang

jjJames P. Taylor is running for mayor of Matthews. Taylor is a registered Republican, although the township’s offices are ostensibly non-partisan. Taylor’s latest campaign finance report shows he has raised $7600 this cycle. Far and away the largest contribution to that total was $2000 from Addison Bell. Bell is the Matthews businessman who has been a frequent contributor to Democrat candidates and headed up the legal defense fund formed to support former House Speaker Jim Black.

Over the years Bell, a registered Democrat, contributed thousands to Black, Jim Hunt, Mike Easley, Marc Basnight, Richard Moore, and other Dem pols, although last year Bell did support Republican Pat McCrory over Democrat Bev Perdue.

Among the contributions Bell accepted in his role as Black defense fund organizer was $5000 from the Teamsters PAC. Recall that the Teamsters represent CATS bus drivers and have periodically moved to organize CMS bus drivers as well.

Bell also maintained that Jim Black was a “victim” of complex campaign finance laws which virtually compelled Black to accept sacks of cash in men’s rooms across the state. At least that is what Bell implied when he wrote Black’s sentencing judge in April 2007, asking for leniency for the disgraced pol.

Another plea came from out-going Matthews Mayor Lee Myers, who declared of Black, “It is my belief that the good he has done for our State far outweighs any bad.”

Myers, a registered Democrat, has endorsed Taylor to succeed him.

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What in the World is Charlotte.com?

Granted it is just a beta, but the early reviews are not good: “terrible” “horrible” “a yell fest” and designed by “a bunch of damn idiots.”

So what exactly is McClatchy trying to do with this new “Observer interactive” venture which seeks to “partner” with some outside content? I honestly cannot tell. User complaints about the beta are primarily generating reminders that the newspaper site is now charlotteobserver.com, which exactly misses the point. As several users have pointed out in cogent comments, the beta looks like an amateur URL squatter’s page, not the work of multi-million dollar media corp. Nor do established sites yank around their URLs — at least not since ABC’s infamous “go!” disaster and certainly do not drive users to a half-formed beta.

In fact, until someone from MNI says otherwise, the only reason I can see to slap a beta in front of users looking for their daily newspaper’s web site, the one they have visited for years and may even have as their browser’s home page, is to artificially inflate hit counts while implanting persistent cookies on thousands of unsuspecting users.

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