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Archive for November 10th, 2009

Harry Jones Still Ducking Lomaxgate

Well, well. As expected the Uptown paper of record has dropped the matter of County Manager Harry Jones, Bank of America lobbyist Betty Turner, and probably BAC North Carolina market head Charles Bowman coming down on BAC employee Harry Lomax for daring to question the county’s financial oversight of DSS charitable dollars. But not WFAE.

The radio station has obtained and posted a copy of the email exchange between Jones, Turner, and Lomax — an inexplicable hole left by Sunday’s UPoR account which did not post the exchange. From the original emails it is obvious that Lomax stung Jones with cogent criticism of DSS and that Lomax did not — in any way — imply that he was acting in any official BAC capacity.

Still Turner reacts thusly when Jones forwards her Lomax’s email, with info omitted by previous UPoR accounts emphasized: “I am embarrassed by his comments, his tone and doing this. I am tracking it down. I don’t know him – I have alerted charles. Will be back to you.”

Clearly Turner is telling Jones that Lomax was not “cleared” by BAC to speak on this topic. Fascinating.

But then there is the attempt by WFAE get Jones to comment on this situation, something UPoR left at Jones not responding to interview requests. Check out this definition of a cover-up:

Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts says she doesn’t see malicious motives in Jones’ e-mail.

“I didn’t read anything into it. I have not asked Harry what his personal intention was. You’ll have to ask him that.”

We did ask Harry Jones. He refused to answer.

WFAE received this response from county public information officer Danny Diehl.

“At this time, Harry Jones declines to comment to your questions regarding the email.”

We then asked why Mr. Jones declined to comment.

“Because he does not want to at this time,” Diehl said by e-mail.

Guess that settles it then.

Update: Now Jones tells the UPoR that he has “apologized” for his actions but there was no “malicious intent.” If so, why apologize? What would be malicious intent — forwarding the email to a hitman? Betty Turner’s response — “I have alerted charles” tells us all we need to know about intent.

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Fail: “No parent can watch a child 24 hours per day”

I don’t care how much a client might be paying me, no way do I pull a Donald Brown and declare: “No parent can watch a child 24 hours per day. You take reasonable precautions to make sure doors are locked.”

Especially when your client has a habitual problem keeping her 2-year-old out of Johnston Road.

State bar records indicate that attorney Donald Brown of Charlotte was censured in 2007 for unprofessional conduct.

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City Won’t Require All Jews to Register

A thought experiment, re-writing the Uptown paper of record account of a supposed “compromise” adopted by a 7-3 Charlotte city council vote last night. The opponents were all Democrats who thought the measure too weak. Was it?

After nearly two hours of debate, the Charlotte City Council passed a limited Jew registration ordinance Monday night, which requires only Jews in the most crime-ridden properties to identify themselves to the police.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police proposed more than a year ago that all Jews register with the city, and be subject to fines if their rental units don’t improve.

Police have said it’s often difficult to identify problem Jews because property records list corporations or don’t have current addresses.

The proposal was based on similar measures in cities such as Raleigh, Minneapolis and Houston.

But a number of Jews, as well as several Jewish groups, opposed the blanket registration. The compromise approved Monday requires only Jews who are in the top 4 percent of highest crime calls to register.

“We think we are targeting crime,” said Elizabeth Barnhardt of the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association. “We think it holds Jews accountable.”

The vote was 7-3. Mayor-elect Anthony Foxx and council members Michael Barnes and Warren Turner, all Democrats, voted against it. They wanted to expand the ordinance to require all Jews to register.

Council member James Mitchell was absent.

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess, and Democratic colleagues Nancy Carter and Patsy Kinsey, joined the Republican minority in supporting the 4 percent compromise.

Council member Warren Cooksey, a Republican, said requiring all Jews to register would be like holding a principal accountable for a crime a student committed on school property.

But there were dozens of residents who attended Monday’s debate, holding “FULL REGISTRATION” signs.

One was John Autry of the Coventry Woods homeowner’s association in east Charlotte. He said his neighborhood is plagued by crime at nearby apartments, and said it made sense to give police the most accurate information.

“How can police chase all that down?” Autry said, referring to following a paper trail to identify a Jewish property owner. “There is no need to put a partial ordinance in place.”

The ordinance calls for police to set up meetings with problem Jewish property owners to develop plans to improve their properties.

Failure to comply could result in fines of $50 a day for the first 30 days, $100 a day for the next 30 days and $500 a day for each subsequent day.

The ultimate penalty would be the city moving to revoke a Jew’s ability to rent the property and collect rent.

What? You didn’t like that, did you? Just because these ordinances are sweeping the nation does not make them right. Such laws socialize a community’s housing stock and bring property owners under the direct command of local police authorities. All for the offense of requiring the State to expend resources to enforce its own laws.

Further, the presumption of guilt and focus of State prosecution under these ordinances is not the perpetrator of petty or violent acts, but the property owner, who is tasked by the State with expending his resources to police his property, a job he has already paid tax to the State for the State to do. Either you see there is something fraudulent and wrong with this notion…or you are probably a Charlotte city councilman.

Bonus Observation: How about no landlord may have a police call to one of his properties held against him unless any arrests resulting from the call are prosecuted fully — including a jury trial — by authorities? That’d never float would it? The State is running a revolving door criminal justice system and wants to tax, regulate, and harass property owners into cleaning up the results of that policy.

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CMS Charter Suit: Just Stop

How many more millions is CMS going to throw away fighting a charter school funding lawsuit they had no hope of winning? Now that the state Supreme Court has refused to hear CMS appeals of previous rulings the time has come to stop fighting. You lost.

Ah, but the new, more left leaning CMS board is not likely to demand the CMS do any such thing.

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November 2009
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