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Archive for April, 2010

Did Enquirer Story Sink Tiger at Quail?

Funny, all the what’s wrong with Tiger? conversation and coverage in Charlotte the past two days neatly side-steps the blaring National Enquirer exclusive claiming that Woods told his sex addiction therapists that he slept with 121 women during his marriage to Elin. The tab further claims that a fling with their neighbor is what spurred Elin to slam the door on getting back with Tiger. In fact, the Enquirer reports that Elin has already signed divorce papers.

Now, if true, this story would amount to one giant honking distraction for any tour pro, heck, any athlete or celeb. Let’s see if this theory gets any traction if Tiger manages to miss the cut of a tourney everyone assumed he would finish on the leaderboard, if not at the top.

Update: Nope. Our so-called local “experts” have said not a peep about the single most likely cause of Tiger’s worst round of his life. Here’s wondering if he does not take another “hiatus” from the tour.

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BOCC At-Large Candidate Survey Response: Thompson

1) Do you believe that Mecklenburg County’s per capita tax burden of about $2687 to be too high, too low, or about right? Make no mistake, the tax burden in Mecklenburg County is far too high. In light of our current economic situation, a sound plan for stimulating the local economy would be to cut taxes on individuals and businesses alike. Doing so would put money back in the hands of our citizens and businesses, thus cultivating a climate of economic growth and private-sector job creation. The ‘snowball effect’ that would follow would bring about an environment of prosperity that would resonate across the county. Yet, to get there we will need strong leadership that is not afraid to re-prioritize our local budget and distinguish between Mecklenburg’s ‘wants’ and our ‘needs.’ Cutting wasteful spending projects, repealing same-sex domestic partner benefits, and denying bonus pay for County Management would be good focal points in that process.

2) Do you support or oppose the immigration legislation recently enacted by the state of Arizona? I wholeheartedly endorse the recent legislation that was passed in Arizona, as well as other initiatives aimed at securing our borders and protecting the lives, property, and liberties of law abiding citizens. Let’s face it, America is a land of unparalleled freedom and opportunity. It has always been a nation inhabited by the descendants of immigrants, and it will always remain that ‘beacon of light’ that Reagan often alluded to. America is not in the business of turning away those who want to come here and pursue the American Dream through legal methods. Yet, there is a process that must be adhered to, and those who choose not to abide by that process are, in fact, violating the established law as set forth by our Federal Government.

3) Do you support or oppose exploring the consolidation of city and county services using a purchased services contracting model? Yes, I support any initiative aimed at reducing the size and influence of government, including the consolidation of city and county services. I believe that pursuing such measures would help curb spending, stimulate competition, ensure efficiency, and ultimately reduce the burden on taxpayers.

Corey Thompson
www.coreythompson.us

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BOCC At-Large Candidate Survey Response: Shannon

1) Do you believe that Mecklenburg County’s per capita tax burden of about $2687 to be too high, too low, or about right? The Mecklenburg County per capita tax is a little too high. If we begin to cut the waste, excess, and inefficiencies presently in our county, these savings could be passed back to the tax payers in lower taxes.

2) Do you support or oppose the immigration legislation recently enacted by the state of Arizona? I don’t agree with all the legislation enacted by Arizona. But presently Arizona is not my concern. My concern is to get Mecklenburg County finances back on track.

3) Do you support or oppose exploring the consolidation of city and county services using a purchased services contracting model? I would be really open to review consolidation of city and county services to see how much of a saving it would be for the county. I am one who believes strongly in getting a bang for the bucks we are spending. Then passing those savings back to the taxpayers.

Larry Shannon
Candidate for County Commissioner At Large.

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BOCC At-Large Candidate Survey Response: Pendergraph

1) Do you believe that Mecklenburg County’s per capita tax burden of about $2687 to be too high, too low, or about right? I believe the per capita tax burden is excessive. We should work diligently as elected officials to reduce that number. It makes it extremely difficult for those on fixed incomes and retirees trying to enjoy what that worked for all their lives.

2) Do you support or oppose the immigration legislation recently enacted by the state of Arizona? It should be no shock to anyone that I absolutely agree with the recent immigration legislation passed in Arizona. So do most Arizona, North Carolina and U.S. citizens. As a matter of fact, I wrote the Arizona governor a letter praising her actions. Why should any state have to pass any legislation in order to enforce legislation already on the books? The answer is that there is no will to enforce our federal immigration laws in Washington. How is it we can send a crew to the moon in 1969 and return them to Earth without a scratch and we can’t secure our borders on 2010? Same answer, there is no will to secure our borders in Washington.

3) Do you support or oppose exploring the consolidation of city and county services using a purchased services contracting model? I support consolidation of any city/county functions that make government more cost effective and efficient.

Jim Pendergraph

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BOCC At-Large Candidate Survey Response: Jeter

1) Do you believe that Mecklenburg County’s per capita tax burden of about $2687 to be too high, too low, or about right? I believe it to be too high. As a small business owner, I believe job creation and economic growth comes from people and businesses keeping more of their hard-earned money in their pockets and giving less to government via taxation. With lower corporate taxes, property taxes and fees, two things happen. First, businesses will usually reinvest in their company in order to grow which normally means new jobs and an investment in goods and services in the community. Secondly, individuals with more disposable income and are free to spend their own money in the community marketplace, which in turn allows for a growing and healthy economy. Additionally, I believe there is a great deal of duplication of services and departments at the County level and needs to be eliminated.

2) Do you support or oppose the immigration legislation recently enacted by the state of Arizona? I wholeheartedly support this new law. Keep in mind that the new Arizona law is in effect the same language as current federal law. This new State law just enables Arizona to enforce immigration law that our federal government chooses not to. We must protect our borders and we must work to eliminate illegal immigration. If the federal government won’t do it, then the States have to.

3) Do you support or oppose exploring the consolidation of city and county services using a purchased services contracting model? I am in favor of exploring any and every option that will reduce expenses and therefore the tax burden on our residents. As I mentioned above, I believe there to be a great deal of duplicate services in Mecklenburg County with the county government and the seven municipalities. We have to eliminate duplicate government services within our community and ensure that all government functions are limited to those that are required of it, nothing more.

Sincerely,

Charles Jeter

Huntersville Town Commissioner

Candidate, Mecklenburg County Commissioner (At-Large)

www.votejeter.com

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Steve Crump: WBTV’s Psychic Reporter

I’ve always enjoyed Steve Crump’s reporting and his documentaries, but I think Crump made a major misstep during his interview with Charlotte city councilman Warren Turner and Turner’s attorneys.

At one point Crump prefaces a question to Turner with, “You have been very honest and very upfront through this process, as you can be.” Really? How does Crump know that?

The city of Charlotte just spent $35,000 to produce a 20-page report the primary thrust of which was to call into question Turner’s honesty on a range of topics. Most glaring, the city’s investigating attorney Valecia McDowell flatly contradicted the contention from Turner’s camp that he left the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy voluntarily.

At a minimum any objective observer cannot say what the truth might be on these matters. Yet Crump has already made a determination.

Now maybe Crump simply misspoke. Perhaps he just meant to say that Turner has been very declarative in defending himself. That would be true. But it is a big mistake to stipulate anything about Turner’s honesty at this point, especially as Turner has yet to respond to the troubling details raised by the city’s report.

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About Those “Run For Your Lives!” Messages

Many Meck Deck readers were concerned about the “warning! attack site!” messages when dropping by this site earlier this week. Here are the details on what happened.

Thanks for sticking with us.

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Will WFNZ Bolt on a Tiger Mistress Interview?

jjVery interesting test of media independence coming up tomorrow. WFNZ sports talker Chris McClain told his audience this morning that he and co-host Jim Celania — longtime Ch. 36 sports anchor — were having second and third thoughts about going ahead with a scheduled 8am interview on Friday with Joslyn James.

James, you may have lost track, is the porn star Tiger Woods bedded. James was also the source of some of the most lurid text messages (very NSFW here) from Tiger, as well as the very newsworthy revelation that Tiger likely had many enablers in his camp during his serial run of debauchery.

James is now herself engaged in an exploitation tour, following Tiger around to the cities he is playing in. Next stop, Charlotte this weekend. James has booked herself into local strip clubs, including the Uptown Cabaret. This is where WFNZ comes in. The Uptown Cabaret is a long-time advertiser on the station and has hooked up James for the interview. McClain pointed out that the strip club and James obviously want the interview to happen.

But where it gets complicated is that FNZ is owned by CBS Radio, also the owner of country giant WSOC, urban staple WPEG along with WNKS (Kiss FM), WBAV, and WKQC. And that is just locally. Local strip club sponsors aside, this boils down one of the biggest media companies in the nation giving a platform to a seamy side of the Tiger circus. Or not.

Here is why I think FNZ should put James on the air — and not to grill her about her motivations as Celania and McClain suggested would be the case. We already know her motivations guys, c’mon. Don’t treat us like idiots. An actual act of journalism would be to ask James if Woods ever paid her for sex. Yes or no. Does she know of any instances where Tiger paid other women for sex? Yes or no. Finally, has she ever heard of hushhush.com? Yes or no. If yes, how?

There. Totally legit questions of someone in a position to know aspects of a major celebrity scandal. Now if WFNZ, CBS Radio, and the entire local media establishment do not want to know the answers to those questions, let alone ask them, well that is another matter entirely.

And it makes Joslyn James not the only whore in town.

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AirTran Does It Backwards

One of the most basic things about the air travel biz is that demand is not equally spread out across the week. Simply put, more people fly on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays than on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Airlines know this, and often operate fewer flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as a result.

Which brings us to AirTran’s odd new schedule from CLT. Beginning May 4, they’re offering two flights a day to Baltimore, a daily Orlando flight, and these offerings to Atlanta:

311 6:40a 8:03a Daily
312 12:15p 1:36p X145
322 3:32p 4:47p Daily

So a 12:15pm departure except on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays? Got me why they’re doing that.

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Why Was McCrory Kept in Dark About Turner?

Seems to me Charlotte city government once again has another mystery on its hands.

Exactly why did City Attorney Mac McCarley and two different City Managers, Curt Walton and Pam Syfert, opt not to tell then-Mayor Pat McCrory about trouble between city councilman Warren Turner and city employees?

One theory advanced to me by multiple watchers of local politics is that top city staff kept McCrory out of the loop because they believed the mayor to be “close” to Turner. I have no idea if that is an accurate description of their relationship. Besides an alternate theory several other people have advanced to me is the nearly the complete opposite. Namely that city staff did not want to bring the supposed transgressions of a black Democrat councilman to a white Republican mayor for a fix. This theory holds that the fear of a racially tinged city scandal stayed the hand of Walton and McCarley until another black Democrat was mayor making it “safe” to air their concerns about Turner.

But whatever the motivation, it is not the job of city staff to weigh personal and political ties between elected officials while acting in their official capacity. At least it should not be in a system of government with the elected officials at the top and the hired help below. However, as we’ve seen repeatedly over the years, that is not the case in Charlotte. Elected officials, including the mayor, do the bidding of city staff.

Meanwhile, the NC Department of Corrections is predictably closing ranks around probations officer Turner. A request by the Uptown paper of record for a list of probationers under Turner’s supervision has been denied. The paper is understandably trying to establish if anyone who has come in contact with Turner in his official capacity has complaints about his behavior similar to those presented in the city’s investigation of his conduct.

It may take awhile, but we’ll find that one out soon enough. As for the reasons behind the actions of highly-paid city staff, don’t count on it.

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