Thursday, February 16, 2012

Prominent Meck Republicans blast Bill James

We've long heard grumbles from Republicans in Mecklenburg County about District 6 commissioner Bill James. They've sighed at his attacks on homosexuals as "sexual predators." They've winced at his references to blacks living in a "moral sewer." They've wondered what would happen if District 6 voters were given the opportunity to choose a conservative who could advocate for them like James, but without the incumbent's rough edges.

We'll learn that soon enough, thanks to the campaign of Republican Ed Driggs. But already, Driggs' candidacy is exposing an unusually public rift within the party.

Driggs sent out a press release moments ago touting a letter of support signed by six prominent Mecklenburg Republicans: current school board member Tim Morgan, former commissioner Edwin Peacock, former Council members John Lassiter and John Tabor, former N.C. Rep. Ed McMahan and businessman Lauren Steele.

Much of the letter is fairly boilerplate stuff, lauding Driggs as a conservative who can do conservative things for his district. But it also notes that his "energy, intelligence and civility will bring credibility to District 6 representation that has been lacking for years."

More to the point is a supplementary quote from Morgan, who says: "The controversy caused by his divisive behavior and un-Christian comments is more helpful to Democrats than Republicans."

James, in an email this afternoon, responds:

There are conservative Republicans and there are the few liberal GOP’s such as this crowd (about 10% of the GOP electorate – mostly concentrated in Myers Park). Competition is a good thing and I am more than willing to face off against a liberal and his cadre of non-district 6 supporters. Lassiter I think lives in District 6 but as for the rest, I doubt it.
Some Republicans, who see themselves in the minority on every major elected body in Charlotte and Mecklenburg, believe that James is at least somewhat responsible for their struggles. So long as he's throwing toxic barbs from south Mecklenburg, they believe they'll have difficulty reaching young voters and a business community that sees James as representative of the county party.

James, however, has passionate supporters in District 6, many of whom are mistrustful of the rest of Mecklenburg - Democrat or Republican. We're about to find out how deep that passion and mistrust runs.

Peter St. Onge


Garth Vader said...

Each one of those six so-called "Republicans" is a Chamber of Commerce puppet (Tim Morgan is the Chamber president's BROTHER, a fact the Observer ALWAYS fails to mention) and they don't like Bill James snooping around the CMS and County budgets finding slush funds, kickbacks and overpriced contracts that benefit their Chamber buddies.

If Ed Driggs is too cowardly to put his own words out there in the public, then how in the world is he going to work on behalf of District 6 and stand up to socialists like Dumont Clarke and Vilma Leake?

Wiley Coyote said...

"The controversy caused by his divisive behavior and un-Christian comments is more helpful to Democrats than Republicans."

Hey Timmy, is that statement autobiographical?

xnavy8185 said...

I have voted for Bill James and I like his conservative views. I am not the only one, because he keeps getting re-elected.

Ghoul said...

Tim Morgan, Edwin Peacock, John Lassiter are not conservatives. Never heard of any of the others, so not sure how the are prominent.

Redlight said...

verAs far as I'm concerned, Bill James should post the letter on his web site as PROOF he's one of the few real republicans in Mecklenburg.

Laura said...

Bill James only get re-elected because he always runs unapposed. He needs to go.

jenifer daniels - the friendraiser said...

seats belong to the electorate, not the elected. humble yourself Mr James.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the 'endorsements' from liberal GOP outside of D6; James still won the straw vote of GOP party leaders 146 to 66 or 69% to 31%.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but these "other" Republicans are not "true" Republicans. Let's call them the Chamber party. They are for taxpayers paying for "shiny toys" or buildings downtown or doling out gobs and gobs of money for the AA community with no expectation of any return or improvement. It is all for show and trying to impress other towns or i.e. keeping up with the Joneses (aka Atlanta, etc.). It just makes them feel all noble and charitable using other people's money while they get their back slapped on the church steps or in the Charlotte Obeserver.