#ncpol: Keep party affiliation a secret — JUST LIKE John Edwards’s girlfriend.

That’s the advice that allegedly-still-living-and-breathing crackerjack N&O columnist Rob Christensen is giving legislators in Raleigh: 

During the middle of the last century, there was a reform effort in North Carolina to depoliticize municipal government, removing power from the old ward bosses and making city government more businesslike.

That is when most cities instituted the council-manager form of government in an effort to place the day-to-day running of City Hall in the hands of trained professionals. City elections were made nonpartisan, and elections were scheduled in odd-numbered years, separating them from the normal Democratic-Republican food fights.

It was easy to “depoliticize” local elections at that time.  You could fit ALL of the NC Republicans in one — maybe two — phone booths. MORE: 

It was a reform that has largely worked. North Carolina city governments are among the most efficient and the cleanest in the country. They run so well that we take them for granted.

Show of hands.  How many of you live in localities that are governed and managed like finely-tuned machines?  (*Gee.  It’s quiet out there.  Can someone shut those crickets up?*) 

[…] There are rarely scandals. […]

No scandals? I found them all the time when I was a driveby.  I had councilmen writing themselves into the programs that provided health insurance and retirement benefits for city workers.  (Leave the council after one term?  You can still tap into the health and retirement benefits for LIFE.)

[…]North Carolina probably has as many municipal governments with AAA bond ratings as any state in the country – the highest credit rating from the Wall Street bond houses.

Cities with AAA bond ratings include Cary, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill, according to the state treasurer’s office. There are no Tar Heel cities with bad credit ratings.

“There is no greater concentration of municipal fiscal health in the United States, and possibly in the world, than the string of cities down I-85,” David Rusk, an urban expert and former mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., told me several years ago.

In an era where national government is increasingly partisan and dysfunctional and state government seems heading down the same path (see voting rights, redistricting and more), municipal government still works.

But there is a move in the legislature to fix that.[…] 

SO, identifying someone’s party registration will immediately cause quality of service to collapse and anarchy to reign?  Honestly, how will putting an R or D next to a candidate’s name affect how races are run in Raleigh or Durham?

In more mainstream communities, where there is parity in party registration, an R or a D can tell voters a lot.  The GOP has cultivated a reputation for fiscal sanity and law and order, while Democrats are about spending sprees and trannies in the toilet with your little girl. 

Would Rob ACTUALLY have us believe voters developing an allegiance with a city councilman — based solely on name ID (a cult of personality, if you will) — is healthier than said council member running as a party member on a specific party platform?

Rob and his liberal puppeteers are scared that party labels will end their operations under-the-radar at the local level.  (And THAT is where some of the real mischief in government goes down.)


The effort would inject more partisan politics into municipal elections. Sen. Ronald Rabin, a Harnett County Republican, has introduced a bill that would require municipal elections to be partisan.

“Because a candidate’s political beliefs/attitudes/values system tends to influence their political decisions, transparency into that belief system affords the voters an opportunity to elect people who will represent them and their interests,” Rabin said in a statement.

In the recent past, I would have agreed with Rabin.  The public DOES have a perception about how Democrats and Republicans would behave in office.  But, as this site has shown, that doesn’t always pan out.  (You know, with Republicans spending more, allowing trannies in the ladies room, and Okay-ing ObamaCare.) 

Here’s some more wisdom from Rob:

North Carolina’s best known partisan elections are in Charlotte, the state’s largest city. A string of Charlotte mayors have tried – mostly unsuccessfully – to use the office as a stepping stone to run for statewide office. Those include Eddie Knox, who sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 1984, Harvey Gantt, who was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and 1996; Sue Myrick, who sought the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1992; and Richard Vinroot, who was a GOP gubernatorial candidate in 1996 and 2000. The first Charlotte mayor to win higher office was Pat McCrory, who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 for governor, was elected in 2012, but was defeated in 2016.

Um, excuse me, Rob (or his ghostwriter).  But doesn’t the US House count as a higher office than Charlotte mayor?

[…] Most municipal elections are nonpartisan. The mayors and councilmen by and large don’t use their office as political stepping stones.[…] 

I wonder what former Cornelius Town Councilman Thom Tillis thinks about THAT argument?   (Hmm. And there WAS a city councilman in Raleigh named Jesse Helms who, I understand, went on to bigger things.)