Bunkey-mandering | Editorial | Indy Week
Pin It

Bunkey-mandering 

If you need any more proof than Bob Geary's story this week about the vanishing role voters are playing in North Carolina, look no further than Chatham County. In May, voters rebelled against the county's downward spiral into sprawl by bouncing Commissioner Bunkey Morgan and his allies off the county board. It was a resounding victory for democracy and citizen activism.

But Morgan, who is backed by the region's major real estate interests, isn't riding off into the sunset. Instead, he's approving subdivisions left and right, pushing through water plans to open up more rural acres to development and--in an attempt to make sure those pesky voters stop interfering--is revamping Chatham's electoral systems to facilitate his return to office and dilute the political base of his opponents.

So, with a nod to Harper's, we offer "The Bunkey Index":

  • Number of months Morgan held office before he lost, during which he could have initiated redistricting if it were a priority: 42
  • Months after his defeat that he made the proposal: 2
  • Months he gave the redistricting committee to draft a plan completely redrawing voting maps and switching from at-large voting to voting by district: less than one
  • Number of committee members representing northeastern Chatham, where nearly half the county's population is concentrated and where Morgan is least popular: zero
  • Commissioner elections won by African-Americans under the at-large voting in place for three decades: 8
  • Black candidates elected prior to at-large voting: 0
  • Amount given to Morgan's campaign four days before the 2006 primary by County Attorney Bob Gunn, who presided over the nullification of legal challenges to Morgan's candidacy in 2002: $200
  • Percentage increase in Gunn's retainer Morgan supported one month later: 21
  • Year in which Morgan could seek office again under the current electoral system: 2010
  • Year in which he can under the proposal: 2008

That's just a small snapshot of the power struggles happening in Chatham right now. If you feel the urge to contribute to one of many citizen groups fighting the good fight--and hear some great music in the process--see Best Bets on page 5. For another example of corporate interests prevailing over civic ones near Siler City, see Triangles on page 12. And to see live action and maybe weigh in yourself, head down the courthouse in Pittsboro on Aug. 21 at 6 p.m., for the public hearing on the redistricting scheme. Don't let them make you invisible.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Editorial



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Fresh ideas are essential to progressive journalism - Bravo to the new team - it feels like the old Indy …

by Bonnie Hauser on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Good luck to Skillet and Grayson! I've enjoyed their work for years and will miss them in these pages. …

by john i on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

TERRIBLE thin grey print font;

Change from legible to practically illegible;
tried several times to read articles …

by Chris Tiffany on A Quick Note on Our New Print Redesign (Editorial)

"McCrory has taken our state out of millions of dollars in debt and brought us a 400 million dollar surplus …

by vocalocal on Why we're suing Pat McCrory (Editorial)

McCrory has taken our state out of millions of dollars in debt and brought us a 400 million dollar surplus …

by beaconoftruth on Why we're suing Pat McCrory (Editorial)

Comments

Fresh ideas are essential to progressive journalism - Bravo to the new team - it feels like the old Indy …

by Bonnie Hauser on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Good luck to Skillet and Grayson! I've enjoyed their work for years and will miss them in these pages. …

by john i on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation