Contested Elections

The Last Contested Election in America
Robert P. Joyce | UNC School of Government | Winter 2007

Initiation of the Contested Election. The new procedure applies to the ten Council of State offices. Under the procedure a candidate for one of these offices who wants to contest an election may appeal the final decision of the North Carolina State Board of Elections directly to the General Assembly. He or she begins by filing with the clerk of the House of Representatives a notice of intent to contest the election. The notice may be based on either of two grounds:

  1. that the opponent is ineligible or unqualified or,
  2. that there was error in the conduct or results of the election.

Judicial Review. The election of the governor by the North Carolina General Assembly is not subject to judicial review, per G.S. 163-182.13A(k).

Carolina Chaos, Elections in Doubt
Staff | American Lens | 11/14/2016
Durham, NC – Chaos has descended on the Durham County Board of Elections following Election Day irregularities. At least one official complaint was filed on November 11, 2016 and the high potential for others could have far-reaching effects across the state. The alleged issues took place during the entire 17-day early voting period and into Election Day at more than five precincts in Durham County. The complaint lodges an accusation of official misconduct. The number of questionable ballots is estimated at approximately 90,000. As a result, the balance of two top races remain clouded in doubt.

After Inquiry, WRAL Explains Missing Vote Count Article
Sister Toldjah | American Lens | 11/15/2016
Vote Count issues still plague North Carolina. Unlike other gubernatorial races across the country that were decided on November 8th, the battle for who will be North Carolina’s next governor is still ongoing. Less than 5,000 votes separate incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory and NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, his Democratic challenger who holds the ever so slight lead.

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Expanding the Courts

The Judicial Branch of government in North Carolina is established as a co-equal branch of our state government under Article IV of the State Constitution. North Carolina’s court system, called the General Court of Justice, is a unified statewide and state-operated system consisting of three divisions: the Appellate Division, the Superior Court Division and the District Court Division. The Appellate Division is composed of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

Short Memories
John Hood | November 12, 2016

Pope v Easley
Decided: December 18, 2001
“On 30 June 2000, the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted, and the Governor of North Carolina signed into law, Session Law 2000-67, which authorized, among other things, the expansion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals from twelve to fifteen judges.”

House Bill 1840 / S.L. 2000-67
§ 7A-16. Creation and organization.
“…On or after December 15, 2000, the Governor shall appoint three additional judges to increase the number of judges to 15. Each judgeship shall not become effective until the temporary appointment is made, and each appointee shall serve from the date of qualification until January 1, 2005. Those judges’ successors shall be elected in the 2004 general election and shall take office on January 1, 2005, to serve terms expiring December 31, 2012.”

NC Democrats: So opposed to court-packing, they did it in 2000
Sister Toldjah | American Lens | November 21, 2016
“There’s only one problem with their criticism [of expanding the court]: It’s already been done in North Carolina. By Democrats – when they controlled things. In 2000.”

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HB2 and Tourism

3/29/2015: People in the travel and tourism industry in the Asheville area and across the state are waiting nervously to see how many people avoid North Carolina because of their displeasure over HB2. Some say they are already seeing negative impacts, a few say it may not affect the bottom line and others expect problems in the future, with the big question being how large the effects will be.

4/27/2016: Tourism losses related to House Bill 2 are rising toward $2 million in Asheville, according to tourism officials, and that number represents only the measurable impact.

7/11/2016: In Asheville, business owners are taking stock of what HB2 means for sales and considering the economic impacts of the boycotts and government-funded travel bans that have resulted from the legislation.

TODAY: Dollars continue to surge into Asheville tourism sector: Asheville and Buncombe County’s tourism industry continued to thrive during the past fiscal year, which concluded at the end of June. The area set an occupancy record for lodging properties with an average rate of 73.3 percent, said Stephanie Brown, executive director of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. That broke the previous year’s record of 72.6 percent.

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Body Cam Law

The Bill
House Bill 972, Law Enforcement Recordings:
Session Law 2016-88
Signed: July 11, 2016
Effective: October 1, 2016
House Vote:
Senate Vote:

UNC School of Government:
Gov McCrory:
Elon University:
Engstrom Law NC:
Rep John Faircloth on the Pete Kaliner Show:

Committee Testimony
The ACLU of North Carolina pointed out the problems with existing body cam laws in legislative process leading to H972 (March 9, 2016):

Local Policy
Char-Meck PD body worn camera policy (Pg. 273):

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Tami Fitzgerald on HB2

The Pete Kaliner Show
August 30, 2016
Guest: Tami Fitzgerald on HB2 and the latest court ruling:


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Teacher Raises in County Budget

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that at the August 25 CIBO candidate forum, “Newman asked Archerd if he would have supported a recent proposal that favored a property tax cut over raises for teachers.”

Newman to Archerd (54:21):

“Um…so…kinda going back to the previous question about the funding of the schools, and I’ll try to make this as specific as I can: so, in the budget we had this year, there was a, the county manager presented the budget, Commissioner Moffitt proposed an amendment to the budget that would have, um, providing no pay increases for local teachers but would have reduced the tax rate. I proposed an amendment to the budget that kept the tax rate the same but gave a pay raise to teachers. How would you have voted on those amendments?”

VIDEO: CIBO Candidate Forum:

This question mis-characterized the trade-off proposed.

The minutes state that Moffitt proposed that the county ask the school board to use a portion of their unnecessary accumulated $12 million reserve fund to pay the balance of the teacher raise request of $3,371,504.

$1.6 million was already on the table. That leaves $1,771.504 to be funded from school board reserves.

The Moffitt Proposal: fully fund teacher raises at $3.3 million.


June 21, 2016
Re: Adoption of FY2017 County Budget
County Board Minutes:
County Board Video (37:15):

“The County Manager gave a brief overview of the budget as presented for adoption. She listed the county schools requests including the teacher’s supplement.

Commissioner Moffitt said that he introduced Senate Bill 888 during his time in the NC House and it was just passed by the current members saving the County’s fund balance $5,000,000. He moved to adopt the budget with the following changes:

  1. reduce the tax rate [one penny] to 59.4;
  2. give County schools $1.6 million to fund the Enka Intermediate and Nesbitt STEM [Discovery] Schools;
  3. fund $500,000 for non-certified school employee raises, asking that the County schools use their fund balance to fund the remaining request. [$3,371,504 request minus $1.6M offer leaves $1,771.504 to be funded by $12.5M school board reserve fund]; (The Moffitt Proposal: fully fund teacher raises at $3.3 million.
  4. that the County take the Asheville City Schools portion out of County fund balance;
  5. accept staff recommendation on the outstanding community development funding requests that had previously been found not to be economic development issues.

Commissioner Fryar seconded the motion. The motion failed…

Vice Chair Newman moved to adopt the budget as submitted with:

  1. additional support for teachers by funding $1.65 million for the supplement this year and next year;
  2. support all of the community development organizations at the funding level as recommended by staff;
  3. fund $75,000 to Asheville Museum of Science; fund $500,000 for non-certified teacher supplement for city/county schools;
  4. to increase funding for Greenways by $100,000 and include in the capital plan 2021 $1 million be invested in the 1-26 infrastructure multi-model project to preserve connectivity above and beyond the basic design;
  5. funding for the opening of the Enka Intermediate and Nesbitt STEM School as well.

Commissioner Frost seconded the motion. Based on this motion, the Manager asked that she be allowed to use up to $75,000 from the fund balance if necessary. The motion passed…”


Mark Cates: “I suspect Emily Patrick “fact-checked’ this with the same rigor as she did Commissioner Newman’s false accusation.”


Emily Patrick: “What point are you two trying to make, exactly? These minutes show, as we have reported, the Moffitt plan did not include raises for teachers. That plan included raises for non-certified school staff.”

1. The minutes show that Brownie Newman does not fully fund teacher raises that were requested. His proposal funded raises at $1.65 million. That’s half the $3.3 million amount requested. A correction might be in order.

2. Moffitt’s proposal FULLY funded teacher raises at the requested $3,371,504—in part from a $12,505,121 school board reserve fund; which they are not required to hold.

3. While the minutes are accurate they are somewhat vague. A better record is the video where Tony Baldwin admits on record that he is sitting on $12,505,121 accumulated reserve fund from previous allocations that were never used (link below). Meanwhile, teachers are buying school supplies for their students and the school board is coming to the county with hat in hand.

VIDEO: Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting (June 21, 2016)


1. The county school board has $12,505,121 in a discretionary reserve fund accumulated over time from unused previous allocations.

2. The county has 1,800 certified staff positions, not all are teachers. For our purposes, let’s say they are all teachers.

3. If funding for classroom supplies were $200 per teacher, that would amount to $360,000.

4. Supplies for every classroom in the county could be funded for 2.8% of the reserve fund.


Buncombe County Commissioners Candidate Forum
September 22, 2016

Brownie: “The majority on the county commission voted to dedicate (extra funding for a) long overdue pay raise,” he said. “All the Republican members voted against it, and those are the facts that you can look up.”

VIDEO: Citizen-Times Candidate Forum

-Newman on teacher pay at 1:25:00
-Fryar’s rebuttal at 1:32:47
-Newman responds at 1:35:10 (interesting body language at the end)


Why is the Buncombe County School Board asking for a teacher pay raise while sitting on a $12.5 million fund balance?

Buncombe County School Board Fund Balances
2011: $11,992,045
2012: $14,712,366
2013: $15,071,244
2014: $13,502,069
2015: $12,505,121

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A remarkable film.

“It’s more than truth. It’s poetry.”



Review by Daisy Miller: “With beautiful widescreen cinematography and gorgeous sets and costumes, YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE (2010), a totally delightful 5-star German romance, captures the magic—and heartbreak—of first love. In 1772, the young, carefree, handsome, and wild Johann Goethe (an utterly charming Alexander Fehling) is devoted to his poetry. But his father wishes him to be a lawyer. After failing his law exams, Johann is sent by his father to a remote provincial court to reconsider his future among documents and legal records. But when the lovely Lotte (an enchanting Miriam Stein) enters his life, there is an immediate attraction. However, the young lovers are not aware that other plans are being made by Lotte’s father for her future. This is a classic costume drama that captivated my heart and senses. Not only are the actors exemplary in their performances, but their enthusiasm, their realism, and their raw emotions jumped off the screen and into my consciousness. I was dazzled and mesmerized—and didn’t want this delicious story to end. All period piece lovers and romantics take note! This is a beautifully filmed masterpiece that won’t disappoint anyone on any level—at least in my humble opinion.”

Trivia: Goethe’s autobiography is called “Dichtung & Wahrheit” (Truth and Poetry).

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