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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMake a donation to Elaine Lite’s campaign – add .07, so she’ll know it comes from the netroots

The City of Asheville defines affordable housing:

“This term can mean different things to different people, but the City of Asheville uses it to mean housing that working families earning $15,000 to $40,000 a year can rent or buy without using more than a third of their income for housing (mortgage or rent payments plus utility costs). For a household needing a three-bedroom house or apartment in the Asheville area, the upper limit of affordability is currently (in 2006) a purchase price of about $125,000 or a monthly rent of about $1000 (including utilities). This is the upper limit; most households within the target income range can afford considerably less.”

In a search at, I found 118 homes for under $125,000. Only 72 of these listings were 3 bedroom units, and 55 of these were all in one condominium complex. This leaves exactly 17 affordable homes in Asheville according to the city’s definition.


Elaine Lite is running for City Council, and she wants to guarantee the availability of affordable homes for people who live and work in Asheville. As foreclosures skyrocket across the country, more and more people will be forced out of their homes, and they’ll be looking for places to live. Will the American Dream be available to them?

Make a donation to Elaine Lite’s campaign – add .07, so she’ll know it comes from the netroots

So many in our area already pay more than 30% of their incomes for housing costs:

AC-T: “More than 12,000 households in Buncombe are paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities — an increase of more than 3,000 households from 2000 to 2005. And 15,290 workers fall below the $9 average hourly wage threshold that makes a one-bedroom older efficiency apartment affordable.

Dedman notes that many workers do live with someone else who works, increasing their rental ability, and he stresses that some of those 15,290 workers may make more than the average. But that still leaves an estimated 7,000 or so workers below the threshold and thousands more struggling to get by.”

Elaine Lite recognizes that our city government can do a few simple things to create opportunities for working people to afford a safe, livable home. From her campaign platform:

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Reinstate Asheville’s Mandatory Minimum Housing Code, which was gutted by a previous Council and not restored by the current Council. I will propose restoring the Code within my first 100 days in office. I believe that all families in Asheville deserve decent, safe living conditions. The mandatory housing code was extremely effective over 10 years in improving our housing stock and ensuring that no one has to live in slum conditions.

Implement Inclusionary Zoning for all new developments, requiring that every new development will include a significant percentage of units that are truly affordable for working families.

Prioritize affordable developments. As we consider new developments, we must address the shortage of affordable housing in our community.

Create a City-funded Land Trust to hold land and housing in trust, keeping housing affordable in perpetuity and preserving open space and farmland. Require that housing built with affordable housing funds will be kept affordable for future generations of homeowners.”

I got ahead of the housing crunch, purchasing my home in west Asheville for just $112,000 a few years ago. There aren’t any bargains like ours left in Asheville.

Many nonprofit groups work very hard to assist folks in finding housing, and the city has made some decent efforts as well. However, the depth and breadth of the problem requires someone with the leadership to guarantee affordable housing for our citizens. Elaine Lite’s plan will create affordability now and in the future by recognizing that we all have a civic responsibility to keep Asheville affordable for those who live and work here.

Now’s the time to donate to Elaine’s campaign. She’s in a primary against 14 other candidates, and if she doesn’t get the message out, then it’ll be Asheville’s workers who are left out in the cold.

Your $5.07, $10.07, $25.07 or more can make a big difference. If you believe that affordable housing ought to be one of the city’s biggest priorities, then donate today.

Categories : Democrats, Local
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If you’re an Asheville area blogger/blogophile GO TAKE THE POLL

Please link to it from your sites.

Categories : Local
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Faith Based Money – Want Some?

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketCalling all Buddhists, Muslims, Pagans, Christians, Unitarians, et cetera. Senator Richard Burr is coming to town on Wednesday to tell you how to get your piece of the federal faith based pie.

“U.S. Senator Richard Burr will host a federal grant workshop in Asheville to focus on improving access to federal grants for faith-based and community initiatives.

The workshop will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Reuters Center at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Burr will deliver opening remarks to workshop attendees.

The workshop is part of Burr’s North Carolina Economic Development series to make the state more competitive in the federal arena. The seminar is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested. North Carolina faith-based and community initiative organization personnel and those who wish to attend the workshop should contact Emily Cranford at (202) 224-3154.”

Just kidding. There’s no way you’re going to get Faith-Based money unless you’re an evangelical Christian.
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Categories : Local, Religion, Republicans
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Goodbye Screwy Hoolie

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Hello. My name is Gordon Smith.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis stuff almost writes itself.

Buncombe County Republicans lost everything in the November, 2006 elections, and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow. While I don’t pretend to know about the private machinations of the BCRP, the public faces of the party present a bitter struggle between conservatives and libertarians, and Party regulars.

In the fight to elect a County Chair to the Party earlier this year, Mike Harrison won over Chad Nesbitt. Harrison resigned shortly after his election:

“The chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party on Monday said he resigned from the post after personal attacks on his character and his wife’s character.

Mike Harrison said in a written statement that he left the job May 1. He had hoped his election to chairman in March would bring the party together, he said, but that did not happen.” – link

Harrison supporter, Tim Peck, got into a very public conversation with Nesbitt supporter, Don Yelton. Peck and Yelton gave us a glimpse of the beginning of each group’s encampment in what may be a long war of attrition:

Tim Peck: “Mike Harrison is the best choice as chairman for Buncombe County Republicans. Whether they know it or not.

The alternative, Chad Nesbitt, would have been an embarrassing disaster.”
Don Yelton: “ello [sic] Tim it is me and I know what was said by people about Chad, and phone calls were made as if they were from the party (that was underhanded). You continue to make it necessary that the truth be told. Yes phone calls were made and people talked about Chad behind his back. Actually people said such things as he is a mouth piece for Don Yelton. Anybody that knows Chad, knows he is not a mouth piece for anybody.
If the Republican Party becomes a select party of people that feel better and superior because they are self described intellectuals, they are no better or worse than any other party… I want better.” – link

Now in the heat of August, both groups have sprung up with a mighty grassroots yawp to take control of the Buncombe County Republican Party. You read about The Carolina Stompers here just the other day. Now meet Operation Republican Takeover.

Based around libertarian principles exemplified by Republican Party Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, ORT offers this at their website:

“Attention all hippies, peaceniks, and all who find the USA PATRIOT Act to be an abomination: it’s time to register Republican!

“Republican??? That’s the party who gave us the Iraq War and the PATRIOT Act?! What gives?”

All true, but the party is weak now. President Bush is setting near record disapproval numbers, and they have lost both houses of Congress. The Neocons have mismanaged the party long enough. It is time for new management. The party is ripe for a hostile takeover.”
We have the power! We can:

Get the U.S. out of Iraq,
End the War on Drugs,
Restore civil liberties,
End corporate welfare.
But it will take work.
“The goals of Operation Republican Takeover are to:

Make the case for Ron Paul to people who are not traditionally Republican
Convince them to register Republican and vote in the primaries
Make the case for a longer term hippie-conservative aliiance should Ron Paul win the nomination.”

Lest you think this is just some crank with a website, a couple ORT leaders, Tim Peck and Carl Milstead, Jr. had an hour with Matt Mittan the other day to discuss their plans.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBoth Milstead and Peck assert that, since the Republican Party is so weak, the time is ripe for new ideologies to take the helm and that Ron Paul’s candidacy is the perfect rallying point. Peck summons a new coalition of “progressives, libertarians and classic liberals to charge the ramparts and take over the Republican Party”, while Milstead imagines a “hippie-conservative coalition” that will lead this “hostile takeover”.

Operation Republican Takeover’s strategy is to register new Republicans who are in support of Ron Paul’s candidacy or of Libertarian principles in general. These new Republicans may be libertarians, dissaffected liberals, or anyone who just really likes Ron Paul.

Meanwhile, back on the outskirts of Republican Party proper, The Carolina Stompers plan to take aim at anyone who isn’t conservative enough. Theirs is more of an attack from within, holding elected officials and Party Officers to a Stomper standard.

In response to Operation Republican Takeover, the Stompers, no slaves to grammar, syntax, or style manuals, posted this at their updated website:

“WELL BRING IT ON! This just makes our job a whole lot easier!
Today on the “Matt Mittan Show”, Democrat no, no, no….., progressive no, no……Libertarian no, no wait……- “drug pusher” Tim Peck and his stoned friends have finally come out of the closet.
They claim they will take over the Buncombe County Republican Party.
Told you so BCGOP leadership! Remember Harrison? But have no fear! The Carolina Stompers are here!!!!!!”

Remember that somewhere in the middle of all this fist-pumping is the actual Buncombe County Republican Party, which pretends that neither the Stompers nor the ORT exist. Imagine the meetings of the Party officers as they try to find their way out of this collapse. It’s like being asked to take the helm of a sinking ship.

Categories : Local, Republicans
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Having Seized Power

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We learned that General Petraeus’ assessment of the situation in Iraq will be written by the White House. Now we learn that the Bush White House doesn’t want the General in front of America:

WaPo: “Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing, suggesting instead that the Bush administration’s progress report on the Iraq war should be delivered to Congress by the secretaries of state and defense.”

To be clear – The White House would rather have Condoleeza Rice and Robert Gates tell Congress about Petraeus’ report, which they wrote, in order to spare General Petraeus any inconsistencies about the lies that the Bush administration wants to tell. An amazing farce, really. Will any of the most trusted names in news explain who’s behind Petraeus’ assessment when he reads the Bush propaganda file out loud next month?

Et tu, Heath Shuler? When can we expect to hear you shout this information from the mountaintop as the latest example of why the administration can’t be trusted to conduct or to end this war? When?

Categories : Chickenhawks, Iraq
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I met Kim Yaman during Yearly Kos in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. When she has a chance she comments at Daily Kos, but that’s about the extent of her blogging. She’s kind of busy. She works two jobs in order to support her granddaughter, Layla, who was left in her care when Layla’s mother and father were both deployed six weeks after she was born. Layla is now 4 1/2 years old. Kim now also supports her daughter, who returned from the Navy 16 months ago with a disabling brain injury. The V.A. has yet to issue a single disability check.

Watch the video.

Categories : Iraq
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Elaine Lite, community leader and serious voice for sane development, invites everyone out to Scully’s on Thurday night from 6-9pm to celebrate her candidacy. Come with your friends and family to meet Elaine and hear her vision for our city.

Scully’s is at 13 Walnut St. in downtown Asheville (map).

Elaine and her campaign team have already laid the groundwork for a winning run, now they’re looking forward to spreading the message that sane development isn’t only available to our city, it’s absolutely necessary.

After the party, come on out to Asheville’s Drinking Liberally where we’ll be showing the comedy of Laughing Liberally on the big screen at Asheville Brewing Company on Coxe Ave. downtown.

Categories : Democrats, Loveletter
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Sockpuppet General

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Whenever you hear that he’s listening to the generals on the ground, remember that he’s telling them what to say first:

L.A. Times: Despite Bush’s repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

Categories : Iraq
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Christians Needle Shuler

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theocracy-nowcsm.pngRep. Shuler billed himself as unequivocally “pro-life” during his campaign. While he didn’t really focus on any specifics, Shuler’s rhetoric on the subject was far from inflammatory. A recent interview with Christianity Today illustrates Shuler’s approach to the issue:

“What is the best way to handle abortion politically?

I’m pro-life. We can talk about how we’re going to vote and what we’re going to do, and so many people are activists. Far too often it’s about Democrats and Republicans and their views on that issue. We need to spend more time as Christians being part of the solution to make sure that women know there’s someone here for you financially, there’s someone here who will support you, and someone telling you they love you.

What legal measures do you support to reduce the number of abortions?

I don’t think it’s as much about legal measures. Our communities have to do better. Our churches have to do better. I think that’s part of growing up in a community like I did. It was a small, very [tightly] knit group, and you knew people in your community and your church whom you could lean on and [who] would help you make these difficult decisions. Everyone wants to talk to us about legislation.”

As I read it, Shuler wants society, not government, to address the complex problem of unwanted pregnancies. Since no one is pro-abortion, only pro-choice, it’s easy to find comfort and inspiration in Shuler’s words. We can all work together to support people and educate people to minimize the number of abortions without having to legislate anything.

Christianity Today isn’t going to let it slide that easily,

“Rep. Shuler seems to think he was elected to be a pastor and not a legislator. We don’t need more sentiments and promises, but more actions. It’s time for some pro-life deeds to back up the pro-life words, Democrats. You received a good number of evangelical votes in the last election, which helped you to regain control of Congress. Don’t presume those votes are now yours forever.”

Anti-choice advocates are going to vote for Heath under any circumstances short of a Reverse Romney. But the folks at Christianity Today don’t just want pro-life Congressman, they want Roe v. Wade overturned. Anyone not working towards overturning the law of the land just isn’t Christian enough.

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