Archive for Buncombe County
Does Ron Moore finally get the heave-ho?
Here’s some thinking music:
It’s been years since I last posted to this blog. Decided to do so today because there’s an important issue that needs to be discussed within the Buncombe Democratic Party … and I don’t have another vehicle to start the conversation.
As you may know, I support Todd Williams in the current District Attorney race. But what y’all may not know is why.
What I didn’t write in the LTTE, because I didn’t want to be confrontational before more information became publicly available, is that Ron Moore had possession of evidence that would have cleared the names of 5 people for murder – and didn’t turn it over to their defense attorneys.
This is upsetting enough. What’s salt-in-the-wound is that this serious miscarriage of justice is not being discussed intelligently within the establishment of the local Buncombe Democratic Party during this year’s DA primary race. “Moore’s a good man” is the common mantra when faced with facts around this issue, or pretty much every other scandal concerning Moore.
Ron Moore may very well be a good man. Fine. It really depends on which side of the prison-bars you’re sitting on – I guess.
The Asheville Citizen times has full coverage of the story here. But the highlights are:
1) Ron Moore ignored DNA evidence.
2) Another person admitted to the crime in 2003, but Moore didn’t re-open the case for investigation.
3) Videotape evidence corroborating the 2003 confession was ignored.
I know Moore is a Democrat. He might even be a great guy in-person. But 5 people spent years in jail because Moore didn’t want to do his job properly. Frankly, if it had been 5 white middle-class kids – it is my humble option he would have been disbarred over this by now. In the coming years this issue is going to develop into a major scandal, putting the already tarnished credibility of the DA’s office in serious jeopardy.
The local Democratic party has a choice this year: During the primary y’all can put forth a 24-year incumbent with a history of opaqueness, sweeping serious issues such as the evidence-room scandal under the rug, and preventing justice; or you can submit someone who will focus on doing the right thing.
ON EDIT: Grammar & spelling
Voter Integrity Project: Sitting in a darkened kitchen wearing night-vision goggles to protect their crackers from Bigfoot. ——->
The Voter Integrity Project and the Asheville Tea Party are coming to the Buncombe County Board of Elections on Woodfin St. in Asheville for a hearing set for 5:30 p.m. tonight in Room 330 in the William H. Stanley Building, 35 Woodfin St. The preliminary hearing will consider the 182 voter registration challenges filed earlier this month. The PBS program Frontline was there to cover the story according to accounts.
Perhaps tonight there will be fireworks of the sort VIP-NC director Jay Delancy is known for. After a set of his Wake County challenges was rejected by the local board in 2012, DeLancy “snatched his microphone off the board’s table mid-meeting, kicking glass doors open in front of him as he stormed out of the meeting room in the Public Safety Center. He slowed down once he realized news cameras were chasing him.”
When VIP-NC held a “boot camp” in Asheville last fall, they emphasized the need for getting dead and inactive voters off the rolls because of the possibility of widespread voter fraud — or was it a widespread possibility? — for which they never seem to produce evidence. Basically, T-partiers are convinced that if they lose an election it must be because their opponents cheated. What else could it be? Zombies? Bigfoot?!
VIP-NC also warned the Asheville T-party to avoid vote caging, which they had to have defined. It’s illegal. The T-party sent letters to suspect voters that got returned; they knocked on those doors to see if voters still lived where five or more voters were registered.
So, where would they look for the fraudulently dead in Asheville? Well, here’s a list of the precincts (out of 80) in which they looked, ranked by approximate number of challenges:
11.1- ASHEVILLE SENIOR OPPORTUNITY CTR – Grove St- includes Aston Park Towers and South French Broad
3.1 ST MARKS LUTHERAN CH – Montford
2.1 ISAAC DICKSON ELEMENTARY – includes Klondyke Apts and Hillcrest, Montford
10.1 DR WESLEY GRANT SR-SOUTHSIDE CENTER – includes South French Broad, Lee Walker Heights and Livingston
14.3 ELIADA HOME – Compton Dr
15.1 VANCE ELEMENTARY
12.1 HALL FLETCHER SCHOOL
62.1 GRASSY BRANCH BAPTIST
17.1 BETH ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE
14.2 ASHEVILLE CITY PRE-SCHOOL – Haywood Rd- Burton Street Community
8.2 SHILOH COMMUNITY CENTER
As with promoting voter identity cards, much time and effort expended to prevent ineligible people from voting. At the VIP-NC training last fall, not once (in seven hours?) did anyone suggest opening up the franchise to greater participation, registering new voters and encouraging them to exercise their right to vote.
Be there tonight by 5:30.
From the press release at his website:
Williams Announces Bid to Restore Integrity to District Attorney Office
Attorney Todd M. Williams of Asheville announced that he has filed as a Democrat running for election to the Office of District Attorney for the 28th Judicial District. The Primary is May 6.
“The Office of District Attorney should be renowned for its fairness and integrity in pursuit of justice. In seeking justice, the office must safeguard the rights and reputations of the innocent,” Williams said. “To regain this reputation and trust, we need new leadership that will demonstrate the highest degree of integrity and professionalism. I offer to provide that leadership.”
Williams believes transparency will be essential to renewing public trust in the Office of the District Attorney.
Local and national media have documented the Office’s lack of transparency. Documents in the public interest were suppressed. Innocence Commission hearings resulted in overturning murder convictions that had kept young men in jail for years.
“These events have tarnished the public perception of the openness of the Office of District Attorney,” Williams said. “That perception harms our criminal justice system.”
Williams has nearly 15 years of experience as a defense attorney. He has served as Assistant Capital Defender, Assistant Senior Public Defender, and Assistant Public Defender for nine years in Buncombe County. Williams said he is ready to transition from defense to prosecution within the criminal justice system.
“Defense attorneys and prosecutors are united in seeking justice. The players are different, but, in a well-run system, we are all on the same team,” Williams said. “The most pressing need in our criminal justice system is the need for new leadership in the Office of District Attorney. We need to rebuild public trust, increase consistency, and increase professionalism. I am ready to step up and deliver that new leadership.”
Williams, 45, is a North Carolina native and long-time Buncombe County resident. He and his wife Catherine have a 14-month old daughter. Williams serves on the board of Green Opportunities. He is also an investor in a local business, Wedge Brewing Company.
“I am committed to making our community an even safer place to live and raise a family,” Williams said.
“It will be my honor to bring a fresh, measured approach to the Office of District Attorney, which will be efficient, responsive to law enforcement, and fair to defendants that are brought before the court for prosecution,” Williams said.
Williams earned his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Northeastern Law School. Williams has been practicing law in North Carolina since 2000. In addition to serving on the board of Green Opportunities, Williams volunteers on Democratic campaigns and is a past Commissioner of the Historic Resources Commission of Asheville and Buncombe County.
For more information about the District Attorney Race in Buncombe County NC visit www.WilliamsforDA.com
I’ve known Todd Williams for years, and I know him to be trustworthy, hardworking, intelligent, and fair. He’s also got guts. It takes a lot of guts to take on a long-time incumbent, so I hope you’ll take some time to get to know the candidates and make your decision based on your values.
Your Buncombe County Democratic Party needs you. We’re getting organized to make some change in 2014 elections, and every registered Democrat is invited to be a part of it. After the jump please find the time and location of your precinct meeting. Not sure which precinct you’re in? Use this handy tool.
This just hit my inbox. With Attorney General Roy Cooper’s earlier announcement regarding his support for marriage equality, this is going to make for an interesting and historic opportunity.
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Willing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses; Requests Attorney General Review
Asheville, North Carolina. Monday, October 14, 2013
Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger will be the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Reisinger will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Roy Cooper.
“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Reisinger said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.
The Campaign for Southern Equality notified Reisinger that at least six same-sex couples would request marriage licenses Tuesday. Reisinger will allow the couples to complete and sign their applications. He will accept the applications but withhold his own signature.
“I will then let the Attorney General know that I would like to issue these couples licenses, but that I need his clarification on the laws of the state that seem to contradict the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Reisinger said.
Tuesday will be the first time same-sex couples have requested marriage licenses from Reisinger since the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Transcript of exchange between Chris Pelly and Tim Moffitt – August 5, 2013. Taken from video shot at the event by another attendee. It’s my understanding that neither Councilman Pelly nor Representative Moffitt were aware they were being recorded.
Pelly: If we wanted to join the Culture and Recreation Authority, does the current legislation allow that to occur?
Moffitt: No, we took that away from you. When you filed your lawsuit, we… You did three things: First of all you filed your lawsuit, ok, so we’re not going to let you file the lawsuit on this side and sue the state and charge your taxpayers money but at the same time be the benefactor of this because it’s going to cost people outside the city some of their hard-earned money, so until the lawsuit is settled, we took the Authority away from the city.
Pelly: And does any other city in Buncombe County have the right to join the Authority?
Moffitt: Right now Buncombe County has asked for two years to not allow anybody to join. So they feel it’s going to take two years to kind of get the foundation set, for them to undertake that. So the limitations are going to be based on what the County is willing to do.
Pelly: And there’s a lot I could argue with you about about the issue of the water system, but this isn’t the place to do that…
Moffitt: Well, you know the history I’m talking about, Chris, you can find it. The history you’re talking about, I’m not sure.
Pelly: I have just one question for you.
Pelly: Later on today there’s going to be a rally in downtown Asheville, your hometown…
Pelly: …and the newspapers are estimating thousands of people are going to be there.
Pelly: Does that give you pause that….
Pelly: decisions you’re making in the legislature are concerning people?
Pelly: Does it concern you that 86% of Asheville residents voted against the water referendum, for the water referendum that retains the water system?
Moffitt: What really concerns me is that you would actually put a referendum on the ballot that was not about the issue that was actually being discussed. As far as the folks that are participating in Moral Monday, we predicted this would happen in 2011 when it started in Wisconsin and Michigan. We predicted it would be 18 months before it hit North Carolina because North Carolina is considered a purple state. So North Carolina is seen by the unions as a state that they can flip, and if you go back and look at the chatter regarding Moral Mondays, it’s really a union driven event and doesn’t really…
Pelly: Does it affect the future of education and voter identification or any of those issues?
Moffitt: It affects people’s opinions on those things, but a lot of those opinions are not based on fact.
The American Prospect has a thoughtful analysis of where the Moral Mondays movement came from and where it’s going. A sample:
Barber’s approach inverts the religious-right rhetoric that has dominated, and warped, Southern politics in recent decades. Some liberals might be put off by Moral Mondays’ “good versus evil” approach. But not, for the most part, Southern liberals. Atheists, Jews, and Christians alike have long been accustomed to singing “This Little Light of Mine” while railing against right-wing politics; it comes straight from the civil-rights tradition of weaving together religion and advocacy.
“This is a kind of Jewish-Baptist-Episcopalian-Methodist-Catholic church,” says Tim Tyson, historian, author, and professor at the Duke Divinity School. “It’s not about dogma. It’s about having a core commitment to human rights and human values.”
Mtn #MoralMondays rally w/Rev. Barber Aug 5-Asheville NC. Forward Together. Not One Step Back #MoMoMo details at on.fb.me/1407gkK