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« Aerotropoli | Main | Vaughan: Council will reconsider »

Apr 21, 2011


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I'm not sure we can have it both ways with Tony. His affable sensibility may preclude firebrand statements. Also, attacking his political brethren at present probably isn't wise.

Ed Cone

No violations of the 11th commandment necessary. If he can't manage to say, "I support the plan, but in retrospect I think the process should have been better," then he's not walking the walk.

In any case, events have left him behind -- he's on record saying it was just politics as usual, but Vaughan now says a redo is coming. So any addendum on Tony's part, however sincere, will look forced.


I'm not expecting acts of political genius from Tony. Instead, I believe he'll be more open to suggestions and less of a demagogue than some of the currently elected conservatives.

Tony Wilkins

Ed, you put words in my mouth. Take them out.

Ed Cone

What words would those be, Tony?

Tony Wilkins

TW said: "Redistricting, in general, is motivated by the party or group in power and is usually followed by loud complaints of “foul” from the party or group not in power. Nothing unusual there: Mel Watt, Brad Miller, etc."

There was no reference to my opinion on Tuesday's sequence in my generic statement about redistricting. You did say "if" which makes your statement non-accusatory. Please disregard removing anything from my mouth.

I'm liking fec's expectations. And I can predict Hartzman's next question.

Ed Cone

Fec's expectations are my own. In this environment, transparency and responsiveness would look like genius.

That's why I found your bland generalization about redistricting, rather than a comment on the specifics of this sorry case, to be a disappointment.


After all, we'll have plenty of time to spank Tony after he's elected.

Joe Guarino

Ed, I am just trying to remember. But have you been as bothered by the practice of gerrymandering when it was committed by Democrats, for years and years, for the races at the various levels of government in our county? Federal, state, and local? I am trying to remember your written record on the topic.


"I am trying to remember your written record on the topic."

I can't wait to read the response, should tone actually appear.

This ought to be fun.....

Ed Cone

Joe, I've frequently criticized North Carolina's gerrymandered congressional districts -- in fact, I did so as recently as this week, noting that I'd miss Brad Miller but not his district.

(Another frequent topic here over the years is the weakness of trying to change the subject, including classic variations such as, "b-b-but this bad thing has happened before!" and "mom, he hit me first.")

What really bothers me here is the process. As I said in another post today, pass the plan, or don't, but just do it in daylight.

Mike C.

Certainly the sincerity of one's convictions can be measured by their past record on a given subject and is a fair topic of inquiry in a discussion where values such as transparency are offered as justification for a stated position.

Joe Guarino

But Ed, were you hot and bothered enough by those instances of gerrymandering that you wrote about them in a highly critical fashion at the time the gerrymandering was taking place? I am speaking about the various forms of Democratic gerrymandering we have seen in our parts:

1. The racial gerrymandering of Mel Watt's seat under the Voting Rights Act
2. The gerrymandering of Brad Miller's seat
3. The gerrymandering of the district seats on the board of county commissioners
4. The gerrymandering of seats in the state legislature.

As you can see, there has been lots of Democratic gerrymandering. I am specifically asking about your column when these all happened. Did you call out these situations at the time and demand that they be handled differently?

Ed Cone

Joe, I've repeatedly criticized Democratic gerrymandering in NC over the years (again, as recently as this week) -- but so what?

This is happening now, in my hometown, where my coverage might actually make a difference.

If you want to defend the process that just played out in Greensboro, have at it.

Are you comfortable with the anonymous doorstep story, and the hasty vote?


thanks ed for the help on making a difference on my post in regards to the redistricting of senate seats in guilford county. But hey no problem you will pick up on my post about brad miller being toast with no HT

Ed Cone

WaPo is now available on the web, TW, 4 all 2 see.


You still did not answer first question where Joe also had a post ont redistricting of guilford county senate seats in upcoming redistricting also yes weekly and high point enterprise picked up the article on triadwatch , this is a local cause in regards to redistricting . Silence from Ed on this issue


KB, again your illiteracy is only outdone by your partisanship.

Joe Guarino

Ed, I am just trying to remember what you wrote in your column when all those instances of Democratic gerrymandering occurred that impacted seats here in Guilford County. Honestly, I can't remember what your wrote at the time. Help me out.

Ed Cone

TW, I have missed the stories about the Guilford senate seats -- send me some links, and I'll take a look.


okey dokey will do.

Ed Cone

TW, thanks for sending the links. I'd tend to favor more logical and compact districts (not to mention lawful ones) of the sort you describe. I've paid attention in the past to NC's Congressional map, but the same principles apply.

I would be interested in knowing what arguments against such a redistricting might be.

In the current GSO case, I don't think we've even gotten to the substance of the maps yet -- the red flag for many of us was the flawed process, which the Council has now said it will reverse.


here lies the problem with a lot of this redistricting. As i am going to speak to the state senators next week on guilford county and what we saw this past week in greensboro city council and also what brad miller did in early 2000. The process is flawed where we are giving input into plans that have not been out there for all to see.

I am going to speak about guilford county not knowing what the maps are going to be. They will all say that we had public input which is fine but let us see the finished product then also let us speak about it after the fact.I do not recall back in early 2000 where there was public input after the maps were drawn.

I would like to have seen in greensboro where they had all the maps for all to see and also get public input into the maps then vote on the one they like. This map from mary mander will probably be so tainted right now that if they bring this map back up to vote it will not fly with the citizens.

We will see what happens but i would like to see a formal process from input then show maps then more public input then vote on the maps. What greensboro did was not a process at all , it was a travesty and glad we all could bring our input into this from all angles.

Ed Cone

Here's one argument for shaping districts:

Arguably, democratic representation is more important that the geometric shape of a district. The term gerrymandering should apply only to drawing districts in ways that give advantage to powerful interests at the expense of the less powerful or the effectively disenfranchised. While it has no doubt been imperfectly executed, the principle behind federal intervention in districting is, at least in part, a more thorough enfranchisement.

No idea what if any role that plays in state districting.


The bottom line for all this redistricting is to make the playing field tilt in one direction or another, either in compliance with Federal law or no. It seems somewhat anti-democratic to create conditions which make the election of one type of candidate more likely.
What do you think of the idea of when someone registers to vote they choose the district to which they wish to belong, so that result would be districts of commonality rather than geography?

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