STATE NEWS BRIEFS
NC HOUSE SPEAKER BACKS OFF DRUG TESTING FOR THE POOR
[TROY] In an effort to quell a firestorm of criticism after a video showed him, last Friday, suggesting during a Madison County town hall that North Carolina should be drug testing welfare recipients, NC House Speaker Thom Tillis attempted to walk back his controversial remarks this week. Tillis now says that he’ll look at states like Florida that have already instituted drug testing programs for those on public assistance. He also wants to require random drug testing of state employees. Tillis should also wants to “divide and conquer,” saying that the disabled patients “should look down” at others on public assistance, like unwed mothers. Tillis says all he meant was that government must take a closer look at everyone getting state aid.
BLACK REPUBLICAN TEA PARTY CANDIDATE TARGETED WITH RACIST SLURS
[WAKE FOREST] A black Republican Tea Party candidate for the 13th Congressional District says someone wrote “KKK” on his campaign signs, along with a lewd drawing. Bill Randall, who ran two years ago for the same seat, only to lose to Democrat Rep. Brad Miller, says his sign was defaced over the weekend along Burlington Mills in Wake Forest. Randall says Wake County Sheriff’s investigators rae looking into the matter. Randall says he doesn’t believe the real KKK is responsible.
NC SCHOOLS WITH TOP GRADUATION RATES HONORED
[DURHAM] Twenty-three schools from across the state were honored last week because they had the highest graduation rates in the state. Union County schools had the best rate for large school systems, graduating 88 percent of their seniors. Catawba Schools were first in the medium size category at 86 percent, while Elkin City schools topped small districts with 92 percent.
1204] RALEIGH’S NEW MAYOR - Raleigh Mayor Pro-tem Nancy McFarlane was elected mayor Tuesday night, succeeding outgoing Mayor Charles Meeker, who served for ten years. Read more in the Triangle News Briefs Election Wrapup
 COULD TEDESCO BE OUR NEXT SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR? - Wake School Board Vice Chairman John Tedesco, seen here on the left, could be the next board succeeding the outgoing Ron Margiotta, if the Republicans win the District 3 runoff Nov. 8th. Margiotta lost to challenger Susan Evans Tuesday in the District 8 race [Cash Michaels photos]
 HILL-LOSURDO DISTRICT 3 RACE IS ON - Republican Heather Losurdo (left), has officially challenged Democratic incumbent Kevin Hill (right) in the Nov. 8 District 3 runoff. The winner will decide the balance of power on the Wake County School Board. Hill garnered just shy of 50 percent, to Losurdo’s 40 percent in Tuesday’s school board elections [Cash Michaels photos]
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE GOP WINS DISTRICT 3?
By Cash Michaels
It’s not over yet.
Despite the jubilation over Tuesday evening’s extraordinary near Democratic sweep of the five open Wake School Board seats, the runoff in District 3 between Democratic incumbent Kevin Hill, and Republican Tea Party challenger Heather Losurdo, will be the marquee event between now and Nov. 8th.
Hill garnered 48.7 percent, just shy of the required 50 percent in the District 3 four candidate tally to Losurdo’s 40 percent, thus spurring a runoff.
If Hill, a lifelong educator and former Wake School Board chair, fails to hold off Losurdo in the Nov. 8th head-to-head, then the Republicans on the board will retain their 5-4 majority.
More importantly, they’re also likely to elevate their current vice chairman, District 2’s John Tedesco, to the chairman seat, now being vacated by Republican Ron Margiotta, who lost his long held District 8 seat, 52 to 48 percent, to newcomer Susan Evans.
Tedesco, who is up for re-election in 2013, is arguably the most visible, and many say most divisive figure on the Board of Education. His abrasive partisan remarks, stretching the truth at times, and many speeches at right-wing Tea Party rallies across the state, has made many see Tedesco more as a political operative, than an educational leader.
"I talked to a lot of folks in Ron's district and they said Ron's got this, he never loses," a visibly angry Tedesco told ABC 11 TV news. "And now they know they made a mistake. But they have one shot left."
That shot being the Hill - Losurdo District 3 race. If Losurdo, who admittedly supports the Tea Party, and agreed with her husband on Facebook that President Obama was like a skunk, “black, white and everything it does stinks,” does win, Tedesco, a close lieutenant of Chairman Margiotta, would be the natural Republican choice to carry out the chairman’s neighborhood schools plan.
A plan, as currently reflected in Supt. Anthony Tata’s school choice student assignment plan, that could create a high number of poorly resourced, high poverty, predominately black and Hispanic schools, something Democratic voters made clear Tuesday night that they don’t want.
Even though there will be a public hearing on Tata’s choice plan this evening, 5 PM at Broughton High School, and the board is set to officially adopt it on next Tuesday, Oct. 18th, the new board that’s sworn-in in December, if it’s Democratic-led, may move to rescind that adoption, and order Supt. Tata to add diversity to his plan before it’s implemented.
That’s the one thing Chairman Margiotta didn’t want.
“It seems that the people have spoken, I can accept that, [but] my concern is that we may very well go back to where we were prior to two years ago, and that’s a real concern that I have,” Margiotta told WRAL News, referring to the school system’s socioeconomic student diversity policy, which the chairman’s Republican majority dismantled.
In the midst of Margiotta’s defeat, his standard-bearers were picking up the torch, and leading the charge to hold onto power.
“Kevin Hill was under 50 percent,” hollered Joey Stansbury, who worked for the Citizens for Margiotta campaign. “That means for the next month, you get your butts up to northern Wake County, and help get Heather Losurdo on the school board.”
According to Bob Geary, reporter for the Independent Weekly, internal polling is showing Kevin Hill at least 16 points ahead of Heather Losurdo in a one-to-one. If, or how that holds remains the question until Nov. 8th.
Vice Chairman Tedesco also made a solemn vow before the TV cameras.
“The is whole county this whole county will pour every bit of effort, and every bit of dollars and resources, to decide how this school system goes - do we go to neighborhood schools, or do we go to busing for quota systems?”
Winning the District 3 is even more crucial for the Republicans on the Wake School Board.
Thanks to staggered elections in odd numbered years, the next round of Wake Board of Education elections take place in 2013 in Districts 1, 2, 7 and 9. But all of those districts currently have Republican incumbents. So even if all of them, including Tedesco, sweep the 2013 elections, they’ll still be in the minority on the board if Hill holds on to win this Nov. 8th.
That means the GOP could be out of leadership on the school board until 2015, four year from now. If the Democrats are successful in stabilizing the school system both in student assignments, graduation rates and end-of-grade test scores, they’re likely to be re-elected in four years, thus shutting the Republicans out for almost a decade.
Thus, the Wake GOP and their ancillary Tea Party supporters are expected to fight the battle for District 3 with brutal campaign tactics, as they displayed in the District 8 campaign against Margiotta challenger, Susan Evans.
According to Evans in an interview before last Tuesday’s election, both parents and teachers, and even people who didn’t have children in the Wake County Public School System, were telling her how upset they were with Margiotta’s unyielding style of board leadership.
His willingness to sacrifice the system’s high school accreditation in his battle with AdvancED; refusal to ask the Republican-led NC General Assembly and Wake County Commissioners for more money for the system so as to not embarrass them; and Margiotta’s at times “bullying” manner of publicly promising political retribution, and reluctance to build consensus and compromise on the board, all led to a growing negative impression that killed his chances for re-election in his own upper-middle class district.
One secret to Evans’ electoral success in District 8 - which consists of pars of Southwestern Cary, Apex and Holly Springs - is the black vote. Evans, along with District 4 incumbent Keith Sutton, reportedly visited a number of black churches in Margiotta’s district, exploring them that their votes could make the difference.
If those reports are true, given that approximately a few hundred votes separated the two, then observers say that was a smart move indeed.
Evans says she looks forward to serving on a more professionally led Wake School Board where partisan politics are left at the door, and board members can, for the first time in two years since the Republican majority took over, work together to improve the school system for the betterment of all Wake school children.
The Democratic victory election night in the Wake School Board races was breathtaking. Overall turnout was only 21 percent, according to the Wake County Board of Elections, but it was at least 10 percent more than in 2009, when the Republicans won Districts 1, 2,7 and 9in a so-called “nonpartisan” contest to join Margiotta in their board takeover.
In District 4, encompassing East and Southeast Raleigh, incumbent Keith Sutton, who many times fought Margiotta, Tedesco and the rest of the Republican board majority, crushed Republican challenger Venita Peyton with over 80 percent of the vote in a landslide.
Peyton, apparently being helped by Wake Republican Party handlers according to Sutton, tried to go negative on him, to no avail. This makes the fifth straight public office Peyton has sought, that she has lost.
In District 5, NCSU Professor Jim Martin handily trounced Republican Cynthia Matson for the seat currently held by Dr. Anne McLaurin, a Democrat. Matson has once led a group called “Assignment By Choice,” which several years ago pushed for neighborhood schools without success.
District 6 saw Christine Kushner easily besting her other three opponents, including Donna Williams, for president of the Northern Wake Women’s GOP Club.
If there’s credit to be given, a major part of it has to be to the Wake Democratic Party, with, unlike in 2009, raised tens of thousands of dollars for its candidates, mounted a sophisticated voter telephone canvassing system, and went blow-for-blow in the rhetorical trenches with the Wake Republican Party and the Tea Party with campaign mailers and fundraisers.
Led by Chairman Mack Paul, the party will have to mount the same intense battle now for one Democrat, Kevin Hill, for the Nov. 8th runoff with Republican Heather Losurdo.
"Congratulations to Susan Evans for defeating Tea Party ringleader Ron Margiotta,” State Democratic Party Chairman David Parker said in a statement Tuesday night. "I have no doubt that Susan will work hard to restore the confidence, trust and integrity lost under Margiotta’s failed leadership. Ron Margiotta’s days of making Wake County Schools the butt of national jokes is now over.”
No doubt Republicans will try to use NCNAACP President Rev. William Barber, as a negative backstop in hopes of scaring voters to support Losurdo. Rev. Barber has been a formidable adversary to Chairman Margiotta and his neighborhood schools, even filing a federal suit against the Republican-led board.
“We noted with disgust and dismay, that the Margiotta/Tedesco/Pope group of ideologues condoned the use of racist mailers and Internet images, one featuring an unflattering photo of me with Mr. Margiotta's opponent," Rev. Barber, who is inn High Point for the annual NCNAACP State Conference, said in a statement election night.
"Those who used racist propaganda and dirty tricks seem to have forgotten that the education of our children is a sacred thing -- our teachers are sacred, our schools are sacred and our school leaders have a sacred duty to be responsible for all our children. Tonight we thank God the people didn't forget."
TRIANGLE NEWS BRIEFS - ELECTION WRAPUP
In the races for Raleigh City Council, Mayor Pro-tem Nancy McFarlane soundly defeated Billie Redmond and Dr. Randall Williams to become the city’s second female mayor, succeeding the outgoing Charles Meeker.
The day before the election, Southeast Raleigh black leaders, led by Danny Coleman, president of the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association, endorsed Redmond for mayor. Coleman said he was endorsing Redmond, a Republican, only as a private citizen. But the press release Coleman sent out endorsing Redmond, was on RWCA letterhead.
The RWCA is reportedly planning elections for November to elect new leadership.
In Raleigh’s District C race, incumbent Councilman Eugene Weeks outpaced the field with over 50 percent of the vote to win. Mary Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson both won re-election as councilors-at-large. Retired Col. Randy Stagner defeated Gale Wilkins in District A, and incumbent councilmen John Odom, Thomas Crowder and Bonner Gaylord won districts B, D and E respectively.
The Raleigh Housing and Transportation bonds on the ballot both passed overwhelmingly with over 60 percent of the vote.
In Cary, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht won re-election to a second term. Democrat Lori Bush took the Cary Council At Large race, while incumbents Don Frantz in District B and Gale Adcock in District D won their re-election bids decisively.
CASH IN THE APPLE
By Cash Michaels
NEXT WEEK - As I write this, the polls have yet to close for the Wake County School Board elections, but however they turn out, there are lessons to be learned for the big 2012 presidential elections here in North Carolina. I’ll share my thoughts about that, and this week’s results, next week.
HERMAN CAIN - Who is the biggest fool in America right now? Well of course, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. You know, the man who says he’s blacker than President Barack Obama. The man who says two-thirds of Black America is “brainwashed” against the Republicans.
And the man, per his new autobiography, who conveniently stood on the sidelines during the 60’s civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam while others put their butts on the line for freedom in their nation.
So why do I call this man “the biggest fool?” Because last Tuesday, NJ Gov. Chris Christie came out in support of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Cain’s chief rival in the GOP race ever since Texas Gov. Rick Perry shot himself in the foot with a wide variety of flubs and mistakes (the least of which was his family’s “Niggerhead” Ranch).
Cain thought sure, with his rising numbers in the polls, that he could put some heat on Romney, and by some miracle, grab the nomination when Republican primaries begin in January.
Or at the very least, be the top candidate for vice president (Romney’s pick).
But now, that spot belongs to Christie if he wants it.
So where does that leave Cain?
Standing on the side running his trap about how much blacker he is compared to Pres. Obama.
The biggest fool. Oh Lord!
REV. FRED SHUTTLESWORTH - A great man of history, and one of the right arms of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960’s civil rights struggle. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth died last week at age 89, an icon who survived every bombing and beating in the Deep South where he dared to walk or ride, demanding freedom, justice and equality. Read his full obituary in this black newspaper, but never forget a true man of courage - Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
THE MAGIC OF STEVE JOBS - Last week, upon the announcement of the death of Apple computer creator Steve Jobs, I had an idiotic argument with someone on Facebook, where I hold court every now and then.
The argument, and it truly was an idiotic one, was what did Steve Jobs every do for the black community that would require us to bow down with the rest of the world at news of his death?
The other persons were a bit upset with all of the media worship of Jobs and his computing legacy. And I will agree that they did go into overdrive with their obits. But, to be fair, the given how much computers literally run our world, and how Jobs ruled the computer world with his Macintosh line of iPads, iPhones, iMacs etc., a bit of the fawning was understandable.
And as for the what did Steve Jobs do to specifically help the African-American community? That’s simple. He helped us educate and inform ourselves.
In school district after school district, and college and university after college and university, Apple computer has been the tech instrument of choice for helping our children learn and grow.
But beyond that, Apple computer has donated thousands of computers to inner city schools and poor rural communities so that those populations were not left out of the digital age, and students there could discover a world beyond their boundaries.
None of the above can be denied or denounced, and it will continue to happen long after Steve Jobs death.
You see, Jobs was a visionary, a genius, and his dream was for computing and education being the great equalizers no matter where you lived on the planet. He wanted to remove the fear people had of computers of being to clumsy or difficult to learn, understand, and use.
Indeed, Steve Jobs wanted computing to be fun, and part of our daily lives.
Thus, anytime Jobs unveiled a new Apple product to the world, the excitement was overwhelming. And for a company that only had ten percent of the world’s computer market, Apple virtually dictated the future for the rest of the computer industry.
So yes, Steve Jobs helped our community, at all levels, claim our place in the digital world, where we can now fully engage in commerce, the arts and entertainment, education, research, and social networking.
For me personally, all of my stories are written and edited on Apple computers at home, my office, and at The Carolinian.
My weekly radio program, “Make It Happen,” is produced, edited and mixed on an Apple computer.
And the videos I produce for CashWorks HD Productions, especially my biggest, “Obama in NC: The Path to History,” are all done on Macintosh computers.
I wouldn’t touch anything else.
So I couldn’t understand the senseless jealously expressed on this certain Facebook page about Steve Jobs. Folks were bragging that they had never purchased an Apple product in their lives.
Gee, that’s a shame. While certainly they have the right to use whatever they like, they should at least try to find out what all of the fuss is about before criticizing something. I wonder if any of them have purchased a TV set. They work, you know.
The fact is I’m not in the business of denying someone’s place in history because of the color of their skin. They’re unselfish work for all of humanity is my gauge of respect due.
Yes the media engaged in a lot of hyperbole about Jobs, but if you thought that was bad, wait until Bill Gates of Microsoft kicks the bucket. And he has also made sure that poor communities have been put online so that children there expand their worlds.
Like it or not, Steve Jobs changed our world. He indeed joins the ranks of Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and Dr. George Washington Carver.
Steve Jobs was a humanitarian and a genius. Thanks to him, the world will never be the same.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - Better strap yourselves in because something is happening with our politics in this nation. First the right-wing Tea Party movement defiantly stood its ground, and demanded that government listen to them about fiscal responsibility. They were so powerful that they almost made the country default on its obligations.
Now comes pressure from the other side, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, a nationwide liberal movement that paints the excesses of corporate America as destructive to the nation, and blames both the Republicans and Democrats with not policing and punishing the filthy rich for their greed and responsibility in nearly destroying the American economy.
It’s about time that a liberal answer to the Tea Party movement appeared on the scene, and they’re popping up all over the nation, including here in North Carolina.
The question is, what kind of impact will the Occupy Wall Street movement have on presidential and statewide politics. It remains to be seen, but I caution you that it is way too early to say how, or if this movement will help Democrats, or President Obama.
People are very frustrated right now. They want an end to the foolishness. They are sick of the two-party system. They want real change.
That’s why I say to strap yourself in, because it really isn’t clear where we go from here politically.
Those protesters may add, “Neither do we.”
MAHALIA’S 100 - If she had lived, gospel singing legend Mahalia Jackson would be turning 100 years-old this October 26th. No one had her voice, her sound, or her spirit, which is why, even today, almost 40 years since her death in 1972, Mahalia Jackson is still beloved, regarded and respected in a class by herself.
Besides, Mahalia was my late mother’s favorite gospel artist, and I can still hear Mom as she sang many of Mahalia’s greatest hits around the house as a little boy back in Brooklyn. So I don’t play when it comes to Mahalia Jackson.
That’s why on Sunday, Oct. 23rd, 5 p.m. at Lincoln Park Holiness Church where Bishop Eli Ratcliff is the pastor, the community is invited to what promises to be an extraordinary concert celebrating the 100th birthday of Mahalia Jackson, featuring a young lady who has astounded audiences across North Carolina for years with her voice and talent, Ms. Lynette Barber.
Lynette used to be one of my students when I worked at St. Augustine’s College back in 1988 - 1990. Today, she is a teacher, but when she isn’t in the classroom, or at church, Lynette is thrilling audiences with a voice you simply have to hear.
If anyone can pay tribute to the great Mahalia Jackson…indeed if anyone ever has paid tribute to that singular legend of good gospel music, Lynnette Barber has.
So why am I piling it on so thick here? Because, like those who’ve already heard Lynette do Mahalia, I KNOW you’re in for a special treat when you attend this concert on Sunday, Oct. 23rd, at Lincoln Park Holiness Church, 13 Heath Street in Raleigh. This concert is free and open to the public, and NOT to be missed.
So circle the date, and let’s all come out and support Lynette as she gives us the absolute best of Mahalia Jackson.
Sure this is normally in Church News, but if I’m telling you about it, then you know it’s going to be something special.
Besides, something tells me after these crazy Wake School Board elections next week, we’re all going to need to look forward to some strong spiritual entertainment.
See you and yours on Oct. 23rd! Take it from me, Lynette will be worth it!
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.Power750.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html). I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.
Life of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Dead at 89
Tea Party to counter Occupy Wall Street Protests
Are Blacks Brainwashed Against Republicans?