Bryan Freeborn told me he'd gotten his first real threat, "that me and Brownie Newman are going to need bodyguards", over the partisan election plan. Freeborn, Newman, Jones, and Cape pushed the partisan elections plan through on a 4-3 vote.
It looks like a plain and simple power grab to me. Asheville's voters are 1/2 Democrat, 1/4 Republican, and 1/4 Unaffiliated. By putting a little (D), (R), or some unidentifiable letter next to a candidate's name, it's a lot more likely that people will vote their party. This puts Democrats at a big, fat advantage. I think it's also an opportunity for some others to run and win this year as Asheville Independents, but on the whole it's simply a way for Democrats to remain in charge. Not pretty. Tim Peck has a cogent argument against the plan here at Et In Arcadia Ego.
Carl Mumpower is losing his mind. Now he's calling for folks to photograph homeless people and panhandlers, turn the photos over to him, and he'll "take care" of the problem. From Asheville On The Ground,
"Councilman Mumpower has an obvious compassion deficit. Now he is asking folks with cameras to patrol Pritchard Park looking for incidents of "vagrant misbehavior." It is a mean-spirited and highly intrusive effort to further criminalize the unhoused poor and the untreated addicts who gather there, among many others. This city councilman has already attempted to ride the wave of public fear and misinformation about undocumented immigrants and certain classes of illegal drug users."
Mumpower has been throwing tantrums during meetings and turning to face the camera every time he says, "Open Air Drug Markets". He's a martyr with some causes - arrestin' hippies, stealin' crack, bashin' hobos, and makin' the Mexicans disappear.
Jan Davis and Terry Bellamy are the only two left who haven't been involved in some unseemly shenanigans, cementing their places in the political center. What am I leaving out?