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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jim Pendergraph Tricked Into Vice-Chair Role? 2011 Charlotte Mayor's Race Dirty Politics

Jim Pendergraph or Harold Cogdell For Charlotte's Next Mayor?

Why not?

Both Men have proven to be Excellent Leaders with the ability to work across Party lines with ease.

Both Men are well-versed & well-known in North Carolina's Political circles.

For example unlike Charlotte's Current Partisan Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Commissioner Harold Cogdell (graduate of N.C. A & T University, N.C. Central Law School) a Successful Charlotte Attorney & Staunch Democrat, recently demonstrated how serious he was about working in an Bi-partisan political environment versus a Partisan environment.

When selecting new Leadership for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, Mr. Cogdell absolutely refused to support anyone for Vice-Chair other than newly elected Commissioner Jim Pendergraph, a Republican.

In fact Mr. Cogdell was even willing to challenge his extremely Partisan Board Member Jennifer Roberts for the Chairperson slot to help ensure Mr. Pendergraph be selected as Vice-Chair.

Cogdell's logic for such a well-orchestrated Political scheme?

He states he was "Damn Tired Of Partisan Politics!"

However he still cast a vote allowing Jennifer Roberts Queen of "Partisan Politics" to remain in her previous role as Chairperson.

As for the Sincerity of Mr. Cogdell's decision-making prior to & after the board's vote God only knows, nevertheless it was a Brilliant help keep Jim Pendergraph from Running as Charlotte's next Mayor in 2011 that is.

Since I wouldn't actually mind seeing Jim Pendergraph elected as Charlotte's new Mayor, I can't say I fully endorse Mr. Codgell's actions, however one HAS to give him credit for having the Chutzpah to stand up against Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Queen of "Partian Politics" herself, Jennifer Roberts!

Now as for Jim Pendergraph's qualifications who can forget his previous stint in local Public Office as Sheriff of Charlotte-Mecklenburg?

A Role well deserved in which he functioned for 13 years!

In fact Mr. Pendergraph was an Excellent Sheriff who cultivated & developed an Extremely Diverse Staff.

Diverse in Race and Gender, especially as it relates to Advancement & Promotion.

Mr. Pendergraph a graduate of the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, resigned from his role as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sheriff to accept a job offer with former POTUS George W. Bush's Administration as Executive Director of State and Local Coordination for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of Homeland Security.

Either Harold Cogdell & Jim Pendergraph would be an Excellent replacement for Anthony Foxx, who appears to be nothing more than a Puppet for President Barack Obama & the Obama Administration Agenda, with NO Original Leadership Ideas of his own!

How did I arrive at the conclusion that Mr. Cogdell may have participated in a Political Scheme to "trick" Jim Pendergraph into accepting the role of County Commissioner Vice-Chair as a means of keeping him out of the upcoming 2011 Charlotte Mayoral Race?

Because former Mayor Pat McCrory mentioned Jim Pendergraph as a possible candidate for Charlotte's next Mayor on a recent segment of WCNC's "Flashpoint" webcast.

Don't Hate The Messenger!

For those of you who don't know me I'm an Opinionated Native New Yorker, Proud Political Junkie with an God-given eye for picking Winners & a Keen nose for rooting out Political Corruption.

I'm also closely Blood-related to a Charlotte Politician currently serving in Public Office.

In other words I know Politics like I know my own name. Politics is in My DNA.

No Boasting just speaking facts.

Because of my God-given Political Perspective & frequently Spot-on Insight, many Local & National Political Figures have Retaliated against Me & My Family.

Terrible, Hurtful Retaliation!

Many have even tried to Stop me & Shut me up.

Did it work?



I was Created to be deeply involved in the Political Process in some form or another.

Except NOT the role of simply visiting Exit Polls during Election time like "Obedient" Sheep being led to a Slaughterhouse!

Yes I Vote during each Primary & Election but that is NOT the main purpose of my existence, that is as it relates to all things Political.

If you despise me or what I do, tell God!

By the way there is Only one. God Almighty!

Last time I checked he still runs the show.

Thus the reason why I Still Exist!

So let's revisit 6 reasons Why & How former Charlotte Mayoral Candidate John Lassiter lost to current Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx?

1.) Foxx hired David Axelrod's Political Consulting Firm and ran an Effective Grassroots Campaign.

2.) Lassiter hired an Ineffective Campaign Manager who refused to listen to Conventional Wisdom as it relates to Politics.

3.) North Carolina Democrats' Dirty Politics.

4.) Straight Ticket Voting by Black Democrats who reside in West Charlotte.

Ironically for all their Loyalty to the Mecklenburg County & North Carolina Democratic Party, Charlotte's Black Voters who reside in West Charlotte have received Very Little in return for their Voter Investment.

Just take a ride on over to Beatties Ford (James Mitchell's District) and check out how Horrible the place looks!

Its nothing more than a Southern Harlem in a Bad way.

The Old Harlem that is.

Not the New Harlem where Property Values have recently Skyrocketed due to Mayor Bloomberg Investments to Revitalize that area of New York City.

5.) Exit Poll Precinct Captains in Charlotte's Black Communities (mainly West Charlotte) turning Ballots into the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections after Midnight.

6.) John Lassiter underestimated Anthony Foxx's ability to use Dirty Politics in the race. Lassiter & his Ineffective Campaign Manager naively thought Foxx would "Never" do such a thing.

Come on!

It was a Political race & Foxx sought David Axelrod's Chicago-style Political advice!

What did they think Anthony Foxx was going to do to win?

Bake Cookies & hand them out to Charlotte's Voters?

Lassiter also allowed his Ineffective Campaign Manager & Anthony Foxx to trick him into foolishly campaigning together.

OMG! How Crazy is that?

Nothing wrong with Political Candidates Debating together to express their views on Voter related issues, however Candidates Should NOT campaign together!

After all there can Only be One Winner!

This slick Chicago Politics Strategy allowed Anthony Foxx who was actually the Weaker, Less Experienced candidate, to lean upon & pull from the Strengths of John Lassiter.

Foxx became more Confident, giving him the edge with Voters than.... he suddenly Slammed Lassiter with the hard hammer of Dirty Politics!

(By the way did I fail to mention that Anthony Foxx hired David Axelrod's Political Consulting Firm to help him win?)

Poor Lassiter didn't even see his Political career being destroyed because his Ineffective Campaign Manager who refused to listen to Conventional Wisdom, totally Ignored all signs of reality & the possibility of Lassiter losing to a Weaker, less Experienced Candidate.

Foxx painted Lassiter as a Cold, Greedy Politician who panders to Developers when in reality its actually Foxx who's the Cold, Greedy Politician pandering low to Developers with deep pockets.

These factors literally cost Lassiter the election & are the ONLY reasons why Anthony Foxx currently reigns as Charlotte Mayor versus the more Qualified, more Experienced John Lassiter.

I voted for John Lassiter & was very disappointed he didn't win.

However I have to admit that Lassiter ONLY lost because he & his Ineffective Campaign Manager basically handed the Mayor's seat to Foxx on a Silver Platter!

Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory would NEVER have made it that easy for his Political Opponent to win.

Back in 2008 McCrory's former Gubernatorial Opponent Bev Perdue ONLY beat McCrory because she rode President Barack Obama's coattails, North Carolina Democratic Party Dirty Politics & possibly Voter Fraud.

That's It!

So you see the 2009 Charlotte Mayoral Race wasn't about Racial Relations or Racism, as the Charlotte Observer wanted everyone to believe

Nor was it about Income or Social Status Levels. (Class Wars)

Instead it was All about Dirty Politics via the N.C. Democratic Party & Charlotte Observer, Black Straight Ticket Voters From West Charlotte & Democratic Party Precinct Captains (Black Communities).

Now as it relates to Charlotte's upcoming 2011 Mayoral Election I have No idea who will challenge current Mayor Anthony Foxx .

However everyone within Foxx's inner circle knows he's going to throw his hat in the ring again.

You see Foxx like his Political Mentor Barack Obama, loves being in the Limelight too much NOT to Run again!

Its also Financially beneficial for Foxx to remain on the Political Center Stage.

Why do you think Anthony Foxx has constantly been pushing that City-County Merger idea all year?

Its NOT about Saving Public Schools, "curbing Government Spending or Eliminating the Duplication of City-County Services".

(Did I fail to mention that AFTER Anthony Foxx became Mayor of Charlotte his Children started Attending Private School just like his Political Mentor President Barack Obama?)


Its about Power!

Once some people have tasted Power they are afraid to let it go. i.e., Anthony Foxx & Jennifer Roberts.

Mayor Foxx pretends to be concerned about Constituent issues such as Public Safety when he's really ONLY concerned about his Narcisstic Self!

Don't forget Anthony Foxx is the guy who wasted Millions of Dollars in a Recession on an Unnecessary Streetcar slated to Only run 1.5 miles!

Foxx also sat on $3 Million in Stimulus Money originally allocated for Homelessness Prevention, during one of Charlotte's Coldest Winters ever (last year).

And it looks as if he's going to stick it to Charlotte's Homeless Population again this Winter.

All for the sake of Arrogance & Political Fame just like D.C.'s former Mayor Adrian Fenty. (Another one of Foxx's Political Mentors)

Last I heard Adrian Fenty was NOT re-elected!

As I was saying now Mayor Foxx is pushing HIS City-County Merger proposal so that he & his fellow Partisan Counterpart Jennifer Roberts can remain in Power FOREVER!

Or at least until one of them decides to run for a State or Congressional seat.

How do they do plan to carry out their little Partisan scheme?

If the City-County Merger proposal is ever realized, both Foxx & Roberts will put up a vote for longer Term Limits to avoid ever been run out of Office.

Since there are currently more Democrats serving on both the Charlotte City Council & Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, the Vote will more than likely Pass!

Now do you understand why I'm so vehemently opposed to Straight Ticket Voting & Gerrymandering??

Here's a list of Possible Candidates for the 2011 Charlotte Mayoral Race:

(A Bi-Partisan Council is Strongly recommended with a Republican Mayor.)

Edwin Peacock: current At-Large Charlotte City Council Member. (Republican)

Tariq Bokhari: Wells Fargo Vice-President of Wachovia Securities. (Republican)

Andy Dulin: current Charlotte City Council Member, District 6. (Republican)

Warren Cooksey: current Charlotte City Council Member, District 7 (Republican)

Nancy Carter: current Charlotte City Council Member, District 5 (Democrat)

Jason Burgess: Son of the Late Susan Burgess (Charlotte City Council's former Mayor Pro tem) & current At-Large Charlotte City Council Member. (Democrat)

Patrick Cannon: current Charlotte City Council Member Mayor Pro Tem (Democrat)

Jim Pendergraph: current Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Vice-Chair. (Republican)

Harold Cogdell: current Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioner Member. (Democrat)

Hopefully this time may the BEST, Most Qualified, Most Experienced Candidate actually Win without the use of Dirty Politics & what appears to North Carolina Democratic Party Voter Fraud Tricks via Precinct Captains in Charlotte's Black Communities!

I Can't tell you whom to vote for.

Those type of decisions must be made after spending much time in Prayer & researching each Candidate's Background and where they stand on Voter-Related issues.

Please Don't cast ballots for Candidates based upon such Superficial attributes as Political Party, Race, Education or Social Status.

Review their Public Service & Voting Records.

If necessary Double Check their Public Service records, Voting Records & Civic Duty Records.

DON'T just listen to what they say or get excited over a Polished, possibly embellished Resume.

Observe their Body Language. Watch how they treat Voters on the Campaign trail.

And Pray!!

For example Anthony Foxx loves to raise Taxes to create Revenue.

He Claims he doesn't yet while serving as a regular Charlotte City Council Member he voted for a 9% local Tax Increase.

On the other hand Jim Pendergraph, knows how to Successfully & Efficiently Manage a Large Organization without raising Taxes as a means of creating more Revenue.

As a reminder the purpose of this post is NOT to Politically Smear Mayor Anthony Foxx!

To the Contrary.

Its simply written to help Educate Charlotte Voters on the inner workings of Political Campaigns & the game of Dirty Politics.

I do NOT endorse/favor the use of Dirty Politics but to ignore or pretend that it exists is Foolish & Naive.

Politics always has & will forever be a Dirty Game.

Only the STRONG Survive!

Have a Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year full of Abundance, Favor, Forgiveness, Love, Peace, Prosperity and Wisdom!

See you at the Polls in 2011.

Psalm 5:12, Psalm 91, Psalm 127:3, Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 54:13, Isaiah 54:17, Luke 1:37, I Corinthians 13:13 & Revelations 12:11

Jennifer Roberts Remains Charlotte-Mecklenburg Co. Board Of County Commissioners Chair In Surprise Vote; Pendergraph Still Vice-Chair

Jennifer Roberts was unanimously re-elected as Mecklenburg County commissioners' chairman on Monday, overcoming a surprising effort to oust her from the position.

And in an unusual split in the leadership roles, Republican Jim Pendergraph was elected as Vice-Chairman of the county board.

The votes - which occurred during a swearing-in ceremony for the new nine-member board - came hours after Democrat Harold Cogdell told some commissioners that he thought he had enough votes to become chair instead of Roberts. Some said he struck a deal with the four GOP commissioners that would have also made Pendergraph the vice chair.

The apparent deal raised eyebrows because - with few exceptions - the chairmanship of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners has been held by the member of the majority party who received the most votes in the at-large race.

Roberts finished first in November's election, followed by Pendergraph and Cogdell.

On Monday, however, Republican Karen Bentley nominated Cogdell as chair.

Democrat George Dunlap was critical of the nomination and the reported deal between Cogdell and Republicans. At one point he said he would only vote for Cogdell as chair if he "denounced the Democrat party... and declare that he is a Republican."

But Cogdell said there was no deal-making and took himself out of the race. He then said he'd be willing to support Roberts as chair and Pendergraph for the number two leadership role.

Cogdell said the issue had never been about him being chair, and suggested he was only trying to send a message about how partisanship can hurt decision-making.

"Everything comes down to Partisan Politics," he said. "I'm sick and damned tired of Partisan Politics because what has happened is people aren't communicating anymore... No party has a monopoly on good decisions."

The discussion Monday night was at times heated and often confusing. At one point it was unclear if commissioners could continue debating on the chairmanship.

"And you wonder why I don't want to be chair," Cogdell said, drawing laughter.

Replied fellow Democrat Vilma Leake: "We don't want you, either."

Roberts, who earlier voiced concerns that board members had not approached her about any issues they had with her leadership, later thanked her colleagues for selecting her as chair.

"There is no one more surprised than I at this moment," Roberts said.

She also told Cogdell that if he had a point he wanted to make in the future, to give her a call.

Monday's swearing-in formally kicked off what will undoubtedly be another challenging year for the county.

Mecklenburg, as well as many other local governments, is still struggling with lingering effects from a recession that led to layoffs of county workers and deep cuts to services like schools and libraries.

Some have said it could be years before the county's tax revenues return to the levels of a few years ago. On top of that, the county in 2011 is resetting property values for the first time since 2003, with many homeowners worried about the impact on their tax bills.

Many commissioners said Monday that the board generally reaches bipartisan - and often unanimous - consensus on issues. But the board split along party lines this summer in approving the 2010-11 budget, and next year's budget also could be divisive.

During this year's elections, many Republican candidates said they wanted to find more ways to cut spending while setting a "revenue neutral" tax rate, where the county collects the same amount of money through property taxes as this year - even if tax valuations change.

But Democrats were leery of committing to any budget decisions, saying it could be months before the county gets numbers on property tax values and sales taxes.

On Monday, all commissioners forecast tough decisions for the board. Republican Neil Cooksey said the county had gotten rid of a lot of "low-hanging fruit" in the past two budgets, and said he'd like to do a department-by-department look at expenses.

Another issue looming in the next year will be how to redraw local election districts once the results of the 2010 Census come in.

Roberts "Mysteriously" Re-elected Commission Chair, Pendergraph Named Vice-Chair

Jennifer Roberts was unanimously elected chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners tonight, overcoming an effort to nominate fellow Democrat Harold Cogdell to the post.

Also tonight, Republican Jim Pendergraph was elected vice chairman of the county board. This is Pendergraph's first term as commissioner.

Roberts admitted her re-election tonight came as a surprise, because Cogdell was believed to be making a run for the top leadership role on the board. Some commissioners said Cogdell had agreed to support Pendergraph as vice chair if the board's four Republicans backed him as chair. But Cogdell said tonight there was no deal made.

Cogdell was nominated for chair tonight by Republican Karen Bentley, but asked that his name be withdrawn.

Republican Neil Cooksey then nominated Roberts as chair, Pendergraph as vice chair.

Cogdell To Colleagues: "I Have Votes To Unseat Roberts"

Hours before tonight's vote on who will lead Mecklenburg County commissioners, commissioner Harold Cogdell Jr. has told two colleagues that he appears to have the votes to unseat chairman - and fellow Democrat - Jennifer Roberts.

"He has decided that he's going to seek the chairmanship ... and he thinks he has the votes for it," Democratic commissioner Dumont Clarke told the Observer.

Cogdell, who previously served as commissioners' vice chair, could not be reached.

On a board that will have five Democrats and four Republicans, Cogdell has apparently been trying to line up the GOP votes in a deal that would make Republican Jim Pendergraph vice chair.

Commissioner George Dunlap said Cogdell told him today he would vote for Pendergraph if the board Republicans back Cogdell as chair.

Pendergraph said today he expects Cogdell to win.

"I'm probably going to vote for Harold," he said. "We're all smart enough we can add to five. No one's going to challenge someone unless they feel they can win. And I'd be surprised if he doesn't."

Roberts said this afternoon she still hadn't heard from Cogdell, despite having left several messages.

"It's all up to Harold," she said when asked about her chances of re-election.

Roberts, the leading vote-getter in last month's election, is trying to win a third term as chair. It was unclear today how the votes will fall.

Democrat Vilma Leake, who said she was "still praying" over the decision, said she's "going to do what's right."

On her Facebook page, Roberts has said she hoped Cogdell would not give in to "a personal power play."

In a Sunday post, she added: "I have been re-reading Julius Caesar to remind myself that ambition is as old as mankind. I will continue to stay strong no matter what happens, and to know that there is a higher power than any of this earthly stuff."

Jennifer Roberts, Part Of The Problem

I think I’m done cutting Roberts any slack on this DSS mess. For her to obstruct and slam the attempts of other commissioners to find out what is going on with county’s massive, $200m. DSS operation is too much.

And for Roberts to suggest that a closed session airing of DSS’s dirty laundry is not her preferred way to go is an insult to the intelligence of all Mecklenburg County taxpayers.

The only reason Commissioner Bill James and the other GOPers are suggesting the closed session route is in response the “disclosure” stonewall County Manager Harry Jones has erected around the investigation — a construction effort aided and abetted by Jennifer Roberts. Fine. Let’s hear DSS chief Mary Wilson answer questions in open session. Super. Next.

It will also be interesting to see if Commissioner George Dunlap’s confirmation that a federal grand jury probe is underway of DSS shakes anything new loose. Why it took a full month for the probe’s existence to be reported remains a mystery, but at least everyone in town has caught up to the story.

However, it would be wrong to assume that the probe will result in any indictments, both as a matter of fairness and institutional inertia. Prosecutors are political animals and will require some slam-dunk, smoking gun type evidence of wrongdoing for them to move on a DSS devoid, until very recently, of adult supervision of its funds.

On the third hand, not all gross mismanagement rises to the level of criminality. This is why the county commission must itself reestablish public trust in one of its largest ongoing budget expenses. Jennifer Roberts needs to help that process or get out of the way.

Jennifer Roberts Warns Harold Cogdell Of "Implications" If He Tries To Take Her Seat

In a surprise move, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Commissioner Harold Cogdell is apparently trying to unseat fellow Democrat Jennifer Roberts as board chair by striking a deal with Republicans.

The maneuvering carries implications beyond the chairman title. Roberts sent commissioners an e-mail this week asking them to avoid "back room" negotiations in which they would support board members for a leadership post in exchange for votes on budget spending priorities.

On Friday, Roberts said Cogdell has promised Republicans he would vote to make Republican Jim Pendergraph vice chair if they support his bid for chairman. Democrats hold a 5-4 majority on the panel.

"Harold Cogdell will come round to realize that now is not the time for a personal power play," Roberts said on her Facebook page. "It is not time to be divisive and to succumb to personal ambition and backroom deal making that does not serve those who elected us."

Cogdell declined comment. Pendergraph, Mecklenburg's former sheriff who won his seat in November, also refused to discuss the matter.

"We'll have to see how it plays out," Pendergraph said before declining further comment.

Commissioners will reorganize the board, electing a chair and vice chair, during a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Government Center, 600 E. Fourth St.

The commission chair, typically the most visible leader of the majority party, will help set Mecklenburg's agenda as the county confronts budget deficits and resets property values for the first time since 2003. The position pays $27,962, about $5,000 more than pay for other commissioners.

Cogdell's challenge represents a potential setback for Roberts, who has been board chair for four years. On Thursday, she said she had met recently with the board Democrats and all of them - including Cogdell - pledged to reappoint her. But Roberts said neither Cogdell nor board Republicans have returned phone calls.

She said if Cogdell wins, it would serve as a distraction to commissioners and erode trust with the public, since Roberts was the top vote-getter in the November general election. Cogdell finished third behind Pendergraph.

Historically, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Commissioners have selected the candidate receiving the most votes as chair and the second-place finisher from the majority party as vice chair.

But a break with tradition is not unprecedented. In 1997, commissioner Hoyle Martin helped oust fellow Democrat Parks Helms as chairman and won the vice chair post for himself. Republican Tom Bush replaced Helms.

Four years ago, Helms said he wanted to serve as board chair, despite Roberts' winning the most votes in the at-large race. Roberts said she met twice with Helms before he withdrew from consideration.

An attorney and former Charlotte city councilman, Cogdell won his seat on the board of commissioners in 2008, and served as board vice chair, even though fellow Democrat Dan Murrey finished with more votes.

On Monday, Roberts sent an e-mail to commissioners saying she would vote for Cogdell to remain vice chair. "We trust and understand each other," Roberts wrote. She also said Pendergraph wants to claim the post.

Her e-mail also warned commissioners against secret deal-making.

"I understand there has been back room conversation about Vice Chair," Roberts wrote. "There may be promises being made but I would encourage everyone to remain flexible on any budget promises, as there is so much we do not know yet about our challenges ahead."

On Friday, Roberts said she was "disappointed" Cogdell would challenge her for the chair position.

"There will be implications he has not considered," she said. "I am hoping he will change his mind."

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Sources:, Daily Kos, John Locke Foundation, McClatchy Newspapers, Meck Deck Blog,, WCNC, Google Maps

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