Keep going, Jon

Last week’s issue of a traditionally conservative weekly publication has been dubbed the “anti-Jon Hardister issue” by some local observers.

Hardister, a Republican state representative from Guilford County, was subjected to no less than three negative articles in the publication, The Rhino Times, which is owned by Greensboro magnate Roy Carroll.

Hardister, a popular, young elected official who has built a name for himself by showing an ability to think independently, was criticized for not being in lock-step with arch-conservative Republican state senators, Phil Berger and Trudy Wade, on the issues of a magistrate’s right to refuse to marry same sex couples and the hotly debated redistricting proposal for the Greensboro City Council. The third criticism was leveled at Hardister for his own proposal for an independent commission to draw the state’s legislative boundaries.

Some observers noted that it was unusual for an ostensibly Republican periodical to spend so much ink devoted to criticizing one of its own. Others said it fit within the pattern of the paper’s new publisher to use it as a tool to throw his weight around.

Carroll has written repeatedly about his views on Wade’s redistricting proposal, while making sure to clarify that he had nothing to do with the proposal coming to life. Wade has said the measure was motivated by requests from business interests, who to date have remained nameless.

Hardister deserves credit for bringing about reasonable proposals for independent redistricting and reviving the state’s historic tax credits, which conservative forces let expire last year despite a track record of success that has inarguably improved the economic climate of cities across our state. A recent remodeling of the Book Trader building in downtown Greensboro was made possible by the tax credit, and it resulted in more than 115 people working on the building at one time or another.

We applaud Hardister for his independent streak and encourage others to follow common sense no matter where it leads. !

YES! WEEKLY chooses to exercise its right to express editorial opinion in our publication. In fact we cherish it, considering opinion to be a vital component of any publication. The viewpoints expressed represent a consensus of the YES! Weekly editorial staff, achieved through much deliberation and consideration .