by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond’

Republican Wade holds campaign finance lead in democRaticleaning distRict 28 New campaign finance reports indicate that as of June 30, the Republican candidate for NC senate District 28 leads her opponents in fundraising. Trudy Wade, a Greensboro city councilwoman, led Democratic opponent Gladys Robinson in reported cash on hand, $27,270 to $14,300. Wade’s fundraising advantage belies the fact that registered Democrats outnumber their Republican counterparts more than two to one in the district, which covers much of southern Guilford County and the city of High Point.

Robinson is the hand-picked successor of sen. Katie Dorsett, who did not file for reelection this year. Bruce Davis, a Guilford County commissioner, who obtained a place on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate through a successful petition drive, reported only $583 in cash on hand. Wade’s top contributor is demolition company owner DH Griffin, while Robinson’s top donor is lillian’s list of NC, a pro-choice political action committee.

In other legislative races in Forsyth and Guilford county districts, Democratic incumbents have overwhelmed Republican challengers in campaign finance muscle. Democrat Linda Garrou, a Forsyth County legislator who co-chairs the powerful senate Appropriations/ Base Budget Committee, reported a campaign war chest of $232,431, with maximum-level contributions of $4,000 coming from Bank of America PAC, the eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Nationwide Carolina, while Republican challenger Nathan Jones reported $186 in his account. One-term Democrat Don Vaughan, who represents senate District 27 in Guilford, reported a campaign war chest of $79,240. His Republican opponent, Tea Party activist Jeff Hyde has mustered $8,031. Meanwhile, a dispute has broken out among conservative Republicans about why Hyde’s latest campaign finance report mentions no payout in a fundraising raffle. Hyde said in a comment thread at the Conservatives for Guilford County Facebook page that the winner declined the prize and did not want their name to be publicized. Guilford County Republican Party executive Director Tony Wilkins publicly commended some of his fellow Republicans for demanding transparency, even if it is their own team in fact, especially if it is their own team. In response, Conservatives for Guilford County activist and Hyde contributor Isabella Adkins asked if Wilkins was “secretly working for” Vaughan.

Judging by the numbers, Democrat incumbent Pricey Harrison holds a significant advantage over Republican challenger Jon Hardister in NC House District 57. Harrison reports $104,597 in cash on hand, and has netted maximum contributions form Robert Ketner of Merrill lynch and Bob Page of Replacements limited, while Hardister reports $1,947 in cash on hand, with much of his funding coming from his parents, who own First Carolina Mortgage. Hardister is planning a fundraiser at his parents’ house on July 30, with some major Republican starpower in the person of former Charlotte mayor and 2008 Republican gubernatorial nominee Pat McCrory. Auto dealer Dean Green, NC Rep. John Blust and NC House District 61 candidate John Faircloth are among the event’s “sponsors.”

Theresa Yon, the Republican challenger in NC House District 59, has done more to narrow the fundraising gap with her Democratic opponent, Maggie Jeffus. That might be partly explained by the fact that Yon, unlike Hardister, had no primary opponent, and Jeffus could have been distracted by the death earlier this summer of her daughter, who had been closely involved in her campaigns. Jeffus reports $22,350 in cash on hand, with notable contributors including philanthropist Joseph M. Bryan Jr., Mark R. Craig of RH Barringer Distributing and Teamsters local 391. Yon reported $8,725 in cash on hand, with financial support from donors ranging from conservative blogger Joe Guarino to developer Roy Carroll and former ambassador to estonia Aldona Wos.

For more information on campaign finance and candidates for elective office, visit www.

All Races foR high point city council to be contested

All races on the ballot for High Point City Council will be contested this year. longtime Mayor Becky Smothers faces two challengers in Dwayne Hemingway-El and Jay W.

Wagner. Latimer B. Alexander IV and Mary Lou Blakeney, who currently occupy the council’s two at-large seats, face challenges from Will Armfield II, Regina Chahal, Britt W. Moore and Ed Squires. Incumbent Bernita Sims faces challenger Jeffrey Golden in Ward 1, incumbent Foster Douglas faces challengers Jill M. Harwood and Chris Williams in Ward 2, incumbent Michael D. Pugh faces challenger Ronald D. Fowler in Ward 3 and incumbent

Christopher M. Whitley faces challengers Rodney Joslin II and Geoffrey Shull in Ward 5. Robert L. Fowler and AB Henley are vying for the open seat in Ward 4 left vacant with Councilman Bill Bencini’s elevation to Guilford County Commission, and Jim Corey, Jason Ewing and Gerald Grubb are contending for Ward 6, a seat made available with Councilman John Faircloth’s successful primary contest for NC House District 61. For more information about High Point City Council candidates, visit

Task foRce geaRs up to consideR changes to Rental inspection Regs

A task force set up to propose amendments to the city of Greensboro’s Rental Unit Certificate of Occupation program will meet on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the offices of the Triad Real estate & Building Industries Coalition in Greensboro, or TReBIC. The model program requires that all rental units across the city obtain a certificate of occupancy and involves some degree of inspection through random sampling. The task force, which is headed by koury Corp. Residential Property Manager Lisa Dellinger, had to cancel a July 16 meeting after City Attorney Terry Wood determined that it violated public meetings law by not being publicly advertised. Dellinger also noted that the meeting had been assailed on local blogs for being held at the offices of TReBIC, but the task force members agreed to keep the same location.

Plans to evaluate the program arose after Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Vaughan publicly questioned its cost. Marlene Sanford, president of TReBIC, said the task force will evaluate the effectiveness of the program, but declined to say whether she expects the final recommendation to be curtailing or expanding inspections and enforcement.

Donna Newton, advisor to the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress and one of the people appointed to the task force, indicated she plans to fight against a radical overhaul of the program.

“This program is working in so many ways,” she wrote in a guest post on the Triad Watch blog. “We should not let it be undermined, and we should fix the administrative problems.”

Aside from Newton, one of the few task force members who is not involved in the real estate industry is Beth McKee-Huger, executive director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition. The task force also includes a representative of the Greensboro landlords Association.

Downtown design manual up foR vote

The Greensboro Planning Board will review the regulatory framework of the new Downtown Design Manual and make a recommendation for or against approval by the city council at its next meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Melvin Municipal Office Building. A group of developers and downtown property owners led by developer Roy Carroll raised objections to an initial proposal that involved enforceable standards for new downtown buildings, after which Carroll led a task force heavily weighted towards property owners that developed a set of revised guidelines as a compromise. On Aug. 9, the city zoning commission will also consider the Downtown Design Manual and make a recommendation to council. The council is tentatively scheduled to receive the manual on sept. 7. The revised guidelines are available for review at www.

New voter mobilization group launched

A new voter coalition, Democracy at Home, holds its first informational meeting at New Goshen United Methodist Church on Randleman Road in Greensboro on July 27 at 7:30 p.m. The organization’s founder, James L. Burroughs III, said in a press release that he was motivated to create the coalition because he was “disconcerted with the lack of political involvement and mis-education that could ultimately result in the election of politicians that have little in common, ideologically, with their constituencies.” Burroughs, a former student at NC state University in Raleigh, served at one time as interim campaign manager for Cora Cole-McFadden, mayor pro tem of Durham.

Women in media focus of panel discussion

The Greensboro Commission on the status of Women and the YWCA host a lunchtime discussion on the topic of “Where have you gone Roseanne Barr? Women in the media” at the YWCA building on spring Garden street on July 27 at noon. Panelists include Denny Kelly, president of Bouvier kelly; Tracey McCain, anchor and reporter at WFMY News 2; and Gloria Thompson, owner of GWT Marketing Communications.