Triangle Politics: A weekly look at the local political scene

TriPol: Raleigh mayor's media coordinator seeks 'racists' on Twitter

Staff writersJuly 12, 2013 

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s campaign media coordinator is a social media anti-racism crusader whose Twitter efforts have made international headlines.

McFarlane hired former journalist Logan Smith in May to handle press releases, photos and videos as she seeks a second term. In his free time, Smith runs a Twitter account called “Yes, You’re Racist.” On a daily basis, Smith searches for posts on the social media site he deems racist, then re-posts the comments.

It’s a way to make people aware of their bigotry, Smith told CNN last year.

“It’s ridiculous to think that people don’t think they are racist when they say these things,” he told the cable news network.

Thanks to media attention on CNN and in Forbes and the British newspaper The Independent, “Yes, You’re Racist” now has 35,000 followers on Twitter, and Smith also runs several other satirical Twitter handles.

McFarlane says she wasn’t aware of Smith’s efforts on social media. “I don’t interfere in his personal life,” she said, adding that she has no qualms about the Twitter page after viewing it. “It’s interesting that it calls out people on their racism.”

The ‘blight’ of the N&O

Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble took aim at The News & Observer during the board’s July meeting – but not to complain about the paper’s news coverage or editorials this time.

Coble, it seems, isn’t a fan of the architecture at the newspaper’s headquarters on McDowell Street in downtown Raleigh.

He told his fellow commissioners to ask Raleigh’s planning department “to develop a brownfield study to address the blight and eyesore that’s one block north of us … to see if there isn’t something they can do to that facility to fix it.”

Coble didn’t mention the newspaper by name, but says the new Wake County Justice Center’s neighbor isn’t a good fit. “It’s going to detract from our new building,” he said, a slight smile on his face.

Most of The N&O’s 421 employees work in the company’s downtown headquarters, where it prints the daily and community newspapers and operates several websites.

Reached Thursday, Raleigh Planning Director Mitchell Silver declined to comment on Coble’s request.

Candidate filings

These candidates filed this week to run for municipal and Wake County school board races this fall. The deadline for filing is noon Friday.

Wake County school board: Monika Johnson-Hostler for District 2 and Nancy Caggia for District 9.

Apex: Incumbent Terry Rowe for Town Council.

Fuquay-Varina: Bryan Haynes for Board of Commissioners.

Garner: Incumbent Kathy L. Behringer and newcomer Jeanette Hagwood for Town Council.

Holly Springs: Arthur (Pete) Utley Jr. for Town Council.

Morrisville: Incumbent Jackie Holcombe for mayor; incumbent Steve S. Rao and newcomer Pete M. Martin for Town Council at-large; incumbent Margaret E. Broadwell for council District 4.

Raleigh: Incumbent Nancy McFarlane for mayor; incumbent John H. Odom and newcomers Sam Smith and Brian Fitzsimmons for City Council District B; incumbent Thomas G. Crowder for council district D; Jason A. Spriggs for council at-large.

Rolesville: Incumbents Frank Hodge II and Ronnie Currin for Board of Commissioners.

Wake Forest: Incumbent Margaret Jones Stinnett and newcomer Shinica N. Thomas for Board of Commissioners.

Wendell: Incumbent Ira C. Fuller and Virginia (Ginna) Gray and newcomers Jon Lutz and John M. Boyette for Board of Commissioners.

Zebulon: Incumbent Robert S. (Bob) Matheny and newcomer Richard Poole for mayor; incumbent Beverly Wall Clark and newcomers Glenn York, Anne-Marie Mazur, Michael Mazur and Annie J. Moore for Board of Commissioners.

Political Trails

Raleigh City Council member John Odom will speak about upcoming local elections to the Wake County Republican Women’s Club on Thursday at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. Social begins at 11:30 a.m. and the lunch/program begins at 11:45 a.m. Lunch is $19 at the door. Pay by mail, P.O. Box 30454, Raleigh 27622 or online at www.wakerepublicanwomen.org. Make reservations by email, 1wcrwc@gmail.com. Deadline for reservations is Monday.

Compiled by Colin Campbell and T. Keung Hui

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send e-mail to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

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