Wake County Republican Party chairman John Bryant asked supporters this week for donations to combat the “threat” posed by Democrats upset about legislation changing how the county’s commissioners are elected.
Bryant sent a letter Monday to party members inviting them to buy tickets for the Reagan Day fundraising dinner on May 1, where Sen. Richard Burr will speak. Bryant included several paragraphs about Senate Bill 181, which redraws Wake County Commission districts and limits voters to picking two of nine commissioners.
Sponsored by Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot of Wake Forest, the bill became law earlier this month when it passed the House in a party-line vote. Democrats say the measure is gerrymandering intended to reverse last November’s election, when the GOP lost all its seats on the county commission.
Bryant notes that Democrats are angry about the bill and will likely make it an issue in the next election.
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At a legislative hearing on the bill, Bryant says, “one of our newly elected Board of Commissioners actually confronted me and laid out a specific threat, saying ‘you better start raising money now, because we’re coming after you!’
“That same commissioner spent the entire meeting reacting with histrionic gyrations anytime someone made a statement supporting the bill. I’m embarrassed at our County’s current leadership, but I still take their threats seriously, and so should you!”
Bryant appears to be referring to Wake County Commissioner John Burns, who has been a vocal opponent of the redistricting legislation. Burns issued a response to Bryant’s comments Monday afternoon.
“Embarrassment is that this bill was passed without any input from Wake County voters and not a single Wake GOP representative asked for a referendum,” Burns said. “If Sen. Barefoot is going to ignore unemployment in Franklin County to rig elections in Wake, he’ll be held accountable for that.”
CAC tension surfaces
Joe Corey apparently had a profane parting shot after he resigned as chairman of the Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council and the North Citizens Advisory Council.
Corey announced he would leave the posts for undisclosed personal reasons Thursday, the morning after a contentious RCAC meeting about the future of the system and its 20 councils, which serve as sounding boards and information sources for residents.
Donna Bailey, vice-chairwoman of the Wade CAC, sent an email to a long list of politicos and city staffers announcing that Corey had resigned, with several dozen exclamation points.
“Dear Donna, Go [expletive] yourself,” read the reply-all from Corey’s account. Bailey hadn’t meant to include so many addresses, she said later.
▪ Pam Dowdy, executive director of Wake County Smart Start, and Tracy Zimmerman and Lisa Finaldi of the N.C. Early Education Foundation will speak on “Early Childhood Education: Growing the Possibilities” at a meeting sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wake County. The meeting will be at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Finlator Hall, 1801 Hillsborough St. on Thursday, April 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary and can be made at 919-782-5778 or www.lwvwake.org.
Compiled by Colin Campbell and Andrew Kenney.
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