Why did the Independent (aka "Gay Gazette") waste 12 pages of print on political endorsements when, with only two exceptions, you could have accomplished the same thing by simply stating: "Vote straight Democratic"? The only Republican endorsements were for a sheriff who is so popular as to be virtually unbeatable and one representative who has voted with the Democrats so often that he is a Republican in name only! Your political slant is so obvious as to be laughable.
G. Max Bloodworth
Archer Lodge, N.C.
More often than not I agree with the Indy's political endorsements, but your stance on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban felons from being elected as a sheriff can hardly be described as a progressive view. Voting in favor of the amendment is to support a law that is of a piece with further disenfranchisement of persons who have paid their debt to society. Moreover, the amendment provides no distinction between the different kinds of felonies.
Most troubling, though, is the Indy's characterization of the amendment. Sheriffs are elected in North Carolina, and surely the voters in a particular location should be entitled to elect whomever they see fit. You ignore the possibility that a past felon may make for a great sheriff—someone who has learned from his mistakes may provide a great role model. (You also ignore racial disparity in felony convictions in North Carolina.) The concern about the ability to carry a firearm is a red herring; a narrow exception could easily be carved out for persons who are democratically elected by their fellow citizens.
Finally, I thought constitutional amendments were supposed to be about very important issues; this referendum smacks of reactionist General Assembly politicizing.
For Durham County Superior Court Judge, you did not endorse Chris Shella. I am writing to offer reasons why he is the most qualified candidate for Superior Court Judge and, apart from incumbent Judge Hardin's tenure as district attorney and judge, the most experienced.
Shella too has been a prosecutor. He is currently in the practice of law, and he is the only candidate to have tried a capital murder case—the most demanding for knowledge of the law. The N.C. Sheriff Police Alliance, which has observed all of the candidates in court, endorsed Shella.
The breadth of his legal experience is unique among all of the candidates: prosecutor, defense lawyer, appellate lawyer, federal jury trials. Federal courts are more procedural- and rule-driven than state courts, and, frankly, most lawyers avoid taking cases in federal court. Shella is the only candidate who has tried a criminal jury case in federal court.
He is a native of Hillsborough and graduated from the School of Math and Science.
The fact is that Chris Shella is the most qualified candidate for Superior Court Judge among those not already on the Superior Court bench, and he merits a vote from all those who vote in the upcoming election.
Tom Loflin, attorney