Very glad to see your endorsement of Sendolo Diaminah for DPS School Board District 2 (Endorsements, April 23). It's no secret that a school benefits when parents, teachers and students invest time and energy in creating a positive, community-oriented school environment. But this is easier said than done; it requires exceptional leadership.
Sendolo has shown that he has the skills to research a situation, to educate and train others to lead in working for justice, and to successfully mediate discussions between those in power and those outside the circle of power.
Sendolo's vision is not to solve people's problems for them, but to engage people collectively in facing and solving problems together. Successful schools, and indeed a successful democracy, need this kind of leadership.
Ned Kennington, Durham
INDY wrong about Hauser
I just read the INDY comments about Bonnie Hauser and her "...unspecified reallocations elsewhere are alarming," suggesting that is the reason she would not be a viable commissioner.
After attending the Orange County Democratic Women Meet the Candidates forum, talking with Bonnie at the KidScope event, and listening to her ideas at the recent Meet the Democratic Candidates Hillsborough forum, I'm perplexed why INDY would say this.
It does not compute. Bonnie offers several solid examples of how reallocations can be handled. I'm mystified as to how Indy came to this conclusion. Having been a Chapel Hill resident for 25 years and not paying attention to local politics, I voted by taking the INDY endorsement to the polls, trusting that INDY had done proper vetting to arrive at its endorsements. Now that I'm paying attention to local politics and attending forums to actually listen to the candidates to form my own opinions, I'm concerned about the INDY's endorsements because of this castigation of Bonnie Hauser.
Sharon A. Hill, Orange County
INDY still wrong about Hauser
In a county with such high taxes, I am perplexed as to why the INDY would be "alarmed" by Bonnie Hauser's suggestion of re-evaluating and re-prioritizing spending.
With a county budget of $220 million, even simple steps to increase efficiencies and re-prioritize spending would allow the county to fund short-term school needs such as teacher salary increases and necessary building repairs immediately.
Knowing that Bonnie Hauser is a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers management consultant, I am troubled that the Indy did not reach out to her to ask for specifics before making such a statement and withholding endorsement.
Throughout her campaign she has given specific examples—some of which have recently been explored by county staff who have identified $20 million in funds that can be redirected to schools. All the while, Barry Jacobs approached the issue by gearing up for a bond referendum which would increase our already high taxes.
I certainly hope that Orange County voters are not "alarmed" at the idea of a political candidate who wants to evaluate how government spends our tax dollars.
Additionally, I would hope that Orange County voters recognize the value of Bonnie's financial expertise, commitment to community and fresh perspective as we embrace the complex changes that are coming our way, including opportunities for working with towns on economic development—discussions that would benefit not only from Bonnie's financial expertise but also from her experience working in other, similar communities.
Jeanne Brown, Chapel Hill
Voting for Kiszely
I've always trusted the endorsements from the INDY and consistently used them to help me make my voting decisions, but after reading your most recent endorsements, I question the research you put into them.
I don't have a problem with the fact that you endorsed Kim Hanchette for N.C. House in District 49 if that's who you truly think is the better candidate, but the reasons you gave for not endorsing Derek Kiszely—who you refer to as "an idiosyncratic young man with an independent streak"—are a bit offensive.
I have read Kiszely's editorial in the Elon University newspaper that you refer to as "pro-Sarah Palin" and dispute your characterization of it. The piece makes the point that both she AND Barack Obama were the targets of less-than-honest attacks during the 2008 presidential campaign. In it, he states a hope that people will see both sides of the issue and realize that some of what they hear in political campaigns are distortions of the facts and that "the youth vote" should spend time doing their own research—much as he did.
To not endorse someone because he had something supportive to say about someone in another party typifies all that is wrong with politics today. This is, in fact, one of the reasons that I support Derek Kiszely. What the General Assembly needs is more politicians who aren't scared to talk to members of the other party, who don't see them as the enemy, who are capable of independent thought, and perhaps who are even a little idiosyncratic.
Tyler A Walters, Raleigh
Freeman ready for DA job
The INDY's endorsement in the Wake County District Attorney Democratic Primary was confusing to me. The endorsement praised Lorrin Freeman for "an impeccable record," that her "integrity is uncontested" and that she is "intimately acquainted with the inner workings of the DA's office." Those sound like the perfect qualities in a District Attorney.
She also has almost 20 years of experience, practicing law as a prosecutor in Wake County and as an assistant attorney general, and leading a critical team in the Wake County Judicial system, while her opponent has only seven years of experience prosecuting cases, and none as a leader of a team.
I appreciate that the INDY is always on the lookout for young progressive voices, but the DA's office is not a place to experiment with someone who lacks the proven experience and leadership that Lorrin Freeman brings to the job. She will make an excellent DA, the best choice to continue the tradition of integrity and independence that Colon Willoughby's tenure solidified ... seeking justice and protecting the public trust.
Ed Terrell, Raleigh
Your Kay Hagan endorsement makes perfect sense. She's a power player that can help the national Democratic Party regain control: perfect politics. You only have to overlook her position on the Keystone Pipeline, inaction on the DREAM filibuster, cosponsoring SOPA and her pitch perfect portrayal of an insincere politician.
She's the ideal candidate for progressives who want to vote against their conscience to help their team win. You mention offhand that there's someone brave enough to oppose the Patriot Act, but don't worry about him. He's for throwing your vote away on "the issues."
There's little wonder that Democrats get increasingly moderate. Progressive voters can't be bothered to endorse progressive candidates. And if you disagree with that? "Get over it."
Mike H. Raleigh