by Bob Geary
Good story, across the top of page 1, in the Old Reliable: The N.C. Association of Realtors is going all-out to trash Wake County Commissioners candidate Stan Norwalk, and it's not letting the facts get in its way.
The Indy, as you know, endorsed Norwalk -- he's running against incumbent Commissioner Kenn Gardner -- in no small part because of Stan's willingness to take on the Realtors and other powerful development interests. (2)
Now, for some footnotes to our entry:
1. In reality, the N&O's headline doesn't use the word "slime." (It says "rips" instead.) We thought you should know that, so we're noting it here.
We offer this in contrast to the faux quote and bogus footnote used by the N.C. Realtors PAC in one of the anti-Norwalk mailers. The mailer cites the N&O for its assertion that Norwalk has a "shady" past concerning campaign contributions (the word "shady" is highlighted in red). And to further convey the idea that the mailer is actually quoting the N&O, the assertion is accompanied by a red footnote (1), with this tagline immediately beneath it: "The News and Observer (sic), (Raleigh, NC), May 8, 2002 Wednesday, FINAL EDITION."
Note that the tagline isn't offered as an official (1) explanatory footnote, however. Because that could be considered fibbing.
The truth, according to the N&O itself in a sidebar to the main story:
"The N&O never called Norwalk's actions shady.
2. From the Indy's Norwalk endorsement:
"He has a record of advocating for alternatives to property tax—he lobbied the legislature hard to get the highly unpopular land transfer tax referendum option passed, showing he has no interest in ingratiating himself to the developers' lobby. But on other forms of spending, Norwalk is tight-fisted. He questions the necessity of a $30 million administrative headquarters and believes the county could save money by consolidating duplicate services."