The Greensboro mayoral campaign pits two candidates against each other-- Nancy Vaughan and Robbie Perkins-- who have been nearly joined at the hip over the last several years. Their voting records had been nearly identical on the city council. But once Nancy Vaughan announced her candidacy for mayor, they have been attempting to differentiate themselves from each other.
Nonetheless, the representations made in some recent campaign advertising have been absolutely astonishing.
Consider, for instance, a piece circulated by Perkins' campaign: (click to enlarge)
This piece is obviously intended to solidify his support in east Greensboro. But the claim that the settlement with rogue police officers who made false accusations somehow represents "fairness" is a brazen mischaracterization.
Robbie has served on the Greensboro City Council for nearly twenty years. During that time, the city has declined dramatically. The claim that he is somehow good for economic development does not comport with the actual record.
Here is an ad for Nancy Vaughan published in the Rhino: (click to enlarge)
The ad is cut off at the bottom. But it goes on to say that Robbie was right, because she "forced him to make that decision. And he came down on the side of his special interest friends and against neighborhoods. The choice is clear!"
This remarkable piece requires that we forget certain pieces of history.
Nancy Vaughan is an interest group politician. The meaning of her political existence consists of obtaining favor with various interest groups. That was true when she voted in favor of the aquatic center, the performing arts center and the civil rights museum funding. That was true when she crusaded to oppose conservatives as they sought to reopen the White Street Landfill. That was true when she previously sought and obtained the endorsement of the Simkins PAC-- repeatedly. That has been true when she has asserted the priorities of the Melderec crowd-- which includes development interests. She has repeatedly voted to throw around the taxpayers' money for special interest projects.
In addition, the claim that she represents "all of the citizens of Greensboro" clearly is not true. Her interest group politics and her big spending are atrocious. But recall that she also gave an impassioned speech at a city council meeting opposing the state marriage amendment. How does such a political profile represent "all of the citizens of Greensboro"?
The mayoral race pits two Melderec con Simkins liberals against each other. That is why I have referred to it as a race between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. The voters really don't have a choice in this election. Regardless of whichever candidate wins, Greensboro will continue to decline if the winner behaves as he (or she) has in the past.
The only good thing about this year's mayoral election is that one of them will be boxed out of the city council for the next two years.
Some observers might conclude that the candidates are using fraud and deception as they seek to differentiate themselves from each other. But voters and citizens who swallow their representations will need to disregard a lot of history.