Bryan Freeborn takes the talk-radio heat

Bryan Freeborn takes the talk-radio heat-attachment0

Four City Council members voted to switch Asheville’s electoral system to partisan voting, but only one — Bryan Freeborn — found himself behind the mic on a talk-radio show as the Let Asheville Vote petition drive came to a close.

Critics of the switch have thrown their support behind the petition, which ultimately garnered close to 6,200 signatures (a minimum of 5,000 was required to force a referendum on the matter; whether the Board of Elections will certify that that number of signers were registered Asheville voters, as required, remains to be seen). Many of those critics have taken Freeborn and his colleagues to task for changing the system.

So passions were running high yesterday afternoon, as LAV raced to get the petitions in before the 5 p.m. deadline and Freeborn appeared as a guest on WWNC-570’s Take a Stand! with Matt Mittan, a popular local talk show.

Freeborn’s hour on the program — click here to listen to it — provided both intense dialogue and gripping political theater, as the Council member, who’s up for reelection this fall, faced off with one angry caller after another (including no less than former Council member and mayoral candidate Joe Dunn). At one point, Mittan even persuaded Freeborn to sign the petition, which Freeborn had previously refused to do.

Throughout the program, Mittan fielded updates on the petition drive, which reached a frenzy in its final minutes. Freeborn, who has said in recent weeks that he didn’t believe there was a groundswell of public opposition to partisan voting, congratulated the petitioners and said their efforts have served as “a valuable exercise in democracy.”

— Jon Elliston, news editor

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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7 thoughts on “Bryan Freeborn takes the talk-radio heat

  1. silverman

    so her logic in the video is by forcing the local council elections to be a partisan affair, the citizens will have more of a chance to vote for Democrats who will then, miraculously “turn around” the economy, the environment, and the general direction of our country?
    what is truly dissapointing, is that she obviously believes this crap. that they can facilitate some kind of “Democrat” takeover of the local governemnt which will save us from all the woes of the world.
    did she notice how the democrats, once they ‘took over’ congress caved to the presidents will over Iraq?
    how long do we have to futilely believe that the Democrats represent change when, at every turn, they consistantly prove to us that they are merely one side of the same corrupt coin?

  2. I love Robin Cape and Bryan Freeborn. They appear to be two of the most self important people that I’ve seen in local government. But, they don’t bother the stoners like crazy Carl, so nobody cares.

  3. silverman

    right, jason, nobody but the 5 thousand some-odd people who signed the petition.

    but you were close, tough, in trying to make a humerous observation. keep trying. some day i’ll laugh.

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