From Carolina Public Press: Apodaca says Asheville redistricting bill not ready

Sen. Tom Apodaca (R), who represents Henderson, Transylvania and part of Buncombe County, at a panel discussion in Asheville in December 2015. Photo by Halima Flynt

Kirk Ross of Carolina Public Press spoke with Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville on Thursday about the retiring seven-term lawmaker’s plans to propose legislation that would change the way Asheville city officials are elected.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said he’s working on legislation shifting the Asheville City Council to district representation, but the plan and how to go about it have yet to be finalized.

“They’re not drawn up,” he said in an interview with Carolina Public Press on Thursday afternoon. “I don’t know what the Asheville paper thinks they’re doing.”

Apodaca said a map published in a Citizen-Times report is not the final version of proposed new districts and that legislation detailing the transition of the six-member city council is still in the drafting stage. He said he’s not surprised at the reaction. “Everything is kind of moot right now. But they’re working themselves up.”


Read the full article at Carolina Public Press.


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65 thoughts on “From Carolina Public Press: Apodaca says Asheville redistricting bill not ready

  1. bsummers

    “I don’t know what the Asheville paper thinks they’re doing.”

    Yeah, just because I’m drafting the bill that would constitute yet another State attack on the City of Asheville, what makes those pesky reporters think they have the right to let the cat out of the bag before I have my ducks in a row?

    • Tim Peck

      Far from being an attack, as you are wont to mischaracterize the proposal, municipal district elections will increase representative democracy. The progressive establishment opposes district elections (“naturally, we’re opposed to this” Manheimer) and wants to put up roadblocks (referendum, study groups) and generate animus, when in fact the proposal is generally viewed favorably among all political groups. They would not have done this themselves because it promises to disrupt concentrations of power, so it must be done for them. Good. The better it is for us.

      • Huhsure

        “When in fact the proposal is generally viewed favorably among all political groups”

        Man, you spin so well, someone might think you’re paid to do it.

        Of course, your statement above is complete crap. But that doesn’t matter. It’s just the saying it that matters. As if the simple act of writing down thoughts somehow validates them.


        • Tim Peck

          “Of course, your statement above is complete crap. ”

          Well, I’m convinced. Anybody else?

          • Tim Peck

            You have to actually know people outside your safe space, Barry. What you won’t find on Google is neighbors talking. You are out of the loop, as usual.

          • bsummers

            So you don’t have any empirical data to support your statement, but the group “people who will talk to Tim Peck” are all favorably disposed towards district elections being forced on Asheville from Raleigh.

            Got it.

      • luther blissett

        “They would not have done this themselves because it promises to disrupt concentrations of power”

        Yes, because it’s not like Apodaca’s wingnut base in Hendersonville and environs concentrates power at the expense of, say, the residents of Shiloh. And it’s not as if GOP state legislators drew their own district maps to concentrate power in a manner vastly disproportionate to the preference of NC voters. It doesn’t even begin to pass the smell test.

        Texas Timbit knows he’s BSing, we know he’s BSing, and yet some Republican loons apparently still pay him, albeit at a discount rate.

        • Tim Peck

          Did you explain why city council would have implemented district elections on their own? I missed it.

  2. NFB

    Turnout in Asheville City Council elections is already pathetic when voteres can vote for three candidates. How much lower will it drop when they can only vote for one candidate?

  3. Tim Peck

    Turnout among Asheville’s black population of registered voters in municipal elections is low and even lower than the participation rates of whites. In the 2015 general election, turnout among black voters was only 13.3%, compared to a turnout rate of 23.1% for white voters. Other races and ethnicities have shown an even greater disparity. District elections will give black voters an incentive to turn out in greater numbers to elect a member of their community. Despite Asheville’s black population of registered voters (7,888) being 12%, only two African-American candidates have been elected to the Asheville City Council over the last ten years.

  4. bsummers

    Anyway, back to the issue:

    “Manheimer agreed that a referendum is the right procedure under state law said the lack of a referendum would likely be a main part of any future legal action against the legislation. Given court decisions in recent attempts to change local elections in the City of Greensboro and Wake County, she said, the city would have a strong case.”

    Glad to see that the City is considering legal action if Raleigh tries this partisan attack on residents voting rights. The federal judge in the Greensboro case blocked implementation of Raleigh’s attempt to screw with their local elections.

    How much taxpayer money are our “lawmakers” in Raleigh siphoning out of us, over these petty partisan attacks on NC cities?

    • Lulz

      LOL, so the lefty loon shows himself what he really stands for lulz. Rich lawyers running the town LOL. Of course district elections scare you. Why all your crony friends won’t be in power and the one thing not being said, an actual accounting of where all the money and to WHOM it’s being funneled to. Imagine if the establishment gets booted and all those leeches that have been living high on the hog for years now don’t get their yearly bounty. Why they might actually have to get like real jobs instead of make believe ones that drain resources and do nothing of value.

      • bsummers

        That’s not even remotely what I stand for, “lulz” (if that is your real name…). Nor is that what the attempt to force district elections on a city without their consent is about. But you and the other sock puppets are on mission, so go nuts.

    • Tim Peck

      God forbid we should have more democracy in Asheville.

      There are 12 cities in NC that have district elections and 19 cities that have a mix of district and at-large elections. Some with populations as small as 3,000.

      • bsummers

        “There are 12 cities in NC that have district elections”

        And how many of them had those district election forced on them by the State legislature?

        It’s not about “more democracy”, and you know it. It’s a petty, vindictive, partisan attempt to abuse the power of the State, in order to shift the political landscape in a City dominated by people the Republicans don’t like.

        • I don’t see how representative democracy can do all that, Barrio. But you and your cronies seem awful afeared.

          The progressive establishment opposes district elections (“naturally, we’re opposed to this” Manheimer) and wants to put up roadblocks (referendum, study groups, council drawing maps) and generate animus when in fact the proposal is generally viewed favorably among all political groups.

          I think city council would prefer to continue with the current system where one or two districts make up the members of the body. They would not have done this themselves because it promises to disrupt concentrations of power, so it must be done for them. Good. The better it is for us.

          Kaliner sums it up:

          • bsummers

            in fact the proposal is generally viewed favorably among all political groups.

            Please present documentation to back up this claim.

          • Peter Robbins

            Didn’t you get the memo? The documentation is not drawn up. Everything is kind of moot right now. But y’all are working yourselves up for nothing. Why can’t you simply trust Senator Apodaca to do the job the people of Asheville elected him to do? I’m sure you’ll be notified in plenty of time after your fate has been finalized. Besides, folks hardly need some fancy referendum to learn what they generally favor. Not when they can just lean over the fencepost and confide their deepest secrets to everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Peck. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but if progressives keep talking like this, people are going to start thinking they’re a bunch of malevolent crackpots just trying advance their own selfish agenda.

          • Peter Robbins

            So Apodaca was lying? Maybe it just becomes habit with some people.

          • bsummers

            “The evidence is all around you, dear boy. I only know seven people who don’t just love the idea.”

            So there is no evidence. Whatta shocker. When you say repeatedly that something is a “fact”, we can safely assume it’s just another lie. Everyone take note.

          • I’m hearing nothing but praise for Sen. Apodaca and district elections. With the exception of a few progressive grouches. No. I’m not referring to your pals, Barry. At all.

          • Peter Robbins

            He’s got you now, Barry. He didn’t say it was a “fact.” He said it was true “in fact.” If you can’t see the difference, you’re lost.

          • bsummers

            I’m hearing nothing but praise for Sen. Apodaca and district elections.

            OK, but it’s been pretty well established that you’ve been lying about this, so forgive us for doubting anything else you say from here on out.

            Don’t worry – I’m sure you’ll still get paid.

          • You always believe what you want to believe. You even believe that Asheville is going to keep our water system. So, there’s that. Good job, Barry.

          • bsummers

            Change the subject when you lose an argument – classic Mr. Peck.

            You know, most people who seethe with hate, at least have the good grace to keep it mostly to themselves, like belching or cleaning out their nostrils.

          • And that’s what keeps you chattering endlessly about nothing anyone cares about. The topic be damned. Your favorite subject is me. Good.

            Good Kaliner segment, huh?

      • luther blissett

        “God forbid we should have more democracy in Asheville.”

        You mean like putting the entire city back in a single US congressional district?

          • luther blissett

            So no, you don’t mean “democracy”.

            See, you appear to be using the word “democracy” when you mean the word “Republicans”. That’s a curious kind of word-blindness. Perhaps there’s a doctor in Texas who can treat you for that?

            If so, make appointments for all the NC GOP legislators who draw the electoral maps.

  5. Henry

    There’s certainly one thing that doesn’t make sense to me.

    It seems to me like there are lots of people who do not live in Asheville who are trying to tell us how to elect our representatives.

    Barry Summers, a Woodfin resident, is now in a fearsome battle about whether or not Asheville should have district elections or not. I wonder why someone who does not live in Asheville and has loved local control since 2011, like Barry, is now trying to tell us what to do?

    This is very strange indeed.

    • Peter Robbins

      To paraphrase Churchill, one should not ignore the crocodile in hopes that he will eat you last.

    • bsummers

      I live right on the edge of the City of Asheville, so decisions made there on a huge range of issues affect me directly.

      So you’re saying that Tom Apodaca and friends in Raleigh, who live far away from Asheville, they shouldn’t be determining how you elect your representatives? Glad to hear it. Welcome to the light.

      • Ken Hanke

        For that matter, there seems to be some question of where Mr. Peck lives.

      • Henry

        I just love that someone who does not live in Asheville is screaming wildly about what kind of election system Asheville should have, all while shouting “local control”.

        The irony cuts deeply.

        • bsummers

          I’m not screaming or shouting.

          Are you just as bemused over Sen. Apodaca, who doesn’t live in Asheville, stepping in and changing Asheville’s election system? State law allows for district elections to happen through referendum. He doesn’t want the people in a city he doesn’t live in to be able to decide for themselves how their representatives are elected.

          • Henry

            I’m deeply amused that someone who doesn’t live in Asheville is so concerned about what kind of government Asheville will have. Looking at you on this one, Berry. Which district will you vote in?

            The problem is, as John Boyle pointed out, the elected leaders aren’t going to hold a referendum on a proposal that will cost them their power.

            They’ve known about this possibility, they’ve discussed it in the past, it was posited as a possibility very recently – and the city council never took one step do address the issue. They put their head in a hole. It wouldn’t have cost anything to hold a referendum. If they knew it wouldn’t pass, why not put the issue to rest? The problem is they were afraid it would pass.

            What Apodaca is doing is as legal as not holding a referendum.

            The new council can always hold a referendum to go back to the old way too, if they are so offended.

            What you, and the progressives are scared of, is that Montford and West Asheville won’t hold sway over all of Asheville anymore.

          • bsummers

            Well, I have no idea if you live in Asheville, as you are hiding behind a pseudonym (why are you afraid to participate openly in political discussions? Even Mr. Peck, bless his heart, is willing to spew his hate under his real name).

            What Apodaca is doing is as legal as not holding a referendum.

            That will be decided in court. They tried something similar in Greensboro, and it was blocked by a federal judge.

          • Henry

            It wasn’t blocked for forever…

            I missed what district you said you would be voting in, Mr. Local Control.

          • bsummers

            I’m just deeply amused that someone who can’t even reveal who they are or where they live is suggesting that I don’t have a right to comment. You could be Fisher Caudle, or Tim Peck for all I know. Your criticism is empty.

            The answer is I won’t be voting in any of the districts. But the results will still affect me, Mr. Anonymous Sockpuppet.

          • bsummers

            I’m also amused at the fact that you don’t seem to be offended by Mr. Peck going on about this at length, even though he either doesn’t live here anymore, or was forced to give up his right to vote in Asheville over four years ago. Hmm…

            Maybe we’ll call you Henry Peck until more light is shown on who you really are…

          • Henry

            I never said you couldn’t comment, Berry. That’s just you lying about what people said.

            All I’ve done is take note of considered opposition to outsiders meddling with Asheville’s elections; and yet, you are an outsider advocating about Asheville’s elections.

            I’m sorry that pointing out your hypocrisy bothers you so deeply. If it troubles you that much, perhaps you should stop being a hypocrite.

            If you’re making the claim that Asheville’s elections affect you, therefore you get to weigh in, you have 1) effectively undercut your own local control argument, thus making you a hypocrite yet again, 2) opened the justification door for Apodaca to do what he’s doing. He’s affected by numerous decisions of City Council, such as water rates, decisions on I-26 routes, as well as many other possibilities.

            And instead of responding substantively, all you can do is attempt to tear me down personally. Shows the weakness in your hypocritical arguments.

          • bsummers

            Arguing with people who don’t have the courage to use their real names is a waste of time. Enjoy your own hypocrisy.

          • Henry

            I don’t think hypocrisy means what you think it means, Barry.

            I understand you never admit defeat, you just quit. I’ll still chalk this one up as win!

  6. bsummers

    “Just lay back and think of England.”

    Leave it to Mr. Peck to introduce the concept of unwanted sexual intercourse to a political discussion.

    “‘Advice’ given when a woman will inevitably be taking part in unwanted but mandatory/inevitable sex, usually with a partner but sometimes attributed to rape.”

    Political rape is hilarious, North Carolina! Don’t forget to vote in November!

    • Peter Robbins

      Let’s not forget the hilarious Nazi angle. Give the man a microphone. The Governor could use a good advance man.

      • Peter Robbins

        Hmmm. I thought the reference to “thinking of England” was a response to my Churchill-crocodile analogy. But, upon reflection, maybe it wasn’t, so I will cheerfully withdraw the remark. The sexual analogy will have to stand alone.

        • bsummers

          In the light of yesterday’s unexpected outcome, I’m trying to think of a good twist on Mr. Peck’s “just lay back and think of England” taunt.

          “You mean, reflect on the whole American thing, and fight back against foreign oppressors, and win against all odds? Wow, is this a great City/State/Country or what?!?

  7. Matt McClure

    You’re not hearing praise from me about Sen. Apodaca’s plan. And I am very glad there is precedent in the state for legal protection from such agendas.

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