Partisan plot thickens

Eamon Martin’s letter titled “Partisan Plot” [Xpress, May 16] is just that—a plot for power over the city of Asheville to be held by fewer people. One only has to read the comments of the City Council members in Brian Postelle’s column, “Votes and Slopes” [“Just the Facts,” May 16] to confirm Martin’s opinion.

Brownie Newman, who introduced the issue, was said to have argued that the “telltale D or R helps voters understand a candidate’s political philosophy.” And that’s true—just look at our congressional and presidential elections, polarizing this country philosophically into red and blue when it should be bringing this country together. Robin Cape said the current system forces candidates to work outside an existing party structure designed to help them. What Cape doesn’t understand is that the party controls the candidate when it pays the tab to get the candidate elected. Jan Davis said, “I probably stand to lose more than anybody else on that,” noting that he relied on some Republican votes to win his seat. And that’s because Davis was running on his own message—not a party message.

Carl Mumpower objected because partisan voters would create barriers for independent and third-party candidates. And he is correct. How many independent or third-party candidates do we see on the ballot in our national elections? Mayor Bellamy seems to agree with Mumpower that it would shut out many good candidates and almost ensure incumbents to be re-elected.

Asheville needs green and grass-roots city councilors to maintain the basic culture and beauty of the city and its surrounding geography. Partisan politics only leads to power, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that power corrupts. We don’t need red and blue commissioners. If any color fits, it should be green, and we will only get that with independents. It’s a no-brainer: We should “be-ware” of party politics.

— Bert Bass

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