Jan 25, 2011

Bernie Files Lawsuit


Channel 69 reports that Bernie and Ron Angle have filed a lawsuit to keep the Gracedale question off the ballot. Bernie says that the issue is budget related, and budget issues are prohibited from referendum by the Home Rule Charter. It wasn't a good day for the Save Gracedale Group. Additionally, the Election Board also ruled against allowing the ballot question. Presumedly the group will appeal the Election Board decision in court, and likewise defend against Bernie's suit. Bernie believes that the fate of Gracedale should rest with the current elected officials. What arrogance of Angle and Stoffa to presume that they are entitled to do away with a 100 year plus institution without a public vote. The photograph shows Bernie, pen in hand, scrutinizing the petition signatures.

UPDATE: MORNING CALL ARTICLE
                     BLOG POST BY BERNIE

26 comments:

Monkey Momma said...

Well, what I want to know is: who took the photo? Does Bernie have the paparazzi following him now??!! :)

The Gracedale conundrum suddenly took an interesting turn. I can't wait to see where this leads.

michael molovinsky said...

the photo is from the Saving Private Gracedale blog, one of the few blogs Bernie has removed from his blogroll; he even still has me there.

Anonymous said...

action photography - nice

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Chris Casey said...

Can't we all just get along?

For the record, I don't think Gracedale should be sold, but that's not my point of interest.

I believe the petition process should be aboveboard and follow the strict rule of law.
I collected petitions for many candidates and never had them challenged. That's because I don't play fast and loose with the rules.

I have a contact inside Northampton County Government who confirms for me that there are more than a few petitions that don't pass muster.

You just can't sign fifty names to a sheet of paper and turn it in.

I am sure there are many legitimate signatures, but beyond the question of whether the process deserves to be put to the ballot, you have to start with a firm foundation of valid signatures.

I don't agree with the position of Angle or Bernie concerning the disposition of Gracedale, but I do agree that they have a right to question the authenticity of the petitions and insure they were gathered properly.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, making sure that the signatures and petition is valid is supposed to be the function of the election office and commission, not bernie o'hare. he is not trying in insure proper procedure, but to discredit and stop a citizens initiative since day one.

gary ledebur said...

Do we really want to go down the path of having a public referendum on these kind of issues. Think about the implications.

michael molovinsky said...

gary, the implication is that over 20,000 citizens don't feel that a council should be empowered to sell the counties biggest asset at their whim. not once was selling the nursing home mentioned while any of the current members campaigned for office. to gather the necessary signatures is a monumental task, signifying the importance of the issue. i believe the election commission erred when rejecting the petition because of the home rule charter, and when accepting the tainted advise of the county solicitor

Patrick McHenry said...

"What arrogance of Angle and Stoffa to presume that they are entitled to do away with a 100 year plus institution without a public vote."

*********************************

MM -

I don't think it's arrogance, it's simply their position that putting his type of question on the ballot is not allowed by the NC Charter. The courts are where such differences of opinion are decided, and it's the right of all citizens - including Angle & O'Hare - to file suit and ask the courts to decide the (ballot)issue.

As to doing "away with a 100 year plus institution without a public vote", I'm assuming you mean a vote on the issue by the public. If that's the case, I sure don't want to use the number of years that government's been doing something as a measure of whether a public vote is needed to get rid of it.

Nor do I think that a vote by the public is needed at all (unless the Save Gracedale group has the correct number of signatures as specified in the charter and the court rules the question itself is allowed).

If no petition drive had been started, would there still be a need for a vote by the public?

For the record, I don't live in Northampton County so "I don't have a dog in this hunt". But I do agree with Chris Casey that the rules for gathering signatures need to be followed and citizens (including Angle and O'Hare) have the right to make their cases to the court.

michael molovinsky said...

chris failed to make his points with me. i ignore his "inside source" claim as unsubstantiated and vague. chris's personal petition experiences are irrelevant; it has nothing to do with gathering 20,000 names in 3 months. he links to bernie's post and version. bernie studied those petitions with a predetermined agenda, to cast doubt on them.

Anonymous said...

A public referendum is in order. The scope of appreciation of the magnitude is too limited if left in the hands of the public officials" sic". The potential for the influence of prurient interests is too great here. Increasingly BO and his blog are simply a mouth piece for his political cronies. So much for self- identifying as a journalist. True colors emerge. The inherent ineptness of local political players as pawns of the political interests is astounding.

Local said...

Even if half the signatures are fake,
The people are speaking.
Their government should damn well be listening.
I agree these individuals are putting on a show of unbelievable arrogance.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

Whether or not Bernie studied the petitions a predetermined agenda is irrelevant. To be valid, the signatures must withstand scrutiny - even by those with a "predetermined agenda".

Also, unless the sale opponents have gathered the required number of VALID signatures, there is no need (or legal basis) for a vote by the public.

All that said, I think the number of signatures required to place a question on the ballot in Northampton County is ridiculously high. But until that number is changed, the rules have to be followed - to the letter.

Maybe changing the amount of signatures should be the next question put to the voters.

gary ledebur said...

MM: If you take the position that selling a public asset is appropriate for a referendum where will you draw the line. How about approval of a school budget? How about contracting out foster care services. How about repair of a major street? You get my point. We have a representative democracy for a reason and elections have consequences.

michael molovinsky said...

patrick, there has been nothing short of a rush to sell gracedale by the administration and certain commissioners. i think the sheer volume of signatures indicates that the process should receive more due diligence.

gary, as i stated before, this issue was never raised in the election. selling off such an important institution also has consequences.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The fact that MM uses the word "commissioners" to refer to Northampton County Council members reveals just how ignorant he is on this topic. He knws nothing about Northampton County, and has no idea that Gracedale has been a topic of discussion for years. In the past year, it has been on the front burner, and Stoffa very deliberately moved to a sale. In addition to numerous meetings on the topic, there were 4 informational sessions in different corners of the County. I saw MM at none of them. In fact, the drive for initiative did not start until 2 months after Stoffa put Gracedale out for bid. Now he's claiming a rush when the truth is that he simply hasn't been paying attention.

gary ledebur said...

.....so if you don't raise an important issue while campaigning then the elected reps have no right to take an action on that issue? That has serious implications for governance.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, the fact that 23,000 people signed the petition says plenty, but i suppose they're all ignorant like me. btw, why don't you update and link to this post as i did to yours? the ignorant mob is welcome here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

By my calculation, the number of people who signed that petition is much lower. It does not surprise me that you would welcome other ignorant people.

We've all seen how sensitive you are to even the slightest criticism, when it is directed at you. But I see you have different standards for others. I do feel sorry for you, but as I just said over at LVPoliblig, I've lost all respect I ever had for you.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie wrote over at poliblog:
"you've encouraged people you don't know to post all kinds of filth about me."


bernie, for you to blame what people write about you, or to say that it is because of me, is absurd and dishonest.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie just posted the following at his blog;


Bernie O'Hare said...
I have reached the conclusion that comments from MM are no longer welcome here. It has nothing to do with his position on Gracedale, which is contrary to mine. It is because conversations with him tend to deteriorate into petty squabbles that diminish all of us. I refuse to play his game.

1:28 PM


so i'm banned from bernie's. at his site from now on you can expect no squabbles, which i apparently cause, or no filthy remarks about him, which i apparently have encouraged. good luck with all that bernie.

ironpigpen said...

Oh No!

Banned From Bernie's

Say It Ain't So, Mr. Mo!

It is a badge of honor to be banned by that hypocritical, dishonest, inconsistent, disgraced one-time attorney.

It means the Fuzzy Bunny actually recognizes that he can not defeat you intellectually, ever, and that is tired of being made of fool of.

Congratulations, Mr. Molovinsky!

:)

michael molovinsky said...

i have deleted two slightly unflattering comments about bernie posted this morning, although they were very mild, especially compared to comments that regularly appear on his own blog about him. i have also decided to delete the photograph which i sense bernie considers unflattering. i don't find bernie intellectually honest. i do not believe he is opposed to the gracedale petition just because it's an "unruly mob". the photograph showed bernie, pen in hand, studying the petitions. he has spent days looking for faults. he had an agenda since day one, protecting the position of stoffa and angle. he has referred to those who started the petition as a mob and goons led by a false minister who curse in front of boy scouts, etc. etc.

i believe this blog has a different standard than many, certainly than his.

Anonymous said...

Hm! Who is left to bully? Sounds suspiciously like another local infamous blogger. All dressed up and no one to victimize!

michael molovinsky said...

original photograph returned to post