Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tarleton for N.C. House Dist. 93

Very interesting developments in Ashe and Watauga counties, which constitute the 93rd N.C. House District, where recumbent Rep. Gene Wilson has been non-performing for approximately an eon. Private (but professional) polling is now showing that if the election were held today, Tarleton would win. (Check out Tarleton's website.)

The swing against Wilson, a do-nothing Republican of the old school, seems to be part of the same anti-incumbent tsunami that is being felt in Connecticut and Georgia and everywhere else.

Wilson is most famous for casting the deciding vote years ago, when he was Watauga County Commission chair, to privatize a perfectly good county-owned ambulance service ... and give it to his own son. The son then proceeded over the next several years to gouge his customers AND the county of Watauga, which continued to grant him subsidies for the same ambulance service the county had once owned. Far as I can tell, that's the Republican theory of "privatization": if you can't make money off of government, what's the point?

Other than acts of blatant nepotism, Wilson has championed no causes that anyone can remember, has sponsored no laws to benefit the public. To repeat a joke going around, told by a prominent member of Wilson's own party, the ONLY thing Wilson accomplishes in the state House is the conversion of oxygen into carbon dioxide.

Tarleton is a Democrat with ideas, a long list of community activism behind him, a strong head for fiscal responsibility, and a mind open to the possibilities of the 21st century and what it can mean for the economic development of these mountain counties. He has a strong background in business, having retired as a senior vice president & general manager of WBTV, WBT Radio, and WCCB-TV in Charlotte.

Evidently, Mr. Wilson is feeling the heat. He's actually started mailing out fundraising letters and staging campaign events.

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