Democrats should be worried (NCSPIN 5/4/06)
Hidden quietly amidst the reports of Tuesday's elections returns was the story that the longest-tenured House Democrat, Edd Nye, was defeated. To report accurately, Nye trails William Brisson by 64 votes, but all the precincts are in and it appears unlikely that Nye can recover enough to claim victory.
What happened? Residents of the district saw yard signs all over with headlines saying, "House for Sale," displaying Edd Nye's picture. Joe Sinsheimer and his www.Jimblackmustgo.com campaign promised ads and yard signs against Black supporters. Nye was a House Appropriations Chair and member of Black's inner circle and had been rumored to become House Rules chair (see below).
While Speaker Black was complaining to reporters about Art Pope's efforts to unseat Richard Morgan and the group of Republicans who had formed the power-sharing coalition he might well have been better advised to be more reflective. In the first place, Black failed to recognize the rich irony of the situation. He had thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends of his in order to get them elected to the House. He now appears to have problems with Art Pope doing precisely the same thing.
Here's the really critical point. If Art Pope, his money, and the Republican Party can mount a campaign to rid themselves of the Morgan Moderates, what would a well financed coordinated campaign do to the numbers of Democrats in the House ?
Voters are increasingly aware of and disdainful of corruption, unethical conduct, and abuses of power, be they real or perceived. Edd Nye wasn't a bad legislator…he was just too close to Jim Black and he paid for it.
Democrats should open their eyes to what is going on outside Raleigh and recognize that Speaker Black is tainted goods and a well financed, well coordinated and targeted effort might see the balance of power shift come November. They should be worried.