Making sure voters distinguish between Democrats and Republicans

Originally published by Mike “gamecock” DeVine as Charlotte Law and Civil Rights Examiner for Examiner.com and as legal editor for The Minority Report

Exit polls from Election Day 2008 showed that a majority of voters trusted democrats more than republicans to cut taxes, despite nearly all of world history.

There is no excuse for this or course, especially since Proposition 13 in California more than 25 years ago, but one thing I too often notice in conservative blogs is the failure of the author to identify the villainous democrat political actor as being member of the Democratic Party early in the story or not at all.

Gamecock never fails to do so. In fact, I consider identifying the Democratic Party as the morally and intellectually bankrupt party much more important than identifying the name of the particular Democrat.

Given the massive straight ticket voting for the jack-ass party two weeks ago, I hope this fact concentrates your minds.

Here is my most recent indictment, er ah…, I mean Examiner.com column that illustrates the point:Which Mecklenburg County Democrat flipped on tax hikes?

One less Democrat is in a hurry to raise taxes since our examination two days ago.

County Manager Harry Jones said Monday he doesn’t think there will be enough support among county commissioners to reassess property values in 2009… Five of the nine current or incoming commissioners told the Observer last week they were leaning toward or would vote for a delay.

Less than three weeks ago, every Democrat commissioner favored reassessing property taxes three years earlier than state law required and every Republican favored delaying reappraisals beyond 2009:

The county board’s Republicans are pushing to kick the revaluation back a year, arguing that the process will yield higher tax values, and hence higher property tax bills, for the majority of homeowners during an economic downturn. On top of that lurks concern that housing prices could drop even further and a revaluation this year could leave homeowners stuck paying taxes on values higher than what their homes would actually be worth.Democrats on the Board of Commissioners contend the revaluation should move forward as planned, arguing that thousands of homeowners – many in high foreclosure neighborhoods – have already seen their home values plummet since the county last held a revaluation in 2003 and are currently paying too much in property taxes, while other homeowners, who saw their property values skyrocket during the housing boom, aren’t paying their fair share.

All republicans continue to oppose early reappraisals, including the mayor.

Charlotte Mayor, Republican (pictured), Pat McCrory weighed in on the issue yesterday:

Given the current downturn in the local housing market and the rise in foreclosures, I do not believe we can accurately appraise housing values during this time and I firmly believe we should not lock homeowners into a valuation rate for potentially eight years, particularly for those on fixed incomes and those who have faced recent job losses,” McCrory wrote. “Going forward with revaluation will only add anxiety to our families facing financial uncertainty and further hinder our real estate sector.”McCrory also discussed the impact on businesses. “It will be a challenge for many businesses to face an increase in the tax burden and a decrease in revenue at the same time,” he wrote. “Our focus should be on business growth and job creation, not potential higher taxation.

So, which Democrat has flipped, and why won’t they come forward? Shouldn’t they be proud to announce that they will not be a party with the rest of their party in a game of “property tax gotcha”, taking advantage of property owners whose property increased in value unnaturally during the recent housing boom but that has not yet dropped to its actual reasonable value since the credit crunch/housing bust?

Maybe the question answers itself, for why would the Democrats have been for such early reappraisals in the first place, if not to take advantage of their own vulnerable constituents.

Consider the publicly expressed attitudes of this Democrat before the election, our expose forty-eight hours ago, and the mayor’s twenty-four hours ago:

Commissioner Norman Mitchell, a Democrat, said regardless of whether there was a revaluation and/or a revenue neutral tax rate, homeowners should be willing to pay it.”I cannot for the life of me understand why people often talk about taxes knowing that the taxes you are paying are services that are returned to you,” Mitchell said. “You want your schools, you want your libraries, you want fire protection and police protection, yet you’re still complaining about paying your proper taxes.”

Democrat Mitchell can’t understand?

Republican Commissioner Bill James does:

“When the public hears the word ‘revaluation,’ they grab their wallets,” James said. “They know revaluation is a money grab.”

So does this Charlotte Examiner of the most basic of civil rights, i.e. the right to keep the fruits of one’s labor, especially one’s home.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer and Minority Report columns