11/28/06 — Black is back: Elections Board gives OK, now it is up to leaders

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Black is back: Elections Board gives OK, now it is up to leaders

It is shocking enough that a representative so plagued by questions concerning his ethics should be returned to his seat in the N.C. House of Representatives.

That fact alone makes Jim Black’s re-election to the House a reason to question whether voters are really listening before they head to the polls — or if the standards they apply to their federal leaders translate back home.

But setting that aside, the beleaguered Speaker of the House has now been given the official OK from the state Board of Elections to head back to his seat after a race that can only be called a nail-biter.

The problem is, there were a bunch of reasons to question the Nov. 7 result, including some members of an adjoining district who got ballots when they shouldn’t have.

And then there was the miniscule margin of victory — at first seven votes. That lead would later expand to be a bit wider — but still very, very close.

Challenger Republican Hal Jordan has every right to raise some concerns — and to pursue a challenge, if he chooses to do so. And, he would be within his rights to call for a new vote — not that there would be any guarantee that it would make a difference.

We will have to wait and see what happens next.

But in the meantime, members of the N.C. House of Representatives, including those in Wayne and Duplin counties, should be thinking about the next step.

It is unclear if Black will even place himself in the position again to ask to be re-named Speaker of the House, you never know with politicians.

But even if 100th District voters decided they wanted him back in office, that does not mean that the men and women — Republican or Democrat — in this state’s House of Representatives should want him for their leader.

There is an old saying that if “it quakes like a duck, looks like a duck and has feathers like a duck — it is a duck.”

That particular phrase is worth considering in Black’s case — except without the feathery referral.

His ethics have been questioned too many times and too many serious concerns remain unresolved for him to continue to be considered a leader in the House.

North Carolina needs someone without baggage to take the reins and to move the state forward.

Continue to watch the elections debate. It should be interesting. But keep your eye, too, on what happens if Black returns to the House. Now is the time to see what this county’s representatives will do.

Published in Editorials on November 28, 2006 10:50 AM