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How Refreshing to have political choices!

After living in California, a state forced into a progressive political bubble by the populous coastal region, it is refreshing to now call North Carolina home. This state has strong voices in both progressive and conservative camps.

Even within camps, there are divergent voices. In the conservative camp there are the Trump-anointed vs. establishment. In the progressive camp there are reformers vs. centrists. The libertarian camp is not as visible, although several libertarians are on the upcoming elections ballot.

This mishmash of sides will thin out on May 17, when voters choose who will represent them in the General Election.

The stakes are not insignificant.

North Carolina has maintained a workable political balance with a Republican-majority state legislation and a Democrat governor. Although most voters seem content with such arrangement, activists are not.

At the more contentious Federal level is where swords are drawn. The U.S. Senate is divided 50-50, with the Vice President, a Democrat, being the tie breaker. U.S. Senator from North Carolina, Richard Burr, a Republican, is retiring. His successor, depending on affiliation, can help either maintain or upset the 50-50 balance.

Then there is the Trump Effect. Former President Donald Trump won in North Carolina in 2016 and in 2020. Some say Trump’s influence in North Carolina will be determined if his endorsed candidates do well in the May 17 primary. Others point that the leading contender in North Carolina’s important U.S. Senate race is Trump-endorsed Ted Budd.

On the other side of the coin is the Millennial Effect. Liberal states like California are emptying out, and the bulk of the out-migrants are young professionals. Wake County, N.C., for example, is full of them, since the burgeoning Research Triangle offers well-paying jobs and pleasant low-cost living. Wake County is politically blue, and locals say that Cary stands for “Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees.”

Thus, battles between factions rage

In his speech marking the anniversary of the January 6 debacle President Joe Biden said,

“I have said it many times. It’s no more true or real than when we think about the events of January 6. We are in a battle for the soul of America.”

A bit melodramatic but apropos. Today’s battle is not over one or two issues, like The Vietnam War or the New Deal. The battle, daunting and relentless, is over a wide range of subjects that are sometimes lumped together in phrases like “our democracy” or “make America great.”

At its core, the fight is about preserving our Constitutional Republic or abandoning it in preference of a Marxist-based democracy. States like California or New York have already chosen Marxism, so there is no real battle there. Residents of swing states like North Caroline, Florida, and Texas are still waging war.

Good to be where political choices still exist.

Marcy Berry
Editor
Just Vote No Blog

Erik Frankel for Council

Erik Frankel: Citizen Statesman

As the size of government at all levels grows, so does obscurity and lack of accountability. Most unfortunately, what goes on under layer upon layer of bureaucracy affects us all, mostly in negative ways.

We can choose to accept the status quo and do the best we can to avoid the fallout, or we can actively fight for transparency and accountability.

One such fighter is Erik Frankel of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York.

Erik Frankel sells shoes. His store, Frankel’s Shoe Co., has been in his family since 1890. According to Yelp, Frankel’s Shoe Co. supplies most of New York construction workers, iron workers, and utility workers with their safety toe shoes and clothes. He has shared his knowledge and experience with workers in Vietnam, Myanmar, China.

Upon returning to the U.S., Frankel seems to have had an epiphany – small businesses, workers, communities are all in danger of falling victim to obscure bureaucracies that claim to help but do nothing but hinder. So he ran for a seat in his district’s Council.

Frankel wasted no time doing his homework as to who his main opponent was, and how in his view, she was a strong spoke in a bureaucratic wheel. Alexa Aviles managed the huge portfolio of the non-profit Scherman Fund. The fund distributed money to various progressive groups locally and nationally.

Then Ms. Aviles ran for a spot in Council District 38 – with endorsements and support from receivers of her largess?

It goes without saying that with high-profile endorsements Alexa Aviles won the race with 9,228 votes vs. Erik Frankel’s 2,209. Interestingly, though, that 2,209 votes was a strong showing, given that the other opponents of Alexa Aviles each received 1 to 3 votes.

The Founding Fathers had a point – folks running the country should do it out of patriotism not necessity. A politician needs to get elected by any means necessary to put food on his family’s table. A store owner does not.

Now, Erik Frankel is running for Congress. Stay tuned.

The Just Vote No Blog recommends Erik Frankel’s opinion piece of October 15, 2021, regarding his run for City Councilmember. His op-ed appeared on Star Review, a paper serving several Brooklyn neighborhoods. Please read on:

Is Aviles Conflicted?

The Scherman Fund is a huge non-profit fund with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, including millions invested in hedge funds, some in the Cayman Islands.

As Program Director, Alexa Aviles managed a portfolio in the tens of millions. She was given a mission to spread the money around to various progressive groups in New York and around the country.

During her tenure, she oversaw donations to numerous organizations in Brooklyn, including key grass roots groups in Sunset Park and Red Hook within District 38.

Ms. Aviles has yet to explain how, as a socialist and a member of the DSA, she justified working for a non-profit largely engaged in investing in the very same capitalist institutions she reviles. It turns out, it was worth it for her.

The Scherman Fund’s 990 tax forms from 2018 show a series of large donations to one organization, Make The Road New York. $200,000 in two contributions for “Sanctuary NYC Campaign” and another $25,000 for “Get Out The Vote”. The 2018 form also shows $40,000 to the Red Hook Initiative for “RedHookFarms”.

It’s no wonder Make The Road’s action committee felt the need to endorse Alexa in the Democratic primary in June. The irony is Ms. Aviles was in charge of the Governmental Transparency and Accountability program at the Scherman Fund. Ms. Aviles clearly was thinking about her run for a long time. She wanted to make sure potential backers knew she means business. Especially in a crowded field with a number of qualified candidates.

While she champions her record as an educational activist and her time as a PTA member, she really has been making hundreds of thousands of dollars, first as a consultant, then at a politically beneficial job as program director of an influential charity.

While we don’t expect to hear from the Aviles campaign on this, we encourage them to at least respond with a statement for the public’s sake. We are running a campaign based on transparency, something that is desperately needed in District 38 where third party groups and the community board have provided anything but.

Our opponent is running with the support of all the very same institutions that have stifled growth in Sunset Park and Red Hook for years. They claim to be for environmental justice and housing justice but have failed to deliver for the working people of the district. They want affordable homes and good paying jobs,not empty promises and continued gentrification.

We’re running a campaign to provide an alternative to the status quo which, despite her radical leanings, Ms. Aviles will continue to represent. We call on her campaign to release the Scherman fun’s 990 tax forms for 2019 and 2020 which are unavailable to the public. We ask them, for transparency’s sake, to reveal if any of the money went to groups which then backed her bid.