Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Twitter shines light on local immigration debate

"@Meckcommish: 'It's halloween time..... Be scared little Democrats....... Bill James is coming.....' "
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James (right) tweeted that message in the midst of a controversial debate over whether the county should report illegal immigrants who seek public benefits for their U.S.-born children.

Commissioner Jennifer Roberts(left) questioned whether James was gloating. In response, James tweeted that he was just reflecting the commentary from the Democrats 'warning' the public about what may happen if Republicans took control of the board. Commissioner George Dunlap had suggested that if Republicans took over the board, the commission would have more people who supported James’ views and perspective.

It was just a taste of the back and forth that was occurring online at the same time of the emotional debate in the government center. When it comes to public meetings, the popular social media service,Twitter, has opened up an entirely new window giving us all another peek into the workings of our county government -- or at least the minds of some of our elected officials.

It's quite interesting to follow, but the one question is should elected officials be playing with their computers/smart phones at all during these meetings? Commissioners don’t typically make comments during public feedback. Should they be tweeting during them? What do you think?

James(@meckcommish) is the most prolific Twitter user among commissioners. (You will need to follow James in order to see his tweets.) He was criticized last night for focusing too much on his Twitter account instead of the conversation. But also Commissioner Jennifer Roberts(@CommishJennifer), who left the meeting early because of a sick child, Commissioner Karen Bentley(@BentleyCommish)(right) and Commissioner Neil Cooksey(@CommishNeil) weighed in online.

“You know, Twitter is great for providing a direct response without all of the back and forth,” James wrote during the meeting.

Here is a rough breakdown of a sample of tweets from last night’s twitterfest. There were simply too many to add all of them. I did my best to capture the conversation in order as it occurred. You can see the entire conversation by linking on the commissioners’ individual Twitter accounts.

(Observer Reporter) AprilBethea: #meckbocc moving up discussion of item 20 in whether county should report undocumented family members of those receiving DSS benefits
AprilBethea: James: action item about "reporting, not deporting," county has obligation to ensure, participate in national security of country
AprilBethea: James amends motion to send letter to dept of Homeland Security & obtain info on how we can privately report info we have to them.
AprilBethea: Cooksey seconded the motion
AprilBethea: Cogdell asks James for "civility in his comments." Came after James says he doesn't know if there are "Osama wannabes"
AprilBethea: James counters, calling out Cogdell for comments about James
Meckcommish: Are the Democrats soft on immigration?
Meckcommish: If individuals are illegal how can we not make sure that they are not terrorists.
Meckcommish: We are to 'comply' with the law by ignoring possible terrorists?
Meckcommish: Not sure where you got the idea that my ancestors were from the Mayflower. My ancestors were from Jamestowne.
Meckcommish: You know, Twitter is great for providing a direct response without all of the back and forth.
Meckcommish: "Change we believe in' - The premise that illegals are entitled to welfare & National Security takes a back seat to law breakers.
Meckcommish: # What illegal acts? Disclosing the NUMBER of illegals on welfare?
Meckcommish: Go Arizona !
CommishJennifer: Bill James wants NC to act like Arizona. So we can get sued by the Federal Govt too? RT @meckcommish: Go Arizona !
Meckcommish: Win or lose - the issue won't go away no matter the result tonight
Meckcommish: Timothy McVeigh?
Meckcommish: Everyone is upset about disclosure but none of them even care about the law.
Meckcommish: The only one that can put a child on the 'wrong path' are the illegal parents.
Meckcommish: parents would be deported with the anchor babies. Happens all the time.
Meckcommish: And the speakers are done. Now for the roasting !!
Meckcommish: I have a dream. That the US will be safe and not scared to enforce the law.
CommishJennifer: #meckbocc. Commissioner Murrey suggesting we add Comprehensive Immigration Reform to our federal legislative agenda. Good idea.
CommishNeil: I am puzzled by the assumption that the children of deported aliens would stay in the community.
Meckcommish: I have a dream. That the US will be safe and not scared to enforce the law.
Meckcommish: It's halloween time..... Be scared little Democrats....... Bill James is coming.....
Meckcommish: Illegal is illegal.
Meckcommish: Anchor Babies is offensive? Why?
Meckcommish: I think turning over the list to ICE would make the US safer
Meckcommish: I would have put it on regardless of the election. The timing was the disclosure of the numbers on welfare
CommishNeil: Cogdell: "Partisanship interferes with good government."
CommishJennifer: Is Bill gloating? RT @meckcommish: It's halloween time.... Be scared little Democrats....... Bill James is coming.....
Meckcommish: @CommishJennifer Not 'gloating' - just reflecting the commentary from D Commissioners 'warning' the public
BentleyCommish: We should not blindly follow federal law when we understand the devasting impact of illegal immigration on our local government.
AprilBethea: RT @MeckCounty: Board says no to Item #20 - asking feds to tell the County how it can report names of illegals who seek County services.


cltindependent said...

Bill James is by far the most juvenille so called politician we have had in this area. No wonder he doesn't have the guts to run at large. I bet he is an avid twitter, the County Commission seems to be his only job.

John said...

Bill James is the worst kind of human being there is. Do you wonder why this country is so devided? Bill James is the answer.

Kimberly said...

Bill James is nothong but a "racist with a voice", from the county commission. If this had been a black man making all of these ignoratn comments his A$$ would have been off the board before you can say supercalifragilisticexpeealidocious!!
Ignorance breeds more ignorance.....I pray to GOd that this man does not have children who think like him.

I LOVE WHAT Harold Cogdell said to him though. Way to go!!

This is why so many minorities are stereotyped so much...because White males are always putting minorities in a class. And my comment is not a stereotype but just an honest statement!!!

JimBfromNC said...

I can tell that buffoon why "anchor babies" is offensive: it disparages a human being as an underhanded motive. Would he be offended if I refered to his children as some sort of underhanded motive? Even if he did have children for nefarious reasons, I doubt it would be fair to blame them for his cravenness. In fact, however, I suspect he had children for the reason people have children, out of love, or hope, or faith, or by accident. I would have to think of him as subhuman to infer that his motives were inhuman. I hope James does not call himself a Christian, because I don't think this is what Christ had in mind when he said "suffer the little children...".

SHADO00 said...

Does my heart good to see our elected officals acting like school kids with smart phones paid for by us---

Doogle1 said...

I'm no fan of Bill James either, but I hope I'm still here when some of you folks wake up and smell the coffee. And usually (Kimberly) when your last statement strikes even you as a stereotype, maybe you should rethink it. I'm just sayin'.

Larry said...

Strange normally the Democrats just get up and go get the free buffet when I speak.


And funny how Bill does all of this for only one reason for the right reason and not politics. While we don't agree with him on everything we know he is doing if for the people and not for the money.

Oh and those of who say he is the worst etc and would not win in an at large etc. be sure to look at the other commissioners and their histories and stands on things..... oh wait I should say how they don't stand on things unless the party tells them to.

Larry said...

Oh and funny how the comments this morning were about 99 percent for Bill until about 10 or so.

Strange almost like those who do not like him have the luxury of sleeping late.

Larry said...

And watch how these comments will continue late into the night with the majority of them being against him and here on a school and work night for all we families.

EuroCat said...

Kimberly, you are so right...Harold Cogdell is one of the best commissioners Mecklenburg County has had in a long time. He's a class act and a true servant of the people.

Meanwhile, James is one of the most embarassing lifeforms I've ever seen in public office. His juvenile "tweets" are stupider than the notes a bunch of junior high girls would pass in the back of the room in days gone by. It's really a sad commentary on residents of James' district that they are willing to be "served" by this bigoted, unsophisticated, ineffective, childish buffoon. One would think his constituents would have some self-respect even though he obviously doesn't.

Larry said...

Which class act was it that threw his Administrative Assistant down the stairs?

I always forget the little things people do?

I don't think Bill has been arrested for Drunk Driving either like another former one but you seem to be forgetting a lot like me.

Yes a World Class City full of World Class Actors.

Ghoul said...

Larry, don't forget which group named a county building after a convicted child molester, then when challenged about it, kept the name on the building.

EuroCat said...

Of course, Larry, you wouldn't bother remembering that the person you just slandered was completely exonerated on September 11, 2003, of any involvement in pushing anybody down a flight of stairs.

But the truth is not something you're very good at, is it Larry. No, you'd rather spew the same garbage that people like your buddy James spew, vomiting forth lies about people you don't like. That says a lot about the quality of people you do support, not to mention you yourself.

Classy as always, Larry. Not.

EuroCat said...

And Ghoul, you're as bad as Larry.

What is it about you people and pathological lying?

The person to whom you are referring was never convicted of child molesting or anything like it. Rather, he was convicted of a misdemeanor assault charge against an adult victim. That's it. Do some research and quit it with the slander and false accusations, OK?

Try The Charlotte Observer, January 17, 1987. An embarassing situation for the defendant involving consensual sex? Sure. He was wrong. But you people really need to stop lying.

ThaQueenCity said...

And THIS is what they do while discussing our county affairs... hell no wonder we're broke and corruption is running rampant in our county!

Every last one of you should be ashamed of yourselves, TRULY! You are trying to one-up each other instead of HEARING what is being said...NO WONDER the citizens are NEVER heard! (Not that most of you care anyways) You are all too busy playing word games!


Will said...

Bill James speaks the truth and that is why Liberals are scared of him. Every intelligent person should be scared of Harold Cogdell and especially George Dunlap(Ineligible Rights?) James speaks what most people think, but are scared to because of the Touchy Feely PC Pencil Necks that raise cane. Good for you Bill...Keep fighting the Good Fight for the overwhelming population who want to protect the foundation of our Country.

Larry said...

Oh so he was cleared back in 2003 a lot of us forgot the total story on that person and I never even mentioned who it was thanks! Good for him so what was the slander part?

I hate that when an employee takes you to court and accuses you of something like that and you have to get a lawyer to defend you and help find the truth. So pesky when silly employees do those random things to waste time and just to get fired apparently.

Oh is it not funny when we learn from the best, you liberals, on how to respond to your comments like you have to us over these past couple of years, is it (and I use your closing word) not?

Larry said...

We all need to get into office.

Apparently you can do no wrong whatsoever.

Oh wait even if you do you get some sweetheart deals on your sentence.

Either you are born into money or you get elected.

The paths leads to the same plateau.

ThaQueenCity said...

You know I agree with James too, but this tweet beating has got to stop! It is childish and pathetic for so called leaders to behave in this manner!

And we wonder why our kids are mess?

iftapro said...

Very cute Eurocat. But we have no time for your Parisian cafe rant. James rocks

EuroCat said...

"What was the slander part", Larry?

Would you like a little civics lesson? Your comments indicate that you really need one. When a jury finds somebody "not guilty" of some completely fabricated charge, then...are you sitting down?...he's not guilty. He "didn't do it".

So, when a whiny commenter on a blog accuses that exonerated defendant of committing the crime he was found not guilty of, it's slander. See, Larry? Easy!

You's amazing what a jilted girlfriend might say in order to get attention for herself or maybe to set herself up for a civil suit to "get rich quick", expecially when she's falsely accusing a city council member of something he never did.

You really need to reexamine your critical thinking skills, Larry. Oh, and your integrity, while you're at it. Maybe, if you disagree with the policies of an elected official, you might address those policies and, ummmm, lose the penchant for slander and false personal attacks?

Oh, I doubt it. Integrity? You?


Larry said...

Ok I will stop doing that, which I did not know I was doing in the first place, as soon as everyone else does.

Strange how asking people to help your memory on a news story is slander. How about Hug... the Hurricane... uh the big wind that did all that damage... wait I can not ask about that either I guess?

But it is good to know that it was just a jilted ex employee girlfriend who was looking to get money and then as you say never even happened with him throwing her down the stairs in a lovers quarrel. This is great news and I am happy as when he did not run later and was out of office for a while people wondered why he was out of the public eye.

So the throwing the money hungry ex girlfriend down the stairs if not correct and he is innocent. And the time out of the public eye had nothing to do with any of that? Got it! Thanks for clearing that up. Integrity is in such short supply today we need to embrace those who have the remaining little that have it today like you say this guy who is cleared of throwing his ex girlfriend down the steps thing.

All the best to everyone I just hate that we have not had to have Bill in Court having to defend himself and showing that he is honest too. Maybe one day but right now we will just have to go on his record of not being arrested.