North Carolina Representative Jane Whilden (D116) has claimed, in her bid for re-election in 2010, that she is a long-time opponent of forcible annexation. However, we find that her words and her actions are at odds.
Below are statements from Rep. Whilden where she claims, on two different occasions on the campaign trail, to have been a co-sponsor of an annexation reform bill.
Jane Whilden on Annexation
October 14, 2010
"I have voted three times against forced annexation. I have actually signed on as a co-sponsor for legislation and I am willing to do so again. The bills in the legislature this past session passed the House but were not taken up by the Senate. Which means they basically died, they go away, and so the legislation has to be re-introduced and pass both houses in order to become law."Jane Whilden on Annexation
League of Women Voter Forum
October 12, 2010
Mountain Xpress Video, Part 4, 00:19:24
"I have co-sponsored and voted for a bill against forced annexation. It passed the House. It got to the Senate and it stalled, and I'm not really sure why, but it was not take up by the Senate."Here is House Bill 524, Annexation - Omnibus Changes: http://is.gd/g4sux
Where is Whilden's name as a sponsor or co-sponsor?
Here's the vote where Whilden was the deciding 60th vote that sent Goforth's bill back to the Appropriations Committee, a committee on which Whilden sits, instead of letting it have an up or down vote: http://is.gd/g4swt
Bill Jacket for House Bill 524
The Bill Jacket is proof that Jane Whilden was neither a sponsor nor a co-sponsor of the bill.
Since the vote was 60-59, she was the deciding vote. Goforth, a handful of Democrats, and all the Republicans voted NOT to re-refer the bill. If Whilden voted for the motion to re-refer, then it is she herself who voted to kill and/or gut the bill; contrary to her claim above of not know how all of this happened.
Once it was sent back, it was significantly altered, including the "poison pill" provision that would require any area under threat of annexation by Asheville to obtain approx. 10,000 petition signatures in 10 days.
Original Bill: http://is.gd/g4syk
Final Bill: http://is.gd/g4szl
It is conceivable that Whilden would justify her vote to send the bill back to committee by claiming that she "just thought the bill needed some more work" or that she "just wanted to make sure it would pass."
This is nonsense. If she wanted changes, she could have amended the bill from the floor, but because she was not a prime sponsor, the amendment would have been hostile and likely failed.
Why would Whilden go against the bill sponsors? And why didn't she just amend the bill from the floor?
Asheville City Council tables annexation policy
by Margaret Williams | Mountain Xpress | 10/12/2010
In a marathon meeting that started with a 3 p.m. work session and wound through several public hearings that didn’t wrap up till after 11 p.m., Asheville City Council members voted 5-2 to table annexation decisions for the next 12 months.
Public Comment (not given)
Tim Peck | October 12, 2010
The use of force is an ugly thing.