Press Release June 3, 2004
NoMerger Group forms PAC
A group of nearly 200 Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro,
and Hillsborough parents with children in the public schools has started a PAC,
or Political Action Committee, and the group has already received $1,200 in
donations from individuals within the community. The group, NoMerger.Org, says
it wants to inform voters of the importance of the Democratic primary July 20th
in selecting the next group of Orange County commissioners and ultimately in
deciding school district merger.
"Most residents are unaware that the school merger issue is still very much
alive," said NoMerger member Mark Peters. "If we don't turn out in great force
on Primary Day, we might very well be facing a merger vote by the end of the
year." Peters said that school merger is definitely supported by incumbent
Moses Carey and appears to be supported by incumbent Margaret Brown. He pointed
out that for the last 50 years the winner of the Democratic primary has always
gone on to win the November general election.
"The election is more or less over on July 20th," Peters said. "If we want to
defeat school merger, this may be our only chance. Fortunately, there are some
great candidates out there who are opposed to merger."
While conceding that NoMerger's stance is "a classic David vs. Goliath matchup,"
NoMerger spokesman Matthew Barton says he believes most citizens support
replacing the long-standing incumbents with populists who are committed to
representing the will of their constituency, building strong communities, and
laying merger to rest.
"We haven't endorsed anyone yet, because we're waiting for questionaire
responses, " said Barton, "but that will happen in the near future. The public
needs to know that if the incumbents are re-elected, merger will be back with a
According to NoMerger member David Weinberg, the many citizens involved in
NoMerger.Org wish to continue the proud Orange County tradition of local control
of excellent public schools, with strong public support for school funding.
Weinberg said NoMerger.Org is running a local grass-roots campaign, using the
Internet, yard signs and local media advertising to get its message out. The
group is accepting donations of $1-99 from area residents.
"We're grateful for the support," said Weinberg. "We truly want to be a
grassroots group. I'm proud of how many donations we've received in such a short
time." Weinberg added that NoMerger.Org believes the deleterious educational,
social and financial impact of school merger on county residents has been
ignored by the incumbents, so they must be replaced.
"They don't seem to care about any of the arguments that have been made by the
public," he said of Carey and Brown. "They keep saying they're going to save
money and avoid bussing, but they've never explained how. The truth is, there's
no good explanation."
NoMerger.org representatives said they are working to educate citizens via their
website (www.nomerger.org) on the many
fallacies perpetuated during the merger debate. "The very real over-crowding in
our public schools continues to grow while vague social policy dithering
pre-occupies the incumbents," Barton said. "It's time for a change in