Durham Differentiators - Sean Haugh

Originally uploaded by dcrollins
First in a series, profiling those who keep Durham different. Sean is running for NC House 30.



I'm trying to stay above the fray in the financial markets, because (1) this is where I make my living; and (2) this site is supposed to be about Durham, and I've already commented on some of my other sites. But this article is worth reading.

I'm not going to join the chorus of analysts blaming mark-to-market for the current problems, because like Mark and Erin of CNBC's "SquawkBox" I believe that we wouldn't be in this mess if only we had adopted MMM earlier (as in, way before the fed opened the discount window, or for that matter before the runup in real estate, or before my employer even invented the securitization of mortgage backed securities).

But that doesn't mean I don't agree with Blodget & Co. Buffet IS right on the money, and this is part of why I went long on GS Monday afternoon. I was burned on the Lehman failure, when I thought Paulson had finally grown a pair.

In related news, I encourage everyone to support the unionworkers in their protest to Stop the Bailout!


about the name

Several people have commented that it's too much like the "Keep Austin Weird" campaign of the mid-90s...especially my wife, who went to law school in Austin.

I'm OK with this, but I'm also open to suggestions if anyone has a better slogan. Having lived in Texas myself, I'm all too familiar with how the KAW campaign became corrupted by all manner of people: "evil" corporations trying to make a buck, do-gooding yuppies who wanted upscale boutiques on Guadeloupe, hippie weirdos who found it fashionable to hate Wal-Mart, etc. KAW is what you make of it.

KeepDurhamDifferent is intended to be a rallying cry for the independent-minded people and businesses that make this city great. We don't want to be another Cary (bland suburban), Raleigh (vanilla sprawl), or Chapel Hill (unaffordable elitism). It's what you make of it, whether as a merchant on Ninth St., a resident of Trinity Park, or a Duke student slumming it in the Dirty D Town.

In case you're wondering, the second choice for the name of this site was DurhamRenowned, which I actually like better but doesn't sound pithy enough on a bumper sticker. For more discussion of Durham slogans, see the post at Gary's site.

about the site

I started this site when my campaign for state senator began to attract interest from the liberal and progressive coalitions in Durham, especially the Green Party. These interests are traditionally represented by the People's Alliance, but when they met recently with our state representatives there was a lot of bitching and moaning about how Durham's needs are outvoted by the rural and Republican coalition in the General Assembly.

To which I say, "Well, Duh." North Carolina is not that partisan relative to other states, but when the Democrats and Republicans square off there is often little room for compromise. We need a third way to advance the progressive agenda, in the spirit of Bill Clinton and the New Democrats. Call it conservative Democrat, liberal Republican, Libertarian....I don't care, as long as we get the job done. Durham needs mass transit and should not be held back by the lack of reform at the state level.

Constitution Day

I started this site on Constitution Day. As a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I think it's appropriate to take a few moments to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation that preceded it. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal featured a great profile of one of the dissenters, Luther Martin.

Durham's progressives would do well to remember that the Constitution was passed only with the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. Reflecting on the arguments of Martin and the constitutional opponents, it's easy to see that the federalists laid the groundwork for the concentration of government power at the national level. One of the guiding principles of this site is that the citizens of Durham know best what is good for them; we need effective leadership from our state representatives to allow reforms that are not necessarily endorsed by our sister cities in the Old North State. I'm not going to parrot the libertarian line that "Small government is better", but I think it's accurate to say that "local government is better".



A new vision for Durham, supporting the progressive agenda. Durham, love thyself!