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I’m hitting the streets for the DNC

By Phil Van Hoy
Correspondent

CHARLOTTE, N.C. For years, I’ve pushed the The Observer to run more opinion columns from a Republican perspective.

Now they’ve called my bluff. Starting today, I’m hitting the streets to cover the Democratic National Convention from a GOP perspective. From the protests to the parties, I’ll go wherever I’m allowed and sound off on what I see.

A brief introduction: I’m a native of Charlotte, Myers Park High Class of 1966. I attended college at Duke and law school at UNC Chapel Hill and served in the Army at Fort Bragg.

At the risk of caustic comments from friends who do not know, I actually worked as a copy boy at the Observer in high school. I caught the journalism bug and considered a career in that field until I learned what newspaper writers were paid. Capitalist that I am, I opted for law school. I have practiced employment law in Charlotte for 39 years since leaving the Army.

I was chairman of the Mecklenburg Young Republicans in the late 70s and then served as Legal Counsel and vice chairman of the Mecklenburg Republican Party. In 1980, I was on the floor of the RNC as an alternate delegate at the Detroit Convention that nominated Ronald Reagan.

In his acceptance speech in Detroit, Reagan expressed that “government is not the solution – it is the problem.” I generally share that sentiment.

I also spent the summer of 1968 while in college working in downstate Illinois. I watched the Democrat Convention in Chicago on television and was sorely tempted to drive there to experience what became the notorious near-anarchy of that week.

Even as a callow youth, I had the judgment to avoid that temptation. Now, 44 years later, I will be right in the middle of the action in Charlotte. With age does not necessarily come wisdom.

I will take care to give Observer readers first-hand observations while watching out for my personal safety. One danger to which I will not subject myself will be getting caught between Rev. Jesse Jackson and news cameras.

Phil Van Hoy is a Charlotte native who has been active in various Republican positions and campaigns.
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