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The Jim Hunt Top 10

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Cartoonist Jim Hunt is the visual counterpart to reporter and columnist Tara Servatius. Both are longtime Creative Loafing political bulldogs, always out there sniffing out corruption, waste, abuse, ineptitude and other ego-fueled predicaments public officials often find themselves in. So it only makes sense that we would have Tara write the blurbs for the 10 best Jim Hunt cartoons of 2005.

In addition to his work for CL, Jim's drawn political cartoons for The Christian Science Monitor and various newspapers across the country. He's also done illustrations for NASCAR and the Carolina Panthers.

We'd like to point out that Jim has never served as governor of North Carolina. (That was another Jim Hunt.) He also was not the defensive tackle for the Boston Patriots from 1960 to 1970. (That was another Jim Hunt, too.) Our Jim Hunt's just an opinionated cartoonist who sometimes wears a kilt and lives by the Chesapeake Bay with his wife and two daughters.

We hope you enjoy taking this visual trip through the ups and downs and all-arounds of 2005, through the lens of Jim Hunt. -- Editor

The ImaginOn children's facility ran $10 million over budget, a development that did not please the cash-strapped County Commission.

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Most city leaders closed ranks around the $150 million arts plan to build various arts facilities uptown, in the process carefully avoiding discussions of fundamental flaws in it -- like where funds for upkeep and long-term maintenance would come from. Corporate donors later stepped up to the plate and doubled their donation to create an endowment to help pay for the costs.

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Former City Council member and arena champion Lynn Wheeler, once the city council's most influential politician, finished eighth in the eight-person at-large race. Wheeler fell from favor with voters for supporting the arena after voters rejected it in a referendum.

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The Bobcats load up with draft picks from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James, always a lightning rod for controversy, attempted to have the registrations of thousands of voters who registered at homeless shelters thrown out because they could not permanently live there, as the law requires. James succeeded in convincing the board to throw out 321 registrations.

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The Rev. Creighton Lovelace of Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City made national news when he posted a sign outside his church that read "The Koran needs to be flushed!" Church members eventually voted to take it down.

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US Airways' financial troubles caused it to look for innovative ways to cut costs.

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As the projected cost of the light rail line has ballooned, transit chief Ron Tober has looked for new and innovative ways to keep the $427 million project on track.

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Charlotte City Council member Patrick Cannon entered the mayoral race earlier this year and then mysteriously dropped out of politics to spend more time with family despite years spent grooming himself to be mayor. That caused a rash of nasty rumors to circulate, some of which involved his sex life. On his last night on the council, Cannon, without specifying which rumors he was referring to, lashed out from the dais at those who had spread them.

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When young Mount Holly teacher Scott Gardner was tragically killed in a car crash involving an undocumented immigrant with a history of DWIs, US Rep. Sue Myrick took the opportunity to jump on the anti-illegal immigrant crusade. She introduced a couple of bills and unleashed plenty of her signature race-baiting rhetoric.

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