NC Political Connections By News 14 Carolina reporter Tim Boyum
(At my house, I cannot get this channel anymore, as we were forced to give up cable due to poor bandwidth issues and move to the better performing Directv. Sorry Tim.)
Fern Shubert Speaks for Us Published by admirers of former Senator Fern Shubert. Shubert served the ole' North State well, until stepping down from her office to make a run for Governor in 2004. While she is greatly missed from office, she knows where the "bodies are buried" and is still found digging up the truth.
ARRA News Service News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & country. We seek to uphold traditional family values, Republican principles & ideals, limited government, free markets to promote innovation, & individual freedom. The ARRA News Service is an outreach of the Arkansas Republican Assembly.
Crystal Clear Conservative Blogger Krystal Weeks writes about N. Virginia and DC metro area politics, as well as national issues. Check her out!
Cuba Generation Y This 30-something blogger publishes at great risk to show readers outside Cuba what everyday life is like inside the oppressive, Communist nation. Think you like Communism...read this blog and think again!
Smart Girl Politics Conservative Women bloggers, and a few men, who are here to refresh you when you are thirsty.
LadyBlog A modern take on traditional women. Classier than tea service. Like Fight Club but with better hygiene. Sightly more aggro than a cucumber sandwich.
The Political Byline One of my fellow Top Conservatives on Twitter. Check him out! He's not afraid to speak his mind. Based in the Motorcity.
Capital Letters Jordan Schrader covers North Carolina government for the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Sister Toldjah National conservative blogger who tells it like it is. She loves North Carolina and occasionally picks up items from KCC on her blog.
Called 2 Action Check out this site, run by Steve Noble. He's a member of the religious right and he tells the truth as he sees it. He calls himself an equal opportunity offender. Check out what he has to say!
NC Politics New Bern native (and your blogger's fellow high school classmate -NBSHS '85) Steve Hale writes from Pitt County about his take on the North Carolina Political scene. Check out his blog and offer up your comments.
Dateline Obamastan Cary's John Byrnes writes about national, state, and local politics. He currently serves in the Army National Guard.
Driving With One Hand Kevin LeCount is apparently driving with his LEFT hand, as this blog is written by my good friend who works for SEANC, the union of the NC State Employees. His wife, Heidi, works at my alma mater, Meredith and are good folks, despite their political leanings. Check them out.
NC Republican leader, state SenatorPhil Berger (R-Rockingham), sent a letter to North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper. He urged Cooper, a Democrat, to join thirteen other Attorneys General across the country in filing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The constitutional challenge rests on the argument that the individual mandate by the federal government to citizens forcing them to purchase health care is an unconstitutional overreach of the authority granted to the federal government by the Commerce Clause.
Senator Berger stated:
“We all must do our part to protect North Carolina’s citizens from this unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of federal power being handed down in the form of health care mandates. North Carolina citizens should have the right to make their own health care decisions protected and only the Attorney General can file suit on behalf of their interests. I hope that Attorney General Cooper will do his part to see that the rights and freedoms of North Carolinians are safeguarded at the state level.”
Download Senator Berger's letter to Cooper, in PDF, below:
In a Friday press release, North Carolina's Senate Republican Leader, Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) urged our Governor to follow the Virginia State Senate in supporting offshore drilling for oil and gas so that Virginia would not get ahead of NC in job creation.
In a letter he wrote to Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-Chapel Hill/Trent Woods-outside of New Bern), he urged her to:
"'take the necessary steps to ensure that North Carolina is not outpaced by Virginia when it comes to offshore oil and gas exploration and the new industry and jobs that could bring to our state."
Perdue said in pre-election debates, that she favors drilling only in "existing tracks" which are basically in the Gulf of Mexico and are far away from North Carolina and wouldn't help NC job seekers.
During the 1998 RNC National Convention, the popular call became "Drill, Baby, Drill". That has since been printed on lapel pins and bumper stickers, nationwide.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Your blogger has a cousin who worked on offshore oil platforms in Louisiana for years. He would work for a certain amount of time on, then fly home for two weeks off, so he could rest and have time with his wife and family.
The work is hard, the hours are tough, but the pay is extremely high for a blue collar job. It allowed this man to take good care of his family, and save for a good retirement, if he wanted.
The long, saga of Wake County's Chris Mintz (left) is over. Mintz, a former Republican, switched to the Democrat party due to his own, sorry political ambitions.
Your blogger first met Mintz when he was a college student at North Carolina State University and we lived in the same precinct.
Since Raleigh's downtown 01-06 literally had only 96 registered Republicans at the time, the eight of us who came to a precinct meeting in KCC's landlord's living room, agreed to split up precinct leadership with Mintz, taking the chairmanship and your blogger agreeing to be secretary.
Two years later, your blogger was awakened early one morning by an upset party activist and donor. "I cannot get in touch with Chris Mintz", whaled Olga Santo-Tomas, a Cuban American, and supporter of then-Mayor Tom Fetzer. She and her family had fled the Castro "revolution" and she has the highest respect from this blogger.
After searching high and low, Senora Tomas and I realized that Mintz was not reliable nor reachable.
Fast forward fifteen years. Mintz was now president of the Wake County Republican Men's Club. KCC thought at the time, "I wish I could have warned them." According to Under The Dome, the News and Observer's political blog, Mintz switched to the Democrat Party in 2005. He wanted to run against against conservative stalwart Rep. Russell Capps (below, right) but lost in the primary to Ty Harrell, (left) who sadly defeated Capps in the general election. Harrell resigned last year due to ethics issues with his campaign expenditures.
Capps founder of the Wake County Taxpayers Association, originally was elected in a "safe" Republican district, had been slowly been gerrymandered by the state Democrat leaders into a "swing" district and Democrats were now willing to take him on.
Dome reports that he was accused last July by federal prosecutors of taking more than $1 million from two elderly clients, via his position as an investment advisor. Mintz is scheduled to serve four years. Let's hope he serves every single day of his sentence. Your blogger does not believe in getting one day cut off of a sentence for each day of "good behavior".
Editor's Note: Your blogger has the highest respect for former Rep. Russell Capps. She first met him in 1992 in a parking lot in Raleigh, when he was campaigning against a convention center that was voted down by the public.
He started a grassroots movement that stopped the wasteful spending project and gave rise to the Wake County Taxpayers Association. He was then elected to the State House and became a champion for taxpayers statewide.
Repeating a situation that plagued the state’s taxpayers last year, officials with the North Carolina Department of Revenue have already announced that individuals filing their taxes can expect delays in receiving their refunds.
“Revenue Secretary Kenneth Lay told The Associated Press on Friday his agency is delaying refund checks for individuals and businesses. It's all part of the state's effort to manage cash while its tax collections remain anemic.” (“State says expect delays on tax refunds,” WRAL.com, 2/12/10)
Officials at the N.C. Department of Revenue have long known about slow tax collections and the effect on state fund balances. Yet, Governor (Beverly) Perdue and Secretary Lay have not taken effective steps so that taxpayers do not face unreasonable delays in receiving tax refunds from state government. Many of the taxpayers owed refunds are small businesses struggling to meet payrolls, and the delay in paying refunds may actually cause additional job losses in the private sector.
Senate Republican LeaderPhil Berger(R-Rockingham, above left) made the following statement:
“A second consecutive year of taxpayers facing unreasonable delays in receiving their refunds demonstrates two things about the Perdue Administration. The first is a continuation of the incompetence and mismanagement all too evident in the Easley administration. For too long, Democrats, in complete control of the legislature and the Governor’s office, have not been held accountable for their lack of competence in managing the state’s fiscal affairs.
“The second is a mindset that plagues Democrats in Raleigh and in Washington - that money collected, or over-collected, as tax revenue belongs to the government and not the taxpayer. But this is the taxpayers’ money, particularly that money to be refunded, and the only reason the government has it now is because they collected more than they should have. The money should be returned to taxpayers promptly.”
From the files of "You've-Got-a-Lot-of-Nerve, Just-Who-The-Heck-Do-You-Think-You-Are?", State Rep. Bill Owens(D-Pasquotank) recently asked the administration of Elizabeth City State University to change its name.
Business North Carolina reported in their February 2010 issue that Owens assumed that such a name change would better "reflect the school's ties to the UNC System."
But alumni wanted to keep the old name to reflect the school's heritage as a historically black university, the magazine reported.
Shame on you Representative Owens. This is another example of an arrogant elected official. Clearly he thinks he knows better than everyone else.
Hat Tip: Business North Carolina magazine
Editor's Note: Your blogger has been through a similar scenario and can relate to those at ECSU. Shortly after KCC's graduation from Meredith College, it was proposed that the school change it's name to Meredith University to potentially attract more students. Alumna and students, being creatures of tradition, voted 'absolutely not'.
It appears that the students and alumni of Elizabeth City State University don't appreciate the intrusion by an elected official who feels he can over-step his boundaries.
The Wake County Republican Party recently released a new ad explaining what's at stake in this Fall's elections, and it applies statewide. The video explains what we can do NOW, rather than wait until after Labor Day.
NC Senator Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) is not happy about Governor Beverly Perdue's Tax Increasing Budget. In fact, he stated on Wednesday:
“Governor Perdue’s call for a job-destroying $1.5 billion tax increase is irresponsible and could not come at a worse time.As North Carolina faces the most dire economic recession in decades including double digit unemployment rates, Governor Perdue refuses to abandon the tax and spend policies that have brought us to this point.The Democratic addiction to more spending and higher taxes is a surefire strategy for more job losses and delayed recovery.History shows increasing taxes during a recession has never produced an economic recovery.Republicans proposed a reasonable alternative of freezing spending at existing levels, a policy that will not require debilitating cuts to education or job-destroying tax increases.Politicians can only be effective if the people that elected them trust them to keep their word – Governor Perdue should think twice before breaking her campaign promise not to raise taxes.”
Your blogger received this note on Wednesday from Amazon.com Thank you, liberal General Assembly. Thank you very much. You put little wage earners like this blogger (and thousands of others in our state) out of business:
We regret to inform you that the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) appears ready to enact an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with North Carolina-based Associates. You are receiving this e-mail because our records indicate that you are an Amazon Associate and resident of North Carolina.
Please note that this is not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Associates Program. All referral fees earned on qualified traffic will continue to be paid as planned.
But because the new law is drafted to go into effect once enacted – which could happen in the next two weeks – we will have to terminate the participation of all North Carolina residents in the Amazon Associates program on or before that same day. After the termination day, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com nor will we accept new applications for the Associates program from North Carolina residents.
The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on North Carolina residents like you were explained in detail to key senators and representatives in Raleigh, including the leadership of the Senate, House, and both chambers’ finance committees. Other states, including Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee, considered nearly identical schemes, but rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states’ residents.
Senate Republican LeaderPhil Berger(R-Rockingham) renewed his call, Wednesday, for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal violations involving former Democratic Governor Mike Easley, former first lady Mary Easley, and others. These investigations involve not only the appointment of Mary Easley to her position at N.C. State University but also flights taken by the Easleys and paid for by campaign donors in violation of campaign finance laws, the “lost” travel records of former Governor Easley from his tenure, and the Cannonsgate land deal. Former Governor Easley served in the position from 2001-2009 and served as Attorney General from 1993 to 2001.
Under North Carolina law, there is no statute of limitations on felonies related to public corruption. However, federal law sets the statute of limitations at five years on these felonies.
“The Attorney General’s failure to carry out his duties and appoint a special prosecutor is a cause for concern for all North Carolina citizens,” Berger said.
“With our state’s recent history of political corruption, with the close political connection among state Democratic elected officials, and with the public interest and concern about these issues, Attorney General Roy Cooper must act immediately to ensure that no instances of public corruption go uninvestigated or unprosecuted. Public officials must be held accountable when they break the law – the federal statute of limitations should not be a get out of jail free card. A special prosecutor can work with the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney’s office to ensure that violations of state law will not escape review. The failure of the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor makes it likely that violations of state law will go unpunished.”
Editor's Notes:Your blogger refers to Sen. Phil Berger as the "Good Berger", as opposed to Sen. Doug Berger (D-Franklin) who is the "Bad Berger".
NC Senator Phil Berger represents the 26th Senatorial District. He can be reached at:
On Wednesday, newly elected NCGOP State Chairman, Tom Fetzer (left, photo Katy Benningfield), held his first press conference. Fetzer wasted no time in establishing the type of chairman he will be.
Do you wonder how our liberal, yet dying newspapers will handle this one? Will they give this any ink?
A June 23rd North Carolina Democrat Party fundraiser sponsored by Governor Bev Perdue and the Democrat members of the Council of State “honoring” Democrat Legislative leaders, gives the appearance of a violation of state laws. These laws were written in the aftermath of the corruption scandal surrounding disgraced formerDemocrat House Speaker Jim Black. (left, courtesy WRAL-TV, Raleigh)
“While our citizens look to elected officials for leadership, a lobbyist & PAC fundraiser during the heat of budget negotiations raises serious ethical questions” said Tom Fetzer, Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Fetzer went on to say “At the very least this creates the appearance of pay-to-play politics. Given recent revelations involving former Governor Mike Easley (left, courtesy Ches McDowell) and many current Democrat members of Governor Perdue’s administration, a reasonable person could assume much worse.”
The ethics law, supported by then Lt. Governor Perdue and the current Democrat Legislative leaders including Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney, barred lobbyists from contributing to the campaigns of candidates and strengthened prohibitions on fundraising during the legislative session.
In spite of the restrictions, Governor Perdue and Legislative Democrats are skirting the law by soliciting donations from special interests during budget negotiations between the State House Democrats and State Senate Democrats.
“I join the call of North Carolina’s citizens who are fed up with Pay-to-Play politics and demand that the spirit of the Ethics Reform Law be respected and this fundraiser be cancelled” Fetzer added.
“Furthermore, this loophole in the legislation needs to be closed, less our citizens be left to wonder if the liberal-led culture of corruption has not ended, but instead simply moved its’ operations from private dining clubs and IHOP restaurants to the Democrat Headquarters on Hillsborough Street.”
Listen to Fetzer's Press Conference Below in MP3 format:
Editor's Notes: Your blogger was a proud Raleigh taxpaying citizen when Fetzer and company defeated the liberal elitists that ran Raleigh. They then took on the once-powerful News and Observer every day! We expect more of the same from our new chairman.
North Carolina, has been forced to put up with the continuing mess of Democrat corruption in State Government for years. Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer wonders in this latest video, what is current Governor Beverly Perdue doing about it?
In North Carolina, we Republicans deal with our own, who have strayed. In the Democrat party, they continue to put up with them, standing by them all the way until they leave for the big house.
In other news regarding the State GOP Chairman's Race, Chad Adams has announced several endorsements from Wake County. It would appear to this blogger, that Adams is focusing on bringing in the Wake County vote, as being the host county at the State Convention, that will be the largest county in attendance.
Monday, May 4, 2009 10:56 p.m. Update: Please call your Senators before the Senate convenes on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. TheSchool Violence Prevention Act SB 526 was pulled from the calendar today and
rescheduled for Tuesday. We assume that SB 221 is still on the calendar for Tuesday, as well.
These Bills have been calendared to be heard on the Senate floor on TONIGHT (Monday May 4), starting at 7:00 p.m.
Please call your Senators and ask that they oppose this Legislation. Click here for that informationor call the switchboard at 919-733-4111 and ask for your Senator.
HB 88 - The so-called Healthy Youth Act (The Sex-Ed Bill) As amended by the House would require 104 school districts (of the 115 total in NC) that only teach Abstinence from Sex Until Marriage (AUM) to add a condom-based Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) track to their sex education curriculum.
SB 526 - The so-called School Violence Prevention Act (The Bullying Bill) As amended, the bill would force North Carolina's public schools to promote homosexuality and other "alternative" sexual behaviors as normal
A number of bad bills have begun to pop up in the North Carolina
Legislature. With all the media's attention on President Obama's shenanigans in
Washington, we can't afford to sit by and let the troublemakers in
Raleigh go unnoticed.
Below are some of the bills that have been
introduced with action items to take for defeat. Please contact your representatives in the
NC House and the NC Senate and urge them to oppose these bills.
out who represents you in Raleigh, CLICK HERE and use the "who represents me" search by zip code on the lower-right side.
H88 - The Healthy Youth Act (aka. comprehensive sex education)
year's "comprehensive sex education" bill never made it out of
committee thanks to grassroots conservatives like us. But now, the bill
is back and so once again we need to take action. Note how the primary
sponsors have titled this the "healthy youth act." What a fraud! This
revised bill tries to calm the fears of parents opposed to immoral sex
education in the public schools by giving parents a choice of
abstinence or "comprehensive sex education." But, as that old saying
goes: the devil is in the details.
Section 5, part A of H88 reads
"Teaches respect for marriage and committed relationships" - a green
light for the schools to equate gay, lesbian, transgendered and any
other type of relationship with the sacrament of marriage between one
man and one woman.
Section 5, part D reads "Teaches about the
effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in
preventing pregnancy." In other words: birth control and abortion.
Bills such as H88 are a gold mine for supremacist judges and activist
e's what could happen if H88 passes and is signed into
law: A gay-rights group could sue the NC public schools, demanding that
books like "Heather Has Two Mommies" be taught under Section 5, part A
of the bill. Representatives from the abortion industry could also sue
for their agenda to be included in the public schools under Section 5,
part D. Please contact the leaders of the Committee on Education where
H88 currently resides. CLICK HERE for committee members.
H207 - The Safer Communities Act (aka. hate crimes)
H88, the sponsors of this bill have made sure to cover up their agenda
with "safer communities act." Again, the devil is in the details.
Section 2 starts off with "Ethnic intimidation; teaching any technique
to be used for ethic intimidation"
Part A goes on to clarify ethnic
intimidation to include "real or perceived sexual orientation" in
addition to the descriptions of every other human being on the face of
the earth. First of all, we already have laws against assaulting,
stalking and making threats, so this new bill is not needed. H207, if
passed and signed into law will be another green light for militant
plaintiffs and supremacist judges.
Faith-based groups who minister to
convert homosexuals could find themselves prosecuted for "ethnic
intimidation" under H207. Anyone who wants to play the victim could
file a lawsuit charging "ethnic intimidation."
Our First Amendment
rights would be assault. H207 has been assigned to the Committee on
Judiciary I. Please contact members of this committee and urge them to
shelve this intimidating bill. CLICK HERE for committee members.
H161 - Require Six-Year-Olds To Attend School (anti Home school bill)
parent who home-schools their child should get on the phone right away
to their representative in the NC House and members of the Committee on
Education where H161 resides.
Section 1 requires parents/guardians to
make sure their child between age six and 16 attends school
continuously for a period equal to the time which the public school to
which the child is assigned is in session.
Section 1 clarifies "school"
as "all public and non-public schools as have teachers and curricula
that are approved by the State Board of Education." Parents of children
who continue to miss "school" for what the public schools deem
unexcused absences must work with a "school attendance counselor" to
"eliminate the problem".
This is a nanny-state, Hillary Clinton, "it
takes a village" bill that will intimidate the rights of parents who
choose private, parochial and home school for their children.
could turn out to be especially dangerous if people like Bill Ayers or
Ward Churchill wind up on the State Board of Education and start
determining approved curricula. Please contact members of
the Committee on Education and urge them to oppose this bill. CLICK HERE for committee members.
H177 - Healthy Families and Healthy Workplaces Act (anti-small business bill)
Carolina's unemployment rate is now higher than the national average so
why on earth should we pass a law that will drive more employers out of
business and out of our state?
That's what H177 will do by requiring
that all workers have paid sick leave to address their own health needs
and those of their families.
Many small business simply can't afford to
provide 32 hours of accrued paid sick leave for every employee and
large businesses can afford leave North Carolina for other states (or
countries) where the government won't require them to provide 56 such
hours per employee. H177 is with the Committee on Commerce, Small
Business and Entrepreneurship. CLICK HERE to contact members of this committee.
S14 - Create Employment Safety and Security Commission
another anti-business bill that will halt entrepreneurship and chase
job providers out of North Carolina.
S14 creates a new taxpayer-funded
bureaucracy and intimidates employers with big-brother oversight and
costly business modifications. Part III, section 9 of the bill defines
this new commission's "advisory council" to include representatives
from labor (unions) and a "representative with a knowledge of migrant
labor" (illegal aliens).
CLICK HERE to contact members of the Commerce Committee; tell them to defeat this job-killing bill. Editor's Note: James Andrew Dunn is state president of the Eagle Forum North Carolina. Your blogger thanks him for this informative, yet frightening update.
Tuesday Morning, House Minority Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake, left, photo by John Edwards-Franklin Co GOP) discussed his legislation regarding the Exclusionary Rule and what it means to you.
Because your blogger is not an attorney, but merely plays one on TV, she posts the text of Stam's speech. He explains it better than she ever could.
Stam wrote: The Exclusionary Rule requires that some relevant and material evidence against murderers and drug dealers be suppressed. In 1914 Federal Courts started hiding evidence from juries. In the 1960s they forced this rule on the states.
In 1984 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that if the police in good faith obtained evidence that for some technical reason was acquired illegally the jury should still hear and see it. On January 14, 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the “Good Faith Exception” in Herring v. United States.
Chief Justice (John) Roberts said:
“Petitioner’s claim that police negligence automatically triggers suppression cannot be squared with the principles underlying the exclusionary rule… In light of our repeated holdings that the deterrent effect of suppression must be substantial and outweigh any harm to the justice system…we conclude that when police mistakes are the result of negligence such as that described here, rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements, any marginal deterrence does not “pay its way.” In such a case, the criminal should not “go free because the constable has blundered.”
In 1988 our North Carolina State Supreme Court rejected this common sense exception for evidence obtained in good faith.
"By refusing to permit the introduction of evidence seized by officers acting in the honest belief that a court order authorizing its seizure was lawful, this Court gives much greater protection to criminal defendants than they have been given by the Supreme Court of the United States." (State v. Carter)
What does the Exclusionary Rule mean to you?
As in Carter, if your 78 year old grandmother were raped and kidnapped but the criminal's blood to identify him was drawn with the wrong piece of paper in hand (a non-testimonial identification order instead of a search warrant), your grandmother might have to endure two trials instead of one in order to convict this vicious criminal.
It means that your neighborhood drug dealer stays on the streets.
This issue impacts your life. It is time to stop playing games with criminals.
In 2003 and 2005 I introduced bills to revise the Exclusionary Rule (2003 House Bill 564, 2005 House Bill 1439). Each time the House Democratic leadership blocked them. This year we require action.
I have now introduced HB 4 entitled “Good Faith Exception/Exclusionary Rule” limiting exclusion to that required by the Constitution. It invites the Supreme Court of North Carolina to join the rest of the country in adopting this common sense good faith exception.
Editor's Note: The bolding and underlining are added by your blogger and were not originally part of Rep. Stam's press release.
Additionally, even if you do not understand every part of this bill, your blogger encourages you to contact you state House member and ask him or her to support HB 4. Calls and letters (rather than e-mails) work best.
Even Democratic liberals listen. They value their seats in the NC House and they wish to stay there. If they feel enough "heat" coming from their constituents, they could change their vote to support Rep. Stam's bill. Naturally, please be polite and respectful.
You may like to take advantage of these resources, all in PDF. (You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. If you do not have it installed on your computer, download it here.)
In just minutes, Republican Leaders Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) will outline their plan for reforming our state's struggling probation system in the North Carolina General Assembly.
We'll provide the details when they become available.
With the North Carolina General Assembly returning to Raleigh just next month, there will be plenty of issues for conservatives to watch. This year is the bi-annual "long session", which begins January, as opposed to the even years "short sessions" which are supposed to run only during the summer months.
According to Tom Campbell, who blogs for NC Spin, and hosts the television show of the same name, 2009 could be a break out year for unions in North Carolina. As unfriendly as our state has traditionally been to organized labor, this year, state employees are fighting for collective bargaining rights. North Carolina is one of only two states that has a law prohibiting collective bargaining by state government workers.
In May, the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), officially became a union when it joined with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Despite the fact that North Carolina is strongly in the blue corner, the Democrats in State leadership have, in years past, turned a deaf ear to union pleas. North Carolina's citizens are generally center-right and their lawmakers have understood that. However, with changes in the economy and with the election of a liberal President, Democrat leaders could begin to cave.
Another issue to watch pertains to coastal insurance. With more than 350 miles of beaches, North Carolina citizens treasure their coast. But, what happens at the coast affects taxpayers in the mountains in the Western part of our state, too.
According to Eli Lehrer, writing for the John Locke Foundation, "the plan exists to write homeowners' and 'wind only' insurance coverage for coastal property owners who cannot find coverage in the private market." He added that the NC Beach Plan is under fire and says that "North Carolina could soon face a 'property insurance disaster'" unless the state shores up the plan. This will cost taxpayers in all parts of North Carolina, not just those at the coast.
Your blogger wonders, should the state even be the insurance business?
Finally, Campbell, in his NC Spin column, writes:
Ever since (2008) Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory advocated more vocational education in public schools there, have been many responding in agreement with him. Most of the emphasis on public education is for children to go to college but statistics prove fewer than 28 percent of our populous (sic) graduates from college, begging the question as to what we are doing to help those who don't get training and education to earn good wages. This might become an interesting subject for 2009 discussion.
Look for more issues to watch in this space, soon. Your blogger will be covering it all, starting in January.