Daily Journal

There’s No Cut When The Budget Grows

Inflation-adjusted, state per-pupil education funding increased by 3 percent over the last four years.

CJ Ticker

  • JLF report calls for reduction or repeal of N.C.'s capital gains tax.
  • Gov. McCrory rejects special session dealing with economic incentives. Video here.
  • New JLF report focuses on chemical composition of fluid used for fracking.
  • N.C. Supreme Court affirms a 2013 state Utilities Commission ruling approving a Duke Energy Progress rate hike.
  • Gov. McCrory appoints Appeals Court Judge Bob Hunter to Supreme Court seat being vacated by Chief Justice-designate Mark Martin. Hunter is running for the seat in November.
  • JLF report says 2014-15 N.C. budget sets better course for future spending plans.
  • HB 1224, economic incentives/local sales tax option, fails 47-54. Short session likely to adjourn Wednesday or Thursday.
  • New JLF report answers questions, debunks myths about fracking.

Other Opinions

New leadership

What’s most notable about Gov. Pat McCrory’s transportation plan aren’t the projects mentioned, but his seeming conversion from spinner to realist says the Raleigh News & Observer.

Public corruption

Patrick Gannon says that each time government corruption show up in media reports, the public gets a little more cynical, losing a little more faith in government.

Mentally ill

If anyone you love is mentally ill God help you, because the odds of getting adequate help elsewhere are about as good as winning the lottery writes Tom Campbell.

Back to the battle

Gov. McCrory wants a break from the legislature, but he should try harder to build public support for his initiatives says the Greensboro News & Record.

Highways to the future

The Salisbury Post says to give Gov. Pat McCrory credit. While most people in politics are focussed on Election Day 2014 — or 2016 — he wants to talk about the transportation of the future.

Journalist Klein Outlines Bad Blood Between Clintons and Obamas
The two power couples may dislike one another, but there's little policy distance separating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Media Mangle

When the Price of Access Is Too Steep

Media outlets should think twice about maintaining cozy relationships with murderous regimes.

How to downplay an embarrassing story

The N&O buries the one moment of real drama at the Democratic National Convention.

Death of a narrative

The world's media found the neo-Nazi meme in stories about the school shooting in France just too enticing.

Carolina Beat

Low-Wage Work Beats Unemployment

Lead Story

Appeals Court Releases Voucher Money For Low-Income Students

September 19, 2014, By Barry Smith

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — The N.C. Court of Appeals will allow nearly 1,900 students to get vouchers for the current school year while a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the fledgling Opportunity Scholarships is on appeal. The appeals court’s order releases scholarship funding for 1,878 applicants, who will be allowed to receive up to $4,200 each in vouchers from the state to pay toward their tuition at a private school.

09.19.14 - Lewis A No-Show At Forum For Supreme Court Candidates

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — At a Wednesday forum for candidates seeking four seats on the N.C. Supreme Court, the big surprise was who didn’t show: Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis, a Republican who’s challenging fellow GOP Chief Justice Mark Martin for the top seat on the court. Meantime, Martin and the candidates for three associate justice positions used the forum as an opportunity to distinguish themselves from their opponents.

09.19.14 - Friday Interview: Prospects for UNC Budget Savings

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — State budget writers looking for ways to save taxpayers’ dollars should continue to examine the University of North Carolina system. That’s the recommendation from the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. As the N.C. House and Senate haggled over budget details this summer, Dr. Jenna Ashley Robinson, the Pope Center’s director of outreach, discussed potential UNC budget savings with Donna Martinez for Carolina Journal Radio.

Editorial Cartoon


View larger


9.19.14 - Political ad backers remain behind the curtain

RALEIGH — Judy Wilburn isn’t running for office, but she’s been making regular television appearances many viewers would say are aimed at swaying their vote in the U.S. Senate race. The veteran teacher appears in a spot by Carolina Rising praising the work of Gov. Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan, saying they get “high marks” on education policy.

Related NC Delegation Articles:
Walker: War with Mexico? Of course not
Pittenger defends stand on gay firings
Christie draws crowd for Tillis in Wilmington
Adams, Coakley split on pay, education, health care
Sen. Burr planning for re-election bid in 2016
Crises push foreign policy up Senate agenda

9.19.14 - Walker: War with Mexico? Of course not

GREENSBORO — A well-known political blog is touting a video clip as evidence that Mark Walker, GOP candidate for the 6th Congressional District, is willing to go to war with Mexico over undocumented immigrants. Not so much, Walker said. The Daily Kos posted a video clip from a June 26 political forum hosted by Will of the People in Rockingham County in which Walker is asked about using the military to secure the border.

Related NC Delegation Articles:
Political ad backers remain behind the curtain
Pittenger defends stand on gay firings
Christie draws crowd for Tillis in Wilmington
Adams, Coakley split on pay, education, health care
Sen. Burr planning for re-election bid in 2016
Crises push foreign policy up Senate agenda

9.19.14 - Wos, DHHS get another stern letter from USDA

WINSTON-SALEM — The U.S. Agriculture Department has sent another stern letter to state health officials citing concerns about the state’s oversight of its food-stamp program. The Sept. 10 letter from Peggy Fouts, a USDA regional director in Atlanta, to state Health Secretary Dr Aldona Wos was accompanied by a 19-page report outlining issues that came out a fiscal 2014 management evaluation that involved the state program and those in Guilford, Pitt and Wake counties.

Related Social Services Articles:
JLF: How mental health reform went wrong
NC disputes report of poor food stamp management
Wos paying attention to CenterPoint dysfunction
County overestimates cuts to child care subsidies
Child care subsidies to end for over 1,000 in Guilford
Report shines light on dysfunction of CenterPoint board

9.19.14 - Oil-exploring seismic blasts could soon disrupt marine life

NAGS HEAD — As early as next spring, the boom of seismic cannons will sound under the Atlantic Ocean as the first oil and gas exploration allowed off the East Coast in three decades gets underway. While federal officials and the oil and gas industry characterize the exploration as benign, Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards said he’s terrified about what the intense sound waves can do to dolphins and endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only 500 remain.

Related Coastal Issues Articles:
JLF: Catch shares could help fight problem of declining N.C. fish stocks
New Hanover moving tax dollars to inlet maintenance
Sea turtle nestings fall 58 percent in 2014
Maybe wishful thinking will fix Oregon Inlet
Lawsuit: Recreational anglers hurt turtles, too
Science panel works to update sea-level rise report

9.19.14 - Feds award loan guarantees for 22 solar projects in NC

RALEIGH — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of North Carolina solar power projects to be backed by federal loan guarantees ranges from easy-to-miss small rooftop panels to huge industrial solar farms visible from a distance. A total of 22 solar projects in the state will be backed by $55.3 million in federal loan guarantees, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced at a federally backed solar power project on a sheep farm in Bunn, about 35 miles east of Raleigh.

Related Energy Articles:
JLF: Facts on Fracking
Questions raised about group at fracking
Duke Energy plans surge in solar power generation
Duke scientists: Fracking didn’t contaminate drinking water
Coal ash issue raises doubts about future of Duke plant
McCrory takes last stand on ash law

9.19.14 - Report: I-240 widening a ‘highway boondoggle’

ASHEVILLE — The plan to widen Interstate 240 in West Asheville to eight lanes is one of 11 “highway boondoggles” that should be scaled back or abandoned because of changes in the way Americans get from place to place, a liberal advocacy group says. U.S. Public Interest Research Group says in a report issued Thursday that traffic data indicate widening what is now a four-lane road to six lanes would be “more than enough to address the perceived need.”

Related Transportation Articles:
McCrory wants to borrow $1 billion for transportation
McCrory to make announcement at Smith Reynolds today
Charlotte’s streetcar to cost more than bus, light rail
NCDOT and SELC reveal talks on Outer Banks bridge
Construction on next section of Fayetteville Outer Loop to begin end of month
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina

9.19.14 - FSU chancellor: Competency-based learning deserves look

FAYETTEVILLE — The first time James Anderson saw a TV commercial for Southern New Hampshire University about two years ago, he didn’t take it seriously. “I just cracked up laughing,” the chancellor of Fayetteville State University said Thursday. But Southern New Hampshire, Anderson told his board of trustees, is the nation’s biggest provider of what’S called competency-based learning. It’s an alternative way for students to accumulate college credit.

Related Higher Education Articles:
McCrory steps into dispute over NCSU forest sale
UNC system aims to lure more online students
McCrory tells UNC board he wants faster paths to degrees
UNC-CH completes investigation of Boyer incident
UNC leaders mull future of research and policy centers
NCSU changes Hofmann deal

9.19.14 - DPS board to seek authority to approve charters

DURHAM — As the founders of Durham’s two newest charter schools plan for grand openings in August, members of the Durham Board of Education are preparing to ask legislators for the power to decide when the county adds a new charter school. School board members said at a recent joint meeting between the board and county commissioners that the board’s legislative agenda for this year would include an item asking for local authority to grant charters.

Related Education Articles:
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
Concrete Roses STEM Academy suddenly shutting down
Collins questions NCAE chief’s contract
NC one of 19 states that still allow paddling in schools
NC courts sort voucher law, students stay in class
Program offers students chance to prove proficiency

9.19.14 - Concrete Roses STEM Academy suddenly shutting down

CHARLOTTE — Concrete Roses STEM Academy informed parents Thursday morning that the school will shut down at the end of the week, less than four weeks into the school year. The decision was made at an emergency board meeting Wednesday night as the school showed signs of insolvency. The state agency overseeing charter schools had already placed Concrete Roses STEM on “financial disciplinary status” and frozen its access to cash.

Related Education Articles:
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
DPS board to seek authority to approve charters
Collins questions NCAE chief’s contract
NC one of 19 states that still allow paddling in schools
NC courts sort voucher law, students stay in class
Program offers students chance to prove proficiency

9.19.14 - 5 interesting findings from Asheville bear study

ASHEVILLE — No area of the city is free from the presence of roaming black bears, but people are surprisingly tolerant when it comes to living close to the imposing animals. Those are among the early findings of a five-year study of Asheville’s growing population of urban and suburban bears.

Related Environment Articles:
NC’s red wolf program under federal scrutiny
Federal complaint says NC hog farms hurt minorities
Feds seek input on maintaining red wolf recovery
Feds jail ginseng poacher as wild plants face risk
Penalty for removing Venus’ flytraps could increase
Poaching Venus flytraps may become a felony in NC

Week in Review

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Gary F. Harris

"The Good Roads State from a Petroleum Perspective"

Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Viewing of the Award Winning Film Rockin the Wall
with our special guest Dr. Larry Schweikart

Viewing of the Award Winning Film "Rockin the Wall"

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
A Living History Event
with our special guests Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson: The Future of the United States

Monday, November 10, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Bill Kristol

What the Election Results Tell Us with Bill Kristol

The Locker Room ~ John Locke Foundation's Statewide Issues Blog
Selling The Dream
Investor Ploitics
Locke, Jefferson, and the Justices
Equal Rights for All
Free Choice for Workers, A History of the Right to Work Movement
Jesse Helms - Here's Where I Stand