Carolina Journal Weekly Report

Weekly Report 2005-01-21

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of
January 21,
2005
carolinajournal.com


Reaction of the Week

Carolina Journal and
the North Carolina Press Association filed a lawsuit Tuesday to force the
state Department of Commerce to release all public records involved in
a reported $242 million incentives package the state offered to Dell Computer
Corp.
of Round Rock, Texas.

Just a few hours later, Commerce officials
announced that the file
would be released late Tuesday for public review.
Several news
organizations have already filed reports summarizing the
contents of some of the newly released documents.

Richard Wagner, editor
of Carolina Journal,
originally requested the records Nov. 18 in an e-mail
he sent to Linda
Weiner, at that time assistant secretary of communications
and external
affairs. In a memo to Wagner, Weiner refused to release the
records
because of “a few things that must happen before the information
will
be ready for your review.”

The lawsuit, filed in Wake County
Superior Court, alleged that the
Commerce Department violated the N.C.
Public Records Law by failing to
release public records of negotiations
that led to Dell’s decision to build a computer manufacturing plant
in Winston-Salem.



News Features

Easley begins 2nd term with schools
theme

RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley took the oath of office for his second
term
Saturday, and he pledged in his second inaugural address to lead
the ongoing
transition of the state’s economy. Echoing themes from his
first term
and his re-election campaign, Easley called for more state
investment
in education and job training. The state has a “moral
imperative”
to provide it, he said. On hand at the event were musician
Branford Marsalis
and actor Andy Griffith. 

Study ranks NC cities’ tax rates
RALEIGH —
Winston-Salem has the ninth-highest tax burden of North Carolina’s 25 largest
cities, according to a report
released yesterday by the Center for Local
Innovation, a project of the
conservative John Locke Foundation. Charlotte,
Wilmington, Durham,
Asheville, Hickory, Chapel Hill and Cary were the
other communities
where residents paid more per person in combined city
and county costs,
the report says.

Study: Costly NC hospitalizations avoidable
RALEIGH
— Nearly 100,000 hospitalizations in North Carolina that
cost $1.15
billion in insurance payments during 2002 may have been avoidable,
concludes
a state government analysis. The Center for Health Statistics
determined
that 11 percent of 855,000 hospitalizations representing
97,632 patients
could have been avoided with primary care intervention.
The study found
that 57 percent of the patients were low-income
individuals covered by
Medicare. 

State HHS paid for workers never hired
CHARLOTTE —
North Carolina has wasted tens of millions of dollars
since 2001, paying
group homes for workers who were never hired, a
six-month Charlotte Observer
investigation shows. That mistake made the
group home business so lucrative
in North Carolina that hundreds of new
homes opened, so many that the
state couldn’t regulate them.
Ultimately, the error helped create a system
that’s failing vulnerable
youngsters and cheating taxpayers. 

UNC-CH
chooses racial slaying book

CHAPEL HILL — New students at UNC-Chapel
Hill this fall will be asked to read a book about racial strife in North
Carolina. The summer reading selection,
“Blood Done Sign My Name: A True
Story,” by Timothy B. Tyson, is a
memoir and history about Oxford in 1970,
when the killing of a young
black man ignited race riots. The book explores
the Southern conscience
through the unpunished crime and its violent aftermath. 

Time
limit considered on public housing

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Housing
Authority, aiming to reduce
reliance on public housing as waiting lists
grow and federal dollars
dwindle, is preparing to propose limits on how
long tenants can live
there. The plan would make Charlotte one of only
about a dozen cities
to impose time restrictions on housing aid. Most
set the limit at three
to seven years. Though the average stay in Charlotte
public housing is
about eight years, some receive aid for a lifetime.

TABOR
for NC

Chad Adams, director of the Center for
Local Innovation
,
argues
that it is long past time for North Carolina to adopt a
constitutional
cap on state spending growth similar to the Taxpayer
Bill of Rights in
Colorado.

We got graphics!
Creative Loafing columnist Tara Servatius reports
on
a transit presentation where officials had lots of pretty graphics
and
snazzy animations, but couldn’t answer basic questions about the
cost
and use of streetcars.






Upcoming Events

Monday, January 24, 2005 at
12:00 noon

Headliner Luncheon
with Fred Barnes
The 109th Congress and the
Bush Agenda

Friday, February 11, 2005 at 12:00 noon
Headliner Luncheon
with
Randy E. Barnett
Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty

Tuesday,
February 15, 2005 at 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Innovation 2005 Workshops
with
With Local Government Experts
Local Innovation 2005: Towards a More Proactive,
Efficient, and Responsive Government

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 7:30
a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Innovation 2005 Workshops
with With Local Government Experts
Local
Innovation 2005: Towards a More Proactive, Efficient, and Responsive Government

Thursday,
February 17, 2005 at 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Innovation 2005 Workshops
with
With Local Government Experts
Local Innovation 2005: Towards a More Proactive,
Efficient, and Responsive Government

Friday, February 18, 2005 at 7:30 a.m.
– 1:30 p.m.

Innovation 2005 Workshops
with With Local Government Experts
Local
Innovation 2005: Towards a More Proactive, Efficient, and Responsive Government

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital
Quotes

There’s a reason it’s [death penalty] still around, and that
reason has to do with slavery.

— Civil Rights activist Angela
Davis
as quoted in the Durham Herald-Sun during her keynote address for
a series of campus observances at Duke University for Martin Luther King
Jr. Day.

It looks like we’re in a $1.2 billion hole to start with.
That creates some obstacles.

Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston and
chair of the Senate Finance Committee, commenting to the Triad Business
Journal
on the state’s budget situation entering this year’s
General Assembly session. 

We’re spending money we don’t have
now. We’ve been doing that all morning. Why not keep it in?


Sen. Charlie Dannelly, D-Mecklenburg, as quoted in the Winston-Salem Journal
discussing the morning meeting of a state legislative panel set up to control
Medicaid spending. The panel’s report released this week recommended more
spending.  

Doesn’t it lend itself to fraud? Vote early, vote
often?

— NC Supreme Court Justice Edward Brady, questioning
lawyers for Democratic superintendent of public instruction candidate June
Atkinson about the legality of voters casting ballots
at locations besides
their assigned precincts.  Atkinson leads
Republican Bill Fletcher
by 8,835 votes; Fletcher is seeking to have
11,310 provisional ballots
cast by voters in the wrong precinct
disallowed.

I personally
believe that the people have already settled it – that they voted for (Steve)
Troxler and he should be commissioner.

— State Senate President
Pro Tem Marc Basnight as quoted in a Winston-Salem Journal
article this
week urging fellow Democrat Britt Cobb to concede the race
for State Commissioner
of Agriculture to Republican Steve Troxler. 

The whole thing,
to me, is bizarre. We basically told them they were asking too much and
instead of $88 million, they’re asking for $130 million.


Charlotte City Councilman Don Lochman describing his reaction to a proposed
package of new arts projects in Charlotte to The Charlotte Business Journal.
The
original proposal would have the city contributing $88 million. A
committee
appointed to scrub the request instead recommended other
projects be added
and the proposed price tag grew to $130 million. 

It’s not just
17 jobs.

— Cumberland County Board Chairman John Henley defending
a $440,000 corporate incentive
the county is giving to a gelatin plant.
Nitta Gelatin USA Inc. is
planning on building a $20 million plant in
Cumberland. 

[S]elf-sufficiency is going to take years. It takes
time for economic development.

— Global TransPark director
Darlene Waddell as quoted in the Kinston Free Press explaining that an
October 2003 projection by officials that the GTP could be self-sufficient
in 18 months was incorrect. The GTP is a 14-year-old state supported project.

We think they should more than recover their cost, as well as
spur economic development in those areas.

— NC Railroad President
Scott Saylor as quoted in the Jacksonville Daily News defending a proposed
$8 million investment by the state into 13 idle rail stations.  

It’s
got to be sufficiently large to have a meaningful health benefit. Anything
else, and it’s just a tax.

Peg O’Connell with the NC Alliance
for Health as quoted in the Winston-Salem Journal discussing a possible
cigarette tax increase aimed to deter teen smokers and help plug the potential
$1 billion state budget gap. 




On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This
week on C J Radio…

Join host John Hood for the most informative news
hour on the North Carolina radio waves. This week Rob Schofield
from the
NC Justice Center will debate Hood on the recent report
claiming gender
disparities in state worker pay. Is the report
comparing apples to apples?
Then, Pope Center for Higher Education Policy Director George Leef 
gives a short lesson in constitutional history and what John Locke might
say about eminent domain today. Next, Barry Pittman
with the Emergency
Programs Division of the NC Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services
discusses how his department prepares
for potential terrorist or natural
disasters. Last, Carolina Journal associate editor Donna Martinez discusses
how localities are getting better at attaining federal money



NC Spin

This
week on NC Spin…

Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of
political
discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk
show in
the state. This week’s panelists include: Former Secretary
of State Rufus Edmisten; Former House Speaker Joe Mavretic; Chris Fitzsimon,
from NC Policy Watch; and John Hood, of the John Locke Foundation. This
week’s topics include: NC Department of Transportation’s funding formulas,
Calling
a special session for storm damage, Easley’s “new”
administration &
Criminal background checks for UNC students. 



At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Triangle
viewers can tune in as host Monty Knight moderates another exciting week
of political debate between Carolina Journal’s Donna Martinez and
the Carolinian’s Cash Michaels. This week Center for Local Innovation
Director Chad Adams discusses the upcoming CLI conference Local Innovation
2005
. Then, NBC-17 meteorologist Bill Reh will detail this week’s weather
problems and what may be in store for North Carolinians this weekend.

 

©
2005 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919)
828-3876

—————————————————————————-

This
message is sent to you because you are subscribed to

the mailing list <[email protected]>
To
unsubscribe, E-mail to: <[email protected]>
Send administrative
queries to <[email protected]>