For the week of
May 31, 2005
Reaction of the Week
The cost to individuals of government services in North Carolina continues to climb, according to a recent John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.
According to fiscal policy analyst Joe Coletti, Gov. Mike Easley proposed spending $3,883 per person in Fiscal Year (FY)2005-06 and another $4,084 per person in FY2006-07. These figures include taxes,
fees, and transfers from the federal government and 60 percent higher
than the $2,545 per person just a dozen years earlier. The Senate included $1.6 billion in new taxes and fees in its budget proposal, even before a potential $300 million in taxes from a new state lottery.
FY2005-06 marks only the second time in the last decade that per capita spending will climb more than 10 percent.
The Senate all but eliminated the growth in Medicaid spending from the governor’s proposal, but added over $100 million in corporate welfare
through community colleges, universities,
the NC Biotechnology Center, and the Rural Economic Development Center.
The net result remains a $17 billion budget that already counts on $70
million from a proposed lottery in FY2005-06 to replace corporate
income taxes in the School Building Capital & Technology Fund.
Robinson renounced, Blount re-elected
ASHEVILLE — Vernon Robinson’s tactics came back to bite him
yesterday. The lightning-rod conservative from Winston-Salem was
soundly defeated in his effort to unseat Ferrell Blount as chairman of
the N.C. Republican Party. “It takes patience, not pontification,” the
former mayor of Raleigh, Tom Fetzer, told more than 1,000 delegates as
he nominated Blount for a two-year term. “It takes a workhorse, not a
show horse…. We need a party chairman who will never make a mistake
of putting his own interests ahead of the party.”
TransPark official predicts “self-sufficiency”
KINSTON — It won’t happen this year, but officials say the Global TransPark
is well on its way to obtaining self-sufficiency. Executive Director
Darlene Waddell anticipates that the GTP will receive about $831,000 in
revenues during the 2005-06 fiscal year. This, she told her board, is
an increase of about $200,000 over the current fiscal year. The
operating budget next fiscal year will be about $2.57 million,
including $1.6 million in the proposed state budget.
Taxpayers bear cost of damage to highways
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s weak laws regulating overweight trucks
and poor enforcement by the state Highway Patrol show up every year in
a place you might not have considered: Your taxes. Every day, at least
100,000 medium-sized and big trucks are on the move in North Carolina.
One legal truck, weighing 80,000 pounds, does at least as much damage to roads as 5,000 cars, experts say.
Fletcher files grievances with legislature
RALEIGH — The Legislature shouldn’t pick a winner now in the school
superintendent’s race because the state elections board has never
removed certain unlawful ballots from the tally, Republican candidate
Bill Fletcher said Monday. Fletcher responded in writing to Democrat
June Atkinson’s request earlier this month for lawmakers to resolve
their 6 1/2-month-old election dispute.
Rumsfeld visit honors military mission
FORT BRAGG — Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell, commander of the 82nd Airborne
Division, community leaders and soldiers said Wednesday that they are
pleased that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plans to visit Fort
Bragg today. Rumsfeld is scheduled to speak and conduct the 82nd
Airborne Division Review. The review is open to the public and is
scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Pike Field on Fort Bragg.
Dems spent more, got less value in ’04
WASHINGTON — North Carolina Republicans got more of their money’s
worth from campaign contributions last year, according to a new
analysis of political spending in 2003-2004. But the Republicans also
spent beyond their means far more than the richer Democrats. The state
Republican Executive Committee raised $3.1 million in the 2004 election
cycle and spent $5.3 million, according to an analysis by the Center
for Public Integrity in Washington.
In-state tuition plan collapses
RALEIGH — A bill to give undocumented immigrants in-state college
tuition appears dead after being blasted by talk radio and emerging as
the focus of North Carolina’s growing debate over illegal immigration.
A main sponsor, Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, said the bill has little
chance to pass before the legislature’s Thursday deadline. With an
estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants in North Carolina – more than in
all but seven states – the bill sparked a firestorm.
Memories of survivors
The Charlotte Observer’s Fannie Flono marks Memorial
Day by remembering those soldiers that do come home but live with the
loss of fallen comrades and, sometimes, the guilt that comes with
surviving. “No matter what your ideology is,” she writes, “the soldiers
who are fighting and dying deserve our gratitude.”
Climate research skewed
Writing in Environment News, Dr. Roy Spencer from the
University of Alabama argues that major givers, including the federal
government, are offering incentives that tend to skew climate-change
research towards alarmism.
Business climate: dreary
NC Citizens for Business and Industry President Phil Kirk writes for The Charlotte Observer
about a recent report rebuking the state’s tax burden on businesses.
Kirk offers some ideas on creating a sunnier climate for state
Monday, June 06, 2005 at 12 Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with Keith A. Sutton
Legislative Priorities of the African American Community
Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 12 Noon
with Humberto E. Fontova
Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant
Monday, June 20, 2005 at 12 Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with Kevin Miller
“These are public schools. What are we waiting for?”
— State Sen. Larry Shaw as quoted by The Fayetteville Observer explaining why he is co-sponsoring a bill to to increase the number of charter schools allowed in the state.
“The State of North Carolina cannot standby and fail to act to stop the educational genocide that is occurring in CMS and throughout the State of North Carolina in too many of its high schools.”
— Judge Howard Manning Jr. in a ruling rejecting a move by
Charlotte-Mecklenburg and five other high-wealth counties to obtain
funding under the Leandro adequate school-funding mandate.
“We think transit works almost exclusively in work centers and school. It doesn’t work in retail.”
— Aaron Nelson, executive director of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer in his objection to the town proposing to remove minimum parking space requirements for new retail developments.
“I don’t understand why we, the poor who pay sales tax – and I pay property tax – why we shouldn’t get services from the government just like anybody else.”
— NC resident Kent Goodard as quoted by the Associated Press reacting to cuts proposed in the state Senate’s budget to Medicaid.
“If people are concerned about potential health risks associated with smoking, they should quit. They shouldn’t be coerced by a disproportionate and unfair tax into quitting.”
— John Singleton with RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer reacting to a proposed cigarette tax increase that advocates claim will deter some North Carolinians from smoking.
“California recognizes an unborn child as a human being and it’s time North Carolina does the same thing.”
— Alamance County District Attorney Rob Johnson as quoted by the Greensboro News & Record
in his rebuke of the state legislature because it has not enacted laws
making fetal murder a crime.
“Now you can lose your life without dying. Now you can lose your property without even knowing it’s been taken away from you.”
— Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, talking to the Associated
Press about the dangers of identity thief. The Senate unanimously
approved a bill to strengthen protections against the crime.
“I believe that Germany killed many people in concentration camps in World War II, and that some of them were Jews.”
— NC Wesleyan College professor Jane Christensen as quoted by the Rocky Mount Telegram when she was asked ‘Do you believe Germany killed 6 million Jews in concentration camps in World War II?‘ Christensen was the subject of this month’s Pope Center for Higher Education Course of the Month.
“If there was a systematic program to kill Jews, it was done in collaboration with the Zionists.”
— Professor Christensen’s answer when the question was rephrased to, ‘Do you believe that the Germans and their allies engaged in a systematic program to kill Jews during World War II?‘
On The Air This Week…
This week on C J Radio…
This week, Free Market Minute columnist Karen Palasek discusses a proposed restaurant smoking ban and asks the question, ‘Health before Liberty?‘ Next, retired US Army Capt. Craig Marks
discusses disaster preparedness as the state heads into another summer
hurricane season, which is forecasted to be particularly nasty this
year. Then, Carolina Journal associate editors Donna Martinez and Chad Adams
host another edition of Locker Room Talk, a sometimes strange but
always entertaining look at this week’s best blogs from the John Locke
Foundation weblog, The Locker Room. And last, Cardinal Energy Service President Andrew Givens discusses the privatization of utilities on Military Bases.
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. Topics this week include some of the most contentious
battles this legislative session: commercial fishing regulation,
smoking in restaurants, same sex marriage, cell phones in cars, and
instant runoff elections. Panelists this week include: former House
Speaker Joe Mavretic, John Locke Foundation President John Hood, former Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten, and Chris Fitzsimon from NC Policy Watch.
This week on At Issue…
Triangle viewers can tune in as host Monty Knight moderates another panel discussion with Carolina Journal’s Donna Martinez and the Carolinian’s Cash Michaels. This week’s show has been preempted by the French Open.