Carolina Journal Weekly Report

Weekly Report 2006-12-01

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of
December 01, 2006

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH – North Carolina electricity customers could pay an extra
million a year, thanks to the efforts of a consumer advocate that’s
supposed to represent customers’ interests. That’s according to a new
John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.

The N.C. Public Staff wants electricity users to pay a “fee” for a
“public benefits fund,” said Daren Bakst, JLF Legal and Regulatory
Policy Analyst. “Clearly, this ‘fee’ is a tax,” he said. “In order to
receive electricity, consumers would be required to pay an extra charge
that has nothing to do with the actual cost of producing electricity.”

The additional fee would be calculated based on the amount of
electricity a family or business uses, said Bakst, who wrote the report
with JLF research intern Geoffrey Lawrence. “In other words, it is a
tax for the ‘sin’ of using electricity,” he said. “The more electricity
customers use, the higher the fee.

“The public should know about this proposal,” Bakst added. “But as is
the case in other states with similar taxes, the true nature of this
‘fee’ is being hidden from public view.”

The State Energy Office estimates that when applying the national
average rate for similar tax schemes used in other states, such a
program would cost $181 million annually in North Carolina.

News Features

CJ: Kinston suffers small-airport fate
KINSTON — Kinston might be the site of the Global TransPark, but
travelers wouldn’t be able to get there easily by air anymore come the
new year. Delta Air Lines officials have announced that the airline
will discontinue flights to Kinston from Delta’s Atlanta hub after Jan.

CJ: Study shows religion spurs respect for law
RALEIGH — Religious faiths, particularly Protestantism, Catholicism,
Asian Ethnoreligion, and Hinduism, have a positive effect on a nation’s
respect for the rule of law and level of corruption, according to a
Baylor University research paper.

CJ: Guilford addresses minority contracting
GREENSBORO — Faced with a pressing need to
build more schools for a burgeoning population, Guilford County School
officials are planning to make it easier for minority subcontractors to
participate in the construction boom. Businesses owned by minorities and women would have to gain
certification as a Minority or Women or Socially and Economically
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise to qualify for school contracts.

Sales tax drop surprise to some retailers
WILSON — North Carolina shoppers will get a tiny sales tax break Friday
when the state rate goes down by 0.25 percent, but they may have to
remind many area retailers of their discount. “I had no idea about that
at all,” said Hilton Bass, manager of Hilton’s Men’s and Ladies Fine

High court candidate protests
RALEIGH — N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Ann Marie Calabria thinks she
lost her race for the state Supreme Court because elections officials
mishandled its response to an independent television ad campaign that
benefited her opponent. Calabria was in court Wednesday asking Superior
Court Judge James C. Spencer Jr. to prevent state elections officials
from certifying her opponent as the winner.

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 04, 2006 at 12:00 Noon
Headliner Luncheon in Raleigh, NC
with our special guest General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC, (Ret.)
Iraq: Where Do We Go Now?

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 12:00 Noon
Headliner Luncheon in Charlotte, NC
with our special guest Juan Williams
The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America – and What We Can Do About It

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 7:00 pm
JLF’s Annual Holiday Gala
– For An Extraordinary Evening of Song and Dance
With Our Special Guests

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

Capital Quotes

I thought directors were the people who taught other people skills.
— Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer
at a hearing on the juvenile justice system, responding to news that
directors of other facilities were working with the head of a
residential school in the wake of an assault by two juvenile that
seriously injured a teacher.

Shortchanged is an understatement. How can it be that we pay all this money [in taxes] and get nothing?
— Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on the state’s road plan for 2007-1013, which includes no money at all for road construction in his city.

They wanted the racetrack and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in their area, and homes, but they failed to plan.
— Taylorsville Mayor Guy Barriger, analogizing to an Aesop fable to the Charlotte Observer about Concord and Kannapolis’ attempt to divert water from the Catawba watershed to serve their cities.

You are elected by the people. The people put you in office for their values.
— Graham County Sheriff-elect Russell Moody, talking to the Asheville Citizen-Times about being elected despite having no law enforcement experience.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
The Locke Foundation’s Jenna Ashley Robinson discusses her
Regional Brief on traffic calming efforts in Raleigh, followed by a
look at military intelligence with Robinson’s Locke colleague Michael Sanera, who was a military intelligence officer in Berlin in the 1970s. Then
the subject turns to prosecutorial misconduct and North Carolina’s
death penalty statute. Weighing in are Duke law Professor James Coleman, Raleigh lawyer Joe Cheshire V, and Johnston/Harnett/Lee County District Attorney Tom Lock. That’s followed by a look at the Endangered Species Act with Rick Stroup of the Property & Environmental Research Center, and the latest Locker Room blogs with Chad Adams and Donna Martinez.

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. Topics this week
include: the growing concern over immigration; urban counties want their
fair share; NC FREE facing member controversy; and limiting political robocalls. Panelists this week include: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former Attorney General and Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten; and Elaine Mejia of the NC Justice Center.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Triangle viewers can tune in weekly as host Verna Collins is joined by Carolina Journal’s Donna Martinez and The Carolinian’s Cash Michaels for another round of “At Issue,” a weekly round-up of news and issues facing the Triangle area and the state. This
week the panel debates banning smoking in restaurants and bars. Rep.
Verla Insko, D-Orange, argues in favor of a ban, while Rep. Leo
, R-Johnston, opposes the idea. Then the focus turns to racial
integration in public schools, which is the subject of a Supreme Court
case to be argued Monday. Guests include former Wake County Public
Schools executive Walt Sherlin and Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for
Prosperity North Carolina. Finally, Lt. Everett Clendenin of the state
Highway Patrol explains new driving laws that went into effect Dec. 1.


© 2006 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 828-3876