Carolina Journal Weekly Report

Weekly Report 2008-03-28

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of
March 28, 2008

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — As Gov. Mike Easley’s special panel
on email records retention had its first meeting, its leader is
the object of a Carolina Journal email and records request that has gone unfulfilled since it was made more than two weeks go reports Don Carrington.

The response to that request illustrates the problems the panel faces
as it attempts to resolve the issue of whether email falls without
exception under the state’s Public Records Law, as open-government
advocates maintain.

Easley established the email review panel, which was scheduled to meet
today at 10:30 a.m. at the state Administration Building, after The News & Observer
of Raleigh published a series of stories about the poor condition of
the state’s mental health care system. Easley fired Debbie Crane,
former spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Health and Human
Services, for her role in dealing with the newspaper during its

After she was fired, Crane told the newspaper that she and other agency
spokespeople were ordered by the governor’s office to routinely delete
email correspondence to and from the governor’s office.

News Features

CJ: Drought relief impacts property rights
RALEIGH — Gov. Mike Easley’s recently released legislative plan for
drought relief — which includes new water conservation, efficiency
mandates, and expanded enforcement authority — has stirred concerns
that the initiative might violate private property rights.

CJ: Delegation diverges on water act expansion
RALEIGH — Conservation activists are pushing legislation in Congress to
expand the power and reach of the Clean Water Act in the name of
protecting wetlands, but some members of North Carolina’s congressional
delegation say the bill would further erode the rights of landowners to
make decisions about their property.

N.C. may be pivotal in race, analysts predict
RALEIGH — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s dwindling chances to be
president may hinge on what happens in North Carolina. As she prepares
to make her first campaign trip to the state on Thursday, including a
stop in Winston-Salem, her aides insist that North Carolina is not a
“must-win” state. But many Democrats, both nationally and in North
Carolina, increasingly view Sen. Barack Obama as the nominee-to-be.

Brunswick County sheriff suspended
WILMINGTON — Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett was temporarily
suspended from office Thursday night by a petition initiated by members
of his own force. Hewett and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office have
been investigated since June by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with a
federal grand jury meeting monthly to discuss the case.

Probation officer never met Lovette
RALEIGH — The probation officer in charge of keeping track of Laurence
Alvin Lovette never met with the teenager, according to probation
records. Officer Chalita N. Thomas, pulled off the case in early March
because of a drunken-driving charge, went by Lovette’s mother’s home in
Durham once in late February, according to the probation records, but
he was not there.

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 31, 2008 at 12:00 Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Dr. Ed Gehringer
Missing White House E-Mail and Memogate:
Two Computer Ethics Cases that Shook the Halls of Congress

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 at 11:30 AM
Headliner Luncheon in Asheville, NC
with our special guests Dr. John R. Christy & Dr. David Tuerck
The Science and Economics of State Global Warming Policy

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 12:00 noon
Headliner Luncheon in Asheville, NC
with our special guest Dick Morris
The 2008 Elections

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

Capital Quotes

I do not communicate by e-mail. I receive it. I have an e-mail address to receive it, but I’m still one of the old-fashioned folks that communicates by telephone or face to face.
Franklin Freeman, Gov. Mike Easley’s senior assistant for
government affairs and head of a committee review state policy on
e-mail retention, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer describing his own e-mail usage.

Our court system is already bogged down. We can’t prosecute serious criminals. Do you really think (Mecklenburg District Attorney) Peter Gilchrist is going to punish somebody for lying to the school board?
— Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board member George Dunlap, talking to the Charlotte Observer
about a proposal by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter
Gorman to make it a misdemeanor for anyone to falsify information on
student-registration forms.

I think the state needs to get out of a business it never should have been in. It’s a big old white elephant, and we’ve got to get rid of it.
— Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Graham, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, talking about the Global TransPark.

Investors are not as interested in doing what they were willing to do six months ago.
Doug McCullagh, a Raleigh-based consultant, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer
about the willingness of investors to fund biofuel projects. Of the
seven proposed biofuel facilities announced over the past two years in
the state, only two are progressing towards construction. Three other
projects are dead while the last two are in limbo.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Terry Stoops discusses the State Board of Education’s
2008 budget request, the University of Tennessee’s Wiliam Fox makes the case against the corporate income tax, State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee explains who’s running public education, Belmont Abbey College’s William
comments on college athletics and virtue, and JLF’s Joe Coletti reacts to Gov. Mike Easley’s drought proposals.

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. Topic this week include:
Election update; who owns the water?; and ABC stores don’t make money.
Panelists this week include: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political consultant Brad Crone; and lobbyist and former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Also available on the web at


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