For the week of
June 17, 2005
Reaction of the Week
A coalition of public-policy groups interested in limited government, efficient use of tax dollars and legislative accountability will hold a “Take Back Our State” rally in Raleigh on June 22, organizers have announced.
The rally, to be held Wednesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on the Bicentennial
Mall between the state capitol and the legislative building, will
include speakers from eight different organizations and will feature bluegrass music and free barbecue. Kevin Miller, morning show host on WPTF in the Triangle, will emcee the event.
“Our goal is to deliver a unified, serious message: that decisions made
by elected officials over the past several years have not served North
Carolinians well, and the cumulative effect has pushed the state down a
path many residents oppose,” said Chris Neeley, state director of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina, a coalition member.
The event will take place as state legislators negotiate the state
budget and how to address a projected gap of approximately $1.3 billion
between anticipated revenue and expenses. Last week the House passed a
revenue bill that would extend what was billed in 2001 as “temporary”
sales and income tax increases, as well as impose new or additional
taxes on candy, satellite TV, phone service and liquor.
For information, visit www.takebackourstate.org.
Lawsuit risk changes Dell incentives
WINSTON-SALEM — The latest draft of a contract between Dell Inc.,
the city, county and other agencies has been changed, partly in
anticipation of a lawsuit being filed against the incentives package
for the manufacturer. Robert Orr, a former justice on the N.C. Supreme
Court and now the head of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, has said that he plans to challenge the agreement that would help Dell build a 500,000-square-foot computer assembly plant.
Bush Official: CAFTA would help NC
GREENSBORO — A free trade
agreement with Central America will mean more business for North
Carolina, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez told business leaders
Friday. North Carolina ranks third among the states in exports to
Central America behind Texas and Florida with $1.7 billion in shipped
goods, Gutierrez said. Over the past four years, North Carolina has led
the nation in export growth to CAFTA nations with a 65 percent increase, he said.
Furniture woes not whole economic story
HICKORY — While there are signs of an improving economy in the
Hickory region, the furniture industry lags well behind, as shown by
massive layoff announcements from Broyhill Furniture Industries and
Thomasville Furniture. Other areas of the regional economy are seeing a
resurgence. Unemployment is hovering around 6 percent after reaching as
much as 9 percent two years ago. Several companies also announced
expansions in recent months.
Lobbyists reports may not be on file
RALEIGH — About 200 companies, associations and other groups that hire lobbyists
for the General Assembly may have failed to file reports required by
state law in recent years, according to a report released yesterday.
Researchers with Democracy North Carolina examined records for the
2003-04 legislative sessions, when 717 groups had registered lobbyists.
NE Partnership's role questioned
EDENTON — The structure of a Beaufort County economic development
deal with Agri-Ethanol Products of Raleigh may have been affected by
advice given to the company by the Northeast Partnership,
a regional development group based in Edenton, a Beaufort County
commissioner indicated. Jay McRoy, the commissioners' vice chairman,
made it clear the county is not accustomed to getting involved in
land-acquisition arrangements with companies.
State reports on failed job-creating venture
GREENVILLE — The state's Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has released a final report Privaris,
a fingerprint-technology venture that could have brought sustainable
jobs to Martin County. In the report, the commission, or TTFC, declares
the project helped North Carolina meet federal security goals, even
though jobs called for in a contract with the commission were not
created and the technology has not been utilized by the state.
House passes $17.1 billion budget
RALEIGH — Cigarettes, movies and car registrations would all cost
more in the $17.1 billion budget that the N.C. House began debating
last night. But the House's proposed budget for 2005-06 - which won
approval by a vote of 62-58 at 12:21 a.m. today - avoids many of the
Senate's cuts in education and Medicaid health insurance for the poor.
"Nobody got everything they wanted this year," said House Majority
Leader Joe Hackney.
Decker's job excluded from budget
RALEIGH — Former Rep. Michael Decker's good fortune at landing a
state job may be coming to an end. Decker's position as a community
development specialist in his home county, Forsyth, runs out of money
June 30. His guardian angel, House Speaker Jim Black, is emphatic that
he will not use the next state budget to help Decker keep his job.
Monday, June 20, 2005 at 12 Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Kevin Miller
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at 12 Noon
with our special guest Christopher Hitchens
Thomas Jefferson: Author of America
“It's just plain ol' majority rule.”
— State House Majority Leader Joe Hackney, D-Orange, as quoted by The Charlotte Observer on
a House committee’s approval of a $.25 a pack increase in the state
cigarette tax. To ensure passage, six Democrats were added to the committee the day
before the vote.
“All the other states have it figured out, so why haven't we?”
— Lenoir County Commissioner Jackie Brown wondering to the Kinston Free Press why
North Carolina is the last state to require counties to pick up part of
the cost of Medicaid. Despite a resolution adopted by all 100 counties,
a proposed hike in the state’s cigarette tax would go to the state's
general fund, not to relieve counties of their Medicaid burden.
“We have to sell our story to our inland legislators. We have to educate them about why this is important not just to eastern North Carolina but to all of North Carolina.”
— State Rep. Carolyn Justice, R-Pender, explaining the challenge of attempting to get the state to fund dredging in coastal waters to the Wilmington Star-News. Dredging has traditionally been a federal responsibility but no funds are budgeted for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
On The Air This Week…
This week on C J Radio…
This week, Chris Neeley with Americans for Prosperity will discuss the upcoming Take Back Our State rally. Then, NC State University physics professor Dr. John Hubisz will discuss some of Albert Einstein's most innovative discoveries on their 100 year anniversary. Carolina Journal associate editors Chad Adams and Summer Hood join Donna Martinez for another edition of Locker Room Talk, a sometimes whacky but always entertaining look at this week's best blogs from the John Locke Foundation weblog, The Locker Room. And last, Free Market Minute author Karen Palasek discusses her article "Health Before Liberty", detailing the legislative debate for more regulation on the state's smokers.
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: more details on the recently
passed state House budget, lobbying disclosure reports filled with
holes and bumps removed on the road to toll roads. Panelists this week
include: Rob Schofield from the NC Justice Center, John Locke Foundation president John Hood, political analyst Theresa Kostrzewa and Chris Fitzsimon of 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, Cuban-American author Humberto Fontova discusses his book Fidel: Hollywoods Favorite Tyrant. Then, Lt. Everett Clendenin will discuss the state report released this week on safety and speeding.