Carolina Journal Weekly Report

April 17, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of April 17, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Local governments will serve their communities best through policies that limit taxes and regulation, while protecting private property from unnecessary government intrusion. Those are some key concepts driving recommendations in the Center for Local Innovation’s new City and County Issue Guide 2009.

The center is issuing the guide as N.C. cities and counties make the budget choices that will drive local government policy in the budget year that starts July 1. “This guide covers everything from taxes to transit, from smart growth to stadiums, but the common theme is freedom,” said Dr. Michael Sanera, John Locke Foundation Research Director and Local Government Analyst. “By emphasizing individual freedom, local governments can promote prosperity for all North Carolinians.”

The 34-page guide addresses 16 of the most important topics local governments must address. It focuses on services governments provide, steps those governments take to fund their services, and the impact of government action on private property rights. Sanera and other members of the JLF research staff analyze key challenges linked to each issue.

For example, one section warns local governments about the negative consequences of so-called “smart growth” policies. “North Carolina cities that have implemented smart growth techniques have experienced far more housing problems than those that have not,” Sanera said. “North Carolina leaders should embrace a market-friendly approach to growth to avoid these restrictive and counterproductive policies. Leaders should favor consumer choices and prices over bureaucratic planning and guesswork.”

News Features

CJ: School systems could test budget flexibility
RALEIGH — As many as 10 North Carolina public school systems could get more flexibility in spending taxpayers’ money under a proposal moving through the state House. That flexibility could extend to teacher pay under an amendment adopted despite concerns from the state’s largest teachers group.

CJ: Will Obama make a difference in support for charters?
RALEIGH — Legislators and education bureaucrats who have refused adamantly to consider increasing or removing the 100-school cap on charter schools have pressure from a new charter school advocate to deal with: President Barack Obama.

UNC leaders apologize for Tancredo speech fiasco
CHAPEL HILL — In 1963, state legislators silenced communist speech on campus. Forty-six years later, protesting students silenced a conservative former congressman because of his views on immigration. The result is the same: a black mark on UNC-Chapel Hill’s reputation for academic freedom. On Wednesday, UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp and UNC System President Erskine Bowles both telephoned former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo to apologize after student protesters shouted Tancredo down as he tried to give a speech.

Grand jury hears car dealer who helped Easley
RALEIGH — A Fayetteville car dealer who provided a vehicle for use by the family of former Gov. Mike Easley has been interviewed by federal authorities as part of a grand jury investigation, the dealer’s lawyer says. A lawyer for Robert F. Bleecker said late Thursday that Bleecker was working with investigators.

N.C. texting ban has support
RALEIGH — For North Carolina drivers, it’s nothing to LOL about. Sending text messages while driving would become illegal under a bill that got initial approval yesterday in the N.C. House of Representatives. Supporters said that the ban on “texting” while driving would make the state’s roads safer — even as they acknowledged that the ban would be almost impossible to enforce.

Upcoming Events

Monday, April 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Ron Margiotta
Wake County Schools

Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
The State of Our Constitution: Taxation
with our special guests Gene Boyce, Dr. Jeff Broadwater, Dr. John Dinan
Taxes and the North Carolina Constitution

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

Capital Quotes

Our protest is against pork, high tax rates, massive national debt, devaluation of our currency and bailouts. Both parties have a share in the blame.
Erika Franzi, as quoted by the Asheville Citizen-Times, addressing the Asheville Tea Party. Franzi is a Weaverville resident who helped coordinate the Asheville protest.

I’ve got a 42-year-old son. I love him. But the reason I’ve got a 42-year-old son is that abstinence-only doesn’t work.
— Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, as quoted by the Associated Press, speaking about a proposal to allow parents to select which kind of sex education their children receive in middle school. The House approved a proposal that allows parents to select between a curriculum focusing on abstinence until marriage, a curriculum including more information about contraception, or that their child get no sex education.

We operate as a region, and we need to be seen as one unit.
Gayle Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, commenting to the Winston-Salem Journal on the 2004 decision by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to divide the Triad up into five separate statistical regions. Anderson and other Triad economic development officials feels the division has hurt efforts to get companies to come to the region.

If it gives someone heartburn, I’ll pay for it.
— Wilmington City Councilman Ron Sparks, as quoted by the Wilmington Star-News, on reimbursing the city $68 for meals his wife had while she accompanied Sparks to a conference in Washington.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood delves into sources of North Carolina’s economic woes; JLF’s Terry Stoops responds to education recommendations from Sen. Minority Leader Phil Berger; media attorney Mark Prak addresses the potential return of the Fairness Doctrine; Carolina Journal’s Michael Lowrey discusses shrinking newspaper coverage of statewide issues; and JLF’s Roy Cordato recommends reforms to North Carolina’s tax system.

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: The expected layoffs of university employees; water wars in our state; publishing names of doctors involved in medical malpractice suits; and a sobering report on our economy. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political consultant Brad Crone; and former House Speaker Joe Mavretic.

At Issue

This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at


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