Carolina Journal Weekly Report

August 21, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of August 21, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — A new, easy-to-use checklist will help voters and candidates focus on the most important issues facing North Carolina’s city and town governments. The John Locke Foundation is unveiling the checklist as candidates start cranking up their campaigns for the 2009 municipal elections.

“City council members throughout North Carolina hold the reins of the first level of government that affects most North Carolinians,” said Dr. Michael Sanera, JLF Research Director and Local Government Analyst. “With a proper perspective on the uses and limits of government, these leaders can foster prosperity in their communities through free individuals pursuing their own dreams without fear of the city arbitrarily curtailing their activities or usurping their property or wealth.”

More than 3,000 candidates will see the checklists soon in their mail. In just a dozen pages, the checklist compiles a list of 37 questions for candidates and voters to consult. Those questions address issues such as city budgets and tax policies, economic development plans, land-use and zoning rules, public transit services, and city use of eminent domain and forced annexation.

“Some of the questions are very simple," Sanera explained. "Are supporters of new taxes or tax increases required to prove they are needed? Does the city leave convention centers, sports stadiums, and restaurants to the private sector?”

Other questions will require candidates and voters to dig beneath the surface of standard campaign rhetoric, Sanera said. “The first question in the checklist asks: Does the annual budget proposal show or graph local revenue adjusted for growth in population over the past 10 years?”

News Features

CJ: Charter schools cap endangers stimulus funding
RALEIGH — When Gov. Beverly Perdue was elected last November, champions of school choice steeled themselves for a long four years. “I don’t support removing the cap on charter schools,” Perdue told Carolina Journal in December, reiterating her support for phasing out underperforming charter schools before new ones are brought online.

CJ: Study explains cost spiral in higher education
RALEIGH — If a doctor is going to cure a disease, he first has to have a sound diagnosis. In that spirit, Robert E. Martin has written a paper for the Pope Center, “The Revenue-to-Cost Spiral in Higher Education,” that analyzes the cost disease of the higher education system.

CJ: Supreme Court ruling protects whistleblowers
RALEIGH — State employees could have lost protections provided by the Whistleblower Act, which protects state workers from retaliation by their employers when reporting misuse of public funds or other misconduct.

CJ: Belmont Abbey to fight contraception order
RALEIGH — The president of a North Carolina-based Catholic college says he would rather close his school than comply with an order from the Obama administration requiring the private institution to offer contraception and abortion coverage as part of its employee health insurance plan.

Court order may boost gay adoption
RALEIGH — A state senator’s custody fight with her former domestic partner may lead to an expansion of a little-used legal procedure under which gays and lesbians in North Carolina have been adopting children. A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals this week unanimously upheld Sen. Julia Boseman’s 2005 adoption of her partner’s child, entitling Boseman to joint custody.

Upcoming Events

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Peter A. Coclanis
The Great Reversal: Russia's Demographic Crisis & Its Security Implications

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.
Health Care Policy Luncheon Briefing
with our special guests Consumer-Driven Health Care Experts
What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Health Care Reform: Why Consumer-Driven Health Care Is the Only Way To Reform the U.S. Health Care System

Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.
Health Care Policy Luncheon Briefing
with our special guests Consumer-Driven Health Care Experts
What Small Business Owners Need to know about Health Care Reform: Why Consumer-Driven Health Care is the Only Way to Reform the U.S. Health Care System

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 at 7 p.m.
A CJ Expansion Project Briefing
with John Hood
Carolina Journal Expansion

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

Capital Quotes

If he was doing his job and doing it well, he would try to punch holes in the audit I was putting out. If people start to punch holes in my audits, then I have no credibility in my audits.
— State Auditor Beth Wood, as quoted by the Associated Press, explaining that the reason she never released an audit into Mary Easley’s hiring at N.C. State University was fear that  Easley’s attorney,  Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, would dispute the findings.

That was a tax increase masquerading as tax reform.
— Senate Minority Leader Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, commenting to the Winston-Salem Journal on the tax changes passed by the Senate this year.

We can’t sell cigarettes out of vending machines anymore. Maybe we can convert those to lottery tickets.
— Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about the state lottery’s plan to start selling lottery tickets out of vending machines.

The tragedy is that the legislature appropriates money for teaching, and that’s where the public thinks it’s going. But in truth, huge amounts are obviously going for things that are completely unrelated.
Jerry L. Whitten, N.C. State University chemistry professor and a former dean, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about the growth in administrative positions at the state’s public universities. The number of administrative jobs within the UNC system has grown by 28 percent over the past five years.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Joe Coletti reviews the highs and lows of the newstate budget; Dr. Brent Ellmers shares his concerns about President Obama’s health care ideas; Sen. Minority Leader Phil Berger explains why Republicans would have chosen a different budget strategy; Wake Forest political scientist John Dinan, former N.C. Court of Appeals Judge John Tyson, N.C. Property Rights Coalition founder Kieran Shanahan, and attorney Emmett Boney Haywood discuss the need to protect private property rights; Michael Sanera previews JLF’s new local government resource guide.

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 spending cuts made in the state budget; credibility and accountability problems at our state universities; championing the mentally ill; and political patronage at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Jack Betts, columnist for the Charlotte Observer; and former Attorney General and Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten.

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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