Carolina Journal Weekly Report

September 25, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of September 25, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — As North Carolina struggles with one of the nation’s worst unemployment rates, Gov. Beverly Perdue plans an Asian trip based on the same misguided economic development policies that contributed to the state’s current economic woes. That’s the assessment of the John Locke Foundation’s chief budget analyst.

The N.C. Employment Security Commission's latest report lists the state’s unemployment rate at 10.8 percent for August, down slightly from the adjusted July rate of 10.9 percent. The state has had double-digit unemployment for seven months. Matching the unemployment rates of Ohio and Tennessee this month, North Carolina now ranks No. 9 in the nation. The state’s unemployment rate peaked at 11.1 percent in May, according to the ESC.

“With more evidence of the state’s economic struggles, it’s especially disturbing to remember that the governor and her commerce secretary plan a two-week trip to Japan and China next month,” said Joseph Coletti, JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst. “Promoting trade is fine, but this type of junket fits with the ineffective policies that have helped lead to North Carolina’s ongoing economic slump. By chasing individual companies with sweetheart deals, the state's leaders make North Carolina less competitive overall.”

Perdue, N.C. Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco, and others fly to Tokyo starting Oct. 14. Their trip also includes meetings with trade and government officials in Beijing and Shanghai. “Supporters will bill this trip as a tool for securing new business and jobs for North Carolina, but that's not the whole story.” Coletti said. “The trip also represents another opportunity for government leaders to choose economic winners and losers. Playing that game never ends well for North Carolina taxpayers, as the current unemployment numbers show again this month.”

News Features

CJ: Study: Energy mandates decrease income
RALEIGH — Two years after legislation was passed overhauling North Carolina’s approach to renewable energy, a new study questions the economic impact of the law. What it found could have troubling implications for both employment and consumer energy costs in the state.

CJ Guilford cracks down on ahletic recruiting
GREENSBORO — The Guilford County Board of Education is attempting to crack down on athletics violations in the wake of a scandal involving one of its high schools. Allegations of improper recruiting surfaced at Northern Guilford High School in April, just after Northern won the state 3-A boys’ basketball title. Principal Joe Yeager and Athletics Director Derrell Force resigned soon thereafter, and the board fired head custodian Louis Lawson, whose son Jacob was a focus of the recruiting allegations.

Easley deal may have helped raise lot prices
RALEIGH — More than 200 plaintiffs in one of the largest alleged mortgage fraud cases in state history have said for months that they were duped into paying inflated prices for coastal lots. Now the revelation that former Gov. Mike Easley and his wife, Mary, got a 25 percent discount from a developer named in the lawsuits shows that even the state’s highest official may have unwittingly helped hype the prices they paid.

Perdue indicates she’s open to offshore drilling
RALEIGH — North Carolina needs to know its share of oil and natural-gas revenues and whether wind farms could coexist with drilling before it weighs in on an offshore leasing proposal, Gov. Bev Perdue told federal officials Monday. Commenting on a U.S. Interior Department draft proposal to expand oil and gas drilling through 2015, Perdue said there are “several significant gaps” that make it difficult for North Carolina to evaluate the report.

State health insurance plan needs more cost cuts
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s state employee health plan got out of a deep hole last spring thanks to a $250 million cash injection from the state’s rainy-day reserves, followed by higher dependent premiums and more out-of-pocket expenses for everyone. Although the State Health Plan is on better footing since the Legislature’s bill passed in April, the plan’s challenges aren’t over.

Upcoming Events

Monday, September 28, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Terry Stoops
Can You Find Out What You Want To Know About Your Child's School? Transparency and the North Carolina K-12 Education System

Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Cynthia DeLuca
Lending in the Mortgage Meltdown

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at Noon
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Michael Barone
Obama's America--Working Out As Planned?

Thursday, October 08, 2009 at 5:30 p.m.
The State of Our Constitution: The North Carolina Constitution and Education
with our special guests North Carolina Education and Constitutional Law Experts
The North Carolina Constitution and Education

Thursday, October 08, 2009 at Noon
A Headliner Luncheon
with our special guest Cal Thomas
A Look at the Washington Political Scene

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

Capital Quotes

There is the potential during severe droughts for conflicts between municipal water supply and water used to generate electricity.
— The State of North Carolina, as quoted by the Associated Press, arguing in a legal brief to the federal government why it, and not ALCOA, should control a series of dams along the Yadkin River.

Clearly, this is more of a law of spirit or intent, everyone recognizing the positive reasons to recycle.
Scott Mouw, North Carolina’s recycling director, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on a new law that goes into effect on Oct. 1 banning plastic bottles from landfills in the state.  The state and local governments though don’t have the resources to make sure that individuals are following the new regulation.

We are starting to see renegade groups on behalf of themselves, or towns. It will cause confusion.
— Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, talking about efforts by Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville to secure federal money for a commuter rail line from Charlotte to their towns. Charlotte and the Charlotte Area Transit System want to federal money to build different rail lines, either a street car line within Charlotte, or an extension of the existing light-rail line to UNC Charlotte.

I walk in, and they walk me back out.
Doug Van Essen, describing his prospects to remain as head of the N.C. State Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners to the Raleigh News & Observer. A recently-passed state law allows the board to fire Van Essen again if an administrative law judge were to determine that the board acted improperly when it first fired him.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Joe Coletti explains the state’s high-risk pool for health insurance; health care rally attendees raise red flags about reform ideas; Former Miss California Carrie Prejean discusses the backlash following her politically incorrect statement about traditional marriage; Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform talks about a possible conservative resurgence; CJ’s Rick Henderson discusses the state’s push to take over Alcoa’s dams and hydro-electric facilities. 

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: The education cabinet’s statements on fixing public education; community colleges accepting illegal immigrants; North Carolina’s gambling problem; and getting North Carolina out of the liquor business. This week’s panelists: John Hood and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; and former Lt. Governor Dennis Wicker.

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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