Carolina Journal Weekly Report

November 20, 2009

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of November 20, 2009 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s ongoing struggles with double-digit unemployment raise questions about government claims dealing with economic recovery. That’s the assessment of the John Locke Foundation’s top budget analyst.

“Economic growth hit 3.5 percent in the third quarter, but it is too soon to know how real or sustainable that is,” said Joseph Coletti, JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst. “The Washington bureaucrats claim that stimulus spending has created or saved more than 640,000 jobs. But that’s an impossible claim to check.”

“Even if you accept that claim, the cost per job is $160,000,” Coletti added. “The national unemployment rate was never supposed to reach 10 percent, yet now the White House is telling us to expect such European levels of unemployment well into the future.”

The N.C. Employment Security Commission’s latest report lists the state’s unemployment rate at 11.0 percent for October, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the September rate of 10.8 percent. North Carolina now ranks No. 9 in the nation in unemployment.

The state has logged nine straight months of double-digit unemployment. North Carolina’s unemployment rate peaked at 11.1 percent in May, according to the ESC.

News Features

CJ: Beer, snacks for AG’s hired lawyers challenged
RALEIGH — Beer and snacks were on the agenda at a recent meeting of the North Carolina Council of State — and they had one executive-branch officer fuming. The council, comprised of 10 elected officials including the lieutenant governor, meets periodically to vote on resource allocation and to streamline information between executive agencies.

CJ: Easley campaign manager arrives at courthouse
RALEIGH — Jay Reiff authored or is believed to have written a series of memos organizing what appeared to be an elaborate scheme letting large Easley donors evade campaign contribution limits. These fundraising strategies were a major focus of a recent hearing by the State Board of Elections on Easley’s campaign finances.

Nesbitt gains No. 2 spot in NC Senate
RALEIGH — Martin Nesbitt isn’t known for toeing the party line. Over nearly three decades in the House and Senate, he has been a loyal lieutenant of some Democratic leaders and a thorn in the side of others. But in his new job, the Asheville senator will try to keep 30 Senate Democrats speaking with one voice. “I’m changing roles right now. I’ve been a warrior,” Nesbitt said, emerging from the room where Democratic senators voted unanimously Tuesday to name him Senate majority leader.

Palin event on Fort Bragg open to media
FAYETTEVILLE — Fort Bragg on Thursday changed its mind about banning the media from Sarah Palin’s public book signing Monday. The change was announced late Thursday after protests by The Fayetteville Observer and The Associated Press. Earlier in the day Fort Bragg had said the media would not be allowed to cover the event. Army officials cited concerns about appearing to provide a forum for criticism of President Obama.

UNC tuition hike too small, some say
CHAPEL HILL — Students at UNC-Chapel Hill will continue to pay far less for their educations than peers at most of the campus’s competitors under a tuition plan approved Thursday. And that, some say, is a problem. In considering tuition hikes each year, campus leaders weigh the price of quality against the state’s historic mandate to keep college costs low. This year, the task was complicated by the recession and a legislative mandate that will take tuition revenue away from public university campuses.

Upcoming Events

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm
An Evening of Historic Debate
with our special guests Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
A Debate on the Future of the United States

Monday, November 23, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest C. Porter Bell
Building Bridges, Building Community

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 at 11:45am
Piedmont Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guest Rick Henderson and Don Carringtion
Carolina Journal: The Easley Investigation and How it Started

Thursday, December 03, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Western N.C. Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests Rick Henderson and Don Carrington
Carolina Journal: The Easley Investigation and How it Started

Thursday, December 03, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.
A Headliner Luncheon Panel Discussion
with our special guests Max Borders, John Hood, and J. Peder Zane
"Taxpayers and Arts Education"

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 at 6:30 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests Don Carrington and Rick Henderson
Carolina Journal: The Easley Investigation and How it Began

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

Capital Quotes

This is simply an extension of the state’s political efforts to buttress the governor’s sagging poll ratings by defying the rule of law.
Staples Hughes, the state appellate defender, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on Gov. Bev Perdue’s latest argument why 20 felons sentenced to “life” terms should not be released.

Her big problem is a lack of popularity with her core supporters.
Dean Debham, president of Public Policy Polling, talking to WRAL-TV about Gov. Bev Perdue’s approval ratings.

All of the special interests just squeal.
— Sen. Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, commenting to the Asheville Citizen-Times on the prospects for state tax reform.

I just figured I’d just retire in those barns. We always thought it would be someone else that would need help from the government.
Allen Unruh, a Grifton hog farmer, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about the state of the hog industry. The company that Unruh sold his hogs to went out of business in the spring and he hasn’t been able to land a contract since. Unruh and his family are now on Medicaid.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Daren Bakst discusses the future of taxpayer financed campaigns in N.C. towns; JLF’s Joe Coletti reacts to comments about reducing poverty made by the N.C. Justice Center’s Bill Rowe and Gene Nichol of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Poverty Center; businessman and former state legislator Art Pope discusses why politicians cast votes that defy the wishes of their constituents; the Cato Institute’s Robert Levy comments on the need for limited constitutional government; and JLF’s Terry Stoops addresses the notion that poor kids in poor counties don't receive as much education funding as wealthier counties do. 

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 state wasting money on unused vehicles; an admission that mistakes were made in mental health; how eliminating the high school competency test has created havoc in our schools; and the latest news on the Senate race. 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.


© 2009 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 828-3876



Material published here may be reprinted provided the
Locke Foundation receives prior notice and appropriate credit is given.


JLF Network Websites & Blogs