Carolina Journal Weekly Report

October 08, 2010

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of October 08, 2010 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Orange County voters have plenty of good reasons to question county commissioners’ request for a $2.3 million tax hike. John Locke Foundation researchers set out those reasons in a new Regional Brief.

Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether county commissioners can raise the local sales tax rate 0.25 cents. As they cast their ballots, JLF experts urge them to consider Orange County's business climate, a taxpayer-funded campaign to approve the tax hike, and the promises county commissioners are making about how they would spend additional tax revenue.

“Orange County’s requested tax increase offers voters the opportunity to decide if they have confidence in commissioners’ stewardship of county taxpayer dollars,” said Dr. Michael Sanera, JLF Director of Research and Local Government Studies. “Our research points out many reasons to question the commissioners’ abilities to manage scarce tax dollars efficiently.”

A tax increase fits with a pattern of government bloat, Sanera said. “This $2.3 million tax increase would follow the longest-running recession since the Great Depression, with little prospect for rapid recovery,” he said. “A tax increase now would transfer money into the public sector when it's needed in the private sector to support job creation.”

News Features

CJ: Questions remain from Perdue flight documents
RALEIGH — On Oct. 1, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said that he had launched a criminal inquiry of the reporting of flights by the 2008 gubernatorial campaign of Bev Perdue. One week earlier, Willoughby asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the flights.

CJ: Was the threat of teacher layoffs overstated?
RALEIGH — Last spring, thousands of teachers throughout North Carolina found pink slips in their boxes, informing them of impending job losses in the 2010-11 school year. Protest marches occurred and a media blitz ensued, with newspapers across the state deeming the action of school boards as “catastrophic” and “disastrous.” As the hoopla subsided, however, most school boards quietly finalized their operating budgets and hired many of those same teachers back into the classrooms.

CJ: Judicial races fly under voter radar
RALEIGH — They’re the most unnoticed races of the midterm elections, but their results could have more impact on North Carolina’s political landscape than which party controls the General Assembly. Already, judicial races are shaping up to be the untold story of 2010.

CJ Video: Lawson signs bonded term limits pledge
RALEIGH — Congressional candidate B.J. Lawson announced he signed a bonded term limit pledge Thursday in Raleigh. Under the pledge Lawson agreed to serve only four terms if elected to the House of Representatives, if he runs for a fifth he must pay the Moore County Sentinels of Freedom $1 million. Fellow Republican Ilario Pantano announced a similar pledge earlier.

CJ: Ordinance would replace grass with concrete
RALEIGH — The Raleigh City Council is considering an ordinance that would amend current zoning regulations so that residents could no longer park on grass, dirt, or loose gravel in their own front yards. Property rights lawyers say the proposal could be an unconstitutional taking of private property.

Upcoming Events

Monday, October 11, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Garland Tucker
The High Tide of American Conservatism

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Triad Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Triad Freedom Club Meeting

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A Lecture
with our special guest Stella Snyder
"No One Can Bar the Road to Truth":
Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Jesse Helms, Allies in the Battle for Freedom

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Sandhills Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Sandhills Freedom Club Meeting

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Southeastern Freedom Club Meeting

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at Noon
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests JLF Analysts
Triangle Freedom Club Meeting

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Noon
A luncheon
with our special guest The Honorable Bob Barr
The Future of the Second Amendment

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Down East Freedom Club Meeting
with our special guests -
Down East Freedom Club Meeting

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

Capital Quotes

People were offended. They would not have been offended if the press had not publicized a private e-mail. Yes, Larry did what he did, but we are focused on correcting the train wreck that the Democrats did to the economy, and they are trying to change the subject.
— House minority Leader Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, commenting to the Winston-Salem Journal on comments made in an e-mail to fellow House Republicans by Rep. Paul Brown, R-Forsyth, using the terms “fruitloops” and “queers” in reference to the gay-rights group Equality North Carolina presenting a leadership award to House Speaker Joe Hackney.

We’re all collectively in denial right now.
James Holshouser, former governor and longtime UNC system board member, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about the disparity between the desire of the various UNC system institutions to build new buildings as compared to the limited amount of funds available.

Certainly there is more stress in the industry.
Tony Plath, a finance professor at UNC Charlotte, as quoted by the Charlotte Observer, discussing a change in how state bank regulators calculate whether banks are in trouble. The state now uses the same definition as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after its previous, stricter standard set off “a firestorm of concern” when it showed that 40 of 86 state-chartered banks were in trouble. Using the FDIC’s approach, only 13 state banks are endangered. Plath notes while using the same standard as the FDIC allows for easier comparisons, the state’s old standard better described the challenges banks face.

Right now, manufacturing is doing the heavy lifting.
— N.C. State University economist Michael Walden, explaining to the Greensboro News & Record which sector of the state economy is currently performing the best.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood analyzes N.C.’s Senate and congressional races; the Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone discusses shifting political winds; N.C. sheriffs defend a proposal for access to a prescription drug database and JLF’s Daren Bakst responds; former federal agent Chris Swecker and Rep. Rick Glazier discuss the SBI crime lab audit; JLF’s Daren Bakst reacts to the court ruling on “life sentences” for inmates.

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: Poorer in North Carolina; Employment Security Commission overpays, then forgives repayments; Disability Rights says “No” to new Cherry Hospital; and Tar Heels score but lose public confidence. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former House Speaker Joe Mavretic; and Elaine Mejia, project director with the NC Budget & Tax Center.


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