Carolina Journal Weekly Report

February 04, 2011

Carolina Journal Weekly Report

For the week of February 04, 2011 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Legislators should provide real property-rights protections as they pursue a constitutional amendment targeting eminent domain abuse. The John Locke Foundation’s top legal expert offers that advice in a new Spotlight report.

“There will be only bite at the apple if an eminent domain amendment becomes law, and it will be very difficult to address abuse through an amendment again, at least for the foreseeable future,” said Daren Bakst, JLF Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies. “This means the legislature needs to get the amendment correct and not push an amendment simply to get something through and claim a hollow political victory.”

Recent efforts to strengthen North Carolinians’ protections against eminent domain abuse have died in the General Assembly. “Since 2006, the North Carolina House twice passed a constitutional amendment to address eminent domain abuse,” Bakst said. “Both times, those amendments failed to be considered in the Senate.”

With new leadership in both the House and Senate, “there is optimism that an eminent domain amendment will pass in this new legislative session,” Bakst added.

A House bill filed on the first day of the new legislative session matches the eminent domain legislation the House approved in 2010. “It’s good to see that the House is focusing attention again on eminent domain abuse,” Bakst said. “But this is precisely the type of weak amendment that should be avoided.”

News Features

CJ: Groups backing tax extensions dominated by Democratic donors
RALEIGH — Two high-profile public relations campaigns urging Gov. Bev Perdue to extend more than $1 billion in temporary taxes are dominated by Democratic Party donors, left-leaning advocacy groups, unions, government contractors, and nonprofits that receive taxpayer funding.

CJ: First full week of legislature underscores philosophical conflicts
RALEIGH — The change in North Carolina politics was on full display in the new General Assembly’s first full week of work. Republicans pushed a limited-government agenda against Democrats asserting the ability of state government to solve social and economic problems

CJ: Bill exempting North Carolinians from health insurance Mandate passes House
RALEIGH — One week after the 2011 General Assembly convened, the House passed a bill fully engaging North Carolina in the nationwide battle against the Obama administration’s health insurance mandate. House Bill 2, The Healthcare Freedom Protection Act, passed the House Feb. 2 and is on its way to the Senate.

CJ: N.C.’s technical high schools graduate, but do they educate?
BURLINGTON — North Carolina public school students attending career and technical high schools appear to be lagging in traditional areas of instruction such as math and science, although graduation rates for these specialized schools outpace their traditional counterparts.

CJ: Char-Meck Schools open their books to the web
CHARLOTTE — The state’s second largest school system has taken a step to open its books to the community. Where other Local Education Agencies and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction publish only the aggregated numbers, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has posted data on its website detailing per pupil expenditures at every school in the system.

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 07, 2011 at 12:00 PM
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Lynn Harsh
Freedom: From Mission to Main Street

Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 10:00am-4:00pm
A Citizens' Constitutional Workshop in La Grange, NC
with presenters Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions Can Teach Us Today

Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
21st Anniversary Dinner
with our special guest George Will

Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 11:00am- 4:30pm
A Citizens' Constitutional Workshop in Asheville, NC
with presenters Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
What the Founders and the State Ratification Conventions
Can Teach Us Today

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

Capital Quotes

They’re saying, ‘We’re going after your base.’
— Political scientist Mark Kelso, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on the Democratic Party’s decision to hold their national convention in Charlotte next year.

You spent us to death. Pay attention. This is what you should have done when you had a turn.
— Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on the Senate floor commenting about the state’s job creation efforts while under Democratic control. The Senate voted to take money from three economic development funds and use them to help close the state’s budget gap.

[Video gaming] is a scam on poor people and people who are bad at mathematics. It’s heartless.
— House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on the possibility that Gov. Bev Perdue will propose some form of legalized video poker as a means of closing the state’s budget deficit.

This great market that I keep hearing about is not that great.
— Economist Bob Gray, as quoted by the Fayetteville Observer, talking to Spring Lake officials about the impact of BRAC relocations on their community.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood on Gov. Perdue’s rejection of liquor in favor of video poker; JLF’s Terry Stoops reacts to comments by new Wake Schools Superintendent Tony Tata; Rep. Jim Crawford assesses the state budget picture; Fayetteville State’s Petur Jonsson discusses the role of virtue in economic choices; JLF’s Jon Ham on media coverage of the AZ shooting and the Tea Party.

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 shrinking budget deficit; Charlotte to host Democratic National Convention; repeal federal health care; and annexation changes considered. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Charlotte Observer associate editor Jack Betts; and former Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker.


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