Carolina Journal Weekly Report

January 20, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of January 20, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Wake and Orange country officials haven't decided whether they’ll follow Durham’s lead and place a half-cent transportation tax before voters this fall. Durham passed new taxes last year. But concerns over the expense of fixed-rail transit and a lack of appetite for increasing taxes in a lethargic economy could influence that decision, reports Carolina Journal.

“I don’t think there is a move to make a commitment any time soon” by Wake County commissioners on placing the tax referendum on this November’s presidential election ballot, said County Manager David Cooke.

The tax would generate $56 million to $60 million annually to fund the $5.5 billion 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan sought by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization. “I’ve never had people come up to me and tell me they want more taxes,” Cooke said. That aversion might be heightened in a year when taxation levels and their impact on economic growth are a central focus of presidential year politics, he said.

Critics of the proposal also say that the system would generate only a small proportion of its funding through ridership, requiring continuing taxpayer support to keep the trains running. They also say that the Triangle’s residential and commercial activity is dispersed throughout the region, making the are not conducive to heavy ridership on a fixed-rail system.

News Features

CJ: Iredell County rejects Charlotte’s rail line
STATESVILLE — Iredell County Commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday not to help fund a $452 million rail line that was set to run from downtown Charlotte to just a mile over the Iredell County line.

CJ: Delayed elections could help vulnerable Dems
RALEIGH — If opponents of the Republican redistricting plan get their way, congressional candidates in North Carolina would have just over two months to campaign for the general election in 2012. That could help vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

CJ: N.C. Democrats grapple over who is more willing to raise taxes
RALEIGH — Mirroring a proposal she made in 2011, Gov. Bev Perdue said Tuesday afternoon that she would recommend restoring three-fourths of a 1-cent sales tax increase in her budget for the new fiscal year.

CJ: Lawsuit against Bertie County Commission could clarify Open Records Law
RALEIGH — A Superior Court judge could rule Monday on a lawsuit demanding the Bertie County Board of Commissioners release a tape recording of a closed session at which then county manager Zee Lamb was given a 42 percent pay hike.

Golden LEAF board member’s firm works on projects funded by board’s grants
WINSTON-SALEM — A firm owned by a member of the board that oversees the state’s Golden LEAF Foundation has received more than $129,000 so far for two projects funded largely by the foundation for work in Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, according to local and foundation records.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
22nd Anniversary Dinner
with our special guest Judge Andrew P. Napolitano — SOLD OUT!
JLF 22nd Anniversary Dinner with Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Monday, January 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Mark McNeilly
George Washington and Leadership: The Best-Known Founding Father Many Know Little About

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
A Lunchtime Discussion
with our special guest Professor John Baker
"Overcriminalization in Federal Law"

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

Capital Quotes

I would certainly be the underdog.
— Rep. Brad Miller, D-13th, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, describing his prospects if he runs against Rep. David Price, D-4th. Congressional redistricting effectively puts both sitting congressmen in the same district, the 4th, with the redrawn 13th being strongly Republican.

Nothing is ruled out.
— Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, talking to the Associated Press about his political future.

Things are likely to get worse before they get better.
— N.C. Central law professor Irving Joyner, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline’s fight against Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

Very little legislation is passed that is as emotionally charged as this, and we need to be careful.
— Rep. Danny McComas, R-New Hanover, as quoted by the Wilmington Star-News, talking about a proposed “gamefish” bill that would mandate the use of hook and line to fish for red drum, spotted sea trout and striped bass and prohibiting their sale in North Carolina.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood analyzes the legislature’s veto override of the NCAE teacher dues bill; John Stossel of Fox News discusses his transformation from leftist TV reporter to libertarian thinker; Sens. Thom Goolsby and Floyd McKissick debate the Racial Justice Act; Visiting Duke Assistant Professor Kyle Scott explains his view that a successful federal system requires a degree of humility; and JLF’s Terry Stoops lays out changes ahead for education this year.

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: Perdue wants tax increase; making do with less; health care system is unsustainable; and $50,000 per eugenics victim. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; political analyst Peg O’Connell; and columnists Rick Martinez.


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