Carolina Journal Weekly Report

August 10, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of August 10, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Lumberton officials are using an unprecedented taxation defense in an Internet sweepstakes lawsuit before the state Supreme Court that features constitutional separation of powers issues and arcane legal protections dating from the Great Depression, reports Carolina Journal.

Joined by the powerful North Carolina League of Municipalities, the city is advancing the novel legal argument that the judiciary has no constitutional authority to review legislative branch decisions setting rates for business privilege taxes.

Attorneys for the plaintiff Internet café businesses say if the Supreme Court upholds the Court of Appeals ruling in the case, it will swing open the doors of municipal mischief by creating an unchecked legal framework for state and local governments to abuse their taxing authority.

Government would be granted “unfettered, unreviewable power to tax anybody and anything within its municipal reach,” said Richard Gottlieb, an attorney with the Winston-Salem law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend, which is defending the businesses against 2010-11 tax increases ranging from 6,000 to 11,000 percent.

“No court has ever said that it didn’t have the power” to decide constitutional cases involving the state’s just and equitable tax clause, Gottlieb said.

News Features

CJ: ‘Taxmageddon’ will cost N.C. taxpayers billions
RALEIGH — North Carolina taxpayers could be out almost $9 billion if the Bush-era tax rates and a patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax aren’t extended, a report by the Tax Foundation says.

CJ: UNC campus diversity offices experience few hits from recession
RALEIGH — Recent years have seen some tough times for employees and students in the University of North Carolina system, with a number of layoffs, repeated tuition hikes, and few raises. But one group of employees has weathered the storm rather well: campus diversity administrators.

CJ: Wilmington ballpark bond In November lineup
WILMINGTON — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to place a $37 million bond referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. If voters approve the bonds and all goes as planned, a Class A Atlanta Braves affiliate could begin playing in a 5,500-seat riverfront stadium by 2014.

N.C. businesses sweat looming defense cuts
FAYETTEVILLE — In battle, the U.S. military is a mighty force, strong and confident. In matters of money, though, it has turned skittish, delaying or canceling contracts for research, products and services it isn’t sure it will be able to afford after Jan. 2.

Wall Street divided over fate of Duke CEO Rogers
RALEIGH — A month after Duke Energy’s abrupt ouster of CEO Bill Johnson, Wall Street remains divided over how much of a threat the controversy poses to the Charlotte-based power company and longtime CEO Jim Rogers.

Upcoming Events

Monday, August 13, 2012 at 12:00pm Noon
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest John Samples
Shaftesbury Meeting: Will Citizens United Survive?

Monday, September 17, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
A Living History Event
with our special guests Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Jefferson and Adams: A Debate on the Future of the United States of America

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
A Pre-Election Panel Discussion
with our special guests Byron York, Brad Crone, Marc Rotterman, and John Hood
What to Expect in the 2012 Election

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

Capital Quotes

The voters of North Carolina deserve better.
— Libertarian gubernatorial nominee Barbara Howe, commenting to the Associated Press on being excluded from this year’s gubernatorial debates.

For-profit institutions wouldn’t flourish if there weren’t people who wanted the services.
— Sen. Richard Burr, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, describing the benefits of for-profit colleges.

You wonder how those athletes wound up in that course, what they were doing when they got there, what purpose that particular course was serving in their own academic schedules.
Jay Smith, a UNC-Chapel Hill history professor, talking to WRAL-TV about independent study classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

I hope that we can put the darn things on eBay.
— Cary Councilman Don Frantz, commenting to the Raleigh News & Observer on his city’s decision to get ride of its red-light cameras.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Jon Sanders offers examples of crony capitalism in North Carolina; Auditor Beth Wood details for legislators her office’s conflict with ALE leaders over use of state-owned vehicles; entrepreneurs respond to President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment; Bryan Riley of the Heritage Foundation discusses the poor free trade record of North Carolina’s congressional delegation; and JLF’s Fergus Hodgson talks about the $2.6 billion the state owes the feds for unemployment benefits.

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: Graduation rate at modern day high; Mental Health Reform 2.0; sequestration could cost 12,000 jobs in NC; and gun wars raging. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former Attorney General and Secretary of State Rufus Edminsten; and former legislator Gene Arnold.


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