Carolina Journal Weekly Report

December 07, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of December 07, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — Cecil Pearson’s daughter Darlene told him she voted for Barack Obama for president. President of what? Cecil says Darlene couldn’t tell you. Darlene, 40, is developmentally disabled and functions cognitively at about the level of a 7-year old. She lives in a group home with five other adult women in Roanoke Rapids.

“I was shocked when I learned she had voted,” Pearson told Carolina Journal. “She has never voted. My wife and I became her legal guardians in 1996 to prevent exploitation like this. We were not consulted. She is not capable of making an informed choice, and as her guardians we would not have approved it.”

Pearson said his daughter registered to vote at a Division of Motor Vehicles office in 1995 when staff at her group home took her to get a photo identification card. North Carolina Board of Elections records confirm that she registered in 1995, but the first vote she cast was Nov. 2 of this year. Cecil said he learned Darlene voted when he picked her up for a visit later the same day and she told him.

A series of CJ reports have unearthed organized efforts to register patients in state facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, and to assist them in voting. Advocates for the disabled contend these efforts are legal, but there appears to be some confusion involving state laws that govern voting rights. Cecil Pearson’s concerns reveal additional ambiguities in the legal boundaries between patients, guardians, and public officials regarding voting rights of the mentally and developmentally disabled in group homes and other private facilities.

News Features

CJ: Unemployment reforms would raise taxes, cut benefits
RALEIGH — Laid-off workers would see their benefits decreased and about 30 percent of the state’s businesses would see their unemployment insurance taxes increased under a proposal presented Wednesday to a legislative study panel.

CJ: Consultants can skew Medicaid spending
RALEIGH — There is a “dirty little secret” among consultants who assess health care spending. They can make cost savings for Medicaid programs such as North Carolina’s showcase Community Care of North Carolina a moving target to reach whatever conclusions the hiring agency wants, experts in the field say.

CJ: Court says citizens do not have right to carry concealed weapons
RALEIGH — Though the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of individual citizens to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, the N.C. Court of Appeals says this right does not cover concealed weapons. North Carolina is not the only state to reach this conclusion.

CJ: Immigration committee makes few recommendations
RALEIGH — A special legislative committee set up to look at the state’s role in immigration policy is telling the federal government to do its job, and not much more. The committee on Thursday adopted its official report to the 2013 General Assembly. No recommendations for state legislative actions were forthcoming.

CJ: Food trucks still not free of restaurant ties
RALEIGH — Five months after state lawmakers passed a law freeing food truck owners from a regulation that required them to rent space in a restaurant or commissary, no food truck operator has taken advantage of it.

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 10, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Dr. John Staddon
Facts and Faith: Is Science All There Is?

Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
A Lunchtime Discussion
with our special guest Eric Kniffin
Religious Liberty and ObamaCare

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

Capital Quotes

I’m not going to sacrifice my integrity for anyone or any party.... I didn’t come up here to be a puppet for anyone.
— Rep. Walter Jones, R-3rd, as quoted by the Wilmington Star-News, after being stripping of a seat on the House Financial Services Committee for reportedly repeatedly defying House Speaker John Boehner.

No one loves this bill.
— Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, on a bill that would reform the state’s unemployment insurance program, including repaying $2.4 billion the state owes the federal government.

We’re going to have to prioritize projects and build the ones that have the biggest bank for the buck.
David Hartgen, professor emeritus of transportation studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, describing to the Associated Press the realities the McCrory administration will face on transportation projects.

You can’t have special rules for special counties.
Chris McLaughlin, a lawyer and assistant professor specializing in local taxation at the UNC School of Government, explaining to the Charlotte Observer why a re-do of Mecklenburg County’s flawed 2011 property revaluation may not be possible.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s John Hood analyzes a motion filed by Democrats and their allies that seeks to have Justice Paul Newby recuse himself from redistricting; Vikram Rao of the N.C. Energy Consortium discusses his fracking research; NC State economist Mike Walden explains why North Carolina has been hit hard by the downturn; N.C. Railroad President Scott Saylor and legislators react to researcher Jim Horne’s comments about maximizing the asset; and Jeanette Doran of the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law updates the case of outlaw hot dog vendor Steve Pruner.

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: Duke Energy settlement; Perdue’s closing days; North Carolina’s unemployment insurance debt; and increasing college graduates. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; columnist Cash Michaels; and former legislator Gene Arnold.


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