Carolina Journal Weekly Report

January 04, 2013

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of January 04, 2013 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — The director of state facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled said his department will continue to offer annual voter registration and voting assistance for patients and residents. He also said that while efforts are made to notify patients’ guardians about voting activities, a patient’s right to vote takes priority over any objections from guardians, reports Carolina Journal.

J. Luckey Welsh, director of the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities at the Department of Health and Human Services, told Carolina Journal there are about 3,000 people residing in the state facilities. Voting records obtained by CJ showed only 73 individuals from six facilities cast votes that were accepted for the Nov. 6 election. Sixty-one of those voters were new registrants. “I think we allowed our citizens the right to vote. I am happy we allowed them to do it,” he replied.

The laws and rules governing voting by mentally challenged individuals remain murky, and it’s unclear whether state employees who assisted disabled patients and residents to cast ballots at early voting sites were complying with the law.

The registration drives were conducted for the Nov. 6 election even though federal law requires facilities to determine whether patients and residents want to register and want to vote at the time they’re admitted. The state stepped up its registration efforts this fall after a request to increase voter turnout at state-run facilities from Disability Rights North Carolina, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of the mentally and developmentally disabled.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services operates 14 residential facilities. Managed by the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities, the facilities serve alcohol and drug abuse patients, the developmentally disabled, and the mentally ill.

News Features

CJ: McCrory doesn’t rule out funding for Triangle rail
RALEIGH — Although he’s warned repeatedly that there is no new money in state government, Gov.-elect Pat McCrory said Thursday he could envision putting up a 25 percent state share of funding for a multibillion-dollar rail transit plan in the Triangle.

CJ: N.C. Democrats push gun control in wake of Newtown
RALEIGH — Three Democratic members of the North Carolina congressional delegation have joined President Obama in calling for more gun control as a means of preventing a mass shooting like the one Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

CJ: N.C. ranks 26th in High School grad rankings
RALEIGH — North Carolina’s graduation rate ranks about in the middle of the pack in relation to other states around the country. North Carolina is tied for 26th in what is called the cohort graduation rate. Educators and education policy analysts say that figure means more today than it has before.

CJ: GOP leaders may expand virtual charter schools
RALEIGH — Virtual charter schools and other distance-learning options would be unshackled from the legal-political bind in which they remain idled if Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Forest has his way.

NC high court decision on sweepstakes takes effect
RALEIGH — A darkened video sweepstakes parlor near the North Carolina State University campus told players Thursday much the same thing similar businesses in hundreds of storefronts statewide believe: They’ll be back. Law enforcement agencies on Thursday planned to start enforcing a state Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on video sweepstakes machines.

Upcoming Events

Monday, January 07, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest HansMarc Hurd
Afghanistan Update

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
JLF 23rd Anniversary Gala Event
with our special guest Stuart Varney
JLF 23rd Anniversary Event with Fox Business News Anchor Stuart Varney

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

Capital Quotes

The fact of the matter is our brand of incredible economic prosperity has been diminished a little bit here in North Carolina.
— Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking the state’s economy.

You certainly can be a partisan without registering as one.
Aaron King, a political science lecturer at UNC Wilmington, talking to the Wilmington Star-News about a key factor in the growth of unaffiliated voters.

Cuts have to come first.
— Rep. George Holdin, R-13th, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about his top priority.

Criminals see it as low risk, high gain.
Tammy Smith, the state’s first white collar crime resources prosecutor, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, talking about the appeal of white collar crime. North Carolina prosecutors pledge to more aggressively go after such criminal activity in the future.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal’s Rick Henderson profiles key Pat McCrory appointments; The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes discusses impact of the 2012 elections on federal and state politics; UNC Health Care’s William Roper refutes myths he says are embraced by both political parties; legislators debate funding for N.C. Pre-K; and the N.C. History Project’s Troy Kickler offers five things to know about the Federalist Papers.

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. This week’s show features an interview with Governor Pat McCrory, in which he shares his vision and dreams for North Carolina, with specific emphasis on economic development, education, health and human services and tax reform.


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