Politics and Policy.  When do the two meet?  This week we’ve seen the Governor veto two bills; one on e-verify and farm worker regulations and one on drug testing for welfare recipients.  The majority of General Assembly members voted for these bills with the intention to offer some help for farmers who need seasonal workers and to provide accountability that  those on public assistance are in fact using that money for it’s intended purpose, not feeding a drug addition.  The governor  says the one bill undercuts North Carolina’s regulations on illegal immigrants and the other does not have mechanisms in place to fully and adequately finance and implement the drug testing.  Sounds like a difference in policy.  But will the override session on September 3 turn to political differences?

The Governor is hoping the General Assembly will sustain his veto; the House majority leader and Whip say they have the votes and the will to override. Speaker Tillis has been cautious in his response. Since both the bills originated in the House, consideration of an override starts in the House. The Senate seems ready to complete the override if that’s the decision from the House.

We’ve seen strains between the House, the Senate and the Governor through out the session. Will the override session be another exercise in all sides flexing their political muscle to show who’s in charge?  Will politics override good public policy?  Or do politics and policy work together resulting in the best outcome for North Carolina? We’ll be assessing and reporting on the prognosis of the override.  Stay tuned to Locker Room and Carolina Journal for the latest.

Now about the other two Ps…it’s Friday afternoon so let’s talk potatoes and pork chops.  Another great combination, working together for a great outcome.  Two of my favorites are potato salad and mustard grilled pork chops.  Try these and let me know what you think – part of our series on Recipes for a Friday afternoon.  I think you’ll find these particularly palatable, perfectly pleasing!


2 pounds potatoes (about 6 medium)

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

Wash potatoes. Heat 1 inch salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) to boiling. Add unpared potatoes. Cover tightly; heat to boiling and cook 30 to 35 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool and peel. Cut potatoes into cubes; combine in bowl with onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; mix with Italian salad dressing. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, add mayonnaise; toss until potatoes are well coated. Stir in celery and eggs.

Pork Chops in Mustard Marinade and grilled to perfection            

½ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

½ to 1 teaspoon ground cumin or coriander (optional)


Freshly ground black pepper

6 to 8 center-cut boneless pork chops (or any pork chop, if center-cut chops aren’t available)

Mix all ingredients for marinade in a large zip-lock bag.  Put pork chops in bag and coat them with the marinade. Put bag in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Grill or broil for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness of chops.