Archive for North Carolina
It may seem a little premature to recount Pat McCrory’s top hits as governor, but the first month of his tenure has given us enough gems that it seems like a good idea to stop and take stock before the legislative session begins and the wonders of January start to fade with distance. So here’s a run down of what I believe to be the best quotes to come out of the McCrory administration so far. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
1. “The educated elite have taken over.”
“I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs.”
Tom Sullivan has already done a good job unpacking the beauty of this statement. For myself, I’m wondering who’s supposed to be in charge of education apart from “educational elites.” Educational mediocrities, maybe?
2. “I’m trying to make it.”
And yet it’s clear that McCrory doesn’t have a problem with elites in general. Read More→
Whenever NC Gov. Pat McCrory’s predecessor, Democrat Beverly Perdue put her foot in her mouth, Republicans were gleeful. Now that the shoe is in the other mouth, so to speak, they might advise the Republican governor to avoid conservative talk radio shows. On the Tuesday edition of former Reagan education secretary Bill Bennett’s radio show, McCrory opened his mouth and promptly inserted his wingtip.
RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he’s determined to get North Carolina’s public university system to focus on teaching what’s useful in terms of getting a job and criticized an “educational elite” for offering courses in subjects such as gender studies that don’t lead students onto clear career paths…
“I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs,” McCrory said on Bennett’s program.
“I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job,” McCrory told Bennett. “Right now, I’m looking for engineers. I’m looking for technicians. I’m looking for mechanics.” McCrory himself was a political science and education major, while Bennett holds a Ph.D. in philosophy.
Well, Raleigh’s already getting cranked up for the great GOP-ageddon. But as we we move into a legislative session that’s likely to strip Asheville of its water system, “reform” our tax system so that the poor pay more and the rich pay less, and start a debate over whether we should simply starve our public school system out of existence or just go ahead and privatize it as fast as possible, I think it might be edifying to reflect on all the ways things actually were not so great while the Democrats controlled Raleigh.
Don’t get me wrong: I mean today’s Democrats. I’m not faulting the NCDP for a forced sterilization program that started in the ’30’s. Or for the violent repression of Black Republicans and their white allies back in the 19th century. You may as well blame Susan Fisher for the acts of secession. Parties change over time: coalitions shift, members die off, new members arrive with different ideals and goals. But there are instances where today’s generation of Democratic legislators—and the ones who lost their seats two years ago—need to be held to account for all the skill they showed over the past few decades in thwarting progress when they held the house, or the senate, or the governor’s mansion, or all three.
So I decided to compile this list of the top five reasons that I won’t miss the late, lamented Democratic majorities in the North Carolina General Assembly.
1. The glacial pace of change.
Let’s start with the Racial Justice Act, passed in 2010 (and then essentially repealed by the GOP last year). Read More→
Really. Just one. This one:
What’s this about? Details after the jump. Read More→
Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, a man walking out of the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show shot himself in the hand as he was loading his .45-caliber semi-automatic firearm, Indiana State Police said in a statement.
UPDATE: Oh yeah, NSFW.
From North Carolina’s The Answer to Annexation is Confiscation Department.
The Independent Weekly of Raleigh asks whether the bill being drafted by NC state Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, to strip Asheville of its $170 million water system might have statewide implications.
Several towns in North Carolina, including Butner, have passed resolutions opposing the legislation because it “sets a dangerous precedent that will have a chilling effect on any local government investing in infrastructure.”
“It is pretty clear state government has that power,” says Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton. “They have the ultimate say over what we do. This is obviously highly concerning.”
At press time Tuesday night, the town was considering a resolution opposing the bill.
For his part, McGrady says his confiscation bill cosponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, has “no statewide implications,” but that “somebody could decide it’s what they want anywhere.” The Independent replies, “That sounds like a statewide implication to us.”
The Independent Weekly quotes somebody named Barry Waters as a source on this story. Anybody know the guy?
Read more here.
(Cross-posted from BlueNC.)
A dozen North Carolina cities and towns within the last few weeks have passed, considered or scheduled votes to approve the nonpartisan NC League of Municipalities resolution against “forced taking” of municipal infrastructure by the state.
The resolutions are in response to a N.C. House bill proposed by Rep Tim Moffitt (R, Buncombe) forcing a state takeover of the Asheville water system, transferring it to a regional water authority created and ultimately controlled by the legislature. Asheville passed its resolution December 11, after 86 percent of voters rejected the takeover in a November referendum. An online petition opposing the move has collected 1,500 signatures in under a week. All other communities listed but Concord are a fraction of Asheville’s size. You wonder why they feel vulnerable? The NC League of Municipalities resolution states, in part,
… forced taking of any local government infrastructure because such taking sets a dangerous precedent that will have a chilling effect on any local government investing in needed infrastructure in the future, thereby endangering business opportunities and economic stability in the State and resulting in job losses for our citizens here and across the State.
Hendersonville’s city council postponed its resolution vote on January 3 after Rep. Chuck McGrady (R, Henderson, author of the “takings” bill) warned that a passing resolution would “not be helpful for Hendersonville.”
Not all cities post the results of their votes, but here are the links to cities that have or will consider opposing the “forced taking” legislation.
UPDATE: ISSUE TABLED JAN 10
UPDATE: PASSED JAN 3
UPDATE: PASSED JAN 7
PASSED JAN 7
PASSED JAN 8
UPDATE: PASSED JAN 8
PASSED THIS WEEK
UPDATE: PASSED JAN 11
Scheduled JAN 15
saveourwaterwnc.com Monday hit the airwaves with a radio ad attacking the “cattle barons” behind the threatened city water system merger as Pat McCrory made his first visit to Asheville as governor. Signatures to an online petition condemning the water system seizure accelerated in number, approaching a thousand Monday night.
The AC-T reports on the McCrory visit: McCrory discusses water merger
The new governor promised to act as facilitator in the water merger dispute:
McCrory said he has not made up his mind about what should happen with the water system, though he said, “We’ve got to develop a long-term fix, and it can’t be just the state involved in discussion or your local leadership.”
McCrory neither explained who else he believes deserves a place at the table nor what water system problem needs fixing.
In other McCrory news, he made an announcement:
Because Friday night’s not too bad for fighting, either.
NC Legislators & Governor: We Oppose the Forced Taking of Municipal Water Systems!
By Kathie Kline (Contact)
To be delivered to: The North Carolina State House, The North Carolina State Senate, and Governor Beverly Perdue
2) I am opposed to any mandated takeover as it sets a bad precedent for the future of all cities owning and operating municipal assets and undermines the confidence of municipalities to move forward to invest in their systems.
3) I am opposed to any mandated takeover as it calls into question the authority of state legislatures to arbitrarily transfer assets from one local government entity to another.
North Carolina’s General Assembly is about to take the unprecedented step of seizing a municipal-run water system from a City, which in this case has owned & operated it for over 100 years. Members of the NCGA have signaled their intention to introduce legislation in early 2013 that would force the City of Asheville to turn over not only its water distribution system, but control of its pristine 20,000 acre watershed, to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County (MSD). Indications are that the City of Asheville will likely receive no compensation for the taking of these assets.
You may have heard Councilman Bothwell’s pronouncement on New Years’ Day, but in case you didn’t:
City officials will consider whether a ban on firearms on city property could bar gun shows like one planned at the WNC Agricultural Center this weekend.
Councilman Cecil Bothwell made the call Tuesday for enforcement of the gun ordinance in the wake a shooting that killed 26 people at a Connecticut school.
Asheville for years has had an ordinance prohibiting the possession of firearms on city-owned property, while gun shows have regularly been held at the city-owned Agricultural Center on Airport Road and U.S. Cellular Center downtown.
“I don’t understand why that law is not being enforced,” Bothwell said.
This conversation comes just after the city government announced that we’ll be installing a metal detector and other security protocols at Asheville City Hall, a decision that was made in advance of the Sandy Hook Massacre but which is indicative of a shift to defend innocent people from the growing specter of gun violence. The ordinance that restricts guns on city property can be read here. It seems very clear.
More information is held within NCGS 14-409.40 (Thanks to Matt Mittan for locating this):
§ 14?409.40. Statewide uniformity of local regulation.