Archive for Republicans
Gov. McCrory is giving his first State of the State address tonight at 7pm. This biennial event is a long standing NC tradition, and I’ll look forward to hearing his ideas for rejecting Medicaid, slashing unemployment benefits, weakening cities, and raising taxes on low and middle income North Carolinians and how they’re going to make our state stronger. I remain hopeful that Gov McCrory will provide a moderating effect on our Republican dominated General Assembly.
This is your thread for all things North Carolina.
My Valentine’s Day letter in the Asheville Citizen-Times never posted online. Here it is:
Regarding merging the city’s drinking water system with MSD, let the Legislative Research Commission’s solution in search of a problem be tested in a court of law. I will not stipulate to its findings.
Yet every election such politicians remind us of their business savvy. These savvy businessmen concluded that Asheville doesn’t own every last stick of pipe in its water system.
But they couldn’t figure out how to divide up water revenues and costs between the city and county. That was too hard.
Instead, they decreed that because the city doesn’t own 100 percent of the water system, it owns none of it – the ratepayers do. So the state may take it. The businessmen may take it.
And ratepayers? Where was the Commission’s concern for county ratepayers who its findings claim are part owners in $177 million dollars of water system property?
Reps. Moffitt and McGrady have those ratepayers applauding them for sticking it to the city, even though the two propose snatching the county’s share just as fast as the city’s. Gentlemen, well played. We’ve all been played.
A bill allowing charter school applicants to apply directly to the state passed its first hurdle in Nashville Tuesday, potentially setting up a way for the suburbs here to have charter schools outside the control of the Unified Shelby County School Board.
The bill would allow charter school operators in Shelby and Davidson counties freedom to apply to the state to approve their charter applications instead of the local school board.
Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Chattanooga, challenged White on why the law should apply only to Memphis and Nashville.
“That’s where the activity in charters is going on. We thought it best to start the discussion there,” White said.
Would that would be a discussion like the “negotiations” over Asheville’s water supply or over Charlotte’s airport?
I just spoke with a town clerk on the other end of the state. When I told her about the NC Senate and the House bills aimed at placing the Charlotte airport under state control, she gasped, “That’s just not right.”
An Apache friend related a story this week that he gave me permission to repeat here. That and recent experiences got me thinking about tribe and identity.
My friend met a young Apache guy who had done some prison time. The young man met others in prison from the Native American church. He’d been adopted, and from them he learned a lot about a heritage he never knew growing up. In prison, the older men had given him a medicine name, Dancing Bear. He asked my friend to translate it into Apache.
My friend asked, “What kind of bear? What kind of dance?”
UPDATE: Loretta Boniti of News14 is reporting via Twitter: “Dianna Lightfoot, DHHS appointee, has informed Sect. Wos she will NOT take this position.”
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos announced Tuesday that Dianna Lightfoot has been appointed the state’s new director of Child Development and Early Education.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education, or DCDEE, oversees the state’s child-care program as well as NC Pre-K, which was moved into Health and Human Services from the Department of Public Instruction last session.
The National Physicians Center for Family Resources, which Lightfoot founded in 2001, advocates against “institutional” preschool programs.
“In the case of early childhood education programs, available research suggests they may actually be inferior to early learning opportunities at home. In addition, it appears the demand for out of home childcare is not as prevalent as many advocates claim,” says an open letter signed by Lightfoot on the group’s website.
The letter also warns that “There is great potential for early learning institutions to foster more dependency on the government (i.e. taxpayer) and more of an entitlement mentality.”
Senate Republican leaders are moving quickly on a proposal to fire all current members of key oversight and advisory boards.
Introduced in Senate Rules Committee Tuesday morning, Senate Bill 10 would effectively fire all members of the Utilities Commission, Environmental Management Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Lottery Commission and Wildlife Resources Commission.
Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers would then be able to reappoint board members who agree with their philosophy, essentially clearing out Democrats and other dissenters whose terms haven’t yet expired.
After just 15 minutes of discussion, the bill passed easily along party lines.
After the meeting, Stein called the proposal a “power grab” that’s “breathtaking in its scope,” noting that many of the boards in the bill’s cross-hairs were created to protect consumers, injured workers and the environment.
“They’re going after everything so they can put their stamp on it,” Stein said. “Commissions are supposed to be independent; they’re not supposed to be ideological. And I fear they’re trying to politicize state government in a way that will hurt North Carolinians.”
Despite last-minute objections from Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican-led state Senate pushed through legislation Monday evening that will prevent nearly 650,000 residents from getting health insurance and block the state from establishing a health care exchange.
The GOP supermajority used the 31-17 vote to send a message to the federal government that it wants no part of the health care law signed by President Barack Obama, even as other states led by Republicans are accepting the money.
Medicaid currently covers only low-income women, disabled and elderly adults and children. But under the Affordable Care Act, the program would expand to cover anyone making 138 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.
The expansion would cover 648,000 uninsured residents, with at least 500,000 expected to enroll, the state estimates.
Senate Republicans called the money “a bait-and-switch” and the rising costs of Medicaid “a cancer” that eats the state budget.
Opponents of a state measure to take over the Asheville city water system and forcibly merge it with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County met in Durham Saturday with members of the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party. State, city, and county legislators from every corner of the state were among the hundreds of delegates at the meeting to elect new state party officers.
The merger bill cosponsored by Reps. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe) and Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) is expected to force a merger of the Asheville city water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County. It will be introduced within days and likely fast-tracked through the committee process. The House Standing Committee on Regulatory Reform, chaired by Moffitt, could review the bill.
Jake Quinn, a DNC member from Buncombe County, went to the microphone to address the assembly about the legislation.
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.