gregflynn's blog

Chicken nuggets and the downside of downsizing

The Pre-K lunch story from Hoke County has been super-sized into a life of its own, and the umbilical cord connecting it with reality has been severed. Far from being an example of big government intrusion, the incident is really an example of the unintended consequences of short sighted shrinking of government, and de-regulation.

The construction and operation of childcare facilities and K-12 schools bear a deceptive superficial similarity to each other but the statutes, rules and codes governing them are quite different. The differences have chafed public school systems with Pre-K programs to the extent that many of those rules have been relaxed over the years as they apply to such programs in public schools. For example Session Law 2009-123 provided that public school facilities could be used for three and four year old preschool students without modifications normally required for child care facilities.

Help NC vote with HAVA

North Carolina has $4,000,000 to help voters sitting unused and unavailable until the General Assembly appropriates $660,000 in matching funds.

The $4,000,000 in federal funds via the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002, is intended to help administer the 2012 elections with poll worker training, testing of voting equipment, and other technical support needs.

Take action to release the HAVA funds by contacting legislators, via NC Conservation Network:
Tell state legislators to release the HAVA funds.

Information on HAVA in North Carolina from Democracy NC HAVA Funds Memo

Commentary on HAVA by Action NC: What's in your wallet?


GOP consultant runs bogus news site

Wander onto the pages of and you could be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon a new independent source for political news in North Carolina. Indeed several people whose opinions I trust follow the site via Facebook and Twitter. The site itself, in its FAQ section posts this Q&A:

Q: Is NC Political Beat affiliated with a party?
A: No. NCPB is a non-partisan news source and is in no way affiliated with any party, electioneering organization, or non-profit.

Yet a scratch of the surface reveals that the website is registered to the Battleground Group, a GOP political consulting firm based in Florida which boasts of being at the center of the 2010 $1.2 million campaign by NC Republicans to retake the NC House. Money, and truth, were no obstacle.

Is anti-immigrant NCFIRE undocumented?

Attend any legislative meeting at the NC General Assembly related to immigration or documentation of identity and you’ll likely find James Johnson in the front row, shoulder to shoulder with Ron Woodard of NC LISTEN and/or William Gheen of ALIPAC. Johnson, an advocate of Arizona style immigration controls, is President/Founder of North Carolinians For Immigration Reform & Enforcement (NCFIRE). Described variously as a non-profit organization, accepting tax deductible donations, and specifically as a 501(c)3 organization*, NCFIRE is curiously MIA when it comes to documentation of its own identity.

Folwell's folly: A tale of two wives

When Republican Dale Folwell, Speaker Pro-Tem in a press conference on August 30th described the introduction of a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage he made a curious statement about the lineage of traditional marriage in North Carolina:

We all know about the time tested definition of marriage in North Carolina going back to 1655.

He was no doubt referring to the year that Nathaniel Batts, a fur trader and land speculator, became North Carolina’s first permanent European settler. Batts came from Virginia to establish residence in 1655 in a 20 foot square brick house with 2 rooms and a chimney on the Bertie peninsula between the Roanoke and Chowan rivers, noted in maps of the time as "Batts House".

Anti-gay offensive continues

Full video (27 minutes) via Barry Smith of M2M Politics of the press conference today at the NC General Assembly where Republican Representatives Dale Folwell, Speaker Pro-Tem, and a posse of religiots, continue the introduction of a state constitutional amendment to ban something that is already banned in North Carolina: gay marriage.

This press conference had many low points. Johnny Hunter's anatomy lesson with locks and keys begins at 05:20. The full text of Barry Smith's M2M Politics report is posted as: Black ministers back gay marriage ban

Folwell, Stam anti-gay offensive begins

Full video (31 minutes) of the press conference yesterday at the NC General Assembly where Republican Representatives Dale Folwell, Speaker Pro-Tem, and Paul "Skip" Stam, Majority Leader, announced the upcoming introduction of a state constitutional amendment to ban something that is already banned in North Carolina: gay marriage. Meanwhile President Barack Obama declared federal disasters in seven NC counties as Hurricane Irene destroyed more than 1,000 homes, decimated NC Highway 12 and croplands were flooded, with initial damage estimates of over $70 $190 $400 million. Glad to know they've got their priorities straight.


Facts contradict Americans for Prosperity claim

When Brave New Films released a recent video about the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), and the Wake County School Board there was an immediate and indignant response from Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity. One sentence did not ring true in the response:

Americans for Prosperity is a nonpartisan, issue-based policy organization and does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

AFP campaign finance reports submitted to the North Carolina State Board of Elections reveal that in 2010 AFP spent $189,894.00 on Electioneering Communications in support of 19 North Carolina candidates, comprised of 7 State Senate candidates and 12 State House candidates. A report compiled by the NC Free Enterprise Foundation from various sources puts the total spent by AFP in supporting the 19 candidates at $287,195.22. This is starkly in contrast with Woodhouse's assertion that "Americans for Prosperity ... does not support or oppose candidates for public office."

The little man in the Brooks Brothers' suit

If there was an award for petulance in the NC House there would be many contenders. The top place might likely be shared by Stephen LaRoque and Justin Burr, and not simply on account of their contempt for the trials of low-wealth citizens. LaRoque is on a crusade to redefine the NAACP as racist. Burr for example, has been contemptuous of the Racial Justice Act, and of opposition to various election law “reforms”. Burr reached a peak of pique when he ran roughshod over Verla Insko in a committee considering the abortion bill.

Burr’s juvenile physique has been tempered this session by the maintenance of a close haircut that is oddly suggestive of an outbreak of lice in the boys' dormitory. Burr grandiosely thinks he needs to educate Judge Howard Manning and Governor Bev Perdue on the need for low-income parents to pay 10% of that paltry income towards constitutionally required Pre-K education.

Giving Gerrymandering a bad name

Remarks I made at the NC Redistricting Public Hearing – East, at the New Hanover location at UNC Wilmington, 3:00pm – 5:00pm, July 18th, 2011

My name is Greg Flynn. I live in Raleigh, Wake County but I thought it appropriate to speak at a hearing in Wilmington because it appears there is no part of North Carolina, however remote, that can not be drawn into a Congressional District with Wake County.

Actually I am on vacation but am so disgusted by the State House and Senate redistricting plans released just last week that I took the time to drive here from Topsail to register my concerns. After my initial laughter at the absurdity of the boundary diagrams, that can charitably be described a resembling an explosion in a spaghetti factory, my concern grew on closer inspection of the delineation, if you can call it that, of the proposed districts. I couldn’t decide if the inspiration was mitochondria or Machiavelli, but the result is the same: Meandering and artificial division that obliterates all sense of civic geography and community place, and who might best represent it.


Subscribe to RSS - gregflynn's blog