gregflynn's blog

Richard Moore $1 Million Out Of Pocket

Last week Richard Moore quietly closed out the campaign account for his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign. He had loaned the campaign $1,250,000 in personal funds of which $288,232 had been repaid. The final report to the State Board of Elections dated 4/7/09 listed $3,055 cash on hand before expenses and $961,768 in forgiven loans. Moore is often mentioned as a potential contender for Richard Burr's Senate seat but reportedly has no plans to run.

Stam's Transit Gambit

Yesterday in the House Finance Committee, Minority Leader Paul "Skip" Stam tried derailing the Transit Bill H148 by referring to sales tax as an inefficient tax. He claimed that sales tax was not deductible from Federal taxes, as property tax is, and that the effect was to send 15 cents of every dollar in sales tax to the Federal Government. He exchanged words with Rep Deborah Ross, a sponsor of the bill and did not offer an amendment in committee but promised to introduce one on the House floor when the bill is considered. Mr Stam should check with the IRS first.

I Do Some Work With BlueNC

How stupid does the automobile industry think we are? A disengenuous little post appeared here yesterday at BlueNC from "Auto Alliance" entitled "Keep Your Eyes On The Road" with a link to an industry video. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.

Auto Alliance is the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. They "embraced 40% higher federal fuel standards in the 2007 energy bill" because they were opposed to higher CAFE standards to push fuel efficiency above 35 mpg and, before 2020. They have also fought against carbon controls and are actively lobbying for a national emissions standard because they want to weaken more stringent state laws like California's.

I won't link to the post because I don't want to give it Google juice. It's not quite astroturf because they have identified themselves, albeit with limited disclosure. It does amount to spam because the same post has appeared on over 20 progressive blogs I have been able to verify:

SEANC Leaders Undermine Diversity, Schools

Last week the NAACP celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Saturday the NAACP of NC and partners led thousands in the 3rd annual “Historic Thousands on Jones Street”, the HKonJ rally in Raleigh to support a 14 point People’s Agenda for better schools and health care, equal justice, affordable housing, worker fairness, voting rights, environmental justice, and more. Point #1 advocates that “All Children Need High Quality, Well Funded, Diverse Schools”. Point #11 calls for “Collective Bargaining for Public Employees and Support Smithfield Workers Right to Unionize.”

The NAACP of NC and 12 local branches have signed on to support the NC Hope Coalition in calling for the repeal of the ban in GS 95-98 on collective bargaining by public employees. The Coalition has a core of 11 labor groups including the SEANC, SEIU and NCAE and was an important element of the HKonJ rally. Some marchers wore yellow gags with the words “Repeal 95-98”. Just Monday the NAACP again showed its support for NC unions by awarding Richard Burr, Howard Coble and Americans for Prosperity a “Hypocrisy Award” for the misleading "Defense of the American Worker" campaign which opposes the "card check" bill. Just yesterday the NAACP of NC again expressed support for the “Employee Free Choice Act” even as conservative patron Art Pope stood with Richard Burr to oppose it.

So it comes as some surprise that the Executive Director of SEANC, Dana Cope, and the Legislative Director of SEANC, Ardis Watkins, have together taken steps to undermine the school diversity policy in effect in Wake County and to give succor to opponents of public education and in some cases, collective bargaining.

Avery County Transfer Tax Succeeds - Not

It looks like the transfer tax referendum was approved in Avery County today.

According to the State Board of Elections, with 19 of 19 precincts reporting the votes were 1,434 for and 1,409 against (50.44% for and 49.56% against). A total of 2,843 votes were counted out of 2,845 cast. Turnout was 22.40% of 12,700 registered voters.

As the County Commissioners appear to have wanted this authority it is likely to be put into effect.

From the statutes authorizing the tax:

If the majority of those voting in a referendum held pursuant to this Article vote for the levy of the tax, the board of county commissioners may, by resolution and after 10 days' public notice, levy a local land transfer tax on instruments conveying interests in real property located in the county, up to a rate of four-tenths percent (0.4%), in increments of one-tenth percent (0.1%).

According to Go Blue Ridge proceeds of the 0.4% tax are intended for classroom renovations and most land transactions in the last two years were among non-resident buyers and sellers.

There were errors in election night precinct reporting. The official results show 1,414 for and 1,449 against, which is a margin of 35 to defeat the transfer tax. At 49.39% for 50.61% against the margin is still less than 1%.


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