Lance's blog

North Carolina: Dead Last in Union Density

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says that North Carolina has the lowest union density of any state in the union. Expressed as the "percentage of each State’s nonagricultural wage and salary employees who are union members," NC sits at 3.7%. (source - PDF)

This is something that North Carolina conservatives are no doubt proud of: unions are bad for profits (nevermind that they're good for people). And I fully understand that some unions have done as much as Friends of Big Business to give unions a bad rep.

But it seems to me that even if you're skeptical about the value of unions, dead last is not where you want to be on the list. A union is often the only way for the interests of workers to find representation in business decisions. Also, big businesses lobby the hell out of Congress (after all, it's their Congress too, right?) in ways that Joe SixPack can't seriously compete with on his own. It was unions who ended child labor, invented the 40 hour work week and the weekend, and played an instrumental role in bringing about free universal public education.

Why The 11th District Needs Heath Shuler in Congress!

Now, Let's just see what our current administration could be up to! Just why do we need Heath in Washington for us? Lets explore the situation a little!

Whoops! In sworn testamony before the Senate Affairs Committie and everyone else New VA Secretary James Nicholson discussed the 2007 VA Budget,proposal that would give the department $80.6 billion, a 12.2 percent increase.

Remember last June? The Administration was faced with having to make up for a $1 billion shortfall in VA's budget! Note: According to the Congressional Record & other sources the admendment to prevent this from happinging again was voted down by Sens. Dole & Burr! Nicholson says he is confident of the budget this time though! Nicholson pointed out that the fiscal 2005 budget was based on 2002 data that did not reflect operations in Iraq, he said, whereas the 2007 budget is based on 2004 data that reflects the increased rate of veterans applying for benefits following combat service.

What are your Thoughts?

Cruzan faces contempt charge for violating court order
By Lynn Hotaling

A former Jackson County sheriff who is seeking to regain that post faces an April 10 hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Documents on file at the Jackson County Clerk of Court Office indicate that Jim Cruzan of Sylva, who was sheriff from 1994 until 2002 and is a current candidate for the Democratic nomination, has been accused of violating an October 2002 consent judgment. That document, a property settlement, requires him to pay $1,000 per month to his former spouse in addition to making mortgage payments.

Tell Congress to Stop White House Funding Cuts!

Congress Must Block White House From Cutting Military Health Care
Monday, March 20, 2006By Martin Frost,2933,188567,00.html

Gather around, boys and girls, I’m going to tell you a ghost story. This particular story is pretty scary but it still can have a happy ending. Hope springs eternal.Once upon a time, our government promised young men and women that they would have lifetime health care if they volunteered to serve as least 20 years on active duty in our nation’s armed services. Many young people patriotically accepted and performed long and honorable service to our country.But, after years of obtaining quality military health care, something happened.

Dunn Gone

The text of the press release follows:


Democratic congressional candidate Tim Dunn announced today that he was ending his bid to represent the 8th congressional district. Dunn said:

“I am withdrawing from this race because I am no longer in the position to meet my family financial obligations and continue with this campaign. The stakes are too high to not be able to devote every bit of my being into winning this race. But after being in this campaign for over six months, it is very apparent that I will hurt my family and also the ultimate goal of this campaign if I continue in this race. It has come down to a choice between my family obligations and the campaign for Congress and my family will always come first.”

"Bill Peaslee, the state GOP chief of staff, laughed at the letter."

Gosh, it's been nearly two weeks since my last post on GOP infighting. Go read the first segment from today's Under the Dome column in the N&O. A lawyer has warned the NCGOP that their scheme to unseat their own guys may be illegal under their own plan of organization.

The NCGOP response is not to defend their plan, but instead "Who's gonna stop us?" Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

November Madness?

Here's some light reading to send you off to bed. Someone has been fantasizing about how life might be if 08's big show were more like the NCAA tournament:

No election, not even for president,
drives people happily crazy. During March Madness, people argue
about rankings, slip away to study statistics and pick their
brackets, then duck work to spend hours watching the contests.

When was the last time thousands
eagerly viewed the Iowa caucuses, cheering wildly when 10 guys
gathered by a blackboard in Waterloo for John Edwards or John

SitNews - Column: What politics could learn from basketball By MARSHA MERCER. She's describing BlueNC, right?

A Question for Our Readers: Sunday Hunting

North Carolina is one of a few states that still limit or prohibit hunting on Sundays. The NRA's North Carolina lobbyist resigned on Valentine's Day because he didn't want to be a part of changing a law aimed at keeping the Lord's sabbath holy. (I have to wonder: has this guy never played golf on a Sunday?)

Anyway, here's the question: is there a good reason for a state (such as, say, North Carolina) to restrict hunting on Sunday that doesn't also apply to the other six days of the week?


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