scharrison's blog

Vacationing with ALEC: The NC GOP migrates South

In search of cookie-cutter legislation:

In my conversations with those who have attended ALEC events in the past, a lot of the focus has been on developing model legislation. This focus combined with corporate donors who pay for lawmaker scholarships (see below) lead many to question the probity, or at least the appearance of conflict, the event stirs. (NPR did a story this year changes to Arizona criminal/prison laws that apparently started at an ALEC conference, much to the benefit of a conference sponsor.

Again, hat-tip to Mark Binker for linking to this Pro-Publica tutorial on how to research ALEC. Check it out, and if you do dig up some useful info on NC legislation or legislators, (please) post it here for folks to check out:

Durham newspaper cuts newsroom staff

The Herald-Sun cuts deep, shifts work to Kentucky:

According to sources at The Herald-Sun, seven jobs in the company’s newsroom were cut July 28, leaving fewer than 20 people in the editorial department. The Herald-Sun managers told employees that production duties—page design and copy editing—will be shuffled to the staff of the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, also owned by The Herald-Sun’s parent company, Paxton Media Group.

I'm assuming this is bad. I don't know for sure, because their paywall has kept me from reading a lot of their stuff. I wonder if the two are related?

The truth about NC's business taxes

I'm sure this won't get much mileage, either:

North Carolina is a good place to do business – at least when it comes to taxes – according to a new study by the Council On State Taxation that puts the state in a three-way tie for the second lowest business tax burden in the country.

Business taxes made up 3.7 percent of the gross state product in North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware in 2010. The only state with a lower percentage was Connecticut, at 3.3 percent.

And for all the idiots who think Sarah Palin is the greatest thing since sliced bread, try this on for size:

Why we need to keep Brad Miller in Congress

Hat tip to Mark Binker:

“It’s hard to believe that just a decade ago Congress was debating what to do about the surplus. I opposed the irresponsible tax cuts of the last decade that created the deficit. Congress cut the taxes on the richest Americans by more than a third, and now working and middle-class families will suffer as a result.”

He's right, of course, but the truth doesn't get much mileage in today's political environment. Which is why I'm putting this on the front page, and why I'm going to be asking Progressives to put their money where their mouth is in the upcoming election. Brad has fought for us, and now it's our turn to fight for him.

Myers Park Pat may have Tea trouble

Dissent from the fringe:

Pat adheres to a carefully crafted message combined with his talent to adlib. He comes off as very personable and proclaims to have all the values conservatives want in a candidate. My concern is that Pat McCrory’s record as mayor of Charlotte is far from conservative.

I don't usually rely on hard right sites as grist for my mill. But considering that Myers Park Pat has already brought in a cool million before even announcing, this may be a good time to start:

Taliban Stam exposed in WS Journal

Chris Fitzsimon shines a light on the dark side of Republican leadership:

House Minority Leader Joe Hackney told the House not to allow Stam to keep the veto override alive forever, saying that the voter-ID issue had been decided. Stam responded that "it's not settled until it's settled right."

What Stam meant, of course, is that it is not settled until he wins, until Republicans get their way, until they cram their radical agenda through the General Assembly whether the rules allow it or not.

That's what happens when a shallow politician becomes drunk with power:: They forget all the self-righteous complaints they made in the past and allow hubris to guide them in the present. Spin the clock back five years:

What comes first, American chickens or Ukranian eggs?

Mocksville suffers huge job losses:

The 476 employees of Omtron USA's chicken-processing plant in Mocksville were bracing for bad news when they went to work Friday. What employees were handed was a sheet of paper representing the worst-case scenario: The plant at 251 Eaton Road — part of Townsends' Crestwood Farms division — is closing and all jobs are being eliminated by Oct. 4.

Another story of hopes raised only to be dashed. But not everybody is surprised by this development.

NC GOP abandons rural unemployed

We'll start this one out with a Tweet:

andrewbrock 12:48pm via Seesmic RT @NCDOA: STATE #SURPLUS SELLING HEAVY EQUIPMENT FORMERLY USED FOR STUDENT TRAINING AT WILSON COMMUNITY COLLEGE http://bit.ly/nBo8xV #ncgov #ncga,

Whether Senator Brock posted this as a form of bragging (we're taking care of business), or as a heads-up to friends to take advantage of the sale, it still indicates a total disdain for the plight of our rural families. Here's more from the sellers:

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