Onslow County Politics: Joe McLaughlin Killed My Buzz

This is cross-posted from Bloviations.

Earlier this week (I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday morning) I was bicycling to work and had this flitting thought:

I haven’t heard the names “Joe McLaughlin” or “Delma Collins” in a while. Isn’t that nice?"

And it was, it was very nice…But it wasn’t to last very long.

On Wednesday morning, my co-worker laid a clipping from the day’s Jacksonville Daily News. It was a paid advertisement, sponsored by Joe McLaughlin, which detailed a small slice of funding from the Economic Stimulus Package recently passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama.

And it looked exactly like this:

JM Ad from JDNews 25 Feb 09

It says:

Did you know?

Under the new stimulus package recently signed into law the,



For an additional amount for “Grants and Administration”,

$50,000,000 OF YOUR MONEY!

to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects

and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector

threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during

the current economic downturn: Provided, That 40 percent of such

funds shall be distributed to State arts agencies and regional arts

organizations in a manner similar to the agency’s current practice

and 60 percent of such funds shall be for competitively selected

arts projects and activities according to sections 2 and 5(c) of

the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965

(20 U.S.C. 951, 954(c)): Provided further, That matching requirements

under section 5(e) of such Act shall be waived.

"Ultimately, this is your money, and you deserve to know where it’s going and how it’s spent.” – President Barack Obama – Radio Address, Feb 14th, 2009

The advertisement takes text directly from H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and quotes President Obama.

McLaughlin placed similar advertisements in Friday and Saturday editions as well. His targets were AMTRAK and volcano monitoring funding within ARRA.

I understand McLaughlin’s choice of targets. Arts, science and AMTRAK have long been targets of the Republicans. They seem to feel that any government spending related to the three (as well as public/mass/alternative transportation, alternative energy, climate change, and more) is waste. It’s obviously a wrong-headed and misguided point of view, but it’s something I’ve accepted from right wing Republicans.

What has plagued me for the last few days is McLaughlin’s motives. Why is he paying for these advertisements? Just to educate Jacksonvillians? What’s his angle?

Could he be gearing up for a Jacksonville City Council battle this year? Onslow County Commissions (a post he held before resigned to spend his time campaigning for Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr’s seat, a campaign at which he ultimately failed) aren’t due for a contest for four years. A run to get into the NC General Assembly? But against who? Would he challenge George Cleveland, Robert Grady or Harry Brown in primaries or Russell Tucker in a 2010 General Election? Is he ramping to challenge Mr. Jones, Jr. in 2010? Can he possibly believe he’d have a chance against Jones, Jr. after the primary? Or is he planning another primary challenge against a different opponent in 2010? Perhaps McLaughlin has senatorial aspirations.

I’m keeping my eyes and ears open. Joe McLaughlin is bad for Jacksonville, bad for Onslow County and bad for North Carolina. His  political career has ended and it needs to stay that way.


More money than sense?

Some people turn into parodies of themselves over time, others outgrow their bloviating ways. Looks like Joe took a wrong turn.


James, thanks for the comment.


What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?

I had the same reaction James did

the guy has more money than sense.

That is truly a hateful ad. He must be one of those who is hoping President Obama fails.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.