Richard Moore Campaigning for Governor: Calls for Increase in Minimum Wage

Democratic State Treasurer Richard Moore is beginning to signal that the unofficial race to replace Mike Easley is already started. The issue he is pushing right now is an increase in the minimum wage. From the Charlotte Observer:

At a luncheon packed with bankers and businesspeople, Moore said the minimum wage is worth less than in 1997, when adjusted for inflation, and said an increase would help more than 100,000 N.C. workers.

"North Carolinians who work hard and play by the rules should be able to make ends meet," Moore told the audience at an economic forum hosted by the N.C. Bankers Association and N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry.

A Dollar is a Start

State Treasurer (and likely gubernatorial candidate) Richard Moore is calling for a $1 increase in North Carolina's minimum wage. (A little quick math: $5.15 x 40hours = $206 a week; throw in a little vacation and that's $10,300 a year; does anyone really think that's enough to live on, much less raise a family on?)

Moore made the call at a meeting of the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, a pro-business lobbying group that styles itself the state chamber of commerce. What's the word for that: chutzpah? meshuggener? Or is Moore's read of the land that NC businesses are ready to support a modest minimum wage increase? Stay tuned...

Oh six

There's nothing like a trek through the Andes to get help you get your head on straight. That's where I've been over the past ten days. No internet. No phones. No news. No Bush. No lottery. No war. No North Carolina.

It was a blessed break from all of the things that have come to occupy my life and my mind 24/7 for the past few years.

Most of my Peruvian encounters involved people living on the edge . . . in conditions we'd all consider intolerable. Outdoor toilets, cooking with wood, eating guinea pigs that scurry around the kitchen. Moving rocks, digging holes, planting potatoes and corn. Herding llamas.

Study on Economic Impact of Hispanics in North Carolina

With all the huffing and puffing about the services that we need to pay for immigrants in North Carolina, which around here really means that there are too many "Mexicans", we should remember that Hispanic individuals greatly contribute to our economy. In fact, a recent UNC study pegs their impact at $9 billion and growing. From the Triangle Business Journal:

North Carolina's growing Hispanic population contributes more than $9 billion each year to the state's economy, a figure that could double by 2009 if current trends continue, according to results of a recent study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Finally Some Sensible Reporting on the Gas Tax

There has been a lot of excited talk about the horrible oppression of the 2.8 cent increase in the tax on each gallon of gasoline. The media has been reporting ad nauseum on the possibility of a special session that will address the increase. The increase was not brought about by any legislation but the fact that the tax is a percentage of gas prices. Since prices spiked in the last six months, the tax "increased". Finally, the N&O is asking the relevant question:

How bad is your gas pain?

Military Abandoning Bush

Does this mean that the troops hate freedom? From the Military Times:

Support for President Bush and for the war in Iraq has slipped significantly in the last year among members of the military’s professional core, according to the 2005 Military Times Poll.

Approval of the president’s Iraq policy fell 9 percentage points from 2004; a bare majority, 54 percent, now say they view his performance on Iraq as favorable. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60 percent, among active-duty readers
of the Military Times newspapers. Though support both for President Bush and for the war in Iraq remains significantly higher than in the public as a whole, the drop is likely to add further fuel to the heated debate over Iraq policy. In 2003 and 2004, supporters of the war in Iraq pointed to high approval ratings in the Military Times Poll as a signal that military members were behind President Bush’s the president’s policy.

NCACC putting NC at risk of late primary, lost federal funds

[Promoted to the front page; follow the link at the end to read the whole thing --Lance]

Is Catawba County Commissioner/NCACC Pres digging the state into a hole?
Is Ms. Kitty Barnes and the NCACC digging the state in a hole?

Catawba County Commissioner Chair Kitty Barnes, who is also President of the NCACC is trying to get permission for Catawba County to keep it's voting machines and also get the Public Confidence in Elections Act repealed or delayed.

If she succeeds, her efforts will cost the state up to $55 Million in federal funding, cause the primaries to be delayed, and cause the state to be in violation of the federal Help America Vote Act mandate.

Another Environmental Loss for North Carolina

From the Myrtle Beach Online:

Emissions tests of 1995-model and older vehicles ended Saturday, exempting some of Charlotte's likeliest polluters from the dragnet intended to catch them.
Annual emissions tests for those vehicles no longer will be required in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Cabarrus, Union and the five other N.C. counties where they've been the law since the early 1990s. More than 600,000 cars and trucks - one vehicle in four in those counties - will get a pollution pass.
Older vehicles are those most likely to flunk the tests, state records show.

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