Blacks and Women on NC Congressional Staffs: Racism and Sexism of Republicans

North Carolina and South Carolina Senators and Congressmen were asked by the Charlotte Observer about the demographic makeup of their staffs. The results were not so suprising. Women and minorities still lack positions within the staffs.
. However, there are some choice bits from North Carolina's Officeholders.

First, our representative Myrick had so few women and minorities that she chose not to report:

Rep. Sue Myrick and several other members of Congress from the Carolinas declined to tell a newspaper the number of women and minorities on their staffs, with Myrick saying such information is "not important."

"We don't judge people on color," Myrick, a Charlotte Republican, told The Charlotte Observer. "We judge them on - if someone is perfectly capable, that's what we've always done."

A Reminder of Who Gets Served By Democratic Administrations

The great paradox of North Carolina is that during the same that Republicans have been dominating elections for federal office, statewide offices have been controlled overwhelming by the Democrats. That is why in North Carolina we can do this:

Under Easley’s plan, teachers in North Carolina will continue to receive salary increases over the next few years, until their pay is at the national average by the 2008-09 fiscal year. Over each of the next three years, the governor and the legislature has committed a five-percent annual salary increase.

The comparison of the state plan to the No Child Left Behind Act shows the different philosophies of the parties in control. The Democrats do something to attract better teachers by paying them a reasonable salary. Better teachers directly benefit students in the classroom.

It's OK to be Rich, But Lose the Corruption

The Biography page on Robin Hayes's campaign site calles him a "business man." I guess that sounded better than "multi-millionaire." A letter to the editor in the Charlotte Observer (free registration required) has some frank words for Hayes regarding his sudden concern that he's making too much money:

U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, a Concord Republican, announced recently that he had proposed legislation to reduce the salaries of members of Congress by 5 percent, in response to the federal budget deficit and the spending demands created by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.Rep. Hayes, a hosiery mill president and member of a wealthy textile family, probably can afford to cut back a little. In a recent financial report, he listed assets of between $34 million and $88 million.

New Numbers Show NC Losing Insurance, Patience With Bush

A new survey shows that the burden of paying for healthcare in North Carolina increasingly falls on individuals, not employers. That means that a lot more North Carolinians go through their days just hoping that they and their families don't get sick.

The report, Prognosis Worsens for Workers' Health Care, published by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, found that the proportion of North Carolinians with job-based health insurance fell by 6.7 percent between 2000 and 2004.

About Lloyd Scher: He's No Bill James

A quick search for information about Lloyd Scher—who may run against ethically challenged Republican incumbent Robin Hayes in NC's 8th Congressional District in 2006—reveals that during his time on Mecklenburg County's Board of Commissioners, he often stood in opposition to the politics of Commissioner Bill James.

For instance, when James wanted to make sure that school counselors couldn't discuss sexuality with students unless the parents were notified, Scher was one of the commissioners who voted "no." When James floated a "proposal to eliminate county funding to any agency that provides information about homosexuality and other 'crimes of nature,'" Scher was one of the bare majority that defeated it, saying: "This isn't about homosexuality. The main purpose for this is to do a scoreboard . . . to determine who's really a Republican and who's not."

New Study Shows That Tolerance is a North Carolina Value

Would
you be surprised to learn that
North Carolinians
believe in fairness
and equality?

You
shouldn't be. A new study released today by the Common Sense Foundation
shows that

North Carolina

residents believe
that gay, lesbian, and transgender people deserve equal treatment under the
law. Click here
to download a pdf file of the report!

The Common Sense Foundation

"It's Happening Now"

Karen Kwiatkowski (a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force) says that American troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are changing the way we view those conflicts and the way we view the administration that sent them in the first place.

We still won’t see this level of honesty in all the major national papers, but we no longer have to rely solely on the independent or international news for the truth. Talk to the reservists and guardsmen and active soldiers and marines who have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan, on leave and between tours. Hear their words across your kitchen table and your local bar, listen to their pillow talk and their advice to their children, nieces and nephews.

Politics and Disaster Relief: North Carolina is Losing Out

There is a fascinating article in the Christian Science Montitor today. The article looks at research that examines the relationship between natural disasters over the last 45 years and federal relief of the disasters. One important finding of the article is that different states received different levels of aid. In particular North Carolina did a poor job in receiving aid.

When she looked beyond the trends in losses, "what struck me was how ineffective certain states have been in getting presidential disaster declarations" over the past 40 years. For example, she continues, North Carolina and South Carolina have seen significant losses, yet have garnered relatively few disaster declarations, while North Dakota also has endured similarly high losses and has been "very good" at getting the declarations.

The article goes on to note that one difference in the amount of aid has been whether a state is seen as crucial for reelection.

Taylor's Immigration Proposal Falls Flat

The Asheville Citizen-Times is kind enough to point out the difference between working on solutions to a problem and simply throwing money at it. Unsurprisingly, the 11th Congressional District's Charles Taylor is in the borrow-and-spend camp.

The best starting point toward a sane immigration policy is the bill introduced last spring by U.S. Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., an odd couple if there ever was one. The bill has something for everyone, ranging from a border study to more money for English language instruction.

FEMA "Glitches" May Leave Some in NC Homeless

Based on Raleigh's News & Observer's report, "glitch" is perhaps a word too mild:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --

Hundreds of Hurricane Katrina refugees face possible eviction because their federal relief checks haven't arrived - four weeks after the money was promised.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was to send checks of $2,358 to cover three months' housing. But evacuees said FEMA has mailed checks to former addresses in New Orleans or to the wrong address in Charlotte, which never reached their intended recipients.

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