Anti-Growth Candidate Running For Wake County Commission

WakePol describes Micheal Luther's first e-mail to kick off his campaign for Wake County Commissioner here:

This Luther only has three [theses]:

1. Stop busing. He opposes the school board's policy of shifting a small percentage of students in order to maintain economic diversity. "This busing has to stop......." he writes.

2. Stop the TTA. He believes the Triangle Transit Authority's $810 million commuter rail project should be ended. "The train commission needs to be shut down."

Pope Puppets for Higher Education

I've notices a bunch of coverage recently of the Pope Center for Higher Education. They've weighed in on the Larry Summers debacle at Harvard . . . naturally opining that the ham-handed president was run out of town on a rail unfairly.

And just what IS the Pope Center for Higher Education? Well, it's just another chorus of the illustrious Art Pope Puppet Brigade, focused on driving higher education into alignment with Art's twisted, little view of the world.

And just look at some of the board of directors!

Who's our most conservative House member?

Virginia 'Red' Foxx is more conservative than 91 percent of her House colleagues. Her wingnut fan club will probably consider this a badge of courage, even as her votes undercut their economic self interest and personal freedoms. Go figure. Patrtick McHenry is right behind her, doing almost equal damage to the common good and the rights of citizens.

Check out the whole story -- including insights into the records of Sorry Sue Myrick Wighead Dole -- in the Charlotte Observer here. You'll find a few surprises. And just to tantalize you, here are stats for some other noteworthy nutjobs:

The End of Medicaid is Just Beginning

When the Republican led Senate and House passed the Budget Reconciliation Act of 2005, they did so without the support of one Democrat, and with a number of Republican defections. Why? The reason is simple, the budget gives more tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy while at the same time seriously putting in peril the very lives of millions of Americans. The Budget Reconciliation Act should go down in history as the Republican End of Medicaid Act. Hopefully, this destruction of Medicaid will play a major role in the 06 elections, but I’m not sure it will. Once again, the Republicans have been crafty. They have changed the rules on Medicaid in a way that will do serious harm to disabled children, the blind, the elderly, and the less fortunate in our society – but they have done so in a way that will not hurt them until AFTER the midterm election.

To help clarify this situation and what will be happening down the road, we at BlueNC have asked State Rep. Verla Insko to provide us some facts on the new Medicaid cuts and regulations. Rep. Insko has just filed to run for her sixth term in the 56th NC House district, representing most of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and one Orange County Precinct. Rep. Insko is eminently qualified to answer questions on potential Medicaid cuts, as she Vice-Chairs the Appropriations Committee; Chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse; is a member of the Health, Environment and Natural Resources Committee; and, serves on the Joint Legislative Oversight Committees on Education and Health, where she Chairs the Access Subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Health Care.

Richard Burr's Rosy Specs See GOP Victories this Fall

The Charlotte Observer is running a piece this morning about the GOP Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner where Senator Richard Burr spoke about the GOP's chances in November. He doesn't think there's a chance for Democrats to take control of the House.

With most congressional districts favoring one party or the other, he said, only 32 House seats are actually competitive. Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats to take control.

"I find it hard to believe Democrats are going to take over the House," said Burr, of Winston-Salem.

Shuler Condems Taylor on Forest Land Sale

Note from Lance: This is the first mention of this story on BlueNC, so I thought I'd bump it to the front page. I also attached Shuler's press release (see below).

Summitted by Dan Siler,Veterans Advocate038
Proposed forest land sale
by From staff reports

Source:http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage
published February 25, 2006 6:00 am

Democrat Heath Shuler, who is running for a seat in the U.S. House, called for incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor to condemn President Bush’s proposal to sell 300,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land.

Under the president’s proposal some 6,615 acres in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in Western North Carolina could be sold to fund a program that distributes money to counties for rural schools.

Women take over?

It's been a grim morning's worth of news from around the state and around the world. A fine mess we've gotten ourselves into. And by "we" I mean specifically the male of our species. So would it be too much to ask for women to take over for awhile? They may not be any better at running things, but they sure as hell can't be worse.

Carolina News 14 has this report today.

Women are playing a more prominent role in state politics too. Thirty-nine members of North Carolina's 170-member General Assembly are women. Four out of the nine state council positions are held by women, including lieutenant governor.

Mitchell Wade Admits to Bribery

In his plea, defense contractor Mitchell Wade, admitted to paying his employees to make campaign contributions to two Republicans, though he says these two did not know the contributions were illegal. In the 2004 cycle Katherine Harris(R-Fla) received $32,000 from employees of MZM, Inc and Virgil Goode(R-Va) received $23,551. Goode also received $34,625 in the 2006 cycle. The above information is from Open Secrets.

According to Paul Kiel of TPM's Daily Muck:

After Wade made the campaign contributions, Wade asked that one of the Representatives and his staff request appropriations funding for an MZM facility. The Representative's staff later confirmed to Wade that an appropriations bill would include $9 million for the facility.

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