Damned Zombies

One of the right's favorite scary stories is the one about voter fraud. Sure, neither party needs to be reminded that every vote counts, or that important elections can be very, very close. But while the left and libertarians have been focused on the potential perils of black-box electronic voting, Republicans have kept up a steady drumbeat for state- or nation-wide voter ID cards. The basic idea is to create a small barrier to voting in exchange for the elimination of sneaky behavior at the ballot box—in North Carolina, our own Virginia Foxx (R-5) was trying to drum up support for a national voter ID card last year. But voting is a fundamental right, and every impediment to an individual's freedom to exercise their right to vote must come with a very good reason.

Nice Try, Fellas

Republicans in North Carolina have been having a rough fall—it turns out that ethical shortcomings and lying to constituents don't win you any popularity contests. Add that to the President's falling approval ratings and Democrats' recent fundraising successes and you've got a good reason for GOPers to stay in bed.

Desperate to turn the spotlight elsewhere, NC Republicans are attacking former Congressman Frank Ballance, who was indicted for diverting State funds to personal use (and pled guilty to a negotiated charge). At issue is money that Ballance raised for the NC Democratic Party, which the National Republican Congressional Committee likes to call "dirty" money. While they manage to mention the cash in the same paragraph as Ballance's trial, the GOP has done nothing that I know of to show that the funds Ballance donated were in any way related to the funds he misused.

Democratic Primary for Governor in 2008?

The N&O is reporting that State Treasurer Richard Moore is beginning to assemble a team to make a run for governor. It is also looking more and more like AG Roy Cooper will be running as well. I do not envision any other Democratic contenders except for possibly Lt. Governor Perdue, although it is three years away. I will be putting up bios of Cooper and Moore soon to start getting the early picking started.

Update: Perdue is apparently running. Thanks to James for noting that in the comments. I apologize for being so ignorant as to that fact. Looks like the field is already taking shape three years out.

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.

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