Why I like Grier . . . and why he's the ideal challenger to Liddy Dole

UPDATE: Please read this post by PhoenixDem too.

Brandon Friedman delivered today's response to The Decider's weekly radio address. Friedman is a former infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the address, Friedman urges President Bush and Senate Republicans to vote with the Democratic majority to responsibly redeploy our troops from Iraq. Especially in light of the fact that the war has kept us from devoting resources needed to fight terrorists and the escalation of the Iraq war is failing, Friedman called on Republicans in Congress and those in their party running for President to support changing the mission in Iraq.

You can read his remarks here. But more important, this guy could have said the exact same things as Mr. Friedman, with equal conviction and impact.

Make no mistake. The future of our Republic will be on the line in 2008. Unless the Democrats can get a bigger majority in the US Senate, it really doesn't matter what else happens. Sure, a Democratic president would be a huge relief, but an obstructionist Republican minority in the Senate would keep too many of Bush's disastrous policies in place.

The 2008 election will be another referendum on the Iraq war and on the Bushbots who have perpetuated that disaster. The election will determine the course of action required to bolster our security and restore our reputation in the world. Liddy Dole will be a giant obstacle to that kind of progress, and someone needs to take her out.

That someone should be Grier Martin.

Tick, tick, tick

In an op-ed column in the N&O today, Ellis Hankins, who leads the North Carolina League of Municipalities, takes on the Sprawl Lobby and the Realtor Ticks with a clear and convincing argument.

RALEIGH - Don't underestimate the influence of the Realtors in the legislative debate about transfer taxes. They gave $600,000 to lawmakers last year. They've targeted advertising in home districts of legislators. "It's scaring the heck out of a lot of them," said state Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird. "The reality is the Realtors scuttled the [budget] agreement," said Rep. Paul Luebke.

The Realtors are doing all of this to keep North Carolinians from having the right to vote on a local transfer tax that has been used in some counties to lower or hold down property taxes and improve infrastructure.

Charles Taylor Holds NC-11 Republicans Hostage

No matter your feelings about Heath Shuler (Mixed Bag D - NC), no one misses The Lump. Disgraced former Congressman Charles Taylor ran the dirtiest campaign in memory, throwing nearly $4 million at those amateur television spots and mailers in an effort to make people forget just how much they loathed him. Almost $3 million of that came out of Taylor's own deep pockets, and Charles Taylor does not like spending his own money.

In this post-election year, using every other off-year as a basis, we can safely assume that Taylor is busy raising money to pay himself back for all those rubles he spent. Meanwhile, a squadron of Republican candidates wait in the wings, knowing that every day Charles Taylor doesn't withdraw his name from the race is a day lost.

North Carolina: State of Secrecy

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In Virginia, the US Navy, the Governor and the Senators put all their cards on the table about possible sites for Outlying Landing Fields. In North Carolina, we know sites are still being considered, but the Governor and our two do-nothing senators decide it's better if We the People don't know what they're planning.

The legislative Black Caucus finds itself on the defensive because of possible conflicts of interest in how scholarships are awarded. The leadership goes into hunker-down mode, fully expecting the crisis of confidence to blow over.

A Republican representative in the NC House RESIGNED this week, while leaders refuse to explain why to We the People. They are claiming this is a "personnel" issue. Sorry, but that dog don't hunt. This is not a "personnel" issue. This is a public servant behaving like a pervert in a public office. An elected representative was forced to resign by the leaders in his party - and they don't explain why.

DOUBLE UPDATE: Give me a break

DOUBLE UPDATE (Robert P. jumping in):
Another cowardly reporter dodges the story because they "haven't gotten the story from someone involved". Reporters weren't so cautious, here, or here, or here, or here.

UPDATE: Two more bits of new on this sad saga.

First off, I just learned that the media may be suppressing another rampant rumor involving none other than Hairdresser Joe Boylan. Apparently Joe's been on the giving end of some uninvited groping of at least one female colleague in the House. And apparently everybody besides We the People knows about this, but the hush is on, courtesy of the mainstream political reporters.

Second, Representatives Almond and Boylan may have something else in common. Both came to town to replace moderate Republicans who could work across the aisle, and both were at odds with Richard Morgan. (Boylan challenged and defeated Morgan.) Which means they came to work with the blessings of Art Pope.

To my knowledge.

................................

The State Capitol is all a-twitter about Representative David Almond (R) resigning from the House, a story which Greg Flynn was on top of early, following a blog post by Mark Binker. In the wake of the news, emails have been flying all around Raleigh from reliable sources that Almond's transgression involved exposing himself to a female staff member. I personally have received that news from several sources, and Greg reported it in the comments on his original post.

So why is it that the News and Observer, which has certainly gotten the same emails, is tip-toeing around the issue like some big game of "I've got a secret." From where I sit, it's just more political butt-covering, no pun intended, designed to give cover to the NC GOP.

Here's to Speaker Joe Hackney

It ain't over till it's over, but at last one organization is ready to heap praise on Joe Hackney for his masterful leadership in Raleigh this summer. According to the Dome, the National Conference of State Legislatures will honor Joe with their top prize this year.

"Joe Hackney is simply one of the finest men I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. He earned this award because of his integrity, humility and eminent fairness to all," said Steve Lakis, president of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and a member of the award selection committee.

Well said. Congratulations, Joe.


UPDATE: A Night on the Town with Sicko - Chapel Hill Edition

Hi all, two updates.
1. We have already had about 60 people RSVP for the event!!!

2. To clear up a misunderstanding, we are not funded by a powerful right-wing think tank, so the pizza will NOT be on the house : (
Perhaps when BlueNC starts generating Daily Kos-like advertising revenue we will be able to host events like this. In the meantime....

Greetings Health Care Fans!
Consider this your formal invitation to join Health Care for All North Carolina, the Orange County Democratic Party, and the John Edwards One Corps for A Night on the Town with Sicko.

What: Dinner and a Show
Where: The Varsity Theater in beautiful downtown Chapel Hill, NC followed by an informal gathering at Pepper's Pizza just a few doors down (it's all about the walkability).
When: Sunday, July 15th, starting at 4:20pm
RSVP: Email me so we can have a head count for DINNER.

The event will start with Rep. Verla Insko giving a brief introduction to the state of health care legislation in the state of North Carolina. Mental Health Parity, High Risk Pool, Health Care for All, and more.

Following the movie, at 6:30pm, we'll meander down Franklin Street to Pepper's Pizza for some great food and atmosphere and to talk about THE NEXT STEP. It might be the end of the event, but it's just the beginning of the battle.

50 State Blog Network Roundup

This week's Roundup was compiled by EricV at PrairieStateBlue. Permission is granted to cross-post at your blog.

50-State Blog Network Weekly Roundup: 07/07/07 - 07/13/07
Happy Friday the 13th! Looks like it wasn't a lucky one for ethically challenged Republicans. Between the prostitution scandals and the increasingly obvious failure of the Iraq war to accomplish anything Republicans are being hit hard across the states. Remember that all politics is local and support your local state blogs!

Welcome Deborah Webb!

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The Center for Integrating Research and Action at UNC Chapel Hill is sponsoring a conference this weekend on the challenge of making local food available all across our state. Deborah Webb, executive director of the Community Farm Alliance (CFA) based in Frankfort, Kentucky, is keynoting the conference, and she's agreed to join us this morning for a live-blogging session.

A lawyer by training, Deborah has worked with the Kentucky CFA since 1986. In 2000, CFA was instrumental in fashioning legislation to allocated $1.7 billion in tobacco settlement funds for the purpose of transitioning Kentucky’s tobacco dependent communities.

Deborah has a tight schedule today, but I'm expecting her to be on starting at 9 am for about an hour.

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