Surprise, Surprise...Education Lottery Revenue Turns into Just Plain Revenue

(note: this is not an anti-lottery post; it is a civic lesson on state revenue. Bottom line: no state revenue is really slated for one purpose or another.)

Remember the line about the lottery revenue adding to the education budget and not merely replacing money already spent on education. Well it was not true when I lived in Florida (despite the fact that I got a full tuition "lottery" scholarship), and it is not true in North Carolina. From the Independent:

A five-year budget forecast prepared by the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management states that revenue from the "education" lottery will replace general fund money that is currently funding class-size reduction and More-at-Four, the state's pre-kindergarten education program for poor and at-risk 4-year-olds.

Judicial Race Loses a Challenger

Now that Easley has made Timmons-Goodson the first Black woman on the North Carolina Supreme Court, the challenge will be to keep her seat. She made a big step in that direction today as her top challenger dropped out since he did not want to be the one to knock the first Black woman off of the court. From the Winston-Salem Journal:

Reingold, Forsyth's chief District Court judge, had said in September that he would run for the seat held by Justice George L. Wainwright Jr., whom he expects to retire. But last week, he said that the field competing for Wainwright's seat had become crowded and that he would instead challenge Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

Bush's Snow Job vs. Clinton's..., Well, You Know

We've got an uphill battle on our hands here, folks. Public Policy Polling came out with the results of a poll conducted Tuesday about Bush's wiretap program. By a significant margin, North Carolinians feel that Clinton's offense—lying under oath about fun with Monica—was more impeachable than circumventing FISA to wiretap Americans. (50% felt this way; 33% said the wiretapping was worse; 17% wasn't sure.)

So yeah, that's upsetting. Jimmy Carter, who signed FISA into law, says Bush's actions are illegal. Shoot, checking government's search and siezure power made the first Congress's top-ten list of things to add to the Constitution. I imagine that most readers of this blog agree with me that Bush is so in flagrante delicto that a zombie Johnny Cochran couldn't save him.

North Carolina's Miserable Air Quality

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation has released its list of worst places to live with asthma (coming soon here). The worst 100 places to live includes three North Carolina cities: Greensboro (7), Charlotte (23), and Raleigh-Durham (53). (Article here). Hopefully, these type of studies can convince people that the pollution of North Carolinians has a serious impact on our health and persuade the legislature not to

Pigs have wings

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover I have a shred of agreement with Johnny Be Hood over at the Carolina Journal. Mr. Hood apparently doesn't approve of the shady back-roominess swirling around Speaker Jim Black . . . and I personally have called on Black to resign his leadership position immediately. Just goes to show you, anything is possible.

But here's the real question for Hood: If shady dealings are cause for alarm in the North Carolina legislature, shouldn't they be cause for alarm everywhere? And shouldn't the elected officials involved be called on to step down?

Put Your Money on North Carolina

The Koufax Awards are an annual affair that recognizes the best in several categories of blogging. This year's new category is State and Local Blogs. Right now there are eighty-two nominees, which might mean one or two blogs from each state.

But that's not what it means. There are eleven blogs that I recognize as North Carolina blogs. Not too shabby, NC. (BlueNC is among them, by the way.)

Impeachment . . . the best litmus test?

In a stunning display of common ground, conservative wingers and liberal wackos alike are concluding that George Bush just might have broken the law with his domestic spying scheme. Cities all across America are calling for accountability. Because only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate Bush's actions thoroughly and objectively.

Yet many of North Carolina's Congressional representatives don't seem bothered by the fact that the President may be breaking laws. And that bothers me tremendously.

So dear representatives . . . here is the question of the day: Do you want to find out if Bush broke the law . . . or not?

Myrick Grandstanding? Or an Astounding Display of Incompetence?

Either Sue Myrick's doctor told her she'd better release some of that hot air, or she has zero understanding of her role in government. (I'm open to persuasion either way.) Myrick is calling for the federalization of some Charlotte police to do federal immigration duties.

The problem for Myrick is that in 1997, the Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Scalia, declared that a federal power can not accomplish a federal mandate by commandeering state police officers. (521 U.S. 898) I'd love to hear why Sue believes this to be Constitutional.

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