Where does the money go?

I've been looking through the state's Education budget.

Does anyone know anything about:
God's Vision Ministries, Inc., P.O. Box 428, Louisburg, NC, 27549

No? Well your taxes are paying them $18,000 for something to do with education. I couldn't even find a link online.

Likewise, $25,000 to the Durham Nativity School, which sounds like a great idea, but is also a religious institute.
The Judy Memorial Family Center is also without a website, but they get $10,000. WNC Communities gets $50,000, nearly all of which could be accounted for by "awards" they give to other organizations like BIG COVE with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, BIG IVY in Buncombe County, CENTER in Madison County, and REVERE - RICE COVE in Madison County. What these groups have to do with education is not immediately apparent.

Local Sheriff Race and Republican Infighting

Watuaga Watch has it all here:

There's no more popular Republican office-holder in Watauga County than Sheriff Mark Shook. He's received nationwide attention for cleaning up an epidemic of meth labs. He's young and graced with all the benefits and some of the problems of youth.

So naturally the local Republican Party power-structure wants to destroy him. Led by ex-Sheriff Red Lyons, the party has recruited Joe Moody to bring down Shook in a primary. In a profile article in today's

Not for the birds

You've no doubt heard that Navy will be flying jets at night this week over a proposed site for a practice training field in northeast North Carolina. The N&O has done a good job covering this long-running story and has an update today.

The Super Hornets will be crossing a tract in Washington and Beaufort counties to collect data on noise and waterfowl in the area. The results will be used in an environmental impact study to be completed in August.

:: snip ::

In December, some daytime flights in nearby Hyde County were canceled due to the risk of striking birds.

Taylor = Delay


Cobey thinks Taylor's seat is safe? Not if we have anything to say about it.

Check Taylor out. The guy looks like a crook, acts like a crook . . . and probably even smells like a crook . . . with a miserable record of shady dealings that everybody seems to know about except the good people of his district. Maybe this poster will help spread the word. PDF attached.

Cobey: Taylor's Seat is Safe

I got a chance to hear Bill Cobey (Republican, former US Rep, NC Gov. candidate, GOP party luminary, and Art Pope's pal) speak to the UNC Law Federalist Society. I took some notes that I'll clean up and post later, but I wanted to share something he said that hit me as a surprise (not much did). When discussing the relative difficulty of unseating a sitting US House member, he said that there's only really one seat up for grabs among North Carolina's 13, and that it is Robin Hayes's (NC-8).

Sound crazy to anyone else?

Two-faced Sue Myrick

When I see Sue Myrick talk, it's hard to know which of her two faces to listen to. On one hand, she tries to come across like a law-n-order kind of gal, as shown in this quote to the Charlotte Observer recently. As you no doubt know, Sue wants to deport aliens who are found guilty of DWI.

"For too long, illegal aliens have really just flaunted the law."

But on the other hand, here she is embracing Dear Leader, very possibly the most criminal president in the history of our republic, who most objective observers believe has gleefully flaunted the FISA law with his domestic spying scheme.

Your money

One of the Republican Party's most simple-minded memes is the idea that there's "your money" and that you can spend it better, smarter and more effectively than "they" (the government) can ever hope to do. John Hood trots that old saw out every chance he gets, including in his column today about liberal politicians and taxes.

What they want is more of your money to spend. They want it because they are convinced they will spend it better than you will. It’s as simple as that.

It may be as simple as that when you're a Pope Puppet, but if you actually stop to think about it, there's plenty of evidence that government programs can spend money far more effectively than any individual can. Unless of course you constrain those programs, as the Bush administration has done on prescription drugs, to forbid price negotiations with big pharmaceutical companies.

Lottery Litigation May Go Forward

The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (former-Justice Robert Orr, in particular) will go before a Wake Co. judge tomorrow looking for an injunction to stop the lottery (AP Wire story at Charlotte.com). According to NCICL, the NC Constitution required that the lottery-enabling bill be read before each house of the legislature three times on three separate days. That didn't happen, so (the argument goes) the law is void. And the lottery is void.

If that sounds like calling the whole game on a technicality to you, you're probably not alone. On the one hand, the "read-three-times" requirement is applied to several different kinds of laws in the state constitution, and they're all things that the legislature should be required to take very seriously (such as reapportionment plans, constitutional amendments, and bills raising taxes). "Sleep on it," says the constitution. On the other hand, do we really think the law wouldn't pass if it went back before the legislature and they had to listen to it three more times? Does Art Pope think he can change some votes? (The NCICL is a Pope-baby.)

Timmons-Goodson has a Challenger

I mentioned here that Patricia Timmons-Goodson lost a challenger for her seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court because Judge Reingold did not want to be the one to unseat the state's first Black female justice. Apparently, Judge Levinson (R) out of Charlotte does not share that same concern. According to the Charlotte Observer, Levinson, a justice on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, will be challenging Timmons-Goodson in November. From the article:

Eric Levinson has been a prosecutor in Cabarrus County, a District Court judge in Charlotte and an appeals court judge in Raleigh.
The 38-year-old Charlottean now has his sights set on North Carolina's highest court.

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