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.

The Alternative to Regional Rail: Paying Every Time You Use Roads

For those in the Triangle who are against Regional Rail as a way to ease congestion, here is the alternative:

North Carolina officials visit Austin for toll road advice
2/23/2006 11:36 AM
By: News 8 Austin Staff

Some North Carolina transportation officials are visiting Austin this week to take a long, hard look at Texas roads. They want to see how our turnpikes are paid for.

Officials from the North Carolina Turnpike Authority say Texas has taken a "visionary approach" to funding roadways by passing some of the cost to those who drive on them. They want to take the same approach in their state.

Kissell doing the hard work

Our household received a call from Larry today, which is a good sign. He left a recorded message saying he was the only "pro-choice candidate in the race." That's enough to get my money and -- if I lived in his district -- my vote as well.

It's good to see him dialing for dollars. I know what a frustrating time fundraising can be . . . so hats off to Mr. Kissell for doing the hard work.

Train-Bashing Carter Wrenn Ignores Facts, Comments

I have been reading Carter Wrenn at Talking About Politics complaining about the TTA's Regional Rail proposal for the last few days. His posts always are composed of mere rants that contain information or even links to places to find information on what he is talking about, and in fact, it seems as if all the information that he does include is either off base or misleading. I have been choosing not to post about this bashing to keep from giving it any credence, but I have finally taken the bait. Why? Because I feel that Triangle Regional Rail proves who is truly progressive. To me, any progressive (or person of any political stripe that cares about our area) would support the project to improve density of development, improved public transportation, and decrease the road buildup in the area.

Ha ha ha

Here's a hard-hitting (NOT) interview involving a couple of Pope puppets about the important issue of advertising and public policy. Like most Pope-aganda, this piece is designed to further the odd notion that corporate speech rises to the same level of first amendment protection as individual speech. In what can only be described as fawning, interviewer Donna Martinez grills John Hood about his outdated book on advertising as part of the “heroic” culture of private enterprise. Check out these choice comments from Ms. Martinez:

Martinez: I think alcohol advertising is really fascinating.
Martinez: Wow, what a claim.
Martinez: Now this is a really interesting subject, your new book about advertising.
Martinez: In your book — it is a really fascinating book.

Black's Legal Bills Hit $200,000...and We Might Pay

Excuse my last post, I just found some interesting (or infuriating) political news through Dent's morning post. Apparently Jim Black has increased his request for public funds to $200 million (from the Charlotte Observer):

House Speaker Jim Black has asked for up to $200,000 in taxpayer money to pay legal bills from complying with a federal grand jury's subpoenas to his office.
Black already was authorized by the governor's office to spend up to $30,000 in taxpayer funds to deal with the subpoenas. His legal counsel, Dianna Jessup, asked to raise the cap on the fees to $200,000 in an e-mail this week to Attorney General Roy Cooper's office. Cooper will forward the request and a recommendation on how to respond to Gov. Mike Easley.

Sensational Friday: Serial Killer in North Carolina?

I found nothing interesting politically, so to whet the appetites of of our readers:

Law enforcement officers in North Carolina and South Carolina will investigate the possibility that three women who were killed in the past nine years were victims of a serial killer.

Article here

Water woes

The Winston-Salem Journal online has this sobering story about the water needs in rural North Carolina.

The General Assembly should approve a $1 billion bond referendum this year to help the state's poorest regions upgrade their aging water and sewer systems, a state policy center said Thursday.

The money will help the state catch up on an estimated $6.85 billion in projected statewide repairs and improvements needed over the next five years, officials of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center said. Voters would have to approve the bonds in a statewide election that could come as early as November.

Trickle down bullsh*t

This just in from AP:

The average income of American families, after adjusting for inflation, declined by 2.3 percent in 2004 compared to 2001 while their net worth rose but at a slower pace.

Sad details on the flip . . .

State of the Senate - Uncontested Runs

I started this as a comment to Lance, but it ended up being larger than a comment deserves. This is a list of NC Senate seats that are uncontested (so far) in North Carolina. For now, we stand ahead 18-16 in the uncontested seats. The seats are posted below by party. Are there any we can immediately remove from the list? Seats where the "last second" strategy is in play? I see from a search of unopposed Republican seats that one is Basnight's seat - assuming he will run that makes it 18-15. Having that kind of lead is good, but it would be nice to END with something like 15-5.


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