A grand jury in Columbus County has found probable cause to indict state Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in connection with an August shooting at Soles’ Tabor City home. (Read More @ News and Observer)
Mr. Harris Jenkins, 2009 Mayoral Candidate for the Town of Selma-N.C., will be meeting with the North Carolina State Board of Election to contest the Selma, N.C. mayoral race . Mr. Jenkins is contesting the election on the grounds that numerous polling places were not accessible to elderly and disabled voters . This is a request to anyone who can be available, to attend this meeting December 17, 2009- 10:00 am . This meeting will take place at the North Carolina State Board of Election- 506 N. Harrington Street- Raleigh, N.C.
Thank you for your support .
Timothy Hodges, president
Johnston Co. NAACP
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Welcome to this week`s electronic update from NC SPIN.
On this week`s edition of NC SPIN we’ll ask our panel to talk about large debts from unemployment payments, a new program to invest in North Carolina businesses, changes in our two largest school boards and new charges relating to Senator Tony Rand.
The panel includes: Chris Fitzsimon, Director of NC Policy Watch; Becki Gray, columnist with Carolina Journal; John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation and former House Speaker Joe Mavretic. Tom Campbell will moderate the discussion.
Tom Campbell`s Spin
Governor Perdue has completed one quarter of her term. How is she doing in her job? Get Tom Campbell’s spin on Perdue’s First Year.
Originally called Tar Landing this was likely named after a man with the same first and last name. You’ll find easy living and hometown values in this Carolina Community.
Heard on the Street
Burr withholding support for Walker
Bowing to increased pressure from Republicans in the state, Senator Richard Burr announced today that he will hold his “blue slip” regarding the nomination of Thomas Walker to be the new US Attorney until the investigations into Mike Easley’s and John Edwards’ activities are complete. Burr has said he supports Walker. Senator Kay Hagan has encouraged President Obama to give assurances that current US Attorney George Holding will be allowed to continue his investigations, but no word has been given by the White House.
State Republicans have conducted a phone and e-mail campaign to Burr’s office to get Burr to withhold his support, especially after it was learned that Walker was a contributor to the Easley campaign. It appears these efforts have been successful, more so because Burr faces a challenge next year in his re-election efforts.
Some are questioning whether this might backfire on Republicans. If there is a rush to conclude the investigation so as to go forward with the nomination, it is possible that the investigation might conclude prematurely or without the thoroughness needed. As we have learned in previous instances these Grand Jury and FBI investigations take a long time to run their course.
There has always been a tension between newspapers and television stations. The two co-existed as long as business was good and jobs were available, but the recession has heightened the animosity between print and broadcast, especially in the Triangle. We have heard of problems between the News and Observer and WRAL TV from several sources.
The gist of the latest tiff appears to involve who gets the story to the Internet first. Our sources tell us the disagreements exacerbated when print journalists didn’t feel they were being given credit for stories they developed and were adapted by broadcast and put on the web. We learned that the Associated Press, a journalistic cooperative, was dragged into the fray, with one side asking that the other not be allowed to use stories they submitted to AP. The animosity hasn’t become a war but it is more than an irritation.
Revenue numbers continue to disappoint
We are told November’s revenue numbers for the state will be flat – no increase over last year. Judging by early reports of December Christmas sales there is concern that revenues will continue to fail to meet budget projections. Some are saying there might be as much as a $350 million deficit by year’s end.
Economy causing big problems with state funds
When unemployment hovers around 11 percent, as it has for much of this year, budget problems pop up from many directions.
Unemployed make claims on the unemployment insurance funds accumulated by the state. We are told those funds are now $1.4 billion less than what has been collected and will soar to around $2 billion by year’s end. Look for more discussion on this topic on this week’s NC SPIN.
We also hear that unemployed residents are increasingly turning for help to Medicaid and some say the state’s Medicaid costs are some $300 million more than was budgeted. We understand that DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler has been meeting with senior budget officials to determine what can be done.
We hear that officials may be asking for help from the federal government. Look for this story to develop.
No room for mean-spirited
When did public policy debate become so mean spirited? Civil discourse is anything but civil, as evidenced by the Wake County Commissioners’ action in electing a chair and vice-chair to lead them. Because of former Chair Harold Webb’s stroke the board is left with a 3-3 split between Democrats and Republicans. After an exhaustive number of votes, former Chair Betty Lou Ward asked to be excused for a restroom break, but because there was no formal motion the three Republicans on the board realized they now had a majority and took a quick vote, electing Tony Gurley as chair. But then the board deadlocked on selecting a vice-chair. The vote was decided only after Webb was allowed to phone in his vote. We understand his speech has been affected by his stroke and this was quite an ordeal.
There is little question that Webb needs to resign his seat so that another can be appointed, but again civility and grace are in order to allow Webb time to come to that decision.
Republicans don’t have a corner on this type of action. Our state has a lottery that was engineered the same way. Senate leadership announced the issue was dead and wouldn’t be brought up again, but when it was obvious that two potential “nay” votes were unavailable they called the Senate back into session, held the vote and Lt. Governor Perdue broke the tie.
The entire affair comes off looking childish. We would expect this type of bickering from children on a playground but not from adults with whom we have entrusted important decisions on matters in our county. With this as a standard Wake Taxpayers should be concerned about whatever action this group takes. Coupled with the recent Wake Board of Education actions these are strange times.
Is winning at any cost today’s reality? Do traits like common courtesy, respect and manners have no place in today’s public discourse? No wonder a growing number want nothing to do with politics and politicians.
Note: Sorry to hear about Webb been knowing him since the 90’s. But ain’t that a damn shame how the Republicans voted while the Democrat went to the restroom. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher
Poole to testify December 17th
Ruffin Poole, former legal counsel for former Governor Mike Easley, refused to testify at the State Board of Elections hearings and temporarily got a court order to prohibit his testimony. That was overturned and Poole is scheduled to appear before the State Board of Elections on December 17th to answer questions about his role in the Easley investigations.
We hear that Poole is the subject of questions about trips taken with large developers and political contributions, especially from southeastern North Carolina. The wagons are circling.
The News and Observer continues to write about possible improprieties by Senator Tony Rand and others regarding LEA. Investigations are ongoing, we are told but so far there is no “smoking gun” that would lead to an indictment, we hear. Look for more discussion on this topic on this week’s NC SPIN.
Mental Health takes another blow
WRAL is reporting that as many as 25,000 workers could lose their jobs because of cutbacks in funding and new regulations, leaving as many as 50,000 patients without care.
John Tote, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of North Carolina, says that new requirements say that all providers for mentally ill and substance abusers must employ a medical director, clinical director, and quality management and training director. This will force small providers out, leaving only larger providers to care for more patients.
John Davis, who formerly headed NC FREE, issued a report saying that Senator Basnight’s Era of Power has ended and that the business community in North Carolina will suffer as a result. Senator Rand’s resignation, along with the announced retirement of Senator David Hoyle and the elevation of Senator Martin Nesbitt will bring to an end the “safe harbor for North Carolina Business,” according to Davis. Read Liberal Insurgents End Sen. Basnight’s Historic Era of Power; Business Agenda and Long-term Jobs Growth Threatened by Attrition of Allies.
More ways to watch
If you ever miss the telecast (or radio broadcast) of NC SPIN, here`s good news. You can view each week`s show via webcast. It`s easy. Just go to www.NCSPIN.com and click on the “view webcast” button under the webcast box on the upper left hand side of the home page. Shows are updated by noon each Sunday. Archived copies of the show are available there too so you can go back and catch up on any shows that you have missed. Tell your friends!
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Until next week, watch out for the SPIN!
Claire Cox-Woodlief, Editor
Tom Campbell, Publisher
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