Greensboro Woolworth Civil Rights Museum Gala Postponed; Ribbon-cutting Still Set for Monday

Museum gala postponed; ribbon-cutting still set for Monday (Source: News & Observer)

Protesters reflect on success of 1960s sit-in in Greensboro store (Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Celebrations mark sit-in anniversary (Source: News & Record)

Council members overstep bounds – Source: The Rocky Mount Telegram

The Rocky Mount City Council vote on involuntary/forced annexation at the council meeting on Jan. 11 was predictable and expected.

It is such a shame that the members of the Rocky Mount City Council are so intent on destroying the freedoms and rights of the people of the United States and in particular the citizens of Nash and Edgecombe counties. (Read more @ The Rocky Mount Telegram)

Prisons: America’s growth industry

Prisons: America’s growth industry

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Alan Bisbort


What do you think about this? Please leave a comment.

Obama in NC: The Path to History: Video by Cash Michaels



Obama in NC: The Path to History

Go to NOW for more!


Note: Unable to get the whole picture here so to see the entire picture please send an email to The DCN.

Racial Profiling Winterville NC

Dennis E. Bottoms

421 Angier Court

Winterville, North Carolina 28590

January 24, 2010


Around 10:30 the evening of January 23, 2010, a Winterville Police Officer rang the door bell. There were two police cars with all lights flashing surrounding the rear of my drive way. Upon answering the door, I was asked if the black Mercedes (my son’s car) parked in my drive way belong to me. He stated he received a complaint from a neighbor about a suspicious vehicle in a yard. There was no loud music or criminal activities taking place in my son’s car. Also, a concealed weapon was founded on my son (while he sat in his car) and was confiscated. An unoccupied house (three to four months), sit two doors down, had a vehicle in it yard (front end facing the street) with no one in the car, no lights from the house, and no movement. Not once did the officer(s) approach that house or investigate the vehicle parked in its drive way.

Upon coming into the house, my son explained that the police officer sat near his vehicle for a long period of time (twenty minutes), before he put on the blue lights. I explained to him that the officer was waiting for back up before approaching the (alleged crime) scene. He went on to say the officer asked him did he live here and his response was yes. The policeman asked him to step out of the vehicle and he was frisked (searched) and a weapon was founded and confiscated. He was never asked why he was sitting in the car (with his friends) but was told of a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood was called in.

I have a degree in criminal justice, and one thing that was taught is the first thing an officer does, upon arriving at a scene (involving vehicles), is to verify the license tags. Having a weapon in your possession on private property does not constitute concealed weapon. To frisk or search an individual requires a probable cause. We have lived in this neighborhood for nine months with the same vehicles. My son often sits in his car and listens to his music. Never had anyone complained or call the local law enforcement about a suspicious vehicle.

Where in the constitution does it state that a teenager cannot sit in his car (while it’s parked in his yard)? I do think racial profiling is unconstitutional. Many of nights there have been young teenagers parked in the parking lot of Food Lion (Winterville) and no blue lights or police officers on the scene. Is it because they are young, innocent, and not suspicious vehicles?

My son and his friends were asked for their names, addresses and telephone numbers. Again, this is all for sitting in the drive way of our home. They deserve an apology and their names, addresses, and telephone numbers should be discarded. Not that I trust or many other trust the police officer to be trustworthy due to racial profiling. Is this the reason why young teenagers do not respect men in blue?

As a member of a local city board I’m embarrass to say I live in Winterville.

Thank You,

Dennis E. Bottoms

Not upset about the facts too many are missing: In response to Tom Betts and Crime in Rocky Mount

Talking about the issue of crime was not the issue for me but the way you talked about handling it is just ignant as heck. I work in Rocky Mount and I have family and friends whom live there. I am the voice for those whom have given me the go ahead to speak for them. However I speak to issues that I feel are worthy of addressing and I do not need permission from anyone to do so. Why? Because I am my brother’s keeper even those whom may have a problem with me speaking out for whatever reason. I do it simply because it is my moral obligation and also because of the mission of the NAACP where I am a Fully Life Paid Member.

I am not a mall person however I went to the mall about 2 weeks ago and my family spent about 2 hours there. I sat in the car time but did go in to use the bathroom. I didn’t see anything going on nor did I hear my family say they experienced anything while they were on the inside. I seen a car club drive through the parking lot and they didn’t stay. The club consisted of not only black but others from the best I could see. They were not doing anything out of the ordinary.

The most recent incident at the mall was not a random shooting and if I am correct the suspect/s and victim/s knew each other. I say the mall thingy would be a major issue if the crimes committed were at random and until then I say going to the mall is no more unsafe than going other places. But again I am not a mall person.

I was told that there were officers and/or security in the mall when the shooting occurred so obviously the shooter didn’t care who was around. I was told that is why they were able to catch them so quickly because they were in the mall.

I agree there is a problem when robbers break into folks home however the neighbors will be the only ones to help solve those crimes. The police department can not sit in front of everyone’s house trying to prevent crimes. So how is this the chief’s fault?

A 14 year old boy being shot is an issue however a 14 year old should not be out and about so how in the heck is that the chief’s fault?

So Mr. Betts what can the police department do differently? I have not seen any solutions but the bat thingy which you stated that may not be all legal as you stated. I feel strongly that most folks black and white took issue with the bat thingy and the not all a legal comments. So don’t try to twist it and make it appear that black and white folks do not want to put a handle on crime. To promote illegal activity within the police department is no damn different from the crime that is taking place.

For me and many folks that I know black and white, we have been concerned about crime long before the 14 year old was shot.

Betts you say, "By not speaking out sooner, I’ve got his blood on my hands, and it ain’t fair to him to just wash it off. While some may think my comments were “insensitive,” “impolite,” or “inappropriate,” I say, go tell that to the little boy’s mother." Well sir I don’t have any blood on my hands. You damn right your comments were insensitive, impolite and inappropriate to suggest that the police department begin to use baseball bats to combat crime. You damn right I will tell the 14 year old mom and anyone else.

As a community activist and have been actively engaged in politics since the early 90’s be it as a member of Common Ground lead by now Councilwoman Chris Miller, attending the Rocky Mount City Council meetings before the black majority, the Edgecombe County Democratic Party, Rocky Mount NAACP, other community organizations and I have worked in Rocky Mount for the past 23 years, I am much aware of what is going on in Rocky Mount. I am probably more abreast of the issues than over 50% of the people whom actually live there.

I find your comments comparing a coach to a police chief to be somewhat ignant. You say, "When the team has a losing record, the first thing you do is fire the coach and get another one. The next thing that you do is support the new coach."

Since you are so bent on firing the chief and that will be the answer, why haven’t you told us what justifies his firing? You know for yourself that you can’t just fire someone without just cause because of the risk of a possible lawsuit. I feel comfortable saying that if the city had just cause to get rid of the chief just for the sake of change, they probably would but I don’t think that is an option right now.

Mr. Betts I think everyone feel passionately about the crime however a bunch of ignant conversation is not the answer. Talking about the fact of certain crimes that have taken place is all well and fine however your ignant conversation about firing the chief when you have not stated why does not help the solving crime. Hell if it was not for the ignant conversations going on, the chief may would retire since I understand he is eligible to do so.

Note: The above is in response to Tom Betts’ letter to editor “Rocky Mount face tough issues.”

See related:

Crime’s effect on business debated

Important Winter Weather Messages

—– Original Message —–

From: The City of Rocky Mount


Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 9:30 AM

Subject: Important Winter Weather Messages

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here

It’s snowing in Rocky Mount! 

Please use caution when enjoying the winter weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for our area this weekend.  Click here for details.


The following city programs and facilities are CLOSED today: Tar River Transit, the Imperial Centre (including the Children’s Musem & the Arts Center), the Senior Center, Booker T. Washington Community Center, and South Rocky Mount Community Center.


While no power outages have been reported yet, electric crews are monitoring the weather situation very closely.  Our service area may experience power outages before this weather event is over.  Stay clear of fallen power lines, and report any fallen power lines to Rocky Mount Public Utilities, at 467-4800.  This is also the number for reporting power outages.  This number has changed in the past year.  Please make a note of it. 

Public Works Crews are currently reapplying sand to bridges and intersections and to access roads for medical facilities and fire stations.  Please avoid driving, especially on back roads and bridges, when at all possible.  When you must drive, please see the tips below.  Stay on roads that are more heavily traveled.

When accumulation of snow requires plowing, the City asks you to park your car in your driveway and NOT on the street to allow crews access to your street.  If you are concerned about getting out of your driveway, park your car at the end of the driveway instead of in the street. 

The Rocky Mount Fire Department reminds all residents to keep on hand an emergency supply kit, which should include a flash light, batteries, and a battery powered radio.  Always keep nonperishable food, bottled water, and a first aid kit in your home for emergencies. 

In extreme weather, please check on and assist elderly neighbors or persons with disabilities. 

Snow and ice can be dangerous for children. Keep a watchful eye on kids playing outdoors. 

IF YOU MUST DRIVE – safety messages from the RMPD

Parents, consider these talking points for conversations with your teen drivers!!

Please allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.  Make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions.  Bring a cell phone, flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, ice scraper and other items you may need if you become stranded.  Drive slowly and increase your following distance.  Keep your headlights on, and stay in one lane as much as possible.  Reduce distractions in your car and give your full attention to driving.  Use your defroster and wipers, and keep your windows and mirrors clear.  Stay alert and keep looking as far ahead as possible.

Do not stop in the flow of traffic because that could create a chain-reaction collision.  Do not pass a slowly-moving vehicle.  Always wear your seat belt and never drink alcohol and drive.  Be patient.  When sleet, freezing rain or snow start to fall, remember that bridges, ramps, and overpasses are likely to freeze first. Also be aware that slippery spots may remain after road crews have cleared the highways.  If you are involved in an accident, remain calm and contact your area law enforcement.  The RMPD’s non-emergency number is 972-1411. 

The City of Rocky Mount

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Speaking Truth to Power – WE FALL DOWN: RECIDIVISM AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS by William Reed Columnist

As a result of tough crime policies and a discriminatory War on Drugs program, thousands of Black Americans have taken a fall from which they can’t get up.  Racial disparities in education, jobs and social practices all contribute to Blacks’ presence among America’s booming prison population.

America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.  Its $40 billion-a-year criminal justice system that’s extremely dysfunctional in regards to African Americans.  For example, at the time most youth are charting their life’s careers, one-fourth of young African American men are in penal systems or on parole.  These systems’ punitive processes put those African American inmates’ futures, and that of their communities’, at peril.  After these people fall, often between the ages of 16 and 24, most never get up.

The likelihood of Black males going to prison in their lifetime is 16%.  After that, within 3 years, almost 7 out of 10 released males go back to prison.  This is due directly to their social environment of peers, family, local law and politics. Incarcerated at seven times the rate of Whites and more than likely to go back again, isn’t it time African-Americans step to the fore to find better forms of rehabilitation?

To turn prisoners into productive citizens it is critical in-prison rehabilitation programs are employed.  To change Black recidivism rates competent remedies need to be put into place.  Once they fall down, when they are released from prison Black youth have a good chance to fall again.  With no new skills or preparation, they return to the same negative environment they’d left; usually plagued by drug addiction, criminal activity and economic depression.

A term that describes ex-offenders who return to prison as a result of continued criminal behavior, recidivism means “I fall”.  It’s the act of people repeating undesirable behavior after they have experienced negative consequences of that behavior.  To eradicate criminal behaviors, proven treatment and training programs are needed.  Current prison practices feed and care for inmates at a cost of about $20,000 each a year, while creating more intense criminality.  Crime continues inside prisons.  Gangs exist and flourish on the inside, often with many key tactical decisions being made by inmate leaders.

One in five young Black males is in prison at a cost that could them to college.  There should be concern among African Americans about current practices that destroy our youth.  “The American prison system is degrading” says Jerry Anderson of the La Red Business Network.  Degradation, not rehabilitation, appears the main purpose of America’s penal institutions: serial numbers, buzzers, bells, strip searches, inadequate privacy and strict rules are means to annihilate prisoners’ psychics.  A veteran producer of prison rehabilitation programs around the world, Anderson says “Many prisons encourage violent and aggressive behavior among their prisoners, and prison guards are some of the worse instigators”.  Anderson contends that most prisoners America releases “have not been prepared to participate productively” in society.  In current systems judges, wardens, guards, etc. are all at fault.  Now, national and local dialogues are needed to re-examine correctional systems and whether ways can be introduced that effectively prepare offenders to return to society and increase their potential for survival in “normal society”. Corrective programs can cause productive, crime-free citizens to emerge from incarceration and help probationers succeed in their reentries.

A partnering of African American and Hispanic communities is needed to demand that the penal system and lawmakers research and find solutions to the devastating effects of high imprisonment, recidivism, and prison reentry rates occurring among inmates of color and their children, families, and communities.  La Red, a Berlin, Ohio based company has had remarkable success around the world rehabilitating prison systems and helping former prisoners become productive citizens.   The La Red Business Network is a faith-based achievement system engaged in self-help justice programs that affect populations from judges to janitors in South American and Caribbean countries.  Similar education and training programs and processes are needed in U.S. systems.  Making prisons places that instill restraint, humility and forgiveness among populations will return us more productive people.

(William Reed –

See related:

William Reed

NC Spin This Week’s SPINCycle

—– Original Message —–



Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 3:18 PM

Subject: SPINCycle for January 28, 2010

If you are having trouble reading this email, you may view the online version

Welcome to this week`s edition of SPINCycle.

Be sure to watch this week`s show as we discuss a momentous week and what it means for our state. Specifically we will address the indictment of former Governor Easley`s legal counsel, a court decision which is a game changer in politics, the fallout to our state from the Massachusetts special election and the highest unemployment numbers in 30 years. 

The panel includes: Chris Fitzsimon, Director of NC Policy Watch; Henry Hinton, Eastern North Carolina`s host of “Talk of the Town”; John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation and former Lieutenant Governor, Dennis Wicker. Tom Campbell will moderate the discussion.

Tom Campbell`s Spin

Data supports a significant power shift in our state.  Don`t miss this week`s column “Shifting Power”.

Heard on the Street

Given the momentous news recent events, it was only natural that the street was buzzing this week. Forget the Carolina-State basketball game. We can`t even raise much interest in the impending winter storm that threatens to hit our state tomorrow night. (By the way one weather forecaster we know reportedly said that if he blew this prediction he might consider taking early retirement). No, the big buzz of the week centers on indictments and corruption.

What will Ruffin say?

As Ruffin Poole turns himself in to federal authorities, there is widespread speculation about his indictment last week. Why did the US Attorney choose to indict Poole first? Most believe they have already gotten Lanny Wilson and MacQueen Campbell to give them testimony, but Poole has not yet cooperated to the extent they want. His indictment was intended to get Poole to come forward with what he knows and who was involved in the actions he took. He will be given a chance to plea bargain a lesser sentence and fines, much as Jim Black was supposed to do.

Does this mean that the feds don`t have enough to indict former Governor Easley? Most of those we talked with this week believe they do, but that they want Poole`s testimony to add to the case they have against Easley. One way or another, most believe Easley will be indicted.

Look for more great conversation on this week`s NC SPIN.

What did Lanny say?

Even more buzz surrounds Wilmington developer Lanny Wilson, who resigned from both the DOT board and the Toll authority. What has Wilson told the feds? We know that he has been a fundraiser for Democrats up to and including current Governor Perdue. We understand he played a significant role in helping Democrats raise money in the 2008 election cycle. How far up the food chain does Wilson`s testimony go? Is there any correlation between Wilson`s resignation and the resignation of Perdue`s chief of staff Zach Ambrose on the same day?

It would be accurate to say that many current elected officials are worried about what Lanny Wilson has said to federal investigators. We understand that even though Wilson has agreed to cooperate with the investigations, no deals have been cut for him or Campbell.

What are the feds doing at DMV?

We hear that federal agents have expanded their investigation into the NC Department of Motor Vehicles. They are looking at service providers, contracts, hiring records, and license agency agreements. DMV employees are cooperating with the investigation. We are told to expect significant revelations to come from this investigation.

DA under investigation

We also learned this week that an incumbent District Attorney in Person/Caswell counties is under investigation by six SBI agents and may very well be indicted on charges related to indecent conduct. We understand the DA has or will soon announce his retirement from the post but if he is indicted stands to lose his judicial retirement.

Perdue`s new chief of staff

Even as Governor Perdue is vacationing in “a warm climate” a short list of candidates to become her new chief of staff is being vetted. It is inevitable some of the names on the list would be leaked. If accurate, there are some significant names under consideration that include Linda Hayes, current Secretary for the Department of Juvenile Justice; Phil Baddour, former legislator; Norris Tolson, current head of the NC Biotechnology Center; and Brynn Thomas, special assistant to the Governor.

Boliek opts out of Cumberland campaign

We recently reported that Dave Boliek, Jr. would challenge Margaret Dickson in a primary election to replace Tony Rand in Cumberland County. This week we received a press announcement saying he wouldn`t run against Dickson. Little else was said, leaving observers to fill in the blanks. Boliek still has the “itch” to run for public office, we hear, and his gesture was one to ensure party unity.

Judge Julia?

When Senator Julia Boseman leaves her state Senate post she is telling friends that she plans to run for a new District Court Judge position that will be opening up. The pay and retirement are certainly better than service in the legislature. Read the story in the Wilmington Star-News

Filing period opens February 8th

In 10 days the filing window opens for candidates who wish to run in the 2010 elections. Political wonks will be watching closely who files and who doesn`t. If this cycle is like most, you can expect at least one surprise in a candidate opting not to file for re-election and you can also expect to be surprised at some who might file. Republicans have been conducting a major effort to recruit legitimate candidates in their quest to take over the Senate and the House. We should see the results of their efforts soon.

Voter registrations, coupled with population shifts, point to a real shift of power in this state. Read more in My Spin.

What is Nick Mackey doing?

We have spilled lots of ink (o.k. cyberspace) talking about the antics of Representative Nick Mackey. Now there`s rumor that Wacky Mackey might be recruiting challengers to run against incumbent fellow Democrats Malcolm Graham, Beverly Earle and Becky Carney, all from Mecklenburg County.

One of those mentioned to run is a former legislative aide to Mackey. Another is a friend from his police days. Nick says he knows them and would even support them, but he had nothing to do in recruiting them. "It`s offensive to me for someone to say `Nick Mackey did this`, he said. "They don`t have any basis to say it."

Yeah, well why are so many saying it, Nick?

Eudy commiserates with PR agents

Capstrat Head Ken Eudy, himself the former executive director of the NC Democratic Party and Public Relations advisor to public persons, wrote a blog recently outlining the difficulty of PR consultants in dealing with politicians. Specifically, Eudy commiserates with Joyce Fitzpatrick, respected PR pro, who represented former US Senator John Edwards throughout his most recent implosions. Says Eudy, “You always hope that clients will be honest with you if you`re their public relations adviser. After all, you can`t give them your best advice if they don`t level with you. But some people – apparently Edwards is one of them – become separated from the ability to even know the truth, much less tell it on an ongoing basis.”

Read “How Can You Tell When John Edwards is Lying?”

Don`t know about you, but I`m tired of hearing about John Edwards. Now that we know what kind of guy he is,let`s let him crawl somewhere else. The media is giving him fodder for a new book. Get over it.

Gambling a “Safe bet”

The Cherokee casino and state lottery may have changed opinions about gambling in our state. A WRAL story elaborates on reports we have previously given concerning sweepstakes games spreading like kudzu in North Carolina. This is an interesting story and video. Watch Cullen Browder`s story.

Have a message for an “affluential” audience?

NC SPIN has a limited number of spots available for you to air your message to a group of highly-educated and affluent movers and shakers in our state.  There are packages available to fit most any budget.  If you would like to learn more, please contact Al Leonard, Director of Sales and Marketing for NC SPIN by e-mailing

Until next week, watch out for the SPIN!

Claire Cox-Woodlief, Editor

Tom Campbell, Publisher

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Setting the record straight – The myth of "liberal" corruption: Source – NC Policy Watch

NC Policy Watch


Setting the record straight

The myth of "liberal" corruption:
Understanding the real origins of pay-to-play politics

By Rob Schofield

The connection between prominent political leaders and the causes they stand for (or, at least, the causes they come to be associated with) is often very strong in the minds of the members of the general public. Sometimes, it’s as if the political leader and the stands he or she takes are indistinguishable. It’s hard to think of New Deal, for instance, without thinking of Franklin Roosevelt (and vice versa).

For those who champion a particular cause, however, these kinds of automatic connections are frequently a two-edged sword.

On the one hand, one charismatic person’s personal popularity can almost singlehandedly elevate a cause or issue well-beyond the heights to which it would have otherwise risen. Think of Ronald Reagan’s sunny charm and the way it helped advance what was really a pretty dark and pessimistic ideology about government and human nature.

The downside to these kinds of connections is that when one individual leader’s career flames out as the result of some peccadillo or other personal transgression unrelated to the actual issues he or she stood for, it can often wreak undeserved havoc with the cause. Whatever the substantive strengths or weaknesses of conservative Christianity, for example, its ultimate success or failure as a philosophy ought not to be byproduct the fact that some of its most prominent spokespeople have proved to be corrupt hypocrites.

Of Easley and Edwards

Right now, in North Carolina (aka "Corruption Central") we’re seeing plenty of examples of this kind guilt-by-association politics. With the absurd self-destructions of sometime-progressives, Mike Easley and John Edwards, it seems as if all who have ever held positive feelings about the men or any of the issues they championed are on the defensive.  (Read more… )

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with major support provided by the AJ Fletcher Foundation.
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Elections 2010

This is a follow up message to a message that I sent out in October 2009.

I have been actively engaged in politics as a grassroots community activist since the early 90’s. I have paid my dues and helped many of you get elected and re-elected.

I have spent my own monies and wore out several cars over the years traveling around the county and across the state being actively involved in the NC Democratic Party and the NC NAACP.

I spent most of my years as an advocate for children in the Edgecombe County Public Schools System long before I had any children in the system. I have challenged the Edgecombe County Public Schools System one on one and I have seen many things put in place.

Today I love it when I attend meetings and see some others meeting about issues especially school issues. I don’t recall seeing these folks at the meetings.

I feel good today about all I have accomplished and if I do not attend another meeting, I have done my part so my living have not been in vain. However I will not quit doing what I do however I have changed the way I do things.

I have been blessed over the years because the Good Master continue to bless me with my health and strength. I have also been blessed with one of, if not one of the highest paying jobs east of Raleigh 23 years ago this month on January 26.

I have always had the support of my family and while my mom is resting in peace, my dad continues to support me. My dad blessed me with a new car this month for my birthday. I strongly feel that the Good Master has worked through my dad and a couple of others so I feel my work has not been in vain.

I have asked for donations over the years for the work I do so my question to you is, have you donated to The DCN? Many of you have benefitted from my services. Being a community activist comes with a price especially when I have a blog, online videos/pictures and other tools that help me to educate folks about what is going on around them.

If you are a candidate and you are running for a seat in my district you need to contact me.

See related:

And Folks Talk About How Godly They Are And They Are About What Is Right

Folks It Is Not Business As Usual Anymore


John Edwards finally admits that he is his baby’s daddy

Raleigh, N.C. — Two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards released a statement Thursday morning admitting that he fathered a child with former campaign staffer Rielle Hunter, a relationship that he had previously denied. (Read more @ WRAL)

The Biggest Endorsement of the Race

Dear Supporter,

Over the weekend we received some very good news: Congressman G.K. Butterfield has endorsed our campaign. It’s by far the biggest endorsement any candidate has received thus far in the race, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

The DailyKos declared it an "interesting twist" in the race and "fairly impressive." We’re getting more calls, more interest, and voters are really taking notice. Our campaign HQ is buzzing. This is a massive step forward for our campaign.

Can you thank the Congressman and help us carry this momentum forward by donating $20 to the campaign right now?

Butterfield issued a strong statement backing our campaign:

"We share a heartfelt belief in the responsibility of making a difference in the lives of others and in our communities. Ken Lewis has a strong and optimistic vision of North Carolina’s future with the talent, leadership, energy and experience necessary to succeed. His experience in business and community development make him uniquely qualified to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate."

I thank Congressman Butterfield for his endorsement and look forward to him joining our campaign leadership team in the coming weeks. His endorsement confirms the strength that our campaign continues to gather all across North Carolina. People are responding to our message: strengthening the middle class, fostering innovation, and promoting progress. Every day, all across our great state, our message is resonating, people are listening, and our ranks are growing.

Help us keep up the momentum – please donate $20 today:

Thanks for everything,

Ken Lewis

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Paid for by Kenneth Lewis for Senate, Inc.

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See related:

Kenneth Lewis

Catastrophe in Haiti – Source ZNet

A DEVASTATING earthquake, the worst in 200 years, struck Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, laying waste to the city and killing untold numbers of people. The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, and detonated more than 30 aftershocks, all more than 4.5 in magnitude, through the night and into Wednesday morning. (Read more @ ZNet)

NC Spin SPINCycle for January 21, 2010

—– Original Message —–



Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 11:43 AM

Subject: SPINCycle for January 21, 2010

If you are having trouble reading this email, you may view the online version

Welcome to this week`s edition of SPINCycle.

Be sure to watch this week`s show when we ask our panel to comment on Governor Perdue’s new agenda, on continuing state budget problems, a new commission to study retirement benefits for public employees and whether or not our system of selecting judges is working well.

The panel includes:  former Attorney General and Secretary of State, Rufus Edmisten; Chris Fitzsimon, Director of NC Policy Watch; John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation; and Cash Michaels, columnist with the Wilmington Journal. Tom Campbell will moderate the discussion.

Tom Campbell`s Spin

The earth moved Tuesday and North Carolina leaders would be wise to understand what happened.  Read Tom’s weekly column,  Lessons from Massachusetts.

Heard on the Street

Tuesday’s special election felt here in North Carolina

Not only are Democrats in Washington reeling after the loss of the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat to a Republican but North Carolina politicians are scrambling to determine how it might affect the 2010 elections. This special election was a game changer and woe to the candidate who doesn’t understand this to be the case. Political parties are becoming irrelevant. Unaffiliated and Independent voters now recognize that they have the power and can bring on change. They were a big factor in the election of Barack Obama, but so far Obama hasn’t delivered the changes he promised as a candidate. Instead, he has let liberal Democrats and special interests dominate. Massachusetts responded, but voters in other states will likely do the same. For more discussion on this subject read My Spin, “Lessons Learned from Massachusetts.”

Supremes change elections

Not only was Tuesday’s special election a game-changer but the Supreme Court today ruled that corporations can spend as much as they like to purchase ads on behalf of federal candidates. This also opens the treasuries of labor unions to get in the game. The court declared the previous ban on corporate spending was a restriction of free speech.

The whole spectrum of campaigns just changed again. Now large corporations and unions can buy elections.

Perdue looking for money

Governor Perdue and her team of advisors holed up in Raleigh last weekend to look for ways to cut the budget. We were told Perdue told her team to find more than 1 billion dollars to cut, no mean feat when you consider that 80 percent of state spending comes from education and health and human services expenditures. Because of some very good efforts by the Department of Revenue, the state budget is ever so slightly in the black as of the end of December, but recurring revenues don’t look bright and few expect good news from April’s personal tax returns. We could easily end this fiscal year with a 200 million dollar deficit.

And the news for our economy doesn’t look bright. Many commercial real estate investors who borrowed money during the good times are having loans come due. They are awakening to the reality that they are upside down in their properties, meaning they owe more than the property is currently worth. Banks are calling loans due to gain liquidity or they are demanding that borrowers pay large sums to ensure the properties are worth what is loaned. Over the next few months we will be seeing major real estate properties selling for bargain basement prices. For instance, a friend relayed a story about an investor who owned a residential apartment complex, which was more than 90 percent leased.

The bank decided to call the 6 million loan on the property and put it up for auction. The investor went to the auction and bought his property back for just 3 million dollars.

All of this portends continuing bad news for our state’s struggling economy. Hear more discussion on the state budget issue on this week’s NC SPIN.

Governor Perdue is also looking for campaign cash, hosting a fund raiser tonight to retire campaign debt. Some are questioning the wisdom of fund raising in the midst of a terrible economy. We understand it will cost $1,000 per person to attend the Governor’s Birthday Party.

At the same time it was announced that her chief of staff, Zach Ambrose, is departing after a year in the position. Ambrose is a smart political operative but rumors abounded about lack of unity within the close circle of Perdue advisors.

Grand Jury meeting

The Raleigh Federal Court House is expected to be a busy scene today as the federal Grand Jury is meeting. We are told that the matter under consideration today will be the Mike Easley investigation and we should expect one or more indictments before week’s end. Recent interest has focused on former legal counsel Ruffin Poole so it will be interesting to see what comes from this week’s Grand Jury.

Dickson succeeds Rand

As we reported earlier, Representative Margaret Dickson has been picked by the Cumberland County Democratic Executive Committee to replace Tony Rand, who retired from the Senate. The only other candidate was David Boliek, Jr., who is strongly suggesting he will challenge her to a primary in May.

This, of course, opens a spot for someone to replace Dickson.  Names we’ve heard include former Fayetteville Councilwoman Val Applewhite and former House member Bill Hurley. After Dickson takes office, the executive committee of the Cumberland Democratic Party will meet to make that recommendation.

Basnight is running

We learned this week that Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight is indeed running for re-election.

Basnight has to run again if Senate Democrats stand any chance of retaining control in 2011. But there has been a sea change in the Senate. The loss of key Democrats like Hoyle, Rand, Soles, Albertson and Boseman is having an effect on fund raising for Senate Democrats. Businesses, major donors to previous campaigns, are skittish about the impact of losing David Hoyle, their go-to guy who ensured their voices were heard. They aren’t thrilled about having Martin Nesbitt instead of Tony Rand, remembering that Nesbitt wasn’t a great friend when he was in the House. Agricultural interests worry about the loss of Albertson.

Basnight has been able to raise more than one million dollars for Senate Democrats in each recent election cycle and to maintain control they need to be able to spend the bucks to buy contested seats. Without the money the odds are narrowed. It always comes down to money, doesn’t it?

Cooper got warm welcome from realtors

Attorney General Roy Cooper spoke to the state realtors meeting this morning, telling them what his office was doing to help consumers with foreclosures. He reported that he is cracking down on foreclosure scams and credit card scams, saying that his office had received more than 400 complaints from consumers about credit counseling firms. North Carolina has passed a law prohibiting up front payments to credit counseling firms. Cooper says that Wall Street might be improving but that Main Street isn’t and he wants to help consumers. The new President of the Realtors Association will be Mary Edna Williams from Raleigh.

Edwards comes clean

It wasn’t really a surprise that former Senator John Edwards finally admitted his paternity of Quinn Hunter. Here’s the quote: “I am Quinn’s father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.

“It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and have reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future.

“To all those I have disappointed and hurt, these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.”

Michaels’ premiere successful

Cash Michaels, by day a journalist with The Carolinian and The Wilmington Journal, has premiered his new movie “Obama in NC: The Path to History.” We had to see this moving presentation last weekend and would urge you to view how North Carolina progressed to the point of selecting an African American as president. You can see it for yourself by visiting the website Well done, Cash.

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Until next week, watch out for the SPIN!

Claire Cox-Woodlief, Editor

Tom Campbell, Publisher

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