scharrison's blog

Support for offshore drilling in NC drops

I hope the General Assembly is paying attention:

Public support for drilling off the North Carolina coast has dropped sharply in the past month according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm based in Raleigh.

In April, 61 percent of Tar Heel voters polled said they supported offshore drilling, with only 26 percent opposed. Now 47 percent support it, with 38 percent opposed, according to the poll.

Lawmakers' budget solution: more gambling!

The bright ideas just keep coming:

As state lawmakers are weighing their options for closing a budget deficit of nearly $800 million, some are exploring taxing the wave of gaming parlors that have opened statewide in recent months.

Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, said Wednesday that the state should consider regulating and taxing the gaming parlors. "If it's a revenue source of any significant consequence, maybe it's something we have to look at," Hoyle said.

Man, crack cocaine is huge. We should look into taxing that, too.

Governor Perdue struggles with ethics and lobbying issues

Bev withdraws at the last minute for this:

Gov. Bev Perdue was scheduled to appear at an event next week organized by a group backing ethics reform, one of her pet issues.

But there was a catch that the governor's staff says she didn't know about: The event is a fundraiser for the reform group, and was being hosted by an all-star group of lobbyists, a format that seemed to run counter to the proposals to clean up state government.

NC Senate Democratic Caucus survey

I just received this e-mail from Martin Nesbitt:

Tomorrow at 1:00pm, the North Carolina Senate will officially convene for the 2010 "short" session.

Since the Senate adjourned last August, Democratic Senators from across the state have been meeting with constituents throughout their districts to learn about their top priorities. As we begin to draft bills important to the state, and take critical votes important to you and your families, we want to hear from you on what your top priorities are for North Carolina.

Take the survey, and let us know what you said.

Obama to nominate Elena Kagan to Supreme Court

Making it the first time in history that three women have sat on the highest court:

At 50 years old, Kagan would be the youngest justice on the court, one of many factors working in her favor.

Yet Kagan would be the first justice without judicial experience in almost 40 years.

As the Harvard Law School dean, Kagan openly railed against the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay service members. She called it discriminatory and barred military recruiters over the matter until the move threatened to cost the university federal money.

Judge Stephens gets it right re Titan Cement

From a Char-O editorial:

"The Legislature could not have intended for companies to build a project, receive previously committed public grant money, and only then conduct the SEPA review of the project's potential environmental impact and proposed alternatives. An environmental review prepared after a project has been completed and begun operation would fail to meet the Act's stated purpose of informing the State's decision."

Exactly. The next question is: Why does it take a judge to explain something to our state officials that's already so glaringly obvious?

Take it to Burr, not each other

There's been a lot of complaining here and elsewhere about the runoff between Elaine and Cal; how it's going to waste valuable time and resources, and give Richard Burr more of an edge than he already enjoys heading into the general election.

I've also read much about how we need to put forward the candidate with the best chops to beat Burr. So I say this: Show me. Don't wait until June 23rd to start attacking Burr, do it now. If both the Marshall and Cunningham teams devote their time and resources educating the voters about the myriad reasons to replace Senator Burr, this runoff could be the worst thing that ever happened. To him.

Duke Energy shareholders meeting fiasco

Poor Jim Rogers just can't win:

About a dozen protesters from the conservative group FreedomWorks marched outside Duke's uptown Charlotte headquarters during the meeting. They targeted Duke's support of a trading system for carbon "credits," or permission to release the greenhouse gas, that is envisioned in congressional energy bills.

Shareholder Tom Borelli of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank in Washington, said Rogers has "set our company on a risky course" by its advocacy.

State fails to properly regulate ABC system (again)

Apparently liquor and ethics don't mix:

Lawmakers on Wednesday stripped out some of the toughest measures from a package of new laws governing the state's liquor store system.

The committee cut a requirement that members of local ABC boards must follow the state ethics law, even though a primary task assigned to the group was to craft a bill establishing consistent ethical standards across the state.

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