scharrison's blog

Republican mayor puts prayer back on the menu

Greensboro's new Republican mayor Bill Knight adds God to his list of trusted advisors:

Mayor Bill Knight is going a step further. He’s bringing prayer to the group’s regular meetings.

“I think this adds a very distinctly American quality and a very necessary element,” he said. “We all believe in something. This is an opportunity to exercise that without infringing on the government-religion prohibition.”

It's neither necessary nor "distinctly American" Mister Mayor.

Annexation reform bill not likely to pass

Both sides of the debate have problems with the referenda aspects of the bill:

Those opposed to involuntary annexations who have been lobbying for changes in the law since 2008 now say the 34-page bill makes the situation worse for home and business owners.

And they say their brass ring - requiring a referendum as a prerequisite for involuntary annexations - is tarnished because the threshold for such a vote is too tall for anyone to reach. Fifteen percent of registered voters within the existing city limits and the area to be annexed would have to sign a petition seeking a vote.

SEANC pushes 3rd party signature drive

They're apparently more serious than we thought:

Wearing matching "Bring Jobs to North Carolina" T-shirts, Donnell Smith of Fayetteville and Shelitia Brooks of Raeford told people they were trying to create better jobs and more affordable health care.

What they didn't say is they're also trying to throw 8th District Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell out of office.

But could they also be inadvertently helping to throw Tim D'Annunzio "in" office?

Forrester pushes marriage amendment (again)

And he's hoping for help from a Democrat:

Forrester said he’s hoping the proposed constitutional change will have a better chance this year since the Senate has a new Rules Committee chairman.

The new chairman is Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston. Hoyle signed on as a cosponsor of the proposed amendment last year. Hoyle said he expects to send the bill to the Rules Committee this year. But he doesn’t expect the committee to take it up.

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?

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