TarGator's blog

Taylor: NAFTA is the Cause of Job Loss (Do Not Mind My Vote For CAFTA)

At his annual year-end fundraiser, Charles Taylor NC-11 was hit with a question on job loss (the area has lost 6,100 jobs since January 2003), His response was to point to 100 jobs being sent to Mexico and blaming NAFTA. From the Citizen-Times:

Taylor and Allen met with media representatives prior to the start of the dinner. When asked about the region’s future now that another 100 jobs will be lost after last week’s announcement that Asheville’s Cardinal Health plant is relocating to Mexico, Taylor blamed the North American Free Trade Agreement.

With House Races Heating Up, Taylor Already Avoiding Bush

The Charlotte Observer has a piece about the early virulence of the Democratic challenges in NC-8 and NC-11. The piece features Shuler and his fundraising advantage and Dunn and Kissell in the 11th.

The piece points out that the main issue in the 8th has been trade and Taylor's vote in favor of CAFTA. Dunn has made a big deal out of the vote, and Kissell has even named a goat (picture at http://www.larrykissell.com) after CAFTA. Given this, is it any surprise that Taylor did not show up when Bush was here promoting CAFTA last week?

Hayes has played up his ties to the president in the past, but choose to meet with workers at a yarn mill this week when Bush visited a construction equipment plant in Kernersville.

Racist Billboard Coming to Raleigh

This billboard is being set to be launched in Raleigh soon.
Billboard.bmp
The "terrorists" are set against the background of the winding mountain road with Arab script above their heads. The group claims to have a gripe against the security of North Carolina driver's licenses; however, as Lance has posted earlier, none of the 9/11 terrorists had North Carolina driver's licenses, despite claims by North Carolina representatives that they did.

Let the Lawsuits Begin: State Sued Over Illegal Certification of Diebold

In an earlier post, I talked about the State certifying Diebold voting machines despite the fact that Diebold would not disclose their source code as required by North Carolina law. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued the Board of Elections to make them follow the law, which was passed to ensure the security of votes cast on electronic voting machines. From EFF:

"This is about the rule of law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment."

(EFF's press release is here)
I am going to watch this closely. But it is sad that an outside group has to sue to get the Board of Elections to follow the law.

Lack of Military Experience of North Carolina Senators and Representatives

The Southern Dem was rehashing his anger at the Murtha madness in November when he began a list of the military experience of North Carolinians in Washington. It is an interesting list:

NC Senators
Elizabeth Dole, R-NC - No military experience
Richard Burr, R-NC - No military experience

NC Representatives
G.K. Butterfield, D-NC - No military experience
Bob Etheridge, D-NC - Served in the United States Army 1965-1967
Walter B. Jones, R-NC - North Carolina National Guard 1967-1971
David Price, D-NC - No military experience
Virginia Foxx, R-NC - No military experience
Howard Coble, R-NC - 5 1/2 years in the United States Coast Guard and 18 years in the Coast Guard Reserve.
Mike McIntyre, D-NC - No military service
Robin Hayes, R-NC - No military service
Sue Myrick, R-NC - No military service
Pat McHenry, R-NC - No military service
Charles Taylor, R-NC - No military service
Mel Watt, D-NC - No military service
Brad Miller, D-NC - No military service

Possible Formidable Challenger for Foxx

Vietnam veteran, three-term state house member, 10-year state senator, and 4-year state senate president Ted Kaplan is exploring a possible bid against one our favorite Republicans, Virginia Foxx. Kaplan spoke last night to advocate reduced health-care costs, clean air, clean water, bringing troops out of Iraq, education, job creation, and making American businesses competitive in the national market. Article here.

It is important to run a credible candidate in every district. Especially in '06 where more incumbents will be vulnerable than typical.

Executions VI: McHone Execution Stayed

Judge Andy Cromer on the North Carolina Superior Court has ordered that Steven McHone's execution scheduled for Friday be stayed until he considers new evidence from a paramedic that heard his mother's dying words asking for forgiveness for her son, who had just shot her. Judge Cromer's statement before issuing the order was:

"Someone unconnected to the family, the paramedic has been living with the last words of Mildred (Adams). From a perspective of how I am to review all of this. it's almost simply that. What effect does something that was not connected to the family have on the jury?"

Shuler Featured in the NY Times

Great article here (free subscription required). The piece starts on Shuler the football legend getting Republican voters to switch to him.

Because Shuler is a Democrat who played football at the University of Tennessee, and because this part of western North Carolina generally votes Republican and roots for Tennessee, the endorsement usually goes this way: "You're on the wrong side of the ticket, but you know what? I'm going to vote for you anyway."

College football loyalties can run deeper than party lines. The candidate nods and smiles. The voter tips his Tennessee cap. Just like that, the voter is once again a fan and the candidate once again a legend.

State Defense Bar Joins Call for Clemency in McHone Case And So Should We

For only the second time in state history the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers is intervening to seek clemency for a prisoner on death row. As I have chronicled here, there are three individuals schedule to be executed in the next month and all three have received calls for clemency for their own families and the families of the victims, which happen to be the same in all three cases.

McHone was convicted for a string of petty crimes prior to the murder. Then he was convicted of shooting his mother and father because they would not give him money to pay off restitution that he owed on a previous criminal conviction. He is sentenced to be executed on Friday.

Executions to Frame Thanksgiving

Getting into the holiday spirit, North Carolina has decided to execute three individuals between Nov. 11th and the first week of December. The AP has picked up on these executions and noted that they bracket the Thanksgiving holiday.

The facts of these cases give fascinating insights into our legal system. And all of them have family members of both sides asking Easley for clemency. As someone against the death penalty, I am against all of the executions, but I wonder whether Easley will grant any of the clemencies.

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