Unable to Articulate a Reason to Be Elected, Republicans Rely on Black's Issues

Control of the North Carolina General Assembly is up for grabs this year (as it is every two years), and what do the Republicans have to talk about? Nothing but Black. The Republicans this cycle have apparently choosen to forgo any attack of the policies of this General Assembly and focus on the possible indiscretions of Jim Black.

Now, I have posted here and stated elsewhere my disdain of Jim Black's actions and his inability to yield for the good of the party, but the fact that all the Republicans seem to be talking about is the actions of the one of the Democrat's members is clear proof that the party is doing a good job of representing the people and deserves to remain in power.

Update: News 14 Outlines an ad buy statewide ensuring that they are only running on the Black issue.

Update (RP): Here is a link to the Black Ad from Andrew Brock for Senate (opens actual video).


It almost makes me feel better when

I look at the races being run in North Carolina for U.S. House. I don't see the "culture of corruption" meme being invoked in most of the races unless a person was personally involved. Francine Busby used it and lost in California's 5th CD. Charles Taylor was personally involved, so it works against him.

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Never make a long story short

or a short story long.

This is a short story and you nailed it. The only reason Repugs want to control government is so they can crush it out of existence. So naturally, they have no positive issues to run on. Just go read their stinkin' platform.

Pot Calling the Kettle

And Democrats aren't doing the same thing with Taylor?

Show me one fucking Republican

calling for Taylor to step down. Just one ... and then this question can be asked in good faith.

The fact is, there are plenty of Dems calling for Black to resign. But until I see a scintilla of evidence that you people are working to clean up your own smelly crap, apologists for Taylor can shove your stupid pot and filthy kettle you know where.

Justin...sweetie..you truly aren't getting the point

Targator's point was that Republicans are using Jim Black's problems to paint other Democrats as corrupt.

We are using Charles Taylor's corruption to prove that Charles Taylor is corrupt....

Get the difference?

God it's a pain trying to walk Republicans through a basic thought process. It really isn't that difficult Justin.

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I retired....:)

Both girls start school on the 23rd.

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You Go Anglico!

Come on Justin, did you come here to leave Troll droppings or did you come here to discuss and debate. There are many here more than willing to do both. If all you are interested in is to let everyone see how ignorant the Republicans can be....well, you're doing a great job!

Look at the Pattern

So, you're saying that Jim Black and Michael Decker acted alone?

As for Dems calling for him to step down - they've just learned to jump off the ship quickly after a recent string of NC Dems who have problems following the laws they helped create:

Megan Scott Phipps
Frank Ballance

Should I continue?

Yes if you want to make any sort of point.

These are two separate instances. Regettable, stupid moves on both of their parts. And both were punished for their indiscrections.

If the advertisements were going to be used against Black himself, that would be one thing, but to imply that this is a reason to overthrow the Democratic majority is another.

Yes Please

Yes. Please continue. Decker, Phipps, Ballance. And...? This is not Abramoff with "Rep A, B, C, D, E, F...etc"
With Black this is still he said/she said over whether or not there was actual quid pro quo.
Please though, give me proof that anyone besides Black was involved with this. If you cannot then you have to admit that there have been more Republicans involved with this Abramoff thing in the last year than NC Democrats in trouble for all of this decade.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"

Missing the Point

So, Black gets the benefit of the doubt; but others that have yet to be convicted don't if they're Republican.

The point that you're missing is that the Black & Decker scandal is the result of an attitude that the people of NC works for the General Assembly - not the other way around.

This attitude gives us one of the highest gas taxes in the nation; but a road system that doesn't match...unless you're in the middle-of-nowhere in the Eastern part of the state. The raid on the Highway fund makes Ted Steven's "Bridge to Nowhere" look like a gravel driveway.

This attitude gives us the highest income tax burden in the South; but we don't get relief when the state has a $2 Billion surplus.

This attitude makes us THE ONLY STATE in the Nation that has a sizeable, structural Medicare burden at the County level.

This attitude scoffs at any calls for significant reform - unless their leader is in trouble.

What amazes me is that this is defended by BOTH sides - it's a partisan; but not an ideological one.

I work with a guy who is at the other end of the spectrum from me (he's a liberal - I'm a center-right guy); and have extremely enriching conversations with him - and he's changed my mind on more than one occasion.

I show up here and at the first comment I make I'm referred to as a troll. I have to say that 10% of the time, when I read BlueNC - I honestly feel challenged and informed. The remainder of the time - I'm underwhelmed or disappointed. As far as blogs go on either side - that's a better record than most.

If you've been reading this site

as you claim, you know that Black gets no benefit of the doubt around here. Nor do the Democrats like Joe Hackney who've enabled Black's survival by voting with their heads in the sand on ethics and lobbying reform.

In fact, we've been calling for much more reform than the state legislature has been willing to consider - and we'll continue to do so. I personally am advocating for a 100% elimination of corporate money in any aspect of politics or elections.

As to the other issues, you're talking to the wrong crowd. I personally see nothing inherently evil about taxes and am a firm believer in the old adage that you get what you pay for. In fact, I'd happily pay higher taxes in exchange for a level of excellence that pushes North Carolina to the top of state rankings instead of the bottom. Having the highest income tax in the South is a virtue as far as I'm concerned. You'd rather have NC be another Talibama?

It looks to me like you're trying to make arguments just for the hell of it, which IMO is the purest definition of a troll. If that's not your intention, then let's hear something constructive.

BlueNC is not a Democrat organization. And I personally have no tolerance for sleaze and mediocrity no matter what party it comes from. But the fact is, the free-market anti-tax zealots on the Republican right are disdainful of government at all levels (except when it helps them line their own pockets) ... which is why I'll support a crappy Dem over a crappy Republican anyday.

Justin, a couple of things

I think the troll comment came from the tone of your first comment. I think the rest of yours are in a more appropriate tone. Specifically, I think the reference to the Politburo was what triggered the harsher "troll" response.

I think that it is fair to say that Black views the people as his personal piggy bank. Giving away state jobs and such.
I think you are painting with a broad brush to describe the rest of the GA that way.
For the tax argument that you throw out: NC is not the highest gas tax in the country, but is in the Southeast. But we also have more roads to support per capita than any other state. And this goes to your disrepair and funding issues you brought up. I think that we built too many roads without thinking about future costs and whether building solely for automobile travel is the best policy.
As for the income tax, all studies show that the overall tax burden on individuals in different states in about the same. One state has a higher income but lower property tax, etc. Essentially there are essential functions of government that cost money and the money comes from somewhere. I prefer the income tax because of the progressive nature and the fact it can be written off of federal returns.
Also to the extent that it is over the cost of essential services I am willing to give to a pot when it is spent for the common good, such as museums and universities. And I think the GA has done a good job overall providing these services.

And the county medicare bit: I thought they changed that this session. Another notch for the Democrats to stay in power.

Sorry Justin

The gas tax argument does not hold any water. It's a myth. Why?

Myth #1: A large chunk of state gas tax revenue goes into the general fund (ultimately to pay for things like the Teapot Museum in Sparta). This is simply not true. 100% of the state gas tax goes to state transportation projects. There is a substantial amount of the highway use tax (the 3% paid upon the purchase of an automobile) that goes into the general fund, but that has always been the case and has absolutely nothing to do with the gas tax.

Myth #2: South Carolina's gas tax is far lower than North Carolina's. On the surface, it certainly appears so. But does anyone ever look beneath the numbers? In North Carolina, 100% of state transportation expenses are paid for out of the gasoline tax. In South Carolina, counties and cities are clamouring for funds to pay for much need state transportation improvement and maintenance projects. To do this, the state of South Carolina has authorized counties and cities to tax or adopt fees to cover the shortfall. A few of these are summarized here:

1. Fuel and Vehicle Taxes (Fees). 12 of SC's 46 counties and one city have adopted annual vehicle fees ranging from $5 to $20 to cover local and county transportation projects. If you live in a $20 county, and put 500 gallons of gas in your car every year, that's a 4¢ per gallon tax you didn't know about. In the latest year for which we have records, over $11 million was raised in this way ($3 for every citizen of the state).

2. Property taxes and assessments. 4 Counties have set up special transportation improvement districts to cover the cost of road and bridge projects. These taxes range from 0.013 mils to 0.128 mils. If you lived in the 0.128 mil district and owned a $100,000 home, your annual tax for this project would be $12.80 (or about 2.4¢ per gallon for that 500 gallon user).

3. Capital Projects Sales Tax. A 1% local option sales tax that counties can implement for any purpose. Only York County, according to records as of a few years ago, used this tax for a $14 million (per year) road improvement package. This amounted to almost $90 per year per citizen (or about 18¢ per gallon for the 500 gallon user).

4. Transportation Authority Sale Tax. Another 1% local option sales tax that counties can use specifically for transportation projects. Beaufort County implemented such a tax for $27 million in road projects per year, or over $230 per citizen (or 46¢ per gallon for the 500 gallon user). Taxes #3 and #4 accounted for $10.50 for every citizen in the state.

5. Hospitality Fees. Counties have the option of implementing up to a 2% tax on food and drink to pay for tourism-related projects including transportation projects. Horry County raises over $16 per citizen with this and other fees on restaurants, admissions and other tourism-related services. This amounts to about 8¢ per gallon for a 500 gallon user.

So, in summary, South Carolina has 13 different tax Schemes that are used by counties and cities to help fill the gap left by the state shortfall in revenues needed for transportation projects. In some SC counties, this can substantial increase the citizen's net costs for these projects to well above what a NC citizen would pay strictly from the gas tax.

Do you want one single, easy to understand, tax on gasoline to fund 100% of state transportation needs, or do you want to pay 10¢ per gallon less on the gas tax, but face 13 new tax and fee schemes to make up the difference.

Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia all have similar cimbinations - a deceptively low gas tax combined with sales tax, user fees, and property taxes. Is it better to pay all of these hidden taxes and fees, or property taxes, to pay for road construction?

Thanks to my pals over at RaleighGasPrices.com for the stats.

Just excellent.


Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Err..IMO this is another reason why Black has got to go

His lottery taint and the way it was pulled off sends negative messages around the state about Democrats. Regardless if we can run on more "valid" issues, sleeze is sleeze. And as the party of real morals, Black needs to go, and an example set like McKinney in GA.

We do not tolerate corruption. Not even the slightest scent of it.

Justin I thought you were a Republican looking for trouble, but I thought your point about Black was true. The Democratic Party of NC needs to get Black to step down, or they look just as "black" as the GOP.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Until a few minutes ago

I was thinking that I would have to vote for McKinney in November (if she wins her runoff). After all, a Dem controlled Congress with McKinney is better than a Republican controlled Congress without her.

But I was very pleased to find that I'll be represented by John Lewis, a great man. I had a chance to have lunch with him (and a dozen or so other people) a couple of years ago, and it was a "restore my faith in government" experience.

Judge: Black must return contributions

AP Story

House Speaker Jim Black must return $6,800 in illegal campaign donations received by his campaign from optometrists, a Wake County Superior Court judge decided Monday, upholding an earlier ruling by the State Board of Elections.

Judge James Spencer said that Black's campaign broke the law by accepting partially completed checks. The checks were signed by individual optometrists and given to the N.C. State Optometric Society; its political action committee then passed the checks to Black, who would fill in the payee line.

Spencer did not rule on the legality of funneling along blank checks, although he called the practice "blatant gamesmanship." But he said the blank checks should have been considered contributions from the optometric society.

The organization had already reached the legal maximum for its contributions to Black -- $4,000 for both the primary and general election cycles in 2002.

"Something of value had been transferred to the PAC for use by the PAC as it felt would best serve the needs of the PAC and its constituent optometrists," Spencer wrote. "It then became PAC money and should have been reported as PAC money."