Black Won't Run


Greg Flynn caught this first, but I'm posting it as a whole entry because it really is cause for celebration. Here's the story.

Embattled state House Speaker Jim Black said Tuesday night he will not seek another term as speaker, ending an eight-year tenure as the top official in the state House.

"I've been speaker for four terms," Black told The Associated Press. "This is, again, not about me. I don't have any need for me to be speaker forever."

Black said he has no plans now to step aside from his Mecklenburg County legislative seat, and dismissed the suggestion he decided against seeking another term as speaker because he is worried about a possible federal indictment. For more than a year, a federal grand jury has looked into the Democrat's campaign finances and his connections to the lottery and video poker industries.

"I have no more reason to think today that I'll be indicted than I did a year ago," Black said.

Black, 71, announced his decision after having dinner with about 25 House Democrats at a Raleigh restaurant. He said their focus in next year's legislative session should be on the issues facing the state, such as education and mental health — and not who is leading the party. Black added he plans to be involved in choosing his successor, a decision he doesn't expect House Democrats to make until January.

Comments

SD posted in another diary that he is trying to hand pick

his successor....that's still bad....

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Old dogs

but at least he'll be missing some of those sharp teeth.

The risk is that the Party of Greed teams up with some of the more conservative Dems and tries to pull a power play to keep the same cabal in charge.

Why Easley Won't Run

Easley, who is barred by state law from running for a third term, again distanced himself from considering a 2008 run at the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Dole, saying his leadership skills don't mesh into a legislative body.

"Every time I've had a job, it's been an executive level where I make decisions and I don't have to check off on a whole lot of other people," Easley said. "I think I would find the legislative process frustrating. ... I just don't think the Senate would be my highest and best use."

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

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

oops

From an article about Black.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

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

Thank you, Jim Black

for putting the Democratic Party first. Finally.

Now the real work begins to put together a winning Progressive coalition to elect the new Speaker.

What I am hearing is the new

What I am hearing is the new leadership team will be James Crawford as speaker and either Drew Sanuders as Speaker Pro Tem or maybe a Republican as the Pro Tem perhaps Julia Howard. Who was one of the Morgan supporters. AS for Jim Black I give him huge credit for getting the Democrats back into the majority party in 1998 and 2004 and for extending there lead this year, but it is his time to step down.

What I am hearing is the new

What I am hearing is the new leadership team will be James Crawford as speaker and either Drew Sanuders as Speaker Pro Tem or maybe a Republican as the Pro Tem perhaps Julia Howard.

There was a brief period of time a few years ago (2002-2003) when my neighborhood in Durham got redistricted, and part of it ended up in Crawford's district.

To his credit, he did come out to meet with us to review some of our grievances with NCDOT, etc., but i can't say that he was particularly effective in resolving them. He's also not the most progressive voice in the caucus.

But his integrity quotient seems pretty high.

Steak rub

Of course there had to be a rub. From the News & Observer:

Black, who has served eight years as speaker, confirmed the decision Tuesday night after announcing it at a closed dinner with roughly 20 House Democrats and several lobbyists at Vinnie's Steak House & Tavern in Raleigh.

"House Dems and lobbyists"

Hmmm...a little pressure. Glad it worked in our favor!

Better Late Than Never

It only took Black this long to step down. I wonder how many close seats the Dems would have won (I think of the Doug Jones seat), if Black had stepped down earlier.

Black's a selfish bastard who finally got the message.

BlackOut-NC declared victory and went home.

So who're we getting behind, people?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

A great bit of news to start the day.

A great bit of news to start the day.

To try to answer your question, i know basically squat about legislators from other parts of the state, but of the folks near me geograpichally, i could support Luebke or Insko with no qualms at all. No idea if either of them is interested or has the kind of support from the rest of the caucus to do run, however.

I am really shocked that he did step down.

I really thought this would go down with him back in his old position.

But now with him out of power, how will function? That was a lot of power to give up. Will he just sit there as a lowly legislator?

--
Town Called Dobson - Daily Political Cartoon: Not all is red in rural America!

Maybe they'll let him pretend to have power

I think he's just trying to do this on his terms.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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

This is all so secretive

the decision may be made before we ever know who the candidates are. We may never have a chance to influence the outcome.

It would be great to have Paul Leubke or Joe Hackney or Verla Insko as speaker. But which one do we get behind? How do we prevent a progressive split if we back anyone besides Dan Blue?

Good New, but....

Jim Black has become a poster boy for corruption and malfeasance in high office. However, I wonder if anyone could survive in the Speakership for eight long years without acquiring a collection of dents not only to their reputation, but also to their good character.

On the national stage who was the last Speaker of the House to retire in power with his reputation intact? That would be Tip O'Neill. However, with that one exception, for the last thirty years we've seen every single Speaker ushered out of office in the midst of a scandal. Let's list them: Carl Albert (D), Jim Wright (D), Tom Foley (D), Newt Gingrich (R), Dennis Hastert (R).

I'm willing to bet that the same dynamics that lead to the decline and fall of Speakers in Washington D.C., are the very same factors that eventually bring down Speakers in the North Carolina Legislature.

After a while we should probably conclude that these scandals don't have as much to do with the individuals filling those offices as they do with the external factors operating to insure the eventual corruption of virtually anyone who becomes Speaker.

In the 2004 election I was a campaign liaison for a Democratic candidate running for the North Carolina State Senate. He spent over $500,000 of his own money in an effort to unseat a clearly inferior incumbent. In the end he missed narrowly in what was a bad year for Democrats, but it was a valiant contest.

Despite all the money my candidate spent from his own resources I can clearly remember his repeated calls to Marc Basnight begging for money - money that he had been promised, but money that was not forthcoming.

I suffered with my candidate, and I resented what I saw as Basnight's betrayal of a promise. However, in retrospect, I've also come to appreciate Basnight's terrible predicament. He had to draw from limited resources and then decide to whom he would give money, and to whom he would give nothing.

I can imagine the desperate calls Basnight made behind the scenes to potential donors hoping that he wouldn't have to betray a promise, candidates he respected, and friends he valued. I'm sure that every lobbyist in the State was on his speed dial.

If there were ever a job designed to exhaust a person's moral resources, it would have to be a leadership role in the legislature.

So before we begin celebrating the fall of Jim Black, we should be giving thought to what can be done to preserve the good character of that poor wretch who will be elected to succeed him.

I don't think that the ultimate problem is Jim Black, it's us, and our sorry lack of insistence that the system be reformed.

I'm 56 years old. I moved to North Carolina five years ago. The previous twenty-five years I spent as a resident of Chicago's north shore and before that Wisconsin, Utah and California. I live in Moore County. My Congressman is Howard Coble, my State Sen

I agree for the most part, George

However, if we recognize the system is broken, then so does Jim Black. (and so should the rest of our reps in Raleigh) They know the difference between right and wrong and should be held responsible for doing something that falls in the wrong category - even if it isn't against the rules/law. They should want to fix the broken system as much as we do, or they should be replaced with people who do.

Sorry, if I'm not making much sense. Didn't sleep well last night.

I actually like Jim and appreciate all that he has done for Mecklenburg County and this state. I'm happy with his decision and hope the next person will not want to work in a broken system and will take steps to fix it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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

Please rec at DKos

I don't know who this writer is, but BlueNC was given a nod and a link in his diary about Black and Easley. Why not give the diary a rec in return?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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

Kirk Ross

It's Kirk on Kos:
exileonjonesstreet, Independent, Yes!Weekly, Mountain Xpress, Cape Fear Mercury, BlueNC lurker.

Ahhh it was the lud part that threw me off



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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

exileonjonesstreet.com

Thanks for the link typo. I always forget the second "s"

Corrected:
exileonjonesstreet.com

Once again caught speeding in the parsing lane.

Greg - there's a typo in the

Greg - there's a typo in the URL in your link to Kirk's site.

Jim Black's letter

Just a little follow up. The News & Observer posted a copy of Jim Black's letter online this afternoon.

The N&O did not have a direct quote from Black as the Charlotte Observer reported that:

After the dinner he told reporters for the Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh that he would issue a statement only to The Associated Press. He addressed one reporter as a "sorry sack of (expletive)" and otherwise refused to answer questions.

What a classy guy

But I think the Observer got it wrong. Jim Black was looking in the mirror when he said that.

Some people have told me to give Black a break because of all the good stuff he did for so many years. Maybe that's true, but he pissed on all that "good stuff" by not knowing when to step aside. Now he's just another old fool who's overstayed his welcome.

It's almost sad that the old guy has fallen so far so fast. Sort of like it's sad that the Puppetmaster can't get any respect by flashing all his millions around the UNC system.

Not.