Progress 2006

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RALEIGH - NC legislators can create advantages for citizens by investing carefully in good governance, encouraging school excellence, and focusing on the legitimate strategic needs of our state. Those are a few of the recommendations outlined in Progress 2006, a dynamic new initiative by Blue NC.

“As we enter the 2006 campaign season, candidates for public office in North Carolina are faced with the daunting and possibly overwhelming task of developing informed positions on dozens of public policy issues,” says James Protzman, who helped start Blue NC. “Progress 2006, is designed to help those candidates by combining the expertise of Blue NC analysts and contributors to address state and local budgets and taxes, education, state regulation, local government, and health and human services."

Progress 2006 is an ongoing commitment,” says Protzman. “We understand that issues are complex and that the best solutions emerge from healthy dialogue. We invite all concerned citizens to help us improve our ideas and ensure that We the People have a voice in how our state government operates."

Recommendations

The state budget is a reflection of our shared priorities. Governor Mike Easley and the General Assembly have a responsibility to invest wisely when we have a tax surplus to ensure that the state’s strategic needs are well-served. BlueNC rejects the calls from anti-government conservatives to place arbitrary limits on public investments.

Progress 2006 recommends reforming the North Carolina tax code so that millionaires carry their fair share of the tax burden. Conservatives want to align North Carolina tax policy to match what’s going on in other southern states. Do we really want to be another Alabama or South Carolina? Do we really want to drop in farther in national rankings of child well-being? Rather than settle for mediocrity and average performance, progressives want to see North Carolina at the top of major rankings. We want to have the best paid teachers in the country. We want to create advantages for citizens that make North Carolina a haven for prosperity and the common good. We can set a standard for excellence – and we should.

Regarding public education, the General Assembly should give parents an Education Bill of Rights that precludes the state from dictating acceptable positions around patriotism and sex education. State experimentation with public charter schools should continue. No public money should be diverted into programs that end up as profits for private schools.

Progress 2006
calls for state policy makers to leave higher education to educators. The marketplace has a long and strong history of determining the value of a UNC system education. Interference in that proven system by right-wing think tanks is inappropriate. The Bush administration has already showed the toxic affect of obsessive testing.

Other recommendations include a strong endorsement of smart growth. Growth is inevitable as our population continues to expand. Smart growth is better than stupid growth.

Regarding campaign finance: It’s wrong when rich individuals can influence North Carolina elections with corporate money. It's a step over the line when people want to buy and sell elections like shares in their companies. We need to move toward fair, citizen-owned elections, not toward more concentration of power in the hands of a few.

Progress 2006 also addresses climate change. Conservatives don’t really want to conserve anything except their profits. Their assaults on science and their foot-dragging on climate change are breathtakingly irresponsible. North Carolina can and should be a leader in the new economy that is emerging around environmental integrity.

Finally Progress 2006 calls on policymakers to resist the temptation to legislate patriotism, choice, religion and discrimination. Laws that demand obedience to the state or that discriminate against any class of citizen have no place in North Carolina. Legislators should not waste time and resources debating and passing rules that further restrict personal freedoms.

Progress 2006 puts important state and local government issues in focus. Elected leaders open themselves to criticism when they fail to take the long view of public issues. Anyone can cut taxes, starve government and destroy the common good. But it takes thoughtful leaders to study and understand the long-term implications of policy. This agenda shows elected officials can serve the people who elect them.

NOTES: Much appreciation to the John Locke Foundation for modeling the template for this announcement. Imitation can be the highest form of flattery. Or not.

Comments

Hear, hear.

Thanks, James.

Thanks!

Judo is an amazing thing, eh?

But in this case, we can definitely raise the bar over a typical JLF "report." Through dialogue here at BlueNC, we can sharpen and improve our positions, without fear of becoming inbred. I'm hoping readers will add to the content, eventually leading to an archive of good information we can improve and promote. Some of these ideas might also be helpful in our candidate interviews.

Act BlueNC?

There's been some discussion about setting up Act Blue pages to support progressive NC legislators. I asked for your input awhile back and here are the individuals BlueNC readers felt good about:

Alma Adams
Alice Bordsen
Julia Boseman
Linda Coleman
Janet Cowell
Susan Fisher
Joe Hackney
Verla Insko
Doug Jones
Ellie Kinnaird
Jeanne Lucas
Paul Luebke
Grier Martin
Joe Sam Queen
Deborah Ross
Jennifer Weisz
Larry Womble

UPDATES:

Ed Ridpath
Ty Harrell

I'm sure the list could be made longer or shorter at any time (and there was one pushback on Coleman, and I added Luebke for his sole dissenting vote on the Pledge pandering), but it's a decent starting point.

If we had to limit ourselves to the Top 5 Progressives in the NC Legislature, who would they be?

Focusing down

I think we should be paying special attention to:

  • those who are facing serious Republican challenges in November (which would rule out the Marvelous Alice Bordsen, for example, who is unopposed); and
     
  • those who aren't currently in the legislature but who have real shot at being a strong progressive voice over the next two sessions if elected (Ty Harrell, for example).

Anglico, thanks for getting this ball rolling.

Focus. Good.

I think these are great criteria: (1) Need and (2) Potential for Impact. Very excellent.

Doug Jones

Jones is progressive candidate fighting to win a historically Republican seat. He trounced his primary opponents, and he's got the eye of the tiger.

Let's help him get over the top.

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

Pricey Harrison

submitted by my spouse.

Pricey

I was surprised to not see her on the list.

Paul Luebke

would definitely be in my Top 5 Progressives. He is unopposed for re-election and will return for 2007.

Greer Beaty

http://www.greerbeaty.org/

Greer has a good shot at Art Pope funded Nelson Dollar in Cary. She is progressive! And Dollar is nothing but sleaze-- look at what he did to former Republican legislator David Miner in their primary campaign.

She's on the new list!

Thanks.

Ed Ridpath

I know Ed Ridpath lurks and may be shy about putting his own name forward but he has a shot at taking out Paul "Skip" Stam in State House 37. Jump in anytime Ed!

Progress 2006

exudes the success of UNC's Journalism School in producing top-quality political and public policy analysis. James Protzman has used his Master's degree to produce some original ideas that will certainly cure the ills North Carolinians are subject to, originating from the malicious opinions of those at the John Locke Foundation.

The Journalism School's ability to educate analysts is shown to be superior to other schools that rely on Graduate programs in Public Policy, Economics, Public Administration, Public Health, and others, when educating public leaders and their critics.

Change is imminent!

Old Dean Cole

would be proud of ya!

Anonymous, you're the sort of person

who starts cocktail party conversations with "so, what do you do?" C'mon, you are, aren't you.

I see no snark here.

n/t

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

The line between snark

and not snark is hereby erased.

Fill in the blank?

Step right up, pick a job, any job.

I want to be

Queen...but I didn't see that anywhere. ;) Drinks on the beach probably not the right thing before serious political discussions.....hmmmmm



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

UPDATE

Here's a quick and dirty breakdown of the candidates (check my work!). If anyone wants to take a closer look at any of these to see if they're the kind of candidates we're looking for, feel free. For incumbent Dems, there are two questions: are they progressives? and are their Republican challengers serious threats?

Incumbents

Alma Adams (D-H58, Guilford) is up against challenger Olga Morgan Wright.
Julia Boseman (D-S9, New Hanover) up against Sherman Lee Criner.
Linda Coleman (D-H39, Wake) against John W. Blackwell.
Susan Fisher (D-H114, Buncombe) against Mike Harrison.
Joe Hackney (D-H54, Chathan, Moore, Orange) against Alvin Reed.
Pricey Harrison (D-H57, Guilford) is up against challenger Ron Styers.
Ellie Kinnaird (D-S23, Orange Person) against E.B. Alston.
Grier Martin (D-H40, Wake) against Marilyn Avila

Challengers

Ty Harrell is challenging Russell Capps (R-H41)
Doug Jones is up against Bill Porter for an open seat (H116, Buncombe)
Joe Sam Queen is up against Keith Presnell (R-S47, Avery, Haywood, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Yancey).

Unopposed (Ruled Out)

Alice Bordsen
Janet Cowell
Verla Insko
Jeanne Lucas
Paul Leubke
Deborah Ross
Jenifer Weiss
Larry Womble

Joe Hackney (D-H54, Chathan, Moore, Orange) against Alvin Reed.

Consistently rated in top ten for effectiveness (out of 120) by peers in North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research survey
Joe Hackney - served 12 – 2 yr terms, currently on 13th lives in Chapel Hill has beef cattle farm in Siler City.
Lifelong dem – currently House Majority Leader
JD degree in “70 – practiced law 31 years (civil litigation & domestic relations) research asst/law clerk to Frank Huskins ’70 to ’71 - lectured on family law & legislative changes
-Past active member of Southern Legislative Conference Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; -Current Member and Co-Chair, National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
Sponsor of many pieces of significant legislation, including the phosphate detergent ban; the Waste Management Act of 1989, which established an aggressive policy on reducing solid waste in North Carolina; the .08 DWI bill, lowering the permissible level of blood alcohol for drivers; the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, giving additional protections to taxpayers dealing with the N.C. Department of Revenue; domestic relations reform measures, including bills to streamline procedures for equitable distribution, alimony and divorce; in 1995, a new rewrite of alimony laws and DWI laws; in 1997, Governor's DWI reform bill, including vehicle seizure and forfeiture provisions, and three equitable distribution reform bills; in 1999, clean air, clean water, and sedimentation bills, HMO liability, and DWI improvements

Winner of many awards ; a number for environmental excellance/nc future planning/children’s health and welfare/protection of families/friend of education
He’s also attended many legislative seminars and forums. Looks like his focus is on environment/family/correction system

He sounds pretty strong

What's the story with Alvin Reed—is he someone to worry about? Thanks for grabbing this info!

Joe Hackney

is a progressive leader. I don't always see eye to eye with him, but big deal. He's an important ally for the kind of North Carolina I want to see in the future.

oops

forgot to look, let me see what i find....

Alvin Reed - Republican for H54

Major Issues:Promote moral training in public schools - Fiscal responsiblity

Position Statement:Our younger generation has lost the work ethic of a generation ago. I am convinced that this is directly attributable to the decay of the moral fabric of society. Strong moral and ethical training in our North Carolina public schools will gain back this work ethic. Fiscal responsibility comes from this strong work ethic. The younger generation has grown up with the expectation that the world owes them a living. The world doesn't owe anyone anything. We, as citizens of North Carolina and as citizens of the United States of America, owe each other and future generations hard work, smart labor, and moral and fiscal responsibility to pass on to the next generation.

Religion:Southern Baptist (Surprise, surprise)

Platform: Morals & Ethics

Hero: Sen Frist

Fav Book: bible (of course...pandering anyone?)

Says he’s qualified for office because he’s been in Corp America for 23 years

When evaluating the incumbent (Joe Hackney) he says: I am convinced that the fiscal and moral issues have not been addressed in a manner over years consistent with the Original Intent of our Founding Fathers. (wonder if he did any research on Joe?…do you know Joe?)

Mechanical engineer & inventor

Signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” committing to oppose & vote against ANY AND ALL efforts to increase taxes” on 4/11/06

In his biography, he tells of his amazing brain power and how he completed degreed programs and courses in less time than everybody else. (he’s very impressed with himself)

Joe Hackney is just a better candidate

I doubt his constituents would be willing to give up Joe for ALLLLVVVIINNNN!

Republicans Sniping at Each Other

Wasn't sure where to post this...in today's edition of our local newspaper, there is another article about the fight for Morgan's seat. Mal Owings, the local chair of the pug party calls his own "Clowns"! Love it when they fight each other! Go here and read:http://www.thepilot.com/stories/20060719/news/local/072006pines.html

Even tho Owens and Manila "Bud" Shaver (the republican candidate on the ballot via local signatures, to run against Joe Boylan, the Art Pope hand-picked candidate) are friends, Owens has pledged to support the republican nominee.

In addition to his public objections to state party interference in a local party primary, Owen tackled the state’s higher echelon earlier this year by calling for the party to unseat the state chairman, Ferrell Blount, and vice chairwoman Linda Daves.

Owens says, “My concern is the large number of unopposed Democrats for legislative seats,” Owen said.

The dems in Moore county were also able to obtain signatures to get Gerald Galloway on the ballot for Morgan's seat.

(Hey, the block quote works if i hand type it in....still can't get it to link on dial up tho...?)

The links don't work for me either...

I hand type all my commands. It's easier than learning something new. ;)



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