A small example of why things get so screwed up

We all know that lobbying on behalf of businesses distorts the legislative process. Companies of all shapes and sizes waddle up to the public trough, throwing out whatever cases they can conjure to protect their bottom lines.

That's happening again this week in reaction to a bill proposed by Paul Stam, the Republican lunatic representing Apex. Only this time, Stam is right. He's looking for ways to help local governments save a few bucks, and the businesses that would lose their monopoly are crying foul.

A bill that would save local governments some money has drawn opposition from the state's newspaper publishers, who say it would limit public access to information about government meetings. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, would give certain cities, towns and counties the ability to stop paying for newspaper advertisements to announce public hearings. Currently, all but a few municipalities in North Carolina are required to pay for the ads, which are found in classified sections.

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Publishers and editors at The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and other newspapers have lobbied against the bill, arguing that many people who read legal ads don't necessarily have Internet access. They say government shouldn't be solely responsible for publicizing its hearings.

"It's a little bit uncomfortable to be putting the message in the hands of the government who maybe stands to lose the most if enough people turn out in opposition to whatever the meeting's going to be about," said John Bussian, a lobbyist for the N.C. Press Association.

You know what must be a little bit uncomfortable, Mr. Bussian? What must be a little bit uncomfortable is the contortions you're going through to make the case that people who don't read newspapers are less important than people who do.

Comments

Stimulus!

But won't this government spending "stimulate" the local economy by "creating jobs" and "investing" in "communication infrastructure"?

Seriously though, how is this different from all of the "shovel-ready" public works projects? Aren't those just boondoggles for big construction firms? The Federal Government is much more insolvent than the State and local governments, so why shouldn't it be cutting it's budget like every other institution in America is being forced to do right now? (And $100 million in savings in 90 days isn't going to cut it).

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for ending tax-payer subsidies for the newspapers (serves them right for years of establishment cheerleading). I also agree that it's silly to presume that people who use certain services are "more important" than people who don't, but this is the implicit assumption of every form of government spending.

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

Missed you on Saturday

Or were you really here in disguise?

:)

Good to see you haven't fallen off your bandwagon.

Wish I could have attended

Unfortunately it was a busy weekend for me so I wasn't able to drive down. Did any local candidates speak, and if so, are there any videos of that online? I enjoyed watching a video of Suzanne Reynolds speak at last year's event.

Yea, I'm sure you've heard it all before from me but I can't help myself. The political discourse in this country desperately needs a left-libertarian perspective (clearly many would disagree).

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"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

I have video of Bernard Allen

who is hoping to fill Senator Mallone's seat, but unfortunately my imac is ailing and freezes when I try to load video. We'll probably plan a smaller gathering for the fall and then plan another candidate forum for next spring prior to the primaries.



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