kmr's blog

Orr running for gov

Former Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr is going to run for governor.
Via the AP:

RALEIGH, N.C. — Bob Orr, a former state Supreme Court justice who has filed legal challenges to North Carolina's tax incentive programs and the state's new lottery since leaving the bench, said Tuesday he will run for governor in 2008.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Orr said in the next week he will file paperwork creating the campaign committee that will allow him to start raising money for a gubernatorial bid. Orr is the first Republican to formally announce his intention to replace Democratic Gov. Mike Easley, who is barred by state law from seeking a third consecutive term.

Some quick advice: with the Canes and all the transplants, skip Bob and go straight to Bobby.

Is Smithfield pushing a quick election?

Last week, Smithfield foods announced an agreement with the feds over a new union election. This on the heels of another walkout at the plant after another immigration raid. Not a great time for an election one might think.

Union officials say the election can't move forward, pointing out that there are still cases pending charging unfair labor practices (like the unfair practice of threatening or attacking workers engaged in legal protests). The feds seem to agree. The last few elections were a nightmare. Throw into this one even more volatile immigration politics and and the recent history of raids and actions.

Links: Fay-O on the story. Previously in EJS, Smithfield Justice site. Press release on union vote (pdf).

SSN audit on UNC Hospitals

Via Ex:

New audit report just out this morning is another in a series of "stategic audits." This is an ongoing review of various state agencies' employment practices. It's mainly to check whether they are hiring people with phony Social Security information and how they're correcting problems that come up.
Of the thousands of employees who had their records checked, auditors found four using a deceased person's info and 13 with incorrect data.
Like a recent case at N.C. Central University, the audit may not have caught a lot of people, but it will lead to tighter verification procedures at the hosptial. From the report (pdf):

Easley at Chimney Rock

Update: NC reaches deal on Chimney Rock Park:

RALEIGH, N.C. - The state will spend $24 million to buy privately owned Chimney Rock Park, a landmark in western North Carolina that has served as the setting for several major motion pictures, a state parks official said Monday.

This morning, the Governor is going to be at the Sky Lounge at Chimney Rock Park. That's on lovely Lake Lure.
The word is it's an "environmental announcement."

Wondering aloud here whether that means the state has come to terms with the Morse family over the sale of Chimney Rock Park. The state and environmental groups have preserved a good chunk of Hickory Nut Gorge and last year set aside funds that could be used for the purchase. But the family's asking price was steep.

Book Review

Via Ex:

Book Review

The Speaker: The North Carolina House of Representatives, by Ann Lassiter (23 pps, GBC bound, Legislative Printing Office, Raleigh, North Carolina)

Though Ms. Lassiter's $75,000 advance for this book has been the talk of the capital, it is her unconventional prose and keen eye for detail that makes this remarkably easy-to-read history something special.

With a full twenty-three pages of amazing prose (except for the big Who quote on page six) The Speaker is replete with odd choices of capitalization, some noun-verb problems and a few tense shifts here and there. With each leaf, Ms. Lassiter keeps us guessing which sharp corner of the English language she'll round off next.

Marc Basnight opening day remarks

Senator Marc Basnight is not your ordinary public speaker. He can have a very informal, personal style even in the middle of such a formal occasion. Here, woven into the speech, he's calling out the challenges to committee chairs and key members of the team.

Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight's Opening Day Speech at the Convening of the 2007-2008 General Assembly. January 24, 2007

To my Lieutenant Governor, thank you for your friendship and support. To Dick Parker, a long-time friend from Manteo who swore me in today, thank you. To all members and families, friends, and guests in the gallery, I not only welcome you but I appreciate your belief in a better government for all people by your participation today.

I have to mention, as all of you would like for me to do, Robert Holloman and his family and all that he did for his district and the people that he loved so very much. Our good God needed him for other reasons above and beyond all that we do. His effort and his belief will be forever with those of us who served with him. So I thank his wife and his children for being with us today.

Hackney elected Speaker

Via Ex:

With 68 votes, Joe Hackney of Orange County has been elected Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Once new members were all sworn in, by usage, custom and precedent, they voted in the Speaker.
Nominated by Verla Insko. "A true and loyal son of North Carolina."
Seconded by Mickey Michaux. Spoke of "Joe's compassion for the people of North Carolina." He suggested Hackney run for governor sometime.
Also seconded by Joe Tolson.

Progressive Pulse

The good peeps at NC Policy Watch have a new blog to keep an eye on. Name: The Progressive Pulse

From the Hello World! post:

With The Progressive Pulse, Policy Watch joins the exploding world of interactive, online discussion and community building. The objective of The Progressive Pulse is to supplement North Carolina’s growing blogosphere with a website that features a dynamic combination of quick, easy-to-digest takes on the latest state policy news and debates, links to other informative sites, and timely updates from the North Carolina General Assembly and other policymaking venues.

Note: The Progressive Pulse is a serious effort. It has not been launched “because everybody has a blog.” It will not lie fallow for days on end like so many blog sites that seem to be mere afterthoughts to their sponsoring organizations. Each business day, visitors to The Progressive Pulse will find the insights of a growing team of experienced analysts and advocates and, in short order we hope, the comments of interested bloggers throughout the state.

Senate first day cal

(Note the differences between the House and Senate calendar)

One Hundred Forty-Seventh Session

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Legislative Day 1

12:00 NOON

Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue
President of the Senate

Velma M. Holloman, Minister
Wife of Senator Robert L. Holloman

Navy Junior ROTC
Western Alamance High School
Elon, North Carolina


Anna Eschbach
Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina



Administered by The Honorable Sarah E. Parker
Chief Justice Supreme Court of North Carolina

GA starts at noon

1st Legislative Day
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
House Convenes at 12:00 Noon

Call to Order
Denise G. Weeks
Principal Clerk 2005 House of Representatives

Reverend Jim Harry 2005 House Chaplain

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call by Districts

Administration of Oath to Members
Judge James A. Wynn, Jr. North Carolina Court of Appeals

Election of Officers

Adoption of Rules

Appointment of Officers

Notices and Announcements


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