I won't be there

I had been looking forward to the big event tonight: my friend Tim is hosting a fundraiser for Speaker Joe Hackney here in Chapel Hill.

When I signed on to be a sponsor a couple of weeks ago, it looked like cause for celebration. The General Assembly mostly did a decent job this summer, and Speaker Hackney showed the kind of leadership we should have had all along in the House.

And then the Great Goodyear Giveaway came onto center stage.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the North Carolina Legislature today will consummate a deal made with the devil to give a couple hundred million dollars to a few big manufacturers for no good reason. Easley vetoed the original bill, and Speaker Hackney pulled out the stops to produce a "compromise" - which is an even bigger giveaway than the one originally planned.

Nobody's asking for my opinion, but I'm giving it anyway: This legislation sucks.

I've already written my check for the fundraiser, and I won't be asking for it back. A deal's a deal. But in my own small way, I'll be protesting. By writing this post. And by taking a pass on the big party tonight. Because amidst all the back-slapping and bullshitting that goes on at events like this, simply being there offers an implied endorsement. And I definitely do not approve.


You should go

and wear nothing but a tire.....in a strategic location.

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

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

tell it

This post is a good example of why I really respect Anglico. He speaks truth to power and is strategic doing it. I think its especially amazing coming from a serious donor and Dem party activist. This is an excellent example of how working within systems can effect their change.

I wonder how many phone calls and emails you'll get over this one dude? ROCK!

Thanks Brian

I never know what's going to happen with stuff like this. Joe doesn't much care what I think, I know that, but the next time he or someone from his campaign calls to ask for a contribution, the conversation will be very different than it was last time.

I like Joe a lot. But he's wrong on this issue. Way wrong.

Give me the money

I am so sick and tired of the State giving money to all these big businesses. What about the small businesses?

My biggest cost is labor. I could sure handle having my labor costs covered for a few years. There's all kinds of beneficial stuff I could do with the extra cash. I could remodel, buy new equipment, etc..

If you really want to promote employment and stability, you should give the money to 100 businesses with 20 employees rather than 1 business with 2,000

I know of a dozen small business people

who are livid about this whole stinking deal.

For my part, I wouldn't vote Republican under any circumstance, but some of these folks will. The NC Democratic Party is driving away entrepreneurs (and their dollars) by cozying up so much with Big Business. It might looks smart this year, but in the long run, it's nothing but ammunition for small business people to say "FU" to the Democratic leadership.

Climbing up on my soapbox...

There is nothing wrong with spending government money to recruit and keep businesses.

There is something very wrong with the cash giveaways which have become commonplace.

I don't mind spending money to keep Goodyear here, or whatever other businesses need a boost. Let's build them a high quality rail corridor from Fayetteville to the new port at Southport to help their transportation efficiency. Let's pass a NC-level universal health bill to cut down on their health care costs, or at the very least provide state dollars for case management of chronic illnesses, to help keep costs down while improving people's lives. Let's pay for training of the employees so that they can become experts at using the very latest in high tech manufacturing technology, increasing their productivity and helping out Goodyear.

This bill will cost $200 million over five years. While I realize some of that is for worker training, the biggest chunks are cash grants. I'd gladly spend $500 million on targeted infrastructure and worker education programs to help out Goodyear before I gave them $200 million in cash grants. Why? In five years, Goodyear can get up and move. Those infrastructure improvements and worker programs won't. (The workers can, but generally don't.) If Goodyear ends up in Honduras or Indonesia, there are still physical improvements there for another manufacturer to take advantage of. If all we gave them is cash, it goes with them.

Devil deal = done

Easley and Hackney are all gushy now that they've sold out North Carolina entrepreneurs by favoring Big Bidness. I'm really glad I'm not going to the Hackfest tonight because I'm sure I'd embarrass both the host and the guest of honor with more questions of the Speaker than he cares to answer.

Lots of good people voted for this bill - Grier Martin and Deborah Ross, for example. But that doesn't make it right. It just proves the power of leadership, even when leadership is moving in the wrong direction.

Good for you A, now for the flip side.

Who was against this for the RIGHT reasons, is a Democrat, and we can run a $1000 fundraising pitch for? Let's raise $1000 this week for ONE Democrat who stood against this bill for the right reasons.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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


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Mr. Luebke doesn't accept ActBlue

My stupid is showing, but I'll ask: How can a fund be created so that I can contribute?

*My paranoid is showing, but I offer the following disclaimer: I am not soliciting contributions for Mr. Luebke. I am looking for the easiest, convenient, and most efficient way to personally contribute to Mr. Leubke because he was on the right side of an issue for the right reasons.*

Got a question? PM me.

Thomas S. Brock

What have YOU done today to elect a Democrat?


What have YOU done today to make the world a better place?

Hold off for a couple days....

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

Has ActBlue solved the legal/PAC problem with NC BOE?

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

From Forbes:

Forbes:The House rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, that would have required the recipient to return all grants ever received under the program if employment fell by 20 percent.

Luebke complained the Legislature was making a big policy change by giving financial assistance to companies that not only are not creating new jobs, but might make job cuts in the future.

You know - I'd love to see the state make this kind of investment in something that would help 50,000 people rather than 5,000. I don't begrudge the workers at the Goodyear or Bridgestone their job security - but I would like to see similar incentives offered to the child care providers who care for that workforce's children. You know that they won't be able to raise their rates by 40% over the average for the area. And the companies involved wouldn't consider sponsoring child care for their workers - or guaranteeing paid slots, nor would the legislature.

I would also like to see the same kind of incentive given to small businesses, particularly those that have been around for years, and have provided steady employment to generations of people. I'd like to see those businesses have the wherewithal to assist their employees with health insurance. You would think that Democrats like Easley and Hackney and co. would get that.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

My biggest problem with ALL these types of handouts.

Is that they are not handups. How about spending some of that money to make us better educators, to make us more healthy. NC already has a great business environment, the only thing lacking is the healthy workforce.
One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

Exactly, Robert.

NC already has a great business environment, the only thing lacking is the healthy workforce.

When elected officials talk about investing in growth opportunities, they frequently miss the most important part—the people who will become the organic component of those entities. A positive business environment won't survive without all the little successes that a dynamic workforce provides.

A healthy workforce is a start

High quality, affordable child care would go a long way to create better stability for today's workforce, and go an even longer way to help children prepare for to be an even better workforce.

You can't be a better teacher if while you are caring for other people's children, your own qualify for food stamps, medicaid and other poverty-eligibility programs. You can become more educated, there are scholarships and loans that will help you do that. But that doesn't mean that your employer will be able to provide you with health insurance (even if you pay a portion), nor does it mean that you will be paid what your counterparts in public schools are being paid. You won't get paid vacation or sick days.

It's a bigger issue than most people realize. Private child care is a bigger industry than most people realize. I guarantee you, that if they suddenly shut their doors, all the incentives in the world wouldn't keep Goodyear, Bridgestone, or any other business open.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I have a few employees

who pay the equivalent of a monthly mortgage payment for child care, and I've had several others who quit their jobs (or purposely got fired) so they could qualify for Social Services benefits.

I've been in that difficult spot.

When my son was in first grade, I was a single mother, newly moved to NC, and working for barely minimum wage. I applied for food stamps because my rent and child care costs were eating up my income. I made $10 a month too much. I was put in the horrible position of having to ask my boss to either reduce my hours or my wages so that I could qualify for the assistance I needed. My request was refused (and I guess it probably should have been.) I wound up leaving that job, and moving in with my parents for several years until I was able to get on my feet with a decent job. Thank goodness for my parents - without them, I honestly don't know what would have happened to us.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

We're paying well over $40,000

for our high-quality private childcare. Mom switched jobs to full-time mother after the little one was born.

Staying home with Mom

is one of the highest quality early childhood environments there is, especially if the family has the wherewithal to afford that. I really applaud you for making that decision, and giving up disposable income. Child care in Moore County - high quality child care - is not cheap, and is not readily available. All that's here is full with year long waiting lists.

The problem is for those families who for whatever reason can't afford to make that decision. In 2005 in NC, nearly half of the children between the ages of 3 and 4 were in some kind of preschool or child care setting. 110,000 children were being cared for at least part of the day by someone other than their primary caregiver. If we are really going to make progress as a state and as a nation, we have to make sure that these children have as much opportunity for high quality experiences as a child fortunate enough to have a stay-at-home parent who is not in financial need. I heard Ashley Thrift, the President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children (Smart Start) say it best at a dinner I attended.

Big people are supposed to take care of little people.

If we don't take care of all of the little people, we are missing the mark.

In my opinion. :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Just Sayin

According to data from ESC:

NC manufacturing employment end of 1994 - 820,000+
NC manufacturing employment end of 2006 - 550,000

Whew. I'm sure glad we have these incentives or we might be losing jobs :(

compromises which ones do you like?

I am still sore about the Renewable Energy portfolio compromise that went down. But I am told that this is compromise. in the negative and positive meaning of the word. You get something you want if I get something I want. Not to say that both things are decent, respectable and worthy. Nope.

Hackney would not be an effective speaker if he was not capable of compromise. But that does not mean we should not ask him to prove that this had reasonable chance of being effective? Or following it for a year to see how long it winds up being worthwhile?