From the Progressive Pulse

The state Senate just voted 42-6 this afternoon to pass its latest smelly little gift to the hog industry.

Two particularly disturbing moments from the debate and vote:

1) When sponsor Sen. Charlie Albertson of Duplin County - in an attempt to demonstrate what an open and honest process preceded the bill's last-minute rush through the Senate - told his fellow senators that the industry had asked him to pass it last summer but that he had told them to wait. He then related that he had been working with the key legislative staff attorney on the matter for months and that the environmental groups have known about the bill since…June 30. Gee thanks, Senator! What could the environmental groups possibly be upset about?

There's more.


Smoked ham and mirrors

As I said over at the Pulse, this is bad.

Both Senate Bill 847 and House Bill 822 started out as “Environmental Technical Corrections 2007″. Senate Bill 847 turned into “Prevent Agricultural Pesticide Exposure”. The House Bill 822 which already passed its third reading got magically turned into “Swine Farm Siting Act Amends.” by the Senate. What happened to the technical corrections? Or the Pesticide changes that should have been paired with House Bill 2460. Why bother with filing and debating any bill if all you have to do is gut one that’s got approval at the last minute?

Can it be stopped in the House

Or are we going for a new license plate motto:

First in Hog Shit

That might be a good slogan if we had a way to turn it into energy. Until then, this egregious legislation shouldn't pass.

What's with all the policy roll-back happening these days? I have the feeling of one step ahead, five steps backwards.

Something in the air

Hopefully someone (Pricey?) will stand up in the House and say this isn't the bill we sent over.

I always know we're in Duplin County when driving down I-40.

Perfect framing.

This isn't the bill we sent over. Not even close.

Maybe the House should say it'll go along with full scale hog explosions the minute Big Pig discovers a way to burn hog shit to produce power. How's that for incentive!

...and also in THUNDERDOME!

recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Testing one two three

One of my missions in life is to get more people to see the great stuff written at NC Policy Watch. I link there often, and I want to find the best (most efficient and effective) way to do that without mooching too much.

Is this mooching too much?

I say mooch away, James.

I think one thing understood in the progressive-minded community is that the actual importance and direct MESSAGE itself overrides the source or means in which its conveyed.

In my eyes, knowledge is power, no matter the link I click on to achieve it.

(I'm sure there's some other side to this involving traffic and whatnot, but I'm somewhat cherrypicking.)

The smell test.

There is no doubt that this has a bad smell! But is the smell better, worse or about the same as a $60.00 cheeseburger? I would not know but I would think that rabbit with black truffles and foie gras would smell "higher" than a barbecue sandwich.

It conerns me that as this administration winds down to the end that it is emitting quite a few bad odors. We need to end on a high note as we face the elections.

That's pretty easy. It's much, much, much worse.

In fact, while it's interesting that you want to hijack the thread from being about the damage done to our environment by action in the General Assembly to the now fairly dead issue of what Easley spent on a cheeseburger, it's not a very strong effort.

The damage done with the so-called $60 cheeseburger is mostly to Easley himself, and it's over. The man is leaving office and ain't running again, and frankly, he doesn't give a damn.

But the damage done to our environment by these swine facilities and the damage done to efforts to protect the environment by the effects of this legislation -- is considerable and longlasting.

So who is the "we" who needs to end on a high note? And how on earth does that relate to the legislation under discussion in this thread?
Be reasonably honest.

Well said, Brunette.

I still don't know what Easley was trying to prove - perhaps getting back at the folks who booed him at the JJ dinner.

But it's the environment of NC that is at stake, not some short little man's reputation. Thanks for putting the thread back on track.

Can we, instead, start talking about "for the good of North Carolina?" --Leslie H.
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Hogs, blogs, hijacking, thread integrity, and peaceful living

Being reasonably honest, I saw the “smell” topic and immediately thought of the controversy over the junkets. I must admit that I had no intention of “hijacking” the thread but only in commenting on the “smelly” things that have been happening lately - including the hog issue. Hijacking sounds like a felony. Are you going to turn me in to the message board cops?

I feel like I have been called down by my Chemistry teacher . I’ll try to stay on the topic. I will admit that sometimes I can’t really figure out what the topic is. And some of these “so-called” topics seem to take many side roads, hit really big pot holes or get flooded out. But then again I only know how to make inane comments anyway. (I was dropped as a child.)

And while I am off the subject, have you seen Sen. Charlie’s hairdo lately? That needs some type legislation or gel, or something.

I share your concern for the swine facilities and the damage they do to the environment. This legislation should remind us all that money talks and politicians love slop. I agree that we need stricter regulations on hog waste………and brunettes.

Oh yes, the “we?” It’s us dumb blondes. (Did I spell that write?)

You did spell that right

But I've committed too many recent typos and other atrocities to dwell on 'em lately.

And I apologize for scolding you for hijacking the thread. It occurs to me that I've done that a time or two or four or eight.

But I honestly don't think there's much comparision between Easley's shenanigans (which I heartily dislike) and the potential consequences of this legislation.

And I honestly think Charlie's hair is ok. Actually, I like Senator Albertson and am very, very disappointed in this bill.

Finally, I have to say I would not favor further restrictions on Brunettes.

Thank you.

This is not an excuse:

(I was dropped as a child.)

You should have landed on your feet like a cat. :)

Look, Mike Easley didn't really buy a $60 cheeseburger, he was merely allowing his sense of humor out for some fresh air. Which he really shouldn't do.

H2313 the Moratoria Moratorium

Another related last minute bait and switch. On 7/8/08 an amendment by the Senate to House Bill 2313 Permitting and Building Code Changes" added this text:

Added to G.S. 153A-340 Counties
"A county may not adopt an ordinance imposing a development moratorium on the sole basis that an existing ordinance is outdated or in need of amendment or that there is a need for a new ordinance."

Added to G.S. 160A-381 Cities and Towns
"A county may not adopt an ordinance imposing a development moratorium on the sole basis that an existing ordinance is outdated or in need of amendment or that there is a need for a new ordinance."

Please note that the text for "Cities and Towns" does incorrectly say "county".

The county amendment might impact restrictions on hog farms which I suspect is the origin but no doubt the real estate/ builder lobby had a hand. It's on the Senate calendar for Monday


I'm not a lawyer but, it probably muddies the water. As written, I don't think it would automatically void an existing moratorium if originally adopted on "the sole basis that an existing ordinance is outdated or in need of amendment or that there is a need for a new ordinance". However the lead-in to the existing text says "Any ordinance establishing a development moratorium must expressly include at the time of adoption.....". As I understand it a challenge to a moratorium is made in court. It looks like it would be up to the courts to decide and it could get messy.

It is really kind of moot

Unless the "sole basis" of having an outdated ordinance really is the sole basis when the moratorium ordinance is written, it will still have to be challeneged in court. All a county or municipality would have to do to beat this would be to be sure to have a few other reasons thrown in too to be safe. Most moratorium ordinances I can find already have more than just the lack of a plan or an old plan as the reason.

In NC, besides moratoria due to lack of capacity, like in the case of Pittsboro's wasterwater capacity problem, you pretty much max out the length at a year or less. Considering that getting a case to court and through court will usually take longer than that, you are not going to get anyone dumb enough to spend the money to challenge something that will be over by the time the case is heard.

That said, it still chaps me that the Realtor and homebuilder money has so much influence in Raleigh to get this and other crappy legislation in the system as well as blocking other really good legislation that would power and choice in the hands of local voters and juridsictions instead of the cesspool that is big-money state politics.

No Doubt

no doubt the real estate/ builder lobby had a hand.

Heaven forbid the Realtors and builders look out for everyone's best interests by encouraging good planning. They are so short-sighted and almost always disingenuous in how they work to "protect" the people from themselves. A pox on the home ticks!

Reality bites.....and so do hogs.

The reality is that the hog lobby is powerful. And they must be quite attentive when the preacher says (during the marriage ceremony), “Love is patient.” The hog lobby has been patient while awaiting the moment to strike…….and they have been 'loving' to many of the candidates and the incumbents and the recumbents. The hog lobby, like most lobbies, reminds me of Ali’s famous tactic, the “rope-a-dope.” The hog people have been lying on the ropes, saving their strength, awaiting just the right moment to parade the hogs out. It’s just like what you see on the Westminster Kennel Club presentation on TV. I can see Charlie entering the arena running along side a champion hog….the crowd cheering…….the hog people sobbing with joy……..the neighbors sobbing from the gentle breeze of the "smoggy-hoggy" winds which spread the fragrance into every pore...........the "smoggy-boggy winds being something like the Trade Winds.

And then there is the “race card.” The hog lobby says that there is not even enough profit in hogs for the farmers to be able to afford to go see Dale, Jr., at the NASCAR race. One of the pork officials made a comment (something along the lines) that the poor farmers were being denied the right to make a living. That fits right in with the “race card.” I have been involved with some of these issues and I joke with one of my farmer friends about his appearance at public meetings. I think he ditches his Caraceni suit for one he bought at the thrift store. He then sprays his suit with a Carl Rove eau de cologne so that it will smell like the hog parlor. Then he stands up to the microphone, head bowed, hat-in-hand, soft-spoken…..and reminds me of one of those old black and white pictures of a poor Midwestern sharecropper from the Great Depression. I tell him he ought to include his act in the “Borat” movie.

Let’s see………the topic………..oh yes. The hog lobby has a pig sty full of money and they are not going away. And many, many people down in Charlie’s neck of the woods love hogs and the money they produce. And then there are those of us right smack dab in the middle who are wondering what “love being patient” has to do with hogs.