Duke wants the states to bail out Taylor

In a Duke News oped, author Anne Mitchell Whisnant doesn't seem to know that the reason the Blue Ridge Parkway is underfunded is that NC's own Charles Taylor (R-11), chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, doesn't bring home the bacon he's constantly bragging about.

In fact, she doesn't even mention that the problems with underfunding the parkway has anything to do with him:

Durham, N.C. -- America’s beloved Blue Ridge Parkway, the scenic road winding through the North Carolina and Virginia mountains, is in crisis. Though it has been the most popular attraction in the National Parks system since the 1950s, and today draws more visitors than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon combined, its annual operating budget is only about half that of those parks.

See his name anywhere? Gotta love passive voice.

And, rather than call on Taylor to do the job he has pretended to be doing for the last 15 years, she decides that the the states can offer the only solution to Taylor's chronic short-changing of one of his district's two major tourist attractions. (Don't worry, he's short-changing the other one, as well -- the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.)

Yes, the states of Virginia and North Carolina are supposed to bail out the scandal-ridden congressman who perennially gets elected on the theme "I bring home all kinds of dough you'll never get with a freshman congressman."

Ms. Whisnant concludes:

. . . could a new state-federal partnership allocate state monies to aid our parkway? It was done once before -- when the parkway was first built. Let’s do it again, before it’s too late.

Yeah, you read right. She thinks North Carolina and Virginia should step in and bail out Charles Taylor. And everyone knows the citizens of California, Arizona, and Wyoming need subsidizing by the far richer south.

Since she doesn't mention Taylor by name, of course there is no mention that he gets endorsed every two years by the two largest newspapers in his district based on his "effectiveness," based on his "powerful" position in appropriations, based on the concept that we would get shortchanged in the budgeting process if we ever got up the nerve to electe a long-overdue replacement.

Ms. Whisnant, my hat is off to ya. It takes some ovaries to pimp for one of the most corrupt men left uninvestigated in congress, while at the same time acting like you're doing the citizens of your states a favor. Such a noble suggestion. Instead of calling on our congressman to do what he keeps telling us he's been doing year after year, let's up pony up and pay the federal bill through state taxes!

I don't mind so much that she calls on the states to bail out the feds. I mind that she does so while acting like the feds were helpless to act, helpless to give our states our fare share of the federal park service budget.

If Arizona, California, and Wyoming can get more funding, more employees for national parks getting less visitors, let's blame the appropriations committee members responsible. Then, we can talk about appropriate solutions.


Nice job, DQ

Very nice...

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

Good find.

Hopefully many of this lady's readers won't find it at all. Good points and way to call them like you see it.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Found it in NC News Wire

Lower right. One of Lance's brilliant additions. Makes it easier to keep up with everything NC.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Taylor Trying to Starve the Parks to Death

Let's remember that this is same Charles Taylor who didn't want the government buying land for a Flight 93 Memorial. This is the same Charles Taylor who was "going to wait until all the facts are in" on the Bush plan to sell our National Forests to private developers. On both scores, public outcry moved him to flip-flop.

I guess Taylor hasn't felt enough pressure yet to get funding for our parks. He seems to ignore that, as a tourism economy, District 11 lives and dies by the parks he hasn't helped to fully fund.

Thanks for posting, DQ. I plan to steal this piece for reposting at ScruHoo.

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

I've been talking about that a lot up here...

we're only about an hour from the site and people just shake their heads in disgust. In 2008, I hope people use that vote to remind folks what Republicans stand for, money over people, money over patriotism, money over all.

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

You got that right, Screwy,

about his starving the parks, the forest service, our legacies. When I think of how hard people have worked to buy all this land in WNC. Talk to the folks from SAHC. Sometimes the purchases have been acre by acre and the effort to get each plot preserved was like pulling teeth. And he just wants to rape it for personal profit. Geez, there's so much about this guy we just can't put in one, two, or even three posts.

And steal away. The sooner this info is distributed, the sooner he'll be gone and we can concentrate on replacing his evil clones, McHenry and Foxx.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Hey mountain guys and gals!

Please consider co-authoring an op-ed piece for distribution to every major daily in the district, plus all the weeklies too. Grounded in all this good research, it would be the most definite public statement on Taylor's record to date.

"Will the real Charles Taylor please stand up?"

Once it runs we could follow-up with a letters campaign and a blog swarm.

If it happened soon, it would be food for thought all summer. A tie in to Memorial Day (given Chuck's record of lip service to Vets) could be interesting, but we'd run the risk of getting lost. Maybe the following weekend.

Easy for me to say.

I've lost perspective

Tell me a length and the top three issues and I'll do it. but I couldn't possibly choose which issues will touch the most sensitive chord. They all make my blood boil.

And, btw, if I write that phrase one more time tonight, I think my blood will literally start to boil!
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

500 words

I'm not the expert, but here's a start:

Taylor says he's working hard for his district, but is he really? If he's hustling to protect and help the district, how come there's no money to keep up the Blue Ridge Parkway? How come he would even consider selling off national parkland?

Taylor says he's all about supporting the troops, but look how he votes on veterans issues.

Taylor says he's clean as a whistle, so how come he's the only Congressman who's taken money from the indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and kept it?

What Charles Taylor says and what Charles Taylor does are two different things.

Should we have different letters

for different subjects or just one really good one?

(You see, I'm not the best strategist.)

Patsy had a whole crew writing wonderful letters week after week after week. Through friends and relatives in DC we heard that Patsy's letter-writing campaign was being talked about there. It was thought to be an indicator that she would win (or come close.) ha ha.

So I'm a bit cynical about letters to ed.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

I'm thinking

of an op-ed column, possibly written and submitted by a couple of people. If it's tight and clear, it could get placed in the editorial section as a guest column from two citizen activists. The letters would come in the week after it runs, responses from a broader group, commenting (hopefully in support) of the question for the real Chuck Taylor to please stand up.

But what do I know. I've run for office three times and lost twice.


Well, for now, I can write up a letter

under 500 words. And end it with a call to newspapers to question his press releases. One of the most egregious practices in these local papers is that they print his words without lifting a single finger to verify anything. If enough people clicked on "e-mail this letter," maybe they'd at least get the point that they could verify their facts from a known liar.

As for the op/ed piece. I think that would be a great use of the statistics (wink wink) being compiled and maybe some of the more recent scandals. But, don't you have to get approved in advance to write that? Or, you submit it and they take their sweet ass time deciding whether and when to run it? Tell me if I'm wrong.

But, as for that, I no longer live in the district . . . I'm happy to ghost-write for anyone, tho . . .

I appreciate all your ideas. I have the will to research and write but sometimes lack direction and focus! Check marks on that over my report cards.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

PS it seems you would have a better chance

being a guest columnist using on the angle that newspapers that serve as propaganda tools fail their communities or something along those lines.

I don't have a degree or professional creds to comment on much of what he's done. (Well, unless you count a 25-year old econ BA I never used.) My status in the 11th is as a Patsy worker and 16-year citizen born way too close to the Mason-Dixon line. Those aren't the best creds if we want to any influence.

And, if I recall, neither the AC-T nor H-ville rag gives op/ed column space to average citizen types, even if they do submit with a cute kitty photo. (or boobs)
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

You sell yourself short.

Looks to me like you have the knowledge, the insight, the writing ability, the kitty cat, the boobs (heh) and the hutzpa to do anything you want. Plus you're a blogger on BlueNC. What more cred do you need!

Probably would be good to co-author with someone in the district, though. C. Diane? Screwy? Dan?

PS Even if they don't run it in Asheville, some papers might. Plus we'll cross post it everywhere after the fact.

PPS Sometimes more formal credentials matter, but sometimes they don't. Well written and interesting opinions backed by a framework of facts are often quite sufficient.

I'm working on the 500 words

and now hubby (far more experienced in getting things in the press than I) says most papers limit letters to 300 or 200. So, I'll edit, edit, edit.

I don't think I'm selling myself short. I'm just honest. I've sent many letters to ed and can do that but have consistently struck out on guest columns at least in the Hendersonville and Asheville papers. But maybe Screwy or Dan will succeed where a boobed-one failed.

(My proudest moment: the state wildlife guys still use my nasty letter to the H-ville paper about local raccoon hunters in their training!)
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

Hubby knows best.

And even if he doesn't, wives should do what their husbands say.



“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

One Theme, Three Points


Theme: You can't trust Charles Taylor
Point 1: Says he brings home bacon but doesn't
Point 2: Takes Abramoff money and lies about it
Point 3: Flip-flops under political pressure (Flight 93)

Theme: Charles Taylor is incompetent
Point 1: Jobs fleeing the region
Point 2: Botched CAFTA vote
Point 3: Chair of Appropriations subcommittee and parks are underfunded.

Fun, eh?

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

Screwy, I'll e-mail you the drafts

I already sent Anglico. Mine follow your first sugggestion. I don't know much about the job count.

I end with requests to any newspaper to fact-check "Taylor's campaign propaganda." If they just assumed he was lying all the time, he wouldn't get away with a tenth of his bullshit. His lies are so transparent, one click on google and they tend to fall apart.
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the Drama.

My Parkway Op-Ed

I'm the author of that op-ed that Drama Queen maligned as "pimping for Charles Taylor." I'd like to set the record straight here: I am a blue-to-the-core progressive Democrat. I do not support Charles Taylor or any of his policies. I agree that he has failed miserably to aid the Parkway in any way. I would like to see the citizens of western North Carolina wake up and vote him out.

But at the same time, I realize that Taylor is not the whole problem. For decades now, our public infrastructure (of all types) has been under fire from the right. Bush and those whom he brought to power have undercut nearly everything positive the Federal Government has tried to do while spending obscene sums on this monstrous Iraq war. The Park Service budget has been cut across the board, and this is not Taylor’s doing; it was the Bush Administration’s.

In this climate, I'm not optimistic that the either the National Park Service or the Blue Ridge Parkway can get the kind of federal funding they need any time soon. That is why it seemed an opportune time to suggest that the states most concerned with the Parkway make an end-run around the feds to protect this resource that is so important to them (and to all of us).

Suggesting a funding alternative that has a strong historical basis does not make me an apologist for Charles Taylor, and I resent your ill-informed assertion that it does.

Anne, thanks for stopping by

Drama Queen hasn't been around much over the past few weeks, but we've got a few WNC bloggers who might be informed enough to pick up this thread with you. I just wanted to say thanks for presenting the reporter's voice.

Anne, you are right about Chuck

He's not the "whole problem", but he's not any part of a solution either!

I am impressed that you stopped by for a visit. I hope that you come back often and discuss and debate with us.

My thanks too.

I appreciate your comments and I see where you're coming from. It may very well be that our country devolves to a place where We the People are so pathetic and greedy that we stop funding important public programs with good old fashioned taxes. And it's worth exploring options, but the future you're describing looks like this to me:

The FedEx Smoky Mountains
The Duke Blueridge Parkway
The McDonalds Hanging Rock State Park

Sort of takes the 'public' out of 'public good' doesn't it.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Actually, if you will read my forthcoming book on the Parkway's history (Super-Scenic Motorway, coming out in Sept. from UNC Press), you will see that I am *not* a supporter or or an apologist for commercialization / privatization of the Parkway.

I spend a lot of time in the book discussing how this has been a danger to the Parkway since the beginning, when the road emerged as the brainchild of private tourism developers in the mountains. Those people (especially in Asheville) were its most fervent supporters.

History shows that only forceful action by federal AND STATE governments on behalf of the public good staved off private co-optation and manipulation of the Parkway for private ends.

This is not to say that private encroachment was *always* successfully staved off. At Little Switzerland, NC, resort developer (and NC Supreme Court justice) Heriot Clarkson took the state to court and arranged a highly favorable settlement for his lands taken for the Parkway. That settlement included direct access from Little Switzerland to the Parkway; the results of this are still visible when you go there now and see the Switzerland Inn from the motor road.

The state of NC also famously caved in to developer Hugh Morton at Grandfather Mountain, allowing him virtually to dictate the Parkway route there to his liking.

Despite all this, there is a long and proud tradition on the other side of strong state action on the public's behalf to create and protect the Parkway. NC Highway Commission (pre-DOT) engineer R. Getty Browning, who had charge of the land acquisition program for the Parkway in NC from the 1930s-60s (and who laid out the Parkway route in NC) saw to it that sufficient lands were acquired to ensure a stunningly beautiful Parkway. His efforts often angered private landowners who had other agendas.

What I called for in my piece was a reinvigoration of this tradition in the state's history: strong state action on behalf the public good that the Parkway serves. This does NOT by extension make me a supporter of the McDonalidization of the Parkway!

I didn't think you were

I wasn't criticizing you at all, Anne. I was simply underscoring fears that I have about commercialization in general. There are a host of North Carolinians on the free-market fringe who would love to sell the parkway to the highest commercial bidder, arguing that government shouldn't be in the bidness of providing parks and open space in the first place. You can find most of them here.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Dear Angelico,

Great! I totally agree; I think we are probably actually very much on the same page. You are absolutely correct that this is an ever-present danger, and the national discourse of the past 25+ years has taken us further and further in that direction.

In that respect it was very poignant for me to read the New Deal-era correspondence, when it was OK to suggest that the government *did* have a role to play in building up people's spirits and souls through parks, historical research, recreation, the arts, etc etc. Would that some of that impulse would return.


Is a blatant misrepresentation!

Pun intended

angelina jolie + computer = angelico jailer pun to me = anglico emailer up on jet

Pun amended

bangled toe tea tailor up one set


Anne, glad to see you back!

Please keep coming back and join the discussion. We need more voices like yours in this fight!

Looking forward to your book - keep us posted on it's release.

Hey There Drama Queen

Nice to finally meet you. I have been here a couple of weeks and heard your name called often. Of course it was always with love!

Nice post!