Legislative let down

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When the Legislature finally wraps up this month, there will much discussion about winners and losers galore. Look for the John Locke Puppets to wring their hands and cry with disappointment that their so-called "Freedom Budget" was essentially ignored. And look for progressives to scratch their heads and wonder one more time . . . is this really the best we can do?

There are plenty of sad stories to underscore the disconnect between political pandering and the hard work of policy-making, but none emerge with such clear contrast as the way our legislature deals with the needs of children. According to a reliable tracking study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, North Carolina has slipped to 41st (ahead of nine other embarrasing southern states) in its performance against key indicators of child well-being and health. Fully 25% of North Carolina children under the age of 6 live in poverty.

So what critical issue does OUR state legislature choose to focus on when it comes to the well-being of children? I'll give you one hint: it's an egregious example of faith-based patriotic pandering that accomplishes absolutely nothing of substance.

Targator and Yankee Blue both call on us today to refocus our attention on the North Carolina State Legislature, with an eye toward finding truly progressive candidates who will help move our state and our economy forward. Unless we want a public school system where reciting the Lord's Prayer is a sufficient condition for graduation, we'd better get to work.

Thanks to NC Policy Watch for linking to the Kid's Count report.


This year though

we have no choice but to elect the Democrats currently on the ballot. More progressive Dems will have to wait for 08, but we do need to protect our majority this fall.

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

I'm with you 100%, SD.

A good Democrat is infinitely preferable to a good Republican - and I know that nothing matters more than retaining control of the Legislature (and gaining control of Congress) in 06. Because if we don't, it will mean that George Bush will continue to be a king, and Art Pope will become one.

But on this Independence Day weekend, I can't help but think ahead as well. I wrote a column last month encouraging Chapel Hill News readers to get active in politics and consider running for office. One young Democrat at the Kissell fundraiser came up to me and said he will eventually be a candidate.

I hope we can identify many more like him and support and encourage them all the way to 08.

So yes, first things first. But let's also start planting seeds. And watering them. Any future candidate who read Rant's great diary on the contrast between Floppin' Hayes and Larry Kissell got an up close and personal lesson on how to campaign effectively.

Well, you and I both know that

in NC we aren't going to have a House full of progressive Democrats. I don't mind conservative Dems if they are honest about their positions in getting elected. I do mind people like Jim Black, who apparently works in his own best interest.

November 8 I look ahead. My poor addled brain can only take so much. ;)

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

We need a 100 County Strategy in NC

to match Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. No Republican should be unopposed for a seat in the NC Legislature, especially on a year like this one where a wave could develop to sweep many GOPers from office. It can't happen if Democrats don't offer an alternative on every ballot.

When we get enough Dems in office, progressives like Paul Luebke and Ellie Kinnaird will have a better chance to have their big ideas enacted into law.

Problem with challenging in every district

We have discussed that possibility here a couple of times (too lazy to grab a link right now), and one huge obstacle is that the job of state representative is not that glamorous and pays even worse. The people who do these jobs are true public servants (other than the limited number of corrupt ones (you know who you are: I am thinking a name that starts with J and rhymes with Tim Black. Right, right nothing proven yet...). Given the lack of pay, it is difficult to entice someone to throw their hat in the ring and go through months of campaiging without a serious shot of winning. We need to keep thinking of strategies for '08 to get more districts in play.

Also, consider that the situation in NC is not as bad as it was on the national level. On the national level the Repugs were essentially competing in every district while the Democrats just sat back in a large number. In NC the ratio of unchallenged seats is essentially even.

A blogger in every district.

This is why I think we should push for a blogger in every district in 2008. The entry fee is low, a blogger has a free community of speech writers, fact finders, and activists to help them along; and, a blogger wouldn't care as much about winning as raising the right issues and bashing down the Republicans.

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

A Blogger in every CD?

Or in every state house district? That would be a lot of bloggers! I think we'll have more. This is getting fun with RANT joining in. We still need to find us some from out East.

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

Didn't the DA in Raleigh

say he would have an answer/charge by mid-May and we are now in July? He's a Republican and I'm smellin' a skunk.

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

DA now Fed judge in Charlotte

Nobody is sure where that stands as the US DA Frank Whitney in charge of the case was appointed by Bush to the Federal Court in Charlotte just a week ago.