N&O: Black should resign as Speaker

Some things are better late than never, which is the category I use to describe the N&O's lead editorial today, making the case for Jim Black to step down as Speaker. It's a case we're all familiar with, so I won't belabor the rationale. But I did find one part especially interesting.

His defenders might say, well, not only has he not been convicted of anything, he hasn't even been charged with anything. That's true, and their point is well-taken -- which is why Black's constituents back home in Mecklenburg County can determine with their votes whether they want to send him back to Raleigh.

The speaker's office, however, requires a leader who retains the confidence of his colleagues and the public, who can lead the chamber to confront the important challenges facing the state. Black's presence in the speaker's chair threatens to deepen partisan divides and weaken confidence, things that will make it even more difficult to find consensus.

For all their high and mightiness around journalistic ethics, it always surprises me when the N&O editorial can split hairs this way. If a person is so ethically challenged to be unable to perform in a leadership function, is it proper to accept that person as a trusted representative in our government?

If the people in Black's district want him in office, fine. That's a whole nother thing we can discuss at a later time. But why on earth would a newspaper, who is NOT entangled in district politics, refuse to take a principled stand in this matter. The N&O editorial board should have called for Jim Black to step down. Their argument about leadership is a distinction without a difference when it comes to matters of integrity.

Call me a naive pollyanna, but damn it, how can any responsible watch dog stand by and condone how Jim Black operates? I guess "responsible" is the operative word in that question.



I hate having a post with no comments. This is just me talking to myself.

'Good post, Anglico!'


You got some moxy, kid!

Sorry - I was off raking grass

sawing styrofoam with my good Case Turkey carver and writing a letter to Governor Easley to get some DNA testing done.

My comment - don't you think it's funny that the smaller papers took the lead and two of the biggies were dragging their feet. It's more understandable of Charlotte since that's his home district.

I also have to point out that in calling for Jim Black's resignation we are holding him to a higher standard than US House Republicans held Tom DeLay. They voted to change the rules to keep him in power even AFTER his indictment......We should be proud our standards are higher. And, we should make that point more often.

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

OK, I've Come Around

I have felt for a while that Black ought to resign his leaderhip position as a minimum. We should demand that. But I've been squeamish about asking for his resignation outright. "That is" I have thought, "for his constituents to decide." My sense now is that Black should vacate his seat, go home, and start campaigning for November. It isn't the mounting drumbeat for removal that has convinced me, so much as my sense that I would expect the Republicans to remove someone in Black's hot water.

Here's the next (and probably more important) thought. Who should be the next leader? Should we just accept the next in line? Or do we begin now calling for a true progressive reformer to take the position? I nominate Deborah Ross from Wake County. She's been a lobbyist herself, and has used that experience in pushing lobbying-reform legislation in Raleigh. I heard her speak once, and was impressed by her candor. If we're going to expect something more than Jim Black Part II, we need to start beating that drum right now. I'm sure that deals are being made at the very moment.

Only if she'll hurry up and get us

the money we need to get the damned outerbelt finished. You can't get anywhere in Charlotte. Pleeeeese?

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