Roy gets petulant

A while back I thought Roy Cooper was a pretty solid citizen. I contributed to his campaign and even helped drum up support in a couple of fundraising events. But that was then.

Cooper's decision last week to intervene in the debate over undocumented immigrants and higher education was dumb, as has been widely discussed. But it's hard to understand why he got all petulant because the mean old media wouldn't play stenographer for him. That's embarrassing.

Attorney General Roy Cooper has steadfastly refused to discuss the advisory letter his office sent out last week, which recommended barring illegal immigrants from the state's 58 community colleges. On Monday, after speaking at a conference on gangs, he brushed off a reporter's questions about the letter.

Cooper would not comment about the letter, which advised that federal law banned allowing illegal immigrants to attend public colleges and universities, or about the response to it from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Officials there said federal law does not determine who can be admitted to state schools. "You wouldn't print our statement," Cooper said before walking away from the reporter. He was referring to a two-sentence statement that his spokeswoman, Noelle Talley, sent on Friday after federal officials contradicted his office's advice.

The News & Observer printed a portion of it but did not print it in full. The statement was a summary of the advisory letter released earlier in the week.

I'm sure Roy's gaining lots of fans on the rabid right for standin' up to the brown folks, but from where I sit, he's behaving like a snotty-nosed kid. Remind me never to support another candidate for Attorney General in North Carolina. I'm batting 0 for 2.


I keep trying to convince myself

that this is some bold move using reverse psychology to.........nah....even I'm not that stoopid. (Most days.....)

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

Thing is . . .

Roy Cooper isn't dumb, not by a long stretch.

So I'm thinking maybe there's a better argument available to you than just calling him names. For example, maybe you want to read the text of the advisory letter and counter its legal points with observations or points of your own.

I am not happy with the advisory letter's bottom line, either, but I haven't read it, so I can't make a strong statement about whether the reasoning is valid as opposed to saying strongly that I don't like it -- and I have no problem saying that I don't like it at all.

But calling the guy names doesn't do much for your own position, does it? Sort of comes off "petulant."

You'll want to learn the finer points in name-calling

If I wanted to call Mr. Cooper names, I would have said, "Roy Cooper is an idiot." I didn't say that. I said his response in the press conference was petulant, and that he is behaving like a snotty nosed kid.

This particular post doesn't have much to do with the substance of his decision, but rather the manner in which he dealt with the press. He didn't answer a question because the reporter asking it didn't carry his water. That's petulant by almost any definition of the word.

I only engage in name calling when I don't care one bit about the person I'm referring to. This isn't name calling.

There are all sorts of ways to approach this.

Honestly, the labels I had picked for Roy Cooper were much stronger than any James used. To think....I was ready to help Roy get the keys to the Governor's mansion. I'll wait and see what is actually going on, but if there isn't some really important reason for this move I won't be standing in line to volunteer for Roy's next campaign. (I'm sure that breaks his heart.)

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

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

I did

I took Brunette's advice and actually read the text of the advisory letter. It does not appear to say that it is illegal to allow immigrants into the community college as has been reported by the newspaper. Perhaps that has the ire of the AG.

I think it is second page top paragraph

Federal law makes certain non-citizens ineligible for State and local public benefits. State and local public benefits are defined under federal law for the purposes of this prohibition. That definition includes "postsecondary education". Non-postsecondary education is considered a public benefit under this statute.

Roy isn't saying that children of undocumented workers can't attend, he's saying federal law prohibits them from attending since we don't have a state law providing for it. (page 2, second paragraph)

That's just my take on it.

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

Third Paragraph

No, I think it says in the third paragraph second page that whether admission of unqualified aliens is legal absent a law by the legislature has not yet been determined. Which I read to mean that he hasn't told anyone that they can't be admitted. There just is not clear direction either way.

He says it is unsettled, but he also says enforcement

rests in the hands of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Last I checked the Bush administration was still in power. No telling how that could play out.

I agree it doesn't look like he told anybody they couldn't admit folks/kids/young adults who aren't citizens to postsecondary institutions. He's simply offering the down and dirty of what federal law says about the situation.

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

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

It is possible

that Homeland Security will tell the Community College the same thing it reportedly told the News and Observer, that they can do what they want. In which case they can do what they did today if they want to. Homeland Security probably won't say that the Community College has to admit all aliens regardless of status, which was their policy before it was changed today.

I read the AG's letter as sound legal advice to a state agency to get an ok from the federal enforcement agency. It doesn't say much more than that whatever the headline writers put in print. I don't doubt the AG was irritated if the press was portraying him, as some on this post are doing without reading the letter, as way off base.

Possible and maybe even probable

When it comes to the Bush administration I don't know what to expect at times.

This post is what we get when we listen to the yakking mouths and chatting fingers in the MSM. Hey...I'm happy. Now I can go back to standing in line to volunteer for Cooper. He was my first choice for Governor. We probably also need to keep in mind that if he's putting out an advisory on a law and we don't like what we hear or read, it very well could be the law we have issues with and not the AG.

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

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

Another excellent point

For all we know at this point, Cooper himself is unhappy with the result of the research that supports the advisory opinion.

I do understand James' skepticism. Attorneys are pretty good at coming up with interpretations that coincide with a client's agenda, or perhaps a political one. But they're also on the spot when, notwithstanding a political trend or likely public response, the law doesn't permit the kind of flexibility that would serve those tends.

In any event, it's helpful for discussion if we have some information to work with -- beyond the headlines in the N&O.

Cooper/Right-wingers want to raise in-state tuition or taxes.

There was a great story on WUNC this morning, maybe Laura can link it up for us? I can never find stories there. Anyways, a constitutional law professor at UNC pointed out that what are and are not benefits was defined by the Clinton welfare act. BUT, under that act undocumented workers are not receiving benefits, becaaaaaaaaaause, they pay out-of-state tuition. Out-of-state tuition is estimated to cover 140% of the cost of actual education. Thus, they are receiving no benefits from the taxpayers of NC, but are instead subsidizing the education of North Carolina taxpayers.

So, in effect, disallowing the 100s of students that want to take advantage of this budget+ item will cause increased tuition for in-state students and/or a tax increase to make up for those lost $s.

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

Nice! So, what about the community colleges?

Sorry I'm ignorant on this, but is there an in-state tuition break at community colleges? That's great about the 27 students in the UNC system. I hope they aren't denied diplomas/class registration until this is worked out because it looks like it will be in their favor.

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

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

It was about community colleges.

Sorry, the interview was about community colleges. I think they said 123 students took classes when offered, was so small because they had to pay out-of-state tuition. BUT, that means it isn't a benefit.

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

That's even better!

So, things should work out. I can appreciate that the CC admins felt they had to take a step back to make sure they weren't violating a federal law, but since it doesn't look like they were, let's hope there is an announcement soon that this latest decision is once again being reversed.

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

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

I'm glad you're on top of this, Graig

and I enjoyed hearing you. This ruling doesn't make much sense. I was really hoping there would be a quick reversal.

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

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

I fell out of love with him

when I discovered that he had sued the State of Tennessee to stop them from putting up wind turbines ('cause you could see them from N.C.), and then he sued them because their pollution was wafting over here. He's like my ex-wife...

Do you

Have a link to the lawsuit filed by North Carolina against Tennessee over wind turbines? Your reference is the first I've heard of such a suit, but would like to read more about it. Thanks.

Here you go:

From the N.C. Journal of Law & Technology. It appears to be merely an "advisory letter" as opposed to an actual lawsuit, but it's still a formal act:

The North Carolina Attorney General's office declined to issue an opinion on the Watauga County ordinance,121 but a few years ago, the Attorney General addressed to the legality of wind farms under the Mountain Ridge Protection Act.122 In 2002, a proposed wind farm to be operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was planned for a location in Johnson County, Tennessee, in close proximity to the North Carolina state line.123 The project was expected to impact views from North Carolina locations, prompting Attorney General Roy Cooper to write the TVA.124 Johnson County, Tennessee, had a Mountain Ridge Protection Act very similar to the North Carolina Act, which was interpreted to allow the project of the TVA to go forward.125 The Attorney General disagreed that North Carolina's Mountain Ridge Protection Act should be similarly interpreted, stating that while the Act allows small, singular wind turbines, a project of the scale proposed by the TVA would not be permitted, “especially when all the turbines would probably be seen together from most viewing locations.”126 Attorney General Cooper also claimed that this interpretation is consistent with legislative history, asserting that the General Assembly was considering “the traditional, solitary farm windmill which has long been in use in rural communities.”127

Not sure I see the problem

with Cooper's advisory letter regarding the wind turbines. The potential economic impact of screwing up the vista upon which a lot of resort businesses depend isn't necessarily a minor matter. I understand that quality of life issues have also arisen for neighborhoods adjacent to sites where these turbines are erected in groups.

I certainly don't see a problem with the suit on pollution. The pollution "wafting" over from Tennessee is having serious effects on habitat for humans and animals alike.

Mercury impacts "quality of life"

a hell of a lot more than marred vistas or even background noise (unless someone is living very close, noise is not an issue). It's not a minor irritant, it's affecting human and animal populations. Mercury levels (in both) have continued to rise and many health/reproduction problems can be attributed to it.

The problem is, Cooper is sending mixed messages. On one hand he's taking positions against clean energy, and then he's taking a position against pollution.

I don't disagree

with your points about mercury. It's bad, bad business. But I am not sure that it's entirely fair to cast opposition to the turbines as opposition to clean energy. If anything, I would read the fact that Cooper has taken a strong stance (lawsuit) against pollution as opposed to issuing an advisory opinion about the turbines (which I think is not legally binding) as signalling that his interest really is in maintaining a clean environment. In fact, that's what the western counties depend upon.

I don't know as much about turbines as I'd like to, so may be missing some helpful information, but have read some accounts that suggest that the noise isn't minor and isn't limited to those immediately adjacent. And while the idea of a marred vista sounds minor, it isn't to those businesses that literally depend upon the beauty of the landscape to stay in business. Tourism is not a petty concern, and it's one of the reasons the western counties have had the clout to protect their air, water and land from industrial development. I also have a lot of sympathy for those who live along those mountains and for whom the beauty of their surroundings are not a shallow or negligible aspect of their lives.

Maybe there's some compromise to be reached between using the turbines as TVA has proposed and the more conventional means of producing energy -- and maybe not. But I do know the arguments against turbines have some merit, particularly in areas of the state that depend heavily on eco-tourist dollars for a livelihood.

Considering the controversy

over the proposed Cliffside coal plant, which has gravitated to the Federal District court system, AG Cooper needs to focus a little closer to home, in my opinion.

There is litigation regarding the initial approval of the plant itself, and litigation dealing with the issuance of the air quality permit, both of which appear to have possibly violated State and Federal statutes or regs.

NCWarn (and others) have asked the AG's office for help on this issue, and the only statement I've seen from his office has to do with skepticism over the method the energy companies used to forecast future needs. Not a peep about pollution, air quality, existing laws, etc.

If Cooper really was (is) concerned about air quality for North Carolinians, he should be all over this Cliffside mess. If he was (is) concerned about legal decisions that affect our state, he should be all over this. I'm not seeing it, so I'm not about to jump up and down because he sued Tennessee for doing the exact same thing that we are.

True dat

But when you say "closer to home," I think western carolinians would argue that they are "home."

And something tells me that the issues behind Cooper's decision to sue Tennessee are a little more complex than a cursory comparison of what is coming in from Tennessee to NC's own polluting activities would suggest.

I believe NC follows reduction standards for its own emissions that TN hasn't committed to, and that the western counties are being seriously harmed by the stuff TN is pumping out.

There's also the fact that Cooper has a pretty good reputation for his work on environmental issues. I don't think he's anti-clean energy. I know from having travelled back and forth quite a lot between Knoxville and Asheville that there's a big pocket of pollution caught between mountains on the NC side that is ghastly to drive through.

Not the role

It was my understanding that the NC AG is to represent the State and its agencies in all litigation. It is unlikely the AG can join a lawsuit against the State. If you want to politicize the NC Department of Justice on litigation matters, I am sure there will be plenty of out of work Bush DOJ lawyers that will need a job soon.

There are no shifting standards.

Per a previous comment from you, you don't make a distinction between directly calling someone a name and describing someone's actions or behavior. I've never met anyone else who does not distinguish between the two.

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

oh please

I would bet you have met people who don't distinguish. And I bet you've met people whose perception of what distinctions should be made shifts -- somehow -- depending on who is doing the "name-calling," or who is suggesting that someone's actions or behaviors merit a given label.

It's just downright silly of you and James on one hand to chastize anyone for "namecalling" when James has only recently posted a comment entitled "moron" and the both of you have indulged in multiple other instances of calling people names outright or doing so by strong implication.

It's just too silly and I can't believe anyone buys it. Why put yourself to the trouble of having to parse? It reduces your credibility.

I've been chastized repeatedly for lack of civility, for having an "edge," but for some reason, the lack of civility that you or James (or people who aren't challenging your perspective) exhibit is given a pass.

And that's what I find is rather "unthink-tankish." It isn't that you announce a given standard at any one point so much that you seem to decide its application based upon whether the offender in question has just agreed or disagreed with your own pet position.

Actually, Betsy, I don't mind

I think you and James are the ones who are uncomfortable. I have acknowledged and apologized for being harsh on occasion. You? Not so much.

I think it reasonable for me to ask what is going on when, on one hand, I am chastized for my "edginess," and yet log back on to see people being called "asshole," "idiot," "moron," etc . . . without a murmur from the hosts.

And then I'm told that it was a BEHAVIOR being described rather than "namecalling" I was reading?

No, it doesn't bother me to ask whether there is a double-standard. I assume that this blog is supposed to encourage reasoned argument. If this is, as has been suggested, a "think tank," then surely it can survive a challenge to *your* point of view as well as that of people with whom you disagree.

I've not been here trolling. I have felt part of and enjoyed the sense of being among others who like to think and who value thinking and the exchange of ideas more than they value whether a given comment is congenial to their own point of view.

I have been harsh at times, but not any harsher than -- and at times no where near as harsh as -- you or James or Robert or Steve or multiple others. I'm certainly willing to play by the rules, but it looks like you have different rules depending on how you personally happen to view a given personality or idea.

It strikes me that such a double-standard is inconsistent with the concept of a forum dedicated to the promotion of progressive ideals.

Again, if you have so many troubles with how

James and I handle things around here, you need to decide if this is the best place for you.

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

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

Again, I don't mind

asking legitimate questions.

It seems to bother you that I asked them. Is there something illegitimate or unfair in the concerns I expressed?

You're done?

I haven't "constantly" questioned or criticized or "name-called"(WHAT!), or accused you of things you didn't do. You just seem to be awfully hypersensitive to being challenged *at all.* And you seem to have a bit of a problem, almost Fonzi-ish, with the concept that you might have erred.

I've been at least as supportive of any given position you or James has expressed as I have been critical. But I did raise a legitimate question here, and your response has been extreme.

You seem intent upon making this personal, rather than acknowledging the legitimacy of the issue I raised about whether there is a double-standard in how you decide who is naughty or nice.

For the third time, no, I'm not at all uncomfortable raising a legitimate question.
I won't ask you again, because it seems to upset you so much and I don't enjoy seeing you so obviously distressed. But seems to me that you're the unhappy camper, here, Betsy.

Restoring sanity to state government

Roy Cooper's decision is applauded for it's common sense and correct interpretation of immigration law. It's good to see sanity and the rule of law returned to state government. I'm glad to see the NC community college system's compliant decision, as well.

Grand master Erskine Bowles, a Clintonian to the core, and the People's Republic of Chapel Hill are another matter. They are entirely wrapped in their bleeding heart academic cocoon having no clue of the more than 80% public opposition to allowing illegal aliens into NC colleges.

Following the law, abiding by the law and supporting the law is “work” that illegal aliens just won’t do.

Following the law, abiding by the law and supporting the law is “work” that illegal aliens just won’t do.


Free lunches should end at 18 yrs old. I owe CFNC more than I've owed anything and still can't find a job.

What "free lunch?"

These people were paying out of state tuition, it was hardly a "free lunch."