Tag Archives: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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UNHAPPY LEGISLATORS SLING MUD AT COURT: The legislature’s redistricting plans have invariably been concocted in secret, keeping motives and methods far from the view of the public they serve. GOP leaders have also relied on their own taxpayer-financed “outside expert” for help drawing the gerrymandered maps, which is conveniently forgotten amid their outrage over Persily’s alternative plan. There’s no mystery about what Persily’s done or how he’s done it. He has been open, transparent and explicit about his methods and criteria. Legislators and others have had broad opportunities for input. Rather than seeking ways to minimize some voters’ voices, Persily worked to give all voters a full voice in picking their representatives. The only transparency coming out of the General Assembly these days is the hyper-partisan, inappropriate and insulting braying to impugn the work of a bipartisan panel of judges — working simply to bring fairness to North Carolina’s elections.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CONSUMERS SHOULDN’T PAY FOR DUKE ENERGY’S COAL ASH BUNGLES: As a regulated monopoly, Duke Energy has an obligation to produce reliable, affordable and safe power while still being guaranteed a reasonable profit for the company and its shareholders. It is up to the state Utilities Commission to determine that balance. When the company fails to meet one of the three obligations it has to its customers, it isn’t the fault of the ratepayers, nor should it be their responsibility to pay. The Utilities Commission shouldn’t reward Duke for the failure to do its job, nor should its ratepayers, who have no other choice for electric service, be forced to subsidize that failure. No matter what the rate increase the Utilities Commission may approve, it should not include costs of dealing with Duke’s coal ash mistake.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IT’S TIME FOR LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO COOPERATE NOT OBFUSCATE ON REDISTRICTING: Federal judges have said repeatedly that North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature has produced voting districts that discriminate against African-American voters — illegally segregating them into state Senate and House districts. One court puts it bluntly, that Republican legislators had, with “surgical precision,” targeted black voters to minimize their participation in elections. So, when the court appointed an expert to draw fair districts and remedy the mess the General Assembly’s created, the legislators’ stubborn reaction didn’t come as a surprise. “It appears the special master has engaged in racial sorting to establish districts with racial targets for black voting age population,” lawyers for the legislature said Friday – objecting to the draft plan Special Master Nathaniel Persily offered up a few days earlier. So, addressing the problem the legislature CREATED marks illegal consideration of race? Let’s get real here.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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SPEAKER MOORE’S BOASTING ABOUT EDUCATION DOESN’T ADD UP: North Carolina schools today have more students than ever, but fewer assistant principals, nurses, social workers and guidance counselors. Money for teacher assistants has been sliced $62 million. There are 3,150 fewer teachers in our schools today than there would be if formulas in place during the 2011-12 school year were still followed. North Carolina is on target this year to drop from 42nd – not much of a position to start with – to 43rd nationally in per-pupil spending. That’s more than $3,000 per student below the national average. The reality is that Moore and his ideological soulmates in the General Assembly are more intent on cutting taxes for big corporations and the wealthy than providing the needed funding for properly paid teachers and quality public schools. When it comes to doing more for education in North Carolina, Moore’s boasting is no more than school-yard trash talk. All platitudes, with little to back it up.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TAX OVERHAUL MUST WORK FOR ALL, NOT JUST RIG IT FOR RICH AND BIG BUSINESS: “I think in their heart of hearts they believe that only the wealthy really help the economy, and they believe that the wealthy just carry the rest of us on their backs, that we’re all worthless, and only the Charles Kochs and Robert Mercers of the world really add economic value to the economy, and, of course, this is just utterly ridiculous.” You don’t grow the economy by cutting taxes. The economy expands when consumers – mostly those at the middle income levels – have more disposable cash to go out and buy things. Look no further than our own state to see the proof. Over the last five years, the General Assembly has lavished tax cut upon tax cut to corporations and the wealthy while, in many ways, increasing tax burdens on those in the middle. What is there to show for it? A stagnant economy, underfunded critical state needs, declining tax revenues and the distinct possibility of a half-billion hole in the next state budget.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DON’T LET OTHERS DECIDE FOR YOU, VOTE!: “Americans are sharply divided.” It is the mantra these days from the nation’s political commentators and talking heads. The reality is just the opposite. The vast majority of North Carolinians and Americans are united in apathy. Last month 85 percent of Raleigh’s registered voters were united in avoiding the polls for the primary election for mayor. A month earlier, 92 percent of Charlotte’s voters failed to participate in that city’s mayoral primary. Just 21,850 voters out of 544,908 – 4 percent – decided for all of the city to oust incumbent Mayor Jennifer Roberts. Is it true that 96 percent of Charlotte’s voters had no opinion or didn’t care whether she continued in office; about how she did her job; whether she needed to be replaced? Rest assured, voters WILL determine next week who will lead North Carolina’s local governments. None of us need to, or should, cede that decision to anyone else – especially someone with whom we might disagree.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DON’T LET OTHERS DECIDE FOR YOU, VOTE!: “Americans are sharply divided.” It is the mantra these days from the nation’s political commentators and talking heads. The reality is just the opposite. The vast majority of North Carolinians and Americans are united in apathy. Last month 85 percent of Raleigh’s registered voters were united in avoiding the polls for the primary election for mayor. A month earlier, 92 percent of Charlotte’s voters failed to participate in that city’s mayoral primary. Just 21,850 voters out of 544,908 – 4 percent – decided for all of the city to oust incumbent Mayor Jennifer Roberts. Is it true that 96 percent of Charlotte’s voters had no opinion or didn’t care whether she continued in office; about how she did her job; whether she needed to be replaced? Rest assured, voters WILL determine next week who will lead North Carolina’s local governments. None of us need to, or should, cede that decision to anyone else – especially someone with whom we might disagree.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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GENE NICHOL: PHIL BERGER RULES BY WHIM TO GAIN PARTISAN OMNIPOTENCE: State Senate leader Phil Berger and his crew have determined, apparently, that — gerrymandering the judges’ districts; eliminating their primaries; restricting their powers of judicial review; ending public funding for their campaigns; manipulating the size of the Court of Appeals; stacking individual Supreme Court elections; and becoming the first state in a century to demand the partisan election of judges — isn’t enough to deliver the precise courts the Republicans require. Clearing the whole offending slate and forcing them to run constant, expensive, relentless and hyper-partisan campaigns seems now to be the trick. No matter that judges take oaths to be accountable to the law and the Constitution, not to the voters. Or that our jurists would have little time for their actual work, given the demands of perpetual campaigning. Party fealty, again, is all that matters.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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MARCIA MOREY: LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MAKING POWER-GRAB TO CONTROL NC COURTS: This systematic attack on North Carolina’s judiciary by the power hungry oligarchy leading the General Assembly is a disgrace. Even former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr, a Republican, labeled this latest initiative a “continued effort to try and intimidate the judiciary,” in an interview with N.C. Policy Watch. He found it repugnant. Step by step, bill by bill, the courts are being dangled and toyed with by legislative puppet masters regardless of the fact that they are a constitutionally separate and co-equal branch of government. This is not about better justice for North Carolinians. It is about the legislative leadership’s anger over recent court decisions declaring many of their laws unconstitutional, particularly a decision that said they were voted into power by illegal, racially gerrymandered districts.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TILLIS’ “TRANSFORMED” NORTH CAROLINA A ROSY FANTASY: Sen. Thom Tillis so desperately wants to make North Carolina a red state he’s taken to wearing rose-tinted glasses. Tillis, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, discusses tax cuts he helped ram through the General Assembly while he served as House speaker. Readers perusing the piece could be forgiven if they came away thinking the former state House speaker had paved the streets with gold, made public school teachers’ supply closets overflow with resources, given state workers big raises, ended waiting lines at the DMV, slashed costs for university students and made sure everyone had easy and affordable access to health care. While Tillis claimed he held off hordes of special interest lobbyists seeking special tax breaks in his so-called tax reforms, the truth is he worked hand-in-hand with the business lobbyists to deliver a huge corporate tax cut that hasn’t stimulated the economy, nor led to further investment.
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