Tag Archives: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IDEOLOGICAL FEUD IGNORES STUDENTS NEEDS, DAMAGES UNC: It is an ideological feud run amok. The roots are in the clichéd notion that North Carolina’s public universities are incubators of socialist, environmentalist, gender-liberating, non-Christian politics. Ideologues who claim a religious, conformist, free-market mantel are on a crusade to cleanse the halls of academia. And so now the clash has devolved into an on-going battle between out-spoken University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Steve Long and equally outspoken UNC Law School professor Gene Nichol, who advocates on behalf of the financially disadvantaged and for civil rights. As has been too often the case lately, the priorities of the privileged, well-financed special interests are of greater concern than the interest of citizens and the institutions that our legislators in general, and our UNC Board of Governors in particular, are supposed to promote.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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VOTERS MUST HOLD LEGISLATORS ACCOUNTABLE ON REDISTRICTING: Legislative leaders have given little assurance that they intend to create fair and balanced or even lawful legislative districts. The committees’ leaders will cry crocodile tears, complaining that overbearing judges have imposed a tight deadline that will allow only limited public participation. House and Senate Redistricting Chairmen Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett and Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, already are blaming the judges, who frankly have been far too tolerant of legislative procrastination and secrecy. “While we had originally planned to set aside additional time to receive comments from North Carolinians and hold a statewide public hearing on criteria across the state, we have said all along that we will comply with the federal court’s order. Moving forward with this process over the next week will help us comply with the court’s deadline,” Lewis and Hise said in an announcement late Wednesday afternoon. Please! The court order is no excuse to limit or diminish public participation. This is 2017, not 1817. It is an automobile parking lot under the Legislative Building, not stables. Those are computers and smartphones on the desks, not parchment, inkwells and quills.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NEW REDISTRICTING EFFORT AIMS TO REPEAT OLD MISTAKES: The iron-fisted leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly quickly snapped the last frayed thread of hope that there might be a sincere effort to develop fair and legal legislative districts. At Wednesday’s joint meeting of the legislature’s redistricting committees, among the first revelations is that taxpayers will be paying the architect of the state’s current illegal redistricting maps to create the new ones. Tom Hofeller isn’t a household name though his handiwork as nation’s top Republican redistricting map-maker, has cost the state millions defending the unconstitutional legislative and congressional districts he concocted. When asked if Democrats in the legislature will have access to Hofeller’s expertise and work – after all we’re all paying for it – House redistricting boss Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, was precise. “The short answer is no.”
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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GOVERNOR COOPER MUST MAKE SAFE WATER TOP PRIORITY: Even amid the General Assembly’s efforts to shrink and minimize the regulatory authority of state agencies, it remains a basic function of government to assure the safety of its citizens – in this case that the water they drink won’t kill them. The Cooper administration needs to remain vigilant and be sure the advisory board fulfills its mandate. Regan and Secretary Mandy Cohen, his counterpart in the Department of Health and Human Services, need to work together, openly, so citizens are assured the rules and regulations are established in an open and transparent matter. Further, the first priority is public safety not the political posture of any public officials or the financial interests of powerful companies.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NOBODY ASKED FOR THIS WIND MORATORIUM: The fact that the only way to pass this was to hijack a consensus stakeholder bill shows just how unpopular and unnecessary this policy is in North Carolina. A wind moratorium ultimately hurts the residents of eastern North Carolina, which could lose $1 billion in investments from two to three projects currently under development. It sends a signal to businesses trying to invest in the state that regulations are unpredictable and not always grounded in fact. This moratorium threatens individual property rights and denies rural economies one of the best economic development opportunities available to them. For Brown to put the renewable energy industry, the utility and his fellow legislators in the position of a significant compromise without any discussion is disturbing.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC LEGISLATURE SETS FOUNDATION FOR 21ST CENTURY INQUISITION: It has been 147 years since a North Carolina statewide officeholder has been impeached. It is a serious matter. The attacks on Secretary of State Marshall are ill-considered, blindly partisan and little more than a thinly veiled effort to steal an election the Republicans didn’t win at the ballot box. Legislators backing this shameful exercise in partisanship-gone-wild are exhibit #1 of abuse of position, lack of respect for the privilege voters have extended and a demonstration of ignorance and disdain for the integrity of government. By this vote alone, none of those who backed the measure deserve the honor of returning to the General Assembly after the next election. Voters should express that view in no uncertain terms.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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SUPREME COURT AGAIN, TO NC: DON’T PLAY POLITICS WITH THE CONSTITUTION: It is becoming all too familiar. If it’s Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will declare another North Carolina law unconstitutional. It’s no joke. Since a new majority took control in 2011, more than a dozen laws passed by the General Assembly have been struck down by the federal courts. It is a sorry record that reflects a reckless disregard for our Constitution in favor of petty partisanship and the unbending desire to impose a rigid ideology on the state. It is a wasteful pastime that gains nothing and leaves innocent victims in the wake. If the politicians in office cannot restrain themselves from enacting unconstitutional laws, voters need to pick new ones who can.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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STILL TIME TO FIX STATE BUDGET INTO ONE THAT HELPS ALL NORTH CAROLINIANS: Word is that the remaining differences – whatever they might be — between the N.C. House of Representatives and Senate over the state budget are being worked out by the legislature’s top-most leaders. However, before they wrap things up, lawmakers still have the chance to correct their course on some misguided proposals remaining on the table as well as to incorporate some needs that have been ignored or forgotten. First, stop giving the state’s revenue to people who don’t need it. Continued cuts in the corporate income tax are unnecessary and jeopardize the ability of state government to meet the most basic needs of citizens. Reverse the foolish neglect of public education. Take care of those in need. Reject spiteful cuts to important education programs that help disadvantaged students in the eastern part of the state; Discard mean-spirited cuts to food stamps – that would throw 133,000 people – children and the elderly included – off the program while not saving the state a dime.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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END THE PARTISAN GAMES, DRAW LEGAL VOTING DISTRICTS NOW: It is time for the North Carolina General Assembly to face reality. They are being ordered to create new legislative and congressional districts. For the third time this year the U.S. Supreme Court has taken North Carolina’s lawmakers to task, unanimously ruling they relied too heavily on race to illegally draw the state’s legislative districts. Simply put, the current districts are unconstitutional. The court should give the state a deadline and provide specific criteria to be followed for drawing the new districts. If the legislature will not follow the guidelines, the court should draw the districts itself. Additionally, the court could also ask for public input to help with the new districts.
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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATURE’S BUDGET: MORE COMFORT FOR THE COMFORTABLE: Want to know what the priorities and motives are for the leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly? The budgets produced by the state House and Senate provide a clear view. The themes are consistent in both documents — those who already have the most, get even more. And those with the greatest need are considered freeloaders who refuse to work and want to bilk state government to finance their indolence. So what if we prevent 500,000 people from getting health insurance? They could get a job if they just tried – particularly the elderly and children. How responsible is it to continue to spend millions on private school vouchers when there is practically no accountability or transparency in where the money goes nor how the students perform academically? Not to mention that some of the schools discriminate on admissions.
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