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Archive for February, 2012

Cary Spends $100,000/Year on Lobbyist

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and staff spent two days in Washington, D.C. looking for federal cash for local projects. Read further into this  story and you find that Cary spends $100,000 per year on a lobbyist whose job is to seek federal money. Neither Raleigh nor Apex do this. I continue to wonder why anyone thinks it’s appropriate to spend federal dollars on local projects. Why should taxpayers in Tennessee help pay for a project in Cary,or vice versa? They shouldn’t.

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Democratic Wake Commissioner Portman to Run For State Senate

Erv Portman joins fellow Wake commissioners Tony Gurley and Paul Coble in seeking a different elected office. Portman will run for the District 17 seat in the state Senate.

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A Bureaucratic Debacle

Fiscal conservatives who speak about waste in government are often rebuffed by progressives who claim government has been, as they like to put it, “cut to the bone.”

Wrong.

Just ask the GAO. From USA Today:

Thirteen agencies fund 209 different science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs — and 173 of those programs overlap with at least one other program.

And the government has at least 15 major financial literacy programs — including three new ones established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform andConsumer Protection Act.

A report delivered to Congress Tuesday lays out those examples among 32 areas where multiple government programs do similar work. The Government Accountability Office says the government might save tens of billions of dollars simply by eliminating duplicate and overlapping federal programs.

 

You can listen to the GAO podcast on the report here.

 

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Welfare Debit Cards Still Being Used at Casinos and Strip Clubs

We’ve seen stories like this before. This time it comes from Colorado, where welfare recipients are using their debit cards at casinos, strip clubs, Disneyland, and Universal Studios.

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Do We Really Need a Government Program For This?

North Carolina’s Administrative Office of the Courts will spend $14,000 for a pilot program that will offer jurors mental health counseling if they’re upset by what they’ve heard or seen in a trial. Is there any doubt that the pilot program will be deemed a huge success by the bureaucrats who administer it? Is there any doubt the bureaucrats will then push to expand the program? Is there any doubt that more money will then be spent on this? No, I’m not heartless. I don’t doubt that, sometimes, jurors hear and see disturbing information; it’s the criminal justice system after all. I once served on a jury in a civil case that forced me to confront human behavior I found appalling and cruel. It was uncomfortable, but I dealt with it. Working through private emotions doesn’t require government intervention and spending. How about talking to a family member or a pastor? How about visiting a private counselor or doctor if you find you need intensive help? How about reading one of the thousands of books that offer advice on dealing with stress? In other words, how about relying on one’s own resources?

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Durham Commissioner Joe Bowser Admits County Needs Charter Schools

Kudos to Durham County Commissioner Joe Bowser, who refused to sign on to a resolution criticizing public charter schools and opposing any new charters in Durham County. He was the only member to refuse. Here’s what he said about charters at Monday’s meeting, according to this story in the Herald-Sun.

“At this point, I don’t think it would be wise to levy criticism against the charter school system,” Bowser said. “We have charter schools that are working quite well in this community. They were designed as a creative approach to education. We all know public schools are overwhelmed … and we’re hoping charter schools will help fill this void.”

Commissioner Bowser seems to be the only member willing to embrace new ideas and delivery systems that give parents and kids options that are desperately needed.

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ABC 11: SBI To Investigate Wake Judge

From ABC11’s Ed Crump:

The senior resident Superior Court judge in Wake County has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into apparent irregularities in the way 12 DWI cases were handled by District Court Judge Kristin Ruth.

Judge Donald Stephens asked for the inquiry after he was alerted to the issue in a letter from Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby.

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Afraid of Competition

Later this week we’ll learn whether the state will approve or kill the application for a Chapel Hill public charter school that aims at helping kids that aren’t achieving in a traditional public school. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system and the local NAACP are adamantly opposed to the school. Why? You can read this Carolina Journal story for their arguments and for the comments of Howard Lee, whose daughter is the driving force behind the charter school.

 

Former Chapel Hill Mayor and State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee — the first black mayor elected in a predominantly white Southern City since Reconstruction — said he is surprised the NAACP is using a diversity argument to oppose plans to open a K-8 charter school bearing his name in Chapel Hill this August.

“I thought that was a weak argument and one that should not ever be elevated above educating our kids,” said Lee, who also is a former state senator and current executive director of the North Carolina Education Cabinet. The debate, he said, “should be about choice and it should be about education, and not about diversification.”

For me, it boils down to this: they ‘re afraid of competition. And who loses? The kids who are trapped in a traditional system that doesn’t serve their needs. Shameful.

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Memo To The 50% Who Actually PAY Federal Income Tax: Here’s What You’re Paying For

Those who actually PAY federal income tax — half of America pays ZERO — are funding this super-sized bureaucratic nonsense at the Library of Congress.

 

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