& Guest Columns
|Commentary: Inlet issues engender distrust and divisiveness
the third time in about 10 weeks, the Dare County Board of
Commissioners (BOC) has been notified by N.C. Senator Bill Cook's
office that major funding changes have been made to proposed
legislation, which if signed into law is, in part, to support the
dredging of Oregon Inlet. Such legislation is ordinarily developed at
the behest and with the input of the local elected officials and
discussed in public in some manner before language is inserted in bills.
And, again, the notification has been right before a weekend when it is more difficult to get the word out.
this has not been an ordinary process and it appears that the only
“for-sure” is that there will be more surprises – or shocks - and no
|Commentary: Thousands of seniors anxiously await lawmakers’ budget decisions|
state lawmakers return this week from their unusual spring break,
debate over the budget will take center stage as the House puts
together its spending plan for the next two years. Most of the public
discussion of the budget focuses on teacher and state employee pay,
education funding, Medicaid, and business incentives.
$21 billion plan will also include hundreds of spending decisions that
seem small in comparison to the big ticket items but that directly
affect the lives of tens of thousands of people, especially low-income
families and other vulnerable populations, children, people with mental
illness or a disabilities, and seniors. Read
|Guest Column: Have Republicans in Raleigh gone to the dark side?|
think it’s a great opportunity for us to have a discussion about the
inequity in the distribution of sales tax in North Carolina as it
relates to the rural counties,” said state Sen. Tom Mcinnis,
R-Richmond, who represents Scotland County and is one of the bill’s 13
sponsors in the senate.
This is the logic offered by McInnis and other state Senate Republicans for redistributing sales tax revenue within the state.
one were to substitute the words “sales tax” with “income tax” and
“counties” with individual taxpayers, essentially arguing
redistributing such taxes from wealthy individuals to poorer
individuals, it would be hard to imagine those words coming from the
mouth of a Republican.
In fact, among Republicans and conservatives, the “R” word (redistribution) is the equivalent of the “S” word (socialism).
is yet another example of how the supposed ideological differences
between the two political parties are more akin to the shifting sands
on Jockey’s Ridge than they are to any disciplined ideological
Read the commentary, "Just my opinion," by Russ Lay in The Outer Banks Sentinel.
|Guest Commentary: 'Socialist' Senate vs. Metro McCrory|
one side, you have a senator talking about how there are “two North
Carolinas” and how it’s time for policy that will bring prosperity to
all areas of the state. On the other side, you have a member screaming
“Socialism!” Senate Bill 369 would change the way sales tax revenue is
distributed among the counties – mostly benefiting poor, rural counties
at the expense of large wealthy ones. It’s causing politicians to say
and do some very strange things and is making for interesting political
|Guest Editorial: Tata’s politics may cost N.C. transportation dollars|
Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata has made a nice living
from his status as a retired brigadier general. When Tata retired in
2009 after 28 years in the U.S. Army, his former rank and training at
The Broad Academy gave him entry into the Washington, D.C. school
district. There, he would use his military acumen to improve the
schools logistics as chief of operations under then-schools chancellor
Michelle Rhee. That lasted 20 months. Read