Legislature to Foot Bill for Teacher Raises

One of the persistent critiques of Gov. Easely's plan to raise teacher pay to the national average (posted about here and here) has been that local agencies will have unplanned for expenses due to the immediate nature of the plan.

Easely has answered those critiques by announcing that this year's raises will be paid for by the state and calling on the legislature to foot the bill for at least this year's raises (article here). WWAY reports:

Easley says he'll work with the Legislature to get teachers a five percent raise over each of the next three years. This year's state budget contained $85 million to pay for the initial raises.

As I stated before, I really like this plan. And I think that it is important for the State to throw in since they have many more resources than the local government. I am just glowing with pride for our Democratic administration. This is how government should work. A solution that will actually help education without passing the buck on to someone else. I have not always agreed with Easely in the past, but on this issue he has been AWESOME. Lets bask in the greatness that is Democratic leadership working for citizens.

Charlotte Observer Response to Myrick's Refusal

As posted below. Sue Myrick refused a Charlotte Observer request for the racial and gender make-up of her staff. Instead in what the Observer calls a "snide" remark, her press secretary said that they would release the information if the paper released the names and political affiliations of their reportes. Here is the Observer's response:

Myrick owes the newspaper and the people of North Carolina an apology, and she should release the information immediately. A taxpayer should not have to cut a deal with a public official to get the kind of public information that The Observer requested.

Love it when Republicans get called on their bullshit. The Republican leading the field for Governor in '08 is already stumbling. Could be a long road ahead.

More on '08 Governor

WRAL.com is focusing on a race between Republican U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick and our Democratic Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue. However, neither one of the candidates has oficially declared yet.

This would indeed be an interesting race. And quite possible since, as the article notes:
Re

cent polls show Myrick and Perdue have the most name recognition in their respective parties among a field of potential candidates for governor

.

It is interesting that Perdue has the name recognition since we have already noted there are at least two other Democratic cabinet members that are considering runs before.

N.C. Fourth Hungriest State

This is embarrassing. North Carolina is tied for fourth among states with the most hungry families at 4.9%. We are only doing better than Oklahoma (lots of reservations that are difficult to serve), Arkansas, and South Carolina. While the reason for North Carolina's place on the list are unclear, the loss of manufacturing jobs certainly plays a role. But regardless of the reason, this is unacceptable. Certainly the progressive agenda to allieviate poverty will help, but for 1 out of 20 North Carolinians it cannot happen soon enough.

Damned Zombies

One of the right's favorite scary stories is the one about voter fraud. Sure, neither party needs to be reminded that every vote counts, or that important elections can be very, very close. But while the left and libertarians have been focused on the potential perils of black-box electronic voting, Republicans have kept up a steady drumbeat for state- or nation-wide voter ID cards. The basic idea is to create a small barrier to voting in exchange for the elimination of sneaky behavior at the ballot box—in North Carolina, our own Virginia Foxx (R-5) was trying to drum up support for a national voter ID card last year. But voting is a fundamental right, and every impediment to an individual's freedom to exercise their right to vote must come with a very good reason.

Nice Try, Fellas

Republicans in North Carolina have been having a rough fall—it turns out that ethical shortcomings and lying to constituents don't win you any popularity contests. Add that to the President's falling approval ratings and Democrats' recent fundraising successes and you've got a good reason for GOPers to stay in bed.

Desperate to turn the spotlight elsewhere, NC Republicans are attacking former Congressman Frank Ballance, who was indicted for diverting State funds to personal use (and pled guilty to a negotiated charge). At issue is money that Ballance raised for the NC Democratic Party, which the National Republican Congressional Committee likes to call "dirty" money. While they manage to mention the cash in the same paragraph as Ballance's trial, the GOP has done nothing that I know of to show that the funds Ballance donated were in any way related to the funds he misused.

Democratic Primary for Governor in 2008?

The N&O is reporting that State Treasurer Richard Moore is beginning to assemble a team to make a run for governor. It is also looking more and more like AG Roy Cooper will be running as well. I do not envision any other Democratic contenders except for possibly Lt. Governor Perdue, although it is three years away. I will be putting up bios of Cooper and Moore soon to start getting the early picking started.

Update: Perdue is apparently running. Thanks to James for noting that in the comments. I apologize for being so ignorant as to that fact. Looks like the field is already taking shape three years out.

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