Senator Dalton to Join NCFCD Debate

The N.C. Federation of College Democrats has received communication from Senator Walter Dalton that he will indeed be joining the other candidates in the first debate sponsored by the Federation to take place at UNC-Asheville. The Federation is very excited that all the candidates have decided to take part in these debates. The representation of all the candidates will allow for greater perspective on the important issues that these debates will bring to the arena of public debate.

The first debate in the six part series will take place at UNC-Asheville on January 19th, 2008, at 2 p.m.

Below is the email we received from Senator Dalton:

Doug –

What we're 'learning' from the Education Lottery

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Here's what Tom Shaheen, NC's Lottery Czar, said in September:

Lottery to phase in bigger instant-win prizes

N.C. Education Lottery Director Tom Shaheen said Wednesday that all scratch-off games for sale in North Carolina won't have bigger prize payouts until early spring of 2008. But more will be available in the next few months.

Instant-win games are a mainstay of the lottery, making up nearly 60 percent of tickets sold. But sales have lagged behind projections, in part because neighboring states offer better odds, Shaheen said. Even a $2 win helps drive regular players to buy more tickets, he said. "They want to win a prize," he said.

The legislature allowed the lottery to increase prize payouts -- and decrease the percentage of profits set aside for education -- in this year's budget.

Here's what a bunch of pointy- headed academics said, as reported in the New York Times today.

Lottery boon raises concern

But critics in Texas and elsewhere say games promising this kind of instant gratification are more likely to contribute to the kind of problem gambling that is usually associated with fast-paced casino betting, and they are now trying to limit them.

Welcome Dan Besse (Live-blog question thread)

If you live in North Carolina and your home isn't under a rock, you know that Dan Besse is a Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor. Dan is pretty vocal here at BlueNC and most of us probably feel like we know him pretty well, but tomorrow we'll get a chance to ask Dan questions and learn a little more about him.

Dan Besse has agreed to live-blog tomorrow (12/27) evening from 5:30pm until 7:00pm. Please don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Dan. If you can't be here, leave your questions on this thread.

[Update]Dan has been answering question throughout the day and will be joining us very soon to answer as many others as he can. There are some excellent questions in the comment section, so follow below the fold and join in the conversation.

Welcome back, Dan. Thank you again for joining us here at BlueNC.

Thanks, from the Navy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. My Dad said if I wanted to I could tell you something here. I just got home last week from a cruise to and from the Persian Gulf and my Dad has shown me the stuff he wrote about our cruise here. I got to read what you wrote back and you guys are really nice.


Kill now

I've been reading a lot of right wing blogs lately, including a fair amount free-market stuff like Cato. I have to admit, those guys are good at weaving Libertarian threads into magical nirvana carpets.

There's only one problem. Their magic carpets don't fly right now. They only fly eventually.

That's how it is with free markets. Everything is eventually.

One place where this awkward adverb comes painfully into play (no pun intended) is in the area of health care. The full-market extremists argue that all we need to do is cut regulation, cut taxes, get government out of health care and all will eventually be right with the world. They might be right, who knows? But my question is this: what happens between now and eventually? Do millions of poor people suffer because they don't have the access rich people have?

NC-Sen: Dole Slammed on Immigration

[First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races.]

Earlier this week, the Charlotte Observer slammed Elizabeth Dole on immigration:

Sen. Dole worked hard to help kill a decent immigration reform bill in the U.S. Senate in July. It wasn't perfect, but it provided a practical, intelligent way to secure the border -- and pay for it. It also took the sensible step of providing illegal immigrants a conditional path to legal status. Too bad lawmakers such as Sen. Dole were more interested in shouting "amnesty" and opposing any step toward legal status than they were in helping the folks back home.


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