Step Into My Parlor...

debatetitle.jpgAn Asheville conservative contacted me last week to ask if I'd be interested in a unique opportunity. City Councilman and Congressional candidate Carl Mumpower had the idea that he'd like to have this Hooligan on the moderators' panel at the next Republican Congressional Candidate debate. People talked to people, and candidates John Armor and Spence Campbell agreed to take the plunge. After I spoke with the newly elected Buncombe County Republican Party Chair to ensure there weren't any hidden rules or restrictions, I said I'd do it.

The debate will take place in the URTV (public access) studio in Asheville on March 27th from 2pm to 3:30pm. There will be three or four panelists asking questions of the candidates. I'll be one of them. It will be recorded then played on URTV and available at Google Video.

It's a good political move for Mumpower to invite me. He's running as the straight-answers to tough questions candidate, so inviting a liberal blogger bolsters his tough guy cred. Armor isn't afraid to answer any questions either, so we'll see if he can swipe some of Carl's patina. Spence, I imagine, had no choice but to say yes (after saying, "Gordon who?") once the other two were on board.

In addition to being good for Carl, inviting someone from the opposite end of the political spectrum is good for democracy. I hope this move will encourage broader debates in all future contests. I realize that, to some extent, I'm serving as a useful fool for the Republicans, but their aims don't bother me and can be part of strengthening and adding integrity to this Congressional race.

Treasurer's Report

For the past couple of years I have been drawn to examine the undue influence of money in State politics, including the ability of corporations to direct unlimited sums of money to 527 committees and to non-profit foundations that are associated with politicians or engage in activities that support their positions. In 2005 the News & Observer called out Richard Moore for direct solicitation of financial companies for his North Carolina Fiscal Literacy Foundation:

The treasurer ought to know better than to solicit contributions for a nonprofit foundation of his creation from money managers who do business with the state, or who want a piece of that business.
It's just a bad practice. Moore should stop it.

He may have stopped it, it's not clear. The Foundation has never listed its donors.

Go Figure

rich inlet mapFigure Eight Island wants to have your cake and eat it too. While pursuing a terminal groin injury on the North Carolina coast, full steam ahead, the Islanders have been slow paddling a beach renourishment project that might scuttle the groin proposal if implemented too fast according to coastal observers.

Last year a Figure Eight Island/ Rich Inlet project was described in the Federal Register 07-848. A public hearing was held March 1st 2007 in Wilmington and written comments were received until March 29th, 2007. According to the Army Corps of Engineers not much has occurred since. The sense of urgency that propelled an end run by the NC Senate around coastal regulations prohibiting groins would evaporate if legislators knew that Figure Eight Island was actively engaged in beach renourishment.


Sure is getting kind of tense around here. Soooooo, in the interest of peace, love and harmony, let's take up Rip's suggestion and have a little show and tell. Especially lurkers.

Our site stats show roughly 3500 different people hitting BlueNC every week. Even if the number is only half that, there sure are a lot of strong, silent types out in the shadows. Come on out. We'll be nice.

Doctor Mary Cleans John Hood Devil's Clock?

Stagemanager Smackdown

Sayeth John Hood: The Devil Is In The Details

In the wake of the N&O's blistering investigative hammer on mental health care reform in North Carolina, John Hood has an apologist piece out. The stories depict a system that was poorly designed, inadequately tested in local settings before expanded statewide, and mismanaged in a number of foreseen and unforeseen ways.

Well, yeah. No duh.

Privatization is a means for accomplishing an end. It is a complex process, one in which public-sector managers must be careful in their bid requests, vigilant in their oversight, and flexible in responding to problems rapidly and effectively.

The devil, Hood argues, is in the details. And nobody's really to blame . . . that's just musical chairs.

Right on point one. Wrong on point two.

Obama, Go There

And I don't mean negative. The key to an Obama victory in the primary and the GE now lies nowhere else but in the misty mountains of Appalachia. So strap on your geeek glasses and lets have some fun. We've got work to do.

I am writing this diary out of a desire to see Barack Obama win the primary and general election. There is no doubt that Appalachia is the absolute KEY area to electoral victory for Obama. With the Appalachian vote goes the potential swing of WV, OH, VA, NC, PA and potentially KY and TN depending on the numbers come November.

So far, Obama is under-preforming 44% in Appalachian areas. Tennessee hinted at it (-41), Virginia seconded (-61), and SE Ohio (-31) has made it exceedingly clear. But it can, and will be his. Dive in with me to see how Obama locks up the primary, and crushes John McCain in the General Election.
And I don't mean negative.

Lawsuit Says Cliffside Will Violate Clean Air Act

Looks like the pro-Cliffside crowd want Duke energy to break our Clean Air Law. Fortunately the SELC would rather them not.

Mountain Xpress: This morning, the Southern Environmental Law Center and 18 other environmental organizations from across the state issued a petition to the state Division of Air Quality, urging the agency to revoke or modify an air permit issued to Duke Energy for its new Cliffside facility.

In a letter to Keith Overcash, director of the division, the SELC charges that the permit, which was issued to Duke on Jan. 29, violates the Clean Air Act because it does not require Duke to use the best available controls for mercury emissions.

Open Space

I grew up in a small lake front home in the suburbs of Minneapolis, where I could enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing. I would visit my grandparents who lived in a rural farming community, and was introduced to farm life. I spent many summers in my youth camping in the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. As a young Cub Scout, I went on hikes in nearby parks and natural areas. I developed a deep appreciation of nature, agriculture, and the real value a variety of local open spaces can give a community.

This appreciation of natural areas, parks, farmland, and rural living attracted me to Southern Wake County and my home in Fuquay-Varina. We have many working farms, large stretches of still natural land, and several parks that add greatly to our quality of life. But as all of North Carolina grows, these sources of critical open space we all enjoy are under great pressure.


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