You get what you pay for?

I'm a big believer in "you get what you pay for." That's why I'm always advocating for better pay in every sector of government. Public agencies and departments should be models of excellence that inspire confidence and attract the best and brightest people to serve at every level.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- State lawmakers haven't given themselves a raise in more than a decade, and with each passing year, more legislators say serving in the General Assembly isn't as agreeable as it use to be. And that was before new lobbying restrictions took effect this year that turned their free steak dinners into Dutch treat at the local cafeteria.

Working Families Win & ACORN Hold Rally to Promote a State EITC

Working Families Win and ACORN held a kick-off rally Saturday, April 14, for their campaign to promote the implementation of an earned income tax credit in the state of North Carolina. Several elected officials were there to speak and between 20 and 30 enthusiastic supporters cheered them on.

Many of those supporters were at the Police Athletic League to take advantage of another service offered through ACORN. PAL had been chosen as a free tax preparation site by ACORN. Benita Little, the Executive Director of PAL was gracious in her welcome and thanked ACORN for choosing PAL as a site for the tax prep service. According to Little, the families that had taken advantage of the free tax service at PAL had collectively received almost $150,000 back through the federal EITC.

Find out more below the fold....

Hooker Odom Spins the Facts, Runs for Cover

spin-logo.gifBackground on this story here, here, here, here, and here.

In a piece in yesterday's Raleigh News-Observer, Department of Health and Human Services Director Carmen Hooker Odom defends her precipitous decision to retroactively slash rates by 33% for vital Community Support services across the state. The article doesn't mention the providers who have already shut their doors due to the cuts, doesn't mention the 33% salary cuts for providers at Asheville's Family Preservation Services, and doesn't mention the way the DHHS used only outliers to determine problems in the system. Secretary Odom, who serves at the pleasure of Governor Easley, is guilty of obfuscation and avoidance, and I'm happy to rebut her claims.

Weekend Wound Up: Open thread

Guess we've arrived . . . Ed Cone mentions BlueNC in the same virtual breath at the Puppetshow! Seriously, I genuinely appreciate Ed's acknowledgment. He has one of the longest-running and most interesting blogs in the state, and he always operates with integrity and grace. Stop by and show him some love.

In other news, it looks like my daughter has fallen hook, line and sinker for UNC Asheville. Their music program has really captured her interest and imagination. She's just a junior, so lots of things can change, but I wouldn't be surprised if UNCA is where she ends up.

Jack Betts Misses The Point

After years of writing some of the best coverage in the state on the Navy's Outlying Landing Field, Jack Betts at the Charlotte Observer takes a wrong turn this morning in his Sunday column.

RALEIGH -- If the Navy really wants an outlying landing field, it ought to call North Carolina's hand -- right now. For a long time the state and many of its environmental groups have been saying they don't want the OLF near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, but they'd support an alternative site.

Convince Brad Miller to Challenge Liddy NC-Sen

This is going out everywhere

Wow. It has been a crazy few days in North Carolina.

It started Wednesday with a tiny little story saying that Rep. Brad Miller was thinking about running against Elizabeth Dole. That was followed up by matching articles in the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer on Thursday.

Later Thursday Public Policy Polling conducted a poll, which showed Brad behind Dole, but only 33 to 44. While that poll is an amazing result, it shows a lot of room for improvement. For starters, 26% of Democrats are currently undecided.

Friday saw this poll get a plethora of responses, and even got us into a tie for 10th most likely seat to flip over at the WaPo's The Fix.

Open Thread: Thank the Gods It's Friday

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhat a week. Mental health crisis, five million lost emails, troops' tours extended, Vonnegut died, Don freakin' Imus, suicide bomber in the Green Zone, and so on.

On the flip side, there's gay marriage in Connecticut, Rahm Emmanuel telling Dems to stand strong against Bush, Bill Richardson's calling for immediate pullout from Iraq, Guiliani couldn't accurately guess the price of bread and milk, approval for Congress has shot up to 40% since the Dems took charge, Dole looks really vulnerable, Kissell's already generating a lot of excitement, and Richard "finger in the wind" Burr finally came out against the OLF.

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