Now is the time for a robust, open, public policy debate on how to reform and improve state government. Instead, N&O editorial page editor Steve Ford, in his Sept. 5 column "Money and rhetoric from the right," complained bitterly and maligned businessmen, such as myself, for supporting nonpartisan independent public policy organizations such as the Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation, and citizen groups such as Americans for Prosperity. One of the nicer things Ford said about AFP's over 50,000 volunteer activists in North Carolina was that they were a "rough crowd," that attempts to stoke fear and loathing.
I guess "open public policy debate" means sending fliers to people's homes that tell lies about the votes of legislators.
Submitted by scharrison on Sun, 09/05/2010 - 10:58am
The N&O's Steve Ford blasts Pope and the Koch Brothers:
There has to be a certain irony in a group bankrolled by some of the country's wealthiest business types - people with a vested financial interest in low taxes and limp-wristed regulation - using the working man and woman's annual holiday as a springboard for its anti-government agenda.
Americans for Prosperity has as a national director none other than the ubiquitous Art Pope of Raleigh, head of Variety Wholesalers (owners of Roses, Maxway, Super 10 and other bargain-oriented retail chains). Pope, one-time GOP legislator and candidate for lieutenant governor, hardly needs an introduction these days as the kingpin behind the libertarian/conservative John Locke Foundation and Civitas Institute.
Oh, it's dripping with irony, but I'm afraid that escapes most people.
Tedesco elaborated at length in the questionnaire as to why he was running. "NOW is the time for our party to capitalize on the energy of our families and their distaste for a failed system to rebuild our brand in Wake County," he said. His top issue: "The forced redistribution of children - busing, reassignment, and mandatory year-round assignments. Parental and Community Support."
Submitted by scharrison on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 4:35pm
The N&O's Steve Ford pens a great editorial on Northern influence over Southern education trends:
If you moved here from the Northeast, you might have brought your own set of progressive values. But you would have seen racial tensions in your former home that were a corrosive force many communities were ill-equipped to deal with.
The tendency back there was for municipalities to wall themselves off, typically on the basis of income. Inner-city riots, crime and general social dysfunction made the cities and their residents seem threatening. With school systems tied to municipalities, not counties, residents of affluent towns didn't (and still don't) need to think about having poor kids in their children's classrooms.
It's not surprising that folks moving to Wake County from such places would bring with them a certain set of attitudes and expectations. And that when they got here, many would settle in the newer suburbs of Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and Wake Forest, if not the sprawling stretches of North Raleigh.
Last month I resubscribed to the Raleigh News and Observer after nearly three years of protest. Though I still consider the editorial pages the weakest link in their value chain, Zabouti helped me understand that having a subscription was part of my civic duty. Today, as a full-price paying customer, I recognize I have another duty as well - to call out the good, the bad and the ugly when I see it. This weekend's editorial pages offer an excellent case in point.
My friends are sick of me talking and writing about the lottery. And when one of my fellow front-pagers recently won a thousand bucks on a $20 ticket, I confess to thinking, "awwww, maybe it's not so terrible." But the truth is, the lottery IS so terrible, as Steve Ford, the editorial page editor at the N&O. wrote today.
To pirate a line from "All the King's Men," North Carolina's state lottery was conceived in sin and born of corruption. We may never learn all the gory details surrounding its passage, but to say that its supporters in the General Assembly finagled it through by hook and by crook pretty much conveys the spirit of the thing.
My open feud with the News and Observer's editorial pages goes back a couple of years when the paper gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt regarding the his war in Iraq. The N&O wasn't exactly a cheerleader, and in his personal columns, Steve Ford often wondered about the long-term consequences of military action. But neither was the paper a strong and vocal critic of Bush's disastrous foreign policy.
Today's lead editorial is more of the same. The paper calls George Bush out on his stunning hypocrisy, but still holds on to the delusion of hope that something called "success" can emerge from the ashes of Iraq.
Steve Ford, editorial page editor at the News and Observer, comes through loud and clear today on the Outlying Landing Field controversy. He's the first person I've read who gets right down to the real nitty-gritty behind this fiasco. His column discusses the relative merits of different proposed sites, including one in Craven County. But in passing, he hits on the Big Unspoken Truth about the Navy and the Navy pilots that are driving the OLF train off the cliff.
Not to slide too far down the conspiratorial slope, but is there also a worry that picking Craven County for the OLF would create pressure to move the whole Super Hornet operation to Cherry Point? Do Norfolk-area Navy folks not want to get stuck down in Marine Corps country?
Here's to the editorial writers at the N&O today. They've come out loud and clear in condemning the sham that the US Navy calls a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. I for one am happy to give them all the credit in the world for this strong editorial.
The U.S. Navy justified its decision to build a practice landing field for jet fighters close to a North Carolina haven for large migratory birds on the basis of an environmental study found deficient by the federal courts. So, the courts told the Navy to take another look. But its supplemental study turns out to be little more than a warmed-over rationale for why a site near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is just fine. That conclusion remains unconvincing.
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