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Everything you need to find, finance and buy the house of your dreams
January 3, 2013
Getting Home Above Water by Zoe Murphy 4101 Duplin Court, Sedgefield 11, Greensboro 5 BR- 4 ½ Baths: Priced Below Tax Value! Seller will consider lease purchase with acceptable time frame. tunning Transitional! ML MBR suite. Open and nuetral floor plan w/ multiple ceiling hts. In Ground Pool. 2 sided Fire Place. Finished Walk Out Basement with game room, sauna, 5th B/R and full Bath. Granite tops in open airy Kitchen, built-in speakers, multi level deck, sprinkler system, built in furniture and shelving, and much more! $494,900. From High Point Road, turn S. on Scotland, Rt. on Sprucewood, Rt. on Postbridge, Left on Gaston,Rt. on Duplin. OR North on Rockingham Road, Right on Gaston, Left on Duplin Court. Bobbie Maynard, 336-215-8017
The Waterfalls New community off Huffman Mill Rd, Burlington. Single Family Homes from the $160’s, Up to 2,957 sq. ft., Optional 3 car garage available, 10 Yr Quality Builders Warranty. New Model Home Open Daily. For exciting Fall incentives Call Scott Goodson 336-270-5230.
Weatherstone – Community located in Kernersville. Single Family homes priced from the $140’s and Townhomes priced from the upper $120’s, 10 Yr Quality Builders Warranty. Decorated Model Open Daily. Call Sarah Draughn for exciting new incentives at 336-529-5507
Meadow Valley New community off of Skeet Club Rd. in High Point, Homes from the $160’s, Up to 3,054 sq. ft., Optional 3 car garage available, 10 Yr Quality Builders Warranty. Model Home Open Daily. Call Linda Weaver 336-886-7804 for exciting new specials!
Stone Ridge - New community off Gibsonville-Ossipee Rd., Single Family Homes in the $130’s and One Level Townhomes from the $120’s, Community Pool, 10 Yr Quality Builders Warranty. Decorated Model Open Daily. Call Jenny Blythe for exciting new incentives at 336-4467465
While foreclosure activity in the US has dropped every quarter of the past two years, according to market researcher RealtyTrac, there are still homeowners who are underwater in their mortgage and looking for a solution. MFG Capital Group is stepping in across the country, including in the triad, to help. The company, in business for 20 years, specializes in loans for people that have mortgages that are greater than the appraisal value of their home, otherwise known as being “underwater.” Company representative Mel Jewell described MFG Capital Group as “a bridge loan specialty finance company providing short-term loans collateralized by real estate or other quick-sale collateral.” He explained that the bridge loans are designed as an interim solution prior to the client obtaining long-term financing. Jewell and MFG Capital Group are targeting the purchase and restructure of both residential loans and commercial loans. The company is focused on homeowners who want to keep their home, who have a loan of more than $417,000 and who are current on their payments. “When a homeowner is heading toward foreclosure, it can take anywhere from six to 18 months to get through the process before the bank takes the loan over,” Jewell said. What MFG Capital Group does is go in, buy the mortgage from the bank or mortgage company and help get the situation under control. “We help get the property below the appraisal price so if the homeowners want to sell the house, they are in a position where they can,” he explained. Jewell stressed that MFG is not interested in owning the underwater properties, however. “We want the people living there, or if it’s a commercial property the people who have rented the location, we want them to keep the property,” he said. The company can assist property owners whose loans are anywhere from 10 to 30 percent more than the
For property owners who are current with their payments but with mortgages that are greater than the home’s value, MFG Capital Group can help. The company can renegotiate loans of more than $417,000 to below the property value, allowing owners to then remain in their houses or be in the position to sell it.
property’s appraisal value. Jewell said he finds that it is still tough for people to qualify for mortgage loans with many banks. “It’s not like it was six or eight years ago,” he said. “We go in and negotiate with the bank or mortgage company and try to buy those loans. Most of the time we’re successful, and we get 60 to 70 cents on the dollar for the appraised price.” MFG Capital Group’s goal is to modify the property owner’s loan so they are now paying the property’s current appraised price and not the previous loan’s value. He cited one of MFG Capital Group’s case studies in Raleigh. “The owner had a total outstanding debt of $3,850,000, but the current market value of the property was only $2,643,000,” Jewell said. MFG Capital Group negotiated to purchase the loan for $1,665,000. They then worked to modify the owner’s debt from the original $3,850,000 to $1,850,000. This saved the owner $2 million on the principal. “The owner then carried a ninemonth bridge loan at 15 percent interest,” he said. “After which time, the owner obtained a refinance loan at 70 percent LTV [loan to value] for $1,850,000 at 7.25 percent interest,
a 20 year amortization with a 10-year balloon.” Another example where MFG Capital Group was able to step in and help involved a property in Birmingham, Michigan. Jewell said in that instance, the owner wasn’t in default and had an excellent credit score, but while the property loan was for $1.2 million, the property was only valued at $1,050,000. “We negotiated with the bank and purchased the loan for $700,000,” said Jewell. This reduced the owner’s debt to only $800,000. MFG Capital then assisted the property owner with refinancing at 80 percent LTV in only 14 days. MFG Capital Group is able to offer underwater homeowners a fast turnaround as well. “We can negotiate with the bank normally in one to three weeks,” Jewell said. Homeowners are responsible for only two expenses – the property’s appraisal fee and the fee for the attorney who does the paperwork on MFG Capital Group’s purchase of the loan from the bank. Last year, according to Jewell, MFG Capital Group looked into more than 100 properties that were underwater. These residential and commercial (Continued on page 37)
Page 16 Rhino Real Estate | January 3, 2013
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January 3, 2013 | Rhino Real Estate Page 17
“Use as YOU Choose” FREE Design Upgrades On your “To Be Built” D.R. Horton Home*
*Use as You Choose Offer is up to $13,000 max design credit to be applied as a credit to the costs of any optional features, material upgrades, landscape improvements or decorator items selected by buyer and included in the purchase price of the property. Incentives are only for contracts on new, “To Be Built” Homes in Central Carolina Division Communities in Alamance, Forsyth, Guilford, and Davie Counties that are written and ratified by January 31, 2013. Option must be chosen at time of execution of contract. Offer subject to change without notice. Redeemable only at closing and is not redeemable for cash or credit against purchase price or closing costs. Not to be combined with any other offers. Must close within six (6) months of contract acceptance. See sales representative for complete details. Pictures, photographs, features, colors, and sizes are approximate for illustration purposes only and will vary from the home as built. Speak with a D.R. Horton sales representative for more information.
Page 18 Rhino Real Estate | January 3, 2013
The View is jusT The sTarT
Is a NIce start, too.
CHECK US OUT ON THE OPEN HOUSE PAGE
Greensboro Natural Science Center 4301 Lawndale Drive
Extended Through Jan. 20 Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato
Due to popular demand, the Natural Science Center is extending the Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato through Sunday, Jan. 20 and will be offering a new lower admission rate of $6 for members and $12 for non-members. Audio tours, in both English and Spanish, are also on sale for $2.50. This collection of rare, shocking and completely accidental mummies – miners, fathers, mothers, soldiers, farmers and children – combines science, art, history and cultural anthropology to immerse the visitor in a world of a Mexican city over 100 years ago where deceased residents were naturally mummified in their crypts. They are revered by their descendents and have been visited by millions. For information, call (336) 288-3769 or visit www.natsci.org.
Daily at 11:30 a.m., 2 and 3:30 p.m., Keeper Talks are wonderful way to learn more about Animal Discovery residents from the experts. Keeper Talk schedules are posted daily at the entrance to Animal Discovery, which is subject to change during inclement weather or issues with animal health or safety. Talks are free with general admission.
CityViewAtSouthSide.Com | 336.379.0101 Sign a 6+ month lease and we’ll give you $250 off your first month’s rent
within 30-days of your move-in. Must move in during the month of January to get the $250.
Greensboro Children’s Museum 220 North Church St.
Cooking Together: Soup & Sandwich
On Saturday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., warm up around the table and learn to make a classic winter soup and sandwich combination. The event is for children ages 5 and up. Tickets are $45 per parent/child ticket, additional children are $10 each. For more information, visit www.gcmuseum.com or call 574-2898.
Silly Saturday: Pirates Ahoy
On Saturday, Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., grab your eye patch, parrot and pegleg and join the Children’s Museum for some swashbuckling activities. Learn to talk like a pirate, go on a treasure hunt and try your hand at coconut bowling. Don’t miss out or you might have to walk the plank.
Children Are Our Future This schedule brought to you by your friends & neighbors at (336) 282-4414
mortgage underwater? owe more than Your House is worth? Residential or Commercial Loans Up to $5,000,000 Don’t worry help is on the way. If you:
• Want to keep your home • Have a loan of $417,000 or higher • Are current on your payments • Want to protect your credit • Want to reduce what you owe Find Out More By Calling our 24 hour recorded message
Not a short sale or loan modification
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
N.C. unemployment tax cut would help pay fed debt/3 January 2013 Vol. 22 No. 1
JOURNAL A MONTHLY JOURNAL OF NEWS, ANALYSIS AND OPINION FROM THE JOHN LOCKE FOUNDATION
Check us out online at carolinajournal.com and johnlocke.org
DEPARTMENTS North Carolina Education Local Government From Page 1 Higher Education Opinion Parting Shot
2 5 6 7 10 12 16
Mountain Man vs. Government
Lawmakers wrangle over training for Primitive N.C. retreat bail bondsmen By Dan E. Way Associate Editor
wo of the General Assembly’s most powerful Republican lawmakers and the Democratic state insurance commissioner are among those ensnared in a legal struggle between private and nonprofit bail bondsman organizations providing instructional courses for bail agents. The Rockford-Cohen Group, parent organization of the for-profit North Carolina Bail Academy, is competing with the nonprofit North Carolina Bail Agents Association to provide classes that bondsmen must pass to receive and maintain mandatory state certification. Rockford-Cohen alleges Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin assisted in the creation of an unlawful monopoly for the N.C. Bail Agents Association. The association conducts state-required prelicensure and continuing education courses for bondsmen. Continued as “Lawmakers,” Page 7
Want all 28 pages of Carolina Journal? This version of Carolina Journal, inserted into your local weekly, consists of just 16 pages of the full 28-page CJ statewide edition. If you would like to get those extra 12 pages of first-rate journalism and policy analysis, all you have to do is go to CarolinaJournal.com and click on “Subscribe” in the top right corner of the page. Just fill out the form you’ll be put on our monthly mailing list. Or you can call 919-8283876 and ask one of our helpful representatives to put you on the mailing list. We look forward to hearing from you.
a bit too primitive for Watauga officials By Don Carrington Executive Editor
atauga County mountain man Eustace Conway’s passion for teaching primitive living came to a sudden halt in October when local government officials shut down his operation, citing safety and health concerns. After receiving a tip that Conway had built structures without a permit, Watauga County Planning and Inspections Director Joe Furman obtained an administrative search warrant to inspect the roughly two dozen buildings and structures at Turtle Island Preserve, Conway’s 500-plus acre retreat in the mountains east of Boone. In September, Furman assembled a team of building inspectors, health department officials, a tax assessor, and sheriff’s deputies, who made a surprise visit to the site. Conway refers
Eustace Conway, above, maintains that modern building codes make no sense when applied to his Turtle Island Preserve, which features and teaches primitive building methods. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
to the inspection as a “raid.” The following month, local officials ordered Conway to stop hosting visitors and interns at Turtle Island Preserve until he obtains several permits. Conway appears to have the sympathy of state building code regu-
lators and Watauga County health officials, but he faces a series of legal and regulatory barriers if he wants to keep Turtle Island Preserve open to the public. Conway is not your average reguContinued as “Watauga,” Page 8
Voting Drives in State Hospitals Will Continue
Fewer than 100 out of 3,000 patients or residents voted in ’12 By Don Carrington Executive Editor
he director of state facilities for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled said his department will continue to offer annual voter registration and voting assistance for patients and residents. He also said that while efforts are made to notify patients’ guardians about voting activities, a patient’s right to vote takes priority over any objections from guard-
J. Luckey Welsh, director of the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities at the Department of Health and Human Services, Luckey Welsh told Carolina Journal there are about 3,000 people residing in the state facilities. Voting records obtained by CJ showed only 73 individuals from six facilities cast votes that were accepted for the Nov. 6 election. Sixty-one of those voters were new registrants. “I think we allowed our citizens the right to vote. I am happy we allowed them to do it,” he replied. The laws and rules governing
voting by mentally challenged individuals remain murky, and it’s unclear whether state employees who assisted disabled patients and residents to cast ballots at early voting sites were complying with the law. The registration drives were conducted for the Nov. 6 election even though federal law requires facilities to determine whether patients and residents want to register and want to vote at the time they’re admitted. The state stepped up its registration efforts this fall after a request to increase voter turnout at state-run facilities from Disability Rights North Carolina, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of the mentally and developmentally disabled. The N.C. Department of Health Continued as “Voting,” Page 9
PAGE PAGE CJ2 CJ2
JOURNAL Rick RickHenderson Henderson Managing ManagingEditor Editor Don DonCarrington Carrington Executive ExecutiveEditor Editor Mitch MitchKokai, Kokai,Michael MichaelLowrey Lowrey Barry BarrySmith, Smith,Dan DanE. E.Way Way Associate AssociateEditors Editors Chad ChadAdams, Adams,Kristy KristyBailey Bailey David DavidN. N.Bass, Bass,Lloyd LloydBillingsley Billingsley Kristen KristenBlair, Blair,Sara SaraBurrows Burrows Roy RoyCordato, Cordato,Becki BeckiGray Gray Sam SamA. A.Hieb, Hieb,Lindalyn LindalynKakadelis Kakadelis Troy TroyKickler, Kickler,George GeorgeLeef Leef Elizabeth ElizabethLincicome, Lincicome,Karen KarenMcMahan McMahan Donna DonnaMartinez, Martinez,Karen KarenPalasek Palasek Marc MarcRotterman, Rotterman,Michael MichaelSanera Sanera John JohnStaddon, Staddon,George GeorgeStephens Stephens Terry TerryStoops, Stoops,Andy AndyTaylor Taylor Michael MichaelWalden, Walden,Karen KarenWelsh Welsh Hal HalYoung, Young,John JohnCalvin CalvinYoung Young Contributors Contributors Joseph JosephChesser, Chesser,Hubert HubertPapes Papes Mathew MathewSchaeffer, Schaeffer,Daniel DanielSimpson Simpson Interns Interns Published Publishedby by The TheJohn JohnLocke LockeFoundation Foundation 200 200W. W.Morgan MorganSt., St.,##200 200 Raleigh, Raleigh,N.C. N.C.27601 27601 (919) (919)828-3876 828-3876 •• Fax: Fax:821-5117 821-5117 www.JohnLocke.org www.JohnLocke.org Jon JonHam Ham Vice VicePresident President& &Publisher Publisher John JohnHood Hood Chairman Chairman& &President President Bruce BruceBabcock, Babcock,Herb HerbBerkowitz Berkowitz Charlie CharlieCarter, Carter,Jim JimFulghum Fulghum Chuck ChuckFuller, Fuller,Bill BillGraham Graham Robert RobertLuddy, Luddy,Assad AssadMeymandi Meymandi Baker BakerA. A.Mitchell MitchellJr., Jr.,Carl CarlMumpower, Mumpower, J.J.Arthur ArthurPope, Pope,Thomas ThomasA. A.Roberg, Roberg, David DavidStover, Stover,J.M J.MBryan BryanTaylor, Taylor, Andy AndyWells Wells Board BoardofofDirectors Directors Carolina Carolina Journal Journal isis aa monthly monthly journal journal ofof news, news, analysis, analysis,and andcommentary commentaryon on state state and and local local government government and and public public policy policy issues issues in in North NorthCarolina. Carolina. ©2013 ©2013 by by The The John John Locke Locke Foundation Foundation Inc. Inc.All Allopinions opinionsexpressed expressedin inbylined bylinedarticles articles are arethose thoseofofthe theauthors authorsand anddo donot notnecessarily necessarily reflect reflect the the views views ofof the the editors editors ofof CJ CJ or or the the staff staffand andboard boardofofthe theJohn JohnLocke LockeFoundation. Foundation. Material Materialpublished publishedherein hereinmay maybe bereprinted reprintedas as long long as as appropriate appropriate credit credit isis given. given. SubmisSubmissions sions and and letters letters are are welcome welcome and and should should be be directed directedto tothe theeditor. editor. CJ CJ readers readers wanting wanting more more information information between between monthly monthly issues issues can can call call 919-828919-8283876 3876and andask askfor forCarolina CarolinaJournal JournalWeekly Weekly Report, Report, delivered delivered each each weekend weekend by by e-mail, e-mail, or orvisit visitCarolinaJournal.com CarolinaJournal.comfor fornews, news,links, links, and andexclusive exclusivecontent contentupdated updatedeach eachweekday. weekday. Those Thoseinterested interestedin ineducation, education,higher highereducaeducation, tion, or or local local government government should should also also ask ask to to receive receiveweekly weeklye-letters e-letterscovering coveringthese theseissues. issues.
North orth CaroliNa aroliNa
JANUARY JANUARY 2013 2013 || CAROLINA CAROLINA JOURNAL JOURNAL
Critics: Obamacare Medicaid Savings Illusory BByy D Dan an E. E. W Way ay Associate Associate Editor Editor
recent recent study study suggests suggests that that taxpayer taxpayer costs costs could could go go down down ifif the the states states expanded expanded Medicaid Medicaid enrollment enrollment under under President President Obama’s Obama’s signature signature Patient Patient ProtecProtection tion and and Affordable Affordable Care Care Act. Act. But But critics critics say say expanding expanding Medicaid Medicaid would would cost cost North North Carolinians Carolinians directly directly an an extra extra $3.1 $3.1billion billionover overaa10-year 10-yearperiod period— —and andcosts coststo tofederal federaltaxtaxpayers, payers,including includingNorth NorthCarolinians, Carolinians,would wouldbe beeven evengreater. greater. News News reports reports suggest suggest that that taxpayers taxpayers in in some some states, states, including including North North Carolina, Carolina, would would see see the the costs costs of of expanding expanding Medicaid Medicaid coverage coverage under under Obamacare Obamacare offset. offset. But But that that “sav“savings” ings” would would result result from from aa promise promise that that the the federal federal governgovernment ment would would pick pick up up between between 90 90 percent percent and and 100 100 percent percent of of the the cost cost of of new new enrollees. enrollees. Whether Whether the the additional additional costs costs are are “covered” “covered” by by the the federal federal or or state state governments, governments, taxpaytaxpayers ers ultimately ultimately are are responsible responsible for for all all the the costs. costs. And And some some health health policy policy exexperts perts are are warning warning the the subsidy-laden subsidy-laden enrollment enrollment enticement enticement is is aa bait-andbait-andswitch switch scheme scheme to to move move toward toward aa national national single-payer single-payer system. system. They They also also say say the the federal federal government government easily easily could could shift shift more more costs costs to to the the states states under under Medicaid, Medicaid, the the governgovernment ment insurance insurance program program for for the the poor poor and and disabled. disabled. At Atpress presstime, time,Republican RepublicanGov.Gov.elect elect Pat Pat McCrory McCrory had had not not disclosed disclosed whether whetherhe heplanned plannedto toexpand expandMedMedicaid icaid rolls, rolls, adding adding more more than than aa half half million million newly newly eligible eligible beneficiaries beneficiaries by by 2022, 2022, saying saying he he needed needed to to learn learn more more about about the the costs. costs. “To “To be be clear, clear, we’re we’re not not saying saying that that most most states states save. save. Most Most states states are are spending spending more more money” money” under under Obamacare Obamacare and and Medicaid Medicaid expanexpansion, sion, said said John John Holahan. Holahan. He He is is direcdirector torof ofthe theHealth HealthPolicy PolicyCenter Centerat atthe the Urban Urban Institute Institute and and co-author co-author of of aa national national and and state-by-state state-by-state research research study study conducted conducted with with the the Kaiser Kaiser Commission Commission on on Medicaid Medicaid and and the the Uninsured. Uninsured. Both Both think think tanks tanks are are in in Washington, Washington, D.C. D.C. Only Only nine nine states states would would pay pay less less by by expanding expanding MedMedicaid icaid rolls, rolls, according according to to the the Urban Urban Institute/Kaiser Institute/Kaiser study. study. Still, Still, Holahan Holahan said, said, expanding expanding Medicaid Medicaid would would cost cost states states more more — — just just not not as as much much as as they they would would pay pay otherwise otherwise bebecause cause of of funding funding mechanisms mechanisms in in the the national national health health care care rereform form law. law. But But Jagadeesh Jagadeesh Gokhale, Gokhale, aa senior senior fellow fellow at at the the Cato Cato InInstitute stitutein inWashington, Washington,D.C., D.C.,raised raisedmajor majorconcerns concernsabout aboutthe the study study on on several several levels. levels. ItIt relied relied on on outdated outdated source source matematerial, rial, assumptions assumptions in in its its simulation simulation model model were were documented documented thinly, thinly, some some corroborating corroborating data data were were omitted omitted altogether, altogether, and and some some findings findings were were contradictory, contradictory, he he said. said. “The “The study study assumes assumes that that new new enrollees enrollees among among old old and and newly newly eligible eligible individuals individuals will will be be cheaper cheaper than than curcurrently rently enrolled enrolled individuals,” individuals,” Gokhale Gokhale said. said. “But “But research research shows shows that that once once insurance insurance coverage coverage is is provided provided — — in in this this case case mandated mandated — — new new enrollees enrollees quickly quickly increase increase their their useuseintensity intensity of of health health care care services services and and become become just just as as costly costly as as those those already already enrolled enrolled into into the the program.” program.” Under Under the the law, law, the the federal federal government government would would pay pay 100 100 percent percent of of the the cost cost of of new new enrollees enrollees for for three three years, years, then then bebegin gin phasing phasing down down the the match match to to 90 90 percent percent over over 10 10 years. years. State State costs costs for for existing existing Medicaid Medicaid patients patients could could remain remain ununchanged. changed. “Don’t “Don’t think think that that this this federal federal funding funding is is going going to to be be everlasting,” everlasting,” said said Nina Nina Owcharenko, Owcharenko, director director of of the the health health care care policy policy center center at at the the Washington, Washington, D.C.-based D.C.-based Heritage Heritage
Foundation, Foundation, aa skeptic skeptic of of Medicaid Medicaid expansion. expansion. Nor Nor does does she she believe believe states states will will have have greater greater flexibilflexibility ity and and control control over over Medicaid Medicaid programs programs under under Obamacare, Obamacare, such such as as the the ability ability to to opt opt out out later later after after signing signing on, on, as as its its proponents proponents claim. claim. “I “I have have seen seen no no flexibility flexibility from from this this administration,” administration,” Owcharenko Owcharenko said. said. Legislators Legislators and and policymakers policymakers shouldn’t shouldn’t get get “snook“snookered” ered” by by the the study study authors’ authors’ promises promises of of large large federal federal matching matching shares, shares, said said Twila Twila Brase, Brase, president president of of the the St.Paul, St.Paul, Minn.-based Minn.-based Citizens Citizens Council Council for for Health Health Freedom, Freedom, because because taxpayers taxpayers eventually eventually are are on on the the hook hook for for all all the the costs. costs. “They “They are are trying trying to to make make you you forget forget that that federal federal doldollars lars are are paid paid for for by by taxpayers, taxpayers, and and because because it’s it’s all all new new spending spending they they even even agree agree that that state state Medicaid Medicaid spending spending will will increase,” increase,” Brase Brase said. said. Brase Brase called called Medicaid Medicaid expanexpansion sion “another “another move move towards towards aa nanational tional health health care care system, system, and and this this 100 100 percent percent and and 90 90 percent percent dangling dangling of of money money before before state state legislators legislators is is just just meant meant to to pull pull them them in, in, and and then then they’ll they’ll be be trapped trapped in in the the future future in in covering covering this this broad broad increase increase of of peopeople.” ple.” She She said said that that large large subsidy subsidy bait bait is is “helping “helping the the Obama Obama adminadministration istration advance advance national national health health care. care. It’s It’s temporary temporary money, money, and and in in the the future future states states are are likely likely to to be be on on the the hook hook for for at at least least half half the the costs costs of of these these new new people.” people.” The The study study concludes concludes that that ununder der Obamacare, Obamacare, North North Carolina Carolina could could expand expand Medicaid Medicaid rolls rolls and and provide provide uninsured uninsured residents residents with with health health coverage coverage from from 2013-22 2013-22 for for $3.1 $3.1 billion. billion. Without Without Obamacare, Obamacare, aa similar similar expansion expansion would would cost cost $5.1 $5.1 billion. billion. Under Under Obamacare, Obamacare, from from 2013201322 22 state state costs costs would would rise rise from from $68 $68 billion billion with with no no Medicaid Medicaid enrollment enrollment expansion expansion to to $71.1 $71.1 bilbillion lion with with expansion, expansion, or or $3.1 $3.1 billion billion more. more. The The federal federal costs costs would would increase increase from from $132.4 $132.4 billion billion to to $172 $172 billion, billion, or or $39.6 $39.6 billion billion more. more. IfIf North North Carolina Carolina were were to to refuse refuse the the Obamacare Obamacare MedMedicaid icaid expansion, expansion, the the Medicaid Medicaid rolls rolls still still would would grow grow by by 174,000 174,000 people people by by 2022 2022 due due to to normal normal population population growth growth and andeligibility, eligibility,the thestudy studyshows. shows.IfIfthe theObamacare Obamacareexpansion expansion were were approved, approved, that that number number would would grow grow by by still still another another 568,000 568,000 enrollees. enrollees. “Demand “Demand pressures pressures are are likely likely to to escalate escalate health health sector sector costs costs and and premiums,” premiums,” Gokhale Gokhale said, said, and and that that was was not not rereflected flected in in the the Urban Urban Institute/Kaiser Institute/Kaiser study study findings findings of of cost cost per per Medicaid Medicaid beneficiary. beneficiary. Most Most heavily heavily affected affected by by the the fedfederal eraltaxes taxesto topay payfor forthose thosecosts costswill willbe be“younger “youngerindividuals individuals who who have have lower lower average average health health costs,” costs,” he he said. said. He He questioned questioned aa variety variety of of methodologies methodologies used used in in the the study’s study’s simulated simulated model. model. “The “The assumptions assumptions involved involved must must be be documented documented in in great great detail detail — — especially especially regarding regarding the the behavioral behavioral decisions decisions of of individuals individuals and and employers. employers. The The method’s method’s appendix appendix does does not not do do this,” this,” Gokhale Gokhale said. said. The The study study claims, claims, “Results “Results from from previous previous Medicaid Medicaid expansions expansions have have shown shown that that only only aa small small minority minority of of those those covered coveredby byemployer-sponsored employer-sponsoredinsurance insuranceswitch switchto toMedicMedicaid,” aid,” suggesting suggesting aa modest modest impact impact on on state state costs. costs. “That’s “That’s not not true, true, according according to to many many recent recent studies studies by by the the National National Bureau Bureau of of Economic Economic Research. Research. In In defenddefending ing this this point, point, the the Kaiser-UI Kaiser-UI study study cites cites aa much much older older papaper per from from 1996,” 1996,” Gokhale Gokhale said. said. CJ CJ
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
N.C. Unemployment Tax Fix Would Retire Federal Debt Earlier
Proposal would cut benefits from $535 to $350 per week By Barry Smith Associate Editor
aid-off workers would see their benefits decreased, and about 30 percent of the state’s businesses would see their unemployment insurance taxes increased under a proposal presented Dec. 5 to a legislative study panel. Members of an interim legislative study committee looking at tax laws gave tentative approval to a recommendation that would reduce the maximum weekly unemployment benefit to $350 from the current $535. The proposal also would reduce the maximum number of weeks unemployed workers are eligible for benefits from the current 26 weeks to 20 weeks. The maximum number of weeks could be as few as 12 if the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent or less. The effort is aimed at paying back a $2.5 billion debt that the state got into when it borrowed money from
the federal government to pay unemployment benefits resulting from the Great Recession. Analysts believe that by adopting the changes the state can repay its debt by 2015 or 2016. Otherwise, it’s unlikely to be repaid until 2019. “This proposal is kind of a compromise,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow. “This issue is not going away.” For most businesses, the proposal replicates the current tax rates, said legislative analyst Cindy Avrette after the meeting. However, about 20 percent of businesses that currently don’t pay into the unemployment insurance system because of their good employment business history would have to begin paying, Avrette said. In addition, businesses that regularly have been at the top of the rate
scale (currently paying 5.7 percent of workers’ base salary as unemployment insurance tax) would see an increase in their rate, Avrette said. That could include another 10 percent of businesses. The increases for those businesses could amount to about $12 a year per employee, with some potential surcharges thrown in. Bill Rowe of the N.C. Justice Center told the committee that the proposal could do harm to the future unemployed. “It has severe implications for a lot of different interests,” Rowe said, saying that those out of a job depend on that money to help make ends meet. “The rent doesn’t get paid. The mortgage doesn’t get paid.” A couple of workers who have been unemployed also addressed the committee, urging members to keep
unemployed people in mind. Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, who co-chairs the committee, said the bill would not affect the benefits of any workers currently receiving unemployment benefits. The bill would become effective for claims filed after July 1, 2013. The tax changes would become effective for the 2014 tax year. Representatives of businesses attending the meeting generally spoke in favor of the proposal. “No one thing caused this problem, and no one thing will get us out of this problem,” said Gary Salamido, vice president of the North Carolina Chamber. “It’s going to require all of us to have some pain.” Connie Wilson, a lobbyist for the Employers’ Coalition of North Carolina, said that the proposal, if it becomes law, would give employers some certainty as to what their costs would be. Andy Ellen, president of the N.C. Retail Merchants Association, thanked the committee for taking up the issue. “Unfortunately, we’ve kicked the can down the road way too long,” Ellen said. “This is our fiscal cliff here.” The committee expects to give final approval to the recommendation Jan. 8. It is expected to be addressed by the 2013 long session of CJ the General Assembly.
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
UNC Health Care CEO Says Single-Payer Plan Most Efficient But he concedes system would be hard to implement B Byy SSara ara BurroWS urroWS Contributor Contributor
NC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper leaves little doubt when discussing his preferred means of financing health services in the United States: a single-payer system funded by taxes that would guarantee coverage for all Americans. But he also acknowledges that large government programs are unwieldy and bureaucratic. A single-payer system might lead to rationing of medical services, which he says Americans may not be willing to accept. On a May 28 broadcast of the syndicated public radio program “The People’s Pharmacy,” Roper said the current U.S. health care system requires hospitals to charge people who can pay more money to compensate for those who can’t pay. He said “a more sensible approach” would be to set up “one insurance scheme for everybody and charge premiums to people who could afford to pay it, and a sliding scale for those who couldn’t, and then [provide] subsidies for those at the bottom of the scale, and then collect the money and pay the bills. … That works in other countries.” Co-host Joe Graedon noted that the system Roper was advocating sounded “suspiciously” like a single-payer system, and Roper confirmed that was what he was describing, and that “if I were the czar of that kind of system, I’d be comfortable with it.” But Roper also acknowledged that there are problems with large, government-run programs. So at a Dec. 11 hearing of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, Roper suggested the most palatable way to improve the U.S. health care system is through the sorts of incremental expansions of coverage included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Roper educated state legislators about what he called five “myths” of health care at a meeting discussing the future of the U.S. medical system. Among the so-called myths he
set straight straight was was Obama’s Obama’s claim claim that that if if out out the the imposition imposition set attempted to depeople people liked liked their their health health insurance insurance polpolof of “cost “cost controls.” controls.” bunk was the noicies the the way way they they were, were, they they wouldn’t wouldn’t Foy Foy agrees agrees icies tion that “the need to to change. change. that that the the health health care care need American health “We “We need need to to change change lots lots of of things things costs costs are are spiraling care system is the about how how health health care care is is organized organized and and out out of of control, control, but but about best in the world,” financed and and delivered delivered if if we’re we’re going going blames blames governgovern- financed and President to have have the the ability ability to to create create the the health health ment ment intervention intervention to Obama’s promise care system system I’m I’m here here calling calling for,” for,” RopRopfor for the the problem problem care that “if you like er told told the the committee. committee. and and argues argues that that er your health care the On On “The “The People’s People’s Pharmacy,” Pharmacy,” more more government government way it is, nothing he noted noted the the political political and and philosophiphilosophiintervention intervention is is not not he about it will need to cal cal challenges challenges of of implementing implementing aa truly truly the the solution. solution. change.” universal financing financing system system such such as as sinsin“Prior “Prior to to the the universal Roper, who gle-payer. “The “The problem problem with with that that is is it it advent advent of of MediMedi- gle-payer. formerly served runs counter counter to to our our tradition tradition of of radical radical care care and and Medicaid, Medicaid, runs under Republican individualism and and Americans Americans having having individuals individuals paid paid individualism presidents as head great distrust distrust of of major major government government for for the the majority majority of of great of the Health Care programs,” Roper Roper said. said. medical medical goods goods and and programs,” Financing AdminUNC UNC Health Health Care Care CEO CEO Dr. Dr. Bill Bill Roper Roper services services out out of of their their istration and the “None “None of of the the reforms reforms that that AmeriAmeriown own pocket pocket and and cans Centers for Disease cans would would find find reasonable reasonable will will work work utilized health health insurance insurance as as aa rational rational unless Control and Prevention, argued that, utilized unless most most if if not not all all of of our our population population tool for for mitigating mitigating financial financial risk risk posed posed is on average, Americans have worse tool is in in the the system,” system,” he he continued. continued. “Un“Unby catastrophic catastrophic events,” events,” Foy Foy wrote wrote in in less health care outcomes than people in by less people people can can be be compelled compelled … … and and another article. article. “During “During this this time time aa real real I’ll many other countries, that care is too another I’ll use use the the word word compelled compelled … … to to make make market existed existed for for the the vast vast majority majority of of plans expensive and not of high quality, and market plans and and buy buy insurance insurance ahead ahead of of time, time, medical goods goods and and services, services, and and prices prices then that too many Americans go without it. medical then the the only only people people who who will will buy buy it it were reasonable.” reasonable.” He also said, despite Obama’s were are are those those that that have have these these chronic, chronic, seseBut But after after these these government government propro- rious promises to the contrary, in order for rious illnesses, illnesses, or or pre-existing pre-existing condicondigrams came came into into existence, existence, private private tions.” America’s new universal health care grams tions.” insurance companies companies also also began began covcovsystem to work, current health insur- insurance Foy Foy said said if if one one believes believes health health ering health health care care “maintenance” “maintenance” to to care ance plans would need to change, even ering care is is aa human human right right or or “public “public good good remain competitive, competitive, he he said, said, causing causing that if people liked the way they work now. remain that should should be be regulated regulated and and allocated allocated third-party third-party spending spending on on routine routine medimedi- in in such such aa way way to to assure assure aa ‘just’ ‘just’ social social Problems cal cal services services to to increase increase and and out-ofout-of- distribution,” distribution,” then then single-payer single-payer probprobpocket spending spending to to fall. fall. ably ably is is the the most most reasonable reasonable way way to to acacRoper Roper said said the the uninsured uninsured aren’t aren’t pocket The The result, result, he he wrote, wrote, is is “consum“consum- complish complish the the goal. goal. getting getting all all the the care care they they need need and and ers now now use use many many medical medical services services that that “If, “If, on on the the other other hand, hand, one one bebethat, that, in in the the end, end, that that is is aa “huge “huge cost” cost” ers they they would would simply simply reject reject if if they they had had lieves lieves that that health health care care is is aa service, service, then then to to American American taxpayers taxpayers because because when when to pay pay for for them them out out of of pocket pocket — — and and it it makes makes the the most most sense sense for for the the market market people people wait wait too too to truthfully, truthfully, in in most most cases, cases, they they would would be be to to coordinate coordinate its its allocation allocation and and distridistrilong long to to seek seek care care none the the worse worse off off for for rejecting rejecting them.” them.” bution bution to to satisfy satisfy consumers’ consumers’ wants,” wants,” they they end end up up with with none Foy Foy said. said. “This “This would would be be aa true true free free “worse “worse illnesses illnesses Solutions market market and and this this model model does does not not exist exist and and worse worse outoutCJ anywhere in in the the developed developed world.” world.” CJ The The final final myth myth Roper Roper wanted wanted to to anywhere comes.” comes.” Dr. Dr. Andrew Andrew Foy, Foy, aa cardiology cardiology fellow fellow at at the the Penn Penn SS tt aa tt ee -- H H ee rr ss hh ee yy University University MediMedical cal Center Center and and aa contributor contributor to to the the Ludwig Ludwig von von Mises Mises Institute’s Institute’s website website (mises.org), (mises.org), rejects rejects the the idea idea that that taxpayers taxpayers should should pay pay for for “preventative” “preventative” care care to to save save money money on on indigent indigent visits visits to to emergency emergency departdepartments ments or or operating operating rooms. rooms. “It “It sounds sounds good, good, but but the the data data … … suggests suggests the the opposite opposite — — with with few few exceptions, exceptions, paying paying for for health health maintemaintenance nance upstream upstream simply simply increases increases costs costs upstream upstream without without significantly significantly imimpacting pacting health health downstream,” downstream,” he he wrote wrote in in an an article article for for the the site. site. Roper Roper also also argued argued that that AmeriAmericans, cans, as as aa whole, whole, spend spend too too much much on on health health care, care, noting noting that that 17 17 percent percent of of the the national national economy economy is is devoted devoted to to health health care. care. He He said said there there could could be be no no http://carolinajournal.com meaningful meaningful health health care care reform reform with with
Roper says ‘If I were the czar of that kind of system, I’d be comfortable with it’
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JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
N.C. 26th in Latest Ranking Of High School Graduation Rates By Barry Smith Associate Editor
orth Carolina’s graduation rate ranks about in the middle of the pack in relation to other states around the country. North Carolina is tied for 26th in what is called the cohort graduation rate. Educators and education policy analysts say that figure means more today than it has before. That’s because nearly all the states have adopted the cohort graduation rate as a means of measuring what percentage of their students graduate. The cohort graduation rate at a high school or in a state is the percentage of students who graduate within four years. The rate is adjusted to account for population shifts, as well as to account for students who transfer from school to school. “It’s not a perfect way of calculating graduation rates, but it’s much improved,” said Terry Stoops, director of research and education studies at the John Locke Foundation. Stoops credits the national No Child Left Behind program, a George W. Bush-era education initiative, for sparking the change to a more uniform way of measuring graduation rates. “For all of its faults, the one positive requirement to come out of No Child Left Behind was the establishment of a common graduation rate calculation,” Stoops said. North Carolina’s graduation rate is 78 percent, which put the Tar Heel State in a tie for 26th with Arizona and Delaware. The rankings are for the 2010-11 academic year. Iowa is ranked first at 88 percent. The District of Columbia is last, or 48th, at 59 percent. Three states, Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, were not ranked because they have not adopted the standardized cohort graduation rate. North Carolina also is in the middle compared with neighboring states. Tennessee (tied for fourth at 86 percent) and Virginia (tied for 19th at 82 percent) had higher graduation rates than North Carolina. South Carolina (tied for 37th at 74 percent) and Georgia (45th at 67 percent) had lower rates. Stoops said there are a number of things to be gleaned from the cohort
graduation ranking. “Lesson No. 1 is that there is no relationship between per-pupil spending and graduation rates,” Stoops said. North Carolina spent $8,572 per student. Top-ranked Iowa spent $9,484 per student, while a number of states ranking below Iowa spent more. Second-place Vermont spent $17,447 per student, and third-place Wisconsin spent $11,787 per student. New York, which spent $17,750 per student, tied for 29th. New Jersey, which spent $17,717 per student, tied for 12th. The District of Columbia, which ranked last, spent $13,803 per student. Stoops said he is concerned about what graduating and obtaining a high school diploma actually represents, since a significant number of high school graduates entering the state’s community college system need to take remedial courses. “Sixty-five percent of high school graduates that enroll in North Carolina community colleges immediately after graduation have to take one or more remedial courses,” Stoops said. “These remedial courses are math, reading, and English, so the basics.” Stoops added, “You would suspect that those who graduate from high school that don’t go on to higher education also lack the basic skills of reading, writing. and math.” “It shows just how meaningless a high school diploma is,” Stoops said. “A high school diploma doesn’t indicate mastery of the basics. It’s clear from those remediation rates that a high school diploma doesn’t indicate any mastery of skills or knowledge.” Stoops went on to make some recommendations for reforms, as a means of reducing the number of graduates who need remedial courses. “We need to raise standards in North Carolina, and hold students to high standards throughout their academic career,” Stoops said. “We need to identify struggling students early and ensure that they’re getting the education they need.” Stoops said if students aren’t getting the needed instruction in their assigned public schools, the state needs to give families the option of seeking out a different institution for their chilCJ dren.
What’s In A Word?
(kids who read one or more hours n a world increasingly domiper day) “are substantially more nated by technological shortlikely to say they earn high grades hand, it’s hard to imagine why than those who are light readers.” students would need to know the Unfortunately, books don’t meaning of an unwieldy word like command much of children’s lei“perspicacity.” Yet in the informasure time today. Although schooltion age, a good vocabulary is more age children spend more than seven important than ever. Navigating hours daily with recreational media, new platforms for communication only 38 minutes of this time is spent requires savvy and discernment with print media, Kaiser’s data — even, some might say, a bit of show. Digital kids aren’t compenperspicacity — but it also demands sating for time lost to print with a deep understanding of word online articles: They devote just two meanings and their context. minutes daily to reading On a fundamental news or magazines online. level, vocabulary is the Surely we can leverkey that unlocks reading age technology to pique comprehension, whether kids’ interest in reading. A on a “printed page or a recent survey by Scholascomputer screen.” Such is tic found that 57 percent the finding of a new govof 9- to 17-year-olds were ernment report detailing eager to read an e-book. 2009 and 2011 student voThe key for parents and cabulary performance on KRISTEN educators is to push real the National Assessment BLAIR reading, whether in an of Educational Progress. electronic or physical NAEP vocabulary results book format. The 25 perrevealed “a consistent cent of kids in Scholastic’s survey relationship between performance on vocabulary and performance who thought texting was reading might not rejoice at putting down on reading comprehension.” Thus, that cellphone and diving into lithigh achievers on NAEP vocabuerature. But their minds will be the lary led on reading comprehension, better for it. while poor performers in vocabuFor their part, schools “need lary struggled with reading. to go beyond teaching word defiIn a press release accompanynitions,” said Brent Houston, an ing the test results, David Driscoll, Oklahoma middle school principal chairman of the National Assessand member of NAGB, at a webinar ment Governing Board (the group announcing the vocabulary results. that oversees NAEP), noted, “WithHouston said he wants to “spend out a strong vocabulary, any child’s even more time teaching contextual ability to read and to learn suffers clues, multiple meanings, antdramatically.” The good news is onyms, and synonyms.” that our weakest eighth-graders — It may seem antiquated, but those scoring at the 10th percentile studying word etymology and Latin — made small improvements in roots also is beneficial. As advocates vocabulary achievement between of Latin instruction point out, much 2009 and 2011. But high achievers’ of the English language is derived scores declined in both fourth and from Latin. More schools are taking eighth grades — the two grade levnote: In 2012 some 136,000 students els evaluated nationwide. So there took the National Latin Exam, up is work still to do. What can a child do to acquire from fewer than 80,000 in 1992. Such students, along with avid a robust vocabulary? Read for fun. readers everywhere, understand Reading and vocabulary form a modern reality: Ours is a world circular relationship, so spending saturated with words and informatime on one positively influences tion. Far from being an anachrothe other. Pleasure reading not only nism, a good vocabulary helps us influences vocabulary acquisition, make sense of it. it also affects school achievement. CJ A 2010 study on children’s media habits from the Kaiser Family FounKristen Blair is a North Carolina dation found that “heavy readers” Education Alliance fellow.
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
Court: 2nd Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Concealed Weapons By miChaEl loWrEy Associate Editor
hough the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of individual citizens to possess firearms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the N.C. Court of Appeals says this right does not cover concealed weapons. North Carolina is not the only state to reach this conclusion. Appellate courts in Kansas and California also have held that the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision does not establish a right to carry a concealed weapon. In January 2011, Justin Kelly submitted an application to renew his North Carolina concealed handgun permit. Kelly had to answer a number of questions, including one he had responded to five years earlier when he originally applied for a permit: “Have you ever been adjudicated guilty … for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, including” a series of criminal offenses listed on the form. Kelly checked “no,” as he had done on his original application. This was incorrect, however. In May 2001, he had been convicted of assault on a female, one of the crimes state law says disqualifies an applicant from being issued a concealed handgun permit. Though the Gaston County Sheriff’s Department didn’t discover the conviction when Kelly applied the first
time, it did when he sought a renewal and rejected the application. Kelly sued, a District Court judge ruled against him, and he brought the matter before the state’s second-highest court. On appeal, Kelly contended that his fundamental right to bear arms was violated when the sheriff’s department refused to issue a concealed weapons permit. His appeal cites the Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” In the Heller ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on the possession of handguns in an individual’s home. The justices held that the Second Amendment guaranteed the “pre-existing” “individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” Kelly argued that the holding in Heller should extend to the right to carry and conceal a handgun outside the home. The Court of Appeals did not agree. “In the instant case, petitioner was denied a concealed handgun
permit pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.12 because of his previous conviction of assault on a female,” wrote Judge Ann Marie Calabria for the appeals court. “While courts have consistently held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a weapon, courts have also found that the Second Amendment does not extend to an individual’s right to conceal a weapon. Therefore, we conclude that petitioner’s right to carry a concealed handgun does not fall within the scope of the Second Amendment, and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14415.12 is constitutional as applied to him.” In Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment’s definition of “bear arms” included an individual’s right to a gun “carried ... upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket.” The decision, however, also notes that the scope of the
The North Carolina Courts
The Appeals Court ruled that the right to bear arms doesn’t extend to concealing arms
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Second Amendment is not unlimited, that it is “not a right to keep a weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” It also acknowledged that courts long have “held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment and state analogues.” In Nunn v. State (1846), a case cited by the majority in Heller, the Georgia Supreme Court held that a law prohibiting carrying certain weapons secretly was valid under the Second Amendment as it did not “deprive the citizen of his natural right of self-defense, or of his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” And in Robertson v. Baldwin (1897), the U.S. Supreme Court said “the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.” Based on these precedents, the Court of Appeals held that even after Heller, the Second Amendment does not extend to concealed handguns. Kelly could appeal the Court of Appeals’ decision, but because it was unanimous, the state Supreme Court is not required to hear an appeal. The case is Kelly v. Riley, (12-273). CJ
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JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
From PaGE 1
Lawmakers Wrangle Over Training for Bail Bondsmen Continued from Page 1
Lynette Thompson, one of three Rockford-Cohen partners, believes state Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and state Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, worked behind the scenes to facilitate the legislation that granted exclusive instruction rights to the N.C. Bail Agents Association. Moore and Apodaca are chairmen of the rules committees in their respective chambers. As such, they wield enormous power to steer bills through the committee assignment and hearing process. Senate Bill 738, authorizing the monopoly, was rushed through the General Assembly in the waning days of the 2012 legislative session. Letters of complaint seeking investigations into the involvement of Moore and Goodwin were sent to the state attorney general’s office, Thompson said. A decision has not been reached on whether to file a similar complaint against Apodaca.
Unconstitutional help? Tim Mathis, a course instructor for the N.C. Bail Academy, said the attorney general’s office has refused to investigate Goodwin for what he and a group of bail bondsmen allege was unconstitutional help in creating a monopoly. The AG’s response letter said it represents Goodwin in an appeal of a civil suit filed by Rockford-Cohen, so it cannot open a criminal investigation. Mathis said he may lodge a complaint against Goodwin with the U.S. attorney’s office. Thompson said for a year Goodwin cast a blind eye to the bail agents association conducting classes without proper state authorization, and then refused to revoke its operations as required by the state administrative code even after she filed a complaint with him. Moore, an attorney, performed legal work defending the bail agents association against the Rockford-Cohen complaint, which was a precursor to passing the legislation granting the bail agents association a monopoly. In addition, Thompson said, she filed a complaint with the State Bar against the association’s attorney/lobbyist Mark Black, alleging he knowingly provided false testimony to the House Insurance Committee. He testified the association was the state’s sole provider of the course instruction. Black said he simply misspoke at the committee hearing, at which Rose Williams, legislative counsel for the Insurance Department, spoke in favor of approving S.B. 738 without revealing Rockford-Cohen was offering competing classes. “I think we should take another look at [S.B. 738],” said state Rep. Winkie Wilkins, D-Person. He filed an affidavit in state Superior Court saying the matter was not presented in
A bill authorizing a monopoly to train bail bondsmen was rushed through the General Assembly in the waning days of the 2012 legislative session. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
the House Insurance Committee in a “forthright manner,” and he planned to take it up when the legislature returns in January. Moore and Apodaca deny any wrongdoing. They said they recused themselves from voting on the bill to grant monopoly status to the bail agents association. Requests for an interview with Goodwin were denied. The association has funneled campaign donations to all three over the years — $19,000 to Apodaca from 2004-10, and $2,100 to Goodwin and $2,000 to Moore from 2010-12. Apodaca, who owns a bail bonding company run by his son, is a founder and past president of the N.C. Bail Agents Association. His 2012 statement of economic interest on file with the State Ethics Commission shows he owns stock valued at more than $10,000 in Accredited Surety and Casualty. Ten of the 17 members on the N.C. Bail Agents Association’s board of directors work for Accredited. Thompson won the first round in the legal skirmish, in which both sides claim they are best suited to deliver the course instruction and accuse their competitors of questionable business practices.
Law blocked Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens blocked the Oct. 1 implementation of S.B. 738, signed into law July 12 by Gov. Bev Perdue. In siding with Rockford-Cohen, Stephens wrote: “This court cannot find any factual, logical or reasonable basis that [the law] serves any other purpose other than to eliminate all current and future competition for the benefit of a private corporation or association in violation of the North Carolina Constitution.” “Obviously I was quite pleased” the judge ruled the legislation “was illegal and unconstitutional, and that’s what we thought from the start,” Thompson said. “This is just a temporary injunction. That didn’t block it completely. [Stephens] just stopped it until he hears the rest of the evidence,” said
Phil Burr, president of the N.C. Bail Agents Association. “We’re going to aggressively push for it just like the Department of Insurance” to keep the law intact, Burr said. Burr’s son, state Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, a bail bondsman who has received $12,000 in campaign donations from the Bail Agents Association from 2006-10, also recused himself from a vote on the bill. Attempts to contact Justin Burr for comment were not successful.
Rushed process alleged Thompson contends the rushed legislative process was fraught with oddities and deception to get favorable votes for her competition. “When it came time for anything to happen at the legislature, I had to simply recuse myself from any of the hearings and any of the votes” because he had represented the bail agents association against Rockford-Cohen’s complaint to the Insurance Department, Moore said. “It would have actually been improper for me to … get involved in the process and intervening, and taking any official action one way or the other,” Moore said. “I recuse myself on any vote dealing with the bonding agency, bonding laws,” and did so on S.B. 738, Apodaca said. While he was aware of RockfordCohen’s competing organization, “The rules are very specific. When [a legislator] recuses himself from voting, he does not discuss any part” of the legislation. “I don’t know how or where it came from,” he said of the bail bondsmen bill. “I honestly don’t remember having any conversation with [Insurance Department officials] about it,” Apodaca said repeatedly in an interview. Yet a string of emails from the Insurance Department shows in the months leading up to the bill’s passage, Apodaca was subject of and party to high-level discussions with the department about the RockfordCohen bail agents association dispute and whether legislation was advisable
to settle it. In an Oct. 27, 2011, email from Rose Williams to Angela Ford, the Insurance Department’s senior deputy commissioner, Williams said she saw Apodaca at the General Assembly that morning and he told her “he is angry and upset” about “outsourcing” the bail bondsmen continuing education courses to a vendor other than the N.C. Bail Agents Association. On Oct. 31, 2011, Apodaca sent Williams an email asking, “Is this true?”, and attached to it an email sent to him by Julie Henderson, a board member of the bail agents association. Henderson complained to Apodaca that Goodwin told association lobbyist Reggie Holley that Rockford-Cohen’s complaint file “has been marked confidential.”
Quick email response Three minutes after receiving that email, Williams forwarded it to Goodwin, asking him what it was about. “Angela and I spoke to Sen. Apodaca on the phone about this last week,” she wrote. On Nov. 1, 2011, Goodwin sent an email marked “high importance” to Williams and other Insurance Department managers seeking “the status of Sen. Apodaca on this matter? (I know you’ve had conversations following up on his inquiries.) Will we see legislation from the Senator or Rep. Burr on this subject … ?” Williams replied: “I did not get a sense from Sen. Apodaca that he is going to file legislation. He did say he wished he had known this sooner and he would have filed legislation. Have not spoken with Burr.” In a Dec. 12, 2011, email to Etta Maynard, deputy commissioner of the Insurance Department’s Agent Services Division, Ford wrote that bail agents association officials “want to be the sole provider and nothing else. This will probably end up being fixed by them through a statutory fix to name NCBAA as the only provider … this has been brewing for some time.” Despite those emails, Insurance Department spokeswoman Kerry Hall insisted, “Neither Commissioner Goodwin nor NCDOI legislative staff communicated with Sen. Apodaca or Rep. Burr” about steering legislation through the process that would block competition to the bail agents association. “While the Department of Insurance expressed support of the bill due to having limited resources to oversee multiple providers of continuing education, neither the commissioner nor his staff aggressively promoted the bill,” Hall said. Thompson is troubled that Rockford-Cohen had no advance notice that S.B. 738, which would put her out of business, was to be introduced. Continued as “Lawmakers,” Page 9
From PaGE 1
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
Watauga Officials Find Fault With Man’s Primitive Building Methods
also noted that Turtle Island’s separate outdoor men’s urinal involving sawdust in large buckets is not standard. Conway defends the system, explaining that uric acid and sawdust make great compost and he uses that compost on his garden plots. A 2009 article in National Geographic magazine, cited recently in The News & Observer, said, “Researchers estimate a single person could supply enough urine to fertilize roughly 6,300 tomato plants a year — yielding some 2.4 tons of tomatoes.” But according to the health department, “Urinals are not an approved system.” “We want to work with Mr. Conway. He was just in to see us [Dec. 12], and we gave him more information,” health department spokeswoman Jennifer Greene told CJ.
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latory scofflaw. He was the subject of a 2002 book titled The Last American Man and co-starred in the History Channel’s 2012 series “Mountain Men.” But he believes he has become entangled in a maze of modern-day rules and codes that both make no sense and cannot be applied consistently within the primitive environment he is working to preserve. He believes that if he followed the building and health codes to the letter, they would undermine the reason for Turtle Island’s existence. Conway has been teaching primitive living skills to Boy Scouts, families, and other groups for more than 20 years. He underwrites the operation of the preserve with paid lectures and fees for courses he teaches at the facility. At a Dec. 5 meeting with reporters at Turtle Island, Conway, 52, said the government officials’ actions amounted to an “attack on Appalachian culture and American heritage. … They said they would press criminal charges if I don’t comply.” But Conway is fighting back. He asked the North Carolina Building Code Council to help find a way to exclude his buildings from state building codes. “Codes don’t apply to what we are doing,” he told the council Dec. 10 at a regularly scheduled meeting in Raleigh. “Our traditional buildings have not had any health issues,” he said. In addition to the building code concerns, the Appalachian District Health Department found several sanitation issues that need to be addressed. The department ordered him to cease and desist activities until he has addressed the problems and obtained valid permits.
Building code issues After the inspection, Furman’s office issued a report documenting numerous building code violations. Furman shared that report Oct. 7 with Conway. On Oct, 17 Watauga County Attorney Stacy Eggers sent Conway a letter stating that Turtle Island’s buildings “fail to comply with the North Carolina Building Code and present a safety hazard to anyone near or around the structures.” “Watauga County would like to work with you in bringing these structures into compliance with the applicable minimum requirements on the Building Code,” Eggers continued. “Please make arrangements to apply for the necessary permits and submit the required applications within 30 days of the date of this letter. Until the required safety improvements are made and the proper permits are obtained, you should bar the general public from being in or around those buildings, because the buildings are not structurally sound, provide no
Eustace Conway, who was the subject of a book, as well as a co-star of the National Geographic “Mountain Men” television series, makes his case at the N.C. Building Code Council in Raleigh on Dec. 10. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
sanitary facilities, and potentially endanger the safety and welfare of those around them. This would include barring your interns from entering into these structures or being in the vicinity of them.” Conway normally has about 10 interns living on the property. They assist with chores in exchange for learning primitive methods directly from Conway. But Conway said his building designs are not “cookie-cutter engineering.” He started learning to build when he was a child. The structures rest on rocks — a centuries-old practice. He claims that modern-day engineers, who have been college-trained, are unfamiliar with traditional methods and therefore cannot understand that his buildings are of better quality and safer than many modern structures. Building Code Council members appeared sympathetic to Conway’s situation. After his testimony, the council directed staff to research the process for exempting the Turtle Island structures from the current regulations. But while that is going on, Conway was told that he must appeal the Watauga County ruling so that the council can conduct a formal hearing.
Sanitation issues The Appalachian District Health Department sent Conway a separate report on the problems its inspectors found at Turtle Island. It also issued Conway an “order to cease and desist” offering food, lodging, and primitive experience camp activities. The report noted three significant problems with Conway’s operation: He did not have valid health permits to offer food, lodging, or primitive camping; he had illegal septic systems on the property; and the Turtle Island Primitive Experience Camp has “drastically changed from the plan that was originally submitted,” and that the changes needed to be approved. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has published rules for operating a primitive camp, and local health departments are required to enforce the rules. Conway told Carolina Journal that local officials have inspected the outhouses that are used by visitors, but acknowledged the outhouse adjacent to his personal residence, located far from the visitor area, has not been inspected. The health department report
One of the buildings cited by Watauga officials is the Turtle Island Preserve’s main meeting hall, used for classes in inclement weather. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
A national celebrity Conway first achieved national attention in 1998 as the subject of an article by Elizabeth Gilbert for GQ. The story, titled “The Last American Man,” chronicled Conway’s transition from a young boy who loved the outdoors, to a 17-year-old living in a teepee of his own design, to his college years at Appalachian State in Boone, and then to his first land acquisition in 1987 and subsequent development of his primitive skills camp so he can continue teaching others. Bilber also described other significant adventures, including at age 18 his travel down the Mississippi River in a handmade canoe. At 19 he hiked the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail. In 1995, Eustace and his brother Judson completed a horseback ride from the Atlantic coast to San Diego, Calif. Gilbert expanded that story into a 2002 book with the same title. More recently, Conway was featured in season one of the History Channel’s “Mountain Men” series. Presented as reality TV, the eight-part series chronicled the adventures of Conway in North Carolina, a family in Montana, and another family in Alaska.
Why Turtle Island? According to the Turtle Island website, the name is derived from the Native American legend that “a great turtle rose up out of the waters after the world was flooded and made the decision to support life’s creatures on its back.” American Indians call the earth turtle island. Conway named his tract of land Turtle Island Preserve because “we are an Earth preserve. In the figurative sense, we are an island of wilderness in a sea of development CJ and destruction.” North Carolina History Project Director Troy Kickler contributed additional reporting to this story.
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Voting Drives to Continue in State Hospitals, says State Health Official Continued from Page 1
and Human Services operates 14 residential facilities. Managed by the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities, the facilities serve alcohol and drug abuse patients, the developmentally disabled, and the mentally ill. Disability Rights North Carolina is a nonprofit organization serving persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and other disabilities. In 2007, Gov. Mike Easley designated the organization as the “protection and advocacy” agency for North Carolina. As part of the Help America Vote Act, state protection and advocacy organizations such as DRNC have received specific federal grants aimed at improving voting access for persons with disabilities. With the guidance of DRNC, employees of the Murdoch Developmental Center, a state-run facility in Butner for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, registered 36 new voters out of a total of approximately 500 residents. Only 12 residents actually cast ballots. Records indicate that there were no registered voters at Murdoch prior to the recent registration effort.
Chapel Hill killer The recent voter registration efforts also resulted in the registration of Wendell Justin Williamson, who in 1995 killed two people in Chapel Hill and was judged not guilty by reason of insanity. Election records show Williamson, a patient at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, was registered on Sept. 13 as an unaffiliated voter. He cast an absentee ballot that was accepted Oct. 15 by the Granville County Board of Elections. In a street shootout in January 1995 near the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, Williamson, a law student, used an M-1 rifle to kill two strangers. The not-guilty verdict caused a national furor.
Murky laws Many residents in state facilities have been declared incompetent by a
Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, known as Motor Voter, all state residential facilities, including hospitals like Broughton Hospital (above) in Morganton, and mental institutions, are required to ask patients and residents upon admission if they are registered to vote. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
judge, and have been assigned guardians to make their decisions. A North Carolina law governing people with the treatment of people with mental health and developmental disabilities, G.S. 122 C-58, states that “each adult client of a facility keeps the same right as any other citizen of North Carolina to exercise all civil rights, including the right to dispose of property, execute instruments, make purchases, enter into contractual relationships, register and vote, bring civil actions, and marry and get a divorce, unless the exercise of a civil right has been precluded by an unrevoked adjudication of incompetency.” Based on the above language, some guardians of persons who have been judged incompetent believe their wards have lost the right to vote. In 1973, then-state Attorney General Robert Morgan’s office issued an opinion saying that the state constitution does not prohibit the incompetent from voting. Since then, North Carolina apparently has allowed persons judged incompetent to vote. But that issue remains unclear to some. In an Aug. 21 memo from DRNC to the state-run facilities, the organization stated, “There is a misperception that individuals with guardians are not allowed to register to vote,” based on an incorrect reading of a state law. “Thus, there is no legitimate basis under state law for limiting the right to
register and vote because someone has a guardian.” Even if the right to vote is secure, other laws affect the act of voting. There are three basic ways to vote in North Carolina: Absentee by mail, early voting (aka one-stop absentee voting), and in-person voting on Election Day.
Class I felony North Carolina General Statute 163-226.3 makes it a Class I felony for anyone other than the legal guardian or close relative of a hospital or nursing home patient to apply for an absentee ballot or fill out that ballot on the patient’s behalf. The law was enacted in the 1980s to prevent the political exploitation of elderly and disabled residents of hospitals and nursing homes. The lone exception allowed is if the hospital or nursing home asks the county board of elections to bring in a multipartisan team of registrars, trained by the county, to assist the patients. According to G.S. 163-166.8, a voter who goes to the polls in person can receive assistance in voting from a close relative without stating a reason to polling place officials. If a voter is physically disabled, illiterate, or blind, he can ask for assistance from a polling place official or any other person he chooses as long as that person is not
the voter’s employer, the agent of the employer, or an agent of the voter’s union. State law treats ballots cast at early voting sites as absentee ballots, suggesting that staff members of staterun facilities are not allowed to assist patients or residents with absentee ballots, even at early voting sites. When asked what safeguards DHHS takes to ensure that staff or an outside group doesn’t influence a resident’s choice when filling out a ballot or transporting the resident to the polling place, Welsh said, “Our staff knows they cannot do it.” But Welsh told CJ that one incident at Cherry Hospital appeared to violate this law. He said a caregiver at Cherry had helped a patient complete an absentee ballot. DHHS spokesperson Julie Henry told CJ that the staff discovered the incident and hospital leadership reported it to a local law enforcement official, who then took it to the local district attorney. She said the district attorney did not pursue charges.
Voters by facility State Board of Elections records examined by CJ show voting activity in six of the 14 facilities. • J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center in Morganton: eight voters (five new registrations), all voted by mail. • Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner: 12 voters (all registered on Oct. 11), 11 early voting, one voted in person on Election Day. • Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center: four voters (one new registration), all early voting. • Broughton Hospital in Morganton: 17 voters (12 new registrations), all voted by mail. Registrations totaled 81. • Central Regional Hospital in Butner: 22 voters (all new registrations), 10 voted by mail, 12 used early voting. Registrations totaled 63. • Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro: 10 voters (nine new registrations), three voted by mail, six used early voting, one voted in person. Total registrations were 34 with 21 of them new. CJ
Lawmakers Rushed Bail Bondsman Training Bill Through 2012 Legislative Session Continued from Page 7
State Rep. Jerry Dockham, RDavidson, chairman of the House Insurance Committee, said notice of the hearing was posted two hours beforehand. He faulted Rockford-Cohen’s lack of awareness about the bill on it having an ineffective lobbyist. As a small business, Rockford-Cohen does not have a lobbyist, Thompson said. Jane Pinsky, director of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform at Common Cause, said this situation is a poster child for legislative reform.
“We’ve proposed for a long time that a bill has to be available to the public for 24 hours before it gets committee consideration, and that the public should have a copy of the bill before it goes forward,” she said. S.B. 738, sponsored by Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, was passed in the Senate in 2011 and sent to the House, which held it over until 2012. It was styled “Liability Insurance Required for ABC Permits” until the House Insurance Committee held a hearing on the bill on June 27. The original language was gutted and replaced with the bail bondsmen train-
ing language. The Senate approved the bill June 28 by concurrence, which means it skipped the normal committee hearing process in that chamber and went directly to a floor vote. Apodaca said it is not unusual to gut bills and insert substitute language. “We probably gutted 50 different bills, 20 to 50,” in the last session, Apodaca said. And pushing the bill through to approval by concurrence in the Senate without a committee hearing is “standard procedure” late in the session, he said.
Even so, none of the principals can say what lawmaker was behind the last-minute change in bill language. Neither Goolsby nor members of his staff returned multiple phone calls seeking comment. Despite their duties as rules chairmen, Apodaca and Moore said they did not know which lawmaker pushed the bill. Dockham said, “I don’t remember exactly” which member of the legislature was behind the push to gut and reword the bill. “I don’t feel like there were any shenanigans going on,” he said. CJ
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he heJohn JohnW. W.Pope PopeCenter Centerfor for Higher Higher Education Education Policy Policy awarded awarded the the center’s center’s 2012 2012 Spirit SpiritofofInquiry InquiryAward AwardDec. Dec.66toto UNC-Chapel UNC-ChapelHill Hilland andDuke DukeUniUniversity versity visiting visiting professor professor JonaJonathon thonAnomaly Anomalyatatan anawards awardsdindinner. ner. The The award award honors honors college college instructors instructorsfor foroutstanding outstandingteachteaching. ing. Anomaly Anomaly was was recognized recognized for for two two courses courses taught taught as as part part ofof the the Philosophy, Philosophy, Politics, Politics, and and Economics Economicsprogram programatatDuke Dukeand and UNC-Chapel UNC-ChapelHill. Hill. The The second-place second-place recipient recipient was was Richard Richard Bowser, Bowser, Campbell Campbell Law LawSchool, School,for forhis hiscourse course“Con“Constitutional stitutionalLaw LawI.” I.”The Thethird-place third-place winner winnerwas wasAnthony AnthonySolari, Solari,N.C. N.C. State State University, University, for for his his course course “American “AmericanPolitical PoliticalThought.” Thought.” The Thegoal goalofofthe theSpirit SpiritofofInInquiry quiryAward Awardisistotofind findand andrecogrecognize nize the the best best courses courses atat colleges colleges and anduniversities universitiesininNorth NorthCarolina Carolina — —courses coursesthat thatexpand expandstudents’ students’ ability abilitytotothink thinkand andexpress expresstheir their ideas ideas within within the the context context ofof an an academic academic discipline. discipline. Directed Directed by by Jenna JennaAshley AshleyRobinson, Robinson,the thePope Pope Center’s Center’sdirector directorofofoutreach, outreach,the the project projectattracted attracted109 109nominations nominations from fromsix sixNorth NorthCarolina Carolinauniversiuniversities tiesand andtwo twocommunity communitycolleges. colleges. Eight Eightfinalists finalistswere wereselected, selected,and and aapanel panelofofjudges judgeschose chosethe thethree three winners. winners. “We “Wefeel feelthat thatoutstanding outstandingininstructors structorsrarely rarelyreceive receivethe thepraise praise they theydeserve,” deserve,”said saidRobinson. Robinson.“We “We honor honorthese thesefaculty facultymembers memberswith with modest modest monetary monetary rewards, rewards, but but the therecognition recognitionofoftheir theirdedication dedication isismost mostimportant.” important.”The TheSpirit Spiritofof Inquiry InquiryAward Awardprogram programisisfunded funded by byaagrant grantfrom fromthe theBroyhill BroyhillFamiFamilylyFoundation Foundationlocated locatedininWinstonWinstonSalem. Salem. The The judges judges for for 2012 2012 were were John John Allison, Allison, President President ofof the the Cato Cato Institute; Institute; J.J. Edgar Edgar Broyhill, Broyhill, president president and and managing managing direcdirector tor ofof the the Broyhill Broyhill Group; Group; Anne Anne Neal, Neal, president president ofof the the American American Council CouncilofofTrustees Trusteesand andAlumni; Alumni; George GeorgeLeef, Leef,director directorofofresearch research atat the the Pope Pope Center; Center; and and John John Moore, Moore,former formerpresident presidentofofGrove Grove City CityCollege. College. Students Students throughout throughout the the state state nominate nominate their their professors professors using usingan anonline onlineform. form.The Therequirerequirements ments for for nomination nomination include include aa balanced balanced presentation presentation ofof social social and and political political issues, issues, aa classroom classroom environment environmentthat thatallows allowsstudents students toto express express ideas ideas and and encourencourages ages open open investigation investigation and and ininquiry, quiry, and and interesting interesting and and rigorrigorous ouscourse coursematerial. material. CJ CJ — —POPE POPECENTER CENTERSTAFF STAFF
H HigHer igHer e education ducation
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Little Little Apparent Apparent Payoff Payoff for for Research Research Campus Campus So So Far Far BByyDDuke ukeCC heston heston Contributor Contributor
omatoes omatoesthat thatdon’t don’trot rotfor foraayear, year, sunscreen sunscreenmade madefrom fromwatermelwatermelons, ons, and and super-cancer-fighting super-cancer-fighting broccoli. broccoli. These These are are but but aa few few ofof the the wonders wonderson ondisplay displayatatthe theNorth NorthCaroCarolina linaResearch ResearchCampus CampusininKannapolis. Kannapolis. In In2003, 2003,the thePillowtex Pillowtextextile textileplant plant closed closed inin Kannapolis, Kannapolis, causing causing 4,000 4,000 people peopletotolose losetheir theirjobs jobsininaasingle singleday. day. But Buttoday, today,the thecampus campusisisdazzling, dazzling,both both architecturally architecturally and and technologically. technologically. ItIt consists consistsofofseveral severalgrand, grand,neoclassical neoclassical buildings, buildings, complete complete with with marble marble imimported portedfrom fromIndia Indiaand andset seton onsprawlsprawling, ing,pristine pristineacreage. acreage. Billionaire Billionaire David David Murdock Murdock has has invested invested aa reported reported $600 $600 million million inin the theresearch researchcampus, campus,but buthe heisn’t isn’tthe the only onlyone onefunding fundingit.it.The TheUniversity Universityofof North NorthCarolina Carolinasystem systemisispaying payingmore more than than$23 $23million millionannually annuallytotofund fundits its activities activitiesatatthe thecampus. campus. Whether Whetherthat thatinvestment investmentisisworth worth taxpayer taxpayermoney moneyisisaatough toughquestion. question. Will Will Kannapolis Kannapolis take take its its place place along alongwith withother otherattempts attemptstotouse usetaxtaxpayer payer money money toto resuscitate resuscitate economieconomically cally struggling struggling areas areas — — such such as as the the Global Global TransPark TransPark inin Kinston Kinston or or the the Randy RandyParton PartonTheatre TheatreininRoanoke RoanokeRapRapids? ids? Those Those have have failed failed toto deliver deliver rereturns turnstototaxpayers, taxpayers,with withthe theTransPark TransPark scrambling scramblingtotofind findrevenue-producing revenue-producing tenants tenantsand andthe theParton Partonfacility facilityfolding folding amid amidscandal. scandal. Or Or will will the the research research campus campus prove provetotobe beaaproductive productiveasset assetfor forthe the state stateand andfor forthe thecity cityofofKannapolis? Kannapolis? The Thecampus campushas hasaalot lotgoing goingfor forit.it. Opened Opened inin 2008, 2008, the the development development ofof the thecampus campuswas wasspearheaded spearheadedby byMurMurdock, dock,CEO CEOofofDole DoleFoods Foodsand andCastle Castle&& Cooke CookeInc., Inc.,aareal realestate estateholding holdingcomcompany. pany. Murdock Murdock had had owned owned the the CanCannon nonMills Millsplant plantthat thateventually eventuallybecame became Pillowtex Pillowtexbut butsold soldititinin1997. 1997.He Hestill still owned ownedsome someproperty propertynearby, nearby,and andinin 2005 2005 he he and and state state leaders leaders announced announced plans planstotobuild buildthe theNorth NorthCarolina CarolinaReResearch searchCampus. Campus. Murdock Murdock provided provided initial initial fundfunding, ing,and andthe theUNC UNCsystem systembegan beganaa2020year yearagreement agreementininwhich whichititeventually eventually would wouldown ownthe thetwo twobuildings buildings(built (builtby by Murdock) Murdock)that thatits itsscientists scientistsuse. use.CabarCabarrus rusCounty Countyand andthe thecity cityofofKannapolis Kannapolis also also contributed, contributed, issuing issuing $35 $35 million million inindebt debtininDecember December2010. 2010.The Thebonds bonds have have paid paid for for infrastructure infrastructure on on camcampus. pus. Scientists Scientists from from eight eight universiuniversities ties— —UNC-Chapel UNC-ChapelHill, Hill,Appalachian Appalachian State StateUniversity, University,N.C. N.C.A&T A&TState StateUniUniversity, versity, N.C. N.C. State State University, University, N.C. N.C. Central Central University, University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Greensboro, and and Duke Duke UniverUniversity sity— —work workatatthe thecampus. campus.Research Research focuses focuses largely largely on on “nutraceuticals,” “nutraceuticals,” foods foodsthat thatare aredesigned designedtotomake makepeopeople plehealthier, healthier,aasubject subjectofofgreat greatinterest interest
The TheDavid DavidH. H.Murdock MurdockCore CoreLaboratory Laboratoryatatthe theNorth NorthCarolina CarolinaResearch ResearchCenter Center(above) (above) isislocated locatedininKannapolis. Kannapolis.(Photo (Photoby byAlexius AlexiusHoratius) Horatius)
totoMurdock. Murdock.With Withthe theexception exceptionofofthe the researchers researchers from from Duke Duke and and AppalaAppalachian chianState, State,researchers researchersare arepaid paidby bythe the UNC UNC General General Administration. Administration. Duke Duke researchers researchersare arefunded fundedby byaagift giftfrom from Murdock, Murdock,and andAppalachian AppalachianState Statefacfaculty ultyare arefunded fundedby bytheir theirhome homeuniveruniversity. sity. The Thecampus campushas hasproduced producedsome some interesting interestingfindings. findings.Among Amongthem themare areaa way waytotouse useX-rays X-raysand andMRIs MRIstotopredict predict the theprogression progressionofofarthritis, arthritis,the theuse useofof ginger gingeras asaapotential potentialtreatment treatmentfor forthe the anemia anemiacaused causedby bychemotherapy chemotherapyor orrerenal naldisease, disease,and andthe thediscovery discoverythat that45 45 minutes minutes ofof vigorous vigorous exercise exercise results results ininan anaverage averageofofan anextra extra190 190calories calories burned burnedover overthe the14 14following followinghours. hours. These These potentially potentially are are important important discoveries, discoveries,but butcouldn’t couldn’tthe thescientists scientists make makethose thosediscoveries discoveriesatattheir theirhome home universities, universities,and andare arethese thesediscoveries discoveries really reallyworthwhile? worthwhile? Mike Mike Todd, Todd, the the executive executive direcdirector torofofthe theNCRC NCRC(an (anemployee employeeofofthe the UNC UNC General General Administration), Administration), says says that thatUNC UNC“gets “getsaatremendous tremendousbang bangfor for their theirbuck.” buck.”The Theproximity proximityofofresearchresearchers erstotoone oneanother anotherfacilitates facilitatesthe thesharsharing ingofofideas, ideas,and andthere thereisisan anabundance abundance ofof high-tech high-tech equipment, equipment, such such as as the the Western Western hemisphere’s hemisphere’s largest largest nuclear nuclear magnetic magneticresonance resonancemachine. machine. To Todate, date,though, though,taxpayers taxpayershave have
seen seenlittle littlereturn returnon ontheir theirinvestment. investment. Starting Starting aa biotechnology biotechnology hub hub from from scratch scratchentails entailsmuch muchfinancial financialrisk riskwith with no no guarantee guarantee ofof positive positive returns. returns. AA number number ofof community-funded community-funded startstartups upshave havenot nothad hadmuch muchsuccess, success,and and “nutraceuticals” “nutraceuticals”isisaahighly highlyspecialized specialized part partofofbiotechnology. biotechnology. The The campus campus has has been been inin operaoperation tionfor forroughly roughlyfive fiveyears, years,and andso sofar far there there are are no no spinoff spinoff businesses businesses and and no noroyalties royaltiesbeing beingcollected. collected.Or Orininany any case, case,none nonethat thatany anyNCRC NCRCrepresentarepresentatives tiveswould woulddiscuss, discuss,although althoughaascienscientist tistmentioned mentionedthat thatUNC-Chapel UNC-ChapelHill Hill scientists scientistsbased basedatatKannapolis Kannapolishave haveapapplied pliedfor fortwo twopatents, patents,one oneofofwhich whichhas has been beenlicensed licensedso sofar. far. And And although although some some jobs jobs have have been beencreated createdby bythe thecampus, campus,the themost most lucrative lucrative ones ones mostly mostly are are for for highly highly trained trained specialists specialists who who are are not not from from the thearea. area.According Accordingtotothe theUNC-ChaUNC-Chapel pel Hill Hill scientist, scientist, however, however, for for each each Ph.D. Ph.D. hired, hired, the the campus campus has has genergenerated atedbetween betweenfive fiveand andeight eightancillary ancillary jobs. jobs.Todd Toddestimates estimatesthat thatbetween between300 300 and and400 400people peoplefrom fromKannapolis Kannapolishave have jobs jobson onthe thesite. site. CJ CJ Duke DukeCheston Chestonisisaawriter writerfor forthe theJohn John W. W.Pope PopeCenter Centerfor forHigher HigherEducation EducationPolPolicy icy(popecenter.org). (popecenter.org).
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Gender Gender Grudge Grudge Match Match Continues Continues inin Science Science and and Tech Tech Education Education
he heconcept conceptofofdiversity diversityisisnow now an anindustry industryininacademia, academia,emembedded beddedinineverything everythingfrom fromthe the curriculum curriculumtotoresidential residentiallife lifeproprograms. grams.There Therehas hasbeen beenan anexplosion explosion ofofuniversity universitydiversity diversityofficers, officers,and and many manyprofessors professorshave havestaked stakedtheir their careers careersas asresearchers researchersand andteachers teacherson on the theexistence existenceofofovert overtracial racialor orsexual sexual discrimination discriminationthat thatlimits limitsopportuniopportunities. ties.The TheAmerican American Association Associationofof University UniversityProfesProfessors sorseven evendevotes devotes an anentire entireperiodiperiodical caltotoit,it,Diversity Diversity ininAcademe. Academe. Yet, Yet,the thetype type ofofdiscriminadiscrimination tionall allthis thisfocus focus isissupposed supposedtoto JAY JAY address addressis, is,for forthe the SCHALIN SCHALIN most mostpart, part,extinct. extinct. As Asaaresult, result,the theinindustry dustrycontinually continually must mustfind findways waystotojustify justifyits itsexistence, existence, often oftenby byfinding findingbogeyman bogeymanissues issues under underthe theuniversity universitybed. bed. One Onesuch suchnonissue nonissueisisthe thesupsupposed posedlack lackofofwomen womenininscience scienceand and technical technicalfields, fields,totowhich whichDiversity Diversityinin Academe Academedevoted devotedits itsNovember Novemberediedition. tion.But Butififthe thelack lackofofwomen womenonce once was wasaaproblem, problem,ititno nolonger longeris: is:Sue Sue Rosser, Rosser,the theprovost provostatatSan SanFrancisco Francisco State StateUniversity, University,who whoisisaaleader leaderinin the themovement movementtotoget getmore morewomen women involved involvedininscience sciencecareers, careers,acknowlacknowledges edgesthat that“academe “academecontinues continuestoto improve improvefor forwomen” women”and andthat thatwomen women are arechoosing choosing“careers “careersininthe thesciences” sciences” more morethan thanever. ever. But Butthat thatisisnot notenough enoughfor forher, her, and andone onewonders wondersififanything anythingever everwill will
receive receiveroughly roughly be beenough. enough.DeDethree-quarters three-quartersofof spite spitethe theincrease increase all alldoctorates. doctorates. ininwomen, women,she she Issues Issues But Butit’s it’s suggests suggeststhat thatthe the not notmedicine medicine “old “oldissues issues[of [ofbias] bias] in in and andbiology biologythat that remain remainwith withnew new Higher HigherEducation Education concern concernRosser. Rosser. facets facetsand andfaces.” faces.” Women Womenreceived received Writing Writingone one only only22 22percent percent ofofthe thelead leadarticles articles ofofthe thePh.D.s Ph.D.sinin for forDiversity Diversityinin computer computerscience science Academe, Academe,Rosser Rosser and andengineering engineeringinin2010 2010— —and andthat thatisis bemoaned bemoanedthe thefact factthat that“only” “only”41.9 41.9 unacceptabletotoRosser Rosserand andthe theother other percent percentofofall alldoctorates doctoratesininscience scienceand and unacceptable writers writersininDiversity DiversityininAcademe. Academe. engineering engineeringinin2010 2010were weregranted grantedtoto Rosser Rosserand andthe theother otherauthors authors women. women. claim claimthat thatthe thedisparities disparitiesare aredue duetotoan an But Butjust justbecause becauseonly only41.9 41.9 environment environmentthat thatranges rangesfrom fromhostile hostile percent percentofofPh.D.s Ph.D.sininSTEM STEM(Science, (Science, totounwelcoming. unwelcoming.They Theycall callfor forall allsorts sorts Technology, Technology,Engineering, Engineering,and andMath) Math) ofofways waystotoattract attractgirls girlsand andwomen women are areawarded awardedtotowomen womendoes doesnot notby by totothe theworld worldofoftechnology, technology,primarily primarily itself itselfsignify signifythat thatthe thedeck deckisisstacked stacked through throughgreater greaterexposure. exposure. against againstthem. them.In Infact, fact,ititmay maysignify signify Yet Yetaalack lackofofexposure exposuremay maynot not just justthe theopposite, opposite,since since41.9 41.9percent percentofof explain explainthe thedisparities disparitiesinininterest interestinin all allSTEM STEMdoctoral doctoraldegrees degreesisisaawhole whole technology, technology,for for lot lotofofdegrees degrees boys boysseem seemtoto — —more morethan than gravitate gravitatetoward towarditit 100,000 100,000annually. annually. naturally. naturally.ItItisisvery very That Thatthe thepercentpercentlikely likelythat thatour ourininage agereceiving receiving terests terestsmay maybe beaalot lot degrees degreesisisbelow below more more“hard-wired” “hard-wired” the thepercentage percentageofof than thanthe theDiversity Diversity women womenininsociety society ininAcademe Academewriters writers does doesnot notsignify signify suggest. suggest.StudStudbias; bias;ititisisunlikely unlikely ies ies(and (andcommon common that thatwomen women sense) sense)long longhave have could couldearn earnso so shown shownthat thatsmall small many manyterminal terminal boysprefer preferplaying playingwith withtrucks truckstoto degrees degreesififactual actualdiscrimination discrimination— —the the boys playingwith withdolls dollswhile whilegirls girlsprefer prefer type typethat thatprevents preventsstudents studentsfrom frompurpur- playing dolls.Some Someresearchers researchersattempt attempttoto suing suingtheir theirdreams dreams— —were werepervasive. pervasive. dolls. explain explainthese thesedifferences differencesby byclaimclaimIn Infact, fact,women womenalready alreadyearn earnaa ingthat thatboys boysprefer prefertrucks trucksover overdolls dolls majority majorityofofterminal terminaldegrees degreesininbiolobiolo- ing becauseititisismore moresocially sociallyaccepted. accepted. gy gyand andmedicine medicine— —53 53percent percentinin2010, 2010, because Yet Yetother otherstudies studiesusing usingnonhuman nonhuman totobe beprecise. precise.Women’s Women’sdominance dominanceisis primatesindicate indicatethat thatour ourchoices choicesare are clear clearininveterinary veterinaryscience, science,where wherethey they primates
Studies Studiesindicate indicate our ourchoices choices may maybe be imbedded imbeddeddeep deep in inour ourDNA DNA
embedded embeddeddeep deepininour ourDNA DNA— —male male monkeys monkeysprefer prefermasculine masculinehuman human toys, toys,and andfemale femalemonkeys monkeysprefer prefer feminine femininetoys, toys,just justas ashuman humanchildren children do. do.Society’s Society’sapproval approvalor ordisapproval disapproval obviously obviouslyhave havenothing nothingtotodo dowith withit.it. Such Suchhard-wired hard-wiredtendencies tendencies also alsowould wouldexplain explainwomen’s women’semergemerging ingdominance dominanceininthe thebiological biologicaland and health healthsciences. sciences.Intrinsic Intrinsicinterest interestplays plays an anenormous enormouspart partinincomparative comparative advantage advantage— —we wedevelop developtalents talentsinin specific specifictasks tasksand andsubjects subjectsbecause becausewe we are areinterested. interested.When Whenwe wehave havean aninterinterest estininaasubject, subject,learning learningcomes comesmuch much more moreeasily. easily. But Butfor forsome, some,the thegoal goalisisnot not just justtotoenable enableindividuals individualstotopursue pursue their theirinterests interestsfreely freelyand andachieve achievetheir their maximum maximumpotential. potential.And Andno nolonger longer isisthe themovement movementtotoincrease increasewomen’s women’s participation participationininthe thesciences sciencesabout about addressing addressingreal realgrievances. grievances.Rosser’s Rosser’s increasing increasingurgency urgencyininthe theface faceofof so somany manyactual actualadvances advancesininSTEM STEM participation participationby bywomen women— —“the “thestakes stakes are arehigher highernow nowthan thanever everbefore,” before,”she she claims claims— —isissomewhat somewhatbaffling. baffling.At At least, least,until untilyou yourealize realizethat thather herreal real aims aimsare arepolitical politicaland andpersonal. personal. The Themovement movementtotoincrease increasewomwomen enininSTEM STEMcareers, careers,atatheart, heart,introducintroduces esan an“us “usversus versusthem” them”mentality mentalityand and aabitter bitterspirit spiritofofdemographic demographicscorescorekeeping keepingininan anarea areaofofstudy studywhere where objectivity objectivityand andtalent talentalways alwayshave have held heldsway. sway.In Inthe theend, end,any anysuccess successthis this movement movementachieves achieveswill willhurt hurtwomen women — —and andeverybody everybodyelse else— —more morethan thanitit will willhelp. help. CJ CJ Jay JaySchalin Schalinisisdirector directorofofstate statepolicy policy analysis analysisfor forthe theJohn JohnW. W.Pope PopeCenter Centerfor for Higher HigherEducation EducationPolicy Policy(popecenter.org). (popecenter.org).
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JANUARY JANUARY 2013 2013 || CAROLINA CAROLINA JOURNAL JOURNAL
N.C. Positioned For Dramatic Reform
expand expand such such aa program? program? Medicaid Medicaid new new year year brings brings new new opporoppornow now overwhelms overwhelms North North Carolina’s Carolina’s tunities, tunities, and and North North Carolina Carolina budget budget — — it’s it’s 15 15 percent percent of of the the GenGenoffers offers the the nation’s nation’s best best opoperal eral Fund Fund and and is is the the fastest fastest growgrowportunities portunities to to change change state state governgoverning ing part part of of the the budget. budget. The The federal federal ment. ment. government proposes proposes paying paying 90 90 North North Carolina Carolina has has the the stronstron- government percent of of the the costs costs in in the the early early gest gest Republican Republican leadership leadership in in well well percent stages of of expansion, expansion, but but even even so, so, over over aa century century with with veto-proof veto-proof mama- stages Medicaid expansion expansion would would result result jorities jorities in in the the General General Assembly, Assembly, aa Medicaid in more more than than $1 $1 billion billion in in additional additional popular popular new new governor, governor, and and RepubRepub- in costs to to North North Carolina Carolina taxpayers taxpayers licans licans in in control control of of more more than than half half costs through 2019. 2019. of of county county commissions. commissions. Never Never have have through Regarding Regarding education education policy, policy, opportunities opportunities for for free free markets, markets, perperNorth Carolina Carolina should should repeal repeal the the sonal sonal responsibility, responsibility, and and limited limited North Common Common Core Core standards standards government government looked looked so so adopted adopted in in June June 2010. 2010. The The promising. promising. standards standards were were develdevelThe The General GeneralAsAsoped oped by by the the National National sembly sembly is is getting getting an an early early Governors’ Governors’Association Association start start Jan. Jan. 99 with with an an organiorganiand and Council Council of of Chief Chief zational zational session session before before itit State State School School Officers Officers fully fully convenes convenes Jan. Jan. 30. 30. and and adopted adopted by by the the U.S. U.S. The The theme theme for for the the Department Department of of EducaEduca2013-14 2013-14 session session likely likely will will tion tion with with no no meaningful meaningful be be “Economic “Economic Recovery Recovery input input from from experienced experienced and and Job Job Creation.” Creation.” The The teachers teachers or or other other stakestakeleadership’s leadership’s priority priority list list BECKI BECKI holders. holders. Adopting Adopting the the includes includes reforming reforming an an GRAY GRAY Common Common Core Core standards standards antiquated antiquated tax tax system, system, in in English English and and math math will will expanding expanding school school choice, choice, cost cost North North Carolina Carolina taxpayers taxpayers an an rolling rolling back back government government regularegulaextra extra $525 $525 million million over over seven seven years. years. tions, tions, repealing repealing renewable renewable energy energy These These national national standards standards will will force force portfolio portfolio standards standards that that drive drive up up one-size-fits-all standard standard of of learnlearnthe the cost cost of of energy, energy, protecting protecting North North aa one-size-fits-all ing ing with with questionable questionable results. results. North North Carolina’s Carolina’s right-to-work right-to-work status, status, Carolina Carolina would would be be better better off off resistresistenacting enacting regulations regulations to to produce produce ing ing federal federal intrusion intrusion and and evaluatevaluatnatural natural gas gas with with hydraulic hydraulic fracturfracturing ing curriculum curriculum standards standards carefully carefully ing, ing, and and rebuilding rebuilding and and protecting protecting to to ensure ensure we we are are adopting adopting the the best best the the state’s state’s infrastructure. infrastructure. EveryEveryones ones available. available. thing thing else else should should be be considered considered aa To To get get its its fiscal fiscal house house in in order, order, distraction. distraction. North North Carolina Carolina must must address address the the Along Along with with the the many many state state $2.5 $2.5 billion billion debt debt we we owe owe the the federal federal issues, issues, there there are are some some important important government government for for unemployment unemployment and and timely timely federal federal issues issues that that need need insurance insurance benefits. benefits.A Alegislative legislative attention attention soon soon after after legislators legislators study study recommends recommends reducing reducing the the convene, convene, the the most most significant significant being being maximum maximum weekly weekly benefits benefits and and the the Obamacare Obamacare and and education education policy. policy. maximum maximum number number of of weeks weeks unemunemNorth North Carolina Carolina should should say say ployed ployed workers workers receive receive benefits, benefits, no no to to the the Obamacare Obamacare insurance insurance while while increasing increasing the the taxes taxes on on about about exchanges, exchanges, which which are are supposed supposed to to 30 percent percent of of N.C. N.C. businesses. businesses. inform inform uninsured uninsured individuals individuals about about 30 Under Under this this plan, plan, the the debt debt available available insurance insurance coverage. coverage. ExExshould should be be paid paid off off by by 2015 2015 or or 2016. 2016. changes changes will will be be expensive, expensive, and and the the Without Without action, action, taxes taxes will will continue continue long-term long-term costs costs will will belong belong to to the the to to go go up, up, further further stifling stifling the the econeconstates, states, meaning meaning higher higher taxes. taxes. omy omy and and suppressing suppressing job job creation, creation, The The estimated estimated cost cost of of operatoperatleading to to even even greater greater unemployunemploying ing aa state-based state-based exchange exchange begins begins at at leading ment. ment. The The time time to to get get this this debt debt $24 $24 million million in in 2014 2014 and and reaches reaches $27 $27 under under control control and and offer offer certainty certainty for for million million by by 2016. 2016. Washington Washington will will employers as as they they plan plan their their busibusimicromanage micromanage the the exchanges, exchanges, giving giving employers ness ness models models is is now. now. states states less less flexibility. flexibility. Twenty-five Twenty-five There Thereare aremany manyopportuniopportunistates states have have declined declined to to implement implement ties tiesfor forour ournew newstate stateleadership leadershipto to state-based state-based exchanges. exchanges. We We should should promise promisesmaller smallerand andmore moreefficient efficient follow follow their their lead. lead. government, government,freer freermarkets, markets,aarereNorth North Carolina Carolina should should exerexernewed newedeconomy, economy,robust robustjob jobcreation, creation, cise cise its its option option not not to to expand expand MedMedand andaa“Carolina “CarolinaComeback.” Comeback.” icaid icaid as as called called for for by by Obamacare. Obamacare. CJ CJ Medicaid Medicaid is is rife rife with with waste waste and and fraud fraud and and is is an an ineffective ineffective way way to to Becki Becki Gray Gray isis vice vice president president for for deliver deliver health health care. care. Why Why would would we we outreach outreach at at the the John John Locke Locke Foundation. Foundation.
Mary Easley’s Holiday Gift
ormer ormer first first lady lady Mary Mary Easley Easley hit hit aa jackpot jackpot that that may may be be worth worth aa million million dollars, dollars, and and she she didn’t didn’t buy buy aa ticket. ticket. Easley Easley recently recently agreed agreed not not to to sue sue N.C. N.C. State State University University for for firing firing her her in in 2009, 2009, and and in in return return she’ll she’ll get get an an extra extra $40,000 $40,000 aa year year in in pension pension benefits. benefits. That That bump bump could could total total aa cool cool million million over over time, time, based based on on her her life life expecexpectancy. tancy. By By not not filing filing aa lawsuit, lawsuit, Easley Easley will will soak soak the the public public in in two two ways: ways: First, First, from from the the extra extra money money we’ll we’ll pay pay for for her her pension; pension; and and second, second, by by leaving leaving the the public public unaware unaware of of the the details details of of the the scandal scandal because because they they won’t won’t be be aired aired in in court court proceedings. proceedings. In In 2005, 2005, N.C. N.C. State State hired hired Easley Easley to to manage manage aa program program to to bring bring speakspeakers ers to to campus. campus. The The position position drew drew headlines headlines in in July July 2008, 2008, when when Carolina Carolina Journal Journal reported reported that that she she had had landed landed an an 88 88 percent percent raise, raise, pushing pushing her her annuannual al salary salary to to $170,000. $170,000. College College officials officials swore swore there there was was nothing nothing odd odd about about offering offering that that much much money money for for aa posiposition tion with with few few formal formal duties, duties, and and that that then-Gov. then-Gov. Mike Mike Easley Easley had had no no role role in in securing securing the the position position for for his his spouse. spouse. Subsequent Subsequent press press investigainvestigations tions found found that that Mike Mike Easley Easley in in fact fact pulled pulled aa lot lot of of strings strings to to get get his his wife wife the the post. post.As As aa result, result, in in 2009 2009 Mary Mary Easley Easley was was forced forced to to retire, retire, and and N.C. N.C. State’s State’s chancellor, chancellor, provost, provost, and and board board of of trustees trustees chairman chairman left left the the university university in in disgrace. disgrace. The The story story didn’t didn’t end end there, there, however. however. Easley Easley signed signed aa five-year five-year contract contract with with N.C. N.C. State State when when she she got got her her raise; raise; the the university university forced forced her her to to leave leave less less than than two two years years into into the the deal. deal. Easley Easley threatened threatened to to sue sue the the university university
for for wrongful wrongful termination, termination, and and current current N.C. N.C. State State Chancellor Chancellor Randy Randy Woodson Woodson decided decided itit would would be be cheaper cheaper for for the the university university to to “unretire” “unretire” her, her, letting letting her her collect collect higher higher pension pension benefits benefits rather rather than than fighting fighting aa court court battle battle the the univeruniversity sity might might lose. lose. The The deal deal increases increases Mary Mary Easley’s Easley’s monthly monthly pension pension benefit benefit from from $3,100 $3,100 to to more more than than $6,700, $6,700, the the amount amount she she would would have have received received had had she she stayed stayed through through the the end end of of the the contract. contract. N.C. N.C. State State used used private private funds funds to to reimburse reimburse the the state’s state’s pension pension and and health health plans plans the the roughly roughly $90,000 $90,000 the the university university would would have have paid paid on on her her behalf behalf from from the the time time of of her her dismissal dismissal until until the the contract contract ended. ended. Easley Easley also also repaid repaid the the pension pension and and health health plans plans an an undisundisclosed closed amount amount related related to to the the benefits benefits she she has has collected collected since since her her firing. firing. As As usual, usual, the the Easleys Easleys will will profit profit handsomely handsomely from from their their misdeeds, misdeeds, remaining remaining silent silent as as they they cash cash in. in. Mike Mike Easley, Easley, facing facing charges charges of of violating violating campaign campaign laws laws for for not not reporting reporting flights flights from from donors, donors, took took aa felony felony plea plea rather rather than than have have those those arrangements arrangements aired aired at at aa trial. trial. Mary Mary Easley Easley grabbed grabbed an an additional additional $3,600 $3,600 aa month month in in pension pension benefits benefits without without explaining explaining the the closed-door closed-door deals deals that that led led to to her her six-figure six-figure position position at at N.C. N.C. State. State. Oh, Oh, and and Mike Mike Easley, Easley, who who sursurrendered rendered his his law law license license as as part part of of his his plea plea deal, deal, is is on on track track to to have have itit reinreinstated. stated. The The Easleys’ Easleys’ continuing continuing sheshenanigans nanigans may may have have North North CarolinCarolinians ians channeling channeling that that country country song, song, “How “How can can we we miss miss you you ifif you you won’t won’t CJ CJ go go away?” away?”
JANUARY JANUARY 2013 2013 || CAROLINA CAROLINA JOURNAL JOURNAL EDITORIALS EDITORIALS
Efforts Efforts need need to to address address school school governance governance
he he single-largest single-largest expenditure expenditure of of taxpayer taxpayer funds funds in in North North CaroCarolina lina is is for for public public education. education. We We spend spend billions billions of of dollars dollars on on public public schools, schools, community community colleges, colleges, and and universities. universities. So So why why aren’t aren’t we we talking talking more more about about how how weird weird North North CaroCarolina’s lina’s system system of of education education governance governance is? is? Public Public schools, schools, community community colcolleges, leges, and and the the University University of of North North Carolina Carolina system system have have their their own own govgovernance ernance boards. boards. They They differ differ substansubstantially tially in in design design and and operation: operation: •• The The State State Board Board of of Education Education has has 13 13 voting voting members. members. They They include include 11 11 members members appointed appointed by by the the govgovernor ernor to to eight-year eight-year terms, terms, plus plus the the elected elected lieutenant lieutenant governor governor and and state state treasurer. treasurer. The The elected elected state state superinsuperintendent tendent of of public public instruction instruction serves serves as as secretary secretary of of the the board. board. Eight Eight of of the the 11 11 gubernatorial gubernatorial appointees appointees represent represent specific specific regions regions of of the the state, state, while while three three are are at-large at-large members. members. •• The The State State Board Board of of CommuCommunity nity Colleges Colleges has has 21 21 members. members. They They include include 10 10 members members appointed appointed by by the the governor, governor, four four members members selected selected by by the the state state House, House, and and four four members members selected selected by by the the state state Senate, Senate, plus plus the the lieutenant lieutenant governor, governor, state state treasurer, treasurer, and and president president of of the the community community colcollege lege system’s system’s student student government government association. association. The The appointed appointed members members serve serve six-year six-year terms. terms. The The governor’s governor’s 10 10 apap-
pointments pointments must must include include one one member member from from each each of of the the state’s state’s six six community community college college regions, regions, plus plus four four at-large at-large members. members. Each Each of of the the system’s system’s 58 58 campuses campuses has has its its own own board board of of trusttrustees. ees. •• The The UNC UNC Board Board of of Governors Governors has has 32 32 voting voting members. members. They They include include 16 16 members members elected elected by by the the House House and and 16 16 members members elected elected by by the the Senate. Senate. In In addition addition to to these these voting voting members, members, the the UNC UNC system’s system’s student student government government association association president president serves serves as as aa nonnonvoting voting member, member, as as do do some some emeritus emeritus members. members. Each Each of of the the UNC UNC system’s system’s campuses campuses also also has has its its own own board board of of 12 12 voting voting trustees trustees plus plus aa student student body body president president as as nonvoting nonvoting member. member. So So the the General GeneralAssembly Assembly has has little little control control over over the the State State Board Board of of Education, Education, the the governor governor has has no no role role in in controlling controlling the the UNC UNC Board Board of of GoverGovernors, nors, and and the the two two branches branches share share the the role role of of controlling controlling the the State State Board Board of of Community Community Colleges. Colleges. While While the the UNC UNC and and community community college college boards boards hire hire the the CEOs CEOs of of their their systems, systems, the the head head of of the the Department Department of of Public Public Instruction, Instruction, the the state state superintendent, superintendent, is is elected elected independently. independently. So So here here we we are, are, well well into into the the 21st 21st century, century, with with aa set set of of governance governance polipolicies cies for for North North Carolina Carolina education education that that serve serve mostly mostly to to confuse confuse the the public public and and confound confound effective effective management. management. Let’s Let’s do do something something about about it. it. CJ CJ
There’s There’s plenty plenty of of support support for for itit
ne ne of of the the first first bills bills the the North North Carolina Carolina General GeneralAssembly Assembly will will enact enact next next year, year, and and that that new new Gov. Gov. Pat Pat McCrory McCrory will will sign, sign, will will establish establish aa photo photo ID ID requirement requirement to to vote vote in in North North Carolina. Carolina. ItIt will will pass pass quickly quickly because because itit is is uncontroversial. uncontroversial. Yes, Yes, we we know know that that left-wing left-wing activists activists and and the the news news media media consider consider voter voter ID ID laws laws to to be be controversial. controversial. But But the the public public doesn’t doesn’t agree. agree. Clear Clear majorimajorities ties of of Republicans, Republicans, Democrats, Democrats, and and unaffiliated unaffiliated respondents respondents consistently consistently have have supported supported such such requirements requirements in in public public opinion opinion polls. polls. Back Back in inAugust, August, for for example, example, three-quarters three-quarters of of responrespondents dents in in aa Washington Washington Post Post poll poll said said they they favored favored aa photo photo ID ID requirement. requirement. Popularity Popularity doesn’t doesn’t make make somesomething thing true true or or wise, wise, of of course. course. But But ifif something something is is overwhelmingly overwhelmingly popupopular, lar, itit is is odd odd to to label label itit controversial, controversial, at at least least in in aa political political sense. sense. A Aphoto photo ID ID requirement, requirement, ifif administered administered properly, properly, is is aa reasonable reasonable safeguard safeguard against against the the unlikely unlikely — — but but
PAGE PAGE CJ13 CJ13
not not unprecedented unprecedented — — event event that that cercertain tain kinds kinds of of voter voter fraud fraud might might tip tip the the outcome outcome of of an an election. election. Keep Keep in in mind mind that that while while North North Carolina Carolina has has no no requirement, requirement, many many other other states states and and countries countries do. do. Scholars Scholars have have studied studied their their effects effects on on voting. voting. Most Most have have found found nothing nothing of of conseconsequence. quence. Realistically, Realistically, voter voter ID ID requirerequirements ments are are an an insurance insurance policy policy against against the the possibility possibility that that an an extremely extremely close close election election might might be be stolen stolen by by voter voter fraud. fraud. In In North North Carolina, Carolina, “extremely “extremely close” close” elections elections are are not not exactly exactly ununheard heard of. of. In In the the 2012 2012 cycle, cycle, only only aa few few hundred hundred votes votes separated separated victorious victorious U.S. U.S. Rep. Rep. Mike Mike McIntyre McIntyre from from David David Rouzer Rouzer in in the the 7th 7th Congressional Congressional DisDistrict. trict.A Astate state Senate Senate race race was was settled settled by by two two dozen dozen votes. votes. The The public public overwhelmingly overwhelmingly believes believes that that taking taking out out such such an an insurinsurance ance policy policy makes makes sense. sense. The The governor governor and and legislature legislature are are about about to to do do it. it. CJ CJ
Time For Leaders To Step Up
and and state state employees employees that that would would be be ewly ewly elected elected Republican Republican revealed revealed ifif the the system system used used moremoreGov. Gov. Pat Pat McCrory McCrory and and the the realistic projections projections of of future future investinvestnewly newly re-elected re-elected Republican Republican realistic ment ment gains. gains. legislature legislature may may have have an an ambitious ambitious Next, Next, we we need need to to account account for for agenda agenda for for cutting cutting taxes taxes dramatidramatithe the future future cost cost of of deferred deferred maintemaintecally cally or or adding adding new new programs. programs. But But nance nance in in government government infrastructure. infrastructure. there there is is aa fiscal fiscal constraint constraint on on any any In In transportation transportation alone, alone, the the figure figure such such agenda: agenda: Past Past governors governors and and starts starts at at $1 $1 billion billion (remember, (remember, this this is is legislatures legislatures didn’t didn’t pay pay for for what what to to repair repair existing existing roads roads and and bridges, bridges, they they spent. spent. not not add add new new capacity). capacity). Like Like almost almost all all states, states, North North ItIt would would be be bad bad Carolina Carolina has has aa constituconstituenough enough ifif the the preceding preceding tional tional requirement requirement that that $72 $72 billion billion in in unpaid unpaid bills bills its its budget budget be be balanced. balanced. were were the the end end of of the the story. story. But But the the rule rule applies applies only only But But itit isn’t. isn’t. Remember Remember to to current current expenses expenses in in that that all all North North Carolina Carolina the the General General Fund Fund operopertaxpayers taxpayers also also are are federal federal ating ating budget. budget. ItIt doesn’t doesn’t and and county county taxpayers, taxpayers, constrain constrain the the issuance issuance of of and and many many reside reside in in mumudebt debt for for capital capital expense. expense. nicipalities. nicipalities. These These other other ItIt doesn’t doesn’t account account for for dedegovernments governments have have built built preciation. preciation.And And itit doesn’t doesn’t IOU IOU piles piles of of their their own. own. apply apply to to promises promises made made Just Just for for crumbling crumbling water water during during aa fiscal fiscal year year to to pay pay JOHN JOHN and and sewer sewer systems, systems, North North employees employees in in later later years. years. HOOD HOOD Carolina’s Carolina’s localities localities have have Essentially, Essentially, the the aa $10 $10 billion billion liability. liability.At At state’s state’s fiscal fiscal rules rules operate operate the federal federal level, level, aa conservative conservative on on aa cash cash basis. basis. They They don’t don’t preclude preclude the estimate estimate of of total total liabilities liabilities would would the the state state from from accruing accruing liabilities liabilities to to be be $72 $72 trillion trillion — — or or $16 $16 trillion trillion in in be be paid paid from from future future revenues revenues not not marketable marketable debt debt plus plus the the unfunded unfunded yet yet collected collected or or even even projected projected at at liabilities liabilities for for Social Social Security, Security, MediMedicurrent current tax tax rates. rates. care, care, and and other other entitlements. entitlements. By By So So how how large large is is the the pile pile of of population, population, North North Carolina’s Carolina’s share share unpaid unpaid bills bills McCrory McCrory and and the the leglegof that that is is $2 $2 trillion. trillion. islature islature have have inherited? inherited? My My lowball lowball of These These federal federal and and local local debts debts estimate estimate is is $72 $72 billion. billion. at at least least constrain constrain how how much much more more The The unfunded unfunded liability liability gaingainindebtedness indebtedness or or taxation taxation can can be be ing ing the the most most political political attention attention imposed imposed on on right right now now is is North North CaroCarothe the $2.5 $2.5 billion billion linians linians by by the the the the state state owes owes state. state. In In some some Washington Washington for for cases, cases, they they may may unemployment unemployment also also impinge impinge didiinsurance insurance paypayrectly rectly on on future future ments ments in in excess excess state state budgets. budgets. of of UI UI payroll-tax payroll-tax The The truth truth collections. collections. But But is is that that some some that’s that’s one one of of our our public public liabililiabilismaller smaller debts. debts. ties ties never never will will IfIf you you add add up up be be financed. financed. bonds bonds and and other other They They can’t can’t be. be. obligations, obligations, the the Federal Federal entitlements entitlements will will be be cut. cut. So So state’s state’s formal formal debt debt stood stood at at about about will will North North Carolina’s Carolina’s retiree retiree health health $8.5 $8.5 billion billion last last year, year, most most of of itit in in benefits. benefits. But But the the state state can’t can’t repudirepudithe the form form of of special special obligations obligations (not (not ate ate all all past past promises promises to to pay. pay. So So the the authorized authorized by by referendum). referendum). new new leaders leaders of of the the state state have have two two So So far, far, we’re we’re at at $11 $11 billion. billion. fiscal fiscal responsibilities. responsibilities. The The first first is is to to Next, Next, add add $30 $30 billion. billion. That’s That’s the the begin begin to to accumulate accumulate cash cash to to satisfy satisfy current current estimate estimate of of how how much much the the existing existing debts debts and and unfunded unfunded lilihealth health plan plan for for teachers teachers and and state state abilities. abilities. The The second second is is to to offset offset any any employees employees is is in in the the hole hole for for prompromnew new state state programs programs or or tax tax cuts cuts with with ised ised future future spending spending on on retiree retiree budget budget cuts. cuts. health health benefits. benefits. IfIf nothing nothing is is done, done, Past Past politicians politicians didn’t didn’t even even try try you you can can expect expect that that number number to to exexto to do do these these jobs. jobs. It’s It’s time time for for growngrownceed ceed $40 $40 billion billion within within aa few few years. years. ups ups to to step step up. up. Next, Next, add add another another $30 $30 billion. billion. CJ CJ That’s That’s one one reasonable reasonable estimate estimate of of the the unfunded unfunded liability liability in in North North John John Hood Hood isis president president of of the the John John Carolina’s Carolina’s pension pension fund fund for for teachers teachers Locke Locke Foundation. Foundation.
It’s It’s time time for for the the state’s state’s leaders leaders to to start start dealing dealing with with budgets budgets like like grown-ups grown-ups
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
oliticians love to talk about possible rapid transitions from one sort of energy technology to another. Such talk is highly unrealistic as it ignores energy system inertia and momentum, writes Kenneth Green for The American. “Unfortunately for them (and often the taxpayers), our energy systems are a bit like an aircraft carrier: They’re unbelievably expensive, they’re built to last for a very long time, they have a huge amount of inertia (meaning it takes a lot of energy to set them moving), and they have a lot of momentum once they’re set in motion. No matter how hard you try, you can’t turn something that large on a dime, or even a few thousand dimes,” says Green. Green says three different types of momentum make rapid change difficult: technological, labor-pool, and economic. Technological shifts have wide-ranging impact. A shift from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs, for example, also may necessitate costly changes in light fixtures. Shifts between energy systems are limited by how fast a labor pool can be trained or retrained to support a new energy industry. Easily the largest form of momentum is economic momentum, says Green. The biggest parts of energy systems — including fuel production and refining, electric generation, and distribution — are very expensive to build. They also are designed to last for long periods, which is necessary to recover their high construction costs.
The streetcar fantasy Charlotte recently began construction of a streetcar line. Charlotte isn’t the only city considering streetcars; San Antonio also is looking into the idea. No matter where a streetcar line is envisioned, it’s a bad idea, says Randal O’Toole in a policy brief for the Heartland Institute. Supporters claim streetcars serve as an economic development tool, citing the example of Portland, Ore. This is a misinterpretation of Portland’s experience with streetcars, says O’Toole. The only portions of that city’s streetcar line that saw a resurgence were the ones where government made available large amounts of taxpayer incentives. “City officials who think a streetcar alone will generate new development have been misled,” says O’Toole. Leaving such incentives aside, streetcars are costly to taxpayers. A streetcar line can carry far fewer passengers than a bus route, and streetcars must operate along fixed tracks, giving them less flexibility. Streetcar capital and operating costs are substantially higher than those of buses, making it between two and seven times more expensive per mile to carry a passenger by streetcar as compared to a bus. As for the attraction of streetcars, “Claims that streetcars have some kind of a ‘rail advantage’ that attracts travelers who won’t ride a bus are purely hypothetical,” says O’Toole. CJ
Debts and Deficits
o paraphrase Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, “deficits, debts, and the future, oh my”! As questions still persist about the federal government’s financial future, here’s a guide to the most common issues. What’s the difference between the deficit and debt? The deficit is the annual amount the federal government borrows to make up the gap between its spending and its revenues. The debt is the total of all federal government borrowing — over all years — that has not been repaid. The deficit is like the annual amount you put on a credit card; the debt is similar to the outstanding balance on the card. How big are the deficit and debt? This year’s deficit is near $1 trillion, while the debt currently stands at $16 trilMICHAEL lion. As a percentage of annual WALDEN national income, the deficit is 6 percent and the debt is 100 percent. Neither is a record (the percentages were higher during World War II), but they are near the historic top. Are interest costs on the debt taking an increasing part of the federal budget? Although the federal government’s debt has tripled since 2000, annual interest costs today are no higher. This is because of the tremendous drop in interest rates over that time period. Are our deficit and debt the highest in the world? “Yes” in terms of dollar amount, but “no” as a percentage of national income. Some countries surpassing us are Japan, Italy, and (you probably guessed) Greece. Who owns our debt? The biggest holder of U.S. government debt is the government itself, including the Federal Reserve, Social Security, and Medicare. Together government agencies hold almost half (43 percent) of the debt. Private U.S. investors, like individuals, banks, and pension funds, own 21 percent of the debt. Among foreign owners, China has the most (8 percent), followed by Japan (7 percent) and the U.K. (3 percent). Why have the deficit and debt increased
so much recently? There are many answers, but clearly one is demographics — the retiring “baby boomers” increase spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Could foreign countries — especially — abruptly demand payment for our debt they hold? The answer is “no” for two reasons. First, each part of the debt has a contractual term telling the holder when the debt can be redeemed. So any holder of the debt can’t one day say, “I want my money back.” Second, if large holders of our debt were to sell big chunks quickly, they would hurt themselves because the market value of the debt (what they could receive from a buyer) would drop. Does the debt have to be repaid? Each component of the debt — called Treasury bonds, notes, and bills — must be and has been repaid as it comes due. In fact, the federal government always has repaid both interest and principal on its debt. Most experts think it’s OK for the federal government — like businesses and households — to carry some debt. However, most would like to see the relative size of the debt — as a share of the nation’s total income — begin to fall. What are the costs of high and rising federal debt? Economists see two big costs. One is the money used to pay the interest and principal on the debt isn’t available for other uses — and those uses could be either private or public. The second is that big borrowing by the federal government could push up interest rates. Economists worry both of these costs can lead to slower economic growth. How can we solve the deficit and debt issues? This, of course, is the $16 trillion question, and various groups have very strong feelings about how our fiscal problem should be addressed. There are many who say a solution will likely include both tax revenue increases and projected spending decreases. But, as always, the details will determine the outcome. Feel better about our deficits and debt? Probably not! But with knowledge comes power, so maybe you’re more energized to tackle the issues. CJ Michael Walden is a Reynolds Distinguished Professor at N.C. State University.
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
A Kinder, Gentler, More Female Congress?
ne of the big pieces of news from this year’s elections was the large increase in the number of women elected to Congress. Eleven women won U.S. Senate races — five newcomers and six incumbents — meaning the upper body of the 113th Congress will have a record 20 female members. The House also will have more women than ever with 83. For many, this brings hope that Congress will become a kinder and gentler place, one more capable of compromise and consensus and, ANDY ultimately, greatTAYLOR er productivity. Women, the argument goes, are less confrontational and aggressive than men and more likely to empathize and work with political opponents. This proposition is, of course, greatly exaggerated, if not fundamentally inaccurate. It is commonly held among practitioners on the left and within the gender and women’s studies crowd. These individuals are continually on the lookout for malefemale differences that go beyond basic biology. Indeed, the academics
among them need to find disparate behavior across the sexes to legitimize their own existence. To be sure, there are significant and interesting political differences between men and women, but they generally have little to do with the kind of gender traits feminist theorists like to talk about. By far the most dramatic distinction in American politics is ideological. Women are much more liberal and Democratic. The 2012 election exit polls revealed that 55 percent of women voted for Barack Obama; only 45 percent of men did. Of the 103 women who will be members of the 113th Congress when it is sworn in this month, only 27 are Republicans (four senators and 23 House members). If you are on the left, like many who promote the thesis of innate gender differences in political behavior, you are therefore prone to view women as more conciliatory. That’s not the case from a conservative position, however. According to ideology scores derived from roll-call votes, 12 of the 30 most liberal members of the 112th House were women — and the group does not include Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., since she is 43rd most liberal. North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx is the most conservative woman, but 28 men are to the right of her.
This notion that women are committed to making legislative peace rather than legislative war comes largely from observations of liberal academics who view female lawmakers in the opposition as more persuadable than their male colleagues. But this mainly is because Republican women tend to be more moderate ideologically than Republican men. There were five GOP women in the 112th Senate, and all but Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire were in the most centrist quarter of the party’s conference. From the perspective of conservatives, women members of Congress don’t seem particularly interested in making deals. For every moderate Democratic senator like Clare McCaskill and Mary Landrieu, there are several liberal Barbara Boxers and Barbara Mikulskis. It’s hard to name just one moderate returning female Democrat in the House — and, with the possible exception of a member who just retook her seat in Arizona, there isn’t an obvious candidate among the newcomers, either. In politics, whether as voters or legislators, women are as dumb (or smart) as men. The principal difference is not how the sexes regard other human beings but what they think about policy. Just why are women so much more liberal than men? Some of it might have to do with income, but when controlling for indicators of
affluence women are still more liberal. Given that men and women have quite similar views on abortion — women are slightly more pro-choice than men — it is not that issue, either. Research demonstrates it is on matters like guns, health care, and education that the schism is widest. The feeling is that women’s maternal instincts kick in and they place greater emphasis on protection than freedom. Note that this explanation does have important biological or sociological roots but is manifest in policy preferences, not a certain kind of legislative behavior. In fact, some say the “gender gap” in political attitudes and partisanship is actually a function of men’s fickleness. Perhaps our focus should not be on the fairer sex. Since 1972, the male vote has been more volatile when measured against electionto-election changes in the parties’ performance at the presidential level. It has swung about 14 percent more than women’s. Men, for example, were discernibly more Republican in 1996 than they were in 1976 and in 1988 than they were in 1980 — and the Republican candidates did better in the second half of those pairings. CJ Andy Taylor is a professor of political science in the School of Public and International Affairs at N.C. State University.
Where are the Responsible Reporters?
aving grown up in Washington — and since my father was a White House correspondent in the late ’60s — I always have respected reporters who, regardless of their personal political persuasion, followed a lead and asked the tough questions. These reporters of a bygone era included Scotty Reston, Bob Novak, Rowland Evans, Jack Germond, Mary McGrory, Joseph Alsop, Drew Pearson, and Jack Anderson, whose respective careers MARC spanned decades. ROTTERMAN Their columns and news stories were required reading for the political class, not only in Washington but throughout the nation. Many of them covered Washington during World War II, and some broke the biggest stories of the last half of the 20th century. Most weren’t camera-friendly or deliberately provocative, but they
were dogged, and they strived to be accurate. Wherever the lead took them, they usually followed it no matter what politician or government official it affected, and as long as they had the facts, they ran with the story and went to print. Did they socialize with politicians and on occasion overindulge in drink with their favorites? Yes, but in most cases they were journalists first and friends with politicians and government officials second. Fast forward to today, and what you find is that most of the reporters who cover the White House are just lap dogs for the “Obama message of the day” and rarely ask the president a tough question. And to be clear, those reporters reflect the philosophical views of the management of their respective news organizations. The rare exceptions have been the reporters for Fox News Channel,
The Washington Times, Newsmax, The Washington Examiner, and The Weekly Standard. Unfortunately, many of those news organizations rarely get called on during President Obama’s infrequent press conferences. And when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gets tough questions at the daily press briefing, reporters are for the most part stonewalled. Case in point is the Benghazi tragedy and scandal. It has now been more than three months since the terrorist attack on 9/11 on our consulate in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four brave Americans. The best you can say about the Obama team’s initial response to the attacks was that the president’s team misled the country. As we now know and the facts confirm, the Benghazi attack was not, as the administration claimed, a spontaneous protest against an obscure
Why don’t reporters want to know anything about Benghazi?
anti-Muslim video. Instead, it was a coordinated attack by Islamic terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida. The White House situation room was monitoring the attack in real time and knew all along that in fact it was a terrorist attack. Yet the president, in his United Nations speech, continued to claim the attack was motivated by the film and made absolutely no mention of the al-Qaida-inspired massacre of four Americans. We also know now, in the light of day, that Ambassador Chris Stevens’ repeated pleas for more security fell on deaf ears. And let us not forget the two former Navy SEALs, who for more than six hours after the initial attack manned a machine gun at a CIA annex not far from the consulate and despite their calls for help, none came. You would think the mainstream press would want answers to questions that surround the Benghazi scandal — that they would dig and uncover the facts. The families of these fallen heroes and the American public deserve to know the truth. CJ Marc Rotterman is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation.
JANUARY 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
Chairman Parker Hails Return to ‘Normalcy’ for Dems (a CJ Parody) By seymour Green Political Correspondent
tate Democratic Party Chairman David Parker, a Statesville attorney, said he sees no need to seek a second term, taking credit for what he calls a “substantial rebound” for key members of the party near the end of his tenure. In an exclusive interview with Carolina Journal, Parker discounted the significant electoral losses his party suffered in November, and the bad publicity resulting from a sexual harassment charge that a former male employee made against the party’s male executive director. Instead, Parker said, his behindthe-scenes efforts have helped rebuild the reputations of six disgraced democrats. “These individuals have been through some tough times, but thanks to my influence and advice, they will once again be influential and respected North Carolinians. Rebuilding their reputations is key to rebuilding the Democratic Party,” he said.
The six • Former Gov. Mike Easley, who took a felony plea on campaign finance violations involving improperly reporting campaign flights: “I helped him
McQueen Lanny Campbell Wilson
State Democratic Party Chairman David Parker feels the engineering of the “substantial rebound” of the financial prospects and reputations of in-trouble Democrats is his lasting legacy to the once-dominant state party. (CJ file photos)
get his law license restored in December, even though he still has not paid $95,000 of a $100,000 fine his campaign owes the State Board of Elections. Mike told me people have already forgotten about that fine.” • Former first lady Mary Easley, fired from a $170,000-a-year job at N.C. State University that she obtained as a result of her husband’s intervention: “I guided her though a successful settlement with N.C. State officials involv-
ing a reworked retirement scheme. Her new annual government pension jumped from $37,171 to $80,597. She was very thankful.” • Ruffin Poole, a top aide to Mike Easley, who took a felony plea on corruption charges: “After Ruffin got out of federal prison in April, I helped him buy a new Raleigh home down the street from his old boss, Mike Easley. I’m still working on getting his law license restored, and I hear he’s becom-
ing a lobbyist.” • McQueen Campbell, the former chairman of the N.C. State Board of Trustees, who stepped down after his role was revealed in both Mary Easley’s hiring and in providing Mike Easley with illegal campaign flights: “He won’t be flying politicians around for awhile, but I hooked him up with the football and basketball coaching staff at State. They like free flights, too, and these appear to be legal. McQueen say’s he’s happy as long as he is flying someone important. ” • Lanny Wilson, a major Democratic fundraiser who was involved but not charged in the scheme that sent Poole to prison and helped the Easleys get a sweetheart deal on coastal property: “I called in some favors and got the [state Department of Transportation] board to name a Wilmington bridge after Wilson. Lanny told me he is beginning to feel important again.” • Gov. Bev Perdue: “Even though people might think she doesn’t like me because I refused to step down as party chairman when she asked me to, we are actually good buddies. I helped her come up with some excuses for not sending her unspent campaign funds to the Democratic Party. She is sitting on about $1.2 million that she can use for a variety of things. She said she CJ owes me big time.”
An Investment Plan For N.C.’s Economic Recovery The ongoing debate in Washington and the upcoming national campaigns for president and Congress will offer plenty of opportunities for pro-growth politicians to craft, explain, and sell reforms of the federal budget, federal taxation, federal regulation, and federal agencies and programs. In the new book Our Best Foot Forward: An Investment Plan for North Carolina’s Economic Recovery, John Locke Foundation President John Hood tells North Carolina’s policymakers and citizens that economic policy is not the exclusive domain of presidents, federal lawmakers, or the Federal Reserve. John Hood States and localities can play critical roles in economic policy — for good or for ill. We invite you to read and share this plan for our state’s recovery with your family, friends, and co-workers. Go to http://johnlocke.org for more information.
The John Locke Foundation, 200 W. Morgan St. Suite 200, Raleigh, NC, 27601 919-828-3876 • JohnLocke.org • CarolinaJournal.com • email@example.com
January 3, 2013 | Rhino Real Estate Page 35
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Page 36 Rhino Real Estate | January 3, 2013
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You will get a FAIR PRICE ON THE DATE OF YOUR CHOICE. SellHomeToUs.com
6059 Burlington Road, Oakwood Acres, Gibsonville. 3 BR/ 1 BA Well-maintained brick & vinyl home, must see. Great ﬁrst time buyer or down-sizer opportunity. Private lot w/storage bldg, greenhouse. New carpet, 1006/1008 RUCKER ST tile & vinyl ﬂooring. $75,000. Allen Tate Realtors, 1 BR LOFTS $ 425 3502 Summit Lakes Drive - $479,900. Quality built Bobbie Maynard, 336-215-8017 4005/4007 MCINTOSH ST executive brick home with 4BR/3.5BA/ 3 car garage 1 BR/ 1 BATH $450 on 1.28 acres, granite countertops, stainless steel 2815 Dulaire Rd, Rolling Roads, Gso. 3BR/1 BA. Must WATER INCLUDED ON BOTH appliances, two stone ﬁreplaces, extensive molding, see! Lovely brick 1-story home on well maintained WRENN ZEALY PROPERTIES screen porch, stamped concrete, tankless water corner lot. Hdwds, fresh paint, new ﬁxtures, new refrigerator. Spacious LR/DR, cozy den. Charming wzproperties.com heater, sprinkler system, wet bar and much more. kit w/bfst nook. Large mstr w/adjacent bathrm. Move 336-272-3183 John Owens - 379-8645, Ray Realty in ready! $120,000. Allen Tate Realtors, Bobbie Best Landlords! Best Properties! www. Call me for any questions or to help you ﬁnd your Maynard, 336-215-8017 Greensborolandlord.com new home. Pam Staples, REALTOR ®/ Broker, 2823 Camborne St, Southern Pomona, Gso. 2 BR/1 Allen Tate Realtors. (336) 210-9776 http://www. BA. New Price. Attention Investors! Cute bungalow 1942 Briar Run Dr, Gso 27405. Rent Special. Half pamstaples.com needs some updating; large, partially fenced yard; off ﬁrst month rent w/15 month lease. 4bd/2.5ba home. New carpet, new paint. Spac den. Formal DR. 1816 Whiteley Pl, Gso, 27408. Priced to sell. covered front porch; security system; convenient to Mstr bath w/vaulted ceilings, garden tub, sep shwr. 4bd/3ba ranch w/bonus room. Full ﬁnished bsmt. Wendover, hwys, schools, shopps, entertainment, restaurants. $45,000. Allen Tate Realtors, Bobbie Spac kit w/stove, refrigerator, dishwasher. 1 car LR w/ FP. DR. Central air/elec heat. Carpet, hdwds. Maynard, 336-215-8017 garage. Fenced yard. Central air/gas heat. $1050. Kit w/built in stove, oven. New roof. Lrg backyard. Call Mojgan Jordan at Palmetto Equity Group (336) $115,900. Call Mojgan Jordan at Palmetto Equity 1859 Longmont Dr, Kernersville. 3bd/2.5ba, 1908 sf, 271-3020. Group (336) 271-3020. w/loft area. Beautiful kitchen w/ceramic backsplash, upgraded black kitchen appliances. Great incentives 821 Creek Crossing Tr. Whitsett. 2bd/2.5ba 8141 Sangiovese, Arbor Run. 4BR/ 3 1/2 BA. Featured available! Priced at $149,900. Call Sarah Draughn, townhome. On Stoney Creek golf course. 2 mstrs 2009 Parade of Homes. Amazing home loaded w/ Shugart Enterprises at 336-283-9809 up. LR w/gas FP. Formal DR. Hdwds ML, carpet custom features. Vaulted ceilings, dramatic stair, 2 up. Stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave. W/D story stone FP in great rm, bricked FP in keeping rm, 4074 Saint John’s St, High Point. Beautiful new plan included. Central air/gas heat. 1 car garage. $950. plus 1 more FP in mstr suite. Hdwds. Custom kit w/ w/3 car garage, 2,739 sf. Beautiful kit w/ granite RENT SPECIAL, $500 off ﬁrst month rent w/18 granite, large island, SS appli. Spac mstr suite w/ ctops, tile backsplash, smooth top stove. Priced at month lease. Call Mojgan Jordan at Palmetto Equity large walk in closet. Decorator neutral paint thruout. $210,950. Call Linda Weaver, Shugart Enterprises at Group (336) 271-3020. Fantastic game/media room w/wet bar. Covered 336-886-7804 porch in front and back. 3 car garage on oversized 824 Glenwood Ave. Gso, 27403. RENT SPECIAL, lot. Beautiful details thruout! $557,900. Allen Tate 3157 Diana Cir, Burlington. Elevation C w/brick front half off ﬁrst month rent w/15 month lease. Realtors, Bobbie Maynard, 336-215-8017 section, full porch; 9’ft smooth ceilings, corner gas FP, 3bd/2ba, 2 story home. Close to UNCG, downtown. kit island, tray ceilings in mstr, garage access door LR. Stove, refrigerator, bkfst area. Screened in front 6927 Maynard Rd, Hillsdale Lake, Summerﬁeld. 3 on side of garage, 12 x 14 covered patio w/built-in porch. Enclosed back patio. Fenced bkyrd. Hdwds, BR/ 2 BA . Enjoy fabulous view of Hillsdale Lake from gas grill, stone sitting wall, 10 yr Quality Builder’s vinyl. Central air/elec heat pump. No smoking, Pets sunroom and bfst room. Dock is ready for you to put in Warranty, much more! Priced at $191,465. Call Scott neg. $895. Call Mojgan Jordan at Palmetto Equity a ﬁshing boat. Main house w/3bd, 2 full baths. 2bd/1 Goodson, Shugart Enterprises at 336-270-5230 Group (336) 271-3020 ½ bath apartment perfect for in-laws or student, (not included in square feet). Huge unﬁn basement! Watch 111 Still Water Cir, Gibsonville. 3bd/2ba, 2237 sf. 1831 Mimosa Dr, Gso 27403. 2bd/1ba, 1 level sunset from screened porch. You need to experience Build your dream home by choosing your own interior condo. LR. Stove, refrigerator. Central vaccum. this view to believe it! Northern Schools. Home options and upgrades! Be sure to call agent for Reﬁnished hdwds thruout. Recent paint. Central air/ Warranty included. $324,000, Allen Tate Realtors, January Specials! Priced at $169,990. Call Jenny Blythe, Shugart Enterprises at 336-446-7465 gas heat. W/D included. Elec water heater. Water incl Bobbie Maynard, 336-215-8017 No smoking, Pets neg. $625. Call Mojgan Jordan at 215 Slate Drive, Gibsonville. 3BR/2BA townhome, Palmetto Equity Group (336) 271-3020. 2 car garage, 1,449 sf. Spac plan w/open kit, large pantry. Nice mstr suite w/linen closet, 60” shower, large walk-in closet. Priced at $137,455. Call Jenny Blythe, Shugart Enterprises at 336-446-7465
1.08 acres zoned RM-18
APTS/DUPLEX FOR RENT
We maintain an inventory of owner-financed homes. All Credit OK! No Banks Needed! BuyCarolinaTriad.com/2
507 Creek Ridge
Mosby Oaks 2 Bedroom Townhouse Apts. $400 month 3806-14 Mosby Dr. Off Merritt Dr. 336-379-8384 Knight Rentals www.greensborohomelist.com
WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWN?
Where preservationists salvage and creatives shop for wonderous old house parts!
.85 acres zoned RM-18
Multi- family land conveniently located near Randleman Road with nice homes that can be rented on them.
Call John Owens at
office space available
430 BATTLEGROUND AVENUE Approx 1500 sq ft / $ 1100 Convenient to all downtown activities Recently remodeled Reception area/ two conference rooms Private office suites/ break room WRENN ZEALY PROPERTIES 336-272-3183
Apt FOR RENt 4 BR / 2 BA Apts.
Triad Investors Realty, Inc. www.triadrentalhomes.com
3502 Summit Lakes Drive - $479,900 Quality built executive brick home, 4BR/3.5BA, 3-car garage on 1.28 ac., granite ctops, stainless steel appls, two stone fireplaces, extensive molding, screen porch, stamped concrete, tankless water heater, sprinkler system.
Call John Owens at
WE BUY HOUSES No Banks Needed!
CASH...FAST CLSG! “As Is” Any Situation 24-Hr. Free Info. www.SellHomeToUs.com 4029 Saint Johns St, High Point. 3BR/2BA, 1616 sf. Charming new plan, corner lot. Beautiful stone & cedar shake accents on front exterior, corner FP w/stone facade, hearth, wood mantel. Open plan w/9'ceilings, spac kit w/ bay window in dining/ breakfast room. Priced at $171,580. Call Linda Weaver, Shugart Enterprises at 336-886-7804 4401 Bianco Terrace, Summerﬁeld. 4BR/3.5BA Beautiful home on a cul-de-sac - fenced yard and brick patio ,Master suite on M/L.Lovely master bath and large walk in closet.Kitchen is open to spacious 2 story great room with stone ﬁreplace and book cases. Laundry room with cabinets on M/L .Ofﬁce/living room has french doors.Large bedrooms upstairs and a huge bonus room.Extra storage area attached to the house. All the bells and whistles. Ready to move in. Refrigerator and 55" plasma TV remain. $489,900. Angie Wilkie. Allen Tate, 336-451-9519 1009 Northwood, Greensboro. 2BR/2BA Breakfast Nook that Opens to Living/Dining Room. Large Living Room with Fireplace. Fenced Backyard with Detached Screen Porch. There are many Options with Rooms; Third Bedroom could be Used as Den, Ofﬁce Could be Used as Bedroom. Come Take A Look! $139,900. Angie Wilkie. Allen Tate, 336-451-9519 104 Kory Place, Jamestown. 4BR/3BA Wonderful Open Plan w/ Two Story Great Room. HW Floors on Main Level. Kitchen is Open to Family Room and Features New Granite Countertops and SS Appliances. Master and Guest Suite with Full Bath on the Main Floor. Sunroom off Brfst Area Adds Space for Entertaining. Two More BRs Up and a Bonus with a Closet makes for a 5th Bedroom if Needed. New Carpet and Many Recent Upgrades. Nhood Pool/ Tennis. $33,990. Angie Wilkie. Allen Tate, 336-4519519 2026 Saddlegate, Greensboro. 3BR/3.5BA Fantastic Townhome with Finished basement priced below tax value!! Beautiful 5 Inch Upgraded Laminate throughout Main Floor. Tons of Natural Light in the Two Story Family Room. Both Bedrooms up have their own Bath. Basement has Bedroom, Full Bath, Wet Bar, and Bonus Room/Den. Covered Porch on Main Deck. Great Fenced Area out Back. Lots of Storage. Private End Unit. $104,900. Angie Wilkie. Allen Tate, 336-451-9519
Deadline 5 pm Friday
Houses & Apartments For Rent For available property listings stop by our office. Lambeth-Osborne Realty 214 W. Market St.
January 3, 2013 | Rhino Real Estate Page 37
Above Water (Continued from page 15)
properties comprised over $1 billion in loan submissions across the country. MFG’s relationships across the country also include borrowers, brokers, CPAs, real estate agents, lawyers and other intermediaries who contribute to its loan origination platform. Jewell touted MFG Capital Group’s relationship with a select group of intermediaries around the country. “These relationships continue to bring prospective borrowers to MFG for several reasons: rapid decision-making
and swift transaction closings; certainty of closing; privacy of our borrower’s financials; flexibility allowing creative solutions within the scope of MFG underwriting criteria; and experienced professional management to analyze, structure and close transactions,” he explained. For more information on MFG Capital Group, call their 24-hour recorded message at (888) 287-9191 or visit their Greensboro office at 1501 E Bessemer Ave.
From all oF us at Palmetto equity GrouP. sincere thanks for your continued support. Warm wishes for a great 2013!
Sales • Leasing • Management
NEW LISTINGS NEW LISTINGS
102 Graphite Dr, Gibsonville 3BR/2BA, 1503 sq. feet. Come take a look at this exquisite one level home with a beautiful cathedral ceiling in the great room, upgraded black appliances and backsplash in kitchen. New incentives now through end of January. Priced at $143,400. Call Jenny Blythe at 336446-7465
(336) 271-3020 www.palmettoequity.com
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE
100 Topaz Ridge Ct, Gibsonville 3BR/2.5BA, 1,542 sq. feet. Move into your dream home with this open floor plan that has a patio off of the breakfast area and loft upstairs. Great for entertaining! Call agent for details! Priced at $142,400. Call Jenny Blythe at 336-446-7465
Nicki McLamb | 336.430.4292
Basement Waterproofing Before
Basement Radon Mitigation
Basement Foundation Problems
Basement Humidity & Mold Control
...and Nasty Crawl Spaces too!
Act Now! 888-813-8326
Brand New Singlewide Homes $750/mo. 3bd/2ba singlewides $630-$670 this month only! Spacious rms, kitchen appls, separate utility rm with w/d hookups & more! New Home Special giveaways! Call for details! Great Amenities: Swimming pool, soccer ﬁeld, playground & clubhouse for residential use. Monthly events: BBQ's, kids movie nights, Zumba classes, children's' church and more! Village Park 724 Creek Ridge Rd. Greensboro 336-299-5840
Greensboro Business Complex. 212 Turk Place. Approx 1100 sq ft. $550/mo. Approx. 2200 sq ft. $875/mo. Rest rooms, Gas heat, roll up doors with dumpsters, furnished. Gary 362-0437, Curtis 3620436.
LAND & LOTS 5495 Sunberry Dr. 6 acres. Friendship Glen. Browns Summit. Owner Financing. 336-337-8698. 507 Creek Ridge - 1.08 acres zoned RM-18 $150,000. 503 Creek Ridge - .85 acres zoned RM18 - $125,000. Multi- family land conveniently located near Randleman Road with nice homes that can be rented on them. Call John Owens - (336) 317-2266
GREEN VALLEY OFFICE SUITES – For Rent 1901 Lendew St. Greensboro includes Utilities & common area maintenance Starting @ $675 mo. for 600+ sq ft. Stand Alone bldg. 3,850sqft. $2,500 mo. (336) 355-6655 - firstname.lastname@example.org
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
Masonry Concepts. Brick, Block, Stone, Concrete & Repairs. Free Estimates. No job too small. 336-9881022. www.masonryconceptsgso.com. Licensed & Insured.
WRENN ZEALY PROPERTIES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS GREATER GREENSBORO AREA COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES APARTMENTS/HOUSES/DUPLEX/CONDO FOR RENT 1403 SUNSET DRIVE MONDAY - FRIDAY 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 336-272-3183
Call me for any questions or to help you ﬁnd your new home. Pam Staples, REALTOR ®/ Broker, Allen Tate Realtors. (336) 210-9776 http://www. pamstaples.com
CastleWorks Window Cleaning- Includes Pressure Washing, Gutter Cleaning, Chandelier & Ceiling Fan Cleaning plus other high ladder work. Fully insured and bonded. Free estimates Ever Consider a Reverse Mortgage? At least 62 years Call Today 336-609-0677 old? Stay in your home & increase cash ﬂow! Safe Houses & Apts & Effective! Call Now for your FREE DVD! Call Now For Rent 888-418-0117. SAPA Lambeth-Osborne Realty 214 W. Market St. (336) 272-3163
SELLING YOUR HOME? Let me help.
Prime Ofﬁce Space
FOR LEASE Across from the Old Guilford County Court House
1200 sf of space 218 West Market St. Parking Included
Page 38 Rhino Real Estate | January 3, 2013
Angie Wilkie 336.451.9519
Ann Powell 336.327.3473
Betty Smith 336.451.4923
Bill Guill 336.549.0410
Charlotte & Patrick Valente 336.287.6981
Chidi Akwari 336.337.1927
Jamie Harrelson 336.889.9192
Jeff Smith 336.215.7880
Melissa Greer 336.337.5233
Melissa Newman 336.392.4161
Pat Wegner 336.544.1750
Richard Dunn 336-370-6562
Benjamin & Mojgan Jordan 336.209.3601
Bobbie Maynard 336.215.8017 bobbiemaynard@ number1expert.com
Dezra Fields 336-370-6562 email@example.com
Linda Faircloth 336.847.4970 Lfaircloth@ coldwellbanker.com
Michelle Porter 336.207.0515
Shannon Clement 336.681.7630
Published on Jan 3, 2013