Archive for February, 2010

Ex-N.C. House member can’t use donations for ticket

The Associated Press
Tags: NC Allred Speeding

BURLINGTON, N.C. — A former North Carolina House member who said he was speeding to the Legislature to vote on behalf of his constituents can’t use campaign contributions to pay his traffic ticket.

The Times-News of Burlington reported Thursday that the state Board of Elections ruled that campaign contributions can only pay for expenses resulting from holding public office, and those don’t include paying for a traffic violation.

Former Rep. Cary Allred pleaded guilty in September to traveling 102 mph in a 65 mph zone on an interstate highway while driving to the General Assembly in April. He said the fine, attorneys’ fees and other bills totaled about $1,800

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Allred said he would not have gotten the ticket if he hadn’t been trying to do his job as a legislator.

Information from: Times-News, http://www.thetimesnews.com
Comments:
hmmm…how does Cary’s situation stack up against other politicos utilizing campaign funds for certain things? Like providing for a mistress & a child (Edwards), like paying for home repairs (Easley), etc. Oh there’s a long dirty laundry list to compare.

Could this be a double standard being implemented simply because Allred is a TRUE elected Representative of his constituents? And could it be that Allred was viciously targeted by his fellow legislators who are seriously threatened by very important House Bills regarding SLUDGE (which kills, make no mistake about this fact because after all NC is the ‘cancer state’) that Cary Allred sponsored?

What a complete farce NC politics has evolved to. That’s why Fern Shubert & Hugh Webster demanded that Larry Leake recuse himself from Easley BoE hearings (due to being very conflicted). That’s why I filed a 2nd demand stating the same thing.

Can anyone out there say like Bill Engvall, “Here’s Your Sign!”
Dale Swiggett

omegaman wrote on February, 4 8:37 AM:

Is there anything at all ethical about this guy?

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Miller files bill in toxic water case

BY BARBARA BARRETT – Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON — It was 12 years after watching his 9-year-old daughter slip away that former Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger caught a clue that the Marines might have been at fault for her death.

He has spent more than 12 years since trying to find justice for what he says was his daughter’s exposure in utero to toxins in Camp Lejeune’s water.

Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives this week aims to bring him closer.

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The legislation, introduced by U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to care for Marines and their relatives who might have suffered ailments stemming from their exposure to tainted water.

From about 1957 to 1987, Marines and their kin at Camp Lejeune – estimates are that 1 million people might have been exposed -drank and bathed in contaminated well water.

Miller’s bill is named for Janey Ensminger, who lost her two-year struggle with leukemia in 1985.

At a news conference Tuesday, Ensminger said he discovered in 1997 that there might be a link between the well water and his daughter’s disease. He has worked since then to gather information, reach out to other former Marines and persuade lawmakers to find justice for affected families.

Miller’s bill would require the VA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to establish the period in which water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Both also would be required to establish which illnesses are associated with the toxins.

He estimates the bill would cost $1.1 billion over 10 years. It is identical to a now-rejected bill introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, both of North Carolina.

bbarrett@mcclatchydc.com or 202-383-0012
Comments:

OK…follow along people. Here’s the vicious circle, picture a snake eating it’s own tail.

Big Business (Texas Gulf then sold to Potash operating PCS Phosphate in Aurora) comes in pumping out 78million gallons of water per day out of Castle Hayne Aquifer, unlined landfill at this mining operation is used for decades to toss toxins (military waste, PCBs from Ward Transformer, etc) into the hole, contaminates water, fish kills abound, poisons people, people get cancer, the afflicted go get treated thus putting a strain on health insurance companies, because of high rate of cancer here in NC more hospitals/cancer clinics/R&D are needed, which becomes another Big Business here in NC.

And the N&O last week ran a huge headline touting our wonderful Cancer facilities. Yeah…we used to be known for great college basketball but now NC is known as the ‘Cancer State.’

And we have all kinds of people turning a pretty profit off of this very sad (and criminal) act.
Dale Swiggett

DonYelton wrote on February, 3 12:34 PM:

still playing politics with peoples lives. We had a bi-partisan effort with Burr and Hagen and that was turned down. I hope they will play politics and pass this bill and that both Burr and Hagen step up and tell the whole story. Burr is working on the site in Asheville NC. The site there was contaminated by CTS, same company that made the fault part for Toyotoa. The concentrations in Asheville are greater than in Camp LeJeune so that will set a bar and law suits can move ahead in Asheville. EPA, State officials and county officials are involved in the cover-up here in Asheville.

Treasurer won’t drop debt fight

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BY MARK JOHNSON – Staff Writer

RALEIGH — State Treasurer Janet Cowell wants the legislature to referee a fight with Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration over the funding for Interstate 485 in Charlotte – along with the bigger question of who controls the state’s credit card.

Cowell is asking lawmakers, when they return in May, to clarify whether state agencies can enter into debt under a law passed in 2008. Department of Transportation officials have said that statute lets them use a new financing mechanism, an installment plan, to pay for finishing the interstate loop around Charlotte, but Cowell argues that agencies can’t go around running up the state tab on their own.

She wants the legislature to say whether the treasurer should be the only person who can issue an IOU from North Carolina, she said in an interview Wednesday.

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“It’s up to [the legislature] to look at it,” Cowell said during a telephone interview from Seoul, South Korea, where she is meeting with state pension fund managers about Asian investments. “It’s my obligation to raise my hand and point this out.”

The dispute could change the scope and strength of the powers of the treasurer, who is elected independently. It also puts Cowell at odds with supporters in Charlotte and with Perdue, a fellow Democrat.

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson emphasized that Cowell’s request will have no effect on I-485’s completion.

“DOT tells us they’ll be considering a short list of contractors very soon,” Pearson said.

Cowell is turning to the legislature after losing one round. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office said last month that the I-485 financing plan is legal. Cowell said that doesn’t mean it’s the most prudent or efficient way to pay for the road.

Uncertain prospects

The legislature may not prove any more sympathetic. The chief sponsor of the law being debated, Democratic Rep. Nelson Cole of Reidsville, has said that the I-485 plan is an example of precisely how the statute was intended to work.

“My language in the bill was about as simple as it could get,” Cole said Wednesday, adding that he doubts the House will take up Cowell’s request in this year’s short legislative session. “Who’s going to carry the water for her?”

Rep. Becky Carney, a Charlotte Democrat and co-leader of the House Transportation Committee, said the legislature had already weighed in on the funding question when both the House and Senate passed the law.

“It’s clear what the intent was,” Carney said, “allowing the maximum flexibility for financing roads.”

The disagreement is festering just as Cowell released a report warning that the state can’t afford to borrow any more money to build roads or buildings for the next five years if it wants to keep its top credit rating.

Perdue’s plans

Perdue announced plans in November to build the last five miles of I-485, an irritant for years for Charlotte officials who were frustrated that the state left its largest city with a highway loop that looks like a doughnut with a bite missing. She was under pressure after promising months earlier that construction would start by year’s end and then having to back away from that pledge.

Under the new financing plan, the construction company or companies selected will finance $50 million of the $340 million costs, and the state will pay them back over 10 years.

Cowell, who oversees the issuing of debt and how much debt the state can afford, said the plan sets the precedent of an individual agency obligating the state to a debt with no oversight from her office or any other “financial body.” Cole countered that the law he wrote provides an additional tool to pay for roads at a time of growing need and declining revenue.

Cowell’s office on Tuesday released the annual debt affordability study, which warned that the state can afford to borrow only $9.1 million for each of the next five years to build roads and buildings if officials want to remain within self-imposed limits necessary to keep North Carolina’s top bond rating. The AAA rating allows the state to get the best interest rate on bonds, an advantage held by only six other states. The $9.1 million is little more than cushion for error in the context of a $6 billion debt load.

North Carolina, however, still has $1.9 billion in debt that has already been authorized and is available for other construction projects, Cowell said Wednesday.

From the Chatham Star Tribune: Supervisors need to listen to the people

Thank you EIC member Karen Maute in Danville for getting this article to us!!

I have watched and read what people have been saying in letters to the editor.  In the Jan. 28 edition of the Star-Tribune I see that the member of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors who represents me, Fred Ingram, says we should just allow these uranium mining people to come in and build on that site and we will magically have jobs all over the place.

I ask you this: At what price do these jobs come at?

I am 73 years old and have lived a great portion of my life in this county. We have wonderful streams and ponds, not to mention Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes. Pittsylvania County is in a place that has many hidden treasures for the youth in our county as well as for adults. I have spoken with a great number of people who don’t want this mining done. They have come to the board and told the board that they don’t want uranium mining in the area.

However, the seven sitting on the Board of Supervisors want it, and even though people say they don’t want uranium mining in their back yard, it falls on deaf ears.  Why are they pushing this agenda over the voice of the people who elected them? Well, then we also have the fact that the seven on the board don’t like each other and they are willing to stab each other in the back just to promote their own agenda. Have we all forgotten what the Danville Register and Bee said: that the board is divided among itself?

They can’t even make a decision to help this community to make it better. They want to make things worse by acting like 7-year-olds and throwing insults at each other. What does that say to the businesses that would like to come and build here and make the jobs the county needs? If I were a business, I know I would not want to come to a place where the board acts like children instead of adults. With that in mind, I ask all the people in this county to come fill the board room up and tell them what you want in this county instead of a half full room with a few people that the board half way listens to.

I say this to all that feel the way I feel about uranium mining and think that what I am stating is credible.

I say to all who have concerns to come to the meeting in a show of unity. Let’s stand up for our community and make a difference. Let’s all vote for change and get a whole new board when elections come around. Let’s forget about who is what party and who is this or that. I was once told that one person can make a difference; it only takes that one voice to make things heard.

I believe in this county to be the difference maker when it comes to your children’s lives, your parent’s lives, and the things that you hold so dear in your life. If they don’t want to do what you expect them to do, then it
is time for a change. When your voice and your vote tells them how you feel may we all have new people in office regardless of whether they are from a certain party. Let’s put people in office who care about us instead of
those who are just after a buck.

Shirley Kinsley

Gretna