Last Week’s Column

Sorry, so busy hanging out in a mucky bog, I forgot to post last week’s column–”Purple Haze.”
Here’s the link in the Indy and YES! Weekly. Subjects include the hazy middle, McHenry and Foxx take the bait, the NC 10 race, Now ending and eye exams are good for you.
Here’s the text:

Purple Haze

Excuse me while I use a tortured analogy. In a rather spirited moment of debate in the doldrums of late last week, state Sen. David Weinstein (D-Robeson), speaking to defeat an amendment that would make it easier for third parties to get on the ballot, said we’ve already got plenty of parties–eight to 10 at least, by his observation–wrapped inside the Democrat and Republican camps.

Blessedly, he did not go on to identify the various factions, but he made a good point about how things have functioned, for the season at least, on Jones Street. This may or may not be instructive for the nation as a whole, but in North Carolina the center is holding. It’s not a really solid consensus, more like a purple haze between red and blue around education, security and revving up the economy. Read more

This Week’s Column

Ethics, winners & losers, immigration
Link to the Indy. Here’s the text:

Ah, relief. Adjournment sine die arrived in near-record time and came while controversy was still swirling over the outcome of ethics reform, permitting those of us in punditry extra ink to tut-tut over the legacy of the short session of ’06.

That the ethics legislation would be met with incredulity was not in doubt from the opening, and throughout the session many lawmakers found it very difficult to grasp the concept that they should just buy their own lunch. Many were outright indignant at the idea of being ruled by a commission outside the legislative branch. And if you’re concerned about what your lobbyist friends will do for entertainment, let’s just say that the barbecue fund-raiser is far from a fond memory of how things us’ta be. Read more

This week’s column

Shipwrecked.

Here’s the link at the Indy and here’s the text:

Shipwrecked

By Kirk Ross

By all accounts I’ve read, Floyd Lupton was a good man. Lupton, who died in May of last year, was chief of staff for 26 years to Congressman Walter Jones Sr. and the go-to guy for Eastern North Carolina.

According to a tribute written upon his death by the congressman’s son and successor, Read more

This week’s column

Here it is in the Indy.

And here’s the text:

Things left undone

Hot on the heels of passage of a rather popular state budget, both the House and Senate got to things still undone while hurtling toward a departure from Dodge maybe as soon as the end of this week.

A minimum wage hike, one big leap in getting the heck outta the capital, was approved by the Senate but not before several GOP members got out their violins on behalf of small businessmen everywhere.

Still on the to-do list are a series of Read more

This week’s column

Looks like Land for Tomorrow is going to have to wait for another day. Newt makes the rounds. Tribute to Hugh Morton.

Here’s the column at the Indy
Here’s the text:

No Land for Tomorrow?

By Kirk Ross

Any development officer worth their salt will tell you that it’s a lot easier to get somebody to donate money for a building than an idea. And when it comes to doling out your tax dollars, there is a similar phenomenon at work. (Someone cleverer than I once called it an edifice complex.) Read more