Budget action: No . . . or veto

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Okay. It's crunch time. Last chance to do your duty.

I'm not usually an alarmist, so forgive me for raising holy hell this weekend about the complete and utter collapse of sanity in Raleigh with regard to the state budget. If you're not worried about the budget, you should be. And if you're not in action yet, it's time to get crackin'.

On Monday night, June 4th, the legislature will convene to consider the vast differences between the Senate's Republican budget and the slightly more progressive House budget. There will be a vote to determine whether the House concurs with the Senate.

nine Democrats have to vote for the budget for it to be a done deal. I say again: Only nine Democrats have to sell out for this pathetic budget to move on to Governor Easley's desk.

Which raises this question:

Can Joe Hackney hold the House Democrats together on this critical issue?

Unlike his most welcome action on the Republican abuse of marriage bill, Joe can't act on his own to settle this matter. He has to lead by holding a herd of cats together long enough to vote down the egregious Senate budget. He wasn't able to do that on the smoking ban or on mental health. He wasn't able to do that on the moratorium on state-sponsored killing. We can only hope he's been saving up his political capital for when it matters most - which is exactly right now.

If the Senate version of this budget passes, the least advantaged people in North Carolina will be totally screwed - again. While public education, community colleges and early childhood care don't get lavish support in the House bill, at least they're not completely abandoned like they are in the Republican controlled Senate.


The North Carolina Greedy Old Party will be meeting in Charlotte this weekend to map out its strategy of attack Monday night. According to their so-called leaders, they already think they have won. They already know they have carried the Senate, even though they had to sell out their most core beliefs. That's right, sold out. You see, the Senate bill authorizes more than a billion dollars in new debt that does not have to approved by We the People. And for all their talk about fiscal responsibility, the Greeders are supporting that debt just so they can peel back the temporary tax on rich guys. The truth is, they don't give a damn about fiscal responsibility. Not one danged bit.

Well, friends, it's time to put up or shut up.

First off, contact every House member you can find and tell them you do NOT favor putting North Carolina deeper into debt without giving citizens the right to vote on it.

Second, tell your representative that you do not favor cutting taxes on the wealthiest people in our state at a time when the poorest are going hungry, not getting health care and paying more and more for education.

Third, send a link to this post to everybody in your address book and ask them to do the same.

We are at risk of a quiet Republican coup, fully enabled by the do-nothing, chickenshit NC Senate. If Hackney doesn't manage to hold the House together, Governor Easley will find himself confronted with a bill that is fiscally and morally bankrupt on every measure that matters.

At that point, the Governor will either step up and veto this god-forsaken budget and protect the interests of We the People . . . or he will let it pass, throwing poor people, young school children, the mentally ill, and generations of future taxpayers under the bus for political expediency. I'm betting he won't do that.

Which brings me to my fourth point:

Contact the Governor's office today and say you expect him to veto any budget that comes to him with a billion dollars in unauthorized debt. Insist that any debt financing be approved by We the People, as required by law.

If the Governor signals his intention to veto, the House Democrats will not go along with the Senate. They won't want to spend all summer slogging through a whole new budget process. They won't want to go back to the drawing board.

Those are the four steps that need taking.

Get to work.

UPDATE: Many thanks to whoever it was who managed to make this happen:



Laura Leslie

is reporting that the Governor's advisers have said there is no way the Governor would sign a bill like this.

God help us if we force him to do so.

Please contact House Democrats to let them know to stick with the leadership and vote against concurrence.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"


Im a little distracted right now.

Can you put together an email list of house dems for us to email?

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

You think I'm kidding?

I know I've asked a lot of BlueNC readers . . . especially around the OLF . . . but this time I really, really, really hope you'll come armed to the teeth and ready to fight.

Start with Governor Easley. Ask him to announce this weekend that he will veto the budget if it comes to him in the form passed by the Senate. Do it now.

Then get on the House members. If anyone has an easy-to-paste listing of House members to help us email them quickly, please post it below.

Then write to Joe. Ask him to pull out the stops to hold the Democrats together and fend off the Republican coup.

Then send a link to this post to everyone you know in North Carolina. Ask them to do the same.

Thanks for all you do.

Me too.

Emailed and called.

email sent.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Any Democrat

Who would vote for this budget? And why would they think they wouldn't face a primary challenger if they did?

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

And why would they think -

And why would they think they wouldn't face a primary challenger if they did?

Dr.Frank, you assume people are paying attention. Are more than a handful paying attention? Do they ever?

Anyone who is good at condensing baloney into sound bites - we could use a handy dandy that we could print out and carry to the rest of the troops .. ... ... if you get my drift.

I carried some of that insurance madness out to the general public in different places. The ocean is made of many drops. One by one - nothing happens. In a wave - tsunami!

That one blog post someone linked was very good. Maybe I'll go hunt that down. What do ya'll think?

here's a possibility...

..."we the people don't undersrtand why republicans want to screw the people"

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

For those of us out in the boonies . . .

Can you describe exactly what's going on? And suggested text for contacting folks is always welcome.

So -- just so I can get up to speed:

1) Is it true that the Senate passed this travesty unanimously? Including Ellie Kinnaird? What were they thinking -- I mean, really, what's their rationale?

2) Are you saying that all that needs to happen for the Senate budget to wind up on the Governor's desk is that a majority in the House has to vote to concur? How likely is that, really? And how often does that happen?

3) And what do I tell my House member -- "Don't vote to concur with the Senate budget"? Should I just contact my rep, or are all the reps from my county fair game? And while I'm at it, what sort of blowback should I direct at my senator?

Are you saying that all that

Are you saying that all that needs to happen for the Senate budget to wind up on the Governor's desk is that a majority in the House has to vote to concur? How likely is that, really? And how often does that happen?

That's right.


Here's the letter I sent to House members . . . I have heard back from four that they intend to vote against concurrence.

Dear public servant:

The Senate budget is a slap in the face of fiscal and moral responsibility. It pushes us farther into debt – and cuts critical services that are supported by most thoughtful representatives in the House.

With all due respect to Republicans in the General Assembly, if We the People had wanted a Republican majority to run things in North Carolina, we would have elected one.

Please. Do not vote to concur with the embarrassing budget put forth by the Senate.


PS I can't put my fingers on the votes in the Senate . . . I'll track them down though.

According to the GA website . . .

First reading: 49 ayes to 0 noes.

Second reading: 41 ayes, 5 not voting. 4 paired votes, with no votes Brock (R-Davie, Rowan) and Goodall (R-Mecklenburg, Union, Spanking) paired with two absent senators who would have voted yes (which I suppose makes the vote unanimous).

So if Nesbitt and Kinnaird were voting in favor, I really want to know what they were thinking. Was it just force majeure from the leadership? Or do they all really think this was the way to go?

Now I understand


In all due respect, North Carolinians voted for 35,000 votes more than the Democrats. Democrats won because of gerrymandered districts established by confessed felon Democrat Speaker JIM BLACK.

Neither budget is great, but the Senate wasted less than the House Democrats. Why wouldn't we vote for less pork pet projects?

Larry Brown

Now I get it. Larry Brown thinks the Republicans actually ARE in the majority in the House and he'll vote for the Senate's stinking budget because he's mad about Jim Black. What's a billion or so in debt when you're a hypocritical, power hungry Republican?

with all due respect...

...mr. brown, a majority voted for al gore.

does this new comment of yours suggest you're rethinking mr. bush's position as well?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

More from Brown

From me:

To: Rep. Larry Brown
Subject: RE: Please vote against concurrence

You said: Why wouldn't we vote for less pork pet projects?

Maybe you haven't actually looked at the budget, but from where I sit, a fiscal conservative like yourself would have a serious problem voting for $1.2 BILLION IN ILLEGAL DEBT.

Thanks for your reply.


From Larry:

I have not voted yet.


That's Rich -

If that were true ... east of 95 wouldn't look like it does. Who had that map?

I asked if they borrowed a sidewinder to draw that thing.
Jim Black did that?

dunno. where I came from it's the Republicans that are gerrymander kings. (TX) I thought that went out with Reconstruction.

How 'bout if we have it changed back? Since Mr. Brown doesn't seem to think it's fair?


Ruth Samuelson

Representative Samuelson said:

From: Rep. Ruth Samuelson [mailto:Ruths@ncleg.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2007 7:40 PM
Re: Please vote against concurrence

thanks for your concern.m As an FYI, there were more votes cast for Republican legislators than Democrat in the last election. What you see now is the power of the gerrymandering that former Speaker Jim Black put in place.

Rep. Ruth Samuelson
Sent from Treo 700p handheld

I wrote back:

Dear Ruth.

I'd be happy to support a Republican majority in Raleigh if you'd help get rid of the incompetent fool in the White House. There were hundreds of thousands more votes for Kerry and Gore than there were for George Bush.

You're the third Republican who has written back to me whining about Jim Black and gerrymandering. Yet not one of you has bothered to say where you stand on the Senate's proposal to impose $1.2 billion in illegal debt.

With all due respect, how about focusing on governing the state instead of complaining about the past . . . a past in which Republican criminals were just as complicit as those on the Democratic side of the aisle.


Looks like the R's have their talking points down. The pathetic budget is all Jim Black's fault. What a bunch of tools.

She was the top Republican vote-getter when Meck Dems

swept the county commission at-large races in 2004.

Oh, and you forgot the your-talking-point-is-a-lie-Jesus-wouldn't-tell-because-the-Republicans-fielded-more-candidates point. ;)

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Nice point

And 35k votes -- that's what? The equivalent of two Republicans running unopposed? How many more uncontested races did they have than the Democrats did?

And last I heard the Republicans were perfectly happy eating their own during the last redistricting -- the gerrymandering was meant to work for the Republican leadership's internal battles just as much as for the Democrats.

But let's not overlook the fact that redistricting is always pretty much an incumbent protection racket. And protected incumbency is how we get into messes like this budget.

One Letter Sent to All

and forwarded to you, -A-

check yer mail.

From Pricey Harrison

Thanks for your message. I just hope the conservative Ds here you.

I hope they hear us to. Otherwise we're going to have to stir up a whole bunch of primaries.

Dont worry

about the complaints about gerrymandering. Just let them think that, because their idiotic blindness towards the truth ensures a permanent Democratic majority.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

I tried, Anglico

but the system kept telling me my e-mail address was not valid, bringing on a low-level identity crisis. :(

From Nelson

From Nelson Dollar:

-----Original Message-----
From: Rep. Nelson Dollar [mailto:Nelsond@ncleg.net]
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:32 PM
Subject: RE: Please vote against concurrence

Interestingly enough the citizens of the State of North Carolina did elect a Republican majority to the House and Senate in 2002, 2004 and even in 2006.

From me:

Riiiiiight . . . just like Democrats won the last two presidential elections.

Tell you what. I'll give you the state house if you'll give me someone in the White House with half a brain.

You're the fourth Republican who has written back to me - and not one of you has answered my question about the budget. Instead, all I get is whining about how mean old Democrats gerrymandered your party into irrelevance. Yes there were years when Republicans got more votes than Dems, but the totals can be completely accounted for by seats in which there were no Democratic challengers.

You all have apparently got your talking points down to a few false "facts" about the past, but frankly it's the future I'm concerned about.

You're going to vote for $1.2 billion in illegal debt?

Thanks for nothing.


How come I'm the only person worried about this?

You Aren't -A-

I've only heard back from one and that was Pricey Harrison.


the response was:

Thanks, I tend to agree with you

You know what my letter said.

We need to write this up and get it out to the N&O, et.al. We don't have to name names. (I'm funny like that - emails are like letters to me, i.e. private communications that I don't like to share unless I've been given express permission.)

What do you think? Can we get it to hang together coherently? (It would make a good commercial, too) heh.

Sorry, was getting ready for carpet installers

I thought I would be without internet for the entire day, but it turns out I'm only without it for a partial day. I will get to work on this in just a minute. Hey...I actually might even write something today. Woo Hoo!

Getting ready for the carpet installers meant basically clearing out the entire house except for large furniture. I'm pooped and it didn't help that when they arrived they informed me they wouldn't be able to finish in one day. It is what is it...but I'm still not happy. (I'm sure I'll get over it, though.)

OK...now off to email Sen. Malcolm Graham and Rep. Drew Saunders.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

keep an eye on your walls.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Yup....they just put a gouge in one that will actually need a

repair...not just a touch up. I covered my freshly painted door with a tarp. I just wish they'd told me they couldn't finish in one day to begin with. Urgh.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


What is it with the Republicans?

One more response - also pointed out all the (R)s in the house voted no. Okay. Good. Now write a good budget.

(I rather like this one so that's all I'm gonna say)

George Cleveland

Just as a point of information - in the last two elections more votes were cast for republicans across the state. Gerrymandering is the only reason they are not in charge.

Looks like all the Greeders got their marching orders in Charlotte this weekend. Poor Republicans, the only reason they're not in charge is because of Jim Black's gerrymandering.

That - and the fact that they can't win elections and stand for nothing besides destroying government..

I wrote him back.

Asking again if he was going to vote for $1.2 billion in COP financing or not. And, glory be, I finally got a straight answer.

This fiscal conservative is going to vote for this irresponsible budget, with financing the State Treasurer has said is a bad idea.

The message from George Cleveland:

Yes. I plan to do so (vote for the Senate budget).

Now you know what a Republican prostitute looks like:


You should send all of them a picture of the worlds tiniest violin. Then you could add in a poem:
Cry me a river
Build me a bridge
and Get over it.

Childish Republicans dont deserve anything other than childish responses.

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

It really is quite amazing

The half dozen responses I've gotten have NOTHING to do with my question . . . they all say the exact same thing about gerrymandering . . . and how they really had more votes and should be in the majority.

It's good to know though. They'll be coming into the 2008 elections singing from the same pathetic song book. First they'll be calling for the marriage amendment, then they'll be calling for cutting taxes again, then they'll be complaining about gerrymandering, then they'll be genuflecting to Art Pope.

My parents, god rest their souls, were Republicans, but even they would have tossed their cookies over this happy horseshit.

Oh and just so you know

in between the moving of furniture and prep for the "for sale" sign to go up in the yard I'm researching the whining wingnut talking point you keep getting as a reply from these turds.

I'm researching the NC House first. Interesting....very interesting.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Can you pass this on to the media.

I would love to see Rob Christensen do a story on the "framing" that Republicans rely on. A long, investigative piece that details how they have come to rely, not on moral policies, but language to carry the day. Nationally, most people know this, but locally?

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Hackney sez

. . . he has not heard of a single House Democrat who supports the Senate budget, which passed with heavy support from Senate Republicans last week. He said talk that House Republicans might get roughly 10 Democrats to join them was just that — talk.

"It's mostly, as far as I can tell, a bunch of posturing by Republicans and speculation without foundation," Hackney said.

From the Dome.

How pathetic that Senate Democrats are most closely aligned

with House Republicans?

I would love to see the house vote unanimously NOT to accept this budget. Have Republicans stand up for what they believe in, and have Democrats stand up for what they believe in, neither of which is represented in this budget.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.