Thursday, March 21, 2013

N&O columnist flails McCrory on budget -- "not the stuff of which legacies are made"

Gov. Pat McCrory proposed a hold-the-line budget on Wednesday that offered key clues about his still-fledgling governorship.

Budgets by and large are political documents, reflecting the goals and priorities of the governor.
A governor’s first budget is particularly important because the governor is at the height of his or her power to push an agenda through the legislature. McCrory will never has as much leverage as he has today. So what did he do with his leverage?

Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at N.C. State University, said the McCrory budget contrasts with the more ideological proposals coming out of the Republican legislature.
“We have the governor taking a more moderate, pragmatic approach, more interested in issues of management and administration,” Taylor said. “The legislature is taking the bolder, more pre-emptive and ideological position on issues.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Claude Pope announces run for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party

Elect Claude Pope


March 21, 2013

I’m running for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party because I want to build on the successes
we’ve had in the past two election cycles and establish the Republican Party as the dominant political organization in our state for the foreseeable future.

Staying on top is even tougher than getting to the top, in my opinion, but I believe my combination of business and political experience has prepared me to lead the Republican Party to a successful future in North Carolina – and that will be good news for the state and its people.

ClaudePopeOur great new Governor, Pat McCrory, and our Republican majority in the legislature are going to make the reforms and changes North Carolina needs to get its economy moving again, put an end to the constant tax increases and pervasive corruption that marked the recent Democrat years, and give all North Carolinians a government that works efficiently and treats them like they were valued customers.

But the Democrats aren’t going to roll over and play dead.  You’ve probably read that they have a plan to “cripple” and “eviscerate” Republican leaders and “weaken their ability to govern.”  They promise to use private investigators and other shady tactics to dig up dirt on Republicans.

To fight that kind of disgusting negativism, our party is going to have to be strong, and I’m ready for the challenge.

I’ll work to strengthen local party organizations, to help each of them to “own their sandbox” and win local elections that will add depth to our Republican governing team.  I’ll provide mechanisms to support our statewide leaders against the underhanded tactics the Democrats have already announced as their battle plan.  I’ll ramp up our fundraising and volunteer efforts – as Wake County Chairman, I set records in both areas.

I’ll reach out to the various constituencies and conservative-minded organizations so we can all work together to build the North Carolina you and I want.  And I’ll use my business experience to make sure the whole thing is managed in an effective, efficient way.

That’s my pledge to you, and the basis on which I’m asking for your support at the Republican State Convention in Charlotte June 7 – 9.

I look forward to seeing you there, and to working together in the coming months and years on behalf of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Thank you.

Claude E. Pope, Jr.

P.S. Please visit my website at for regular updates.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GOP must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism


Verne Strickland Blogmaster / March 19, 2013

 By Benjamin P. Chatham
I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. 

This does not mean Republicans can't come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. 

Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. 

If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What's the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?

I refuse to acquiesce to the cowardly notion that conservatives are intolerant or mean-spirited because they oppose discriminant treatment for groups and classes of people, because they support the rule of law, because they oppose a runaway entitlement state and because they adhere to traditional values, including the protection of innocent life.

But my personal preferences as to the future of the conservative movement and the GOP aren't really the point. The point is that no matter what I prefer, the hard truth is that the movement inside the Republican Party to abandon social conservatism is nothing short of a political death wish. Denying it will not alter the reality.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The five minute NRA speech that would change the gun control debate forever


Verne Strickland Blogmaster / March 18, 2013

Editor's note: Author Scott Pinsker is a marketing and publicity expert who writes occasionally for Fox News Opinion. This is his vision of a speech he would like to see delivered by leaders at the National Rifle Association. It has not been delivered by the NRA.

Greetings. My name is Wayne LaPierre, and I’m the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. After the national tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was my hope that Red America and Blue America would finally come together and try to solve a serious problem, because protecting our children from violent madmen isn’t a conservative position or a liberal position; it’s a common-sense position.
Sadly, instead of offering new solutions, the same anti-gun zealots who’ve always hated the Second Amendment have politicized the deaths of kindergartners, adopting the Rahm Emanuel tactic of “Never letting a good crisis go to waste.” Anti-gun newspapers have even published the names and private addresses of law-abiding gun-owners – something they would NEVER do to sex offenders, drug addicts, wife-beaters, AIDS victims, welfare recipients or women who’ve had an abortion – and rightly so.
The Sandy Hook tragedy, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Aurora “Batman” shooting, the Tucson shooting – all of the killers were mentally unstable young men who were prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
The NRA tried to help: Since we protect our president, vice president, governors, senators, judges, banks, hospitals, office buildings and jewelry stores with armed guards, why does it make sense to protect our schoolchildren with a small sign that says, “This Is a Gun Free Zone” – and then hope that someone with a gun can get there quickly if there’s an emergency? Why do we have armed guards at middle school and high school football games – but not at the actual middle schools or high schools?
But this still doesn’t do enough to protect our children. The time for partisanship is over; now is the time for action. And that’s why the NRA is requesting the assistance of the ACLU.
The Sandy Hook tragedy, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Aurora “Batman” shooting, the Tucson shooting – all of the killers had something in common: They were all mentally unstable young men who were prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
These killers didn’t purchase their guns illegally, or watch Fox News, or circumvent background checks by attending gun shows. They didn’t have prior convictions or troubling police records. That’s not the common denominator. The common denominator is that these young men were sick – and everyone knew it.
The ACLU has done more than any other organization to protect the legal rights of mentally sick people.
This is a fact.
Because of the ACLU, mentally sick people can refuse medical treatment or psychiatric care, even when their mental condition has left them homeless and penniless. Even in situations like Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Sandy Hook killer, whose own mother, according to reports, was unable to mandate medical treatment for her son.
The NRA doesn’t hate the mentally ill. They deserve our compassion and our help. But sick young men have spilled far too much innocent blood. This simply cannot continue.
The NRA is hereby inviting the ACLU to join us on a study to find common-sense solutions that will prevent violent madmen from harming our children. And then together, it’s our hope that the NRA and the ACLU will offer these solutions directly to President Obama.
This won’t be easy. It’s anathema to the NRA to deny any law-abiding American the right to bear arms, just as it’s anathema to the ACLU to deny any American the same civil liberties of his neighbors. But despite our personal biases, there must be a solution that’s better than the status quo!
An inspirational politician once declared that there isn’t a Red America and a Blue America, or a black America and a white America – there’s the United States of America. As Americans, let’s come together, rise above the rhetoric, and actually do something that protects our children.
Thank you.
Scott Pinsker is a marketing and publicity expert who specializes in brand-development for celebrities, entertainment properties and corporate conglomerates.  He lives in Tampa Bay, Florida.