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Opinion Editorial

Presidential Hopefuls for $800. (Jeopardy TV show in the year 2042). This Republican candidate had notoriety for his catch phrase of “9-9-9.” The hypothetical game show reference may constitute the entirety of Herman Cain's “legacy.” Last week Cain “suspended” his quest for Republican presidential nomination and along with that came a suspension of a stream of amusing quips from the man who says “America needs to get a sense of humor.”

In a way, Herman Cain is a caricature of the composite American political candidate. The candidate has a good of sense of humor, and can tell a joke. They espouse the concept of rugged individualism while not forgetting the importance and appreciation of community and country. Their faith is out in the open and in time, so is a sex scandal or two.


Not so long ago, it wasn’t uncommon to hear stories about lobbyists piling undated checks, made out to legislators’ campaigns, on their desks as they awaited the end of North Carolina’s legislative session.

For decades, lobbyists and their employers were prohibited by state law from contributing to legislators’ political campaigns while the legislature met. The ban was intended to prevent a contribution just as a legislator considered a bill that would directly affect the contributor.

In 2006, lawmakers banned lobbyists from contributing any time. The in-session ban, though, still applies to the companies, trade associations and others — in legislative parlance they are called lobbying principals — who employ lobbyists.


The General Assembly is required by law to follow the North Carolina Constitution which states in Article 1, Section 2 “all political power is vested in and derived from the people ... and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” They should be upholding Article 1, Section 19 of the North Carolina Constitution, which ensures “no person shall be denied equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be subjected to discrimination by the State because of race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Constitution calls us to a higher place where a “divide and conquer” strategy has no place.

Despite the noble call of our Constitution there is a strange spirit in the halls of the North Carolina General Assembly. The NC General Assembly reconvened last night with two major agenda items: to repeal the Racial Justice Act and pass a Voter Photo ID law that, if accomplished, would have a disparate impact on African Americans, the elderly and other minorities.


In younger days, I displayed a “Question Authority” bumper sticker on my vehicle. Though I am no longer much of a bumper sticker kind of guy, the sentiment of being suspect of “authority” hasn’t waned. The current scandal involving Penn State University and child molestation charges against a former assistant football coach, including the 2002 reported rape of a 10-year-old boy, highlights the frequent facade of “authority.”

Former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, 67, is facing a slew of charges ranging over a 15-year period. According to the grand jury report, several witnesses as well as individuals should have been suspect of Sandusky. Any one of them could have stepped forward and made a stand. They remained virtually silent, none so deafening as those at Sandusky’s alma mater Penn State.


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