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Opinion

Democrat Beverly Perdue has become the first NC governor to veto a budget bill since the chief executive of our state was given that power in 1997.

Gov. Perdue said in her announcement Sunday that the Republican-led legislature’s $20 billion proposal would do “generational damage” to public education. She said the legislature has “turned its back on our schools, our children, our longstanding investment in education and our future economic prospects.”

The budget cuts passed by the legislature dramatically impact the very programs that have moved North Carolina to the forefront of our nation’s educational efforts:

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Pew Research Center released a survey last month which was encouragingly called “Beyond Red vs. Blue.” Encouraging, that is, for the growing number of Americans eager to find a way out of the partisanship which has come to dominate public policy making at nearly every level of government.

The study—a 150 page analysis—was quickly digested by reporters eager to get a leg up on the latest political trends just as the Republicans held their first televised Presidential debate in South Carolina which, notably, holds both an early primary and an open primary in which independents are allowed to vote.

“Voters More Complex than Red/Blue” wrote ABC political director Amy Walter. “The Misunderstood Independent,” echoed Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.

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New news about old news is like reheated coffee – it doesn’t have the same flavor as fresh brewed. Case in point: John Edwards’ legal problems concerning campaign fraud. His story can’t compete with riveting reports involving Congressman Anthony Weiner’s postings of private parts or actor Charlie Sheen’s antics. Nevertheless, there are still lessons to be learned by going over old ground.

My skepticism of former presidential hopeful John Edwards began back in 2007 when his taste for expensive haircuts was revealed. A $400 clip had an amusing double meaning to it. However, that particular extravagance would have been inconsequential if Edwards had not been in the the habit of touting his simpatico with the “common man.” Sure, everyone spends a week’s pay on a trim.

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Despite their protests, Democrats in the state legislature can’t get around a simple fact: It's now been 11 years since legislators asked for North Carolinians’ permission to borrow money.

Nonetheless, legislatures controlled by Democrats have authorized more than $3 billion in borrowing during those 11 years.

Legislative Republicans want to end the practice of taking on debt by “special indebtedness,” bureaucratese for state borrowing that doesn’t require voter approval.

That inconvenient fact, the total lack of traditional borrowing since 2000, is surely their biggest stick to beat back critics of a proposal to end non-voter approved state debt.

 

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published: 10/18/2013
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