Confusion Still Reigns in Raleigh
Transportation Committee - Thank You, Jim Black ???????
General Assembly Bits 'n Bites
On Again, Off Again:
N.C. Rep. Fern Shubert (R-Union) asked for 5 committee assignments and received 1 of her requests. She was appointed by Speaker Jim Black (D-Mecklenburg) to the Transportation Committee, an important position for her home county, particularly because of her pursuit of an alternate plan for the future I-74 corridor. However, the night before the first meeting of the committee, Black pulled her off. She now sits on several committees that either have yet to meet or that meet rarely. But not to worry, the formidable representative says: "I'll make the best of the situation. My plan is to attend the committees anyway. I'll be able to get my questions answered."
Shubert also told AardvarkNews that when she first got her tiny office in the Legislative Building, it didn't even have a desk, just "a broken table with one end resting on a copy paper box on top of the trash can." But, on the positive side, "I don't think I'll ever have to move from this office," she said.
On Again, Off Again, Back On Again:
Are General Assembly notables reading AardvarkNews? Yesterday AardvarkNews reported on the ping-ponging of N.C. Rep. Fern Shubert's (R-Union) committee assignments. To summarize, she had asked Speaker Jim Black (D-Mecklenburg) for 5 possible committee assignments and received 1 of her requests. She was appointed to the Transportation Committee; however, the night before the first meeting, Black pulled her off. Now word has come that she is back on Transportation, which Shubert found out only because she carried through on her promise to attend the committee meetings anyway. "The job pays peanuts, but the entertainment value is high," she said.
Confusion Still Reigns in Raleigh
(Why I haven't ordered cards yet)
The articles in the above sections, printed with the permission of Aardvarknews.com, pretty well summarize the state of confusion that still exists in the House. We went into session January 24th, and as of this week we're still shuffling offices and committee assignments.
I wasn't too upset when I didn't get many of the assignments I originally requested, and I didn't get too excited about my temporary removal from transportation. I can attend any committee meeting I choose; I just have to get someone else to ask my questions. Besides, given all of the silly claims of "bipartisan" appointments, going 0 for 5 on assignment requests was funny.
(One of my fellow Republicans wasn't as amused when he was dropped from his committee assignment that Monday night. He was left with no committees. After he pointed this out to Speaker Black, this "oversight" was corrected.)
When I was dropped from Transportation I was put on Travel & Tourism, and when I was put back on Transportation, I was still left on Travel & Tourism, so I picked up a committee. Of course, this could still change.
After session Wednesday, my clerk, Carol Wilson, asked what to do about ordering cards and stationery. I told her we'd better wait another week.
Daily Information On Raleigh
If you're online and want a new source for news, let me recommend Aardvarknews.com. It is at the top of my list of media outlets, only in part because of alphabetical order.
They pick up a lot of Raleigh news items you won't find in our local papers, as well as offering links to other interesting stories.
Answering the Question
A friend who supports the death penalty, even for the retarded, asked my views. My reply:
When our son Lee was younger, Jerry & I went to the circus with another couple who had a son about the same age. When we returned to their house, the two boys decided to imitate what they saw the clowns doing at the circus. Before we adults knew what was happening, one of the boys had a very bloody nose and both children were crying. Neither had any idea that imitating the clowns would hurt. There was no point in punishing them for what they did, because they had no intention to do harm. They had adequately punished themselves because neither had any intent to hurt the other.
If a person is incapable of understanding cause and effect, that person is a child regardless of age and I don't believe in executing children. The guilty deserve punishment, but people who have no understanding of what they do can hardly be guilty. We do, however, have to be very careful not to let people claim ignorance or unfortunate circumstances as an excuse. The death row inmate in the papers recently appears to me to be faking, because he clearly planned his action. Since he understands cause and effect, I don't view him as so retarded as to be equivalent to a child, and I agree with you that if a person decides to harm another (the key word is decides, or intends), then they should bear the consequences.
Taking this one step further, if a person recklessly endangers another to such a degree that they should be able to foresee the probability of harm, they should be held liable. I am co-sponsoring a bill to make it possible to charge a repeat offender DWI who kills someone while driving drunk with murder.
How the System Really Works You may recall my suggestion that the talk of fairness in committee assignments was just that: talk. You may recall my suggestion that a game in which one team's coach picked both team's players (and got to place more of his players on the floor) was going to give an unfair advantage to one team. The Sore Loser bill is just the first demonstration of how this works.
Democrats brought in their floaters to pass a bill that is bad for North Carolina but good for their party. I guess since Democrat registration has dropped below 50%, they think this is the only way they can get any electoral votes in NC. Given their current leadership and policies, they could be right.
General Assembly Bits 'n Bites
N.C. Dems have rammed through the Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform Committee House Bill 33, "Presidential Electors by District," also known as the "Sore Loser" bill because it changes the way the state's electoral votes are distributed. Instead of the current system of giving the winner of the presidential contest all 12 (soon to be 13) of the state's electoral votes, the bill would parcel out electoral votes based upon how many Congressional districts each presidential candidate carried. That would have given Gore at least 2, if not 3, more votes in the electoral college in the past presidential election. Why the "Sore Loser" description? Try and guess how many legislatures in states where Democrat presidential candidates win by large margins are running the bill. You have three guesses, and the first two don't count…