Friday, February 05, 2010

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Raleigh Democrats Need To Go

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Enough is enough!

Voters in North Carolina have for too long had to endure a culture of corruption, deceit and cronyism by the ruling Democratic Party. While Democrats and Republicans can share the blame for many of the problems we’re experiencing on a national level, that’s not the case in Raleigh.

Democrats have reigned over our state capitol for most of the preceding 100 years. The arrogance that kind of absolute power breeds has allowed the Tar Heel state to become better known for political corruption than college basketball. It is incestuous, with its tentacles extending from the state capitol all the way down to many levels of municipal and county government.

I have never witnessed such blatant malfeasance on the part of a ruling party. It is so egregious that the folks have seemingly become numb to the perpetual aftershocks from one scandal after another.

If Democrats are allowed to continue their stranglehold on the state legislature after this November’s election, we can blame no one but ourselves. It will be more of the same old gruel we’ve been force fed for decades. With redistricting next year, many of these charlatans can further insulate themselves from the people they are suppose to be serving, while continuing to line their pockets for another decade. Boundaries will be redrawn that will remain favorable to Democrats, thus encouraging more of the same contemptible behavior.

Let’s take a look at some of these individuals:

• Ruffin Poole: He is often referred to as the “Little Governor.” Poole, former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley’s legal counsel and close aid, was indicted on Jan. 21 by a federal grand jury on 51 counts of corruption, including extorting money from key Easley supporters. Of course Poole is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

• Former state Rep. Thomas Wright: A Wilmington Democrat who while serving in the House was charged with falsely obtaining a $150,000 bank loan and for mishandling corporate contributions to his campaign, by depositing them in a personal account. Wright was found guilty in April 2008 and lost his appeal on November 3 last year. Wright is currently serving an eight year prison sentence.

• Former Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Black: Black in 2007 pled guilty to a federal felony public corruption charge after accepting funds from chiropractors while their professional group had legislation pending in the General Assembly. Black is serving a five-year, three month prison sentence.

• Meg Scott Phipps: The former Democratic State Agricultural Commissioner from Alamance served three years in prison for extortion. She was convicted in 2003 and released from prison in 2007.

• Former Rep. Frank Ballance: A Windsor Democrat, Ballance served in the state legislature in both the House and Senate for nine years before being elected to the U. S. House of Representatives in 2002. He represented the state’s 1st Congressional District. In June 2004, he resigned due to health issues. That September he was indicted on federal charges including money laundering and mail fraud. As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to four years in prison in 2005. Ballance was released last June.

Some state legislators want to serve forever. I doubt it’s just the camaraderie. Unlike their elected brethren in Washington, state representatives and senators don’t have lofty salaries and unlimited perks. They receive a modest per-diem when they are in session along with a relatively insignificant salary. Legislators receive just under $14K per year. The speaker of the House and the president pro-tem of the Senate receive approximately $38K annually. All have modest expense accounts.

I would like to think that our representatives are serving us for the common good. Some are, for sure. But why will someone spend up to $100,000 or more per campaign to seek reelection to a job that will pay them a fraction of that amount? I think I know. I suspect you do to. This November let’s finally do something about it. Go to the polls and vote and vote Democrats out of office.

Enough is enough!


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