Saturday, February 9, 2008

"A New Democratic Scandal"

Government is corrupted whenever it is diverted from its avowed purpose and directed toward some other goal, especially goals that conflict with its purpose." - Thomas Sowell

Talking About Politics
Carter Wrenn and Gary Pierce

If the News & Observer is not careful pretty soon folks on Governor Easley's Board of Transportation are going to be calling it a Republican newspaper.

The N & O has grabbed a tiger by the tail. A few years ago the legislature passed a law requiring DOT Board members to report how much money they raise for politicians – like Governor Easley. The purpose of the law is simple: To expose the link between where roads are built and political contributions.

But, the News & Observer reports, several of Governor Easley's appointees have sidestepped the law. DOT appointee Louis Sewell of Jacksonville is an example.

Mr. Sewell was tasked by Governor Easley's campaign with raising $125,000. How much did he report raising on his ethics form: $0.

Read the Original Post from 'Talking About Politics'

And Fern Shubert's Comments?
Carter: No mystery. "If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, was there a sound?"

Republicans who tell the truth simply don't get reported, or supported by the "leaders" of their (?) own party.

Don't stop with DOT. Most of state government is now corrupt.

As for DOT, when the DOT corruption was exposed a decade ago, Garland Garrett was made the DOT fall guy, rehired (they always look after their fall guys), and then had to resign due to video poker.

Now Orr is going after Tippett, when he should be going after the Hunt machine that gave us Easley. If the feds hang around long enough, no telling who they could roll up.

Dan: If you want to report a new scandal (since selling DOT seats is old, old news), what about the people who concealed the census numbers to steal the whole state government? Who knew about the new Orange County numbers and when did they know?

I've been talking about the corruption for years, and the Sewell "scandal" is a pimple on a pig.
Here's the speech I gave at the Council on Aging four years ago.
(Nothing has changed, except I've realized a lot of so-called leaders of the Republican Party are just as interested in protecting the status quo as the Democrats. If you're only interested in DOT, skip to the end, starting with the Mafia comment. ( I included the whole speech because I like to remind people how "ineffective" I really was, since the press uses that label so freely to replace honest Republicans with go-along-to-get-along DemLites.)

My name is Fern Shubert and I am here to ask for your vote and your support in the race for Governor. I’ve a very impressive resume and more legislative accomplishments than I have time to mention, including national recognition from the US SBA for my work for small business, putting phonics back in the classroom, stopping the taxation of public school purchases, ending the tyranny of portfolios for new teachers, and helping raise the eligibility level for medical care for the elderly poor from less than half of poverty to 100% of poverty, and the list goes on.

But most of you don’t know my record, and you should ask yourself why? Why does the press tell us our tests show most children are on grade level, when according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress only 1 child in 3 in NC will learn to read well by 4th grade, and for black children it’s closer to 1 in 10? Most children in this state will never read the Bible because they can’t even read a book.

Why did the press report writing scores are up during the nineties when in fact we went from 37.5% of our 10th graders proficient in grammar to 8%? Why did DPI brag on the 25% improvement in the number of black eighth graders competent in math when in fact we went from 4% competent to 5% competent and those responsible should have been exposed rather than praised? We are losing jobs in part because our work force is not adequately prepared to compete with overseas workers. It is hard to correct a problem when the people responsible refuse to admit it exists. I want to fix those problems. That’s why I’m talking about them. But why haven’t you heard about them before?

Recently I read an article from the New York Post written by someone with access to insider reports from the battlefield from the US military who had watched the al-Jazeera and BBC reporting of the same fighting. He said, “I saw two different battles. The media weren't reporting. They were taking sides. With our enemies.

And our enemies won.” - Think about that.

If you base your opinions in this election on the mainstream media, including their polls, our enemies win. Most of you know little or nothing about me because I’m the candidate they least want to see on the ballot in the fall. I’ve too many accomplishments to list and I’ve beaten the insiders’ election machine like a drum, but the press has called me ineffective and a “dim bulb,” just like they call our President, a Harvard MBA, dumb.

I was asked to run for the House because no Republican could win in such a Democrat district. I won it three times. When I ran for the Senate, I was told there was no way to retire the incumbent. Wrong again. And if money decides the fall election, as some would have you believe, it is already over and Easley has won because he is mortgaging our future to raise campaign cash. (It is so bad even the N&O made the connection between the December giveaways and contributions.) But if I’m the candidate, I don’t think there is any amount of money that can save Easley and the insider machine.

If Easley has to run against me, he will be missing a lot of members of two core constituencies . . . state employees and teachers. They will know I’ve tried to protect their pensions and health benefits while he has been raiding them, and that I managed to protect teachers from the portfolio fiasco even though he vetoed my bill. You don’t know about those fights because the press didn’t report them.

Just like the North Carolina Press has buried one of the biggest stories in the country for over two years. NC is known throughout the world as the place to come if you need a real fake ID. Our current Governor is more liberal than California’s Gray Davis on issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, some of whom may be terrorists, but you’d never know it from the press. The press keeps saying we’ve tightened up since 9/11, but NC law is actually weaker now than it was before the terrorists used planes to kill over 3000 people.

People used to leave their doors unlocked. Now we are seeing home invasions and gang murders, and many law enforcement officers are complaining that North Carolina’s government is helping people establish false identities. The federal government notified the governor that what we’re doing is a security risk, but he ignored the warning.

Because of my efforts to protect public safety, the 9/11 Families for a Secure America have offered their support in my campaign for governor. They confirm that I’m “the only person in either party running for Governor” who has been working to address this issue. And this is a very big issue and a very big cover-up. Our press has taken sides, or you would know this story.

I used to start speeches by saying, “If the Mafia isn’t running North Carolina, they’re jealous, because we’ve legalized larceny.” But that sounded bad, and there are many good people in government, so now I just tell people I feel like I’m serving on the Board of Directors of Enron and I have to get off because I realize management is looting the company. I have to try to stop them. This may sound harsh, but unfortunately it is true. I am running for Governor because as a CPA I see all too clearly where NC is headed if changes are not made.

Senator Hugh Webster also passed the CPA exam. I encourage those of you who live in his area to talk to him about what is going on the legislature. We see the same problem. North Carolina has high marginal tax rates that hurt small towns and small businesses but give the insiders the funds they need to give to their friends to stay in power. Big businesses that are generous contributors can get special breaks.

Four years ago, seats on the Board of Transportation went for $25,000; we know, because the insiders oversold (sort of like airline overbooking) and one of the people promised a seat who didn’t get it demanded a refund.

This year prices are up. When the Governor came to my county, our DOT member raised $100,000 for him and the press didn’t even report it, I guess because the fact that DOT members were expected to provide contributions wasn’t news. It did make the news shortly thereafter when a DOT member from a nearby county sent an email telling his friends they’d better come up with some cash because my county was outbidding them for roads. Apparently you’re not supposed to put that sort of thing in writing. Documenting the road sale evidently makes it newsworthy.

If you want someone to clean up the Raleigh swamp, you don’t ask the alligators, the insiders, who to hire. You find someone who knows where the alligators live and who has shown a talent for twisting their tails. If you want to see the Raleigh swamp drained, elect me. We need to clean house before it is too late.

Senator Fern Shubert is an active Republican who has served in both
the North Carolina state House and Senate, and ran for the N.C. Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2004. She is a CPA working and living in Marshville, in Union County.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

North Carolina Should Have a Choice

Veteran Legislator who first brought the Spotlight on former NC House Speaker and federal felon Jim Black, a hidden budget for state government, off-the-books liability for state employee retirement, unconstitutional bonded indebtedness, Senator Fern Shubert wants North Carolina voters to have a real choice, when America picks a president or a General Assembly. Having served in both the N.C. House and Senate, she works as an accountant in and around Marshville, North Carolina - among the fastest growing regions of the fastest growing state in the Union.

McCain's Straight Lies

"Super Tuesday may be the voters' last chance to bring the so-called "straight talk express" to a screeching halt."

We have been hearing for years that Senator John McCain gives "straight talk" and his bus has been endlessly referred to as the "straight talk express." But endless repetition does not make something true.

The fact that McCain makes short, blunt statements does not make him a straight-talker.

There are short, blunt lies -- and he told a big one on the eve of the Florida primary, when he claimed that Mitt Romney had advocated a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Even the Washington Post, which supports McCain, said that the Senator "has distorted the meaning" of what Governor Romney said, that Romney "has never proposed setting 'a date for withdrawal.'"

During Mitt Romney's ABC News interview that Senator McCain twisted, Governor Romney was asked by the interviewer whether he agreed with President Bush's veto of Congressional legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal, and whether Romney as President would veto similar legislation.

"Of course," was Romney's reply. There was no ambiguity.

Confronted with his lie on Wednesday night's debate, McCain blustered and filibustered in a manner reminiscent of Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny," when he was caught in a lie during a navy inquiry.

When confronted with any of his misdeeds, Senator McCain tends to fall back on his record as a war hero in Vietnam.

Let's talk sense. Benedict Arnold was a war hero but that did not exempt him from condemnation for his later betrayal.

Being a war hero is not a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card. And becoming President of the United States is not a matter of rewarding an individual for past services. [NOTE: Sowell served as a Marine.]

The Presidency is a heavy responsibility for the future of the nation, including generations yet unborn. Character and integrity are major qualifications.

The passing years and a friendly media have allowed Senator McCain's shortcomings in the character and integrity department to fade into the background.

McCain was one of "the Keating five" -- Senators who used their influence to try to protect a failing savings & loan company, which also became the subject of a corruption investigation.

During the 2000 primaries, the Associated Press reported Senator McCain's joking about people with Alzheimer's.

This went beyond bad taste because (1) it was known at the time that Ronald Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer's and (2) the media to whom McCain was pandering hated Ronald Reagan.

It is especially ironic now to see McCain wrapping himself in the mantle of President Reagan.

With the momentum of his Florida primary win behind him, going into the "Super Tuesday" primaries, John McCain has now been restored to the position of front runner that the media gave him at the outset.

Other Republicans are jumping on his bandwagon. This may have less to do with McCain's own qualities than with the prospect of getting Cabinet posts or Supreme Court appointments as rewards for their political support.

It may all look like a done deal. But the McCain-Kennedy bill giving amnesty to illegal aliens looked like a done deal two years ago -- until the public realized the truth behind the spin and brought that sell-out to a screeching halt.

Super Tuesday may be the voters' last chance to bring the so-called "straight talk express" to a screeching halt.

It should be called the "sell-out express" because McCain has sold out not only with amnesty for illegal aliens but also sold out the First Amendment with the McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" bill that was supposed to take big money out of political campaigns, but blatantly has not.

McCain also sold out on judicial nominations by making his own side deal with the Democrats, undercutting Republican attempts to stop Democrats from filibustering judicial nominees instead of voting them up or down.

This is quite a record for someone running as a straight talker.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is

When Dr. Sowell Speaks....

Dr. Thomas Sowell on McCain

Sowell, as you may know, is one of my favorite authors. It is interesting to see how the DemocratLite wing of the Republican Party, the Rockefeller Republicans as they were once known, are lining up behind McCain.

Since I expect the current banking fraud scandal to make the S&L/Keating 5 scandal look mild, having him at the head of the ticket is a losers bet. When Ann Coulter says she'd rather vote for Hillary than McCain, it should give the Bush-boys backing McCain pause, because a lot of people feel the same way. The power before principle "leaders" may take the lemmings over a cliff, but I'm with Peggy Noonan and tired of making excuses for economic policies that promote dishonesty rather than integrity.

As Christopher Ruddy said, "Some pundits suggest that GOP voters will rally around McCain no matter what — even if a “ham sandwich” were running against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic opponent. "I strongly disagree with this sentiment. After eight years of being disappointed by the Bush administration, Reagan Republicans are likely to vote their conscience this year rather than the party line.

"John McCain needs to give them some really good reasons to make them think twice. Hillary won’t be reason enough."There's too much fraud, fed and financial malfeasance behind the current bubble bust to get behind a candidate so closely tied to the Bush machine. If the Republicans do, I think they'll regret it.

You've probably seen this. Dodson isn't seeking political power; notice how those who are, though they claim to be "leaders," are willing to follow anyone who says what they want to hear if they think he may win.

Dr. Dobson: I Will Never Vote for McCain

February 1, 2008 12:07 PM

While John McCain has risen to the top of the heap among contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson remains adamant that he will not support McCain’s bid for the White House.

Dobson, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christians, declared more than a year ago that he wouldn't support McCain under any circumstances, saying McCain didn't support traditional marriage values.

A Dobson spokesman told the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick Wednesday that he stood by that position, and as a matter of conscience could never vote for the Arizona Senator.

According to the paper, Dobson is joined by a slew of other prominent conservatives who oppose McCain on a number of issues:

  • Talk radio host Mark Levin urged visitors to the National Review’s Web site to “rally for Romney” to ward off a McCain win, saying: “Conservatives need to act now, before it is too late.”
  • Talker Rush Limbaugh told listeners on Thursday: “McCain is in a lot of these places not actually the Republican candidate. He is the candidate of enough Republicans, but [also] independents and moderates and probably even some liberals.”
  • Pat Toomey, president of the anti-tax organization Club for Growth, said in comments reported by the New York Times: “I have yet to see McCain make any attempts to reach out to free market conservatives.”

Conservatives fault McCain for voting against President Bush’s tax cuts and a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and for supporting embryonic stem cell research, looser immigration rules and stricter environmental regulations.

Conservatives were particularly irked when McCain made a deal with Democrats to break a deadlock on judicial nominations, according to the Times.

Anger over that compromise was rekindled this week when Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund wrote that McCain had privately criticized Bush’s Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because “he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.” The McCain campaign denied that report.

Following McCain successes in early primary states, however, other conservatives are beginning to warm up to his campaign:

  • Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, who previously opposed a McCain nomination, said: “He has moved in the right direction strongly and forcefully on taxes.”
  • Former McCain foe Tony Perkins, a prominent Christian conservative, told the Times: “I have no residual issue with John McCain,” adding the candidate needed to “better communicate” his stand on social issues.
  • Richard Land, an official with the South Baptist Convention, agreed, noting that McCain “is strongly pro-life.” He said: “When I hear Rush Limbaugh say that a McCain nomination would destroy the Republican Party, what I want to say to Rush is, ‘You need to get out of the studio more and talk to real people.’”