Editor’s Note: State Sen. Trudy Wade sent the following letter to the News & Observer after the paper published an editorial attacking her. The N&O not only didn’t print the letter, the editors didn’t respond to numerous phone calls from Wade’s office about the letter. So much for mainstream newspapers wanting to present both sides of the story.
Wade Answers N&O
I shook my head as I read your June 2 editorial, “Sen. Trudy Wade takes aim at newspapers with two costly bills.” Rather than engage in a reasonable debate on the merits of the legislation, you used your bully pulpit to launch a personal attack against me – perhaps because you know you can’t win on the merits or justify your own hypocrisy.
For your readers who couldn’t benefit from a single balanced news story in the N&O on my most recent bill, a bipartisan Senate took action to delete a special carve-out in the Workers’ Compensation Act that prevents newspaper delivery workers from being classified as “employees” of their publications entitled to benefits such as unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and workers’ compensation coverage – as long as multiple criteria are met.
This legislation was partially inspired by a five-part series published in this very newspaper describing how some North Carolina companies gain an unfair competitive advantage by improperly treating their workers as independent contractors and neglecting to pay unemployment insurance, payroll taxes and workers’ compensation coverage. This editorial page previously opined, “Bypassing that requirement puts workers at risk, leaving them uninsured against injury and prone to accruing hefty tax bills, plus penalties and interest, when they don’t pay on time. It also costs the government millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.”
It seems that the same industry that brought the problem to our attention should recognize this inconsistency between what they report and editorialize on and what they practice, and support this important reform to protect their own hard workers.
As for my other bill, it increases access to public and legal notices by providing local governments an option to make those notices free to view on their own websites. This bill is a win-win: it provides those who cannot afford or who do not wish to subscribe to a newspaper with free access to important information while saving tax dollars and increasing teacher pay.
Our world and technology have progressed dramatically since the current public notification system was developed in the early 1900s. Newspaper readership is declining, and most people use the internet and smartphones to obtain instant information for free through websites like Craigslist rather than buying a newspaper to read the classified section.
While some for-profit news corporations oppose this bill out of their own self-interest, it is not the government’s job to subsidize them, and they are absolutely welcome to revamp their business models and lower their rates to compete in the free market. Besides, we have already seen several North Carolina cities and towns adopt this practice of posting public notices, and their local newspapers are doing just fine.
Sen. Trudy Wade
State Not So Great
What is the current state of our state?
North Carolina continues to lag behind the US in reducing unemployment. The state House healthcare plan would jeopardize substance abuse treatment for thousands of North Carolinians. Lawmakers have failed to provide necessary funding for school districts to meet class size goals. The state Senate’s move to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations weakens, not strengthens, our economy. After several years of tax cuts, job growth in North Carolina remains sluggish and stagnant. The state poverty rate is at 16 percent with 23 percent of those being children.
In the words of John Rawls: “whether something is just or unjust depends on whether it promotes or hinders equality of access to human rights, opportunities for healthy and fulfilling lives, as well as whether it allocates a fair share of benefits to the least advantaged members of society.”
And always know and remember that as individuals and as a state our worth will be measured by how well we treat the poor among us.
Look Who’s Highest
Just an FYI. Here are the city property tax rates (excluding county taxes) in North Carolina.
High Point .65
Rocky Mount .6050
I read with mixed emotions the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department decision to arm its deputies with Glock handguns.
Glock firearms are the brainchild of Mr. Gaston Glock, an Austrian military contractor.
Mr. Glock is credited with using military-grade polymer (mistakenly called plastic) in production of his weapons. Lightweight and strong, Glock handguns are now issued to almost 70 percent of all law enforcement agencies.
His design, however, has one major flaw – a lack of an adequate safety. Glock handguns do not have a manual safety.
Consider this: A nervous rookie cop is holding a murder suspect at gunpoint with a Glock handgun, with only a six-pound trigger pull and no manual safety. Does this not sound like an accident waiting to happen? I think you see my point. In a high-stress situation, police need the safest gun possible.
I hope that in the future, police agencies will consider this safety flaw in what is otherwise a fine handgun.
What a Country
There’s much rending of garments, gnashing of teeth and wailing of frustration within the halls of the Democratic National Convention building. There are rumors they’re putting bars on the upper level windows to prevent people from throwing themselves out.
Why? Because their long anticipated Saint George the Trump Slayer turned out to be Don Quixote.
In fact, not only did former FBI Director James Comey not incriminate Trump, he turned loose a homing torpedo on dear leader and one of his personal minions, Loretta “Cover His Behind” Lynch. And the really interesting part is you now have a powerful Democratic Congress critter calling for an investigation into Lynch and her tarmac rendezvous with Slick Willy.
You’ve got to love it when the jackals start feeding on their own. Now the question is not if dear leader throws her under the bus, but will he toss her out front to be hit then run over? Given his record, my money is on the latter.
I want to know how a person who expressed such a high level of fear, nervousness and anxiety could be the head of the FBI. It’s obvious when you look at what he did and when he did it that he was trying to play both ends hoping he wouldn’t tick off either side enough to fire him when they won and still give the appearance of doing his job. The bad part is he got a million dollar book deal for being incompetent. To quote a comedian I once heard, “America, what a country.”
Meanwhile, more and more conservatives and some Republicans are getting the idea and meeting force with equal force when it comes to the leftist, communist, liberal social justice warrior attempts to turn this country socialist.
The battle cry of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it anymore” is beginning to ring across the country, even in California where conservatives mobbed a liberal Democrat’s town hall meeting and gave her a dose of the kind of the kind of tactics her side uses, minus the violence. They showed us the way.
Finally, one of the few decent people left in Hollywood passed away over the weekend. My generation’s Batman. Even though he was typecast by the role, rather than let it make him bitter, he took the lemons and made lemonade. RIP Adam West – a good and honorable man.
Go Galt and save the republic.
God is absolutely trustworthy. You can trust him to guide you and provide for you. Remember, “It is God who works in you both to will and do for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
Would you carefully consider doing the following?
Agree with God that you will follow him one day at a time. Agree to follow him even when he does not spell out the details. Agree that you will let him be your way.
Now consider praying this prayer: Lord, I will do anything that your kingdom requires of me. Wherever you want me to be, I’ll go. Whatever the circumstances, I’m willing to follow. If you want to meet a need through my life, I am your servant and I will do whatever is required.
Adding to the Fire
There is a video online now of Jersey City police officers kicking a man who is on fire. An innocent driver was hit by a car that was being chased by the police. You see the man rolling on the ground trying to put out the flames. The police show up with their guns drawn and start kicking the innocent man. Then they drag him away.
Why would the police do that? They thought that the burning man was the perpetrator that they were chasing.
I don’t think that police officers should beat up any person who is on fire, even if the person may have committed a crime. Police union representatives say that the officers were just trying to put out the flames. So far no police officers have been identified, fired or charged with any crimes.
Golf Prodigy in Town
The highest ranked junior golfer in the world, Karl Vilips, will be playing at the Sedgefield Country Club Course in Greensboro June 13 through June 15. The admission is free and if you’ve never seen young kids like Karl drive a ball 320 plus yards and hit 20 to 120 yard pitch shots consistently within inches to a few feet of the hole, you owe yourself a treat.
A little over two years ago, Karl requested to play from the same age group tees with my grandson, Grant Powell, who is now the current North Carolina Junior Champion. Both won in their age groups and even though Grant seemed to be hitting more greens, Karl was posting lower numbers. As Karl’s father rode alongside my cart I commented; “anytime Karl is within 100 yards of the green he consistently pitches his approach shots within inches of the hole.” His father responded: “Oh, Karl does not just try to get close; he tries to make them all.” And that’s what will be going on in Greensboro this week.
Lead Story Clicks
The Fox 8 WGHP newscast tonight, June 6, led off with an insignificant story about a car wreck last month. Apparently the deceased victims in this single vehicle wreck (so no one else to blame) were not wearing their seat belts, as Big Brother requires. So for five minutes the politically correct, subservient WGHP gave us a lecture about how we must all be good children and strap ourselves into our own cars, whether we like it or not. The insufferable Neill McNeill may as well have leaned towards the camera and intoned, “Click it or ticket.”
The national Fox network may be conservative but the local affiliate is as statist and PC as CNN.
If they really believed that a warmed-over story about a car wreck last month was the basis to lead off the 6 o’clock news bulletin, perhaps they should have mentioned other aspects of the incident. Fox 8 didn’t think you deserved to know that the accident happened at 3:30 a.m., that no other vehicles were involved, and that the names of the deceased are Jorge Luis Fernandez-Torres, Alejandra Chan-Carrasco and Irma Torres-Patino. God bless the victims, for such crashes are always horrific and tragic. But there are other issues here. Fox 8 was uninterested in whether the vehicle carried current insurance coverage, but what if the vehicle (which carried seven occupants) had hit another North Carolina family? Were these people even in the US legally? And why was the driver unable to drive in a straight line on an empty and wide Interstate highway? Was he impaired?
These are legitimate, important, front-burner issues but they were of no interest at all to WGHP, as they preferred to use the story as a pretext for a pro-government, anti-liberty, politically correct “Click it or ticket” screed.
What does that tell you about WGHP?
Spite Not Right
The June 1 issue of the Rhino included a letter from anonymous regarding health care. “The president and Congress seem bent on overturning Obamacare just for spite and not thinking about the health and wellness of Americans,” wrote anonymous.
I have had the very same thought. Some folks just don’t want Obama to get the credit he deserves for doing something good for the American people.
Obamacare is not perfect, but it provides health care for millions of Americans who could not otherwise afford it.
Nobody wants to talk about what happens to people who have no health insurance. Should we leave them to die in the streets? One way to make America great is by taking care of each other.
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