Region’s lawmakers score low for effectiveness

By JON HAWLEY

The Daily Advance

27 Comments | Leave a Comment

It’s no secret the change in the Albemarle’s legislative delegation over the past three years has led to a change in the perception of the region’s political clout in Raleigh.

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Comments

Best Choices for Our Area!

The best choices for legislators serving our area are either Judy Krahenbuhl or former Senator Stan White, and Garry Meiggs. They are better for our area than Senator Bill Cook and Rep Bob Steinburg. We will work diligently to vote our Senator Cook and Rep Steinburg, both who have been proven to be bad for public education and our area. We will launch an Obama style campaign to make sure both are only one-term legislators. We will work with America Votes and other stakeholders to vote them out of office. This coming legislative session (2014) could be a different scenario than this past year and the prior year but public school educators cannot live on promises anymore. I do commend the salary increases promised for the next two years for those teachers at the bottom of the pay scale. It is a beginning however, we cannot trust anyone at this point. I look forward to future dialoguing on how I perceive what is happening to public education. I am only just beginning. Happy Easter!

Glad to see you

add President Obama to your list of people whom you admire.

Don't leave out Hillary.

As a liberal Democrat, I'm sure she's right at the top of his list as well. Small things like $6 Billion(with a B, missing while she was Secretary of State) and 4 Americans murdered in Benghazi, while asking for help aren't important. What difference does it make?

Sorry. Can't have it both ways.

Can't trust, "anyone" for you translates to, can't trust any Republican. I am investigating the NCAE teacher membership numbers compared to the number of teachers County by County. I will post my results. The NCAE charges several hundred dollars I believe for a teacher annually to be a member of the NCAE. It would be interesting to see how many teachers as a percentage this group actually represents. Care to provide that information on your organization, Mr. Harris, In the meantime, I will remind people how your NCAE organization really feels about Republicans and they can gage how effective you can be at influencing legislation on their behalves, My former post to Mr. Harris-"While you are teaching Sunday school or reflecting on faith over this Easter holiday, I hope you do some personal reflection about feeling so free to indict public servants with your declarations that characterize their intentions. It is one thing to disagree about policy and to debate specific ideas and disagree, to even claim you believe such policy or idea could "destroy public education" but to be so completely arrogant and pious as to presume to know that is the INTENT of legislators to destroy public education is so out of line in my opinion, I will really struggle to ever respect you again. Your words, Sir, "Our Republican led General Assembly is intent on destroying public education". No wonder this Country is unable to have productive dialogue about ideas". I am only just beginning too. Isn't the First Amendment wonderful? Indeed, Happy Easter.

Rep Paul Tine

Rep Paul Tine is an up and coming legislator. I see a great future for him in our State. He listens to his constituents. You're right Unaffiliated, as a reasonable Democrat, Rep Tine can be much more effective than a radical Tea Party Republican like Steinburg. Thanks for sharing.

Teacher Pay Data

I'd like to see what this "ranked 46th in the nation" claim is based upon. It sounds bogus. Why don't we compare teacher pay with other states in the Southeast? BTW, I'm glad to pay taxes on my Daily Advance subscription. Since I can remember, they've called for tax increases on everybody/everything else.

Teacher Resignations!

There are too many teacher resignations happening and school officials admit it is harder to keep high-quality educators in the classrooms with students. The Wake Superintendent of Public Schools stated that teacher pay has emerged as a major issue likely to figure in state and local elections. North Carolina ranks 46th in teacher pay. This is alarming for our state to be losing so many teachers, good teachers. Now Governor McCrory and GOP legislators say fiscal challenges could prevent the state from giving raises to veteran teachers. Thank you Governor McCrory, Senator Bill Cook, Rep Bob Steinburg, and other legislators for voting in the new state tax plan which will prevent you from giving veteran teachers raises. We must get our message out there on what these Republicans have done to our state.

Again.

For a man who repeatedly claims he represents a bipartisan organization, this is what he repeats over and over."Our Republican led General Assembly is intent on destroying public education". If anyone thinks this represents anything like bipartisanship, you will have to explain it to me. No Republican legislator anywhere should give the NCAE the time of day with this kind of leadership. Making comments like this while telling your members to pay dues so the group can supposedly influence legislation is so disingenuous it makes me cringe.This isn't debating policy. This is a CHARACTERIZATION of INTENT. I am going to repost this statement and my opinion about it every time I see such a post by the NCAE leadership.

I don't believe a thing Mr. C. Dorsey Harris says.

I've caught him lying on these blogs before and when caught, he admitted it. That was after he first denied it. Reading his opinion is a waste of time.

Check the posts.

Do some brief research on the web and you will see the Democrat talking points cut and pasted. I would love to know the rankings of Basnight and Owens their freshman year in the legislature.

Paul Tine

Paul Tine, a freshman democrat, was rated 51st, much higher than lowly Steinburg. So when the tea party Republicans say we should re-elect Steinburg and Cook since they will likely be part of the probable majority, just point to Paul Tine. It shows that a reasonable Democrat can be much more effective than a radical Tea Party Republican like Steinburg.

Facts, maybe?

Paul Tine is a very hard worker and guess what, he voted with the REPUBLICANS over and over. Like Rep. Bill Owens he works with both sides of the aisle. No one who would satisfy Mr. Harris' NCAE would ever get a decent ranking and opportunity to influence.

By the way....

I believe the education positions were eliminated because federal funding through the TARP act help fund these positions and it was eliminated. These are positions that were added because of limited Federal funding and eliminated when funding dried up. Which is also a good reason not to expand Medicaid....he who giveth can alway taketh away................

Taxes were raised by our GOP Led House & Senate

Our Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives is Thom Tillis. Our Senate President Pro Tem is Phil Berger. Both are Republicans, both lead Republican majorities – including a nearly two-to-one majority in the Senate, and both voted along with Senator Bill Cook and Rep Bob Steinburg to raise taxes in North Carolina in 2013. The sales tax for a new manufactured or modular home more than doubled and the tax caps in place were repealed. The taxes on electricity and natural gas went up significantly, essentially doubling as well. Sales taxes were expanded to include the cost of going to a movie, or to call a plumber to the house. There is now a 50-percent tax on the sales of newspapers sold through a coin-operated paper box. This does nothing to increase readership or encourage the proper dissemination of information. The GOP repealed the sales tax holiday for school supplies, which really didn’t dent the retailers since everybody who cares about their child’s education still had to buy that stuff anyway. The Raleigh Republicans increased the taxes on farmers’ sales of agricultural products and purchases of the tools of their trade. On the other hand, they did keep in place special tax incentives for their friends in NASCAR and Hollywood.

Check your facts:

Sales tax will apply to sales of newspapers by street vendors and by door-to-door newspaper carriers. However, sales of newspapers through coin-operated vending machines are taxed differently: only 50% of the sales price is subject to state and local sales taxes. That means if you purchase a paper for a $1 in a vending machine only .50 is subject to the sales tax which would amount to .03375 cents. And yes sales tax was expanded to services because we have become a service economy. One reason for not raising sales tax to 7.75% is that it encourages border counties to shop in in NC vs in Virginia where sales tax is 5.5%. Also it spreads the pain. In Elizabeth City the sales tax on a movie theatre was increased by less than .30. I hae seen no widespread anger. Where is the anger on the taxes on my cell phone that provide free phones to others. Now that's something to be angry about. Why have a sales tax holiday?....it's a nightmare for retailers and the goods and supplies are going to be purchased regardless....and ironically local and state sales tax revenue is important in funding education. Frankly I don't think anyone should be exempted especially NASCAR and Hollywood, but I don't get to make the rules. What I can do is politely and civilly write or phone my legislator and encourage them to look at leveling the playing field for all concerns. As far as the sales tax on electricity and natural gas....that it is a hard call, especially in this area where we have high utility bills. What it does do is give everyone the opportunity to put some financial skin in the game. I have found that many times when I do not agree with something, if I am privy to all the facts that were used in making the case I can understand why a decision was made. And if I don't agree, I can make a case of my own. Regardless, spiteful anger, mis-representing the facts and the constant henny penny "the sky is falling" parade is growing old and not furthering any dialogue on critical issues. Betsy Meads

Leaders Of Change

It is wonderful to have representatives that support the much needed changes in NC. The Republicans have brought down the unemployment rate, cut our personnel taxes, and sought to bring our education standards up. New teachers have had the largest pay increase in decades and the rest of the teachers are on the agenda this year. This is more than ex Governor did. These gentlemen have brought innovation and accountability to our public school systems.

senator Cook & Rep Steinburg

Both Senator Cook and Rep Steinburg voted for the following: Eliminated 9,306.5 education positions; provided no pay increase for educators continuing NC's race to the bottom of national salaries, adopted a $50 million school voucher program while gutting public schools; eliminated career status for all teachers; cut textbook funding by $77.4 million dollars; cut classroom supply funding by $45.7 million and provided no COLA for retired educators. Senator Cook and Rep Steinburg are not good for northeastern NC.

Again.

For a man who repeatedly claims he represents a bipartisan organization, this is what he repeats over and over."Our Republican led General Assembly is intent on destroying public education". If anyone thinks this represents anything like bipartisanship, you will have to explain it to me. No Republican legislator anywhere should give the NCAE the time of day with this kind of leadership. Making comments like this while telling your members to pay dues so the group can supposedly influence legislation is so disingenuous it makes me cringe.This isn't debating policy. This is a CHARACTERIZATION of INTENT. I am going to repost this statement and my opinion about it every time I see such a post by the NCAE leadership.

I notice that you wrote continuing

the race to the bottom, which indicates the direction was already going that way when Republicans took over. I will allow you that this is your opinion, but others feel differently including that there has to be alternatives to struggling schools. What I find troubling is that it is the NCAE who cries that teachers are being blamed for the problems in education. That is far from true.... we appreciate the struggles that teachers have but at some point you have to agree that doing the same thing over and over and not getting results is putting us in the position we are in. Sometimes it's time to color outside the lines, and be creative about what is necessary to help teachers, students and our economy. I have heard no new recommendations from the NCAE except MO' Money! What amazes me is that the NCAE would encourage teachers to leave $2000 on the table to support their effort to block the elimination of tenure. This indicates again the cream of the crop in our education field are asked to suffer for the very small group of teachers that the NCAE is trying to protect. I would think that any teacher offered this $500 stipend for the next four years would be exceedingly proud of being in the "top of the class" of educators and welcome any monetary award. The teachers that are awarded this distinction and it is a distinction, are being asked to give back something theyy have earned and are never recognized for.

In 2008 two members of the

Pasquotank Board of Elections, a democrat and a republican sent a written request to Bill Owens pleading for him to introduce a Voter ID bill as a result of what we had encountered in elections. Without contacting us directly, he sent word that he couldn't do it. 70% of voters think Voter ID is necessary and Cook and Steinburg listened to their constiuents. Teacher pay started dropping under this same Democratic leadership. The Democratic leadership borrowed heavily from the government to have some of the highest unemployment payments in the country, a great incentive for people to move here and remain idle. This money had to be paid back, and is, under Republican leadership, and by the way our unemployment rate has also dropped. The NC Pension fund was also underfunded during the Democratic tenure, posing risks for our teachers and state workers in their most vulnerable years. The Republicans have created steps to protect that asset. The NC lottery, remember, it was passed at midnight, when several voters weren't there by a tie vote broken by Beverly Perdue. The money was all supposed to go to education. But, who raided that fund? Democrats. Steinburg is one of the most visible legislators in the state. He travels almost seven days a week throughout his district and he doesn't pander. He doesn't tell you one thing, and do something different when he gets to Raleigh. If he doesn't agree with you, he doesn't lie to you to make nice. A remarkable trait in a politician. But obviously not something educators appreciate. He talks to his constiuents daily, "friend and foe" and he is willing to research an item and has been known to change his mind, which creates more bad press for him. I would also like to point out that the most impressed that I have ever been with Cook - Mobley & Steinburg, was in December when they faced off with residents of Pasquotank and a request from the Pasquotank County Commissioners for legislation to be introduced in Raleigh taking the right from our citizens to vote on a heated issue away. All three of these legislators agreed that the 4-2-1 redistricting plan should be decided by the residents of Pasquotank County. Black and White, Male and Female, Democrat and Republican - these three legislators knew what was right and for that, I find them most effective in serving their constituents in this area. These three legislators have made numerous visits to ECSU, realizing the importance of this institution to our community. Cook and Steinburg are front and center on the Free Trade Zone, that could bring much needed industry to our corridor. To my knowledge they are not bringing incentive money to this area to prop up property that they own, but to bring economic viability to all of our residents. Cook and Steinburg voted to reduce income taxes on ALL tax paying citizens of NC. Reducing corporate taxes is an incentive for companies to move here and hire.....and give our NC residents good jobs to made a decent living. Under Republican leadership they are looking at a teacher pay table that hasn't changed since it was instituted in the 1930's and certainly has not kept up with the times. But increases in teacher pay cannot be the only item on the table, State workers have also been denied pay increases due to the economy and deserve attention. At the NCAE teacher forum consisting of FIVE area Democrats what was their answer across the board for all the ills in NC? INCREASE TAXES! On video, we should have increased the sales tax, and we shouldn't cut taxes. How many times can you go to that glass to drink without hurting the NC citizens. It is time for fiscal responsibility. I listened in horror last night as I was told of a sixth grader who got pregnant and had her baby. The mother and father are AWOL and a grandmother is raising many grandchildren. Food is scarce and the first 5 or 6 who get to the table first get fed. The rest don't. So this seventh grader is pregnant again, why? because she received money for the first child and sees the second as another pay day. Unfortunately she doesn't realize that this will be two more trying to get to the table in time to eat. And we all know if this is income is for the mother, that the infants are going without. These children, without guidance at home, hungry, and starved for something money can't buy are sent to school each day to become a recurring headache for our teachers. At Steinburg's education forum, pay was secondary to teachers pleading for help with discipline and assistance from parents. Unfortunatly, this can't be legislated. Disagree with me? - I have it on video. At this same forum, when inequities in education were discussed what did Dorsey Harris do? He shouted from the audience for the moderator to "SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN". Certainly not a respectable way for an "educator" to act in public. What have we created in our benevolent society? where we pay for votes? Our teachers are living the nightmare. Now, I've given you reasons why our legislators are effective, I challenge you to give me some reasons why they are not effective! and we don' like them doesn't count. Betsy Meads

NCAE forum

It should be noted that Steinburg and Cook were invited to the forum you mentioned. Steinburg backed out the afternoon of the forum. It was not a forum for Democrats; Republicans were also invited. It was a public forum to allow area citizens a chance to ask questions and get information about the candidates so they can make informed decisions when they vote. Tina Lunt

Rankings

Maybe the fact that Basnight and Owens spent twenty+years in Raleigh had something to do with that.

Really?

Is anyone surprised? Ms. Mobley is as effective as anyone could expect in a Republican-dominated Legislature. What is the excuse for Steinburg and Cook? Can either of them cite exactly what they have done for this district?

Really, Ms. James?

Check-out Ms. Mobley's rankings in all prior years when DEMs were in control. Do you have any interest in being informaed or do you just flop in the wind believing whatever biased garbage is printed? Any interest in knowing Bill Owens ranking his freshman year-1995? How about 71!!!!! What a sad commentary the sheep to the slaughter mentality has become in this country, especially those proclaiming their profound education.

Weak and Ineffective

Steinburg and Cook have walked in lockstep with and done everything Governor McPope and the piedmont area leadership told them to do, first and foremost, they have helped try to undo everything positive Marc Basnight and Bill Owens had done to help the northeast during the last 20 years. They voted to end funding and any hope for the mid-county bridge, as well as to re-allocate half of the region's highway funds to other parts of the state. They are trying to force ferry toll charges for our ferries including Knotts Island. They are working every day to destroy public education in favor of charter schools, including voting to re-allocate public school money for private school vouchers($50 million next year). They proudly voted to reduce taxes on the rich and corporations, while increasing taxes on everyone by charging sales taxes on more services such as our utility bills. They are foot soldiers in the plan to make sure the tea party republicans are able to destroy our state government, our university system, our community colleges, and of course, our public schools. However, now that it is an election year and their polling shows how unpopular their draconian policies are, they are back-stepping on many of their votes. Neither Steinburg nor Cook are respected in Raleigh, since even the Republican leadership see them as weak members. Both will forever be ineffective in Raleigh. Hopefully, for the good of the Northeast, that forever, politically speaking, will be this November.

Two Bad Legislators Here in our Area!

We have two of the worst legislators representing us here in northeastern NC. Both Senator Bill Cook and Rep Bob Steinburg should be voted out of office. And we will try to do so.

Mr. Harris.

While you are teaching Sunday school or reflecting on faith over this Easter holiday, I hope you do some personal reflection about feeling so free to indict public servants with your declarations that characterize their intentions. It is one thing to disagree about policy and to debate specific ideas and disagree, to even claim you believe such policy or idea could "destroy public education" but to be so completely arrogant and pious as to presume to know that is the INTENT of legislators to destroy public education is so out of line in my opinion, I will really struggle to ever respect you again. Your words, Sir, "Our Republican led General Assembly is intent on destroying public education". No wonder this Country is unable to have productive dialogue about ideas.

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