April 2011

Budget time is just around the corner.  As our local and County Commissioners ponder whether they’ll try and stick us with another tax increase, let’s take a quick look at the size and pay of our local government.

Employment figures put out by the NCESC show that local governments in Dare County have not yet come to grips with the fact that it’s time to tighten the old belt.  Employment and wages in the private sector have suffered while our local governments plod merrily along, feeling no pain.

Since 2006, private sector employment in Dare County has decreased (more…)


In a recent interview with WTKR, Republican Dare County Commissioner Mike Johnson declared, “I’m a conservative Republican and hate taxes…” Anyone familiar with Commissioner Johnson’s record on taxes would know that Johnson is taking a few liberties here. The record shows that Commissioner Mike Johnson has twice voted for County budgets that include property tax increases.

His first vote for a property tax increase came in 2006 when the property tax was raised 1 cent per $1,000 value. Then last year, Commissioner Mike Johnson voted for a 2 cent property tax increase. If this is how a conservative Republican governs, I’d hate to see what kind of increases we’d have if he was not conservative.

Will Johnson try and shore up his conservative bona-fides by opposing a tax increase this year?  I predict not.  I think he’ll try for one more tax increase to give himself a cushion for the 2012 budget.  Then in 2012, he’ll ‘get serious’ about cutting spending.  That’s when we’ll see his conservative side.  Until then, expect politics as usual.

Former NC State Senator Fred Hobbs this week pleaded guilty to charges stemming from illegal campaign donations he made to prominent North Carolina Democrats including former Senator Marc Basnight and Governor Beverly Perdue.   Mr. Hobbs joins the illustrious Rusty ‘I thought my cat could contribute’ Carter in the club of North Carolina elites who committed campaign finance fraud in the name of helping their friends in Raleigh.  But were they just helping their friends?  Or was there a quid pro quo?  We’ll never know.  Both Mr. Carter and his wife were appointed by the Governor to the Board of Trustees at UNC.  Mr. Hobbs’ engineering firm has been the recipient of millions in grants from various North Carolina boards and commissions.  The  system we have in North Carolina for doling out appointments and money to political favorites is a fertile breeding ground for corruption.

Both Hobbs and Carter used their employees as straw men to make political campaign donations to Marc Basnight and Beverly Perdue and others over the course of a decade. The employees were reimbursed for their donations.  Hobbs was fined a record (more…)