Legislature pushes state into a freefall to the right

op frJust a few more dollars, that’s all. When you get your car fixed or a new dishwasher installed, now you’ll have to pay the 7 percent sales tax on the labor provided by the mechanic or the repairman. As you pay, give a nod to the state legislature’s decision to tax a few more services as part of its ongoing reform that moves North Carolina further toward a reliance on consumption taxes versus income taxes.

A new ranking released this week by WalletHub pegs North Carolina as the 50th worst place in the country for public school teachers. We managed to beat out West Virginia but have been passed by economic powerhouses like Mississippi and Washington, D.C. (there were 51 spots, including D.C.) The ranking is based on median starting salary, pupil-to-teacher ratio and per pupil spending. Our 50th spot was — you guessed it — up one spot from last year.

GOP’s Trump problem won’t be easily resolved

op frI would wager that I despise politics just about as much as you do. Whatever your political affiliation, we would probably agree that the system is broken, that politicians on both sides of the aisle are too beholden to special interests, and that all too often, we end up voting against someone far more passionately than we ever vote for someone. Maybe that is just a different way of saying that we usually vote for the lesser of two evils.

Another thing that we might agree on is that politics is much too often the Theater of the Absurd, in which candidates — many of whom are extravagantly wealthy — are rebranded as “common folk” to appeal to the electorate. Without question, the vast majority of political ads we see these days are attack ads, ad hominem attacks on the character of the opponent, but on those occasions when we do get a glimpse of the candidate, the staging will be very studied and precise, calculated in such a way to convey the same message: he or she is just one of us.

State should leave well enough alone at the local level

op frThe North Carolina Senate has become emboldened in its partisanship over the last couple of years, and there appears to be no end in sight. Under the leadership of Sen. Phil Berger, the president pro tem, and his troops — including our own Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin — it has ventured so far to the right and is making moves that are so politically heavy-handed that even Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-controlled state House often call foul.

Rep. Meadows ousted from chairmanship

fr meadowsU.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, recently paid the political price for not toeing his party line.

New leaders of Haywood GOP must prove their mettle

op frTurning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ….

— The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats

The dissension among Haywood County Republicans took a decisive turn last week at the party’s convention, signaling a new era for the GOP in Haywood. The question many are now asking is just how the new group will lead. One thing  for certain is they won’t be leading from the center, not this group.

For better or worse, a new day dawns for the embattled Haywood GOP

fr GOPA new guard sewed up its takeover of the Haywood County GOP at the party’s annual convention last weekend.

Embroiled Haywood GOP factions to settle the score at Saturday’s convention

A long-awaited showdown in the internal power struggle for control of the Haywood County Republican Party will play out this Saturday during the party’s annual convention.

N.C. GOP leadership likes to bully opposition

op GOPBy Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

Whether they strut across schoolyards or along the polished halls of a state capital, all bullies are alike. They have to be the boss of everything. They can’t stand anyone who talks back. But they can be beaten.

For now, though, the bullies are on a roll in North Carolina.

Haywood GOP insider charged with cyberstalking party volunteer

fr GOPinternEditor's note: The cyberstalking allegations against Monroe Miller were dismissed by a judge following court testimony on March 24, 2015.

Monroe Miller, a watchdog and critic of county government and member of the so-called “patriot faction” of the Haywood County Republican Party, was charged with the misdemeanor of cyberstalking last week.

The charges were taken out by Savannah Tedesco, a 24-year-old woman. She was a volunteer precinct chair in the Haywood GOP but was in the mainstream of the party and not part of Miller’s faction.

Haywood GOP members draw the line over inflammatory emails

coverMonroe Miller is no stranger to the inbox.

Hundreds of emails from Miller have peppered the email accounts of people in Haywood County over the past five years, targeting those he believes have misstepped.

SEE ALSO:
GOP insider charged with cyberstalking party volunteer
To snag a cyberstalker

His targets are accused of being inept or under-handed — and sometimes both. Miller summons large audiences to the email chain, roping in spectators through the cc line to witness the latest attack.

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