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E-cigYou’ve got to hand it to the tobacco corporations and their high-priced lobbyists; when it comes to deceptive messaging and tactics, no one does it better than the merchants of death.  Apparently, nearly a century of practice really does make perfect in developing lies and half-truths and massaging them into feel-good media messages and legislation.

Consider the latest case in point in North Carolina. Big tobacco is currently ramming through legislation in both houses of the General Assembly that sounds as if it is all about motherhood and apple pie. The bill (which as been introduced and advanced in both the Senate and the House at the behest of the industry) operates under the title: “Prohibit E-Cigarette Sales to Minors.” 

“Electronic cigarettes” of “E-Cigarettes,”  as you probably have heard, are just the latest  tool for delivering life-threatening poison (i.e. addictive nicotine) to humans. E-cigs are already being advertised throughout the country as a hip and semi-safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. They’re already finding their way into schools and other places young people look for ways to be cool.   

Prohibiting their sale to kids sounds like a good idea, huh?

Unfortunately, Read More

Ready to cry “uncle” yet? The folks running the North Carolina General Assembly hope so.  As Chris Fitzsimon will discuss this afternoon in today’s Fitzsimon File, the reactionary legislation is coming so thick and fast these days at the General Assembly that it’s simply hard to keep up – much less speak out or have input.

It’s no wonder more and more good people are simply speaking with their feet and bodies.

Yet another classic (and likely to be under-reported) example of extreme and destructive legislation simply getting lost in the shuffle on Jones Street is this measure – which would  prevent North Carolina from seeking LEED certification for public buildings. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) the best known and most respected “green” building rating system.  

The measure, which will be heard this afternoon in the House Agriculture Committee at 1:00 pm in 643 LOB, Read More

Loan sharks…that high-interest loan companies in North Carolina “haven’t had a rate increase in 30 years”  tell him/her that this statement is, in a word, baloney (and feel free to use a stronger word).

#1: Inflation for lenders is accounted for through the issuance of larger and larger loans, not higher and higher interest rates. As with home and car loans, the average finance company loan in North Carolina 30 years ago was much smaller than it is today. It is simply absurd to even imply Read More

The wonks at the Budget and Tax Center are out with a new report — “Cutting corporate income taxes won’t be an economic boon for North Carolina” – that ought to be a “must read” for state government leaders.

It lists three top reasons for not cutting corporate taxes:

  1. Corporate income tax cuts don’t pay for themselves and put key investments at risk.
  2. A very small share of corporations would benefit.
  3. Corporations are unlikely to expand or relocate because of state income tax cuts

It’s a quick, too-the-point read that you should check out too. Click here to do so.

Fair fightCheck out this event to day if you get a chance!

LUCHADORAS TO FIGHT FOR TAX FAIRNESS ON TAX DAY

Turning Tax Day 2013 into a fun and memorable event with a serious call to action on Bicentennial Mall, 12:30 April 15th

RALEIGH, N.C. – Working families fed up with paying the costs for the lack of tax fairness will finally get a chance to settle the score between the people and the powerful when champions for both sides face off at a public wrestling match on Bicentennial Mall beginning at 12:30 P.M. on Monday, April 15th – Tax Day.

“We need a champion who will fight for justice and fairness, who will stand up to those in Congress who are holding the middle class hostage, who will challenge legislative leaders who want working folks to pay more so corporations can pay less,” said state AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, MaryBe McMillan, in calling for the Fair Fight. Read More