Up-to-date analysis of the local political landscape
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
The Naked Power That Should Embarrass Every Fair-Minded North Carolinian
Senate Bill 10, passed on a party-line vote yesterday in a NC Senate committee, would simply fire all existing members of several key consumer and environmental boards and allow the Republican Governor to replace those members with his own partisans (more details below). "What have [board members] done to deserve being fired?" asked Sen. Josh Stein (D--Wake County). Chief sponsor of S10, Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) answered rather frankly that the bill will give the Republicans "a political edge." No kidding! The boards subject to mass firings were created by the General Assembly to protect consumers, injured workers, and the environment. "They're going after everything so they can put their stamp on it," Sen. Stein warned. "Commissions are supposed to be independent; they're not supposed to be ideological. And I fear they're trying to politicize state government in a way that will hurt North Carolinians."
Sen. Rabon's bill (S10) would fire all the existing members
of the following important boards and commissions, and you have to guess what a
wholly partisan membership, appointed by a Republican governor, will do once
they're installed. (That's Sen. Rabon pictured to the left, looking extraordinarily unembarrassed.)
The North Carolina Utilities
Commission: regulates the rates and services of all public
utilities in North Carolina, including electric, telephone, natural gas, water,
wastewater, water resale, household goods transportation, busses, brokers, and
The Environmental Management
Commission: responsible for adopting rules for the protection,
preservation and enhancement of the state's air and water resources.
The Coastal Resources
Commission: establishes policies for the N.C. Coastal Management
Program and adopts implementing rules for both CAMA and the N.C. Dredge and Fill
Act. The commission designates areas of environmental concern, adopts rules and
policies for coastal development within those areas, and certifies local
The North Carolina Lottery
Commission: supervises and administers the education
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources
Commission: conserves North Carolina’s wildlife resources and
their habitats and provides programs and opportunities that allow hunters,
anglers, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy wildlife-associated
J.W. Williamson was the founding editor in 1972 of the Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review, which he edited until July of 2000. He has taught college classes in Appalachian history, cultural politics, and literature, and he has lectured widely on the pop-culture history of "Appalachia" in the American consciousness. His books include Interviewing Appalachia, Southern Mountaineers in Silent Films, and Hillbillyland: What the Mountains Did to the Movies and What the Movies Did to the Mountains. He has won the Thomas Wolfe Award given by the Western North Carolina Historical Society, the Laurel Leaves Award given by the Appalachian Consortium, a special Weatherford Award given by Berea College, and the Cratis Williams-James Brown Award given by the Appalachian Studies Association.
The views expressed on WataugaWatch are solely those of J.W. Williamson or individual contributors and are not necessarily shared nor endorsed by the Watauga County Democratic Party nor by any other adults of sound mind in this or any other universe.