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Carter Wrenn: Teacher raises may not buy GOP lawmakers love

Carter Wrenn, the veteran GOP strategist, writes that raising teacher salaries, won't necessarily by the Republican legislature love in his blog post Talking About Politics.

"After Democrats ran an ad in State House Districts, something akin to a shockwave rippled down the hallways of the General Assembly, unsettling the less stouthearted Republican legislators.

"Last fall, after the last election House Republicans, riding high, assumed, We won. People love us. We can do what we want. They did. Then their poll numbers dropped. Then that ad hit. Then a cry went up from the unsettled, If we just give teachers raises – people will love us again.

"But are pay raises actually the reason for House Republicans’ shrinking poll numbers?"

Read the entire post here.

Carter Wrenn: Free markets vs the hospitals, how power works in the legislature

"Republican legislators, for years, have stood up and spoken up for free markets," writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog, Talking About Politics.

"It’s part of their creed. They don’t like government picking ‘winners and losers.’ But when a group of Republican legislators in Raleigh decided to sponsor a bill to break the hospitals’ monopoly on outpatient surgeries and put the free market to work – it didn’t appeal to the Hospital Association at all.

"Right now, before, say, an orthopedic surgeon can do outpatient surgeries in his office instead of in a hospital, he has to get a permit called a ‘Certificate of Need’ from the state. And his chances of getting that certificate are slim to none."

Carter Wrenn: The political education of Aldona Wos

"The same day the Democrats tore into Crime Control Secretary Kieran Shanahan they also let fly at Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Aldana Wos,'' writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog, Talking About Politics.

"Now doctors are a complex group of highly intelligent people who labor under a singular handicap: They’ve mastered one incredibly complex subject (say, neurosurgery) no one else can fathom so naturally, after that, they figure whatever else comes along they’re more than a match for it – they can just put their ‘little grey cells’ to work and figure it out too. But neurosurgery is no preparation for politics.

"Dr. Wos is an interesting lady – born in Warsaw, she earned her medical degree in Poland then practiced medicine in New York, married, moved to Greensboro, helped Liddy Dole and George Bush in their campaigns, and then President Bush appointed her Ambassador to Estonia."

Carter Wrenn: Berger is a rare politician -- one with courage

"There’re a lot of clever politicians and smart politicians but there’re not many politicians with the courage to take a stand they know is unpopular," writes veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn on his blog, Talking About Politics.

"The other day, baffled by the raft of tax reform plans floating around the State Legislature, I asked an economist to explain the virtues of ‘consumption taxes’ to me – and he did in a simple way even an economic illiterate like me can understand: He said, Income is good, investment is good, saving is good – so tax them less; spending (consumption) is not so good – so tax it more.

"Senate Leader Phil Berger sees eye to eye with that economist and he means to reform North Carolina’s tax code to base it on ‘consumption taxes.’ "

Gary Pearce: On Democratic dysfunction

"Someone asked the obvious question: “Why do Democrats elect fools like David Parker and Randy Voller chairman?” writes veteran Democratic consultant Gary Pearce in his blog Talking about Politics.

"It’s a “governance crisis,” said one thoughtful Democrat and former statewide candidate. “The chairman is selected by 600 people on the executive committee, most of whom know nothing about getting elected statewide.”

"There always has been tension between Democratic activists and Democratic elected officials. Party people blasted Governor Hunt for his “keys” organization, built around people who were leaders in their cities and communities, but not necessarily party activists."

Carter Wrenn on the politics of Internet sweepstakes poker

Carter Wrenn, a Republican political consultant, muses on his blog, Talking About Politics, about Internet sweepstakes.

"Who’d have thought it was possible – the Internet sweepstakes poker parlor folks have offered ‘to put $500 million’ in the state treasury – if the legislators will just see the light and let them stay in business.

"Whoever heard of anybody volunteering to pay half a billion dollars in taxes? You have to wonder how much people in North Carolina are spending while sitting in Internet sweepstakes parlors? A billion? $2 billion? $5 billion?

Gary Pearce: Give the Republicans enough rope

Gary Pearce, a Democratic consultant, writes in his blog, Talking About Politics, about all the GOP legislation.

"A group of Democrats was decrying the blizzard of bad bills they see from the legislature: cutting education, attacking renewable energy, making it harder for teens to get health care, loosening gun restraints, on and on. They were talking about what could be done to slow down the storm or persuade Governor McCrory to exercise some judgment.

Pearce: GOP is showing fault lines

Raleigh Republicans’ once-united front is fraying. There was Rep. Larry Pittman’s non-apology apology to Speaker Tillis (“I’m not sorry I said it; I’m sorry I got caught.”) One wit noted that it read like a hostage letter. Was he waterboarded?

Then there’s renewable energy. Some Republicans chafed at the pressure behind the bill to abolish the renewable-energy portfolio, especially those whose districts have jobs and investments at stake. There are also those who worry about the signals the legislature is sending to companies looking at North Carolina (“We’re in a race to the bottom with Mississippi” and “No contract is safe with us in town.”)

The party that once chided Democrats for heavy-handed rule now routinely gavel through bills regardless of how members voted, including their own.

Carter Wrenn: Democrats reaping the whirlwind for their own election misdeeds

"Last week Gary(Pearce) thoughtfully wrote a squib (below) urging people to visit young Thomas Mills’ new website PoliticsNC – so I did," writes Republican consultant Carter Wrenn in his blog Talking about politics. "And got a surprise. Young Mr. Mills was – genially – taking me to task for writing how the Democrats passing voter laws (over the years) to elect Democrats, had led to Republicans (once they had power) doing the same thing to elect Republicans, which, taken altogether, was a pretty good example of how one sin begets another – the political version of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth with no remorse anywhere."

Gary Pearce: The GOP plan to privatize the schools

"The Republicans’ education agenda finally comes into focus: It’s about creating a market for private enterprise. They want to privatize Medicaid and privatize the Department of Commerce, so why not privatize schools?" So writes Democratic political consultant in his blog Talking About Politics.

It’s the only thing that makes sense. You might be wondering: How do they propose to make public schools better when they demonize and demoralize teachers, take teacher assistants out of the classroom and increase class sizes? (And, at the same time, demand that schools teach the Bible, cursive writing and, for all we know, creationism.)

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