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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion Letters

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”(Sir Walter Scott)

Senator Jim Davis’s letter to the editor in the May 2, Smoky Mountain News disputes remarks made by Ed Morris’s April 25th letter in the Smoky Mountain News. Dr. Morris wrote that Sen. Jim Davis wrote that teaching jobs had been fully funded. To quote Davis - “What he (Ed Morris) heard me say is the present state budget funded 2,100 more K-12 teaching jobs than the previous budget…” Davis also blames the 800 fewer teaching jobs on the loss of federal stimulus money. I don’t know what Dr. Morris may or may not have heard Senator Davis SAY. However, in a letter in June 6, 2011, Franklin Press, Senator Davis wrote “The 2011-2012 budget funds all teachers and teacher assistants.” In guest commentary in the September 18, 2011, Asheville Citizen Times Senator Davis wrote “It is a fact that teachers and teacher assistants were fully funded in the new state budget.”

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Ed Morris (Macon County Democratic Party Chair - April 26) offers the expected slanted view that Democrats are good, Republicans are bad, implying that if we just elect more Democrats all will be well in River City. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Our children deserve more than to have one party demonized and the other glorified. Mr. Morris and I view the American scene very differently.

It occurred to me many years ago that words mean all things to all people. Where Mr. Morris sees a “safety net,” I see a web of entrapment which has lured four (possibly five) generations into a lifetime of poverty and suppression. Government programs don't just help people in need, they create a lifestyle enticing millions of Americans into a trap.

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Do you remember “hanging-chads?” Those were the tiny little punch-out holes on Florida ballots that gave George Bush the presidency in 2001 and made Florida the land of bad elections. As a direct result of that fiasco, Congress passed the 'Help America Vote Act or HAVA, which gave money to the states to improve their election systems. Over $4 million of that money is still in N.C. banks ready to be spent on the 2012 election process.

In cash-strapped counties across the state, Election Boards are trying to find the money to conduct fair and efficient elections come November. That $4 million would go a long way to expand early voting, to ease access for the disabled, and ensure that everybody who wants to vote can vote. It would also expand computerized voter registration and record systems, and would greatly reduce the possibility of voter fraud.

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“No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” – Abraham Lincoln

I am going to give Senator Davis the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he suffers from a poor memory rather than a duplicitous character. He apparently does not remember a long and protracted discussion that took place at the Macon County public library on June 23, 2011. The objective of that well-attended meeting was to discuss the severe budget cuts to public education inflicted on North Carolina residents by the current Republican-led State General Assembly.

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published: 10/18/2013
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