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Carolina Journal Radio No. 733: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down old N.C. congressional maps

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 733: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down old N.C. congressional maps

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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June 5, 2017 12:00 am

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down congressional election maps North Carolina used in 2012 and 2014. The justices agreed, 5-3, with a lower court that ruled two of the election districts were unconstitutional cases of racial gerrymandering. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, assesses the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling for the future of North Carolina elections. American presidents have dealt with disasters since the nation’s earliest days. But changes in society, including expectations of presidential action and the development of a 24/7 news cycle, have changed the White House’s approach to those disasters. Presidential historian Tevi Troy documents disaster management dilemmas in the book, Shall We Wake The President? Troy shares key themes from the book and names the best and worst presidents for disaster management. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has blamed Republican legislative leaders in recent weeks for their tax policies. Cooper’s criticism didn’t sit well with lawmakers such as Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland. During a recent news conference, Szoka compared the record of Republicans who have run the General Assembly since 2011 with that of their Democratic predecessors, including Cooper.  The Raise the Age initiative targeting 16- and 17-year-old criminal offenders gained some additional publicity this year thanks to the endorsement of N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin. Martin named as his No. 1 legislative priority the effort to treat nonviolent 16- and 17-year-olds as juveniles, rather than adults. You’ll hear highlights from a news conference featuring Martin and other vocal Raise the Age proponents. High Point is the latest North Carolina city considering spending millions of dollars for a downtown baseball stadium. Julie Tisdale, the John Locke Foundation’s city and county policy analyst, considers herself a fanatic baseball supporter. But Tisdale questions the wisdom of investing tax dollars for a private sports venture.

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Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

From Cherokee to current and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state presidents have been dealing with disasters.

Since our country's earliest days during a recent visit to Raleigh, a noted presidential historian highlighted the presidents of Dove the best job and those who done the worst job handling emergencies. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has had little good to say about Republican tax policies. His criticism prompted a response recently for one of the statehouse's top tax writers, the Chief Justice of North Carolina's Supreme Court is one of the top backers of an initiative called raise the aged deals with juvenile criminal offenders Euler why he supports it.

Plus will feature a critique of high points proposal to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for a downtown baseball stadium. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline, the United States Supreme Court has now spoken in a 5 to 3 ruling, the High Court has affirmed a lower court ruling that said, the congressional district maps North Carolina used for the 2012 and 2014 elections are discriminatory and cannot stand Rick Henderson is the editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal if he is here with us. To explain this latest ruling Rick welcome back.

Thank you. First of all are any election results impacted by this that nothing is taken place before now okay and it is a 5 to 3 ruling and if you study the Supreme Court you know that there are nine seats this the newest justice Nucor search did not take place in either the arguments of the deliberations for this case so that only eight justices were involved. Once the ruling say of the ruling basically says of interest. It's 80. It was a unanimous court ruling that the first congressional district appears to have some racial gerrymandering. That's northeastern North Carolina. That's basically district that stretches from the far northeastern corner of the state reaches of the Durham County now so it's a huge district of the five three-part effect of the 12 congressional district, a beautiful Messiah 85 district.

It roughly stretches from Charlotte to Greensboro and said that race was a factor. The predominant factor in deciding composition of that district and Rick as I recall, when the Republicans were drawing districts and they have the power now to draw districts because they were elected to majority. So if you thousand 10, when the new census came out. That's why you been drawing these districts. I will call them that we saying that they are paying particular attention to going by previous rulings and making sure that everything was in line and would pass legal muster.

So what happened well, they got preclearance from the Justice Department for these, but subsequently Supreme Court ruled that that preclearance may not be sufficient that there are issues about what aspects of the voting rights act apply to cases that are brought on racial grounds so that apparently preclearance didn't really matter as much to the justices and this can this case and also there was situation which the court had ruled that had ruled that the maps were unconstitutional and that the generals away from draw new maps, so there were drawing maps that were based. They said on partisan gerrymandering issues but not on racial issues. Others are trying to maintain a 10 three Republican majority in the state's congressional delegation which is what had existed before the maps were challenged after election taken place before the jail. Rick is it legal then to draw a district to your political advantage. If you are the party in power versus drawing it with some sort of racial intent. Probably that's one of the issues that were dealing with right now with the courts doing that Justice Anthony Kennedy has has made it extremely unclear to what extent partisanship can play a role. Justice Stephen Breyer legs had this this similar opinion to this in the previously the idea of courts was as long as you preserve the concept of one person one vote. You cannot use race as the main factor in drawing congressional districts, but you can use partisan affiliation of the voters and so the reports of said Joe you can be as partisan as you like, as long as raises an issue in the states affected by the voting rights act was portion of the states affected by the voting rights act and starting 2015 we started to see a little bit of a break in that long-standing precedent about partisan gerrymandering of the court is really not yet been clear to what extent partisanship could play a role in the way the district. Here's where it gets really fascinating. I think because African-Americans are voting 90% plus for the Democratic party candidate. How do you distinguish between someone who is drying a district for political reasons, and something that has a racial component to it. Well that's that is an argument that has to deal with the situation that currently exists, but there's nothing in the Constitution that says that African-Americans have vote Democratic, or that white Americans have to vote Republican is not theirs and that's a decision that's made by individuals and so that's the sort of thing that makes these types of cases very very difficult because of the court says partisanship rules, then the racial balance of the party shouldn't really matter if the court say partisanship really doesn't count that much and it's all about race and that makes these calculations a lot more different than that used let's talk about a couple of the justices and how they went out they weighed in on this decision. First of all you had. What was a surprise to some folks that Justice Clarence Thomas was in with the majority ruling against North Carolina you had Justice Sam Alito writing a vigorous dissent talk first about Justice Thomas. Justice Thomas does not believe Ray should play a role in any of these deliberations whatsoever, so he sided with the majority because he said race was used as a factor and because Rachel uses the factor that I will toss out the districts that was really his his his consideration didn't matter whether it was favoring one race over another or disfavoring one race over another. He said that matter.

That is, in his dissent, but as a season's concurrence, but that is been his attitude about these all along that race is not should not be considered an issue so he just said I agree with majority raises an issue so therefore the Justice Alito was one of the three who dissented and quite vigorously yes he basically read from his text.

He basically said that a precedent of this court should not be treated like a disposable household item, say a paper plate or napkin to be used once and tossed in the trash and earlier precedents had required a party challenging the gerrymandering gerrymandering processor and redistricting process to come up with an alternative map to say if you drew the map. This way it would it would satisfy the Constitution, the way it's currently drawing does not satisfy the Constitution while the people bringing lawsuit here didn't do that. There were Everett asked to or expected to do that and so Justice Alito and Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy all said look, you didn't come up with an alternative map. We don't know whether to judge if your map was better than the map that was presented to us and so therefore were attempting to make a ruling on something that doesn't exist and so their argument was in part that the alternative map requirement is something that needs to be part of this process, but they also said that there was not really any coherent evidence that race was the predominant factor in the drawing of the 12th congressional district. They said there was politics. It was basically to guarantee that there was a Democrat elected in this district rather than a Republican so they said the alternative map requirement was was the real wheel was the actual reason for not going along with the majority. But even without alternative map that there was no compelling evidence, they said that race was a prominent factor in the drawing of this district maps were talking about were used for 2012 and 2014. What about 2016 Gen. assembly drew another set of maps and what they did this time.

Was it simply said okay. Really look at partisan affiliation going to be as close as possible as we can to make sure that every district has exactly the same number of voters as every other district and that's how were going to do with it and we just want to make sure that there's a 10 three Republican advantage as much as possible in the congressional delegation and that's what happened, but those districts are to be now.

This source of another set of legal proceedings.

So yeah it's a never ends, and advocates for redistricting reform taking it out of the hands of the party in power have often pointed to these continual legal cases is one of the reasons they say should be done this way believe that for another set Anderson as editor-in-chief of Carolina journal and Carolina journal.com. You can follow him on Twitter at regularly rethinking same with this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment government plays a key role in your life affecting your paycheck the way you educate your kids the way you do business. How can you tell if government is doing a good job making the right choices.

Spending tax dollars wisely. Carolina journal.com tackles those questions every day. The John Locke foundation publishes Carolina journal in print each month and on the web each day@carolinajournal.com you'll find exclusive investigative reports on topics.

No one else is covering what else a rundown of the best new stories, editorials and opinion columns in North Carolina. John Hood's daily Journal new stories and important public events@carolinajournal.tv and the voices of the newsmakers themselves at Carolina journal radio in print on the air and on the web. You can find the information you need@carolinajournal.com will get back to Carolina journal radio amateur coca all president space emergencies. Many of them unexpected. Our next guest has studied two centuries of disaster management from the Oval Office. That's the subtitle of the book titled, shall we wake the president's author is Teddy Troy joins us now.

Thanks for joining us in the program having that's really excited to be here and talk about this after the president. So what made you think that this was something worthy of a book looking at how these presidents over the years have have dealt with emergency management and disasters which I worked in the Bush administration and it seemed to me that the entire administration was shaped by disasters including 9/11 right at the outset.

In President Bush's first year of the Katrina in the first year of his second term in the financial crisis. Towards the end of his administration, and I noticed the extent to which disasters shaped how presidents approach things shaped how the White House staff and the entire government approach things and also help determine the legacy of presidents. At the same time.

These are really important for the American people. In terms of knowing that they have someone who's in charge of things and wants to help them get through the disaster. So, it occurred to me to look at this question of how other presidents have handled disasters and give the American people in future present some advice about how to go about it better in the future you had first-hand experience with the Bush administration working on this as you looked into the history of the over some of the things that really leap out at you as very interesting or surprising. While working in the administration.

I noticed one thing that was that it seemed as if almost every department got involved in disaster agencies that you thought would have anything to do with the disaster hugger labor. They were they were heavily involved. The second thing is, as I was saying earlier that it takes the entire White House sucks all the energy and it becomes the focus of everything in the third thing is that government is really not very good at that.

You have all this money and you spend on FEMA and yes FEMA does come with some supplies. Eventually, but in those first 24 to 48 hours. There's a disaster in your area you are pretty much on your own. It's yourself, your family, your community and that's what you have to rely on in the initial stage of disaster and that's why, in the book. I have advice for individuals for how to prepare for disaster. So you not just relying on government. Let's get to some of that advice and just a bit, but going back to the history of this were there any particular administrations that leaked out at you as doing an especially good job work such a terrible job that no one should ever emulate them absolutely and in fact in the book, and shall we wake the president.

I have a list of the five best and five worst presidents are dealing with disasters and number one on my worst list is Woodrow Wilson and his handling of the 1918 flu when I read about this.

I was just shocked 675,000 Americans died. The average life expectancy of Americans dropped by a decade as a result of this flu and Pres. Wilson. Not only did nothing but he took certain steps that I think made it worse. For example, he was told that the troop transports that were taking American servicemen to Europe to fight in World War I were spreading the disease among American servicemen and among the people of Europe, and some even warned about this and he after a discussion in the White House decided not to stop this troop transports.

He also had a propaganda machine that was trying to highlight happy news and discourage talk of of Sappington.

So in that sense even have the dissemination of information about the crisis and what people could do about and how about the best who did the best I guess I give a lot of credit to Bill Clinton for prevention of Y2K were not sure if Y2K which was the thing that happened around the switch from 1999's 2000 where there. Some thought the computers couldn't handle that switch from one millennium to another, but it might have led to a meltdown of our computer systems and Bill Clinton marshaled state, local, federal resources, he worked in the private sector work with our international partners and make sure it didn't happen so I think preventing a disaster is the best thing a person can do affect those of us who live through it, probably are thinking back going. Oh yeah Y2K there was big concern about it at the time and didn't end up being much of a problem at all were speaking with Debbie Troy who is the author of the book.

Shall we wake the president to centuries of disaster management from the Oval Office. As you went through the preparation for this book did it send you back into the days working in the Bush White House and saying I wish we had thought of this work. I'm glad we didn't do this, where there were the things that you that that took you back to your White House experience and made you think okay but we did this in another administration did this better or much worse than what we did.

It's a good question and I remember one striking moment along those lines. When I was reading about the 1968 race riots in Washington after the tragic association assassination of Martin Luther King and I was looking at pictures and I saw a picture of Lyndon B. Johnson was present at the time and didn't do a very good job at preventing the riots which pretty much took place every summer during his presence in the cold and long hot summers and Johnson is in a helicopter flying over downtown Washington DC looking at the devastation below and Marine one. The president's helicopter and he looked ineffectually below in the country looked eerily like George W. Bush and his infamous flyover over the Katrina area. So the lesson I take from the book is that sometimes is a good idea for president to go to a disaster sometimes is a good idea for president because it takes up local resources not to go to a disaster area, but it's never a good idea to do a flyover. One of the things that you mentioned a little bit earlier, is the fact that your book mentions some advice for individuals so they don't have to rely on government in the times of disaster.

What are some of the things you want people to know individually for me to say that I'm not some kind of preparation I don't have a underground bunker in my backyard or anything like that but I do have some food and water in my house just in case. I think people should have some kind of home protection looking away and on what, exactly, that should be human.

We drove second in this country, but some people want have other forms of protection. Should have a plan with your family. If lithic communication goes out where can you go and what can you do have some cash on hand, there are there things you can do to prepare yourselves or certain nonperishable items that you can store for the long-term a while when person in Hollywood told me that he store so a lot of toilet paper in his basement because he ate it something a leave in a crisis but be. It's also something that you could barter things to really rock very true because everyone's going to need toilet paper for the government. What are some things that you think governments that trump administration or other future administrations could learn from this book that'll help with the next disaster. I think the first and number one lesson is that government/presidents need to think about this.

They can't just go blindly and sell you all deal disaster when it comes in. One thing we did in the bush frustrations tabletop exercises and those tabletop exercises really helped inform our thinking about how to approach disasters and they also raised issues that we can think of beforehand. So, remember there's one tabletop exercise where we imagine two crises happening at once. And one thing that we didn't anticipate, and we were unprepared for was the extent to which the hospitals were swamped not with sick people, but with what's known as the worried well. People who think they have the disease. Even if if they don't, so I think the these kinds of exercises really help introduce players in government to their their colleagues so that they're ready for a disaster and they also help them through issues before they become our time remaining is short, but given your experience in the Bush White House. What we saw with eight years of Barack Obama. Now a trump administration place. You have a sense of whether there are people within the federal government to see this issue and are trying to get this in front of the policymakers make sure that they're paying attention to these things. It's hard to say for sure because they haven't filled out all of the policy role in the top top level people are not necessarily the ones who focus on this, but I do know a couple things number one is that the HHS budget. The health and human services budget includes funding or request for funding for better preparation for for bioterror attacks. The book is titled, shall we wake the president to centuries of disaster management from the Oval Office. The author is on Carolina radio.

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So now not only will you enjoy what you buy will also support freedom. Don't forget lot onto smile.amazon.com today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation. Welcome back Carolina journal radio I Michiko guide Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has been speaking out against Republican legislators, tax policies that doesn't sit well with people like John Socha, one of the statehouse's chief tax writers was rolled back the calendar to 2011 when House Republicans inherited a $2.5 billion deficit. After decades of liberal tax-and-spend policy was promoted by, among others, are not Gov. Roy Cooper when he was in the North Carolina Gen. assembly happened since then. Since then, House Republicans and Senate Republicans made very tough decisions to put North Carolina's fiscal house back in order so that the results speak for themselves what are the facts. The facts are that will balance the budget every year, but that one sink and will balance the budget every single year. We've enacted this fiscally conservative ideas to create a surplus or cutting taxes and putting more money in the pockets of all hard-working North Carolina's we talk about more money in the pockets North Carolina hands were not talking about small amounts were talk about $4 billion that taxpayers understood Rather than paying to the state for bloated services so the results of this policy has been exactly that we return money to North Carolina's people who earn the money get to keep more of what they learn and that is really contrary to the empty rhetoric from liberal special-interest groups build predictions from liberal think tanks. They protected that by lowering taxes by reducing regulations that we would fail and drive the state down into the dirt. Somehow, with the exact opposite has happened. North Carolina's now have more money in their pockets. Thanks to the tax reforms, the Republicans of enacted since 2011 were some of the other implications that the results with triple the standard deduction were accused of not caring about people who earn less income.

Work is the only passing tax cuts for the rich and the millionaires. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Are tax cuts and well-thought-out the benefit all North Carolina's so what happens next. Socha has some ideas I call on all North Carolina's not be full by clever rhetoric by double speaking out of both sides of one's mouth will shown by what we've done by what we passed by the results we've achieved were committed to improving the economic lot for all North Carolina's no matter how much they make.

No matter what type of job therein were here to help the whole state of North Carolina and our commitment to continuing tax reform that further helps our citizens.

I called on Gov. Cooper to join us. Doublespeak get on board that's Republican state representative John Socha responding in a recent news conference to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's complaint about the legislature's tax policies will return with more Carolina journal radio. Are you tired of fake news. Well you won't find it here at Carolina journal. We don't make things happen and we don't presume or assign motives. There's no simpler way to put it then that were proud to say that honest, factual, rigorous journalism is the Carolina journal way our reporting team is focused on accountability in government and policymaking.

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We are the only state in the country that automatically prosecutes 16-year-olds charge with minor nonviolent offenses in adult court this morning. Reread it an excellent article by John Hood, the South Carolina passed a similar proposal and it was unanimous. So it's time we catch up with our neighbors from south of the border. Now what we're proposing is a very modest revision of our law. It is simply that when our teenagers are accused of nonviolent offenses that they are not automatically tried in adult court. A recent civic toss poll that asked this question of the parents across our state indicated that 70% of North Carolina's supported this proposal, perhaps even more relevant. Our own department of public safety conducted surveys on this issue which reflected that over 90% of parents already thought that 18 was the age for adult jurisdiction over 90% of our parents always thought already thought this law had been changed. Martin says the rings, the age legislation would address a disparity in the existing state law we have up to 11 counties where the young people are already able to participate in administrative diversion programs, so an 11 counties.

The young people are already automatically diverted to juvenile court, and to restorative programs. So what is essay about young people and 89 other counties. Given that one of the chief goals of any legal system is same facts same outcome. Yet we have young people in up to 11 counties that have the benefit of administrative diversion programs for nonviolent offenses, but in the other 89. They do not alley it off with an illustration as I get calls from parents who have financed a college education. We have a young person in Tennessee that steals a $12 pendant from the local mall North Carolina young person goes to the mall takes the same item. Years later, they both attended college. The bus try to get that same job.

The final step is the background investigation in Tennessee and 48 other states. The whole matter is handled confidentially in Juvenile Ct. in North Carolina. It's placed on the Internet and so becomes a part of the background investigation normally these charges are handled very quickly.

So the child. The parents they think it's behind only to learn five or six years later, that it had a very serious effect on their ability to participate in the global marketplace.

Chief Justice Mark Martin isn't the only high profile figure supporting the raise the age initiative. Former Republican Lieut. Gov. Jim Gardner is also adding his voice to the campaign. I'm here today is a grandfather of nine grandchildren and I spent the last four years of my life with ABC commission dealing with underage drinking and I know that young people mind yours all across the state will make bad choices. Unfortunately, strongly support what the Chief Justice of everybody else in this room is doing simply because they make a simple mistake should not be with them for the rest of their life have a grandson right now who graduated last year from college. He has no record was illegal. Stout, he still didn't have a job and I can just imagine what would happen if all of his record was something he did it 16 or 17 years old so judge I think you're absolutely on the right track.

It's long overdue and I would cite all members of the legislature.

Let's get on with it and let's get it done this year. Former US Magistrate Judge Bill Webb worked with the state. Chief Justice to come up with the recommendations supporting the raise the age campaign. The recommendations were, I think so tightly reasoned that we were able to gain the support of the sheriffs Association, the police benefits benevolent Association of Chiefs of police Association, the John Locke foundation and the conservatives for criminal justice reform committee is been a bipartisan nonpartisan effort. Webb turned to statistics, let's talk about what happens on the ground out of the felonies in 2014 committed by juveniles there only 3% would not qualify for this. This is a law and order a law and order measure. Studies have shown that when juveniles go through the juvenile justice system. The parents must be involved by court mandate is also shown that with all of the resources that the Department of Corrections, the chances of rehabilitation and the lack of recidivism are increased were able to once again with these proposals come back to sight and sound segregation.

That means juveniles are separated from adult offenders. This will result in tens of millions of dollars flowing back to North Carolina which we currently don't receive the Department of Corrections stepped up to the plate to provide things like transportation resources, that without this we could not of garnered the support we did wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison supports the raise the age campaign, Harrison focuses on the impact the program could have on jails across North Carolina. I'm blessed to have the jail that I have must say that we shouldn't have one, but all him hundred 29 people in jail the day and I have pods for juveniles. There's a lot of jails throughout the state that does not in their house with older people that put things in their head. Michael delight a little bit brighter. If they go outside and commit crimes, but I think this initiative will stop some of that. I know it will.

We need to get behind allotment said here we need to get behind this initiative. Everybody needs to talk about something needs to be done is well thought out.

On the other hand, those list and we need money it's going take money or more juvenile counselor special here in White County. We are bogged down, but it is going take money ADA's so I just want to make sure everybody understands that, but this is something that we can pull off this is some things that we can do with the support you look around this room and the people that's here and like I say, just as Martin talked about people call him. I have parents called me all the time about small crimes they don't understand it to look child does go try to go to a college with all get a job and they don't understand the record so that's something that I'll look forward to is that child that does that silly crime that record be expunged, taken off will never be there to go through the juvenile counselor is gonna take more more money, especially that's wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, one of the speakers at a recent news conference touting the potential benefits of the raise the age campaign. It aims to treat most nonviolent, 16 and 17-year-old criminal offenders as juveniles rather than adults overture with more Carolina journal radio. The moment if you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina conservative.com one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement had North Carolina conservative.com. You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina journal.com reporting and quick takes Carolina journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education. All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina conservative.com that's North Carolina spelled out conservative.com North Carolina conservative.com.

Log on today.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martinez for a lot of folks, nothing could be better honey warm summer day than enjoying a baseball game that is certainly the case for my next guest, Julie Tisdale of the John Mott foundation Julie analyzes city and county government issues for the Locke foundation and right now she's following the pursuit by several North Carolina cities to attract baseball teams and of course with that quest comes the need they say to build a ballpark.

Julie, welcome to the program and keep Ground Zero right now. North Carolina is high point in the triad.

Tell us what the proposal is there. So Highpoint wants to build a ballpark downtown. The Highpoint government has actually already approved the city Council has approved $15 million for land acquisition. It now goes to the Guilford County commissioners on their asking for $30 million to build a ballpark where a set of minor league team. Although not the official minor league teams affiliated with major league baseball but a minor league team would play in Highpoint now people in baseball fan, you're a fan you go to games all over the country because you're a big San Francisco Giants fan. There two weekends again. So when you're writing about this. It's not because you don't like baseball or don't like sports at the issue for you is what the issue for me is taxpayer funding for stadiums.

I love the idea of the baseball team and Highpoint. I love the idea of his many baseball teams as possible in as many sitting at this hospital@my dream world dream customer for the state legally and I go to a lot of games I pay money to buy tickets to go to games on, as do many other people that my issue is with millions and millions of dollars of taxpayer money going to build a very expensive facility that is primarily going to benefit the owners of this teams the people who are getting that ticket revenue that I and fans like me are paying on it seems to me that if they are the major beneficiaries that they are to be the ones building the facilities we don't ask the government to build a building for target to run their business. Why should we ask the government to build the building that the baseball team needs to run it yet what we hear often from folks who support taxpayer subsidies for ballparks and other sports facilities. They say look, it's about quality of life.

Everybody is going to benefit in the end because will have a better quality of life in our area. You respond to that type of argument certainly think that's true, and I think that lots of people agree that this contributes to our quality of life hunts. I think that where there really is sort of a gap there that can be met through philanthropy. People support the Symphony people support the opera people support ballet on if you want to provide things that need a little extra support. There lots of philanthropists out there who want support that kind baseball teams actually what we see if they can be profitable businesses. Yes, they support our quality of life on the name proof that, as do restaurants and concerts and lots of things that are provided privately as business ventures without the need for any public money now in terms of Highpoint. This is not the first venture that they have been interested in tell us about the previous ballpark that you had followed in Highpoint so that a year ago there was some discussion about building a new facility for the Thomasville Highpoint hi Tom's which are sort of a summer league for college players, really very very low level baseball they already play they already have a facility but Sultanate small and they wanted to build a new shiny one project died on it's not going to happen and said they moved on to this new, much grander, much more expensive project in downtown Highpoint now we'll see if the Guilford County commission decides they're going to go in on this at facility as well so stay tuned on that story. Meantime, in Fayetteville, North Carolina and other city the things they want to get involved in this and Fayetteville is moving ahead. This is going to happen today or building a facility and I have spent a lot of taxpayer they're going to spend a lot of taxpayer money to committed that money to building this facility. The really interesting thing in Fayetteville.

I think that's just really remarkable is that year or two before or all of this sort of came to be. They had passed a property tax increase to pay for schools that was how the sold to the editors will generate some revenue to build school buildings on the vendors past that and a year later County government Cumberland County said, wait, wait, think we'd rather spend that money on a ballpark.

Let's repurpose that. My goodness yesterday literally took money away from schools to put into building this ballpark. Cumberland County is not without significant school needs you may have millions and millions of dollars in needs for facilities capital projects, the sorts of things that the county can pay for. Did they get any pushback on that decision. It seems like one that would generate a lot of interest among the public. I thought so. Actually, the school board had to sign off on it and they did this as well. So go figure.

I have no idea what's going on down there in Cumberland County we have any sense of timing on that or any details about what type of facility or team or anything that that because you say it is imminent. It's can be a minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros that team actually is already playing this year in Belize Creek using Campbell's facility but I believe that the plan is for the ballpark to be ready for next season. The curious thing Julie is not only that, the cities want to get involved in some cases there using taxpayer funding and make interesting decisions like Fayetteville did in Cumberland County but major league baseball when it comes to teams that are affiliated with the big boys on a big show major league baseball. Is there a concern about saturation, particularly in a state like North Carolina. Essentially, too many teams. Not enough customers. There is there is there is a minorly beneficial minor league baseball system. These are the farm teams associated with the big league clubs. There is one of those in Winston-Salem and there's another in Greensboro there several others in North Carolina, but those are the two in the triad and minor league baseball has said repeatedly that Highpoint can't sustain a team that three teams in that small geographic area would just be too much. The fact that were going ahead or that Highpoint's plan wants to go ahead with the team raises some questions for me.

The professionals in this sphere don't think there sufficient demand and so I think that maybe the government ought to be very very cautious about committing millions of dollars of taxpayer money to a project that the big player really doesn't think is viable.

Julie is it possible to build a baseball stadium.

A ballpark of any kind without taxpayer funding. It absolutely is possible. It is very very rare people come to just expect that they'll get government money but the Giants my team player at AT&T Park was built in 2000, and it was privately funded on the last one before that was dodger Stadium 19 also iconic ballparks like Fenway in Boston were built in an age before we had public financing for ballparks and so it certainly is possible, and very, very good long-lasting ballparks leave it that way. So if these folks who are so interested the city and county officials if they went out, and perhaps said hey we want private investment. In this they might find some folks in North Carolina or other states who are willing to invest in this in Highpoint. In particular, I think they probably could pull that off Anita Cadena who is the president Highpoint University has said have risen to this occasion and said that he and some of his friends, business associates will commit $38 million to building facilities around the ballpark. If he quite quickly, has been able to come up with 38 million for those sorts of facilities may be doubted tried to get Anita. Oh, and some of his associates and see if we can find some private financing for the stadium itself. It's a fascinating story about ballparks in North Carolina. It's been written by our guest Julie Tisdale. You can read this piece@carolinajournal.com Julie, thank you so much as all the time we have for the program this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost, which co-guy Donna Martinez. Hope you come back again for another edition. Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke foundation to learn more about the John Locke donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Wong done call 18661665534636 journal radio nation airline is all opinions expressed on this program nearly commission or other foundation is any airline sponsored Carolina radio again


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