Letters to the editor

Jun. 29, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

Rest of the story

It’s great that you published the guest column by Paul Carrington, former dean of Duke’s Law School, about “Why NC courts are not for sale” (June 25). As a North Carolinian, I’m proud that our state’s public financing program for judicial candidates has gained a national reputation for reducing special-interest influence in court elections. It’s been the model used for similar programs in New Mexico, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Carrington gives a great description of the litigation around the special attorney’s fee that supports the public financing alternative for appellate court candidates. He notes that Art Pope “erroneously declared” that the attorney fee is unconstitutional. Pope is the state’s biggest political donor; his family owns the Roses’ discount stores and he is now Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director.

Pope made his declaration about the attorney fee to a state legislator, a Republican named Jonathan Jordan who was trying to save the public financing program. Jordan had prepared an amendment to restore the attorney fee that Pope had repealed in the governor’s budget. But, on June 12, shortly before the House took up Jordan’s amendment, Pope arrived and told him that N.C. courts had ruled the fee could not be used for public financing – a false statement, as Carrington details.

After the conversation, Jordan withdrew his amendment and the House majority voted to repeal the judicial public financing program. Barring a miracle, it’s now dead – thanks to Art Pope’s misguidance. And now you know the rest of the story.

Billy Corriher

Washington, D.C.

Why the negatives?

Again justified anger is rising in me at the negative, thoughtless manner in which a group of majority African American high school students are being categorized. The article about Hillside High School’s graduation (June 7) describes the teenage celebratory enthusiasm of shooting silly-string into the air as “one last moment of tomfoolery.”

Stereotypical language like this towards a group of mostly African American students must not be tolerated. These students were celebrating a great achievement. Why was “tomfoolery” chosen for them?

I’ve seen much worse behavior at majority white college graduations and reporters almost fall over themselves celebrating with these students. (These students are no longer teenagers.)

Reporters/writers should understand the negative/positive power of words. This comment would not be tolerated by the white community towards their children.

P.S. – I do speak out very strongly when negatives are committed in my community by those in my community.

Wilma Elaine Liverpool

Durham