Freshman hazing?

By: - June 27, 2005 4:53 am

Greensboro News & Record


News & Record

Freshman hazing?

Now that the House and Senate have passed different versions of the state’s next budget, they formed a conference committee to bridge the differences.

If you’re a Democrat elected to the General Assembly, you’re likely on that panel.

Among the exceptions are eight House members, including Greensboro Democrat Pricey Harrison.

They’re just experiencing a little freshman hazing.

"He didn’t have room to put all the freshmen in there," Harrison said of House Speaker Jim Black. "I was whining a little bit about that."

Then she asked whether a lottery proposal might be part of the final budget deal. Turns out, there’s a very good chance it will be.

"I can’t vote for a budget with a lottery in it anyway," Harrison said. "So, it’s better I’m not on there anyway."

Harrison said that members of the conference committee generally are expected to support the final product when it hits the floor.

No timing

Two Republicans — U.S. Reps. Howard Coble of Greensboro and Walter Jones from eastern North Carolina — have grabbed a lot of ink for calling on the Bush administration to lay out a timeline for getting soldiers home from Iraq.

But the state’s congressional delegation is not unanimous.

GOP Sen. Elizabeth Dole said last week that setting a timeline for withdrawing troops would be ill-advised.

"We have made tremendous advances, but there is much more to be done before throwing our hands up in the air," Dole said.

On board

The National Conference for Community and Justice’s Piedmont Triad Region has added 10 new members to its board. They include Uma Avva, community leader; Varo Duffins, United Healthcare; the Rev. William Fails, Greater First United Baptist Church; Ches A. Kennedy III, O’Kennedy’s; W. Scott Holloway, High Point University; Sue Mengert, community leader; Ronald S. Milstein, Lorillard Tobacco Co.; Sharon Ozment, Guilford County School System; Amos Quick, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs; and Joe A. Williams, a Greensboro lawyer.

AG v. AI

The N.C. Center for Voter Education has released a poll, saying the results illustrate the public’s general lack of information about those seeking office.

For instance, more people in the survey could name the winner of this year’s "American Idol" TV contest than could name the state attorney general.

Center officials suggest that expanding the use of public money to pay for election campaigns — freeing candidates from the fund raising that takes time away from meeting voters — could help solve the problem.

Such programs, first used in North Carolina last year in judicial races, are primarily aimed at reducing the influence of big money and special interests in elections.

Council races ahead

Filing for city council elections begins Friday and runs until noon Aug. 5.

Staff writer Mark Binker and The Associated Press contributed to The Inside Scoop. For more government and political news, visit the Scoop blog at

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066