Mitch Kokai

Senior Political Analyst

Posts by Mitch Kokai (page 1,855)

  • Former Rep. McMahan offers thoughts about the municipal broadband bill

    A new Carolina Beat column features former Mecklenburg County Republican Rep. Ed McMahan's thoughts about the bill designed to restrict municipal broadband services: The cities involved with MI-Connection, for example, took on $92 million in debt to purchase the local cable system out of bankruptcy, even though a private provider was willing to buy and operate the system. Citizens were promised that the system would "pay for itself," yet the operation has bled money from the start. Today it has fewer customers than when it started, and in 2010 taxpayers had to fork over $6.4 million just to keep the system running. The result: citizens of Mooresville and Davidson are on the hook for this liability they neither asked for nor got a chance to approve. What happened to the provision of the North Carolina Constitution which says local governments cannot incur debt secured by a pledge of its faith and credit, unless approved by the voters? The cities got around the constitution by promising to raise taxes to repay the debt -- not to the lenders, but to the Local Government Commission, which approved the debt. This is no way to run a railroad, as they say. ...
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • New at CJO: Lawmakers to resume debate on Sunshine Amendment

    David Bass’ latest Carolina Journal Online report focuses on a proposed Sunshine Amendment involving N.C. public records.
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • Wind energy takes another blow

    I wish I could claim credit for the headline, but it paraphrases the lede of a new Human Events article from Brian Sussman: Wind One is the 400-foot-tall wind turbine owned by the town of Falmouth, on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod.  The residents of Falmouth initially welcomed Wind One as a symbol of green energy and a handy way to keep local taxes down.  Electricity generated by the turbine would be used to power the municipality’s infrastructure, thus shaving about $400,000 a year off its utility costs. Installed in the spring of 2010 at a cost of $5.1 million (with some $3 million derived through grants, government kickbacks, and credits), the huge turbine cranks out 1.65 megawatts of electricity during optimum conditions. The topography of Falmouth is stunningly beautiful. Small ponds, creeks, pines, and oaks rest adjacent to the rocky beachfront. What’s totally out of place is a monstrous pillar of white steel rising from the countryside, topped with its whirling three-bladed rotor. However, proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, one local told a Public Radio reporter the turbine is “quite majestic.” But as soon as her majesty was switched on, residents began to complain—Wind One was as loud as an old Soviet helicopter. ...
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • Human Events documents an ‘energy choke’

    Regular readers of this forum have seen plenty of discussion of the harmful economic impacts linked to government policies proposed to promote "green jobs." Now Human Events weighs in with an editorial on the topic: Our economy is just beginning to feel the choking grasp of soaring fuel prices around its throat. Growth requires motion and motion requires energy. The cost of energy is tied into the cost of virtually everything else… and our dependence on foreign energy sources puts us at the mercy of long, oily tentacles that reach back into the most unstable parts of the world. This dependence is the predictable result of deliberate policies, from locking private industry out of Alaskan oil fields, to hounding oil rigs away from the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these policies have been pursued in defiance of court orders, so they cannot be dismissed as momentary lapses in judgment.
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • In case you missed him …

    Joseph Coletti panned ObamaCare during a WNCN Television report that aired on the one-year anniversary of the federal health care reform law. Coletti used the anniversary to urge N.C. elected leaders to pursue Medicaid reform.
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • New Carolina Journal Online features

    Sam Hieb’s latest Carolina Journal Online report highlights increased scrutiny for North Carolina’s “councils of government.” John Hood’s Daily Journal assesses North Carolina’s system for selecting judges.
    Mitch Kokai, March 24, 2011
  • Government consolidation: If it’s good enough for the Tar Heel State …

    We don’t know whether the talk of consolidating North Carolina government departments played any role, but U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has announced his support for similar moves at the federal level, according to U.S. News & World Report: For years, Republicans have talked about dismantling the…
    Mitch Kokai, March 23, 2011
  • New JLF report on ObamaCare anniversary day urges N.C. to pursue Medicaid reform

    As the federal health care reform law reaches its first anniversary, a new John Locke Foundation report calls on North Carolina leaders to pursue Medicaid reform. Joseph Coletti explains the need for reform here and in the video clip below.
    Mitch Kokai, March 23, 2011