May 30, 2009

Republican Leader Stumps for Sue Myrick

John Boehner, the Republican Leader in the US House of Representatives was in town last Saturday to help Sue Myrick kick off her re-election fundraising efforts.

Our hosts were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Blanchfield who really threw a great party. We had around 100 supporters attend and except for one brief rain storm (the event was supposed to be outside) it went off without a hitch.

Boehner praised Sue's Conservatism and fiscal discipline.

May 26, 2009

Last Week's Energy Vote

So our office is getting a few phone calls over Sue's vote last week in the Energy and Commerce Committee on the so called ACES bill. Most of the calls are from members of

The unfortunate thing is that there was a lot of the bill that Sue actually supported and wanted to vote for, but couldn't because the overriding bill was just too expensive and bad for the economy.

First, according to a study prepared for the National Black Chamber of Commerce by CRA International, by 2030, the bill would reduce GDP roughly $350 billion below the baseline level; cut net employment by 2.5 million jobs (even after accounting for new green jobs); and reduce average earnings for the average US worker by $390 per year. This study can be found at

Second, the bill if it became law would increase electricity prices for consumers and businesses. There is no cost containment or safety valve mechanism to prevent electricity price spikes. The Democrats on the committee consistently opposed Republican amendments that would have stopped the implementation of the carbon cap if job losses reached certain levels,or if consumer electricity rates increased by certain percentages (the last amendment they opposed would have stopped implementation if consumer utility bills increased by 100%).

Third, there is no significant nuclear power development in the bill. If the goal of the bill is to produce emission free energy and to create jobs, what better way than nuclear power? Nuclear power provides a reliable generation of electricity, which intermittent sources like wind and solar do not, necessary for the base load power needed to prevent brownouts during peak demand. The construction of one new nuclear plant creates at least 2000 construction jobs and after it's completed employs roughly 800 full time employees at high wages.

Fourth, the bill does not account for international issues. Democrats rejected an amendment that would have delayed implementation of the carbon emission caps until China and India implement similar programs. Without this protection, US companies will ship jobs overseas to countries without GHG emission caps and with cheaper electricity (China brings one new coal-fired plant online each week). Without the buy-in of China and India, the environmental impact of the US reductions will be negligible.

Finally, for a variety of reasons, this bill punishes certain regions (Southeast and Midwest in particular) because it does not adequately take into account geographic limitations to producing renewable energy or historic electricity generation.

For those reasons, Sue voted against it.

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a commemoration ceremony for eight living Medal of Honor recipients. I had the honor and privilege of introducing my son, Hayes to one of them, Sergeant First Class Gary Littrell.
So that we will all appreciate what it means to earn a Medal of Honor, allow me to tell you about the four days in Gary's life when he earned his medal.
It was April 4th, 1970 in the jungles of Vietnam. After establishing a defensive perimeter on a hill, Sfc. Littrell's battalion was subjected to an intense enemy mortar attack which killed the Vietnamese commander, one advisor and seriously wounded all the advisers except Sfc. Littrell.
During the ensuring four days, Sfc Littrell exhibited near superhuman endurance as he single-handedly bolstered the besieged battalion. Repeatedly abandoning positions of relative safety, he directed artillery and air support by day and marked the unit's location by night, despite the heavy, concentrated enemy fire. His dauntless will instilled in the men of the 23rd Battalion a deep desire to resist.
Assault after assault was repulsed as the battalion responded to the extraordinary leadership and personal example exhibited by Sfc. Littrell who continuously moved to those points most seriously threatened by the enemy, redistributed ammunition, strengthened faltering defenses, cared for the wounded and shouted encouragement to the Vietnamese in their own language. When the beleaguered battalion was finally ordered to withdraw, numerous ambushes were encountered. Sfc. Littrell repeatedly prevented widespread disorder by directing air strikes to within 50 meters of their position. Through his indomitable courage and complete disregard for his safety, he averted excessive loss of life and injury to the members of the battalion. The sustained extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Sfc. Littrell over an extended period of time were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him and the US Army.
What an honor to meet a real hero like Gary Littrell!

May 22, 2009

Congressional Art Competition Winner

Once a year, all 435 Congressional offices commission an art contest for high school art students. The winner from each district is allowed the honor of displaying their work for one calendar year in a highly visable passageway in the United States Capitol.

This past Sunday, Rep. Sue Myrick held her contest, and the winners are pictured above.
Left to right: Congresswoman Sue Myrick, 1st Place Winner Natalie Harvey from Myers Park High School, 2nd Place Winner Brooke Smith from Charlotte Christian School and 3rd Place Winner Megan Burton, also from Charlotte Christian School.

Anti-Crime Agenda for Charlotte

Last weekend, Taylor Batten of the Observer published an article about how neither candidate for Mayor was breaking out with an aggressive agenda for this fall's mayoral contest (Anyone up for a revealing campaign?)

I agree with him.

Regardless of what Anthony Foxx or John Lassiter's political agendas are this fall, both will talk about public safety issues.

Let me offer them both a ready-made agenda on the crime issue. The agenda is neither Republican or Democrat. This is the first half of the agenda, as it involves local issues that are fairly simple to address. I will offer the second half of his agenda in a later blog posting. I hope both candidates will embrace it and make it their own.

1. Most federal funds that make there way to Charlotte for crime prevention efforts are distributed via the Governor's Crime Commission. Appointed primarily by the Governor, the commission has 44 members from around the state. Of the 44, Charlotte has one member. One. Raleigh has 20!

To be fair to the Governor, she inherited the current board from her predecessor and of the 44 members, 27 are appointed by the Governor, 13 are ex officio, two appointed by the Speaker of the House and two by the Senate Pro Tem.

Not to be partisan, but all of these positions are Democrat controlled.

Both mayoral candidates should call on the Governor to completely overhaul the representation on this board, so that Charlotte is better represented. The recently passed stimulus bill alone, has a potential $3.2 billion worth of crime fighting monies on the table, that this board will be instrumental for distributing in NC, so time is of the essence.

2. Call on the DA and the police chief to identify the top 200 chronic offenders in Charlotte and throw the book at them. Do not allow any of these 200 to plea out on any charges.

3. Call on the DA to assign one Assistant DA in each of the 13 police divisions to help catch the chronic offenders. When the ADAs are prosecuting the same guys every week, it increases the odds that the bad guy will be identified as a chronic offender.

4. Make the city of Charlotte and the CMPD release the details of major unsolved crimes on the anniversary of said crimes. The local media will cover these anniversaries and it could lead to additional information surfacing that could help solve the case. Plenty of other cities around the country employ this simple action. Why aren't we?

5. Partner with CPCC, the Government Channel or UNCC to create, produce and distribute an America's Most Wanted type program weekly on local television. Use the free labor of broadcasting students (give them college credit for their efforts) to produce an entertaining show that will help nab the bad guys.

6. Completely overhaul the Crime Stoppers Program by endowing it with enough cash to make a difference. Chief Monroe shared with me recently that he really wished we had a viable Crime Stoppers Program like other cities. Our program lacks cash. Without cash, the program can't give rewards, but equally important, it can't pay for advertising (television, radio, Internet commercials) educating people of the crimes that need solving.

7. To aid the rebuilding of the Crime Stoppers Program, call on one of our resident financial institutions to create a "keep the change" savings system where by the dollar amount of participants' purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar. Rather than inserting the money into your savings account, give people the option of donating the round up amount to the Crime Stoppers Program. Once this program is in place, launch a major earned media campaign to rally the general public to the cause. With just a little effort, we could completely endow the Crime Stoppers Program.

8. The city council should create a citizens advisory board on crime to advise the board on crime fighting techniques and best practices. I find it sad that the city has boards to advise them on bike paths, the airport, roads, etc, but not one on crime. It speaks volumes as to our priorities as a city.

9. Charlotte needs a crime commission, not a crime czar. Several months ago, a suggestion was made for Charlotte-Mecklenburg to create a crime czar so as to monitor and coordinate the crime fighting funding process between the different levels of government (CMPD, DA, Sheriff, etc). The thought behind the idea is a good one, but rather than create a crime czar, the city should rather create a non-profit crime commission. The commission would be funded by private money and corporate support. It would not receive money from any of the crime fighting agencies so that it can remain objective. It would become the watch dog of crime fighting in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, reporting annually on who is pulling their weight and who is not. The executive director of the Crime Commission would be the de facto Crime Czar of Charlotte. New York City has a crime commission. Why don't we?

10. Hire more cops. We are understaffed on the street by 24%. The Chief is doing a good job by taking his case to the city council. Whether it is federal COPs dollars or local dollars... hire more cops!

11. Charlotte needs to build out and deploy mobile police stations. We have 13 police divisions, but 36 identified crime hot spots in Charlotte. Just like many other cities, we should have an effective mobile station deployment to make up for this disparity. Raleigh utilized this crime fighting technique in the 90's.

12. Let's look at cutting the size of Charlotte's police divisions. The south division is 60 square miles in size. Too large. Too long of a response time.

13. Let's get serious about drinking and driving. Let's purchase two, three, four more mobile DUI intake centers. Let's put it on the road every Friday and Saturday night year around, not just on July 4th or New Year's eve.

14. Let's vigorously defend the use of the federal 287g program in our county jail system. To date, this single program has done the most to fight illegal immigration in our city. Without it we have no tool in the tool belt to fight back. This year you will see a concerted effort nationwide to defund and scale back 287g. We will need to fight back when this happens.

As I said earlier, this is only the first installment of an anti-crime agenda for our local candidates. In a later post, I will inform you of a second wave of anti-crime efforts that involve federal resources, that we should be engaged in. Stay tuned.

Job Leads in the Area

One purpose of this blog is to share information I come across in my daily walk that would be of service to people. Many of you might not know this, but we run a mini-employment service out of our Charlotte Congressional office. Every Friday for the past 10 years I have met with job seekers to assist them in their search. We make no promises as to finding a job, but I have found that we have a strong network of people that can assist people as they network their way to employment.

We frequently hear of job openings before they are public, as Sue and I tour many businesses in the 9th District. During our tours, we learn of future expansion plans and hiring opportunities.

Here are some leads for those of you looking for a job:

The US Census Bureau is seeking managers for the 2010 Census in both the Gastonia and Concord offices. These offices are set to open in the fall of this year. Specifically, they are looking to hire a Local Census Office Manager ($27.25 per hour), Asssistant Manager of Field Operations ($22.75 per hour), Assistant Manager Recruiting ($19.50 per hour), Assistant Manager Quality Assurance ($19.50 per hour), Assistant Manager Administration ($19.50 per hour), Assistant Manager Technology ($19.50 per hour).

To learn more and apply, go to