Quick Hits – September 14, 2018

It’s time to adopt a Republican mien!

Whenever a hurricane hits anywhere, I’d like to think I’m the first one to crack open the checkbook. But while I wish no catastrophe on anyone (with the possible exception of Kim Kardashian) when it comes to the Carolinas, they’re not gonna get a cent.

Florence

Yep! It’s time to go all Ayn Rand on some of my favorite southerners’ asses because:

1. Both states continue to allow developers to build in flood plains and low-lying coastal areas. North Carolina politicians went as far as ignoring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by voting to allow development along the coast and on the Barrier Islands. All of those homes and businesses are being wiped out as we speak.

2. The Republican dominated legislators in both states continue to insist that climate change is a myth. Spurred on by real estate and developer lobbying groups, in 2012, North Carolina went as far as passing a bill that barred policymakers and developers from using the latest climate science data when planning for rising sea levels.

3. Despite hurricanes and/or flooding hitting the same areas every two to four years, both states continue to allow homeowners to rebuild where they never should’ve built in the first place. And what do Republicans generally say about “enabling” minorities with handouts

4. Both states went big for Donald Trump who thinks he can contend with these “very big” and “very wet” hurricanes with a roll of quicker picker uppers.

5. Virtually every North and South Carolina GOP Congressman voted against the federal relief package for Hurricane Sandy. And if those New Yorkers and New Jerseyians don’t deserve that kind of “handout,” then neither do they.

So, the checkbook stays closed. And I’m sure no self-respecting southern coastal conservative would ever want to debase him or herself by shrieking and howling for government aid after the storm passes. They wouldn’t want to be labelled as hypocrites, would they?

 

Political naivete personified part 3

As a result of Wednesday’s Quick Hits, a friend came forward with yet another Political Science 101 budgetary postulate. We’ve already covered how unduly irritating the Chairman is almost always counterproductive, but that basic dynamic doesn’t end there, because horking off the county board will likely have the same effect.

Fraught with fiscal requests from every angle, these boards, who generally want the county to succeed, tend to get a little cranky whenever they encounter any kind of entitlement mentality on the part of folks who come to them for more cash.

In yet another interesting irony, it’s politicians who harbor some of the most fascinating entitlement mindsets of them all. So, I’m sure you can see why boards and their minions always seem to be involved in some sort of financial fight.

Take the ongoing Kane County Coroner Rob Russell kerfuffle. It may be true that he needs new digs, but his me-first approach to the board hasn’t helped his cause. And remember! The Chairman doesn’t vote, so Chris Lauzen’s and Russell’s antipathy is utterly immaterial. It all comes down to Russell convincing 13 board members to see it his way.

Harkening back to Court Services Director Lisa Aust and Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles, they correctly and quietly approached the board for additional funding to end the May 2018 probation worker’s strike. And again, had they convinced 13 board members to back them up, the Chairman’s thoughts on that prospect wouldn’t matter.

But that possibility crashed and burned faster than a Ford Pinto when Court Administrator Doug Naughton made this declaration at a board committee meeting; “If you guys weren’t so busy building bridges, you’d have the funds to help us out.”

Please let me stipulate that I’ve always gotten along with Doug if for no other reason than we both can rub people the wrong way. Not only that, but Doug wrote the finest FOIA refusal I’ve ever received, and he loves my flaming red walking shoes.

But as sure as Trump will Tweet tomorrow morning, despite a plethora of Democratic board sympathy for those strikers, that singular statement ended any possibility of that governmental body stepping in, because the quickest way to lose their support is to take no responsibility for your own role in an unnecessary strike and firmly believe you’re that you’re the only department entitled to all that general fund cash.

And Doug’s silly statement will echo in the county board’s ears for years to come.

I’ll say it again! It’s PolySci 101 folks. Demanding cash from the purse string holders won’t get you very far. But you never know what might happen if you deign to ask them for their help.

7 thoughts on “Quick Hits – September 14, 2018

  1. And maybe if they had less managers and allowed their well-trained employees to do their jobs without micromanaging they could spend more time writing grant proposals, etc

  2. Denying relief funds might be a bit harsh, but I wouldn’t mind one bit making those NC/SC guys wait and sweat a little bit before granting the money, just to remind them that someone noticed and remembered that Sandy stuff.

    Regarding building in coastal areas, IIRC, all flood insurance is underwritten by the federal government. Wouldn’t the feds be able at some point to say “build a house too close to the ocean at your own risk”? Or would that lend too much credibility to the climate-change folks?

    • Pan,

      That column was, mildly, tongue-in-cheek, but I did mean it when I said I would not be donating to this cause.

      And I think you’re right about the flood insurance, but it’s not all federally underwritten because there’s been a SC battle going on between folks who live in flood plains and folks who don’t. The folks who don’t don’t want to subsidize the folks who do, so the state must have something to do with it, too.

      Jeff

  3. I have had lots of dealings with flood insurance albeit in Illinois. Many people do not know they are in a flood plain. Flood plains change many times and people go in and out constantly. You can buy a home and find at closing you need flood insurance conversely can buy a home and a few years later be put in flood plain and not have to get insurance because you are not told. In my dealings admittedly a long time ago generally you had two or three claims that would be paid after that generally offered a buy out or no longer would you be insured
    Speaking as a Republican I often wish Lincoln would have let the south go. We are the UNITED States we won they lost
    Maybe all that federal money that goes disproportionately to them could be cut back

    • Jim,

      In general, you’re right. But as I noted with Pan, there has been an ongoing battle between flood plain and non-flood plain South Carolinians. The non-flood plain people feel like they’re subsidizing constant rebuilds.

      But it’s the coastal areas in both states that are the issue. And despite dire warnings, both Republican legislatures have sided with the developers in building on very questionable coastline.

      Jeff

  4. Curious…At which meeting did Mr. Naughton speak those cringey words?

    • SJ,

      As is the policy here, I would prefer to know who you are (the rest don’t need to know). But since that knowledge wouldn’t change the answer, I will say that I can’t say because I technically shouldn’t know that he said it.

      That should be the kind of hint you need to somewhat pinpoint where it was said.

      And if you know Doug, then you know that kind of statement is not at all out of character for him. It actually made me laugh, but I’m not the one asking the County Board for money!

      Jeff

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