This week at progressive state blogs: Taxing in NC, gerrymandering in WI, not recounting in VA

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 30-11-2013-05-2008

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Just as states with progressive lawmakers and activists have themselves initiated innovative programs over a wide range of issues, state-based progressive blogs have helped provide us with a point of view, inside information and often an edgy voice that we just don’t get from the traditional media. This week in progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Let me know via comments or Kosmail if you have a favorite state- or city-based blog you think I should know about. Inclusion of a diary does not necessarily indicate my agreement or endorsement of its contents.

At BlueNC, James writes—The Great North Carolina GOP Tax Increase of 2014:

When Republicans talk about their big tax cut coming in January, people will be forgiven for not getting all that excited. The bottom rate will drop from 6.0% to 5.8%, which qualifies as nothing more than chump change. For a person making $25,000, the tax cut is whopping $50. Impressive.

Of course, if you happen to be a high-income earner, the picture is a lot prettier. Your tax rate will drop from 7.75% to 5.8%. So if you’re making $200,000, you’ll get a $3,900 tax break. In other words, your benefit from the Republican plan is 78 times higher than the person at the bottom of the income scale. Seventy-eight freaking times!

But the gift that keeps on giving doesn’t stop there. In addition to that whopping $50 savings, all income earners will now be paying taxes on movies, museums, live entertainment, service contracts, warranties, maintenance agreements, repair contracts, electricity and natural gas, manufactured homes and modular homes sold at retail, and a whole lot more. So if you spend as little as $5,000 on all of those services combined, you’ll be paying an additional $235 each year. Most people will pay twice that.

Over the month ahead, right wing nutjobs will be singing the praises of tax reform as a giant step forward for North Carolina families. Don’t buy their bullshit. You’ve been played. This is nothing more than the old bait and switch, and the only people who will make out are … you guessed it … the rich and well-to-do.

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At Blue Hog Report of Arkansas, Matt Campbell writes—The Comedic Stylings of Mark Darr:

Blue Hog Report

A friend passes along this screen shot of erstwhile House candidate and über-part-time Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr making a funny:

While it’s hard to compete with the kind of comic genius that considers “blogger” a punchline, let’s see if we can come up with some other options for who that guy might be.

• A process server, finally locating the guy who was too cowardly to pick up certified mail.

• A state trooper, providing additional pointless security at the Lt. Gov.’s request. […]

• A member of the Ethics Commission, investigating why Darr has still not filed a third-quarter CC&E report.[…]

•A window washer who went to work that day without expecting some moron to take his picture and belittle his profession.

Maybe, rather than trying to be witty, Darr could use moments like that to complete and file the amended CC&Es that he promised back in August.

At Blue Cheddar of Wisconsin, Worley Dervish writes—Ungerrymander Us!

In Wisconsin, as in other states, democracy is being gerrymandered to death, and now is the time for us to put pressure on the Wisconsin legislature to put an end to partisan redistricting.

In 2012, Republicans won just 46 percent of the votes cast in Wisconsin Assembly races, whereas Democrats won 53 percent. And yet 60 percent of that body are Republicans.

Also in 2012, Wisconsinites cast 43,020 more votes for Democrats than Republicans in U.S. House races, but statewide we are “represented” by five Republicans and three Democrats.

In neither case could you call the election results a mandate. And yet, Republicans are so secure in their gerrymandered little seats that they can openly fly in the face of what the majority of Wisconsinites want. Rather than being concerned with the needs of the majority, the Republicans continually pander to the needs of the corporate backers whose big money put them in office.

Below the fold you will find additional excerpts from progressive state blogs.

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