To hear Tim Moffitt tell it, he was only trying to be a good guy by asking his Democratic opponent to drop out of the race for the Asheville House seat Moffitt holds.
Were all rookies at some point. ... I could tell that nobody had really sat down with him and said, Hey, do you really know what youre getting involved with? the aspiring House speaker told NCInsider.com. Moffitt said he was simply trying to educate a political newcomer about what he could expect from the coming campaign, describing Buncombe County as a toxic political environment.
Whatever Moffitts motivations, he would have to be a political novice himself to believe his action wouldnt be construed by some as more self-serving than altruistic. Its a bit patronizing as well. Challenger Brian Turner is a former vice chancellor at UNC Asheville and a former MTV producer, not jobs where naivete gets you very far.
Moffitt denies he offered Turner a state job at UNC TV in return for dropping out. Buncombe County commissioner David King, the Republican who arranged the meeting between the two and was present, concurred. A misunderstanding is possible on that score.
But this private meeting with an opponent where Moffitt asks him to drop out of a race in a district where neither political party has a lock on winning was bound to spark suspicions. Youd think Moffitt, a political veteran with four years in the House, would know that.
Waiting game for N.C. teachers
Eric Guckian, Gov. Pat McCrory's education adviser, didnt do much to boost N.C. teachers hopes about accross-the-board pay raises this year. He reiterated at a conference of N.C. school administrators last week that the governor would push for raises for starting teachers in the short legislative session in May. Raises for veteran teachers will depend on state revenues, and as part of a comprehensive plan could take several years.
The latest national survey of teacher pay released last week bolsters the argument for boosting starting teacher pay. North Carolina is dead last in the Southeast and 48th nationally on starting teacher pay. The states $30,778 starting pay falls behind Mississippis $31,184.
But do the governor and lawmakers really believe the state cant do better now on improving the states overall ranking on teacher pay, which is 46th, especially given that teacher pay in the Tar Heel state saw the largest decline nationally in average pay over the past decade?
Highs and lows of working
Here are two sets of figures to consider.
President Barack Obama moved last week to make more people eligible for overtime. Currently, salaried workers making more than $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, arent eligible for time-and-a-half overtime if some of their work is considered supervisory, even though most of their duties are not managerial but manual, clerical or technical work.
Also last week, the New York State Comptrollers office said Wall Street firms handed out $26.7 billion in bonuses to their 165,200 employees last year, up 15 percent over the previous year. Thats the third highest on record.
Which, if either, offends you?
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