The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

January 7, 2014

Finding comedy in their ways

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 — RALEIGH — For years, the reporters who cover state government, known as the Capitol Press Corps, held annual skits in which we would perform send-ups of the missteps and misdeeds of the state’s politicians.

Most were good-natured jabs, with a only a few crossing the line into real meanness.

Governors, legislators and lobbyists would attend.

Writing my share of skits over the years, the first I can remember writing was a faux TV ad entitled, “Sam Ellis, semi-attorney at law.” (Ellis, then a state representative and construction company owner from the Raleigh suburb of Garner, had a penchant for arguing points of law on House floor.)

For a variety of reasons (difficult to finance, a shrinking press corps, scheduling difficulties, cantankerous reporter burnout), the press skits stopped a few years back.

Still, every once in while, someone in the Legislative Building press room will shout out an idea, based on the follies and failings at the legislature, for a skit.

One idea that kept recurring to me over the course of the past year was centered around a fictitious city council meeting.

This would be no normal city council meeting. It would be big, really big.

In fact, it would begin this way: “The meeting of the city councils of Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro and Winston-Salem is called to order, co-mayors Rucho and Moffitt presiding.”

Rucho would be state Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Charlotte. Moffitt would be state Rep. Tim Moffitt, a Republican from Asheville.

Spawned by the two men's decisions to enmesh themselves and the legislature in local fights over the Charlotte airport and Asheville water, the skit would go on to have the two, and members of the legislature/mega-City Council, take bizarre actions over the protests of recently deposed (by legislative fiat) local officials.

They would sell off all city parks in Raleigh to a consortium that included the Chinese government, allowing them to be turned into inter-connecting Wild West theme parks; they would pull up Charlotte’s light rail LYNX commuter train line, selling the metal for scrap and putting the money toward the latest shortfall in the state Medicaid budget; and they would vote to change the name of Winston-Salem to Berger-Apodaca, to honor a couple of accomplished North Carolinians.

As with the actual skits that once picked at the political class, these little pokes in the eye wouldn't be funny to political insiders (assuming they actually are) if they were not grounded in a bit of reality.

Some of that reality just made the news recently.

It seems three of the Lee County school board's five Republicans have switched party affiliation, becoming either Democrats or independents, after the legislature meddled in local affairs there to turn local elections from nonpartisan to partisan affairs.

The three were apparently as impressed as I was with the trend of the legislature usurping local prerogative and power.

Unlike me, they apparently aren’t into writing skits.

Scott Mooneyham is a syndicated columnist for Capitol Press Association and covers activities of the N.C. Legislature.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 19, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    WASHINGTON - The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 19, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 11, 2014

  • Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?

    Research shows most people can follow a regimented eating plan for a short time. That's not the challenge. The challenge is finding a healthful eating plan you can follow day after day and achieve your long-term health goals. At this point, it doesn't appear that the paleo eating plan meets these objectives for most people.

    April 10, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.16.35 PM.png Are Americans smart to stop drinking diet sodas?

    Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest many are cutting back on diet sodas. Consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content