-May 20, 2013-
3:00 -- The head of the IRS's labor union met with President Obama the day before the IRS launched its targeted program of Tea Party groups. Surely, it's just a coincidence.
4:00 -- Is Obama a flake? Here's an analysis that supports the conclusion that he is.
5:00 -- Shariah law in North Carolina - is it needed or are Republican lawmakers just scaremongering?
-May 21, 2013-
3:00 -- The Asheville TEA Party protests outisde the local IRS offices. Plus, french fries & curly fries.
4:00 -- French fries, curly fries, drive-ins, and radio frequency waves. Plus, if you had to pick a species of infestation, what would it be?
5:00 -- Pete's battles flies in his apartment. Plus, trivia!
-May 22, 2013-
4:00 -- The folks from Mountain Xpress drop by to chat about the latest edition on news stands today.
-May 23, 2013-
-May 24, 2013-
About 50 protesters assembled outside the federal building on Patton Ave. today at noon, to demonstrate against the IRS and its targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups.
I had about half an hour today and so I ran down to take some pictures and meet some folks.
Unfortunately, a lot of my time was spent arguing with a woman named Kathy over the completely irrelevant topic of gay marriage. Despite a year of on-air and Facebook debates about this topic, she refuses to accept that I disagree with her on it. So, instead of spending my time discussing things we might have in common, she kept trying to make me change my mind.
Just for future reference, this is not how you win people over to your cause.
Anyway, I apologize for not being able to speak with more people.
As Mick Jagger sang, "I went down to the demonstration, to get my fair share of abuse."
Last week the Asheville Citizen-Times reported the City Schools Superintendent Allen Johnson would be retiring.
Before I get into the public policy and political impacts this story raises, let me first issue a standard disclaimer: I have never met Mr. Johnson. I congratulate him on his retirement. I wish him only the best as he embarks upon the next chapter of his life.
However, the decision by the Asheville Board of Education to pay Johnson $175,000 for walking out the door is not only bad policy, its an abuse of the public trust and should outrage folks who want better prioritization in education spending, as well as those who want more education spending.
From the Citizen-Times report:
City schools will pay $175,000 to buy out Johnson’s remaining contract, which expires June 30, 2016.
Board of Education Chairwoman Jacquelyn Hallum said Johnson’s decision to retire was voluntary and the buyout was “part of the negotiation process.”
Hallum took over as board chairwoman earlier this year, and two new members, Matt Buys and Leah Ferguson, joined the board.
The announcement came during a Thursday morning board meeting.
“It caught us by surprise,” said Charlie Glazener, school system spokesman.
As I outlined Friday on the radio show, this smacks of a force-out.
First, there was absolutely no obligation for the school district to pay out such a large sum for an employee who was leaving voluntarily. Second, there should never have been a "negotiation process" when the employee voluntarily announces a retirement. Finally, the fact that the retirement caught the district spokesman by surprise indicates this was not planned - nor voluntary.
If the Asheville School Board wants to move in a new direction with a new superintendent, that's fine. But let's hear that discussion about what that new direction is, why Johnson is not the man to guide the district there, and how a new schools chief would be better suited for the job.
Otherwise, this is all just a lie.
For the children?
Just a day before this shake-up was reported, a bunch of statist education "activists" came to downtown Asheville to decry the Republican legislature. Basically, the message was "The GOP is ruining everything and we should spend more money on schools - but only if the government runs them all."
Within 24 hours, the City School Board approved the $175,000 unneccessary buyout of Supt. Johnson's contract. This is precisely why people find it hard to believe schools would spend more money wisely, and why limited government proponents believe government-controlled K-12 education needs competition in the marketplace.
The retirement present given to Johnson could've hired a teacher for about 5 years. Instead, taxpayers will be paying him for doing, quite literally, nothing.
Either the Asheville School Board paid off an employee for absolutely no purpose, or the Board and Johnson are lying about the real reason he's leaving. Neither option engenders confidence in the school system leadership, nor the Asheville City Council that oversees this operation.
-May 13, 2013-
3:00 -- BREAKING NEWS: A Philadelphia jury convicts abortionist Kermit Gosnell on three counts of First Dgree Murder. Plus, the latest on the Asheville water lawsuit.
4:00 -- The Mayor of Asheville says she never got a written $57 million proposal from the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Except she actually did.
5:00 -- The IRS is trouble for targeting Tea Party groups starting back in 2010.
-May 14, 2013-
3:00 -- Buncombe County Commissioners really, really, really care about what you think about their proposal to give $18 million to an un-named business. But they say we'll be happy!
4:00 -- WLOS has a story on how the Buncombe County School district has a history of not getting the required permits for work.
5:00 -- More on the WLOS story. Plus, Scott Hamilton, President & CEO of AdvantageWest, joins us to talk about a bill in the NC Senate that would strip the organization of $1 million in state funding.
-May 15, 2013-
3:00 -- Dr. Terry Stoops joins us to talk about a Henderson County classroom exam that used a partisan editorial to teach English to 4th graders. Plus, dissention at AB Tech over the new building.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress drop by to chat about the latest edition on news stands today.
5:00 -- Jane Bilello, Chairman of the Asheville Tea Party, joins us to talk about how her group may have been targeted by the IRS in a national campaign of intimidation.
-May 16, 2013-
3:00 -- Scandalamnia! IRS, Benghazi, and the AP phone records - has President Obama stopped the political bleeding?
4:00 -- More Scandalmania.
4:30 -- NC State Treasurer Janet Cowell drops by the studio to chat about unclaimed property you might have, plus will the City of Asheville see a downgrade of its bond rating if the water system gets merged into MSD?
5:00 -- Scandalmania! Plus trivia.
-May 17, 2013-
3:00 -- As Pete predicted it took a year for John Edwards to kick off his "comeback" tour. Plus, Jeff Greiner, Gerald Kummerlow and Simone Seitz join us to about an upcoming Zipline event to raise money for a local autism agency. Details are here.
4:00 -- Protesters rally for education. Pete suggests stop crying about funding until schools quit wasting money, like the "sweet" deal given to outgoing Asheville City Schools Superintendent Allen Johnson. Then, more on the Buncombe Co. Schools permit scandal.
5:00 -- More on the permits story. Plus, Susan Myrick from Civitas joins us to talk about the latest in a series of investigative reports looking at the incestuous relationship between the Board of Elections and the leftwing group Democracy NC.