Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Congressional games: Varsity vs JV?

Tuesday's 12th District congressional forum was already about an hour old when two candidates started with the metaphors.

"We're not giving out a lifetime achievement award," George Battle III told the audience at the Tuesday Morning Forum.

Battle, a first-time candidate, was talking about state Sen. Malcolm Graham, who had touted his experience in the legislature, the community and on Charlotte City Council.

"I don't want a lifetime achievement award," Graham shot back. "If we want to send experience (to Washington) now is not the time to send the junior varsity." After all, he said, experience counts.

Then it was Battle's turn.

"Sen. Graham has talked about experience," he said. "He's right. I don't have any experience compiling one of the Senate's worst attendance records over the last 10 years (and) one of the worst effectiveness rankings.

"It's always been my philosophy that I'd rather be a starter on the junior varsity than on the bench on the varsity."

New rankings by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research show Graham ranked 42nd of 50 senators in attendance last session, missing 10 of the 106 legislative days. The same survey ranked him 44th in effectiveness.

(Graham pointed to an NAACP scorecard, which gave him a grade of 96 for the last session.)

Graham and Battle were the only ones of seven Democratic candidates to show up at the forum. Among the missing" James "Smuggie" Mitchell. The forum came a day after he lost a bid to be appointed mayor, a job that went instead to Sen. Dan Clodfelter.


Anonymous said...

(Graham pointed to an NAACP scorecard, which gave him a grade of 96 for the last session.)

Only a 96?

Clearly Graham missed his calling on the comedy circuit although he would have to work a lot harder to earn his keep ...

David P. McKnight said...

We should not have to wait all year for a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Mel Watt to join the North Carolina congressional delegation in Washington.

The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) provides that state governments should set elections for new U..S. House members when vacancies occur:

"When vacancies happen the representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies."

This language means sooner and not later.

The offices of U.S. representative and U.S. senator are federal and not state offices and therefore are subject to selection according to the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution, the state governments' administrative responsibilities notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

There he goes again ... Any wonder even daddy couldn't buy him a
slot? Should have run for dog catcher or maybe mayor ...

States Rights ring a bell? It is after all "united" "states" of America after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci in 1512.

4th president Madison's 1787 oked Constitution does not give a time limit on Fed vacancies and leaves it up to each state.

Article One:

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof ...


David P. McKnight said...

That's correct: The Constitution provides that "the times, places and manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof."

This assures that state governments will be "full partners" in our federal constitutional system.

And we look forward to the election of a new Representative from the 12th Congressional District.

As for the personal slights of this anonymous writer against the journalism career of my father Pete McKnight, who worked in both the Knights Newspapers and Knight Ridder Newspapers management groups, I chose not to try to follow in his pioneering editorial footsteps in Shelby and Charlotte but rather pursued journalism goals at newspapers elsewhere, including the Durham Herald-Sun, the Raleigh News & Observer, the Fayetteville Observer, the Greensboro News & Record and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

I was very proud to receive an Editorial Prize award at the Fayetteville Observer from the North Carolina Press Association. As a Hank Williams Jr. fan, I have enjoyed trying to honor a "family tradition" while contemplating "The Road Not Taken" by my dad.

But I must own up to one journalism experience at The Charlotte Observer: a 1966 summer internship in the Sports Department of The Observer. So I am proud to say that I hve had at least one job in my hometown of Charlotte, where I attended Garinger High School and covered sports for the Garinger Rambler.

Paraphrasing Charlie Kuralt and others, I just like calling North Carolina home.