Under the Dome

Secessionists get counter-suggestion: Deportation

lbonner@newsobserver.comNovember 17, 2012 

Various petitions to allow states to secede from the union began popping up on the White House website soon after the election.

Last week, some new ones showed up that called for either deporting those secessionists or stripping them of their citizenship. (There’s also one to allow the city of Atlanta to withdraw from the state of Georgia and remain part of the United States.)

They’re all attracting thousands of signatures.

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the White House started accepting petitions and promised a response to any that got more than 25,000 signatures.

Randy Dye of Pittsboro created one of the many secession petitions. His recently topped 29,000 signatures, and he is awaiting a response.

“This will go absolutely nowhere,” Dye told Charlotte-based WBTV. “I’m a realist on that.”

One of the counter-petitions asks for the following: “Deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States Of America.”

More than 23,000 apparently prefer that option.

Dome thinks all these people should go the movies this weekend and watch “Lincoln.”

Perdue fields more criticism

Gov. Bev Perdue faced criticism last week from Senate leader Phil Berger for her choice of a state-federal health exchange, but her office said she had to pick a plan in order for the state to be eligible for millions in federal grants.

Berger, a Republican, said the outgoing Democratic governor should have left the choice to incoming Republican governor Pat McCrory.

States have three options for Internet insurance marketplaces under the federal law. Perdue chose the middle course so McCrory and the Republican-led legislature can pick something else if they want.

Berger said he didn’t object applying for money as long as it wasn’t wasted.

Perdue said the state was going for the state-federal exchange in a letter supporting the grant application for about $74 million. The application deadline was Thursday. The grant application required the governor to pick a option.

“If we signaled no intent, the federal government would choose for us full federal control,” wrote Perdue spokeswoman Christine Mackey.

But Berger spokeswoman Amy Auth says Perdue didn’t have to go as far as she did in choosing a state-federal partnership to complete the grant application.

“The grant proposal is very carefully worded to only force a state to identify its ‘anticipated exchange model.’ But that’s not what Gov. Perdue did in her press conference. She definitively declared that she had ‘chosen’ the state-federal option, not just laying a placeholder to request the grant funding.”

The deadline for a declaration letter applying for a state/federal partnership exchange is Feb. 15, 2013.

Perdue is getting some support for her decision from health insurance agents and brokers in the state. “We support the Governor’s choice to give North Carolina citizens a voice in managing their own health insurance marketplace,” says Teri Gutierrez, president of the N.C. Association of Health Underwriters. “It is critical that we make decisions that best fit the needs of both individual consumers and employers in North Carolina. We also agree with the Governor’s intent to move North Carolina towards a full state-based exchange as quickly as possible.”

McCrory on fiscal cliff: shrug

At a Republican governors conference last week in Las Vegas, the governors were asked how to solve the fiscal cliff and in particular whether Congress should let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire, as President Barack Obama has proposed. N.C. Gov.-elect Pat McCrory got the question, too. His answer: a shrug.

From Politico’s Jonathan Martin and James Hohmann: “Asked if new federal tax revenue should be taken off the table, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said: ‘I’m not saying that. I’m not in Washington. Let the people in Washington make that decision.’

“North Carolina Gov.-elect Pat McCrory also shrugged. ‘I don’t know,’ he said, when asked if tax increases on the rich can be avoided in a fiscal cliff deal.”

Staff writers Lynn Bonner, John Frank, Austin Baird and Mary Cornatzer

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