“GOP lawmakers reject 4 Cooper nominees” (July 1) reported our General Assembly rejected four of Gov. Cooper’s nominees, including two for appointment to the State Board of Education pending since May 2, 2017. I am one of those two nominees.
Included in the article were statements attributed to Sen. Chad Barefoot explaining the basis of my nomination’s rejection. Barefoot’s stated rationale was that I had been involved in a lawsuit challenging efforts to shift power from the Board of Education to the Superintendent of public instruction.
Barefoot’s statements are completely false. He and others relying on such rationale are misinformed or are knowingly playing fast and loose with the truth. I do not know and have never met the Superintendent of Public Instruction. I have never been involved in any lawsuit challenging the legislature’s effort to shift power from the Board of Education to the superintendent.
I met with Barefoot and other members of the Senate Education Committee on Dec. 20, 2017 in Raleigh. When asked about the lawsuit referenced by Barefoot, my lack of participation was directly communicated by me to Barefoot and others present.
In my 30 years as an educator, knowledge of constitutional rights, support for the rule of law and truthfulness were cornerstones of my teaching. The genius of our constitutions, state and federal, includes mechanisms for citizens to exercise those rights and utilize those ideals in our daily lives.
In 2013, I proudly did so. I joined 24 other educators across N.C. challenging the private school voucher program’s dispatch of public, taxpayer, money to unaccountable private schools in violation to our N.C. Constitution.
Perhaps this is what confused Barefoot, or what he chose to ignore. If service on the State Board of Education requires relinquishing constitutional rights, remaining silent in the face of what one believes is improper or being untruthful, someone else should be sought. My goal is to improve the quality education, nothing more and nothing less.
The length limit has been waived to permit a fuller response.
To those who want to flaunt their religion in public places I quote Jesus Christ: “and when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: but thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
This country was founded on the ideal of freedom of religion with tolerance and respect for all beliefs, and it has served us well. Let’s keep it that way.
Hog farm ‘hoodwink’
Regarding “Overturned veto brings hog farmers new protections” (June 28): Recently, the Republican legislature overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the North Carolina Farm Act (Senate Bill 711). Republicans and farmers are undoubtedly happy with this decision; however, a perusal between the lines of this bill reveals the now-standard effort by Republicans to sell out residents’ protections for corporations’ profits.
Common sense and in-depth reporting tell us that farming practices like spraying animal waste onto nearby fields generates noxious odors and that this practice causes harm to nearby residents.
When farm-adjacent citizens file lawsuits against “agricultural operations,” they do so to protect their quality of life and the value of their land, which are dependent upon the odors and noises present every time they wake up, host family gatherings or attempt to sell their property.
Put simply, the new farm bill infringes on citizens’ access to the legal means to protect their right to the American Dream. In eliminating the ability of residents to file nuisance lawsuits in any but the most (in)opportune circumstances, legislators who supported this bill effectively showed their support for corporations over constituents.
Stop drug flow
Here is a bit of advice for President Trump. If we ever get around to building his wall, he should make sure that it stops the flow of illegal drugs from the drug cartels in Mexico. That is much more important than stopping the flow of immigrants.
It is the behavior of those cartels that makes Mexicans and other Central Americans so desperate to enter the U.S.
Lane N. Tracy