JNealNC | Indy Week

Member since Mar 31, 2011

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Jim Neal is a community leader and Democratic activist who was a candidate for the US Senate in 2008. He serves as the Chairman a… More »


Living in Chapel Hill

Updated on April 1, 2011 at 12:11 AM

Recent Comments

Re: “Despite the dangers of fracking, North Carolina lawmakers want to legalize it

Related post on http://nealsway.com which I'm not happy to say cast an ominous shadow almost a year ago as to what we might expect .


1. A FRAC Act is before the Congress. Neither of our US Senators or Representatives are co-sponsors. Senators like NY's Kirstin Gilibrand- with whom I spoke on this subject back in March- "gets" the red flags raised by the refusal of energy companies to disclose the composition of their fracking fluids- known to include carcinogens. What are they hiding? Don't you want to know? We should as does she.

2. Why the rush? Jones Street is front running an exhaustive study by the EPA on the safety of fracking- as Lisa reports. What has undermined the notion of taking a judicious approach by waiting for that study?

3. Check the Democrats who folded their hands and did the bidding for the Oil & Gas industry by voting in favor of SB 709. They will no doubt fall back into the "creates jobs" talking point refrain- but that's a poisonous red herring. Follow the money?

4. Kid yourselves not. This legislation is part of the broader interstate strategic goal of forces affiliated with the Koch Brothers' sprawling anti-government, anti-regulation, pro-market initiatives campaign being waged in all 50 states. There is a macro playbook for restructuring at the state level and thus far it is succeeding.

5. The only line of defense is the Governor's veto power. She'd be well-advised to take a tough stand and assume an agressive leadership role as THE Democratic governor who says No and does so regardless of whether Joe Hackney can herd all the cats to sustain her vetos. Symbolism and conviction are traits that would serve our state well and bolster her chances of holding onto the Governor's mansion in 2012 as Pat McCrory lays low in the weeds, prepared to come out with a bang.

And lastly- readers please focus on state and local races in 2012. They affect our well-being more so than does the Federal branch and we must- it is an imperative- batten down the hatches right here in our beloved North Carolina.

jim neal
former candidate for the us senate (D-2008)
chapel hill

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by JNealNC on 05/12/2011 at 3:22 AM

Re: “Same facts show different truths about being poor in N.C.

The "Rashoman moment" occured during an exchange between Ferrel Guillroy and me. I respect Ferrel's deep knowledge of southern politics. I posited that in reality the traditional measures of poverty are somewhat antiquated. In 1969 about 20% of North Carolinians lived in poverty; today, the figure is around 17%- and one out of every four children in our state live in poverty.

To truly appreciate poverty one needs to go into communities and see it, smell it, breathe it and hear it. People aren't statistics- and the statistical differences haven't moved the dial in a meaningful way. All the bonhomie and self-congratulatory back-patting obscure the reality that there are dead bodies on the battlefield, corpses rotting and legions left for dead.

It's immoral and an abject failure on the part of me, you, other citizens of our state and a lack of leadership by the political establishment. By all counts, poverty in NC is going to get even worse. There is a humanitarian crisis in our state. It's only exacerbated by focusing on what was, as opposed to what can be.

The poor don't vote. They don't contribute. They lack political power. Hope and faith can only sustain them so far. It's time to roll up our shirtsleeves, architect new strategies, bring the faces of poverty front and center and exert pressures on those entrenched interests which stymie progress.

As Bob notes, the NAACP's Rev. Barber is organizing a bus tour through eastern NC this summer. The stars of that tour will be the voices and faces of poverty: black, white, male and female, children and the working poor. Stay tuned. Bringing those faces into the living roomw of North Carolinians is a start.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JNealNC on 03/31/2011 at 11:35 PM

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