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You should read the speech below – or even better, watch the video – (A) if you despair about politics today, (B) if you yearn for a fresh new voice in politics or (C) if you’re a Democrat wondering where the next crop of legislative leaders, Governors and U.S. Senators is coming from.
It’s newly appointed Senator Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, a 31-year-old former assistant district attorney who was named to replace Dan Clodfelter in May, speaking on the budget last week.The transcript, edited slightly for length, follows:
At 8 a.m. I came into my office and a new budget was on my desk. Now it’s 4 and I’m being asked to vote on it.
This is a plan to spend $21 billion of taxpayer money, and no one in the minority party was permitted to see it until this morning.  I suspect there are several members of the majority who weren’t permitted to see it until this morning.  The truth is, only a small handful of people had ever seen this budget before it landed on our desks this morning.
Folks, if you weren’t allowed to see this budget until this morning, I don’t see how you can vote on it in good conscience. You can’t possibly know what’s in here.  You can’t possibly know the intended effects of this budget, let alone the unintended effects.
Most people don’t know this, but Democrats were completely excluded from the budget-making process. Well, like it or not, we represent millions of North Carolinians. By excluding us, you exclude all of them. You’re telling millions of people that you don’t care what their representative has to say. And at the same exact time, you’re telling those folks to trust your judgment, trust your priorities and trust this budget.
What you’re really telling folks is that, when it comes to setting priorities for this state, you don’t need to hear from half its citizens. No negotiation, no give and take, no exchange of ideas, no true competition among ideas, no collaboration, no conversation, no listening to each other, no learning from each other.
This isn’t a budget; this is an ultimatum being delivered to millions of people across the state….
And I know what you’re going to say. I can see you reaching for the microphones. You’re going to say: the Democrats did it worse. And you’re right, you’re absolutely right. About that historical fact, you’re right. But in carrying on this legacy, you’re wrong. You’ve mislearned all of those lessons. Being in power means having the power to change things for the better. This isn’t just the way it works. This isn’t just the way it’s always worked. It’s wrong. And maybe it takes the new kid to tell you that, but so be it….
Let’s call it what it is. This is payback. And payback doesn’t make good policy. Revenge is something we’re supposed to rise above. Our mothers taught us that. If you truly believe in the strength of your ideas, let’s have a real debate. If you truly believe that your vision is the way forward for this state, then allow a perspective other than your own.
I’ve gotten to know almost all of you. I respect all of you. This budget process is beneath you. It’s beneath our state. Instead of propping up this sad tradition, we should end it. The pendulum will swing back. It’s only a matter of time. Let part of your legacy be that you broke this sad tradition.


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2 comments on “A Star is Born

  1. Anonymous says:

    Half way through you could have said this was about Obama Care, and it would work. Yes the Democrats did the same thing. They have done the same thing for over 100 years, and guess what, if they get back in power they will do it again. There is nothing new here. It is not refreshing. Here’s how it’s suppose to go. When the Democrats are in power they have the right to exclude ONE HALF of all North Carolinians, no big deal, they also have the right to Gerrymander all they want to. When the Republicans break through once in a CENTURY, they have no right to do the same thing. Not only is it not something new and refreshing what this appointed member has said, it’s ranks up there with stupid.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jeff Jackson might be a newborn “star” for you radical liberal/progressive democrats in our fair state, Gary, but he’s not any kind of star otherwise. Give us a break here.

    This post of yours begs me to say: “if you want to see what’s in it, you have to about…well, maybe I do. It’s what “botox-Pelosi” said as majority leader of the U.S. House when asked about what was in the Affordable Care Act legislation that ultimately passed and was signed into law by our president. You were fine with all of that…not fine with what your presenting here because some NC state legislators didn’t get the budget bill in time to read it. hahahahaha….yeah, right, Gary.

    Silly post, my man. Just silly.

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