To the Editor:
In the Oct. 19 Smoky Mountain News, a photo and story feature covered the Oct. 15 Occupy Sylva event. However, what the article did not report was that our Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva, chose the Occupy Sylva event to denounce Roses, a North Carolina business, and in fact encouraged the Occupy group not to shop at this store. He even told them where the store was located.
These outrageous remarks were stated by Haire in the midst of a disastrous economy and skyrocketing unemployment with shops and store closing all around us. Roses is the much-needed anchor of Jackson Plaza, a shopping center in Sylva. It is disgraceful that an elected official suggested a boycott that if followed could mean more job losses and even another closing of a business in Jackson County.
Rep. Haire coupled his remarks with high praise for a New Yorker Magazine article “State for Sale.” The New Yorker article, written by an ultra left winger for a ultra left wing magazine, to be read by big-city liberals, spent 10 pages slamming Republican spending in the 2010 elections and specifically the Jim Davis/John Snow race. The article focused on, well actually smeared, Raleigh multi-millionaire Republican funder Art Pope whose business is Rose’s Department Stores … .hmmm now we understand Rep. Haire’s motive.
You can see and hear Rep. Haire’s remarks on a video taken at the Occupy Sylva event. Go to Youtube at http:/youtu.be/LMNSl1yaC-0 or on Franklin videographer Bobby Coggin’s Thunder Pig blog at http://bit.ly/pKIlO4 . Rep. Haire also offered to provide the New Yorker article for anyone who wished to read it … that is if you want to read unbalanced and slanted reporting.
Just for the record, not of course covered by the New Yorker magazine, North Carolina Democrats spent $16 million to the Republican’s $14 million in the 2010 elections. Records also show that Democrats have, with few exceptions, consistently outspent Republicans on legislative races. The New Yorker article would have you to believe otherwise. That kind of money does not come from the coins and $5 checks from ordinary voters. Do we think there might be a Democrat “Art Pope?” How about Democrat funder millionaire Jim Goodmon, owner of WRAL-TV, who follows the Pope patterns of election contributions as well as funding liberal policy groups? Again, no mention of Goodmon in “State for Sale” but then the objective of the NewYorker article was not balanced journalism.
Yes, it is an exorbitant expense to be a candidate for any elected office. So, candidates and political parties must solicit funds from wealthy citizens as well as the general public. TV is extremely expensive and radio spots and effective print media programs are not far behind in cost. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, whose TV ads were shown over and over again, spent $2 million in his campaign against Republican Jeff Miller’s $1 million in 2010.
Is running for political office too expensive by ordinary standards? Probably. Do we want government to dictate to the media, graphics companies, mail houses and other candidate services how much they can charge candidates for their services and products? I don’t think so, unless we intend to allow government to move us farther along a path that is attempting to do away with our free enterprise system.
We see the government encroachment on free enterprise as more and more businesses and industries — healthcare, banking and finance, energy to name a few — are regulated and price controlled. Next thing you know government will be controlling what we are allowed to eat and even how we run our homes, like what light bulbs we can use. Oh, sorry, bad example, the light bulb restriction is already in place.