Poor rural counties in North Carolina that once fought over attracting manufacturing facilities for the south's formerly thriving textile industry, are now fighting over other people's trash.
According to the Charlotte Observer:
Waste companies, said one industry official, are looking for large tracts of land with good transportation networks "and as few voters as possible."
As it turns out, that would be Richmond and Scotland counties in NC, both [temporarily] gorgeous areas in the heart of the 8th District, that desperately need the income now.
What's free trade got to do with it? Ask Rep. Robin Hayes:
"I am flat-out, completely, horizontally opposed to CAFTA,"
Hayes said in the weeks leading up to this summer's vote to send what's left of domestic textile manufacturing south of the border.
"It's not in the best interests of the core constituency I represent," Hayes said another time.
"Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants, I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA," Hayes said on a third occasion.
Of course, under party pressure Robin Hayes did ultimately cast the deciding vote for the Tom DeLay sponsored bill fast tracking the south's last hope for dignity to places like the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
It's a win-win for global corporate socialist Republicans. Central American workers get exploited. And the 34,150 North Carolinians that have lost their job since Republicans gained control of Congress get to pick through the world's garbage for the scraps.
Contrary to what out-of-touch Hollywood "strategists" would have us believe, JOBS are the issue in the south. It's still the economy Stupid. Combine a flat federal minimum wage in it's 9th year at $5.15 with growing discontent with Republicans and long term incumbents like Hayes suddenly become more than vulnerable.
Hunter Bacot, director of the Elon University Poll, said Iraq and the economy were the two dominant issues on the minds of [North Carolina] poll respondents. He also noted that declining confidence in Bush could mean trouble for Republicans, as 46 percent of respondents said they voted for Bush in 2004 but only 26 percent said they would vote Republican in 2006.
"It is clear that Bush's troubles are trickling down to other members of his party," Bacot said.
My concern is the one dimensional war angle some are imposing on our local races, especially in southern districts with military bases like the 8th District. When you've got something everyone agrees on like the economy, why wedge the south into taking sides on the war? Don't we know how that will break yet?
2006 really is going to come down to the economy in the south. Remember the economy? The Democratic Party's strong suit?