#ncga: Mommy state alive and well in GOP-run House

*Uncle Timmy wants you to eat your vegetables.*SPEAKERMOOREPORTRAIT

It really is a shame that, in an overwhelmingly Republican chamber, you get run over and beat down for daring to question subsidies for small businesses.  But THAT is where we are:

 A group of House Republicans tried unsuccessfully to kill a proposed $300,000 program to put fresh fruits and vegetables in convenience stores located in “food deserts.”

The program was approved by the House last year but wasn’t allotted funding until this year’s budget proposal. It would provide $6,000 grants to install refrigerators in convenience stores serving communities that don’t have access to grocery stores.

“North Carolina is the 21st obese state in our nation and is rising,” said Rep. Greg Murphy, a Greenville Republican who’s also a doctor. “What we’re doing is we’re trying to change behavior. This is a very small price to pay to get people on a healthy track.”[…]

Dr, Murphy s right  — if he’s talking as a physician counseling patients.  He’s WRONG, however, when he’s talking as a government official spending MY and YOUR money.  But, wait, there’s MORE: 

[…] But Rep. Michael Speciale, a New Bern Republican, sought to remove the program from this year’s House budget proposal. His amendment would instead direct the $300,000 to rural economic development grants. “Not many people go to convenience stores to buy fruits and vegetables,” Speciale said. “We go there to buy honey buns and Cokes.”[…]

Speciale is HALF RIGHT here.  Why even spend this money AT ALL?  MORE: carrots-gonna-eat-ya

[…] Several other Republicans also said the produce program isn’t an appropriate use of government funding.

“It’s shades of Michael Bloomberg,” said Rep. Larry Pittman of Concord, referring to the former New York mayor who tried to ban large sodas. “I don’t think we need to be interfering with people’s personal choices. I think it’s a misappropriation of taxpayer funding and trying to be a nanny state.”

Rep. Gary Pendleton, a Raleigh Republican, said a Northampton County town recently lost its grocery store and residents there struggle to get to the nearest store.

“I really think those people ought to be able to eat decent food,” Pendleton said. “How are they going to go 11 miles to a grocery store?”

Speciale said he’s skeptical that the program will work. “If people were willing to buy this stuff, it would already be in convenience stores,” he said, adding that when stores do offer fruits, “they’re sitting there rotting.”

Speciale’s effort to kill the program failed in a 19-46 vote of the House Appropriations Committee. It will remain in the House budget bill that will get a final vote later this week.

There are a number of REASONS these stores aren’t selling fresh vegetables.  Who is going to pay to deliver a half-crate of vegetables to a convenience store in BFE, NC?  Also, these busi5ab529a5ebdeee2caf2312423d91adb3_XLnesses — like many others — are based on supply-and-demand. The owners have limited space to store inventory.  It’s important that they load up on what is in demand.  Apparently, people aren’t beating down the door of Kangaroo stores to get some lettuce with their gas fill-ups.   Also, vegetables have a much more limited shelf life than, say, a bag of chips or a candy bar.  Grocery stores have a higher customer volume and more resources to handle vegetables. What sells in a week at a grocery store may not get sold in a month at a convenience store.  You’re going to be throwing out a lot of produce. 

There are other good reasons why many localities don’t have a decent grocery store.  One legislator passed on this story to me:

“I had  a grocery chain rep tell me he’d love to locate a store in a certain city in my district.  But he said the local privilege taxes coupled with the shoplifting and strong-arm robbery rates made it too expensive and too risky to do business there.”

Pitttman is soooooo right.  The same Republicans who laughed at Michael Bloomberg for banning sodas are now on record favoring subsidies for convenience stores to peddle vegetables that their customers AREN’T demanding.

I know some of these yo-yos are afraid of getting hit with negative ads at election time claiming they are in favor of people (mostly poor and minority) getting fat and dying of all kinds of diseases.  But NOBODY is making anyone go to the Kangaroo and buy those HoHos and Sun-Dos.mess

I know people who drive across a couple of counties to go grocery shopping.  I know people who will drive dozens of miles to go clothes-shopping.  I know of people who will drive two hours to work (one way) and across several counties or even across state lines to go to church.

If you’ve got something people want, they WILL find a way to go get it.  And rarely do they really need government’s help.

18 thoughts on “#ncga: Mommy state alive and well in GOP-run House

  1. Rep. Greg Murphy is a liberal Obama Republican whose main issue when he appeared before the GOP Executive Committee in Pitt County to seek the appointment to the vacant seat was supporting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. He was unfamiliar with Common Core when asked about it.

    Murphy was rammed through by county GOP chairwoman Ginny Cooper at an illegal meeting of the executive committee in which she gave substantially less than the minimum required notice. Even though there were complaints from the county, establishment errand boy Dallas Woodhouse was quickly on the scene telling the local media that Murphy would be seated despite the gross irregularities in procedure. Cooper tried to intimidate the executive committee by claiming that Murphy would run in a primary against an incumbent GOP State Senator if he did not get that House appointment, and if they did not hurry, local establishment moderate radio man Henry Hinton would put up a candidate (that was really weird because Murphy WAS Hinton’s candidate).

    Now Murphy is proving that he is a full fledged Obama Republican. Not only does he support the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, but now he is pushing Michelle Obama’s ”food deserts” fantasy and wasting our taxpayer money on it.

    Unfortunately, some of the Republicans most upset over the fraudulent appointment of Murphy have directed their efforts at removing Cooper next March rather than primarying Murphy this May. Murphy should have had a conservative primary opponent. Hopefully, he will in 2018.

    The NCGOP under establishment control has had a miserable history in the last few years of backing fraudulent tactics to put the wrong people in when it comes to legislative vacancies. They were in the thick of a similar fiasco with a Davidson County appointment in the NC House earlier, and in that one an NCGOP staffer had directly misled an executive committee member before the meeting in a way that threw the choice against his preference.

  2. Hey, they backed that Progressive “public private partnership” I-77 toll lane that Tillis and McCrory pushed for.. and you still think they’re Conservative?

    Not me.

  3. This is the craziest idea I’ve ever heard of. I can’t believe Republicans voted for this. If people in rural areas want vegetables, they can grow them in their gardens—and most do. There are also roadside stands in rural areas selling farm produce. I passed two of them today. This sounds like something dreamed up by a Marxist!

    1. Actually, it was Michelle Obama’s concept of ”food deserts” and how government should deal with them. The supporters of this garbage are following the lead of Michelle Obama. How dare they even claim to be ”Republicans”? All of the supporters of this provision need primaries in 2018. Big Government Nanny State supporters do not fit it with a party of limited government.

      I wonder how long it will take for those ”vegetable coolers” to be turned into beer coolers in these convenience stores? Probably not that long. They have a lot more demand for beer than for vegetables.

  4. Why doesn’t the NC legislature limit purchases of sugary snacks and sugary soft drinks, if they are so concerned? Am I the only one aware that a person on food stamps can purchase anything they want with the exception of tobacco and alcohol? Any trip to a supermarket yields an eye opening experience when behind a food stamp recipient checking out in the line. They are purchasing more calories than I would in a year? Furthermore, they are allowed to purchase filet mignon and lobster tails not to mention Oreo cookies, Starbucks coffees, and candy? Things I can’t afford as a working adult. Unfortunately, it’s all Obama’s plan to create a wonderful government entitlement for people to enable the democrats to buy elections on the backs of hard working americans. Furthermore, for convenient stores to be allowed to accept food stamps fresh vegetables must be available. The next time you walk in a convenient store notice the “we accept EBT” on the door and the rotting bananas beside the cash register.

  5. Over the years, I’ve become very saddened by the fact that a lot of Republicans in the state legislature are just not limited government, liberty-minded folks.

    They’re the same nanny-state big-government crowd the Democrats are, they just think they’re different because they have a slightly different agenda for what big government should do.

    *sigh* This is a nonsense idea, and none of the state government’s business. If you want to help such people and do such things, go do it with your own money, and go out and try to convince others to make that choice too.

    But sticking your hands into the taxpayer’s pocket by force without cause is simply theft. It doesnt matter how much better you think you can spend other people’s money.

  6. Jeff Collins ,who is in my district, voted for driver license’s for illegals. And I am sure he will vote for anything to advance the socialist agenda. He told me specifically he would reform land lord tenant laws in this state that are as archaic as the day Is long. What did Jeff do? Voted to raise the fees land lords pay to take a tenant to court to remove a non payer? They went from 96.00 to 126. These rinos are to bit liars! Anyone who believes they are not, is fooling themselves. I’d like a rebuttal from the Nash GOP? Crickets?

  7. Just wanted to thank you all for bringing up the issue of Food Deserts. I agree w the comments above that I am right as a physician to advocate for healthier foods, but also as a conservative I should advocate to save money not only now but in the future. As we spend millions and millions on the Medicaid Population for preventable diseases caused by obesity such as Diabetes, Heart Disease and Kidney failure, I would contend it is altogether forwarding thinking to try to save the state millions in the future by investing in the present to change behavior now. If we do not, we will just be stuck with a greater and greater bill for obesity-related diseases in the future that we just cannot afford.

    As for my feelings about ObamaCare you will be hard pressed to find someone who detests and despises it more than I do. I am a practicing physician in private practice and a small business owner. Obamacare’s written purpose is to create endless and expensive bureaucracy to literally put me out of business. Let me make this painfully clear. If given the chance today, I would vote to repeal it. I hate it. Ask my staff. Ask my patients. I complain about it all the time. While I would throw out ObamaCare, I would do the same with Common Core.

    I find it unfortunate that gross misinformation and untruths are being circulated about my views on this topic.

    1. So.. you “arent” advocating taking $300k from the taxpayers that earned it, and spending it as “you” would prefer?

      The merits of the idea itself is fairly irrelevant… as this is not what government is for. It’s not government’s job to “change behaviors” of free people, and especially not to try and do it with other people’s money.

      I was reminded of this article earlier today while reading another story that quoted James Madison, arguing that a government is unjust when it effectuates “arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” Which, it seems, is pretty much what this is.

    2. The silence is deafening. I asked Greg below over a day ago to spell out if he still takes the position he did when he first started seeking this seat in support of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and all we get is crickets.

      Greg tries to play an apples and oranges game by saying he is against other parts of Obamacare, but that was never the issue raised. Medicaid expansion was one of the two parts of Obamacare that the legislature had some say over, and now effectively the only one left on the table. So what is it, Greg? Why are you hiding? Do you still support the Obamacare Medicaid expansion or not?

      Please let us know, but by your continuing to avoid answering the question, that also probably tells us what we want to know.

      1. I agree, I have asked Greg why he doesn’t sponsor a ban on sugary snacks and drinks that are making welfare recipients morbidly obese and have no response from the doctor? It could be fixed there. It seems he is interested in more layers of government that do not solve a thing?

  8. Actually, Greg, you are dancing around the subject of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. That is the part of Obamacare you have expressed a liberal position on to Republicans in your county when you first sought this seat. I am sure you probably have other parts of Obamacare that you do not agree with, but if you are on Obama’s side on that part, you need a primary from a conservative. Your response completely ignores the key position in issue which is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. I would love to hear you say that you are now firmly opposed to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, so I will throw down the gauntlet on that issue. What say you?

    As to ”food deserts”, you are completely running with Michelle Obama on that one. Throwing away taxpayers money on this project is a ridiculous liberal boondoggle. A conservative approach would be a restriction on what foodstampers can buy with their foodstamps. That would accomplish the same purpose of healthy diets through cutting spending, not throwing away our money tilting at windmills with vegetable coolers in convenience stores. But you prefer to go with Michelle Obama’s approach instead of a conservative approach. Lets restrict what foodstampers can buy with foodstamps, perhaps as a demonstration program for the rest of the country.

    I will say that I am glad to hear that you have now figured out what Common Core is and oppose it.

  9. I would remind Dr. Greg Murphy that food deserts were created by radical leftist policies. His job as a representative is to first obey the Constitution & bill of Rights. The myriad of diseases caused by obesity is well known. So to are the causes of obesity. If you want to change behavior you have to get to the root cause. Teen pregnancies, fatherlessness, failed government run schools, drug addiction, lack of job-skills &,family values are exacerbated by the very entitlement programs that steal taxpayer funds to cure the disease. Name a federal program that solved the problem it set out to fix? How did our poor uneducated great-grandmas know to tell us to get out of the house and exercise in the fresh air? Common sense doesn’t cost $300,000. The dangerously delusional (IMHO) mayor of NYC-DeBlasio has endorsed all of Obama’s unconstitutional political dictates and businesses can’t flee fast enough. Telling a private business how to run it and taking taxpayer money to force your beliefs is what I would expect from the radical left. We need physicians to force the Obama admin. to stop unvetted, medically infected refugees from transmitting diseases like TB & Chagas (which was largely eradicated) to the general pop. Just like our grandparents did at Ellis Island.

  10. Mr. Murphy are you sponsoring any legislation to end the purchase of sugary snacks and drinks, etc. that are directly contributing to obesity. Isn’t that where the problem is?

    1. One would not want him to channel Bloomburg on trying to be a food / drink nazi for everyone, BUT when the taxpayers are paying the freight as with foodstamps, there ought to be significant limits as to what is allowed to be purchased with the money that taxpayers provide to the welfare class. Indeed with what can be purchased with foodstamps, we need to go full Michelle Obama on the foodstampers. Not only would that cut obesity, but it would be an incentive to go out and get a job. It does not appear that Murphy has any inclination to go that way.

  11. Valid point GU Wonder, let’s hope Mr. Murphy would try and do something significant instead of more government.

  12. It looks like Greg Murphy has done a runner. He dropped in to try to blow smoke about other aspects of Obamacare, but will not give us a straight answer on whether he still supports the one aspect of Obamacare that the legislature still has some control over, the Obamacare MEDICAID EXPANSION. But I guess his ducking us points to what his answer would be, one he does not want to put out there among conservatives.

    It is somehow not surprising that a legislator pushing Michelle Obama’s ”food deserts” fantasy would also push Barack Obama’s Medicaid expansion.

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