Exec. Director of #NCDems steps down amidst sexual harassment allegations

Via the Raleigh News and Observer:

RALEIGH The executive director of the N.C. Democratic Party resigned Sunday as calls for his ouster mounted amid questions regarding a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations.

Jay Parmley, who served a year at the helm of the party, denied harassing any employee and blamed right-wing blogs for “spreading a false and misleading story” about the incident.

“Even though I have not done anything wrong, it is clear to me that I need to move on,” Parmley wrote in his resignation letter.

Party Chairman David Parker accepted his resignation but avoided any comment on the case and suggested Parmley didn’t deserve to be fired for cause. He blamed politics.

“After consulting legal counsel, and based on my own experience in harassment cases and my own personal philosophy, it became my opinion that there have not been grounds for termination for cause of Jay Parmley,” said Parker, an attorney. “In this political world of rushing to judgment and the presumption of guilt, however, my legal and personal opinion has been outweighed by this having become a political distraction and issue.”

Earlier this weekend, party activists called for Parmley and Parker to resign amid questions about a financial settlement given to a low-level staffer earlier this year who was fired soon after he complained about being sexually harassed by a senior party official. The settlement agreement and nondisclosure statement came to light Friday in internal party emails obtained by The News & Observer, but the documents did not identify the party official responsible.

At the Wake and Durham county party conventions Saturday, party activists introduced resolutions demanding Parker and Parmley resign or be fired. Other party officials also are privately asking the two top officials to leave for the sake of the party.

In Wake County, Democratic consultant Perry Woods put forth a resolution saying the party “must deal with sexual harassment claims in an open and transparent fashion.”

Of course, one of their biggest concerns in reality is not the actual sexual harassment allegations themselves but the fact this could taint the party going into the Democrat National Convention, which will take place here in Charlotte in September.

I suspect the “right wing blog” Parmley was referring to was The Daily Caller, where reporter Matthew Boyle wrote about this story on Friday. It quickly spread to the UK Daily Mail, The Free Beacon, and other traditionally right-wing leading blogs and news outlets. Make sure to read the emails obtained by The Daily Caller.

Will be interesting to see if this story goes viral here in North Carolina. Somehow I doubt it, considering the big newspapers here are liberally biased and tend to not dig into allegations of wrongdoing by Democrats until they are well out of office, but we’ll see.

(Video) In which David Axelrod endorses Mitt Romney

**Posted by Phineas

Oh, my.

The Washington Post explains:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s camp seized on a Sunday morning interview in which Obama senior adviser David Axelrod appeared to suggest that the country’s economic recovery is not on the right path.

“The choice in this election is between economy that produces a growing middle class and that gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead, and an economy that continues down the road we are on, where a fewer and fewer number of people do very well, and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace,” Axelrod told host Chris Wallace during a contentious interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

First Hilary Rosen attacks Ann Romney, and now Obama’s chief political strategist accidentally endorses the other guy. Who needs Biden for gaffes when you’ve got these clowns?

The video, by the way, is courtesy of the Romney campaign’s communications shop; you can bet this will be in a commercial coming your way. Since it became all but official that Romney’s the nominee, his campaign has shown a refreshing willingness to hit back hard and fast and to take the battle to the foe, something sorely lacking in the McCain campaign in 2008.

Keep it up, guys.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Has Romney read Bastiat?

**Posted by Phineas

Frederic Bastiat

Republican nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney spoke recently at a meeting of the National Rifle Association in St. Louis, where he gave a powerful speech attacking the Obama administration’s insults to our economic liberty. IBD’s Andrew Malcolm posted excerpts from the speech (and the whole thing), and I recommend reading it.

One part in particular jumped out at me, however, wherein Romney explains the hidden costs of Obama’s tax-and-regulate binge:

“The real cost isn’t just the taxes paid and money spent complying with the rules. It’s the businesses that are never started, the ideas that are never pursued, the dreams that are never realized.”

That could come straight from the thinking of Frederic Bastiat, a 19th century French (1) classical liberal and economist. In his essay “That which is seen, and that which is not seen,” Bastiat attacked the idea that government spending could create wealth, arguing instead that such spending, while it would pump money into the economy, came at the expense of the citizen’s ability to spend that same money on those things that would improve his life. To illustrate his point, he used the parable of the broken window:

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

Let us take a view of industry in general, as affected by this circumstance. The window being broken, the glazier’s trade is encouraged to the amount of six francs; this is that which is seen. If the window had not been broken, the shoemaker’s trade (or some other) would have been encouraged to the amount of six francs; this is that which is not seen.

And if that which is not seen is taken into consideration, because it is a negative fact, as well as that which is seen, because it is a positive fact, it will be understood that neither industry in general, nor the sum total of national labour, is affected, whether windows are broken or not.

Now let us consider James B. himself. In the former supposition, that of the window being broken, he spends six francs, and has neither more nor less than he had before, the enjoyment of a window.

In the second, where we suppose the window not to have been broken, he would have spent six francs on shoes, and would have had at the same time the enjoyment of a pair of shoes and of a window.

In other words, no wealth was created. The glazier may be a bit richer, but the shopkeeper is poorer. (He may have his window, but he’s out six francs.) Worse, his economic liberty to make his life better was infringed, since the breaking of the window forced him to spend money only to put things back the way they were.

The quote from Romney’s NRA speech indicates he understands (2) what Bastiat was talking about: that government spending only moves wealth from one pocket to another (via taxation); that regulations are a form of taxation (through compliance costs); and that both entail hidden opportunity costs (those things we would like to do but now cannot) by restricting economic liberty.

A president who takes Bastiat to heart is far preferable to one who embraces Alinsky.

(1) A Frenchman advocating limited government? How times have changed.
(2) Yeah, I know: “Romneycare.” Let’s hope he learned from that.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)