Government's Opinion Of You, In Thirteen Words

Rarely has a legislator expressed what he thinks of the public with such eloquence and and brevity as Republican Tommy Tucker, Chairman of the North Carolina Senate's State and Local Government Committee.

So honestly.

So powerfully.

Challenged by a reporter to record a voice vote on a bill that would allow city and county governments to post public notices, traditionally published in newspapers, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard solely on government websites, so that the Committee's members would have to own up to their votes, how did Tucker respond?




Words fit to be engraved on a plaque, adorning a bronze statue of Tommy Tucker.

Words that should be written on the frieze of every State Capitol and Governor's mansion.

There was a belief, once, that America was a country governed by citizens, some of whom were chosen by their fellow citizens because of wisdom and good ideas, to represent all the rest in the legislature: Citizen legislators, wary of government, who would use their power sparingly because they would soon have to return home, and live under the laws they'd enacted, among people whose lives were governed by those laws.

To the extent anyone believes that today, especially in a once free State like North Carolina which now is infested with little emperors seeking to rule by decree rather than through a Constitution of ordered liberty, Senator Tucker has given the lie to that fantasy.



Senator Tommy Tucker should be given a medal by the the grateful citizens of Union County, North Carolina for the lesson in civics he has given them. The grateful citizens of Union County should remember Senator Tucker's words when he runs for reelection in 2014.

And, if they still maintain the quaint idea that they own their government, thank Senator Tucker accordingly.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White


  1. Joe D says

    That's the worst haiku I've ever seen. Let me try to tidy that up a bit.


    There. Much better.

  2. Maddy says

    I like Douglas Adam's version much better than Tommy Tucker's. It has a subtly Tucker's will never achieve.

  3. nodandsmile says


    Senator "can snort my taint" Tucker

    Fit the First

  4. SirWired says

    I cannot imagine his next Primary election will end well… even the most unthinking citizen finds such a bald-faced proclamation that his opinion doesn't matter for $hit to be a disturbing.

    Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean his replacement will be any better, just an improvement in the "Keeping His Fat Mouth Shut So He Keeps His Job" dept.

  5. Chris says

    Genuinely though, how does this guy buy anything from the size of a pack of gum from anyone in his hometown or state? How is he not told to FOAD every time he tries to buy anything anywhere?

  6. Andy (not Andy) says

    Hopefully, at the next primary, his constituents will welcome him to the big leagues and ask him to govern only himself accordingly.

  7. JW says


    Nah, just a few judicious jabs with a pitchfork should bring him back around.

    But, keep the rope handy.

  8. Zack says


    Damn. Just…. damn.

    I can't even conceive of a valid circumstance in which that phrase should be uttered.

    Most of the time, you can find some circumstance- however implausible- that something someone said that was stupid WOULD HAVE been appropriate. This? Just damn.

    Albeit, to be fair, there is a competing bill (also created by Republican state senators) that would do the opposite: require the notices to be published on the newspaper's websites in addition to the requirement to publish them in the newspaper.

  9. says


    I can think of an appropriate venue for that statement. A stage play about the North Carolina Senate.

    Other than that, I got nothin'.

  10. nlp says

    There's a quote somewhere (and I'm confident that someone will supply the actual phrasing as well as the author) that runs something like, "where the government fears the people you have democracy, when the people fear the government you have tyranny." We started fearing the government long ago. Maybe it's time to remind the government to start being afraid.

  11. Jeremy says


    Genuinely though, how does this guy buy anything from the size of a pack of gum from anyone in his hometown or state? How is he not told to FOAD every time he tries to buy anything anywhere?

    My only answer to this is that the political elite in the U.S. have all likely pulled themselves into the top 5% of income earners in this country. So I'm going to guess he either never buys anything from his home state because he's never there, or simply pays someone else to buy things for him. Likely a combination of the two.

  12. naught_for_naught says

    This why I love simple declarative sentences. They make the back-peddling that inevitably follows so much more weaselly.

    Let's play a game. Say that you're Mr. Tucker or his chief of staff trying to clean this up. What do you do?

    a) refuse to comment
    b) change the subject
    c) hide behind patriotic double talk
    d) attack the character of the "citizen" asking the question
    e) play with semantics
    f) something else

  13. MattS says


    I don't know the source of your quote, but the movie V for Vendetta included the line "People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people."

  14. Odd Man Out says

    Tucker is an ass. However …

    Consider for a moment the financial stake a reporter has in local governments being mandated to advertise in local newspapers. Was the reporter being a journalist or was the reporter lobbying for his paycheck to be covered?

  15. Andy (not Andy) says


    The nature of the reply by the senator pretty much makes that irrelevant. He could have addressed that if he had wanted, rather than "ME KING YOU SUBJECT SHUT UP!"

  16. MattS says


    G) Pretend there was nothing wrong with the statement.
    H) Claim it never happened.
    I) Blame Global Warming (why not it causes everything else). :-)

  17. Jeroen van Rijn says

    @GDad, the same play which features also the only acceptable use of a word often mistaken for the name of a country in the Benelux.

  18. Zack says

    @Odd Man Out:

    Reasonable enough question. They cover that in the article and elsewhere; the total revenue from public advertising is approximately 1% of their overall revenue (in general, as a state-wide average), so it's a fairly minor component of their revenue- and they could probably make more if they could replace it with something commercial.

    Good question, but I don't think financial reasons played (much) of a role for the reporter.

  19. says



    Nah, just a few judicious jabs with a pitchfork

    Do whatever you want with the corpse; I don't care.

  20. wygit says

    @Andy (not Andy)
    While there is no excuse for what he said, what he was responding to is not "irrelevant". Maybe he was just frustrated with the "…in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'" type of attitude in questions on this bill.

    Almost all coverage on this is leaving out the fact that Public Notices in the paper are freaking expensive, because in many places they're mandated by law, so the papers can charge whatever they want.

    I'm sure that if the papers wanted to offer FREE Public Notices, either in print or online, there wouldn't be an issue.

    Even though he kind of deserves it for the idiotic statement,
    it's kind of self serving for the newspaper industry to crucify him on this.

  21. Dan Weber says

    I'm right next to Union County. I have friends in Union. Who is running against this guy?

  22. naught_for_naught says


    Very nice.

    OddManOut went for the tried-and-true option D. If we can all agree that your character and/or motives are suspect, it's a really small step to agreeing that your rights are a liability to patriotic god-fearing People everywhere. That's why D usually works best with C. A character attack dressed in patriotic blather always provides excellent cover.

  23. jackn says

    The exchange followed a voice vote of the committee in which the proponents of a local bill that would take public notices out of many newspapers and put them on little-used government websites appeared to have lost 6-5.

    Tucker, however, declared that there were more aye than nay votes. It was clearly very close either way.

    Sen. Michael Walters (D-Columbus-Robeson) asked for a roll call vote, to which Tucker quickly declared that there would be none and ended the meeting

  24. Dan Weber says

    Honestly I don't care between publishing in a newspaper and publishing on a website, even a little used one. If it can be Google'd and indexed, that's good enough.

    The other issues are all bad, though.

  25. LT says

    If he comes forward and has the brass balls to admit to being honest to his opinion of the electorate, I will begrudgingly have to admire the the guy just a little bit. I mean, whether I like his opinion or not, honesty in politics is pretty effin' rare.

    Now, I still think he should be given a good swift kick in the groin for it, but. I wish more politicians would be honest about how little they care about their constituents. It seems that when people gain a bit of power, they forget that they are supposed to be servants OF the people, not subjugating the people as their servants.

  26. Anglave says

    I agree that Senator Tucker's comments are offensive.
    I agree that public notices should be published to a wide audience.


    I'm concerned about the conclusion of the article. Drafting legislation that would force a newspaper to publish public notices (both in print and on the web) while establishing an arbitrary cap on how much the paper can charge for said services, sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    If the government tells a business "You must do these things, even if doing so is a financial loss. Not doing them is a crime", the business doesn't tend to stick around long.

    I believe there are lots of viable options for getting public notices to the public. It shouldn't be necessary to shackle the already teetering printed news industry to the task.

  27. unn says

    For whatever it's worth the Senator disputes this, saying (according to one site, at least) that they were arguing and, "I something to the effect that, ‘I’m the senator here, let me finish,’ ”. (

    In all the reporting on this, I can't seem to find a first-hand statement from either side, which is irritating given that one would assume that at least one actual reporter would have been there.

  28. wygit says

    Then again, telling municipalities they must publish legal notices in the paper, at whatever prices the papers want to charge, is iffy too.
    From a News Observer story:
    "Mecklenburg County spent $79,000 this month to publish a list of delinquent taxpayers."
    The newspapers' argument is that for smaller papers, legal notices can make up to 40% of the paper's revenue, so allowing the notices to go online will kill many papers.
    Um… so?
    Automobiles put buggy whip manufacturers out of business too.

  29. Boffin says

    We don't get a lot of context for the Senator's statement.

    It's worth considering that the reporter and publisher might be just a wee bit biased about a law which provides guaranteed revenue.

  30. ShelbyC says

    @Zack, odd man out nailed it. 1% of total revenue doesn't sound like much, but it's going to be a lot more than 1% of net earnings. Pointing out the other half of this story, "Newspapers use obnoxious comment by senator to derail effort to stop transferring taxpayer dollars to newspapers" shouldn't take away from the obnoxious comment, but it certainly is worth pointing out.

  31. says

    I'm sorry Boffin.

    This isn't a story about government subsidies to newspapers, try as you might to make it one.

    This is a story about a government official who told a petitioning citizen, at a hearing where public business was to be discussed, to be silent.

  32. Boffin says

    Patrick, this was no "petitioning citizen". From the linked article:
    "… Tucker’s silencing of an N.C. newspaper publisher".

    This is a petitioning Rent Seeker.

  33. wygit says

    And according to the News & Observer, "Mecklenburg County spent $79,000 this month to publish a list of delinquent taxpayers."

    "A press association official said legal notices generate up to 40 percent of the revenues for small papers, if only a small part of those of larger papers. Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins said the bill would “break the back” of many small papers."

    You know, automobiles "broke the back" of many buggy whip manufacturers.
    I hate to see small papers go, but if they're depending on mandated ads for 40% of their revenue, they're in trouble. That's not a sustainable business model.

  34. unn says


    …as reported (second or third hand, and from what I've seen not directly corroborated by any third parties) by a source that Boffin rightly points out has reason to be biased. Also, the Senator denies that he told anyone "you're the citizen, be quiet".

    I'm not saying the Senator didn't say it, just that your comment is based on the assumption that he did, and I think Boffin is right to point out that we don't really have as much evidence here as Patrick's post seems to suggest.

    Every article I've read so far is someone saying that someone said that someone said something bad. Pretty thin for breaking out the pitchforks already, don't you think?

  35. mcinsand says

    This is the sort of problem that we face in our rabidly partisan political culture; we will demonize any official from the other party and welcome anyone, no matter how much of a tool that person is. As we pay attention to the party rather than the people running, our standards only sink lower and lower. Tucker did not get in on virtue. After the ncompetence and corruption of the Easley and Perdue administrations, people voted Republican, rather than for a particular candidate. The way the parties work is to shout about dangerous the other party is, which gets too many voters looking where the finger points, rather than at the person pointing.

    We'll see how McCrory does. It would be nice to see the bar raised, but I fear we will see more and more Tuckers out there.

  36. says

    Just wonderin' if there is some sort of correlation between this type of attitude on the part of our nobility elected officials and the record low confidence levels in our governmental bodies on the part of the electors citizenry.

    Maybe we should spend a couple of million on a study?


  37. Adam says

    I just emailed him. Send something similar if you agree!

    Subject: I am the citizen. You are the senator. You need humility.
    We are your bosses. A full and unconditional apology for your arrogance must be issued by you, personally and immediately. Should it fail to be delivered with evident contrition, expect consequences in the next election. We remember, and we are not silent.

  38. MattS says


    "Pretty thin for breaking out the pitchforks already, don't you think?"

    Nope, when it comes to the government and elected officials, the pitchforks should be kept sharp and at the ready at all times, and they should be used occasionally too, if for no other reason, just to keep in practice and to keep the politicians alert.

  39. wygit says

    I thought it was pretty amusing that in regards to a story about free speech, you feel fine with telling people what they are allowed to say the story is about.
    Any opinion but yours is verbotten, eh?

  40. gramps says

    re: anglave's: "If the government tells a business "You must do these things, even if doing so is a financial loss. Not doing them is a crime", the business doesn't tend to stick around long."

    This sounds quite close to what Medicare does for private physicians.

    In general, the people who are comfortable talking dollars in the range of millions and billions have little regard for those who must deal with the hundreds and thousands.

  41. says

    I'm inclined to agree that requiring government to contract out the job of publishing public notices doesn't seem quite right. The Charlotte Observer asks "Do you go to [obscure URL] often?" Well, no but how hard is it to create a bookmark? And why can't the intrepid reporter create that bookmark then report on whatever he finds there?

    Anyway, at issue is the specific quote itself. It's difficult to imaging any circumstances where such a response from a public official could be considered appropriate.

  42. says

    wygit, not to take the discussion too far astray, but:

    I thought your first comment was pretty amusing myself (not as amusing as my reply, but you're a first-timer), but your follow-up is depressing.

    You're missing the public-private distinction, something that happens so frequently among our commentariat that I often wake at night in dark despair, tearing my nightshirt.

    Popehat is not, and will never be, a public forum. It is property. Private property. Our private property.

    Now with that said, you did overreact to my comment to whatsisface. It wasn't an order to shut up. It was pointing out that as much as he'd like to change the subject, the subject is too big for him to change.

  43. naught_for_naught says


    Patrick is entitled to try to frame his argument anyway he wants, just as much as you are entitled to argue that poor manners justify an elected official telling a constituent to be quiet.

    Comments like, "We'll all shut up now" and "Any opinion but yours is verbotten, eh?" are, however, just a little too passive aggressive, a little to victimy, and a little too Canadian — for my taste anyway.

  44. says

    Your last comment officially ranks as trolling. Patrick never told anyonee what they were allowed to say. As a matter of fact, he said the exact opposite.

    I know responding is the same as "feeding" but boy am I getting tired of trolls saying "Oh so alternate opinions aren't allowed huh?" any time someone disagrees with them.

  45. whheydt says

    Suggested reading for some of the more…vigorous…commenters:

    _A Planet for Texans_, by H. Beam Piper.

  46. says

    I thought it was pretty amusing that in regards to a story about free speech, you feel fine with telling people what they are allowed to say the story is about.
    Any opinion but yours is verbotten, eh?

    I have already lost my temper once today.

    It looks like it's going to be one of those days.

  47. Brett Middleton says

    Why is anyone trying to frame this as being motivated by rent-seeking? The challenge that prompted Tucker's gaffe was a request for an accurate vote count on a close issue. From all appearances, this request was highly justified to derail a possible railroading by Tucker and should have been made by somebody. It seems irrelevant that the actual somebody may have had impure motives.

    What, 60+ comments and nobody has yet made the obvious "Soviet Union County" joke? Tsk.

  48. orvis barfley says

    do senators have a higher right to finish what they're saying than non-senators?  i didn't know that.  not surprised in the least . . . just didn't realize it was enshrined in any way.

    civics lesson for me.

  49. MattS says


    We Are The Senate.
    Your Technological and Financial Distinctiveness Will Be Assimilated.
    Resistance Is Futile.

  50. Jon says

    For those complaining all reports are third-hand, I'll refer you once again to this link also posted above.

    Here's the money quote from that page:

    Had I had the presence of mind to video this exchange with my phone, Sen. Tucker would have gone viral on YouTube Tuesday night.

  51. LT says

    @unn- A first-hand account has been posted. Twice now, thanks to Jon there. A statement made like that is likely to be very, very memorable. I'm not sure why you're so eager to defend him, but he's pretty much been hoist by his own petard here, as it were.

    Those in government should really be held to a higher standard of accountability. Right now, they have it backwards. They serve us, the common folk. We don't serve them. It seems this gentleman forgot that.

  52. MattS says

    “People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

  53. unn says

    @LT The first link was posted while I was writing my first comment, so I hadn't seen it, but yes, that's the kind of first-hand account I was looking for. If only that link had been how this whole thing started.

    Instead, the original post merely linked to, and seemed quite content with, an article based on a claim that an un-named editor supposedly sent to an email list. If that article had been making an assertion you weren't eager to believe, would you have accepted it so readily? How sad is it that someone suggesting that the standard of proof should be a bit higher is seen as being "eager to defend him"?

  54. Odd Man Out says

    Re: first hand account posted

    How reliable is that witness? What motive does that witness have?

    The incident between Tanner and Sen. Tucker after the meeting is particularly disconcerting. Tanner, a good friend and current president of the Press Association for which I will assume the presidency in August

    I'm no friend of venal politicians but I'm also no friend of rent seekers with a PRESS card in their pockets. I live in a place where the local press is in the pocket of local officials – and can safely estimate that 5+% of local paper revenues are official notices. The result was that, when I led a group of citizens to stop illegal public expenditure, I took it in the neck from both the pols and the press. Even after the appeals court slapped the pols around for what they'd done, the hagiography of the wrongdoers by and in the press continued.

    I place high value on freedom of the press. I've also learned from bitter experience that the press have their own motives, foibles and hypocrisies. Nobody's a saint. Anyone who believes the press is necessarily in business for the public good has pulled the wool over their own eyes.

  55. says

    "If only that link had been how this whole thing started," he said more in sadness than in anger.

    That's how it's done.

  56. LT says

    @unn- You don't know Popehat too well, do you? If anyone has a high standard of proof, it's these guys. Not that they aren't infalliable, but they do good work and do their best to give the facts. So they get the benefit of the doubt from me.

    Those sorts of notices don't always generate revenue for papers- in KY, for example, newspapers have to post notices regarding LIHEAP and other federal/state programs for the poor for free. (I know this from my social work days, having written many a statement for programs.) Now, the announcements might have gained them revenue in people buying the papers to keep the dates and info. They never really begrudged us the space. We dealt only with smaller towns, though, so I don't know how larger publishers would see it.

  57. MattS says

    Odd Man Out,

    The only thing less credible than a main stream media reporter is a politician. Hmmm.

  58. mcinsand says

    The sad thing is that Tucker's re-election will depend on whether he or the McCrory have any significant scandals the last month before the election. The general electorate has far, far more devotion to American Idol, sports, and television than they ever will to these guys that actually affect our daily lives.

  59. Odd Man Out says

    @ phdoofus: Spoken like a person whose remarks have never been taken out of context.

    @ LT: There are no facts here. There are conflicting reports by fallible witnesses, each of whom has motives that may color their accounts. Furthermore, none of us have any reliable basis or method of assessing credibility.

    @ MattS: You forgot that all important class: used car salesmen.

  60. peej says

    IMO the "rent-seeking" issue, while it may be some sort of issue, has no bearing on what Tucker said or, more to the point, his intent in saying it.

    The concern — which I very much doubt Tucker sincerely shares–about the cost to the public of newspaper publication may be valid, though less important at this moment than Tucker's attitude…

    … but here's the thing: Here in NC there are many, many rural areas and urban poor who have no access to the internet at all, let alone to any sort of broadband. These are the empty spaces on the coverage maps, the many "last miles" that no ISP is willing to reach. So: Do these people have a right to access to this information? If newspaper publication is indeed too expensive, how do you make this vital information–basic-democracy stuff, the content of legislative proceedings–truly available to all citizens? Serious question.

  61. ChrisTS says


    You overlook the Honorable Tucker's own rendition of what he said:"I'm the Senator, you need to let me finish." That is less awful than the three liner reported by others, but it evidences the same attitude.

  62. unn says

    @LT When you say "benefit of the doubt", what benefit do you mean? Assuming that, even if they linked to a flimsy source, they surely had access to something more reliable before posting?

    If the author had a better source, he should have used it; if he didn't, he should have acknowledged that. It's exactly because I know PopeHat that I expect better than that.

  63. MattS says

    Odd Man Out,

    "You forgot that all important class: used car salesmen."

    No I didn't, both MSM reporters and politicians fall below used car salesmen for credibility.

  64. says

    "It's exactly because I know PopeHat that I expect better than that."

    I haven't banned anyone in a while, so this is as good an excuse as any.

    You don't capitalize the name properly ("hat" is never capitalized unless the entire word is treated so).

    And you "know PopeHat"? How much experience do you actually have with Popehat? We write posts based on tweets from people we've never heard of, much less met.

    I assure you, I know Popehat far better than you do. So much better, in fact, that it's appropriate to trot this out:

    "Boy, if life were only like this!"

  65. En Passant says

    Brett Middleton wrote Apr 18, 2013 @11:30 am:

    What, 60+ comments and nobody has yet made the obvious "Soviet Union County" joke? Tsk.

    OK, so I'm late.

    In Soviet Charlotte-Mecklenburg, public notice publish you!

  66. Scott says

    @unn – "For whatever it's worth the Senator disputes this, saying 'I something to the effect that, ‘I’m the senator here, let me finish,’ "

    How is that better?

  67. AlphaCentauri says

    He lost his composure and blurted out what most other legislators believe in their hearts by the time they've finished their first terms. We're looking for evidence that he actually said these words, when really, what we should be looking for is evidence that there exist any senators who don't feel the same way.

    I also see the incident as one more demonstration that our legislatures see their job as a team sport. We constituents don't even rate as spectators; we're the football. They use rules of procedure to subvert democracy.

    Rather than make an effort to make sure the outcome of the vote was recorded accurately — let alone to make the senators go on the record — he was happy to score a point, even if he didn't really have the votes to win. And he took advantage of the fact that citizens have no direct input into the proceedings that affect them. They can send letters that are delayed by disinfection procedures, they can send emails that are lost among the spam messages, or they can show up in person and be rude and heckle. In a larger legislative body, he wouldn't have needed to say anything, because security guards would have removed the reporter without having to be told to do so.

    We see legislative victories being won by legislators solely because they are more skillful at manipulating the rules of procedure. The electorate has no confidence in the outcome when bills with majority support routinely lose because everyone has agreed to pretend there was a filibuster without anyone having to put in the actual effort. And yesterday we saw Harry Reid vote against the bill he supported because it allows him to reintroduce it. That's just batshit crazy.

    Citizens can vote out politicians, but we can't change the senate's bizarre rules.

  68. Russian Fox says

    "The citizens ought to not only be armed, but provided sufficient arms and ammunition to vanquish any who would abuse them, including their own government"
    -George Washington.

  69. Viking says

    Nice alkie nose, Tommy. Might want to ease off the flask before addressing the public next time.

  70. Odd Man Out says

    @ peej: You're presuming that the citizens who cannot get this information on the net read newspapers diligently. I doubt you have evidence for that and I, for one, doubt that it's true. The sausage manufacture that we call normal legislative activity, especially at the local level, is of ongoing concern to very few except outright political junkies. Perhaps 1% of the populace pays any attention other than at election campaigns. If they want to pay attention, they will find a way.

    @ ChrisTS: Fair enough that Tucker's own version doesn't sound very benign. Here again though, look at the context in that article. Tucker rules out a roll call vote (and the article says roll calls aren't allowed in committees, so he's following the rules) and adjourns the meeting. Then a publisher confronts him and refers to a recently jailed corrupt predecessor, by any measure an insult, no matter what one's political beliefs. And Tucker goes off, which one can understand in these circumstances. Perhaps he shouldn't be forgiven for going off, but the average person can certainly understand why he would.

    Be Tucker for a minute. A fellow, who you know has been one of a team walking the halls of the place you work, lobbying for his point of view and paycheck much of the day, comes up and likens you to a known corrupt individual. You start to respond, he interrupts you, and you would say what. "I'm the Senator, you need to let me finish" isn't ridiculous.

    We could use video here. If it hanged Tucker, I would cheer as loud as the next guy. If it hanged the "journalists", I wouldn't shed a tear either.

    By the way, the full chamber was supposed to vote today. Who has an update? (Confession: Yeah, I'm a political junkie even when it affects me not at all.)

  71. Lucy says

    Some old school "I am the adult. You are the child. Do not speak unless spoken to."

    I don't care what context that kind of talk happens in, it's not a little gas that accidentally sneaks out and one just says "Oops, excuse me please." It's vulgar.

    Smiling in that picture doesn't fool anyone. That's not a " thank you for electing me to represent you." smile. It's the smile of Jafar.

  72. Scott says

    @Odd Man Out – "Be Tucker for a minute. A fellow, who you know has been one of a team walking the halls of the place you work, lobbying for his point of view and paycheck much of the day, comes up and likens you to a known corrupt individual. You start to respond, he interrupts you, and you would say what. "I'm the Senator, you need to let me finish" isn't ridiculous."

    Sorry, I hold elected officials to a higher standard than the average person.

  73. says

    If I was Tucker I would have smacked the guy if he pissed me off. But I'm not a Senator elected to represent the people, I'm an a**hole. That's why I don't have to put myself in his shoes.

  74. Odd Man Out says

    @ Scott: It's a standard that only robots can meet under all circumstances. Politicians are enough like robots already, scripted to the nines and trained to spew pablum.

    We know Tucker can be held to account eventually. The publisher who suggested he was corrupt and then interrupted his response, not so much and probably not at all.

  75. says

    @AlphaCentauri :

    He lost his composure and blurted out what most other legislators believe in their hearts


  76. says

    In a lot of ways, talking about Tucker is a distraction from the meat of the story. This is just an EXAMPLE of how they all think. As I said on Facebook when I posted the link – If you think this is about him being a Republican, you're an imbecile.

  77. Scott says

    @Odd Man Out:

    I disagree that the only choices are "Robot" or "Can't even contain his contempt for the people he is supposed to be representing." I'm pretty sure an ideal choice is somewhere in between there. But that's me, the idealist.

    As far as the publisher, what is it he should be held accountable for?

  78. AlphaCentauri says

    @Viking: Rosacea is a medical condition. You can be a teetotaler and get it. (It just glows brighter if you drink.)

  79. Nick says

  80. says

    I would. But I'm not allowed on Wikipedia since I got in a Talk fight with the guy who updated the Popehat page to say that I'm a hermaphrodite.

  81. Dyskolos says

    @Russian Fox

    Spurious according to the Mt. Vernon library.

    Spurious quotations attributed to George Washington

    The actual quotation from Washington's first annual message to Congress on the State of the Union:

    "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies."

  82. Stephen says

    Lawrence Lessig recently gave a Ted Talk about how democracy works in "Lesterland" ( The main point was that your politicians are being picked by a very small percentage of the population – and of course Lesterland is the US.

    I'm writing from Australia, and we are seeing the same problem here. If you have money, you have a say in political decisions. If not, then you cross your fingers and hope that the right lizard is voted in. This has to change – and people like Tommy Tucker need to be dumped.

  83. Matthew Cline says


    I have already lost my temper once today.

    It looks like it's going to be one of those days.

    One of those days where it's difficult to find your temper?

  84. AlphaCentauri says

    Of course the irony is that the reason that 40% of revenue of small papers is public notices is that using them is the best way to keep certain people from seeing them. Just publish in a local paper they aren't likely to subscribe to.

  85. CharlesW says

    I don't live in Union County NC, so I can't vote against Tommy Tucker, but I'm contributing to the campaign against his re-election in 2014. I live close enough to do at least that. Arrogance like his should have serious political consequences, and I'm happy to help them materialize.

  86. joe pullen says

    It's almost like you could write a Haiku poem about this guy.

    I'm a Senator
    A great bird who flies over
    Shits on everyone

  87. says

    Mr. Bridle, I'll point out that if you'd clicked the first link in the post, you'd have found a source.

    We don't append citations to entries on this site. It is a web log. It is not a scholarly paper.

    We insert links into our posts because we wish you to click on them, to read their content. In fact, we assume that you will do so, before asking us questions like, "Do you have a citation/source for this?"

    Did you think we just made it up? Silly person.

  88. says

    He's not even really a senator. You know that character from "The Office" who calls her (closeted gay) state senator husband "the Senator"?

    Dude — you're not "the Senator." You never will be.

    Especially now.

  89. wumpus says

    It is fairly obvious that direct democracy was impossible in 1776 when our nation was born, and still impossible in 1787 when the Constitution was signed. As such, the US is a Republic (except any tiny incorporated areas I am not aware of) and is therefore ruled by politicians.

    The US is now on the 113th congress. That is 133 attempts to throw the bums out, while consistently seeing the new boss the same as the old boss. I highly recommend taking the power away from not just those who control the politicians, but from the politicians themselves as they can be consistently be relied on to be enemies of the US citizenry.

    Two suggestions on how to affect such a change:
    First, leave as much as the structure in place. By voting directly and merely using the elected politician as much an instrument of the people as an electoral college elector, we can avoid messy constitutional issues and wholesale destruction of rights that come with such things.
    Second, forget about the US congress and work up. This was a state senator. It has been a long time since I knew who my state senator was (and impeachment would have been far too good for him) and they seem to fly so far under the radar as to be beholden only to the lobbyists who fund them. Starting with county offices would be even better, even if you start with dog catcher. Remember, dramatically increasing democracy has tended to create disasters by those unused to governing: when landed white men had the new country handed to them they quickly wrote the alien and sedition acts. When the rest of the white men got the vote they elected Andrew Jackson. When women got the vote they enacted prohibition. We should be cautious of the big leagues and govern the US accordingly.

  90. JCC says

    An awful lot of commenters are speculating as to the role and motives of the reporter and newspapers… even though that was never mentioned in the article… so it is pure speculation and 100% off the subject of the article itself. It is a classic case of a couple of bad logical arguments used to defend a Senator of the State of N.C. who clearly stated:




    For those that want to blame the questioner, do a little investigative reporting and write a logical argument, not a straw-man argument, or an argument blaming everyone but Mr. Tucker for the words he clearly spoke, just a simple, logical, reasoned argument as to why a State Senator in the United States of America has the right/obligation to make this statement and why it is justified.

    In other words, put some labor in where your mouth is right now.

  91. says

    As a proud native Tar Heel now transplanted on the Left Coast, this bozo's succinct imperious comment sounds too much like a California politician.

    I expected better from a Carolinian. My bad.

  92. says

    Ken, you need to know that you've been lied to!

    Here's the truth:

    This is a smear campaign by the Left. Sen. Tommy Tucker is a very humble, very kind, thoroughly decent brother in Christ. Tommy Tucker is nothing at all like the Left is portraying him.

    Don't you realize that 95% of the Press is in the tank for the Democrats, and perfectly willing to spread any lie to smear a conservative? My rough guestimate is that the Press is about 75% Democrats, 10% Greens/Socialists/Marxists/etc, 10% RINOs, 3% Libertarians, and 2% real Republicans. (Tanner is a RINO, and Beasley is a Democrat.)

    Your mistake was to believe this nastiness about Sen. Tucker without getting the other side of the story.

    What follows are seven comments I posted to the dishonest Huffington Post article: one short comment that they deleted, a four-part long comment that they did not delete, and two more short comments that they did not delete:

    Sen. Tucker was obviously offended by the newspaper publisher's behavior, and snapped at him.

    Tucker shouldn't have snapped at him, but it is understandable that Tucker was offended. Fat-cat newspaper publishers want to continue FORCING local governments to buy useless classified ads in their publications, that nobody reads. Oink, oink, oink… that pig-trough is YOUR wallet, folks. The fatcat newspaper publishers act like royalty, demanding that they be allowed to continue to milk YOU to fill their slop-buckets.

    Their behavior is offensive, but the NC Democrats' support for it is just as offensive. Their back-scratching is mutual: nearly all the big newspapers slavishly support the Democrats. Hold on to your wallet: both of them are out to fleece us.

    Democrats and fatcat newspaper publishers are fighting side-by-side to make local communities to continue to waste citizens' tax money on obsolete newspaper ads, to subsidize their media empires. It's sickening. It's the old Raleigh culture of corruption, with Democrat politicians and rich, left-wing newspaper publishers conspiring to lighten YOUR wallet.

    It's a wonder Sen. Tucker didn't vomit, instead of just snapping rudely at the newspaper poohbah. He must have a strong stomach.

    [This comment has been removed. Most comments are removed because of an attack or insult on another user or public figure. Please see the guidelines here if you're not sure why this comment was removed.]
    [part 1 of 4]

    This article seems to be a Democratic Party hit piece, and 23% of it comes directly from a "North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman." It is full of glaring errors:

    1. The article says that Sen. Tucker told a newspaper publisher to "be quiet" during a public hearing. That's untrue.

    For one thing, it was not a public hearing! It was a committee meeting to consider the bill.

    As a courtesy, Chairman Tucker allowed a representative of the NC Press Association to speak, opposing the bill, before the vote. But it wasn't a public hearing.

    Note that Tucker was under no obligation to let anyone other than Committee members speak, and there had already been another meeting at which many members of the public had spoken about the bill. But Tucker is one of the nicest people in the legislature, and he bends over backward to treat people more than fairly.

    2. For another thing, the article says that the exchange between the newspaper publisher and the Senate took place "during" the meeting. It didn't.

    AFTER the vote was taken and the meeting had adjourned, Hal Tanner III, publisher of the Goldsboro News-Argus, began his argument with Chairman Tucker.

    [part 2 of 4]

    3. The article claims that Sen. Tucker told Tanner, "I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet." But Tucker says that's not what he said, and many other people who were in the room at the time agree that they did NOT hear him say that.

    Plus, these days there's nearly always someone running a digital audio recorder at these meetings. But apparently nobody has a recording of Tucker saying that.

    4. The article says that the Charlotte Observer reported that three other people in the room confirmed Tanner's claim, but that's not true, either. The unsigned Charlotte Observer article claims that two (not three) others did, but doesn't name either of them. As far as I can determine, the accusation comes only from Hal Tanner, himself. Even the NC Press Association representative is somehow unreachable for comment.

    5. The article says that the "Committee… held a meeting… became heated when a local newspaper publisher sought a recorded vote on the bill." (The reporter obviously left out the word "which.") But that claim is nonsense.

    The meeting didn't become heated at all. The meeting was already adjourned when Tanner confronted Sen. Tucker.

    [part 3 of 4]

    6. The very notion of a spectator at a Committee meeting trying to direct the order of business is absurd! Spectators at a committee meetings are not members of the committee, and cannot make motions of any sort. Only committee members can do that. (Obviously!!)

    Tanner apparently miscounted during the vote, but nobody else did, and nobody on the committee objected to the chairman's count.

    Since the committee approved the bill by a one-vote margin, you can bet that if the chairman had miscounted then one of the bill's opponents would have objected. No one did.

    Plus, everyone who knows Sen. Tommy Tucker knows that he is a Christian gentleman, and a man of complete integrity. Everyone on his Committee, Republican and Democrat, trusts him, and knows that he would never intentionally miscount a vote, as Tanner insinuated.

    [part 4 of 4]

    Hal Tanner's REAL objection to the bill is that it will affect his newspaper's bottom line. Newspaper publishers like Tanner get a nice revenue stream from "legal notice" classified ads in their newspapers, which are required by law.

    But hardly anyone reads those ads anymore, because it is much more convenient to read the legal notices on-line. Cash-strapped municipalities which already post the legal notices on their municipal web sites want the law amended, so that they can stop wasting money on useless newspaper ads.

    That wasted money comes from YOUR wallet, folks.

    Hal Tanner III lives in a $699,500 house. How about you? I am offended that rich newspaper publishers want the State to FORCE municipalities to waste OUR money on useless, obsolete newspaper ads, that hardly anyone reads, to subsidize their newspaper businesses.

    The Huffington Post has trashed the good name of one of the finest, most thoroughly decent human beings in the NC legislature. Please run a correction and an apology.


    Bridgette123, you've got that backwards. Sen. Tucker is a very, very nice guy, and he is looking out for YOUR interests.

    The newspapers get a nice, fat revenue stream from the taxpayers, to run "legal notice" ads that almost nobody reads, because it is far more convenient to read them on the web. It's corporate welfare for guys like publisher Hal Tanner III, who needs it to pay for the upkeep on his $699,500 house, and it comes out of YOUR pocket.

    This article is full of misinformation, much of it directly from the Democratic Party. …

    …It is much easier and much cheaper for almost everyone to look for these notices on the Internet than to buy a newspaper every day and laboriously read the fine print of the "legal notices."

    Where I live, a one year subscription to the the local fishwrap (N&O) costs $243.00. That's more than a cheap computer + free Internet from FreedomPop.

    The subscription base of these newspapers is maybe 25% of the households in their coverage area, and hardly anyone ever reads the "legal notices." Running a "legal notice" in the newspaper is a great way to legally "notify" people of something without most of them ever actually finding out about it (unless it's also on the Internet).

    Of course, people who don't get the newspaper can, in theory, read it at the library. But even at the library it's much easier and more efficient to read the legal notices on the Internet.

    Have you ever in your life seen someone reading the "legal notices" in the newspaper in a library? I didn't think so. Nobody does that.

    For one thing, there's no google search or google alerts for searching printed paper.

    The bottom line is that where an on-line alternative exists, newspaper "legal notices" are obsolete, and tremendously wasteful. They waste huge amounts of ink, paper & trees, and squander a great deal of YOUR money. Almost nobody reads them, and nobody needs them.

    Please don't believe the Left's lies, Ken!

    Feel free to call me.

    Dave Burton
    M: 919-244-3316

  93. says

    Interesting points made by Dave Burton. Most of us know not to blindly trust the MSM. We are suspect of their reporting — their honesty and their omissions.

    It appears that this is a single reporter's tale, with zero evidence to back it up. No corroborating recording in this "public hearing" by anyone. No video. Nada.

    My 40 year experience with the press (a frequent activity for me) constantly reminds me to always be suspect of what is reported. I dropped my guard in this instance.

  94. Bob Hill says

    He forgets he works for the people and it is them that pays his wages. He is supposed to listen to the people. He isn't doing his job if he doesn't. He lives in his little high and mighty elitist world. But to me, I wouldn't walk across the street to shake his hand, nor invite him into my home.

  95. Lynn says

    So WHERE IS THIS GUY's PHONE NUMBEr?????????? Nevermind, I'll look it up myself! Maybe 10,000 phone calls to his office demanding an apology, or better yet, that he step down along with the big O might bring his memory around that he works FOR THE PEOPLE!

  96. Stephen R Korup says







  97. says

    Tonya Byrum, Bob Hill, Lynn, Tom BEEBE, Fred, JCC, BearGriz72, Ron Coleman, etc., and especially Patrick Non-White — if you would get the facts before firing away with all barrels blazing, you're realize that you're blasting the wrong person. Sen. Tucker is the good guy here. The lying leftists who are smearing him are the bad guys. See my long comment, above.

    Richard Rider, thank you.

  98. Scott Wilson says

    He's just being honest in expressing what a sadly high number of "public servants" think about their pseudo "constitutencies."

  99. says

    Stephen R Korup & Scott Wilson, why are you so quick to believe lies about conservatives like Sen. Tommy Tucker? Why don't you bother to try to find out the truth, first?

    The gullibility of good citizens is too often what enables the Left to destroy the best conservative statesmen with blatant disinformation. Don't let them deceive YOU!

  100. Jon says

    @Dave Burton
    Interesting spin. But you don't counter some key issues:
    – It wasn't the publishers that asked for a recount, but in fact

    Sen. Michael Walters (D-Columbus-Robeson) asked for a roll call vote, to which Tucker quickly declared that there would be none and ended the meeting.

    – Tucker's "denial" of the quote is, as commenters above noted, almost as bad as the original version, and certainly preserves the gist of the original if not quite the pithiness
    – I would hope that Tucker's religion, or lack thereof, would be irrelevant, but I know that, to certain constituencies, it isn't. Alas.

  101. says

    That's what we need; Republicans and fiscal conservatives running their mouths before an election and losing their seats. Shut up moron and do your job. This reminds me of when we lost seats due to crazy abortion statements last election. Shut your mouths! The RNC needs to get shut these morons up, now!

  102. says

    It does not matter to which party this joker belongs. His clear disregard for his constituents and salary payers (his employers) should be all that is necessary to land him in the unemployment line at the minimum…

  103. says

    Jon, you're STILL blaming the wrong person. Tucker could not take a roll-call. The Senate rules do not allow roll-call committee votes. (I don't know why, maybe because committee chairmen sometimes intentionally vote "wrong" so that they can "move to reconsider" at the next meeting, and not have to try to explain that complexity to their constituents.)

    If Democrat Michael Walters really did ask for a roll-call, then either he is astonishingly ignorant of the chamber's rules (what has he been doing all these months, anyhow?), or else he was just playing make-believe, putting on a show for the press.

    Now, before the paranoid fringe get all crazy about that, supposing that committee chairmen can just ignore the actual count (like Democrats infamously did at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte), note that the Senate rules do allow "division" (show of hands, so that everyone can count), if anyone doubts the outcome.

    In this case, the vote was a tie, and the chairman voted last (as is customary), breaking the tie.

    Read the Senate Rules if you don't believe me; they're right there on the web site:
    "RULE 35. Roll call vote in committee. – No roll call vote may be taken in any 34 committee. The committee chair may vote in committee."

  104. Dianna S. says

    Why would any sane politician utter those words at all? People tend to pay attention to what they say with an unswerving attention to detail. Guess he doesn't know people like he thought he did. Oh well. The people now know him well enough to make an informed decision next election :)

  105. Juli Wyant says

    I am the citizen

    You are an elected representative

    You work for ME

    Don't EVER forget that! I have a feeling the next time you come up for re-election, you will be looking for another job.

  106. AlphaCentauri says

    @Dave Burton, you do realize that not everyone who comments heer is Christian and conservative? … so that your implication that we should ignore anyone who criticizes the senator for the sole reason that he is Christian and conservative is an insult to them? Do you really believe that all arrogant legislators are not Christian and not conservative? Even the Christians and the conservatives among us would consider that an insult to their intelligence.

    You're not helping the senator's reputation by going on this way.

  107. says

    AlphaCentauri, you shouldn't ignore the lies about Sen. Tucker because he's a kind, humble, generous, and thoroughly honest Christian gentleman. You should ignore the lies about Sen. Tucker because they aren't true. Is that clear, now?


  1. […] hand to the door too. Sad but congressworms come in two sizes, (D) and (R) with the occasional (I) North Carolina Senator Tommy Tucker: "I am the Senator. You are the citizen. You need to be qui… My friends call me 'Mick' Save the Second Amendment, take a kid shooting! Reply […]