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Do The Right Thing: Conservatives Should Spike Panthers Plunder

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Now that Jerry Richardson and his Carolina Panthers have finally made the long expected demand for millions in taxpayer subsidies for the billionaire’s middling NFL franchise — albeit in a shockingly cowardly, undemocratic, and secretive manner even for Charlotte — there glows a bright line for Mecklenburg’s conservatives to rally to hold.

No fuzzy logic or complicated rhetoric here. Actual conservatives will oppose taxing Charlotte’s poorest citizens in order to provide welfare for one of its richest. Call the roll and take a stand.

Pat, do the right thing. Sure, that second term is all that matters now. But the Uptown crowd will have no choice to support you, regardless. Ask Jack, the only threat to you is a populist uprising of the kind that would be kicked off by…siding with plutocrats and jobbing the little guy. Besides, do right and you get to go on pretending to be conservative. You like that and you’re good at it. The act might even land you a Senate seat some day. And notice how I didn’t say the P-word — principle.

Art, do the right thing. When Pat goes wobbly — and we know he will — tell him you’ll resign and turn your back on his efforts unless this abomination is strangled in its crib. Yes, your Holy Grail is the budget wheel in a GOP administration with GOP legislative control. But what is the point of political power if it is used to do wrong? And don’t try the mind trick that this “small” matter buys “bigger” wins elsewhere. It will not and cannot. Because conservatives will melt away in the face of this betrayal and you’ll be left with ciphers at your side. As ever in Raleigh.

Thom, do the right thing. Don’t ask Carroll Gray what to do. Think for yourself. For once prove to us how smart you are instead of just telling us. Over and over. And over.

Bob, do the right thing. Don’t let Jim Black win. Again. Unless that was your aim all along. It wasn’t — was it?

Ruth, do the right thing. Have someone you trust sit down and explain this to you. Not the entire game of football, we don’t have time for that. Just the big picture stuff. You know, theft bad; sparkly good. There, you are halfway home.

Charles, do the right thing. What is it gonna be, bud? You could lead a wave of reform. Or melt comfortably into the pack. Your call.

Bill, do the right thing. You said you wanted to cut taxes. Will you oppose a tax increase?

Jeff, do the right thing. You said, “I am running for State Senate because I believe that our taxes are too high and our spending is not correctly prioritized.” But honestly, I am not holding my breath.

Rob, do the right thing. Although you’ll do whatever Pat does, that is still your choice.

Finally, Rosalind. Do the right thing. Get Jerry to pull the plug on this bad idea. He is evidently ashamed of it, slinking in and out with a police escort to make his secret case to a panel of potted plants. There are alternatives. It does not have to be this way. Don’t you want him to go to heaven?

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Jeff A. Taylor blogs at The Free Lance

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