Political Notebook: Have former political enemies Sides, Paris reconciled differences?

Published 12:11 am Saturday, October 3, 2015

Local attorney Todd Paris targeted former County Commissioners Chairman Jim Sides during the 2014 campaign, but the pair posed for a grinning picture this week during the Rowan County Fair.

The picture was taken and originally posted by former La Resistance member Joanne Stewart. As part of political action group La Resistance, Stewart and Paris campaigned heavily against Sides in the 2014 county commissioners race. Sides didn’t make it past the Republican primary.

When asked about the picture this week, Paris confirmed it was real. He said it was a picture and didn’t symbolize anything more significant. Paris said his booth at the Rowan County fair was situated next to one occupied by Sides.

“It was just a handshake of Christian brotherhood,” Paris said. “The picture was made at the request of a former of a member of La Resistance, which is now defunct. I knew the attack Todd squad would put it up. It signifies no great political shift at this time.”

The fair photo isn’t the only recent time Sides and Paris have been spotted together. Both appeared on a recent taping of local attorney Jeff Morris’ radio show. During the show, crime, Fibrant and possible environmental contamination at the Empire Hotel were among questions asked.

At the end of the radio show’s second question, Sides gives Paris a compliment on issues raised in Paris’ run for Salisbury City Council.

“Hurray for Mr. Paris in bringing this problem to light,” Sides says in reference to Paris’ allegation that Fibrant may not be in compliance with electric safety codes.

McCrory signs bill requesting Billy Graham statue be placed at U.S. Capitol 

A statue of evangelist Billy Graham will replace one of former N.C. governor Charles Aycock at the U.S. Capitol.

Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday signed a bill requesting that a statue of Graham be placed in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol Building. The bill passed the N.C. General Assembly earlier this year by significant margins. Aycock served as governor from 1901 to 1905. The presence of a statue in his memory at the U.S. Capitol came under fire for Aycock’s white supremacist views.

In a news release about the bill signing, McCrory only offered positive comments about Graham.

“The Reverend Billy Graham is one of North Carolina’s favorite sons, one of our greatest gifts to the world,” McCrory said. “From the mountains to the coast, nothing compares to North Carolina’s values, spirit and faith. For many generations of North Carolinians, and people around the country and world, Billy Graham has come to personify those values.”

Adams introduces resolution to highlight hunger crisis

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-12, this week introduced a resolution intended to highlight the severity of the hunger crisis in her district and across the nation.

Several other U.S. representatives from various states co-sponsored the resolution, which acknowledges that hunger impacts one in every seven Americans and highlights the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Earned Income Tax Credit and other programs.

Adams’ resolution calls on Congress to strengthen the programs and streamline requirements for after school and summer meal programs to allow organizations to apply for federal funding while dedicating more resources to support children in need.

“Hunger impacts one in seven nationwide – and it’s more severe in my district,” Adams said. “The issue of food insecurity is a serious problem that has been ignored for far too long by too many policy makers in Washington. Congress must play a role in addressing hunger in the communities we represent which is why I introduced this resolution to draw attention to this issue and to charge Congress to act.”

More than 48 million Americans are food insecure, and 20 percent of children in America go to school hungry. In North Carolina, more than 1.8 million people are food insecure. Overall, North Carolina’s 12th District is first in the state and ninth in the country for hunger.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.