Who Asked For That? North Carolina Needs Insko Rule | Eastern North Carolina Now | Even in the bastion of duplicity, representatives in Washington D.C. must attach their names to their pork spending projects in a piece of legislation, a bare minimum for transparency’s sake.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Paige Terryberry.

    Even in the bastion of duplicity, representatives in Washington D.C. must attach their names to their pork spending projects in a piece of legislation, a bare minimum for transparency's sake.

    In North Carolina, we must demand similar transparency.

    Fortunately, in the North Carolina General Assembly, recently-retired Representative Verla Insko, (D-Orange) understood this. And John Locke Foundation's President, Donald Bryson, has long praised what he calls "the Insko Rule."

    In 2017, Insko introduced H.B. 83 which would have required disclosure for pork spending: "Every special provision contained in the Current Operations Appropriations Act shall indicate the name of the member or members who requested the provision." Last week, The Carolina Journal reported that Representative Terrence Everitt (D-Wake) introduced H.B. 1027 to identify legislators who request special provisions.

    Steering state funding to localities or special projects via earmarks in the state budget is inappropriate. It undermines local authorities, agency grant processes, and private competition. Furthermore, it often compels statewide taxpayers to pay for a project that should be funded locally - if at all.

    At a minimum, legislators should be held accountable. In addition to taking responsibility nominally for their pork, the data must be publicly available and easily searchable. Other safeguards could include capping the total dollar amounts each legislator can request, limiting types of eligible recipients, disclosing any conflicts of interest, and ensuring projects are noted with specific detail so taxpayers are acutely aware of exactly what their dollars are funding.

    Although the process was far from user-friendly, last year I was able to match pork spending with the requesting U.S. Congressional member for a spending omnibus last year. At the state level, this step to transparency would be easier to implement. Transparency makes for better policy.

    The recent state budget, passed in November, was loaded with pages of pork with no accountability.

    Pork spending projects may be well intentioned. Yet government grows out of control when strict limits are not placed on restricting expenditures to legitimate, core functions.

    If members of the General Assembly truly believe their projects should be included in the budget bill, they should not shy away from taking responsibility for them by name.
Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) role on the January 6 committee is sparking heavy resentment from voters in her home state far from Washington, D.C.
A federal Appeals Court will not block the N.C. Green Party from appearing on the general election ballot.
Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who served as former President Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, blasted the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, comparing the action to those of infamous communist tyrants Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) addressed the Biden administration’s latest controversy, flying illegal aliens across the U.S. in the dead of night, by saying that the administration was desperately trying to avoid the public seeing what they are doing because it is a political disaster for them.
President Joe Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, announced Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the FBI search warrant on the home of former President Donald Trump this week and that the Department has moved to unseal the search warrant.
Ted Budd Validates the Charlotte Observer’s Reporting that Working Families are FREAKING OUT About How the Inflation Caused by Biden Policies Supported by Beasley are Crushing Family Budgets And, of Course, the TV Ad Reeks of Cinematic Excellence
Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard ripped the Biden-Harris administration for statements she said promoted the use of puberty blockers for children.
N.C. Republican Congressional delegation outraged at FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe cut an interview short on Tuesday with a local news station after the interviewer asked McAuliffe questions that he apparently did not want to answer.


Inflation remains at a 40-year high, and while Congress prepares to spend hundreds of trillions of dollars more, families across North Carolina are struggling with the higher costs of getting their children ready to return to school.
Monkeypox cases continue to rise in New York City, prompting officials to declare a public health emergency on Saturday while estimating that approximately 150,000 Big Apple residents face possible exposure.
Its now indifferent to human suffering, to life and death
The “Inflation Reduction Act,” which passed the U.S. Senate on Sunday, is set to pass the U.S. House tomorrow, and the final version will not contain guarantees that those making under $400,000 per year will avoid any resulting new taxes.
Federal law enforcement officials reportedly “delivered subpoenas or paid visits” to several Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers this week following their raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Yuan, ruble and other currencies emerging as alternatives
Just more proof of how corrupt the FBI has become
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is no longer listed as faculty on George Washington University Law School’s website and will reportedly not teach at the Washington, D.C. school in the upcoming semester.


Back to Top