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Kenny floats into Raleigh

“Hetero” dancin’ man and RNC head Ken Mehlman came to Raleigh today, shoveling the usual sh*t. Our governor, Mike Easley, a Democrat, has sent a letter to President Bush demanding an investigation into oil company profits, which have reached record levels.

Kenny brushed off that request, since his master, Dear Leader, thinks it’s A-OK for his buddies in Big Oil to screw over the public. (N&O;):

“What you’re seeing here is a governor who has been unwilling to take on this issue of high gas prices,” Mehlman said in a news conference at the Legislative Building. “We know that the governor, we know that the leadership in the state legislature can take concrete steps to reduce that right now.”

Mehlman, in Raleigh for state GOP fundraising events, lent his support to state Republicans who are still trying to pressure Democrats into a special session to roll back the tax increase. The state gasoline tax automatically rose 2.8 cents per gallon on Jan. 1. “One idea that everybody who has common sense ought to agree on is the last thing we need is higher gas taxes,” Mehlman said. “Higher gas taxes are bad for families. They’re bad for workers. … It’s bad for jobs.”

…Mehlman pointed to state and federal price-gouging laws already on the books to prosecute illegal windfalls. In an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, Bush defended Exxon Mobil’s profits, saying they were the result of the marketplace and that consumers should not expect price breaks.

Easley defended his letter through a spokeswoman: “One company has already reported $36 billion in profits in the past year. Compare that to the 2.8 cent gas tax and let me know where the problem is.”

By the way — oil company executives decided that they didn’t want to appear before a U.S. Senate committee hearing to discuss those record windfalls.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding