Posmo @
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 9:27pm

For the second time in three years, North Carolina has the dishonor of having one of its own legislators recognized as the ALEC legislator of the year.

The American Legislative Exchange Council has named state Rep. Jason Saine its Lawmaker of the Year for 2014.

It's the second time in four years a North Carolina lawmaker has won the group's highest honor. Outgoing House Speaker Thom Tillis was ALEC's Lawmaker of the Year in 2011.

BlueNC @
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 6:46pm

A whole concert to celebrate the end of this miserable month of politics. Enjoy.

After Dark
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 11:42am

A monumental waste of time:

AN ACT to disapprove the mitigation program requirements for protection and maintenance of riparian buffers rule adopted by THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION, DIRECT THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION TO ADOPT A NEW MITIGATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR PROTECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF RIPARIAN BUFFERS RULE, and amend wastewater disposal system requirements.

SECTION 1. Pursuant to G.S. 150B‑21.3(b1), 15A NCAC 02B .0295 (Mitigation Program Requirements for Protection and Maintenance of Riparian Buffers), as adopted by the Environmental Management Commission on May 9, 2013, and approved by the Rules Review Commission on July 18, 2013, is disapproved.

Bolding mine. Five years of work, done by a Commission that already had more industry input than it should have, tossed aside because a small yet clever group of people saw an opportunity to take advantage of a failsafe that was put in place to keep a small yet clever group from abusing the rulemaking process. We are impressed by such guile, but many lawmakers are not:

BlueNC @
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:18am

Tillis Says He's Cracking Down on Coal Pollution, Green Groups Say That’s BS (Mother Jones) – N.C. Senate candidate Thom Tillis is making an unusual argument—for a Republican. In recent weeks, he's accused his Democratic opponent, Sen. Kay Hagan, of sabotaging critical environmental regulations because of her "cozy relationship" with a powerful energy company. At the same time, Tillis has trumpeted his own role in fighting for what he claims are tough new rules that will clean up the coal industry. But North Carolina environmentalists say he's full of it. "That's pretty bold, as a line of attack, considering the environmental record he's got," says D.J. Gerken, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The back-and-forth is the latest skirmish in the political war over one of the worst environmental disasters in the state's history.

Daily dose
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:16am

This story was cross posted from http://restorenc.org/news/

A toxic slurry of selenium and arsenic can bubble discretely for decades only to spill out and imperil life along miles of rivers and lakes. So too can a conservative legislator lay low for more than a decade until the Tea Party waves of 2010 and 2012 allow him to express himself like a cold sore that arrives when the weather changes.

Read the rest here.

Posmo @
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:15am

Sometimes the illegal cronyism is so blatant that even Kim Strach has to call foul.

In an unusual move, the executive director of the State Board of Elections is refusing to confirm the appointment of a new director at the Duplin County Board of Elections, citing concerns over the way the candidate was chosen by the local board, which includes two Republicans and a Democrat.

The Duplin County board appointed a pickle factory worker with no elections oversight experience and argued to the SBOE that he was the most qualified individual. So Kim asked for the documentation demonstrating that he was the most qualified individual. The Duplin County board declined to provide that documentation.

Posmo @
Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 9:55am

After grabbing headlines about a 7% teacher raise that seems to be...er...misleading at best, the Tillisberger released the budget under cover of darkness. Senators got copies on theirs desks at 8:30 a.m. and were expected to vote on the 260-page bill at 10:15 a.m.

It's no wonder that Phil & Thom want to keep the budget secret, because it has all kinds of sleazy little personal pet provisions in it, including:

  • Moving the SBI from the Attorney General's control to the control of the governor whose administration is being investigated by the SBI (something the wing nuts have been trying to do for a long time);
  • Moves the ABC & ALE to new places too;
  • Eliminates 4 badly needed special judges;
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 4:28pm

There was a moment at this morning's Senate Rules Committee meeting at NCGA that left me scratching my head…. I hope y'all can help clarify something for me.

The bill being discussed was HB 761. This huge, 62 page Proposed Committee Substitute covers everything from Ambiant Air Monitoring and Animal Euthanasia Requirements to making it a Class H felony to poach venus fly traps from the only area where they grow in the wild (down east NC).

Posmo @
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 1:38pm

Because the poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Let’s start with the backdrop: Essentially, the lower-income Americans that are the target customers of dollar stores have gotten too poor to buy anything other than food (a vivid illustration of Piketty’s point about income inequality). That has depressed margins and profits at these [Family Dollar and Dollar Tree] discount retailers.

So the people who own and manage these discount stores are going to end up hurting right? Hahaha, no, remember, the rich get richer.

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