Alumni blues

You'd think UNC would be hustling like heck to get donations for me. I'm a wealthy alum married to a woman who used to be chair of the faculty. Together we give a great deal of money to educational and advocacy organizations in North Carolina. In any reasonable world, I would be at the top of UNC's development hit-list. But I'm not.

UNC BOG pushes Folt out several months early

Calling the move childish would be an insult to children:

The Board of Governors accepted Folt’s resignation during a closed emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon, specifying a date months earlier than the chancellor had intended to leave. The board accepted the resignation effective Jan. 31, whereas Folt had said she planned to step down after commencement, scheduled for May.

“She resigned, we accepted it,” said Harry Smith, Board of Governors chair, during a question-and-answer session with reporters, the audio of which was provided to Inside Higher Ed. “We just felt it was better to compress the timeline and then work more toward a healing process.”

Compress the timeline? Reducing 4 1/2 months to a couple weeks is a hell of a lot more than "compressing the timeline." And as far as I'm concerned, the only "healing process" that will actually work is to purge the UNC Board of Governors of any and all political appointees, and a good place to start is with the Chairman himself, whose ethics are more than a little strained:

Wednesday News: Shutdown madness

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VANCE COUNTY SCHOOLS CUT BACK ON SCHOOL LUNCHES WITHOUT FEDERAL ASSISTANCE: The federal government’s budget stalemate over border security is causing lunches to shrink at one eastern North Carolina school district. Vance County Schools officials announced on Facebook late Tuesday that lunch menus “have been revised to a minimum level to conserve food and funding” starting Jan. 21. The county is about 50 miles northeast of Durham, along the Virginia state line. Fresh produce, bottled juices and water, and even ice cream are among the items being nixed. “The Vance County Schools Nutrition Program for students is self-supporting with federal funds providing meals,” says the post. “We hope that normal lunch menus can be resumed as soon as possible once the shutdown has ended.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article224611465.html

Tuesday News: The stink of desperation

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HARRIS IS ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN CONCERNED ABOUT VOTERS' RIGHTS: The campaign of Republican Mark Harris is moving forward with an effort to force the State Board of Elections to certify the result of the 2018 9th Congressional District race by court action, despite ongoing investigations into absentee ballot irregularities in several southeastern North Carolina counties. Harris filed a legal brief Monday in support of his request for a writ of mandamus, a court order that forces a public agency to exercise one of its responsibilities. He's asking a Wake County Superior Court judge to command state elections officials to immediately certify the election results and release any investigative materials into election irregularities. "By leaving the Ninth District race undecided, the Bipartisan Board has struck a blow to representative democracy," the brief filed on Harris' behalf reads. "It effectively has disfranchised the more than 778,000 people living in the Ninth District by bureaucratic fiat, denying them representation in the 116th Congress."
https://www.wral.com/in-court-documents-harris-argues-state-board-should-certify-9th-district-result...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Going out with a bang:

People will be saying nice things and some not-so-nice things about her in the days ahead, but her time leading UNC-CH has to have been a near-constant nightmare. Thank you.

Urban-Rural divide becomes more stark in 287(g) program

And it's increasingly a Republican-led effort:

The sheriffs who joined the program were overwhelmingly small-town or suburban and Republican, Stateline found, though not all counties have partisan races for sheriff. The only urban counties to join were those encompassing Fort Worth, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee. None of the new sheriffs to join the program ran as a Democrat in the general election. There were no new 287(g) agreements with city police agencies, which generally aren’t elected positions and usually are not in charge of jails as are county sheriffs.

The expansion came so fast that it caused administrative problems; U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t hire enough new managers to oversee the new programs and train sheriff’s deputies, according to an Inspector General report in September.

Bolding mine, because that lack of training and oversight is a recipe for an authoritarian nightmare. The 287(g) program is supposed to be "incidental" in nature; local law enforcement are only supposed to check someone's immigration status *after* a suspect has been arrested for other crimes. In the absence of a manager to review and sign off on "charging documents" that provide the legal basis for initiating the deportation, the likelihood of racial profiling increases. And it also makes our streets more dangerous because it discourages the reporting of crimes, even violent ones:

Monday News: Equality means protection, too

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AG STEIN FILES BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF SAME-SEX RESTRAINING ORDERS: North Carolina is the only state in the U.S. that doesn't issue domestic violence restraining orders for victims in same-sex dating relationships. A lawsuit now before the state Court of Appeals could change that, and Attorney General Josh Stein filed a brief on behalf of the state this week, calling on the court to declare this portion of North Carolina's law unconstitutional. In North Carolina, a domestic violence protective order is known as "50B order," and for people who are not married or related, an order can be obtained only against a person "of the opposite sex." A lower court cited that section of the law in denying a protective order to a person who faced threats of physical violence following a breakup this year. The plaintiff in the case is a Wake County woman who was threatened by a woman she was dating. The American Civil Liberties Union is representing her in the case. The group and Stein are asking for that section of the law to be struck down.
https://www.wral.com/ag-stein-pushing-for-same-sex-domestic-violence-protections/18118215/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATORS, ABANDON PARTISAN BULLYING AND FOCUS ON STATE'S URGENT NEEDS: The dark and stormy hyper-partisan atmosphere, fueled by the only veto-proof majority since the governor was granted the power 22 years ago, has dissipated as a new legislature gathers for the first time. We hope now that a gubernatorial veto carries some clout, legislators will think and act more cooperatively and less ideologically as they craft legislation. To get important things accomplished, legislators will need to consider and address the interests and needs of ALL North Carolinians – not just narrow and favored special interests or powerful partisan patrons. It is an opportunity for REAL leadership to emerge. Skill in building consensus will hold greater currency than the muscle to intimidate and steamroll. How will GOP leaders Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore handle themselves?
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislators-abandon-partisan-bullying-and-focus-on-state-s-urgent-nee...

Evidence shows Burr coordinated with NRA in 2016 Election

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The only time he actually does something always involves campaign money:

Back in 2016, when North Carolina Republican Richard Burr prevailed against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, Burr employed National Media outright, while the NRA used Red Eagle. As in the other races, Ferrell signed off on purchases for both sides. FCC paperwork filed by WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, shows Ferrell signing off on purchases for the Burr campaign on October 12, 24, and 27 and November 2 as an “agent for Richard Burr Committee.” At the same time, he authorized Red Eagle purchases on behalf of the NRA on September 19 and October 21.

The campaign coordination alone is a serious issue, and one of the few safeguards left in place after Citizens United. But even more concerning is the likelihood that Russian money was used to get Richard Burr re-elected:

Saturday News: Milking the taxpayers

DOLLAR LOSES ELECTION, GAINS SIX-FIGURE INCOME WORKING FOR MOORE: Former state Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, has joined House Speaker Tim Moore's staff as a senior policy adviser. The former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Dollar will make $117,495 a year, an upgrade from the roughly $14,000 a year state legislators make in addition to per diems and expense reimbursements. Dollar has been heavily involved in a number of complex issues at the statehouse, including budget negotiations and the state's ongoing Medicaid reform efforts. He is a political and media consultant by trade. Dollar lost his seat by 884 votes last November to Democrat Julie von Haefen, the former president of the Wake County PTA. Von Haefen took her seat, representing parts of Cary, Apex and southern Wake County this month, and the legislature began its new session Wednesday.
https://www.wral.com/former-rep-dollar-joins-speaker-s-staff/18117778/

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